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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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
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War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot