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.

Bitcoin is an experimental digital currency that has gained popularity worldwide

Bitcoin: 'Assassination Market' website raising the online virtual currency to hire assassins that target key US figures revealed

Those allegedly targeted on the site include Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, President Obama and NSA director Keith Alexander

Bitcoin price: exchange rate soars above $600 ahead of US Senate hearing

Letter from US Federal Reserve chairman highlights the "long-term promise" of virtual currencies

Investment Insider: Get ready for world currency games

Exchange rates make investing abroad a risky business

Bitcoin theft in excess of $1m hits one of the service's 'most secure' banks

The operator of Inputs.io has reported a hack that lost customers 4,100 BTC

Default fears grow as talks on US debt ceiling go to wire

The cost of insuring against a catastrophic US default jumped to its  highest level in more than two years today after talks to prevent a breach of the nation’s $16.7 trillion (£10.5 trillion) debt ceiling faltered.

Economy grows, but manufacturing slips

The economy continued to grow strongly between July and September, according to the latest estimates from the UK's leading macro-economic think-tank.

Head of the Fed: Janet Yellen is not just more of the same

To characterise Yellen as simply a safe pair of hands is to mistake the circumstances in which she takes up her post

City sends Unilever into £3bn dive on profit woes

Nearly £3 billion was wiped off the value of the Dove to Hellmann’s business Unilever today in the wake of the consumer goods giant’s shock profit warning.

Unilever issues profit warning over collapsing currencies in 'emerging markets'

Unilever, the Magnum ice cream to Dove soap giant, issued a profit warning last night, blaming the collapsing currencies in so-called “emerging markets” such as Brazil and India.

The 10 Best travel apps

Whether you're looking for a cheap flight, planning what to pack, or worrying about jet lag, there's an app that can help you

Retail sales fall as hard-hit shoppers rein in spending

Britons eased back on the barbecues last month after a glorious July, sending retail sales skidding lower for the first time since April today.

US dollar dips as Lawrence Summers quits Federal Reserve race

The US dollar slid while bonds and shares rallied on Monday after the withdrawal of Lawrence Summers from the race to head the Federal Reserve suggested a more gradual approach to tightening monetary policy.

Sample polymer ten and five pound banknotes

Filthy lucre: Bank of England's new plastic notes provide ideal environment for nature's nastiest bacteria

Filthy lucre just got a new meaning. Plastic notes of the type chosen this week by the Bank of England as the next generation of paper money have been found by researchers to be the host of choice for some of nature’s nastiest bacteria.

Satyajit Das: Japan's tactics look too aggressive and doomed to fail

Economic View: Prime Minister Abe's wider agenda is turning out to have global implications
Theo Walcott, pictured responding to last year’s European Championship exit, has been typical of the national team’s fortunes of late

Steve Tongue: The reality behind Greg Dyke's radical thinking for the England team

The FA chairman has set out his vision for the national team

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Jeremy Clarkson has rejected criticisms of his language, according to BBC director of television Danny Cohen
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A polar bear’s diet is rich in seal blubber and half of its own body weight is composed of fat
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fashion David Beckham fronts adverts for his underwear collection
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Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
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Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
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Ronahi Serhat, a PKK fighter, in the Qandil Mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention