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

Black cab maker stays in the red

The London black cab maker Manganese Bronze said it would remain in the red for the rest of this year amid "challenging" trading conditions.

Stephen King: Austerity can be postponed by a fiscal stimulus – but it can't be avoided altogether

It is their attachment to models which partially explains the failure of governments, central banks, ratings agencies and banks to see the error of their ways

David Prosser: Google slips back in China

Outlook After all the soul-searching at Google over its presence in China – staying true to your principles versus missing out on such an enormous market – the country's internet users appear to be voting with their feet. Baidu, the Chinese company that dominates internet search there, reported a doubling in its profits yesterday. Crucially, its market share has risen from 68 per cent to 71 per cent over the past three months. That was at Google's expense – it fell from 29 per cent to 27 per cent

Hundreds killed as storms rage on in China

Southern China is bracing for its second powerful storm in less than a week, as the death toll from floods and landslides caused by rain reached 700.

Major test for China's Three Gorges Dam

The Three Gorges Dam in Hubei Province had its biggest test yesterday as it contended with the fastest flow of water ever recorded, at 70,000 cubic metres a second.

Mushroom blamed for mystery deaths in China

A five-year study has blamed an innocuous-looking mushroom known as "little white" for hundreds of mysterious deaths in south-western China.

The Natural World: Always have a friend for dinner in China

The aquariums are a bit overwhelming: there are dozens, each with its living display of seafood laid out before me. As with many popular restaurants in China, the customers are poring over and sizing up the food while servers encouragingly prod and corral their livestock. There are clams from Canada, abalone from South Africa, locally caught crabs with their claws held closed by elastic bands.

India seeks a symbol for the rupee to underline its economic power

In a move that underscores India's increasing global economic ambitions, the authorities are poised to reveal the results of competition to design a symbol for the national currency, the rupee, and in doing so, emulate the pound, the euro, the dollar and the yen.

Chinese central bank keeps yuan in check

The yuan edged up yesterday, but optimism about China's currency revaluation was tempered by further signs of official moves to maintain a grip on gains.

China's currency move changes the G20 agenda

Markets may have leapt with joy at China's pledge to ease the renminbi's peg, but analysts are wary about too much euphoria. Stephen Foley reports

46 dead after explosion in Chinese mine

State media said at least 46 miners were killed after an explosion ripped through a mine in the central Chinese province of Henan.

Thousands flee as floods kill 132

Major rivers have burst their banks in southern China, triggering massive floods that have killed 132 people and forced 860,000 to flee their homes, the government said yesterday.

Seven killed in Chinese dormitory blast

An explosion at a Chinese factory dormitory killed seven workers and injured one, the state news agency reported today.

Greece: China deals may boost economy

Chinese and Greek companies signed shipbuilding and construction deals worth hundreds of million of euros yesterday and further deals might follow to help Greece overcome its debt crisis, officials said.

Stephen King: The moment of truth will be the day the US opts to default by stealth

In the UK the printing press, on its own, has not been able to do the trick. The Governmentis about to deliver a bitter medicine
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
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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
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas