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.

Money alert: Zapp mobile payments service

A new mobile payments service – in effect an electronic wallet – has been backed by five of our major financial institutions. Zapp will launch this autumn with the backing of HSBC, First Direct, Nationwide, Santander and Metro Bank.

Freer trade is worth having, but giving big business more power is too high a price for it

Free trade requires rules. When modern nations exchange goods and services for mutual benefit they generally also seek to establish some commonly agreed rules of commerce.

UK trade deficit narrows to £9.4bn in November

Export volumes to the EU rose 5.8 per cent on the month

Britain’s deficit soars to its highest for 24 years

But stronger-than-expected growth was seen over the past two years

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's nationalist views are likely to antagonise victims of Japan's wartime aggression

Japan disappoints as Q3 growth is revised down

Japan’s private sector is losing faith in prime minister Shinzo Abe’s “shock and awe” tactics to revive the world’s third biggest economy after worrying figures today showed business investment flat-lining in the latest quarter

Autumn Statement 2013: Export finance capacity for UK businesses doubled to £50 billion

The Chancellor has announced a doubling of export finance capacity for UK businesses to £50 billion, as part of his Autumn Statement.

Vodafone appoints ex-Bupa boss Val Gooding as a non-exec director

Vodafone has recruited ex-Bupa healthcare chief executive officer Val Gooding to be a non-executive director, making her the third woman on the 13-member board.

Chinese Yuan surpasses Euro as second most used currency in global finance

China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Germany and Australia among top five countries using the yuan to finance trade

UK pensions among worst in the developed world, OECD warns

UK workers can expect a pension worth just 32.6 per cent of final pay when they retire, compared to a 54.4 per cent average across the OECD

CBI survey reveals strongest growth in UK manufacturing output in 18 years

Survey reveals total order books and output growth highest since 1995.

Exports are falling short of David Cameron’s target of achieving £1trn a year by end of decade

Britain is falling far short of David Cameron’s target of achieving exports worth £1trn a year by the end of the decade, the Prime Minister will be warned today, as he prepares to give a major speech urging British firms to strive harder to sell overseas.

Silk Road 2.0: new owner aims to 'double the achievements' of the first site

Anonymous services such as Tor and Bitcoin are being used once more to hide the identity of the site's customers, with 'extra security' promised

Online retail: Moonpig in tax setback

The closure of a tax loophole has hit profits at online birthday and Christmas cards retailer Moonpig.

Business Secretary Vince Cable has been accused of providing contradictory evidence to MPs

Vince Cable gave 'contradictory evidence' about export of chemicals to Syria, MPs say

Government denies 'cover up' of nerve gas exports to war-torn country

Good news for George Osborne as OECD predicts 1.5% growth this year, up from May forecast of 0.8%

Forecasts for UK economy upgraded in latest sign recovery picking up momentum

OECD predicts 1.5% growth this year, up from May forecast of 0.8%

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Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
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Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

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Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

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Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
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It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

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