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

<B>Tue Dec 15:</b> Sparks on misery line to Manchester, shoppers go berserk, ID minister forgets card and don't forget your jab

Published on December 15th 2009.

AS REPORTED ON CONFIDENTIAL LAST WEEK, train journey times to Manchester are to be slashed in a huge investment in the region’s railways. A £1bn Government-investment will see the North West transformed into an electrified network, with the route between Manchester and Liverpool being cut from 45 to 30 minutes. Gordon Brown said it showed the north “would not lose out” in the recession.

LIVERPOOL SHOPPERS BREAK SALES RECORDS after the city’s retailers have had their busiest ever week in the seven days to Sunday. Liverpool One is the busiest though, with 739,100 shoppers pouring into its stores, more than 200,000 more than the same week last year. Primark and Marks & Spencer are said to be “delighted” with their pre-Christmas sales, and Primark’s sales were described as “mindblowing”.

ID CARD MINISTER FORGETS TO BRING HER ID CARD on a trip to Liverpool. Home Office minister Meg Hillier was in town to advertise the roll-out of the controversial Government project across the North-West in the New Year, despite Liverpool City Council voting not to support the scheme last week. Ms Hillier, who left her ID card at home, said the council were “cutting off their nose to spite their face”.

ALDER HEY BOSS URGE PREGNANT WOMEN TO GET VACCINATED against swine flu. Chief Executive, Louise Shepherd, who is also pregnant, said, “I see it as a duty of care to all the patients I may come into contact with, many of whom are extremely poorly, to have the vaccination and remove the risk of passing on the swine flu virus.”

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