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The Nifty 250: News of the day in so many words

<b>Friday Dec 11:</b> Claire Curtis Thomas in expenses spotlight again, brain tonic for Alder Hey, Tarby tonic and petrol tonic

Published on December 11th 2009.

ANOTHER CRACKDOWN ON MPS' EXPENSES has been announced as it was revealed Merseyside MPs have cost the taxpayer over a quarter of a million pounds for their second homes in London in 2008/9. Among the claims was a £724 for Crosby MP Claire Curtis Thomas to refurbish a fireplace at her home, six months before she announced her resignation. The outgoing Labour MP also got a new £880 carpet and claimed £1,207 to have new gates made and fitted to her Waterloo mansion, the latest batch of receipts reveals.

ALDER HEY BECOMES FIRST CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL IN EUROPE to receive a new brain scanner. The £3m intra-operative MRI scanner enables doctors to scan during surgery in the operating theatre, enabling surgeons to completely remove tumours and increase survival rates for children. The machine is the result of a £3m donation from the Barclay Foundation, the largest donation received by the Trust.

JIMMY TARBUCK ENTERTAINED CROWDS along with Hayley Westenra at the Christmas Carol Concert at the Anglican Cathedral. The charity concert was held to support Storybook Wings, an RAF charity which helps families of servicemen and women fighting overseas. Tarbuck was Master of the Ceremonies, while Hayley sang Silent Night, among others, to over 1,000 audience members.

PETROL FOUND IN FLU AND COLD REMEDIES has led to more than 22,000 bottles being recalled. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency issued a drug alert about a batch of 300ml bottles of Metatone Tonic, after ‘very small amounts of petrol’ were found. There were 22,653 bottles of the tonic in the batch number 112.

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