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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