UK public finances improve in November, helped by forex fines


LONDON - Britain's public finances improved in November helped by fines paid by banks for a foreign exchange scandal, giving some respite to Chancellor George Osborne as he tries to show voters he can keep on bringing down the deficit.


Britain could allow women in army close combat role from 2016 8:26am GMT

LONDON - Britain might allow women to fight in close combat roles for the first time from 2016, the defence secretary said on Friday, in a move that would bring the British army into line with some other Western forces.


UK households to pay 1 billion pounds for backup power plants 11:22am GMT

LONDON - British households will pay nearly 1 billion pounds to help guarantee the country's electricity supply in 2018/19, after a government auction determined who will provide backup power capacity.

Mandy Rice-Davies, key figure in UK 1960s sex scandal, dies aged 70 2:02pm GMT

LONDON - Mandy Rice-Davies, a former model who was at the centre of one of Britain's biggest political sex scandals - the 1960s Profumo Affair - has died aged 70 after a short battle with cancer, her publicist said on Friday.


Consumer confidence slides to nine-month low in December - GFK 2:10am GMT

LONDON - British consumer morale edged down in December to reach its weakest level since March as optimism about the economy hit a 17-month low, a survey by polling company GfK showed on Friday.


UK house prices growth to slow in 2015 - RICS 1:12am GMT

LONDON - British house price growth is expected to slow next year as tighter mortgage rules and affordability constraints continue to bite in much of the country, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said on Friday.


Royal Mail sale could have raised extra 180 million pounds - official report 18 Dec 2014

LONDON - The privatisation of Britain's Royal Mail could have raised an extra 180 million pounds, according to a government-commissioned report that largely endorsed the cautious approach by ministers in the 2-billion-pound sale.


UK gives Falklands medal for Argentine war role, hails Thatcher memorial 18 Dec 2014

LONDON - Prime Minister David Cameron on Thursday hailed plans to erect a memorial to Margaret Thatcher in the contested Falkand Islands and announced Britain would be giving the British Overseas Territory a medal for its role in a 1982 war with Argentina.


EU court says British visa rule illegal 18 Dec 2014

BRUSSELS - Britain should scrap entry visas for some non-Europeans, the EU's top court said on Thursday in a ruling immediately seized upon by the anti-immigration UKIP party as ammunition against Prime Minister David Cameron.


'Black Friday' discounts lift UK retail sales growth to 10-year high 18 Dec 2014

LONDON - British retail sales surged at their fastest annual rate in more than a decade last month, as U.S.-style "Black Friday" discounts drove record sales growth at electrical and department stores.