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.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

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
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
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Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

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