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Cameron determined to give Britons 'proper choice' on reformed EU

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RIGA - British Prime Minister David Cameron predicted "ups and downs" on Friday in European Union reform negotiations but said he was determined to give Britons a proper choice on a reformed EU in a referendum he has promised before the end of 2017.

Irish vote on gay marriage in landmark referendum

DUBLIN - The Irish voted on Friday on whether to allow gay marriage, just two decades after Ireland became the last country in Western Europe to decriminalise homosexuality. | Video

UK, World 12:16pm BST

UK public finances improve more than expected in boost for Osborne

LONDON - Britain's public sector budget deficit narrowed more than expected in April, giving Chancellor George Osborne a boost as he renews his push to fix the country's public finances.

UK 9:32am BST

Misconduct bill tops $235 billion as banks struggle to shake off past sins

LONDON - Twenty of the world's biggest banks have paid more than $235 billion (150 billion pounds) in fines and compensation in the last seven years for a litany of misdeeds that has scarred the industry and is delaying its rehabilitation.

10:35am BST

Insight - Islamic State expands its 'state'

BEIRUT - Almost a year after Islamic State's shock capture of Mosul, Iraq's second city, the black flags of the jihadis have been raised over Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province to the west of Baghdad, seat of Iraq’s increasingly theoretical central government.

Insurgents in Syria seize hospital from army - monitor

BEIRUT - Insurgents on Friday seized a hospital from Syrian government forces who had been besieged there since late April, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, another gain by rebels who have dealt a series of blows to President Bashar al-Assad.

World, Syria, Middle East 11:14am BST

Insight - Stretched Afghan army falls back on militias to help defend Kunduz

KUNDUZ, Afghanistan/KABUL - The Afghan government has enlisted hundreds of militia fighters controlled by local commanders to battle Taliban militants near the northern city of Kunduz, officials said, underlining how the armed forces are struggling to tackle the insurgency alone.

World, Special Reports 12:01pm BST

Cameron to hold EU reform talks with Merkel, Hollande next week

RIGA - British Prime Minister David Cameron will go to Berlin and Paris late next week for talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande on European Union reform, a British official said on Friday.

8:53am BST

China says U.S. actions in S.China Sea 'irresponsible, dangerous'

BEIJING - China said on Friday it was "strongly dissatisfied" after a U.S. military plane flew over part of the South China Sea near where China is building artificial islands, and called on the United States to stop such action or risk causing an accident.

9:20am BST

Greece sees reforms deal with lenders in next 10 days

ATHENS - Greece expects to reach a cash-for-reforms deal with its creditors in the next 10 days and aims to meet all its payments in June, the government's spokesman said on Friday, after the prime minister met with EU leaders.

11:12am BST
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