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.

Energy minister Yukio Edano apologised for the lack of records

Fukushima task force kept no records of meetings

It was the world's worst nuclear crisis for 25 years. But now, Japan's energy minister has admitted no one thought of keeping records of top-level discussions in the critical early days after disaster struck at the Fukushima plant.

Finance Minister Noda will become Japan's next prime minister after defeating Trade Minister Banri Kaieda in the ruling party leadership run-off vote

Japanese premier Yoshihiko Noda reshuffles cabinet

Japanese prime minister Yoshihiko Noda replaced five members of his cabinet today in a bid to win more co-operation from the opposition to raise the sales tax and rein in the country's bulging fiscal deficit.

Revival in air for insurers after a year of blows, says boss of Lloyd's

Record level of premium writing capacity likely despite second-highest claims bill in 2011

Strong quake recorded south of Japan

A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.0 struck under the sea several hundred miles south of Japan today, shaking buildings in the capital, but officials said there was no danger of a tsunami.

2011: a year of ups and downs downs

With the Footsie hitting its peak in February, defensive stocks have taken centre stage in the past 12 months. Household names and new issues alike have found it tough, reports Toby Green

Japan's nuclear response 'bungled'

Japan's response to the nuclear crisis that followed the 11 March tsunami was confused and riddled with problems, including an erroneous assumption an emergency cooling system was working and a delay in disclosing dangerous radiation leaks, a report revealed yesterday.

Leading article: How our Christmas Appeal helps

Boxing Day is the time at Christmas when the focus shifts from the family to the wider world. Historically, it was the day when tradesmen knocked on doors for their Christmas boxes. There were outings to the panto, and in more recent years, to sporting events.

Residents try to free a car stuck in a liquefaction sink hole

Christchurch hit by another series of earthquakes

Another series of strong earthquakes struck the city of Christchurch yesterday, rattling buildings, sending goods tumbling from shelves and causing panic among Christmas shoppers.

Fifteen-year-old Wati, second right, with her father Yusuf, right, mother Yusniar, left, and younger brother Aris. The teenager was forced into begging

Tsunami girl, 15, finds her family after seven years

A girl who was swept away in the Indian Ocean tsunami seven years ago has recounted how she broke down in tears this week after tracking down her parents, who had long lost hope of finding her alive.

Christchurch hit by new earthquakes

A series of strong earthquakes struck Christchurch, New Zealand, today, rattling buildings, sending goods tumbling from shelves and prompting terrified Christmas shoppers to flee into the streets.

Growth figures reveal challenges

The challenges faced by the global economy were underlined today by mixed growth figures from both sides of the Atlantic.

40-year plan to clean up Fukushima nuclear plant

Japan has released a new clean-up plan for its tsunami-hit nuclear plant that would take as many as 40 years to fully decommission while keeping the still vulnerable facility safely under control.

Japanese nuclear plant 'shutdown'

Japan's prime minister has announced that the tsunami-devastated Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant has reached a "cold shutdown" and is no longer leaking substantial amounts of radiation.

A loophole in international rules allows Japan to continue whale-hunts in the Southern Ocean

Japan uses tsunami victims' cash to shield whalers from activists

£19m from fund set up to rebuild coast stricken by triple disaster is diverted to help fishing fleet

The Fukushima nuclear power plant as seen by Tokyo Electric Power Company officials and journalists

Inside the twisted remains of Fukushima nuclear plant

Yesterday, reporters travelled for the first time to the centre of Japan's radiation catastrophe, the still-dangerous power plant devastated by March's earthquake and tsunami. This is what they saw.

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Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

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Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
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A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?