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

<b>Tuesday 20 Oct:</b> Minimum booze price call, Queen Mary 2 gives city the horn, Liverpool to Manchester rail link, don't hold your breath

Published on October 20th 2009.

DOCTORS HAVE CALLED FOR A MINIMUM ALCOHOL PRICE following research that found the North West has 1.33 million adults drinking at hazardous levels. The directors of public health in the region have said the rise in alcohol-related hospital admissions is “simply unsustainable” and urged Gordon Brown that “effective action” is needed to stop the sale of cheap alcohol. The doctors want to see a minimum price of 50p per-unit of alcohol.

THE LARGEST CRUISE LINER TO VISIT the city, as part of its fifth birthday UK tour, is here today. The Queen Mary 2, the 15th liner to call at the cruise liner terminal in 2009, will leave at about 11:00pm after a fireworks display, with the leader of Liverpool Council, Warren Bradley, calling it an “historic occasion for the city and the Mersey”.

MERSEYSIDE FIREFIGHTERS WILL BE TRAINED on how to move livestock from burning farm buildings. The University of Liverpool-designed course will teach how to safely handle distressed animals including horses, cattle, sheep and pigs. Assistant Chief Fire Officer Bill Evans said the large animals in particular could be a "danger to themselves and others when they are distressed".

THE LIVERPOOL TO MANCHESTER RAIL LINK should be electrified to enable electrical trains, according to The Association of Train Operating Companies. It would take a decade and cause disruption, but would eventually allow 85,000 more passengers a day – 35% extra – to travel.

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