Environment Scientists have found that temperatures are rising faster in the Arctic than in the rest of the world, and two and a half times faster than in previous estimates

It was the evidence that climate change sceptics loved to cite. While the scientific community’s warnings about global warming had become ever more convincing, the critics pointed time and again to graphs showing the rise in the world’s average surface temperatures has slowed down since 1998 – a fact extensively interpreted by many vocal opponents as a fundamental failure in the basic science of climate change.

Rumours of Dutch acquisition weaken Grand Met

Grand Metropolitan weakened on worries that the acquisitive food and drink group is about to make another takeover splash. Bols Wessanen, the struggling Dutch group with a stock market worth of more than pounds 1.1bn was the suggested candidate.

Want to be a new New Man? First cut your ties

Fashion/ the Versace version

OBITUARY : Max Rudolf

Max Rudolf, the German-born, naturalised American conductor who worked for 15 seasons at the Metropolitan Opera, New York, wielded an influence extending far beyond that of orchestral conductor. As assistant manager to Rudolf Bing, he was responsible for many artistic and administrative decisions on the engagement of singers and conductors, acting as adviser to Bing who, in his early years at the Met, relied heavily on his assistant. As an opera conductor, Rudolf specialised in Mozart and Richard Strauss. He was also a fine teacher: James Levine, the Met's present music director, studied conducting with him, thus stretching Rudolf's connection with the Met down to the present day.

Couturier's secret death

While friends, colleagues and admirers were toasting the work of the revered couturier Madame Gres last September at the opening of a retrospective of her work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, nobody suspected that she had died almos t 10 months previously.

How We Met: Amir Hosseinpour and Maria Ewing

The dancer and choreographer Amir Hosseinpour, 28, was born in Iran, but during the 1979 revolution fled with his family to France, later settling in London. In 1992 he set up his own company to explore his eclectic ideas about dance. He lives alone in a Docklands penthouse.

Pupils find big business child's play: Lesley Gerard learns about a pioneering primary school careers class sponsored by Grand Met

Kapow] Nine-year-olds are having lessons about the joys of work courtesy of the multi-national food company Grand Metropolitan. The John Keeble primary school in Brent has been chosen for a 12-month experiment to teach careers awareness.

How We Met: Susie Orbach and Gillian Slovo

Susie Orbach, 47, is a psychotherapist and author of seven books, including Fat is a Feminist Issue. Founder of the Women's Therapy Centre in London and the Women's Therapy Institute in New York, she lives in London with her partner, Professor Joseph Schwartz, and two children.

Grand Met loses second US deal

GRAND Metropolitan has lost the right to distribute the Grand Marnier liqueur brand in the US less than six months after losing the agency business for Absolut vodka, writes John Shepherd.

How We Met: Claire Bloom and Nicholas Snowman

Claire Bloom, 63, is one of Britain's leading actresses. She has appeared at the Old Vic and Stratford, and starred in many films, including Limelight with Charlie Chaplin. She has married three times, to Rod Steiger, producer Howard Elkins and writer Philip Roth, from whom she is separated.

Gardening: Sow many different choices - What to plant for summer? Anna Pavord goes for the fashionable, the estimable, and her own top seeds

Ihave recently driven to Penrith with George Orwell, been on a trip to East Anglia with Julian Barnes, and whiled away time in London with E F Benson. 'Talking books', since I discovered a public library with a vast stock of them, have revolutionised my life. Orwell's Down and Out in Paris and London was so riveting that I missed my exit on the M6 and had to make a 40-mile detour.

Siberian air to blame for big chill: A change in wind patterns has caused the freezing spell. Steve Connor explains

SIBERIAN winds blowing over central Europe were responsible for the bitterly cold temperatures and powdery snow seen in many parts of Britain yesterday.

Profile: Corporate angler hooked on the big deals: Now Glenisla has secured KKR's financial clout, no European firm is safe. Patrick Hosking finds its founder has fish to fry: Ian Martin

FLY FISHERMEN tell of a magical spot in Perthshire where the River Isla meets the Tay. The salmon seem to be irresistibly drawn to it. Ian Martin, who announced plans last week to go into business with the biggest corporate anglers of all time, Wall Street's infamous Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, tries his luck there at least twice a year.

How We Met: Mary Wesley and Joan Brady

Mary Wesley was born near Windsor in 1912. She is the author of eight best-selling novels, the first published when she was 70. Two, The Camomile Lawn and Harnessing Peacocks, have been adapted for television. Widowed, she lives 'rather a hermit's existence' in Devon.

ART MARKET / Invitation to a temple: Geraldine Norman meets the Met's donors, dining in dynastic style

HOW do you get to dine in the Temple of Dendur? You must be rich, socially acceptable, interested in art - and in New York. The sandstone temple, dating from about 15BC, was erected on the banks of the Nile by Emperor Augustus in honour of the goddess Isis.

Baseball: The New York Mets' no-win situation exerts a morbid fascination: The story of the fall of a once-mighty baseball team is hogging the US headlines. Rupert Cornwell reports

IF Graham Gooch needs a reminder that all things are relative, he might take a day or two off and drop by Shea Stadium, home of baseball's once-mighty New York Mets. 'Can't anyone here play this game?' Casey Stengel, the first Mets manager, used to bellow in despair. But that was back in 1962, when the team was an expansion franchise and no one expected much. Stengel's views now would be unprintable. The 1993 Mets are bad enough to cheer up even England's cricket selectors.
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015