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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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
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NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own