News Duccini, right, at the 75th anniversary celebrations of 'The Wizard of Oz'

Ruth Duccini was the last of the original female Munchkins from The Wizard of Oz. Uncredited, Duccini, who was four feet tall, played one of 124 Munchkin townspeople in the 1939 classic. There is now only one surviving Munchkin, Jerry Maren.

Ice forms on the shore of the East River due to unusually low temperatures caused by a polar vortex in New York

Polar vortex: frost throwers, freezing urine, cracking trampolines

All 50 US states are below freezing as the polar vortex sworls around North America, shattering temperature records and causing a collective shudder across the continent.

US braced for record low temperatures as 'polar vortex' brings minus -51C wind chill

Extreme forecast in America with -31 Celsius in Fargo, North Dakota, -35 C in International Falls, Minnesota, and -26 C in Indianapolis and Chicago

Sex doesn't sell? This study into women's response to raunchy advertising starts wrong and gets worse

The conclusion that women use sex as a bargaining tool is wildly outdated

Serge Vorobyov said he used his last $1000 to fund the stunt

Man throws $1000 over shoppers to spread holiday cheer, gets arrested by police

Serge Vorobyov threw the cash from the top floor of a US mall on Black Friday as a choir sang ‘Let it Snow’

Happiness can be bought, apparently, but only to a point

Experts confirm that money does buy happiness – but only up to £22,100

It is widely accepted that money can’t buy you love. Now a new study has found that it can buy you happiness – but only up to a point.

Veteran Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel, right, shone on his comeback game

American Football: Peterson helps Minnesota Vikings paint Wembley purple in win over Pittsburgh Steelers

Adopted home side for the week get off the mark with thrilling win in first of two London games this season

Kenya Shopping mall attack: ‘Deadly pipeline’ of US men leaving for Somalia to join al-Shabaab

Since 2007, 22 young men have left Minnesota, as well as two women

Nina Davuluri - the first Miss America winner from Indian background - dismisses barrage of racist abuse

Just minutes after the result racist comments began to appear on social networking sites

A Boeing 787 Dreamliner operated by United Airlines

United Airlines sells 'free' $0 tickets on their website

Customers wait to find out if the airline will honour the purchased tickets after a glitch on their site

Last Night's Viewing: The Men Who Made Us Thin, BBC2 The Field of Blood, BBC1

In 1943, Louis Dublin, the chief actuary for US insurance giants Metropolitan Life, published a series of charts that changed the world. Dublin used data from four million policyholders to ascertain the optimal weight for long life. Overnight, more than half the population of America was reclassified as overweight. The Men Who Made Us Thin, Jacques Peretti's engaging follow-up to last year's The Man Who Made Us Fat, was full of such stories about the arbitrary nature of weight and the weight-loss industry.

Pirsig: A survival guide for the soul

Invisible Ink: No 173 - Robert M Pirsig

In the roll-call of student summer reading certain volumes stand out, including Desmond Morris's body language phenomenon The Naked Ape and Richard Bach's Jonathan Livingston Seagull. To those can be added a volume by Robert M Pirsig that snuggled its way into every hitchhiker's hand-crocheted body satchel. Unlike Bach, whose books were like being hit with a wiffle bat full of pot-pourri, Pirsig is the real deal. Born in 1928, this precocious university student was eventually expelled for studying too hard, after growing bewildered by the choice of multiple hypotheses in his chosen field, biochemistry. Overwhelmed by the limitations of science, he tackled Eastern philosophy instead, spending time in India before returning to a US college.

Walking while I work has been a big step forward

Yes, the head of an august science institution and senior BBC science journalist have almost fallen off it. Yes, it does tend to raise eyebrows when people see it in my office. But it is gratifying to hear that my treadmill desk is not only helping me to keep trim but also reducing my risk of diabetes.

Max Kampelman addresses a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing

Max M Kampelman: Diplomat who negotiated with the Soviet Union on nuclear arms reduction

He worked for Republicans and Democrats at the same time – a situation now unthinkable

The Saturday Quiz

1. Which philosopher (1889-1951) said: "Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent"?

Unilever sells Skippy peanut butter brand for $700m

Hormel Foods has agreed to acquire the US peanut butter brand Skippy from Anglo–Dutch consumer goods giant Unilever for $700m in cash, in an attempt to capitalise on rising overseas demand for the spread.

Sport
Andy Murray reaches the final of the Australian Open after beating Tomas Berdych in another impressive display, but the match was marred by ill feeling
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The guide, since withdrawn, used illustrations and text to help people understand the court process (Getty)
newsMinistry of Justice gets law 'terribly wrong' in its guide to courts
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Bobbi Kristina Brown with her mother Whitney Houston in 2011
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Starting the day with a three-egg omelette could make people more charitable, according to new research
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Top Gun actor Val Kilmer lost his small claims court battle in Van Nuys with the landlord of his Malibu mansion to get back his deposit after wallpapering over the kitchen cabinets
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Comedian Ted Robbins collapsed on stage during a performance of Phoenix Nights Live at Manchester Arena (Rex)
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The actress Geraldine McEwan was perhaps best known for playing Agatha Christie's detective, Miss Marple (Rex)
peopleShe won a Bafta in 1991 for her role in Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit
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newsPatrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
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Robert Fraser, aka Groovy Bob
peopleA new show honours Robert Fraser, one of the era's forgotten players
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links