Voices Ice forms on the shore of the East River due to unusually low temperatures caused by a polar vortex in New York

All 50 US states are below freezing as the polar vortex sworls around North America, shattering temperature records and causing a collective shudder across the continent.

Two Premier League games called off due to weather

The Barclays Premier League matches at Blackpool and Everton have fallen victim to the cold weather.

Cinemas hit by freezing weather

The cold snap is expected to reduce cinema ticket sales by a quarter this month, losing the industry up to £24m. December is typically a big month, and with films such as the Christina Aguilera flick Burlesque, above, on release, cinema owners had high hopes for this year.

Heinz workers set to strike again

Another strike by workers at food giant Heinz is "inevitable" after talks aimed at resolving a row over pay broke down, union leaders said today.

Road chiefs warn over grit stocks

Highway chiefs are warning they have already used almost half their winter stocks of salt.

Picture of the Day: Poetry of a frozen morning

It is usually sparkling, not to say enchanting, but here the transforming power of frost has taken on a sinister edge: instead of a sugar coating, we have the cobwebs of nightmares.

Elderly at risk as money for heating help runs out

Concerns are mounting that the icy conditions will have a devastating effect on those suffering from fuel poverty, especially the elderly, following yesterday's revelation that the Warm Front fund, which helps people with heating and insulation, would not take on any more cases until next April.With many of the big energy providers having already hiked up their prices, the immediate future looks bleak, with forecasters predicting that December temperatures will be as vicious as November, Europe's coldest on record.

Weather fells Scottish minister

A new Scottish transport minister has been announced, one day after Stewart Stevenson bowed to pressure and resigned.

Cold snap helps London retailers

London's retailers delivered another stunning rise in underlying sales in November, as the cold weather heated up fashion sales.

Calm before snowstorm as Big Freeze eases

Britain will enjoy some brief respite from the worst December weather in nearly 30 years today, before temperatures plunge again for the rest of the month.

Driver killed in crane plunge

A driver died today after a 27-ton crane toppled into a freezing river.

Transport Secretary: 'Public should access grit and salt'

The public should have access to grit and salt supplies to help clear roads, the Transport Secretary suggested today as the worst December weather for 19 years continued.

More snow forecast after another day of travel misery

Plummeting temperatures and freezing conditions caused more misery for motorists today as forecasters warned of further snow to come.

Big freeze to return after mild weekend

The weather gods granted Britain a weekend breather from the worst of the extreme weather, but plummeting temperatures are expected again this week.

The ten best hand creams

It’s around now that the cold weather leaves hands all dried-out and wrinkly. Combat the claw look with these choice softeners...

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