Bank of England splits over rate hike for first time in 3 years

Pedestrians walk past the Bank of England in the City of LondonBy David Milliken and Andy Bruce LONDON (Reuters) - Bank of England policymakers broke ranks over interest rates for the first time in three years this month, when two unexpectedly voted to tighten policy and revived speculation about a 2014 rate hike. Former academic Martin Weale and business economist Ian McCafferty both voted to raise interest rates to 0.75 percent from 0.5 percent, according to minutes released on Wednesday of the nine-member Monetary Policy Committee's meeting on Aug. 6-7. Their dissenting votes ended the longest period of unanimity in the MPC's 14-year history. Sterling rebounded from a four-month low and government bonds fell as expectations for an early rise in British interest rates were revived.



Palestinian president due in Doha to meet Emir and Hamas leader

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas will meet the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, and exiled Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal in Doha on Wednesday to discuss the conflict in Gaza and more aid for Palestinians, diplomatic sources told Reuters. A ceasefire in the Gaza Strip collapsed on Tuesday, with Palestinian militants firing dozens of rockets at Israel and Israel launching air strikes.
France urges Israel, Palestinians to talk after ceasefire ends

French President Francois Hollande called on Israel and the Palestinians to resume truce talks after a Gaza ceasefire collapsed and said the demilitarization of the enclave and a lifting of a blockade should be part of a deal. Israeli air strikes killed 11 Palestinians in Gaza, including the wife and infant son of Hamas's military leader, Mohammed Deif, in what the group said was an attempt to assassinate him after the failure of Egyptian-brokered negotiations. France supports the Egyptian mediation," Hollande told Le Monde in an interview.
Liberian security forces seal slum to halt Ebola

Liberia security forces in riot gear, blockade an area near the West Point Ebola center as the government clamps down on the movement of people to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus in the city of Monrovia, Liberia, Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014. Security forces deployed Wednesday to enforce a quarantine around a slum in the Liberian capital, stepping up the government’s fight to stop the spread of Ebola and unnerving residents.(AP Photo/Abbas Dulleh)MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) — Security forces blocked off a seaside slum in Liberia's capital Wednesday, stepping up the government's fight to stop the spread of Ebola, unnerving residents and reportedly sparking a protest.



UK's Cameron returns to London to discuss Islamic State video

British Prime Minister David Cameron will interrupt his holiday and return to London on Wednesday after Islamic State released a video that appeared to show the beheading of a man identified as a U.S. "He will meet with the Foreign Secretary and senior officials from the Home Office, Foreign Office and the agencies to discuss the situation in Iraq and Syria and the threat posed by ISIL terrorists," a statement from Cameron's office read. Britain said earlier it would also be working closely with the United States to identify the man shown in the video holding a knife, who appeared to have a British accent.


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