Smoke billowing from a plant in Tokyo bay. The Japanese government now sees real gross domestic product growth at 1.2 per cent in fiscal 2014/15, versus 1.4 per cent forecast earlier this year

Japan’s government slightly lowered its growth forecast for the current fiscal year due to sluggish exports and a drop in demand after the April sales(...)

 A view of Val-de-Travers, the valley where absinthe was born and has been produced for centuries, in Gorgier, Switzerland. The absinthe trail, a  list of attractions related to the drink, dots the Val-de-Travers. Photograph: Niels Ackermann/The New York Times

Sunbeams shot through the forest, lighting up the wispy fog on the path ahead. For over an hour I’d been walking up the mountain trail alone, marching(...)

German players pose for the winners’ photo after winning the FIFA World Cup: while talent is a prerequisite, organisation and hard work make a big difference.Photograph: EPA/Ballesteros

Adam Smith’s most profound insight was on the relationship between the division of labour and the extent of the market. The old sage would even have b(...)

File image of Trinity College Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times.

Eight Irish universities appear on a list of the world’s top 1,000 third-level institutions published today. The Center for World University Ra(...)

Damaged cars and buildings are seen after a landslide caused by heavy rains due to Typhoon Neoguri in Nagiso, Japan. Photograph: Kyodo/Reuters

Heavy rain battered a wide swathe of Japan today, sending rivers over their banks and setting off a landslide as a weakened but still dangerous storm (...)

Super Typhoon Neoguri in the Pacific Ocean, approaching Japan on its northward journey, is seen in an image taken by MTSAT-2 satellite yesterday. Photograph: Reuters/NOAA/handout via Reuters 1:19

Hundreds of flights were cancelled in Japan and more than 500,000 people urged to evacuate as a powerful typhoon brought torrential rain and high wind(...)

A protester burns a portrait of Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe, with the Chinese characters ‘Shameful’ written on it, outside the Japanese Consulate in Hong Kong yesterday. Photograph: Bobby Yip/Reuters

China stepped up its anti-Japanese rhetoric yesterday, taking the opportunity of a visit by Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel to lambast Japan for(...)

 Nick Cummins of the Wallabies will play his club rugby in Japan. Photograph:  Matt King/Getty Images

Nick Cummins has been released from Western Force and his national contract on “compassionate grounds” and will play rugby in Japan after the end o(...)

Scottish entry Tanit, skippered by Richard Harris, during the Round Ireland Race. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport

Clyde’s Tanit, from the Serpent Yacht Club, got the better of Liam Shanahan’s Ruth for the clubhouse lead in yesterday’s Round Ireland Race climax, b(...)

Ryutaro Nonomura, 47, was filmed bursting into tears, uttering nonsensical phrases and banging on the desk when questioned about his expenses at a press conference. 1:32

A Japanese politician has burst into tears during a press conference over questions about his spending on trips to a hot springs — and a video of it h(...)