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

THE US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS
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A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
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Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
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Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn