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

It's all just torque

TWISTER Jan de Bont (PG); Forget the disaster movie: this is a tale of a tempest with temperament, a tornado with its own sexual identity. And as for the post-storm afterglow...

also showing; It's a wonderful life, on the face of it

MR HOLLAND'S OPUS Stephen Herek (PG) WHITE SQUALL Ridley Scott (12) EXECUTIVE DECISION Stuart Baird (15)

Space movies: the next generation

'2001' made space travel look effortless and simple. With 'Alien' it became dirty and beset by bad industrial relations. Now 'Apollo 13' has added something new: disaster.

ARTS / Production Notes: Simon Sprackling on what happens when your spoof horror turns into a disaster movie

WHAT summed it all up for me is when I discovered that for Barry Norman to review the film we had to fork out pounds 150 to hire a cinema for him to watch it on his own - 150 quid to slake the ego of a man who wears pink jumpers] I also worked out that we generated pounds 200,000 of reviewing fees for journalists - pounds 200,000. And what have we made for ourselves . . . ?

More disaster movie than soap: We already know far too much about the House of Windsor. And each episode gets worse

AUDREY ZEDER of Long Beach, California, has a mail order business that sells up-to-the- minute commemorative royal gifts. She offers more or less timeless lines such as the Diana Letter Opener or the 217-piece Coronation jigsaw puzzle, but she also has an Annus Horribilus (sic) Queen Elizabeth china dish at dollars 23 and, most poignantly of all, Charles and Diana separation dishes at dollars 23 or mugs at dollars 28. Ms Zeder is clearly not one to ignore the uncomfortable reality of modern royalty, so doubtless this week craftsmen in Long Beach will be working on a pressed glass Diana workout dish complete with lovingly detailed pounds 120 Reebok Hexalite cross-trainers.
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