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The family of Steven Sotloff, an American-Israeli journalist murdered by the Islamic State group, said they were relishing seeing his killer face justice after the apparent executioner was named Thursday. The masked IS militant dubbed "Jihadi John", believed to be responsible for beheading Western hostages, including Sotloff, was revealed by experts and the media to be Kuwaiti-born London computer programmer Mohammed Emwazi. "The Sotloff family was informed of John's identity. This is one step on a long road to bringing him to justice," said Barak Barfi, the Sotloff family's spokesman, in a statement.
British consumer confidence held steady at a high level this month as low inflation and rising wages made Britons more confident about their finances, according to a poll published on Friday. The report by research firm GfK will be pleasant reading for Prime Minister David Cameron, whose Conservative Party hopes rising confidence about the economy will translate into votes in a May 7 national election. GfK's consumer confidence index held at +1 in February, matching January's reading that was the highest since last August. Cameron's Conservative Party remains tied in opinion polls with the opposition Labour Party, raising questions about whether the recovery in the economy can yet help Cameron in his bid to retain power.
British finance minister George Osborne went too far with claims of victory in a row with the European Union over an increase in Britain's funding of the bloc, a group of MPs said on Friday. Last November, Osborne announced he had halved a surprise 2.1 billion-euro bill from the EU resulting from changes in the way the size of Europe's economies is measured. The increase had prompted a furious response from Prime Minister David Cameron and his increasingly Eurosceptic Conservative Party, six months before a national election in Britain set for May 7. In a report that may embarrass Osborne ahead of the election, the cross-party Treasury Select Committee said the facts did not fit with his claim of halving the bill.