News Allan Umscheid, owner of Yards By Al in Lawrence, Kan, feels the bitter wind and catches drifting snow on his face as he runs a snow blower early morning

With Arctic winds plummeting temperatures to  -50C, much of North America has shut down as authorities warn of the life-threatening freeze

Mayfair developers are hoping for a happy landing with Cambridgeshire airfield project

A pair of Mayfair high-fliers have plans for a disused Cold War airfield, says Laura Chesters

Donald Macintyre's Syria Sketch: High-minded statesmanese masks the pent-up rage

Tensely circling each other on Syria today, David Cameron and Ed Miliband were like a warring couple forced to meet but determined not to unleash their pent-up rage because they have too much to lose. Cameron, you felt, was itching to say: “You treacherous bastard. You not only sabotaged my foreign policy last week, but you couldn’t even take a stand one way or the other.” And Miliband to answer: “You authorise your spin doctors to use industrial language about me as if I’m to blame for the full-scale revolt in your own party. It’s pathetic.”

Stunning images show crowds standing just inches from huge wave as it bursts through giant dam on China's Yellow River

Despite looking like a scene from a disaster movie, the spectacle is actually a meticulously-planned method of transporting silt

Tim Henman: What Andy Murray must do to triumph this week

The expert view: Six keys to victory
A scene from 'The Impossible'

DVD & Blu-ray review: The Impossible (12)

Juan Antonio Bayona (114mins)

The Rovers Return is engulfed in flames as most of Coronation Street's residents are watching The Full Monty...

Will the Rovers return? Coronation Street's iconic pub becomes a raging inferno (but it's nothing to do with the hot pot)

Britain's best known pub is engulfed in a ball of flame as landlady Stella Price screams for help when the Rovers Return becomes a raging inferno.

Editorial: Today's fish and chip paper?

The danger that the newspaper will be out of date before it hits the nation's doormats is, of course, a perennial problem for the press.

Gamers 'alone together' no longer as Nintendo details Wii U GamePad

'Miiverse' Wii U community and Wii U Pro Controller also revealed in pre-E3 2012 video.

Deadlight – Preview

Deadlight is more than just your average zombie-blaster.

Contagion, Steven Soderbergh, 106 mins (12A) Blood in the Mobile, Frank Piasecki Poulsen, 85 mins (12A)

Few thrills or spills, and not much else to detain you, in Steven Soderbergh's star-studded but curiously restrained thriller about a global virus outbreak

John Otway: 'Enthusiasm and misplaced belief can get you far'

The self-styled Rock and Roll's Greatest Failure has another project on the go: his own movie. Chris Stevenson meets John Otway

Lars von Trier - An auteur's apocalypse, now

Lars von Trier, the controversial director of Antichrist, has made a film about the end of the world. Geoffrey Macnab takes a look at the arthouse approach to Armageddon

Disaster movies are pulled from Japanese screens after tsunami

A woman in a luxury hotel at an Asian beach resort goes for a wander - it's an idyllic and beautiful setting but there is something ominous in the air. Suddenly, before she or the street vendors can get away to safety, a huge tsunami comes rolling towards them, sweeping up everything in its path.

Capitol Hill evacuated as pilot presses wrong button

It was a jumpy new year for America's lawmakers, after an aircraft which had suddenly lost contact with air-traffic control was presumed to be hijacked, prompting security officials to evacuate the entire Capitol building in Washington.

Leslie Nielsen, the comic actor who never cracked a smile

Geoffrey Macnab mourns the deadpan star of Airplane and Police Squad!
Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas