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.

UK firms to bid for Japan's nuclear clean-up

British engineers Amec, Babcock International, and Atkins are believed to be circling nuclear decommissioning work estimated to be worth at least $5bn (£3.2bn) in Japan as a result of the Fukushima disaster.

Watts makes waves, but not a perfect storm

We can't get enough of disaster movies. Whatever the scale of horror and devastation they depict, we know that somebody will survive. (United 93, about the hijacked plane that fought back on 9/11, is the only recent exception). The suspense concerns which ones will survive. Who will have the nerve, or the nous, or the sheer good fortune, to escape catastrophe? And what proportion of survivors is required to send home an audience with a sense of catharsis, if not a happy ending – 10 per cent? Five? A handful?

All at sea: Tom Holland and Naomi Watts in ‘The Impossible’

Britain’s medics urged to volunteer in disaster zones

British medical personnel are being encouraged to volunteer to help with the Government’s humanitarian emergency response to disasters overseas, under a new arrangement announced today.

Tsunami fears unfounded after strong earthquake strikes Japan

A strong earthquake struck the same Japanese coast that was devastated by last year's massive quake and tsunami, but despite understandable fears it generated only small waves, with no immediate reports of heavy damage.

Guatemala hit by 7.5 magnitude earthquake

The US Geological Survey says a strong earthquake has hit off the Pacific coast of Guatemala.

Barack Obama in Washington discussing the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

The battle for the 'other' House hots up

The race for the White House is too close to call, but control of Congress's lower house is just as tight – and will decide how much power the victor wields

Unit 1 of Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station, a 621-megawatt reactor near Oswego, N.Y., was automatically shut down when a lightning pole was blown over into electrical components during Hurricane Sandy.

Hurricane Sandy: Nuclear reactors shut down

Three nuclear power reactors were shut down because of electricity issues during Hurricane Sandy, while a fourth plant, Oyster Creek in New Jersey, remains in "alert" mode because of high water levels in its water intake structure, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Tuesday.

Hurricane Sandy: Fishing pier toppled as Maryland battered

Hurricane Sandy arrived in this coastal resort town with the roar that was expected on Monday, as towering waves snapped a fishing pier, rain and seawater inundated city streets and officials shut down both major bridges that normally carry thousands of visitors to beaches and hotels in the summer months.

Tsunami warning for Hawaii after powerful earthquake off the coast of Canada

At least 100,000 people in Hawaii were ordered to move from the shoreline to higher ground late on Saturday after a tsunami warning, but the first waves were less forceful than had been feared and no damage was initially reported.

Beat that: Kandyan drummers liven up the streets

Where to go in 2013: Sri Lanka

Why go in 2013? Serenity returns to Serendib

Strong earthquake hits coast off El Salvador

A strong magnitude-7.4 earthquake struck off the coast of El Salvador followed an hour later by a magnitude-5.4 aftershock, authorities said early today. There were no immediate reports of damages or injuries.

Children from the tsunami-hit regions hand out good-luck charms to Japan’s Olympians at a ceremony in Tokyo

Medal spotlight on Japan: Tsunami is always on their mind

Plenty of money has been spent trying to boost the Japanese team's medal haul – but the real world is never far way

Radiation probe over 'cover-up'

Japanese authorities are investigating subcontractors on suspicion that they forced workers at the Fukushima nuclear plant to under-report the amount of radiation they were exposed to so they could stay on the job longer.

Bathers take the plunge at Nakoso beach, 40 kilometres down the coast from the Fukushima plant

Fukushima comes out to play

More than a year after the nuclear disaster, swimmers are allowed back into the sea

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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?