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Friday 23rd February

Crunch talks will take place later to try and end a pay dispute between Aberdeen bus drivers and their employer First.  The drivers union Unite claim the changes to their terms and conditions would result in wages being cut, working hours extended and less holiday entitlement.  Members are mulling over strike action with a vote due back next Wednesday.   


A demonstration against the planned closure of the Royal Bank of Scotland branch in Bridge of Don will take place later.  RBS is intending to axe 52 outlets around the country in May and June, including the ones at Ellon, Turriff, Banff, Huntly and Dyce.  Meanwhile, the bank, which is 70 percent owned by the taxpayer, is in the black for the first time in a decade.  It's reported an annual profit of 752 million pounds for 2017 - compared to a near 7 billion pound loss the year before.


Shellfish infected with hepatitis has been found in Scottish supermarkets.  University experts tested 310 samples and found traces of the virus in around 3% of the products.  It is the first time HEV has been found in commercially sold shellfish harvested from Scottish waters.  Hepatitis E is generally a mild disease but can be more serious for pregnant women.


The co-convener of the Scottish Greens, Maggie Chapman, has been re-elected as the rector of Aberdeen University.  The original contest in November was abandoned due to alleged campaign irregularities.  Ms Chapman, who also won the vote in 2014, saw off competition from four others for a second three-year term.  She has vowed to use her position to improve support for international students and those with part-time jobs and look at methods of reducing the rental costs of homes. 


The body of a 25 year old man has been found on the Old Deeside Line in Aberdeen.  Police were called to the popular walking route at around 7.15 on Thursday morning following a call from a member of the public.  Officers don’t think there are any suspicious circumstances surrounding the death but they say their inquiries are continuing. 


Jewellery and electrical items worth tens of thousands of pounds have been stolen from a property in Inverurie.  Watches and rings were among the items taken from the Blairdaff area sometime between Sunday 4th and Friday 9th February.  Police say the theft amounted to a mid five-figure sum of money and they are asking members of the public, who saw anything unusual or suspicious to get in touch.  


The first of 14 planned strikes among lecturers at Aberdeen University and eight other Scottish institutions has taken place in a row over pensions.  It’s thought 145,000 students around the country were affected by the walk-out.  The other stoppages will be held over the next four weeks. Employers Universities UK argue their pension scheme is billions of pounds in the red.  But the Universities and Colleges Union says proposed changes would leave a typical lecturer far worse off in retirement.


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