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

Theoretically...

Staff at the Royal Greenwich Observatory are drawing up a business plan to enable them to retain their expertise in designing telescopes and providing technical support in a non-profit organisation. It would remain at the present Cambridge site. The RGO has been earmarked for closure by the Government, with astronomy work being consolidated at the Edinburgh observatory.

Detroit end their 42-year drought

The last time the Detroit Red Wings won the Stanley Cup none of their players was born. On Saturday they beat the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 to complete a four-game sweep of the National Hockey League championship series and take the Stanley Cup back to Detroit for the first time since 1955.

The criminal brain

American psychiatrist Dorothy Lewis has spent 20 years examining violent criminals. Her work with murderers such as Ted Bundy, Mark Chapman and the racist killer Joseph Franklin has led her to conclude that violence is not a sin, but a symptom. It's the product of a damaged brain. Report by Malcolm Gladwell. Illustration by Toby Morison

TO LOVE, HONOUR AND IMITATE

The Broader Picture; WINTER 1991

SIMPLY THE BEST?

"If Ike Turner had fallen under a bus sometime in 1959," wrote the critic Charles Shaar Murray, "he would have gone down in cultural history as one of the most important figures in the development of 1950s rhythm and blues." Even before he enjoyed his first hit with 1960's "A Fool In Love", he had made his mark as a guitarist, pianist, band leader, arranger/producer and talent scout.

Think you know what a cruise is? You might be surprised

Fed up with the election already? Six weeks at sea could be the perfect antidote for the floating voter. Guy Mansell on slow boats, river refuges and the rise of the super cruiser

Suzanne Vega Shepherd's Bush Empire, London

POP

Russians could rescue TWA

Unlikely though it may seem, it could be "Russians to the rescue" for TWA following news yesterday that Transaero, a Moscow-based carrier with routes to 30 cities, is preparing a bid to take control of the ailing US airline.

Balloon voyage ends in India

Tired and cold but with two world records to his name, the American balloonist Steve Fossett landed in a tiny Indian town yesterday - and renewed the competition to be the first to fly a balloon around the world.

Balloonists in new attempt

A Swiss-Belgian team of balloonists is preparing to launch late today from Chateau-d'Oex, near Gstaad in Switzerland, in an attempt to fly non-stop around the world - just days after Richard Branson, boss of the Virgin group, almost died in a similar attempt.

Innocent as charged

Yes, it's true. Leonard Slatkin, the new boss of Washington's National Symphony Orchestra, really does prefer American music - and he's about to give us the benefit of his experience. By Edward Seckerson Photo by Edward Sykes

Great covers

18. Tom Waits: `Rain Dogs'

Like Lear, Mr Dole's story is tragedy. He is an heroic failure brought down by the classic flaw of self-delusion

"I try not to kid myself in this business," Bob Dole said, "but there is a lot of momentum out there." A crowd of 400 who had gathered in a school hall on a chilly St Louis afternoon foretelling winter generously took the cue. Solid Midwestern folk, loyal to their native son, they applauded, they cheered, they waved little American flags.

Baseball: Record blitz keeps Braves' hopes alive

The Atlanta Braves kept alive their hopes of retaining the World Series with a 14-0 demolition of the St Louis Cardinals on Monday. The victory cut the Cardinals' lead to 3-2 in the best-of-seven-games National League Championship Series.

Voiceless Perot threatens to halt debates

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Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine