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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Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past