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By Freya Berry LONDON (Reuters) - Expectations of future British house price rises have hit a 14-year high just as central bank chief Mark Carney signalled monetary policy would remain exceptionally loose despite the potential for them to jump at 'warp speed'. Britain is growing faster than many other big rich economies although it has still not passed its pre-crisis peak. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said on Tuesday that 59 percent of surveyors in November forecast prices would rise over the next three months, the highest reading since September 1999. Speaking in New York ahead of the survey, Carney signalled that monetary policy was not about to be tightened even though there were potential dangers in the housing market.
By Amy Sawitta Lefevre BANGKOK (Reuters) - Her eyes welling with tears, Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra pleaded on Tuesday for anti-government protesters to clear the streets after she called a snap election, but protests leaders said she should step down within 24 hours. After weeks of sometimes violent street rallies, protesters dismissed her call on Monday for a general election and said she should be replaced by an unelected "people's council", which has stoked concern that Southeast Asia's second-biggest economy may abandon the democratic process. Yingluck insisted on Tuesday she would not step down and said she would continue her duties as caretaker prime minister until the election, which is set for February 2. "Now that the government has dissolved parliament, I ask that you stop protesting and that all sides work towards elections," Yingluck told reporters as she went into a cabinet meeting held at an army club.
Soweto (South Africa) (AFP) - 1049 GMT: AFP's Stephen Collinson, travelling with US President Obama, tells us: "Obama's 30+ vehicle motorcade is rolling into the FNB stadium past a few late arrivals to the memorial celebration." 1045 GMT: General Thanduxolo Mandela is now speaking on behalf of the family. "Madiba was a great man but was humble in all things," he says. He adds that Mandela used his greatness "as a means to make all men and women equal so that their lives could be lived to their fullest human potential."
By Leigh Thomas and Emmanuel Braun PARIS/BANGUI (Reuters) - Two French soldiers were killed in overnight fighting in Central African Republic, France's first casualties in an operation to restore stability in its former colony, the French government said on Tuesday. Seleka's leader, Michel Djotodia, installed as the interim president, has lost control of his loose band of fighters. The soldiers' deaths were announced just before French President Francois Hollande's office said he would make a quick stop-over in the capital Bangui on his way back from a memorial service for the late Nelson Mandela in South Africa. "He renews his full support for French forces alongside African forces as they restore security in the Central African republic, protect the population and guarantee access to humanitarian aid," it said.
Growth in China's industrial production slowed in November but retail sales expanded at a faster pace, official figures showed Tuesday, painting a mixed picture of the world's second-largest economy. "Today’s data could be either market-neutral or slightly positive," Bank of America Merrill Lynch economists Lu Ting, Zhi Xiaojia and others wrote in a report. Separately, an industry group announced Tuesday that auto sales in China, the world's largest car market, rose 14.1 percent year-on-year to a record high in November. Citing solid demand for passenger vehicles, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said in a statement that a total of 2.04 million vehicles were sold in China last month.
By Niklas Pollard STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - When one of the biggest private education firms in Sweden went bankrupt earlier this year, it left 11,000 students in the lurch and made Stockholm rethink its pioneering market reform of the state schools system. "I think we have had too much blind faith in that more private schools would guarantee greater educational quality," said Tomas Tobé, head of the parliament's education committee and spokesman on education for the ruling Moderate party. In a country with the fastest growing economic inequality of any OECD nation, basic aspects of the deregulated school market are now being re-considered, raising questions over private sector involvement in other areas like health. Two-decades into its free-market experiment, about a quarter of once staunchly Socialist Sweden's secondary school students now attend publically-funded but privately run schools, almost twice the global average.
London's Canary Wharf district has submitted plans to build 3,100 homes alongside the area's shiny skyscrapers, as its owners look to reduce the neighbourhood's reliance on the financial sector. The plans centre on a 20-acre site called Wood Wharf adjacent to the main estate, which Songbird Estates - majority owner of Canary Wharf group - wants to develop into a neighbourhood of homes, offices and shops and make the estate more appealing to a broader spectrum of tenants. Demand for office space from banks has dried up since the financial crisis and rents are still falling in some buildings in the City where some skyscraper floors are still empty. Technology and media firms have since taken over as the biggest source of demand for office space, and Canary Wharf hopes its latest plans will target both the firms and their workers.