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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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss