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

<b>Wednesday 9 Sept:</b> Michael Shields a free man, councillors Hurst and Stewart to stand down and more

Published on September 9th 2009.

MICHAEL SHIELDS is to be released from prison today after Jack Straw granted the Liverpool football fan a royal pardon.

It brings to an end a lengthy legal battle which began when Shields, now 22, was convicted of the attempted murder of a Bulgarian waiter in 2006.

New evidence presented to Mr Straw on August 28, regarding the confession of another man before witnesses, including Michael's parents, is said to have led to the U-turn

CONVICTED LIBERAL DEMOCRAT Councillor Steve Hurst is to stand down from his Wavertree seat after months of pressure from opposition politicians.

Hurst was convicted of breaking election law last year after delivering a leaflet in Belle Vale titled “Walton Scab”, attacking sitting Labour councillor Pauline Walton and her husband, Keith.

Hurst was said to be fed up with continuing media attention on the matter. Nadia Stewart, whose 11th hour defection to the Lib Dems, kept them in power in 2008, will also stand down next May when the local elections take place.

PONTIN’S WILL BE CLOSED in Blackpool following dwindling visitor numbers. Once a favourite with Merseyside families, its owners said a “substantial amount of money” was needed to update the park. But it will invest £100m into creating a “holiday village” in Southport. The site will close on October 2.

MI5 WILL TRAIN LIVERPOOL HOTELIERS on how to cope with a terrorist attack. Officials from the National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NACTSO) were recently in the city for the pioneering conference. Most of Liverpool’s major hotels attended the event at the city centre Chamber of Commerce offices.

A DVD provided a range of scenarios for the Liverpool hotel teams to manage, increasing their skills in dealing with high-risk, unpredictable situations. Three more events are expected to take place in Liverpool this year as

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