By David Milliken and William Schomberg LONDON (Reuters) - British finance minister George Osborne celebrated a sharp turnaround in the economy as vindication of his push to fix a gaping budget deficit on Thursday but he said he would not relax his austerity grip in the years ahead. Britain's economy is set to grow much more strongly in 2013 and 2014 than forecast as recently as March, Osborne said - a big relief for Prime Minister David Cameron facing a general election in 17 months' time - and a key measure of the budget deficit is on course to be in balance in the 2018/19 fiscal year. Earlier this year, Osborne was under heavy criticism from the Labour opposition party as the economy flat-lined.
BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) — Heavy gunfire erupted in the capital of the Central African Republic on Thursday and at least 16 people were killed and dozens of civilians wounded. The United Nations planned to authorize within hours an intervention force into the near anarchic and impoverished nation.