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In brief: Loan misery as EBS hikes rate

Tens of thousands more homeowners face further financial strain as bailed-out lender EBS announced another mortgage rate hike.

The building society, which has been nationalised and merged into Allied Irish Banks, will increase its standard variable rate by 0.25pc.

The new rate of 4.93pc -- or 5.1pc APR -- is effective from October 1.

The lender said its average standard variable rate loan was f90,120, which will mean average monthly payment increases of around f12.

Burger King ditches its king

Fast food giant Burger King has said it is retiring its mascot, "The King", in an effort to turn around falling sales.

The chain is focusing its marketing on the freshness of its food and its new products rather than the funny-factor of its ads.

Its recent TV campaigns featured a man with an oversized plastic head who was shown peeping into people's windows and popping up next to them in bed.

Apes actress sent to rehab

A judge has ordered Planet of the Apes actress Estella Warren to serve four months in a residential rehab facility after she admitted a drink-driving charge.

Former synchronised swimmer Warren (32) was also sentenced to serve five years of informal probation by the Los Angeles court.

The actress, who starred in the 2001 Planet of the Apes film, had been facing four misdemeanour charges after her arrest earlier this year for crashing into three parked cars and tussling with police.


papers plea

The British government is coming under increasing pressure to release details of Margaret Thatcher's private Cabinet discussions on the 1989 Hillsborough football disaster.

More than 63,000 people have signed an e-petition on the Downing Street website calling for the release of ministerial papers relating to the tragedy in which 96 Liverpool fans died.

The signatories include footballer Michael Owen, musician Billy Bragg, actor Simon Pegg and comedian Dara O Briain.