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British Queen celebrates



Many young people underestimate how much alcohol they drink even if they have some knowledge of the Government's guidelines on sensible consumption, a study says.

Researchers said their results suggest that young people do not have the knowledge or skills to keep their drinking within the set guidelines.

The University of Sussex-led study, which is published in Drug and Alcohol Review, surveyed 18- to 25-year-olds about their knowledge and beliefs on safe drinking.

People who took part in the study were asked to pour their usual measure of wine, beer or vodka followed by what unit they believed it to be.

Nearly two-thirds underestimated the unit content of the drinks they poured, researchers said. The Government's daily unit guidelines are up to two to three units for a woman and up to three to four units for a man.


Lloyds Banking Group is to claw back bonuses worth around £2 million in the wake of the scandal over payment protection insurance (PPI), it has been reported.

Former chief executive Eric Daniels will lose up to £700,000 of his £1.45 million bonus for 2010, while three other current and former directors will each have to forgo up to £250,000.

A further six executives, below board level, will be stripped of around £100,000 each, the BBC added.

Amid pressure from politicians and the Financial Services Authority, it will be the first time a bank has used a claw-back option on executive pay packages since the financial crisis.

Prince William arrived in the Falkland Islands on Thursday for a six-week deployment with the Royal Air Force (RAF), British officials said, a move Argentina has condemned as a "provocation".

The 29-year-old, who is second in line to the throne, has been deployed to the disputed South Atlantic archipelago as a routine part of his work as an RAF search and rescue pilot, the Ministry of Defence said.

However the timing of the deployment, just ahead of the 30th anniversary of the start of the war between Britain and Argentina over the Falkland Islands which Buenos Aires claims as its own, has stoked tensions.

"The Ministry of Defence can confirm Flight Lieutenant Wales, as part of a four-man search and rescue (SAR) crew, has arrived in the Falkland Islands on a routine operational deployment and will shortly take up SAR duties post a period of briefings and a familiarisation flight," a ministry spokesman said.

When William's deployment was announced in November, Argentina said it was a "provocative act", and this week the foreign ministry in Buenos Aires said the prince would be arriving in a "conqueror's uniform".

Germany is proposing that Greece should temporarily cede sovereignty over tax and spending decisions to a powerful eurozone budget commissioner before it can secure further bailouts, an official in Berlin has said.

The initiative is being discussed among the 17-nation currency bloc's finance ministers because Greece has repeatedly failed to fulfil its commitments under its current multi-billion pound lifeline, the official said.

The proposal foresees a commissioner holding a veto right against any budgetary measures and having broad surveillance ability to ensure that Greece will set its priorities on repaying its debt as scheduled, the official said.

Greece's international creditors - the so-called troika of the International Monetary Fund, the European Union and the European Central Bank - are currently negotiating another 130 billion euro rescue package for the heavily indebted country.

But German news magazine Der Spiegel cited an unnamed troika official as saying that Greece might need a total of 145 billion euros in its second bailout package amid the country's prolonged and sharp recession.


London Underground workers are to stage four strikes, including one on Boxing Day, in a row over bank holiday pay.

Aslef said its Tube members will walk out for 24 hours on December 26, January 16 and February 3 and 13 after failing to agree payments for working on Boxing Day.

Around 2,200 Aslef members were balloted, with 92% of those who voted backing a campaign of industrial action.


The owner of the Daily Mail says a resilient performance at its national newspapers helped offset a challenging year for its regional titles.

Daily Mail & General Trust (DMGT) said the nationals arm benefited from a record year for the Metro free newspaper while the Mail on Sunday became the biggest selling Sunday newspaper following the demise of the News of the World.

Revenues at the division were 2% lower at £862 million in the year to October 2, which DMGT said represented a resilient performance. The division's operating profits fell 15% to £76 million after it absorbed rising printing costs and it was impacted by greater promotional activity as newspapers competed to win News of the World readers.

A strong performance from its business-to-business division, which includes publications such as Euromoney Institutional Investor and marketing arm DMG Events, also helped offset "challenging" conditions at its regional newspapers.

Group underlying profits rose 3% to £237 million on revenues up 1% to £2 billion. Bottom-line profits declined 14% to £125 million.

Its Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday newspapers both saw their circulation revenues fall although they grew their market share. Free newspaper Metro had its strongest year yet, with record profits and revenues up 14%.



The "forest boy" of Berlin is refusing to have his photograph released despite investigators being flooded with calls from all over the world from people saying they are related to him.

Ray, 17, who speaks fluent English, arrived in the city on September 5 claiming to have walked for two weeks.

He told officials he had lived in the woods with his father for the previous five years - but set off alone after his father died in a fall and he buried him.

The mystery resulted in Berlin police sending Ray's fingerprints and photograph to foreign police forces in a bid to identify him. Detectives also called upon Interpol, the world's largest police organisation, to help.

But so far there have been no significant leads, police said today. And Ray, who is being looked after by a legally-appointed guardian, is refusing to have his photograph released publicly.

"There are of course many questions," said Berlin police spokeswoman Miriam Tauchmann. "At the moment he doesn't want us to put a picture of him in the public because he wants to live like a normal teenager and we have to respect that."


Photo bu Southern Driver


The number of job losses threatened at local authorities because of Government spending cuts has topped the 140,000 mark, according to a study.

The GMB union said 203 councils had now issued official warnings of redundancies after having their budgets slashed by central Government.

The Local Government Association warned last year that 140,000 jobs could be lost, but the GMB said this figure had already been passed.

Most of the local authorities in the study had issued a 90-day statutory consultation warning of job cuts, said the union.

Councils have given notice that they plan to delete vacant posts and seek volunteers for early retirements and redundancy, according to GMB officials.

Paul Kenny, GMB general secretary, said: "The Government is deliberately creating unemployment on a scale that we have not seen before.

"As a direct consequence of the Government spending plans, the cumulative number of job losses is 140,456 for 203 authorities in Britain. To that total has to be added the job losses in the rest of the public sector.

Any suggestion that frontline services for the most vulnerable people in our society are not being affected by cuts of this scale is simply nonsense.The impact for those who depend on these services will be devastating. Some services like meals on wheels in some authorities are now only available to those at death's door.

"In the current circumstances it is hard to see the private sector creating enough new jobs to make up for these job losses. The money that people in work have to spend is being badly affected by the hike in VAT, high fuel prices and other inflationary pressures on the economy as pay is not keeping up with inflation.


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"Pay freezes in the public sector and the threatened increase in pension contributions will make matters worse."

 Northcliffe Media plans to cut up to 95 jobs and close or merge a number of the weekly papers it publishes across Essex, Kent and Surrey, as part of proposals to amalgamate subediting in a single centre.