News Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivers his special address at the opening session of the World Economic Forum in Davos

Japan’s trade deficit has hit an all-time high as imports were swollen by higher energy prices and a weak yen.

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson

Owen Paterson echoes David Cameron’s claim that fracking boom can bring down energy bills

Respected economist dismissed similar comment by PM as 'baseless economics'

Japanese government will spend $470 million (£301 million) on a subterranean ice wall in a desperate bid to stop leaks of radioactive water

Nuclear crisis: Japan announces £301m 'ice wall' in desperate attempt to stop Fukushima leaks

Decision seen as an attempt to show that the accident won't be a safety concern as IOC chooses host of 2020 Olympics

A police officer mans the perimeter around Fukushima's nuclear facility

Radiation levels at Fukushima '18 times higher than previously thought'

Radiation levels at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant are 18 times higher than previously thought, according to officials.

Seamus Heaney poses with the Nobel Prize for Literature he received during the Nobel ceremonies in Stockholm on 10 December 1995

Seamus Heaney dead at 74: The Independent's literary editor pays tribute

'No poet of the past century has voiced dilemmas of the individual conscience torn between anguish at injustice and horror of violence better, or more profoundly'

The News Matrix: Monday 26 August 2013

Irish Sea aftershocks could be felt for days

Aftershocks expected after two earthquakes shake Blackpool

The tremors shook homes in holiday resort

The decision to raise threat level at nuclear plant is seen as another sign that engineers are losing control over the leaks

Radiation crisis at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant deepens as threat level raised to 'serious'

Decision seen as another sign that engineers are losing control over the leaks

An estimated 300 tonnes of radioactive water is believed to have leaked from a tank at the crippled nuclear plant, the operator said

Nuclear crisis: Fukushima threat level raised to 'serious' as plant leaks 300 tonnes of radioactive water from storage tank

Masked workers found puddles with radiation readings of 100 millisieverts an hour – enough to induce radiation sickness in less than 12 hours

Hundreds converge on Balcombe as fracking protests continue

Protesters have vowed to continue after Caudrilla announces plans to scale back their operation

Vivienne Westwood joined the protesters today at Balcombe

Vivienne Westwood joins anti-fracking protest camp as 1,000-strong crowd descends on Balcombe

'I'm anti-fracking and I'm here to protest. There has been no debate,' she says

Aftershocks rattle New Zealand after strong earthquake

At least six aftershocks hit after magnitude 6.5 South Island tremor

Placards at the entrance of the drill site operated by Cuadrilla in Balcombe

After all the Balcombe protests, energy firm reveals fracking is unlikely there anyway

Cuadrilla says there are likely to be other more suitable sites

Survivors among the rubble look at the destroyed trawler after the tsunami devastated Kesennuma

Rusting trawler is too painful a reminder of Japan’s 2011 tsunami

City of Kesennuma decides 360-ton tuna boat that was washed a kilometre inshore is not a fitting memorial to the 19,000 victims

Engineers working on the drilling platform of the Cuadrilla shale fracking facility in Preston, Lancashire

Fracking: American dream, Chinese pipe-dream, global nightmare

Energy policy should instead focus on renewables

A photo taken today from the Maurole district of East Nusa Tenggara province with a camera phone

At least six killed in Indonesia volcano erupts

Nearly 3,000 people have been evacuated on the remote island

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future