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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Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker