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In brief: AIB set to hike interest rates

AIB could follow the lead set by Bank of Ireland and raise its mortgage interest rates.

Bank of Ireland has already said that it will put rates up by 0.5pc next month in a significant blow to hard-pressed homeowners.

Analysts said today that they expect AIB to do likewise in a move that will result in higher charges for overdrafts, credit cards and loans.

Skier 'urinated

on plane girl'

A teenage skier accused of getting drunk and then urinating in the cabin of a JetBlue flight was dismissed from the US Ski Team's development squad.

Robert 'Sandy' Vietze was detained by police at John F Kennedy International Airport in New York this week after arriving from Portland, Oregon.

Police accused Vietze of urinating on a 12-year-old girl on the plane. But a lawyer for the girl's family later said he urinated on the floor next to her.

Vietze told police he had drunk five or six beers and two rum and cola cocktails before boarding the flight.

Vietze (18), faces a charge of indecent exposure.

ET telescopes

get cash boost

An array of 42 radio telescopes seeking signs of intelligent life in the universe will continue their work after private donors raised enough money to keep them going.

The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, or Seti, Institute received more than $200,000, including donations from actress Jodie Foster, to keep operating.

The array was originally a joint project between the Seti Institute and the UC Berkeley Astronomy Laboratory, which pulled out earlier this year because of the loss of National Science Foundation grants and state budget cuts.

The project costs $2.5m a year to operate with a full staff of 10 people.