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.

US online shoppers' lift for air freight

United States shoppers heading online to buy Christmas presents gave a fillip to the air freight industry in November, the International Air Transport Association said today.

Editorial: What about Britain's tax havens?

The implications of the closure of Wegelin for the rest of Switzerland's secretive banks are far reaching indeed.

Pressure on dwindling resources 'threatens global chaos'

Demand for basic commodities set to soar over the next 20 years

Syrian opposition fighters overrun a military post at Ras al-Ain on Wednesday. Below, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius

Syrian rebels seek missile supply

Syrian opposition figures will push at a donor conference in London today for the provision of anti-aircraft missile systems to repel President Bashar al-Assad's devastating airstrikes, as momentum builds to adjust a European Union arms embargo.

From Tooting to Islington, our high streets are bereft of buzz and variety

I don't pine for childhood glories, but the disappearance of my old hairdresser is traumatic - and globalisation won't slow down any time soon

It's vital to know just where the pounds are ... and exactly where they have gone

Ten bad habits that could cost us a small fortune

If you don't keep your eye on the ball, small financial oversights can soon add up. Chiara Cavaglieri offers tips on how to make big savings

What a pickle: Demographic, political, technological and commercial forces are making jobs disappear.

Sales that leave our high streets in a bit of a pickle

As whole industries leave our shores, Britain's poor are asking an almost unanswerable question: what jobs will we do now?

Editorial: A dire threat to Britain's ash trees

Once, Britain was a country of elm trees. Then Dutch elm disease arrived, in the late 1960s, and within three decades nearly all of them were wiped out. Now, a similar fate threatens another glory of the British woodland: the ash.

Factory output hits three-year low

Manufacturers saw output reach its lowest level in three years this month as companies became increasingly concerned by political and economic problems abroad, a survey said.

American factories may be doing better with exports than figures first suggest

American exporters are doing better than many think

The United States isn't making things that the world wants to buy.

No UK return planned for Wolseley

The heating and plumbing giant Wolseley has said it does not plan to follow the advertising giant WPP and shift its tax base back to the UK.

Double-dip threat to eurozone

The embattled eurozone was on the brink of a double-dip recession today as figures revealed that the 17-nation economy shrank by 0.2% between April and June.

Growth slow at Standard Chartered

Slowing growth in India and China saw Standard Chartered produce its slowest increase in first-half profits for a decade.

Anthony Hilton: Keep calm … if euro collapses we can still carry on trading

With the drachma likely to plunge most, the biggest price cut may well be on retsina

Ed Miliband promises new immigration measures to protect British workers

Ed Miliband today promised new measures to prevent British people being "locked out" of jobs by foreign workers, including forcing firms to declare if they employ high numbers of immigrants.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?