News Daily: Interest rate set to rise and Zimbabwe violence

Hello. Here's your morning briefing:
Smart money on a rise
The UK interest rate is expected to increase by 0.25% today - only the second rise in a decade. Banks use the rate as a reference point for the amount they pay savers and charge borrowers, so the move matters to millions of us. It's the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee who'll make the call - this is how they do it.Why is the rate going up? BBC business editor Simon Jack explains that in part, it's to try to control inflation - and prevent the cost of living getting higher - and in part, to encourage us all to spend a bit less and save a bit more. Find out more about what a rate rise would mean for you.
Violence after vote
The UK and UN have called for restraint after Zimbabwe's military opened fire on protesters angry at the results of Monday's election, killing three: our gallery shows the chaos on the streets of capital Harare. Demonstrators insist the vote was rigged, but the government says it "will not tolerate" that view.There was optimism among the country's youth, in particular, that this election would bring change - it's the first in decades without former leader Robert Mugabe's name on the ballot. However, his party, Zanu-PF, led by his successor as president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, has been declared the winner in the parliamentary vote. The presidential result is yet to be declared, but opposition party the MDC insist their man, Nelson Chamisa, was the true victor.
EU observers say they witnessed several problems, including media bias, voter intimidation and mistrust in the electoral commission. But the African Union mission said it could not confirm opposition claims of rigging.
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Youth scheme under fire
The National Citizen Service gives 15 to 17-year-olds in England and Northern Ireland the chance to work on community projects, learn skills like budgeting and take part in activities such as rock climbing and canoeing. But councils are arguing today it's wrong that so much funding is tied up in one very short programme that only attracts 12% of eligible teens. Instead, they say, the money should be used to shore up local authorities' much diminished youth budgets and provide activities year-round.The NCS - born out of David Cameron's "Big Society" project - cost the taxpayer ?634m between 2014/15 and 2017/18 - that amounts to 95% of central government spending on youth services over the period. Its supporters say cost isn't everything and the benefits to young people's wellbeing and prospects are proven.
Are Democrats poised for a mid-term election triumph?
By Anthony Zurcher, BBC North America correspondentWith the mid-term congressional elections three months away, the biggest question is whether Democrats can win enough seats in Congress to wrest control of at least one of the two chambers and give Donald Trump a bloody nose. That would have immediate and drastic implications for the president's ability to advance his political agenda. The "mid-term wave" is a recurring phenomenon in US politics. But what is it, and when have they happened before? Read the full article
What the papers say
A mixed bag of headlines on Thursday. The Times alleges British teenagers - some of them subjected to violence - are being forced to marry men from countries including Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and the United Arab Emirates. Charities and campaigners accuse officials of failing to block applications for fear of being called racist. The Guardian leads with the violence in Zimbabwe, feeling it shows the country has not turned a corner since President Mugabe was ousted in November. The Daily Mirror is horrified that an acid-based drain cleaner - nicknamed "face melter" by criminal gangs - can be bought online without any checks. The paper's leader calls on the government to immediately make it illegal to purchase such products without a licence. And the Financial Times says Google is planning to relaunch in China, eight years after it withdrew - but the move is not without controversy.
Daily digest
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12:00 That Bank of England interest rate announcementToday The first multi-sport European Championships start in Glasgow - cycling, swimming, gymnastics and rowing are among the events
On this day
1973 A huge fire at the Summerland leisure resort on the Isle of Man leaves dozens dead
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