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The Prime Minister is leading the largest ever trade delegation to China. But what value do these junkets really deliver?

Amol Rajan: How to combat our terminal decline? National pride

In 1997, David Brooks and William Kristol, then as now America's leading conservative columnists, wrote a seminal article in The Wall Street Journal calling for a politics of national greatness. "The left has always blamed America first," they wrote. "Conservatives once deplored this. They defended America. And when they sought to improve America, they did so by recalling Americans to their highest principles, and by calling them forward to a grand destiny. What is missing from today's conservatism is the appeal to American greatness."

China's inflation rate slows to 5.5 per cent

Chinese industrial output grew at its weakest annual pace in a year in October and inflation fell sharply, raising expectations Beijing will do more to support economic growth by "fine tuning" policy.

UK retailers pay in Chinese currency

A growing number of UK retailers have started in recent months to pay their Chinese suppliers in renminbi, which can help them to deliver cost savings of about five per cent, according to Barclays Capital.

China economic growth 'shrinks' to 9.1 per cent

The Chinese economy, increasingly seen as the saviour of global economic well-being, grew by a less-than-expected 9.1 per cent in the third quarter, prompting fears that the world's second-largest economy may badly affected by the effects of slowdown in the US and Europe's debt crisis. Gross domestic product grew by 9.1 per cent in the three months to 30 September from a year earlier, down from 9.5 per cent in the previous quarter.

Video: 20 hurt in Chinese tidal surge

20 people have been injured after thousands flocked to see the annual tidal surge in east China's Zhejiang province.

Video: Miners rescued from flooded pit

A group of 22 miners have been rescued after a week in an illegal Chinese pit.

Driver executed for dragging death in China

China has executed a lorry driver for killing an ethnic Mongol herder in a case that sparked Inner Mongolia's largest demonstrations in 20 years.

26 trapped in flooded China mine for days

Twenty-six miners have been trapped for two days in a flooded coal mine in north east China and it could take several more days for rescuers to pump the shaft clear, state media reported today.

Video: 'Monster' hail storm in China

Hail stones the size of rice bowls rain down on cars and smash their windows.

Video: Basketball brawl mars US-China visit

A two minute on court punch-up has marred an international goodwill basketball game on a US state visit to China.

Lenovo profits mired in gloom

China's Lenovo, the world's No 3 PC brand, has joined rivals in flagging up its concerns about the weak global economy and eurozone debt crisis, overshadowing a doubling in first-quarter profits to $109m (£66m).

Video: US-China aircraft carrier 'face off'

China and the US have been flexing their military muscle, showing off their aircraft carriers in the South China Sea.

Stephen King: US downgrade just confirms what we already know – its economy is in a mess

Economic Outlook: The US budgetary position is a mess – in much the same way that the Pope is Catholic and bears do their business in the woods. The downgrade by S&P, the ratings agency, merely confirms what everyone already knew. The symbolism, however, is mightily important.

Hamish McRae: This is no way for the West to carry on

Economic Studies

Fresh Uighur clashes in China leave 11 dead

Police shot dead four people yesterday in the far north-west of China, bringing to 11 the death toll in a weekend of violence in one of the country's most troubled ethnic regions.

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NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own