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
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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
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum