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.

The cold weather is likely to break on Friday, leading to a warmer but wetter weekend

Wintry showers set to return to the UK as December freeze continues

Some parts of the country will struggle to get above freezing on Wednesday and Thursday

Totnes did a more than decent thing

The town clubbed together to provide a funeral for a local homeless man

Travel warnings as temperatures plunge

The South of England can expect its first snowfall of the winter with motorists warned of treacherous driving conditions today.

Scottish fire station damaged by blaze

A fire station has been badly damaged after a blaze ripped through the building.

A shower of snow covers trees in Bath, Somerset earlier this month

After the wind, rain and floods Britain braces for snow as forecasters predict coldest winter for 100 years

Temperatures are expected to fall dramatically this evening leading to rain in some areas turning to sleet and possibly snow

'Once you take away the freedom of the press, it's very difficult to get back': Sir David Frost on Leveson, Michael Gove and political correctness

Exclusive: The man who conducted possibly the most famous political interview in television history, David Frost, now 73, gives his views on press freedom and British politics

The Dark Earth and the Light Sky, Almeida Theatre, London

The beautiful poetry of Edward Thomas – ostensibly pastoral but often leading us to the mysterious, unsettling edges of consciousness – came in a late spurt of creativity.

Cinematic majesty in historic Navajo country

Chris Leadbeater finds epic views for all seasons in Monument Valley

Weekend work: Time to lay new turf

What to do

1. £70, Lulu Frost for Whistles, available from 8 October, whistles.co.uk

Ice-cool gems

Whistles is launching a jewellery collaboration with antique-inspired brand Lulu Frost. It's really rather brrrrrilliant, says Rebecca Gonsalves

Exposure: The Jimmy Savile documentary review

Those who stayed up to watch last night's ITV investigation into Jimmy Savile's alleged abuse of young girls will have switched off with a damning picture of the disc jockey, says Caroline Frost on the Huffington Post.

Autumn plants: Bolts from the blue

Blow away the autumnal gloom with blossoms that have an electric impact

Liu Xiang among Chinese athletes to switch training base to Germany 'thanks to London's cold weather'

Hurdler Liu Xiang has gone to train in Germany because London is too cold.

Emperor's new crop: the case for leeks

For first-time vegetable growers, leeks are an easy and tasty option. And if they're good enough for Nero...

In One Person, By John Irving

Irving's versatile writer-hero wrestles with inner demons and social stress in a sexual comedy that has both guts and heart.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project