Evening top 5: "Populist" politicians "whipping up anger and division"; German Chancellor Angela Merkel seeking re-election

The top stories of the day on Newstalk.com

"Populist" politicians only interested in whipping up anger and division - Housing Minister

The Housing Minister has lashed out at politicians who are “more intent on whipping up anger and division” than finding solutions to social problems.

Simon Coveney told Newstalk's The Sunday Show there has been a global shift towards polarised politics in recent times, citing a rise in nationalism in the UK and France as well as the election of Donald Trump to the White House.

He said Irish people have been asked to make huge sacrifices over the last eight or nine years and accused rival politicians of “trying to take advantage of that by whipping up anger and protest and division across society.”

Gay Byrne facing cancer diagnosis

Broadcast presenter Gay Byrne has informed listeners of his RTÉ radio show that he may be facing a cancer diagnosis.

Wrapping up the show this afternoon he told his audience that he will not be on air next week after doctors discovered what they believe to be prostate cancer.

The 82-year-old is now facing tests to determine whether the disease has spread.

Pay restoration “must be done in a timeline the country can afford”

Minister for Housing Simon Coveney said the government is committed to public pay restoration, but that it "must be done in a timeline the country can afford".

Pressure is building since the recent deal negotiated with Gardaí. Trade union SIPTU has agreed to give Ministers another two weeks to set a date for public salary negotiations, or it will ballot its 60,000 members on industrial action. Pressure is building since the recent deal negotiated with Gardaí - 

Speaking on The Sunday Show, Mr Coveney said any change to the Lansdowne Road Agreement could jeopardise vital services.

Syrian government rejects UN proposal for Aleppo

The Syrian government has rejected a UN proposal aimed at ending heavy fighting in the city of Aleppo.

Under the proposal, eastern Aleppo would have remained under opposition control if rebel fighters withdrew.

Syrian Foreign Minister, Walid al-Muallem, who met the UN envoy to the worn-torn country on Sunday, called the idea a “violation of national sovereignty.”

Chancellor Angela Merkel seeking re-election next year

Angela Merkel will seek a fourth term as German chancellor in next year's elections, according to party sources.

Members of Mrs Merkel's CDU party are meeting in Berlin on Sunday to prepare for their last annual conference before next September's election.

The 62-year-old conservative, who has led her country since 2005, is under pressure domestically following her decision last year to allow around one million migrants to settle in Germany.