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

Hundreds are feared murdered in pits at cult's site

Sceptical followers were killed by poison and suffocation in latrines after millennium Doomsday predictions failed

A sign for our times

An eclipse - unlike a dome - cannot be commercialised or politicised. But the portent is real, says Blake Morrison

Parliament: The Sketch: Naked at the dispatch box - and it wasn't a dream

MOST OF us have had that nightmare in which you find yourself about to go on stage and realise that you don't have a clue what your lines are. But most of us are lucky enough to wake up to the flooding relief that it was all just a ghastly dream.

The Critics: video

Deep Impact (12). Though admittedly nowhere near as asinine or assaultive as this year's other meteor movie (Michael Bay's execrable Armageddon), Mimi Leder's second feature (following the nuclear-weapon thriller, The Peacemaker) represents Hollywood at its most

FILM: FIVE BIG-BUCK TURKEYS

1

Review: Godzilla (PG)

Godzilla (PG)

Film: Top Ten Video Rentals

1 Air Force One (15)

Top Ten Video Rentals

1 Men in Black - Will Smith & Tommy Lee Jones (PG)

The dropped toast debate

Gravity by Joseph Lanza, Quartet pounds 10

Beyond a choke... a disaster of a movie

Volcano (15)

American anxiety takes wing with Air Force One

The latest Hollywood blockbuster touches a raw nerve with its portrayal of a terrorist assault on the President's plane

Mir, a disaster movie in the making

The three astronauts on board the holed Mir space station were ready to abandon ship last night as they struggled to restore power to its gyroscopes, to try to prevent it from spinning out of control and crashing to Earth.

RISING FROM THE ASHES - DISASTER MOVIES RETURN

The disaster movie was always the quintessential Seventies genre. Films such as The Poseidon Adventure, The Towering Inferno and Avalanche summed up a seedy, disillusioned decade. They were pessimism writ large... and trashy. Movies which gave new meaning to emergency flares, as a hand-picked selection of personality disordered fashion victims fell prey to whatever natural disaster had been visited on their hotel, airplane or tower block.

The day the earth held hands

A film about pulling together and learning to achieve inner growth. Oh, and the aliens have landed. By Adam Mars-Jones
News
Mickey Rourke celebrates his victory against opponent Elliot Seymour
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Former ‘Daily Mirror’ editor Piers Morgan
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Gordon and Tana Ramsay arrive at the High Court, London
newsTV chef gives evidence against his father-in-law in court case
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Actor Burt Reynolds last year
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Johnny Handle, Northumberland, Ted Relph, President of Lakeland Dialect Society, and Sid Calderbank, Lancashire, founder of the National Dialect Day
newsMeet the enthusiasts determined to stop them dying out
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The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
i100Mike Stuchbery, a teacher in Great Yarmouth, said he received abuse
Arts and Entertainment
The starship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of JJ Abrams' new film has been released online
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Rio Ferdinand returns for QPR
sportRio Ferdinand returns from his three-game suspension today
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The Speaker of the House will takes his turn as guest editor of the Today programme
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Prices correct as of 28 November 2014
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

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
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

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

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?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

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