News Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is pushing through economic policies that have been coined Abenomics

Core inflation rose 1.3% in December- beating expectations- matched by rising factory output

Iain Sellar in the still room at Diageo's Dalwhinnie distillery, in the Scottish Highlands
Vince Cable has decided against a ban on zero- hour contracts as some workers need flexibility

Government plans ban on exclusive 'zero hours' contracts – but stops short of outlawing completely

Move follows growing criticism of the controversial contracts, which do not ensure a minimum number of hours

Glasgow helicopter crash: Four arrested over Clutha site ‘break-in’

Teenage boys and girls held on suspicion of stealing from site of fatal police helicopter crash three weeks ago

High art: the Museo Jumex in Mexico City

Museo Jumex: Chipperfield's sleek vision bears fruit

The Museo Jumex in Mexico City is a building of real elegance, says David Usborne – and it's all the work of a British architect

Transsexual PC's discrimination case against Essex Police rejected

PC Emma Chapman claimed that she had been forced to "out" herself over the police radio system

The Business Matrix: Tuesday 17 December 2013

General Atlantic buys MeteoGroup

Kim Jong-un visited a fisheries station and a ski resort in recent days

Execution of Kim Jong-un’s uncle Jang Song-thaek raises fears in South

Five of the seven officials who walked alongside Kim Jong-il’s hearse in December 2011 have been killed, purged or sent to labour camps

A requisitioned employee carries pieces of meat under the surveillance of a policeman at a butchery's depot in Narbonne, southern France

French police arrest 21 people over sale of laboratory horse meat to the public

Twenty-one people have been arrested after an investigation into claims that meat from horses used in laboratory experiments was sold for food.

Google search and destroy: The internet giant (motto: 'Don't be evil') has bought a pioneer of scary robot animals. Can its ethics survive?

Big Dog is capable of many things of interest to its new owners at Google. What remains to be seen is whether the quadruped robot’s ability to pick up a breeze block and hurl it across a warehouse with impressive dexterity and speed is among them.

More trouble for François Hollande as France is christened the new “sick man of Europe”

President François Hollande is wrestling with a sluggish economy and unemployment at a 16-year high

Going Dutch: Steven Patterson regularly takes his three-year-old twin daughter Lilly and Grace for spins on his cargo bike

Bakfiets bikes: Would you cart your kids off to school in one?

Parents in the UK are going crazy for the load-carrying cargo bikes

Alert prompts Tixylix cough syrups recall

Cough and cold sufferers are being urged to check their medicines after a manufacturing fault may have led to small pieces of plastic contaminating some batches, health officials have said.

The bottle of Cole Cold Pear D fruit drink which killed Joromie Lewis

Man dies after drinking Cole Cold Pear-D juice laced with cocaine

The Food Standards Agency has issued a warning after a man died as a result of drinking pear juice laced with cocaine.

Nurse develops 'micro-straw' to stop patients from becoming dehydrated in hospitals

Project aims to tackle dehydration among the elderly and vulnerable

An average of one new 'legal high' goes on sale every week

Legal highs: Producers may have to prove substances are harmless before they can be sold

Home Office review will assess moves in New Zealand that put the onus on manufacturers to demonstrate their safety

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Independent Travel
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona from £629pp
Dubrovnik
Vietnam
Bruges
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 12 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

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
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers