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

<b>Weds Feb 17:</b> Ray Gosling arreseted; methane jackpot in the air; big rail plans and small firms optomistic

Published on February 17th 2010.

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

FORMER Granada television presenter Ray Gosling has been arrested on suspicion of murder after a TV confession that he killed his partner who was dying of Aids.

The award-winning broadcaster, 70, a prominent gay rights activist, told a BBC television programme that he had smothered the unnamed man as he lay in hospital ‘in terrible, terrible pain’.

Gosling, who hosted On Site for Granada in the 60s and 70s, made the comments on BBC East Midlands’ Inside Out show.

MERSEYSIDE COULD BE SITTING ON SUBSTANTIAL SUPPLIES OF METHANE, according to IGas Energy. The company says pilot well-heads at Doe Green, near Warrington, and Ellesmere Port could provide power for 1,200 homes and 50,000 homes.

IGas Energy has also said that it has identified “significant” underground reserves contained within shale that could extend across 300,000 acres. Independent auditors are now auditing the reserves, which could be “substantial”.

PROPOSALS WORTH £530m to improve rail travel in the north of England have been unveiled by Network Rail.

The Northern Hub, if agreed by the Department of Transport, will affect passengers in Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield and Newcastle. The investment is on top of the £100m electrification of the line between Liverpool and Manchester that will cut times from 54 minutes to around 30 and should be complete by 2013.

NORTH WEST’S SMALL BUSINESSES ARE OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 2010, according to one insurer. The study by QBE found that 89 per cent of SME owners expected to maintain or increase sales turnover in the first half of this year, up from 57 per cent a year ago.

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