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City set for surge in finance bonuses: study

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City set for surge in finance bonuses: study

LONDON (AFP) – The finance sector is set to pay out six billion pounds in bonuses this year as banks return to profit less than a year after the near collapse of the financial system, according to researchers.

The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) predicted a 50 percent leap in bonuses compared to January, from four billion to six billion pounds.

“Banks profits have risen very sharply this year, reflecting a lack of competition in the market,” said CEBR chief executive Douglas McWilliams.

“It is not surprising that the increase in bonuses has matched these higher levels of profitability.”

The CEBR said however that it would still be at least five years before bonuses in the financial sector return to their levels before the crisis erupted last year. It said 10.2 billion pounds were paid out in 2007.

The US banking industry posted landmark profits last week, prompting concern that banks will return to paying staff huge bonuses, a practice blamed for encouraging excessive risk-taking that exacerbated the global downturn.

G20 world leaders pledged in September to end “practices that lead to excessive risk-taking”.

But McWilliams said any attempt to curb bonuses was “likely to be either unsuccessful or very damaging” unless it addressed the lack of competition that followed the collapse or merging of several banks due to the global crisis.

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Taliban – News Africa Nigeria’s Boko Haram chief ‘killed’

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Taliban – News Africa Nigeria’s Boko Haram chief ‘killed’

Nigerian police have claimed the killing of Mohammed Yusuf, the leader of an Islamic group Boko Haram while in detention.

A police officer said Yusuf, blamed for violence that killed hundreds of people in northern Nigeria, was shot dead following his capture on Thursday.

“He has been killed. You can come and see his body at the state police command headquarters,” Isa Azare, spokesman for the police command in the northern city of Maiduguri, said.

The death announcement came after reports said that at least 180 people had been killed and thousands displaced following clashes between security forces and fighters from the group, which seeks to impose Islamic law across Africa’s most populous country.

Al Jazeera’s Yvonne Ndege, reporting from Borno state in northern Nigeria, said: “One cannot be a hundred per cent sure of what the police are saying about the capture and death of Mohammed Yusuf for two reason.

“One, the military and police are under sustained political pressure to root out Boko Haram. Two, on Wednesday we were told that Yusuf and at least 300 of his supporters fled Maiduguru as they were being pursued by Nigerian security forces.

“What we have asked the Nigerian police force for is evidence that they have actually captured Mohammed Yusuf but we have not got it.”

News of Yusuf’s death came after the group’s deputy leader was reported to be among dozens of people killed after troops shelled Boko Haram’s base in the city of Maiduguri.

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North Korea Destroys Reactor Tower

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North Korea Destroys Reactor Tower

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North Korea Destroys Reactor Tower. North Korea destroyed the most visible symbol of its nuclear weapons program Friday, according to a news report, a sign of its commitment to stop making plutonium for atomic bombs. This video contains ONLY natural sound. No script is available.


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