UK public finances worsen, adding to Hammond's headache
By William Schomberg and David Milliken LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's public finances showed a much bigger than expected deficit in September, a setback for finance minister Philip Hammond as he prepares to deliver the country's first budget plans since the Brexit vote. Investors are nervous about the prospect of an acrimonious British departure from the European Union, and Friday's figures may limit Hammond's ability to cushion the blow of the referendum result via higher spending or tax cuts. Britain ran a budget shortfall - excluding state-owned banks - of 10.6 billion pounds ($13.0 billion) last month, 14.5 percent higher than the deficit in the same month last year, the Office for National Statistics said.
Congo security forces killed dozens in anti-government protest -U.N
By Aaron Ross KINSHASA (Reuters) - Congolese state security services shot, burned, beat and hacked to death at least 48 civilians and reportedly hired thugs to attack protests last month against the extension of President Joseph Kabila's mandate, the United Nations said on Friday. The death toll of the two days of violence in the capital Kinshasa, which also included four police officers killed by protesters and one other civilian, was higher than during the 2011 electoral process, the U.N. Joint Human Rights Office in Congo (UNJHRO) said in a report. Democratic Republic of Congo's government spokesman and justice minister could not be immediately reached for comment and a police spokesman said he had not yet seen the report.
Philippines says just doesn't want to be dependent on the U.S. and WestThe Philippines will not renege on treaties and agreements with established allies even as it pulls away from dependence on the United States and the West, President Rodrigo Duterte's spokesperson said on Friday. Ernesto Abella said Duterte's announcement that Manila would "separate" from the United States was a "restatement of his position on charting an independent foreign policy". Duterte wanted to "separate the nation from dependence on the U.S. and the West and rebalance economic and military relations with Asian neighbors," like China, Japan and South Korea, Abella said in statement.
Turkish Red Crescent says sending aid for 10,000 to Iraq's MosulThe Turkish Red Crescent is sending trucks of aid to northern Iraq with enough food and humanitarian supplies for 10,000 people displaced by fighting in Mosul, the president of the agency said on Friday. "In the first stage, we are sending this aid to the nearly 30 villages around Mosul that have been liberated. There are 3,000 to 4,000 people on the move from those villages, the trucks aim to reach them," Kerem Kinik told Reuters.
Islamic State takes 550 families to be human shields in Mosul: U.N.GENEVA (Reuters) - Islamic State militants have taken 550 families from villages around Mosul and are holding them close to Islamic State locations in the Iraqi city, probably as human shields, a spokeswoman for the U.N. human rights office said on Friday. U.N. spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani, citing "corroborated information" from the area, said the office was also investigating reports that Islamic State militants had killed 40 civilians in one village. (Reporting by Tom Miles; Editing by Catherine Evans)
The Latest: Serbia denies politics involved in aid for Syria
UK says there are no plans to alter Calais border agreement
The Le Touquet agreement which allows British officials to check passports in France and vice versa is working and there are no plans to change it, Prime Minister Theresa May's spokesman said on Friday. The Guardian newspaper reported on Friday that France's Alain Juppe, who is on course to win the centre-right's presidential ticket and favourite to win power in next year's national election, said he would seek to overturn the treaty, which effectively pushes the British frontier to Calais in northern France.
British American Tobacco offers to buy Reynolds in $47B dealLONDON (AP) ? British American Tobacco offered Friday to buy Reynolds American Inc. in a $47 billion cash-and-stock deal that would create the world's largest publicly traded tobacco company and bring together brands like Camel, Dunhill, and Newport.
Dollar hits seven-month high, global stocks set for weekly rise
Global stocks were set for their first weekly gain in four weeks on Friday and the dollar rose to its highest since March, as the euro came under pressure after the European Central Bank shot down talk of tapering its easy money stance. The euro hit its lowest against the dollar since March after the ECB left its ultra-loose policy unchanged on Thursday but kept the door open to more stimulus in December. ECB President Mario Draghi also doused recent market speculation that the central bank had discussed winding down its 1.7 trillion euro asset-buying programme.
Jailed Ukrainian filmmaker 'staying' in RussiaMOSCOW (AP) ? Ukraine says Russia is refusing to hand over jailed Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, who was convicted of conspiracy to commit terror attacks by a Russian military court in 2015 and sentenced to 20 years in prison.