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

Teams set rotations

Podium: The fight for equality within the armed forces

Krishnan Guru-Murthy

Notebook: The road to Washington begins at home

Former senator Bill Bradley was wise to return to little Crystal City, Missouri, to launch his bid to become US President

US helicopters bomb mosquitoes

NEW YORK has done a great job of cleaning itself up over the past few years, with city authorities fighting crime and urban decay. But now they face a new enemy, one that may be just as hard to get rid of: mosquitoes.

TODAY'S NUMBER 53

TODAY'S

Film Studies: Louis B Mayer: reborn on the fourth of July

This is a Fourth of July story, and it takes a long journey. A man named Lazar Meir was born in the summer of 1885, somewhere in Ukraine. Lazar never knew the precise date. In later years, though, he did what he could to bury the real place. Why? Because he had been born very poor, in ignominious circumstances; and because by the late 1930s he was Louis B Mayer, the West Coast executive in charge of Metro-Goldwyn- Mayer. He was by then not just "American", but the friend of President Herbert Hoover, of Henry Ford and William Randolph Hearst; and in 1937 he was paid $1.3m, which made him the highest-salaried person in the land. He held that title for nine years, and he had long since decided that his birthday was 4 July. So on that public holiday he threw a swaggering picnic on the studio's Culver City lot, to which his stars brought flags, and gifts for Mr Mayer.

Charity concert: London Palladium

I was born in a trunk at the Prince's Theatre. Actually, I wasn't and nor was Frances Gumm, better known as Judy Garland. This week sees the 30th anniversary of the death of this irreplaceable performer - and the world's greatest gay icon - and in addition to a season of her films at London's Metro cinema, there's a one-off charity concert this Sunday. The frankly mind-boggling line-up includes such likely suspects as Garland's daughter Lorna Luft, Little Voice impersonator Jane Horrocks and Margaret O'Brien - who nearly stole Meet Me In St Louis from beneath Garland's nose. There are some unlikely suspects on board, too. Come on down, Sir John Mills, Max Bygraves and Vikki Carr.

Obituary: Ernie Wilkins

THE TRUMPETER Clark Terry was responsible for Ernie Wilkins's success as a musician and for lifting him up when he fell upon bad times. Terry has spent a large part of his career helping jazz lame ducks. Humphrey Lyttelton said:

Obituary: Freddy Randall

AT ONE point in the Fifties the three most popular revivalist jazz bands were led by trumpeters. Humphrey Lyttelton was the most eminent, Freddy Randall was the most instrumentally gifted, and everybody liked Mick Mulligan even though he wasn't much good as a trumpet player.

The monster within

Monsanto survived its association with Agent Orange and chemical warfare in Vietnam. It was even forgiven for foisting Astrotruf and Nutrasweet upon the world. But when Robert Shapiro chose to apply the science of genetics to improving crops, his company became demonised as the dark force behind `Frankenstein Foods'. On Friday he faces his shareholders at the AGM. Can he convince them he can put the lid back on this can of genetically modified worms?

Obituary: Mark Steinberg

WITH THE death of Mark Steinberg, the King's Road - that enduring symbol of Swinging London - has lost one of its more colourful (some might even say outrageous) characters. Not some celebrity restaurateur or hairdresser, but in fact the American-born maitre d' of Steinberg and Tolkien, a Tardis-like emporium that is home to the most extensive collection of vintage costume and period jewellery in Britain, if not the world. And not just any old costume, but the stuff of dreams.
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
art
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Sport
sportVan Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Life and Style
Martha Stewart wrote an opinion column for Time magazine this week titled “Why I Love My Drone”
lifeLifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot... to take photos of her farm
Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices