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.

Album review: Sven Helbig, Pocket Symphonies (Deutsche Grammophon)

Sven Helbig is a young German composer equally drawn to classical, pop and hip-hop modes, probably most famous for his orchestrations on Pet Shop Boys' Battleship Potemkin and The Most Incredible Thing. That populist spirit informs this debut release, with emotionally expansive pieces restricted to pop-song length.

The Week Ahead: A toast to Majestic despite flat profits

Investors may want to toast Majestic Wine's performance but it won't be with an expensive vintage, more a cheap glass of plonk. It will tout the resilience of its business model this week, despite flat profits in the wake of tougher trading for the chain. The wine warehouse retailer will also reaffirm that it plans to open a similar number of stores this financial year to the 16 it introduced last year.

34 per cent of colonies failed to make it through the winter

A third of Britain's bee colonies perish in wettest summer in a century

A third of Britain's honeybee colonies perished in the winter following the wettest summer in 100 years last year, according to a new survey.

Sun, sand, blue skies and an all-over tan as summer arrives in (parts of) Britain

Britain may have endured the coldest spring for half a century, but that was all consigned to history on Sunday as much of the country bathed in blue skies and balmy weather.

Tomorrow calls time on the coldest spring in more than 50 years

UK sees coldest spring in 50 years, says Met Office

Tomorrow calls time on the coldest spring in more than 50 years, as the past fortnight of below average temperatures dragged the average thermometer reading during March, April and May putting it on course for its lowest level since 1962.

For David Cameron and the rest of us, life goes on despite the terror alerts

The Prime Minister was quite right to stick to his plans for a family holiday

Questioned: Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe

Police seize possessions of rough sleepers in crackdown on homelessness

Police in north London have seized blankets, sleeping bags and food donations from rough sleepers in a crackdown on homelessness.

British Gas pledges to put lid on prices after cold-weather boost

Bonanza from tough winter 'will be used to benefit customers for as long as possible'

Sir David Frost, journalist, comedian, writer, media personality and daytime TV game show host, pictured at his office in London

Sir David Frost calls upon Tony Hall to take a knife to BBC's management structure

Having worked for the BBC for more than 50 years, Sir David Frost has advised the new Director-General Tony Hall that he must take a knife to the organisation’s debilitating management structure.

<b>Sir Alex Ferguson</b><br/>
He came close to retirement in 2002 before having a change of heart. It proved a wise decision. While Manchester United's form was waning at the time, the wily Scot turned it around, made United the dominant force in England and lifted another Champions League trophy.
<br/>
With those achievements in the bank - now could be the opportune time to go. He's 68-years-old and is facing another team re-build after losing Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez. And if the recent financial revelations surrounding Old Trafford are anything to go by - the necessary funds may not be forthcoming.
<br/>
Add to all this his regular referee rants and childish touchline behaviour, it might be wise to leave now with a reputation as one of the greats assured before he destroys it by becoming a cantankerous dinosaur of the game.

The worst tribute to Sir Alex Ferguson

No, it’s not Piers Morgan’s Twitter tirade. Sir Alex’s retirement from Manchester United today has brought plenty of fresh tributes to the most successful managerial career football has ever seen (and possibly ever, given the tumbling average tenure of most managers nowadays). But long before he decided to hang up his hairdryer, the ageing Scot has been beatified by fans around the world.

Get the look: Summer black

Who's that?

Unilever feels euro chill as emerging markets help out

Unilever showed its growing reliance on the emerging markets of Asia and South America today as falling sales in the struggling eurozone saw it miss City forecasts in its first quarter.

Chancellor's biggest challenge yet as UK teeters on brink of a triple-dip recession

George Osborne faces the most severe test of his Chancellorship tomorrow morning when official figures reveal whether or not the economy has slipped into an unprecedented "triple-dip" recession.

Bad weather makes it a game of two halves for pub chain Marston's

Pub chain Marston’s today warned that first-half profits would not match last year’s because it had been hit so badly by the weather, but reassured investors that it expects to more  than make up any shortfall in the second half.

Is spring finally here? UK set for weekend warmth with temperatures set to rise

Mercury could hit 20C on Sunday but showers are also expected

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star