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Top banker gives back £1m bonus

A TOP UK banker has finally agreed to to forgo a £1m bonus after an outcry from the public.

The decision by Royal Bank of Scotland chief executive Stephen Hester comes after a weekend of intense pressure.

Mr Hester was awarded £963,000 last week in a short-term bonus equalling 3.6 million shares. British PM David Cameron had refused to intervene and block the payment.

THE Afghan government will hold talks with the Taliban in Saudi Arabia, opening up an avenue to peace negotiations between the insurgent group and the United States.

The Taliban has previously refused to talk to the Afghan President Hamid Karzai, branding him an American stooge. The Saudi-brokered meetings are due to take place in coming weeks.

A PROFESSOR from American University in Cairo says discovery of prostate cancer in a 2,200-year-old mummy indicates the disease was caused by genetics, not environment -- the genetics-environment question is key to understanding cancer.

Professor Salima Ikram, who studied the mummy in Portugal for two years, said yesterday the mummy was of a man who died in his forties.

MARGARET Thatcher chose Beethoven; Michael Caine picked Frank Sinatra; and boxer George Foreman selected The Beatles.

They are among almost 3,000 guests who have appeared on the radio programme 'Desert Island Discs' which turned 70 yesterday. The show's most popular song has been Edith Piaf's 'Je Ne Regrette Rien'.

THOUSANDS of cars flying white ribbons or balloons circled central Moscow on Sunday in a show of protest against Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

The cars -- ranging from luxury sedans and sporty convertibles to old, exhaust-spewing Soviet models -- jammed the inner lanes along the capital's 6-km 'Garden Ring'.

OSCAR Luigi Scalfaro, a past president of Italy who held the post during the corruption scandal of the early 1990s which reshaped the country's political landscape, died yesterday in Rome. He was 93.

Irish Independent