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
Seven Cities of Italy
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Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea