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.

Simon Kelner: We're simply not made for this bothersome weather

Why is the automatic assumption in Britain that hot, sunny weather is a good thing? The newspapers are filled with pictures of people (perhaps, more correctly, I should say young women) frolicking in the sea at Brighton, with triumphal headlines saying it's hotter here than Marbella. Or was it Mars? Glorious day, strangers say, by way of a greeting. And there is a common belief that sunshine puts everyone in a good mood.

Mum’s the word: Sadie Frost performs ‘Touched... Like A Virgin’

In the groove with pop and pregnancy

Sadie Frost's one-woman show mixes Madonna and motherhood. By Charlotte Cripps

Between the Covers: 13/05/2012

Your weekly guide to what's really going on inside the world of books

Weekend Work: Time to re-pot tomatoes

What to do

Vitec snaps up Camera Corps

The founder of a TV camera company whose specialist equipment is used at everything from top sporting events to the reality show Big Brother is celebrating its £8m sale.

Red, red vine: If you're after a bumper crop of tomatoes there's only one variety to go for...

If you're in possession of a greenhouse, now is the time to sow tomato seeds. And if it's a bumper crop of juicy fruit you're after, there's only one variety to go for

Peter Skyllberg’s car was covered in snow 2ft deep before a group of snow mobilers discovered it

How did a man buried in this frozen car for two months come out of it alive?

Astonishing tale of survival from Sweden as 44-year-old endures temperature of -30C with only ice to sustain him

Tom Croft has said that senior players should be prepared to take more responsibility in helping determine style and strategy

Brian Ashton: Time to raise the tempo after snowshoe shuffle

Tackling The Issues

Call for energy bill cuts as hypothermia deaths almost double

Calls for energy bills to be cut intensified last night after it emerged that the number of people dying of hypothermia has almost doubled in the past five years.

A woman walks along a snow covered road in Sixfields, Northampton

Arctic conditions expected to ease

Today is likely to see the end of the cold snap, with the mercury finally rising slightly after several days of record-breaking sub-zero temperatures, according to forecasters.

Gas price fall sees BG slash fracking in US

BG Group is dramatically scaling back plans to employ the controversial practice of "fracking" for shale gas in the US.

British greenhouse gases rise for first time since 2003

There was a significant increase in UK greenhouse gases in 2010 for the first time in several years, Government figures confirmed yesterday.

Many motorway drivers were forced to spend the night in their cars as the snow brought traffic to a standstill on the M25, while Heathrow Airport cancelled a third of its flights.

Heavy snow leaves roads treacherous

Heavy overnight snow brought severe disruption to road, rail and air travel today with motorists being urged to take extra care in treacherous conditions.

Minus 11 as UK braces for widespread snow

Britain is lying in wait for widespread snow this weekend after another bitterly cold day in which temperatures in some places struggled to get above freezing.

Met Office puts out serious alert

The Met Office issued an England-wide serious weather alert yesterday as the nation continued to shiver in freezing conditions.

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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

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Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

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Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

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Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

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Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
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Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game