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World - UK swings austerity axe but spares key welfare scheme, police

Unveiling a budget update, finance minister George Osborne said the government, which is borrowing £73.5 billion (105 billion euros, $110 billion) this year, is on track to balance its books by 2019-20. This will be achieved through the most significant belt-tightening in a generation which includes reducing welfare by £12 billion and the budgets of some government departments by up to 37 percent. Opponents of the move, including many within his own centre-right Conservative party as well as the main opposition Labour party under Jeremy Corbyn, said it would have left over three million families worse off.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015  16:34


World - Tunisia says suicide bomber carried out bus attack claimed by Islamic State

By Tarek Amara TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisian authorities said on Wednesday a suicide bomber wearing a vest packed with plastic explosive blew up a presidential guard bus a day earlier, killing at least 12 troops in an attack claimed by Islamic State militants. Tuesday`s explosion on a main boulevard in the capital drove home the vulnerability of Tunisia to Islamist militancy, following assaults on a seaside tourist hotel in June and the Bardo Museum in Tunis in March also claimed by Islamic State. One of the Arab world`s most secular nations, Tunisia has increasingly become a target for militants after being hailed as a beacon of democratic change in the region since its 2011 uprising ousted autocrat Zine Abidine Ben Ali.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015  16:15


World - Bangladesh leader Hasina`s gains from shock hangings seen short-lived

By Serajul Quadir and Ruma Paul DHAKA (Reuters) - The execution of two Bangladeshi opposition leaders for war crimes appears to have cowed rivals of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, but critics said her success comes at the cost of free discourse and the calm is likely to be short-lived. Political analysts and opposition leaders warned that the executions sent a signal that violence is the only political tool that works. Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid and Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury were hanged on Sunday for crimes against humanity during the 1971 war to break away from Pakistan.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015  06:56


World - Britain swings austerity axe but drops tax reform

Britain took the axe to spending Wednesday, fleshing out plans to slash welfare and eliminate the deficit, but dropped a controversial plan to cut tax credits for the poorest. Finance minister George Osborne spelled out his proposals for £12 billion (17 billion euros, $18 billion) of cuts to welfare spending and £20 billion of reductions to public expenditure, while raising £5.0 billion via a crackdown on tax avoidance. In recent months, Osborne had faced stiff opposition from even within his own Conservative Party over cuts to welfare and other social spending that some see as too swingeing.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015  15:03


World - Cost of replacing UK`s nuclear submarines goes up £6bn

The estimated cost of replacing the submarines which carry Britain`s nuclear weapons has shot up by £6 billion (8.5 billion euros, $9.0 billion), the government revealed Monday. On top of the £31 billion, the SDSR also factors in an extra £10 billion of `contingency` funding for the project. Britain currently has four submarines in its ageing Trident fleet, at least one of which is on patrol somewhere in the world 24 hours a day.

Monday, November 23, 2015  19:09


World - Struggling Chelsea announce £23m loss

Chelsea made a loss of £23.1 million ($34.9m, 32.9m euros) last season, the Premier League champions announced on Monday. The west London club revealed their annual financial results until June 30, 2015 and reported the deficit kept them within Financial Fair Play limits. The Blues, owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, announced revenues of £314.3m, marginally down on the 2013-14 high of £319.8m.

Monday, November 23, 2015  18:51


Business - DisneyLife rolls movies, music and more into a £10 subscription

Right on schedule, Disney has launched its own streaming service in the UK. For 9.99 per month you`ll gain access to many of the company`s animated classics, such as The Lion King, Aladdin and The Jungle ...

Monday, November 23, 2015  17:39


World - Jury retires in Cairns perjury trial

Jurors in the London perjury trial of former New Zealand cricket captain Chris Cairns retired to consider their verdicts on Tuesday and were told to return to court on Friday. Cairns, 45, faces a charge of perjury after successfully suing Indian Premier League (IPL) founder Lalit Modi for accusing him of match-fixing on Twitter in 2010. Cairns, a New Zealand great, won £90,000 ($135,700) in damages from Modi in the March 2012 trial, but he is alleged to have lied to the court when he said that he had `never, ever cheated at cricket`.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015  17:24


World - UK boosts military spending as pressure to strike IS grows

David Cameron will pledge an extra £12 billion ($18.2 billion, 17.1 billion euros) for the military Monday as he pushes Britain`s parliament towards a vote on joining air strikes in Syria within days. The Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) will map out Britain`s defence strategy for the next five years after this month`s Paris attacks which killed 130 people showed the Islamic State (IS) group`s ability to strike in the heart of Europe. Cameron will announce measures including the creation of two new 5,000-strong rapid reaction strike brigades which will be available for global deployment at short notice by 2025, Downing Street said.

Monday, November 23, 2015  11:39


World - Britain`s Cameron to pledge extra £12 billion for defence

British Prime Minister David Cameron is to promise an additional £12 billion ($18.2 billion, 17.1 billion euros) to strengthen the defence forces when he unveils a five-year strategic review on Monday, according to a government statement. The Strategic Defence and Security Review will set out Britain`s priorities for the duration of his Conservative government, and will focus on tackling threats such as Islamic State group as well as hostile states. Under the plans there would be nine new maritime surveillance aircraft, and two `Strike Brigades` able to quickly deploy missions up to 5,000 strong, according to a government statement.

Monday, November 23, 2015  00:25

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