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.
News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
News
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Sport
Robbie Savage will not face a driving ban
football'Mr Marmite' faced the possibility of a 28-day ban
Voices
voices
Life and Style
Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries were putting themselves at risk of tinnitus and, in extreme cases, irreversible hearing loss
health
News
It was only when he left his post Tony Blair's director of communications that Alastair Campbell has published books
people The most notorious spin doctor in UK politics has reinvented himself
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
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Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

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Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

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A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower