By David Milliken LONDON (Reuters) - chancellor George Osborne is set to announce a turning point in his battle to fix the country's public finances on Thursday, but falling living standards mean he cannot declare victory. A sudden pickup in economic growth means Osborne's goal of fixing Britain's finances is no longer out of reach and he is set to announce the first big fall in projected public borrowing since the coalition took power in 2010 when he delivers a half-yearly update on the budget. Prime Minister David Cameron on Sunday announced plans to fund unpopular environmental levies on energy bills through general taxation, a response to Labour's calls for a state-imposed freeze in household fuel bills. But on Wednesday, Cameron played down expectations of new tax cuts and stressed his government was determined to eliminate the budget deficit.
United Nations (United States) (AFP) - The UN Security Council will vote Thursday on a measure authorizing thousands of African and French troops to end anarchy in the Central African Republic, where massacres have led to warnings of genocide-style strife. As the council prepared for the vote, shots rang out early Thursday and blasts from heavy weapons rocked several districts of the Central African capital. The automatic gunfire whose origin was not immediately clear started around 5:30 am (0430 GMT) in the north of Bangui and then spread to other neighbourhoods not far from the city centre. The UN resolution, which envoys say is certain to be passed unanimously, also orders an arms embargo against the huge, impoverished nation where chaos has reigned since rebels forced the president to flee in March.