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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Day In a Page

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The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003