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.

David Cameron backs eurozone banking union

Banking union within the eurozone will not necessarily mean a fundamental change in Britain's relationship with the EU, David Cameron said today.

David Cameron vows to win 'safeguards' for Britain at EU summit

David Cameron today warned fellow European leaders that he would not accept any reduction in Britain's EU rebate.

Dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei and four women pose naked, in this photo from November 21, 2011. Police told Ai that a file of the photograph had been opened online more than 1,000 times, and that meant he was effectively spreading pornography

Ai Weiwei threatened with pornography charges over nude photograph

Chinese police told dissident artist Ai Weiwei today that he could face bigamy and pornography charges and barred him from travel, despite lifting strict bail conditions imposed after his detention.

Argos drives up Home Retail Group's shares by 15%

A vastly improved performance at the catalogue chain Argos in its first quarter drove a sharp spike in Home Retail Group's shares yesterday to cheer its beleaguered investors.

Bank shares suffer over Spain fears

Fresh fears about the Spanish economy triggered a pummelling for bank shares today as markets failed to make meaningful gains following Greek elections.

George Osborne's Greece-euro view is 'shared', says Downing Street

Chancellor George Osborne was speaking for the Government when he raised questions yesterday about continued Greek membership of the euro, Downing Street said today.

Germany and France feel the eurozone squeeze

The two largest economies of the single currency see exports fall and growth forecasts reduced

Argentines bang pots and pans to protest at government

Several thousand Argentines protested against the government of President Cristina Fernandez by banging pots and pans in front of the presidential palace in Buenos Aires late yesterday.

Satyajit Das: Problems galore put the brakes on India's economic potential

Economic Outlook: Successive governments of every... persuasion have failed to undertake meaningful reforms

British public will not prop up ailing European banks, says David Cameron

David Cameron today pledged that he will not ask British taxpayers to underwrite the debts of ailing banks in Greece and Spain.

Leading article: A voice of euro-fatalism that must be challenged

Just when the European Union might have welcomed a fortnight's breathing space, between the Yes vote in Ireland and the Greek election on 17 June, up pops George Soros, billionaire philanthropist and all-purpose financial guru, to throw his venerable spanner in the works. At a conference in Italy, Mr Soros warned that there was but a three-month window to save the euro.

Pound slumps against US dollar

Holidaymakers may be getting good rates on their euro but the pound has slumped against the dollar.

Sony share price down to pre-1980 levels

Sony's stock price has fallen below the 1,000 yen barrier (£8.30) for the first time since 1980 in a symptom of its decline since it found huge success with the Walkman three decades ago.

Stephen Foley: Why can’t exchanges stay open all night?

US Outlook It is time to mothball the closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange. That ring-a-ling-a-ding might be iconic of American capitalism, but the opening hours of US exchanges are starting to look anachronistic in an age of 24-hour connectivity.

Wet weather makes April a washout for B&Q as sales plummet

Sales at the DIY superstore B&Q slumped in April as the wet weather left few people with good reason to buy outdoor furniture or start ambitious plans for the garden.

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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
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there