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Royal Bank of Scotland said it made a pretax profit of 1 billion pounds ($1.7 billion) in the second quarter, far better than analysts had expected, thanks to a turnaround in losses from bad loans, prompting it to release earnings a week early. RBS, which is 81 percent owned by the British government, said the profit was mainly because of an economic upturn that allowed it to write back losses that had been booked on bad loans, giving it a net release of 93 million pounds. RBS said it was obliged to release headline numbers early because they were far better than market expectations. Chief Executive Ross McEwan said the results showed the steady progress being made to make RBS "a much simpler, smaller and fairer bank".
PARIS (AP) — French officials have dispatched a military unit to secure the site in restive northern Mali where an Air Algeria plane crashed with 116 people aboard. France's interior minister said Friday that terrorism cannot be excluded as a cause for the tragedy though it was likely due to bad weather.