The extent of binge drinking in Oldham, Greater Manchester, has recently hit the national headlines. As the town launches an inquiry into excessive alcohol consumption, Jenny Cuffe spends a week with those working at the sharp end, developing new ways to intervene in the lives of heavy drinkers before it is too late.
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In one day in January, Stoke-On-Trent lost over 1,000 jobs. It may be one of the few remaining centres of British manufacturing. but the area has been in declined for several years. Now Wedgwood and JCB - key employers in the area - have been hit and plans for regeneration are threatened. Jenny Cuffe spends a week in the Potteries, meets the family-of-three who all lost their job on the same day and the company boss who, with his staff is already on a four day week, is desperate to secure new orders.
Security and the recent war in Gaza top the agenda as Israelis cast their votes this week but what about the role played by Israel’s former foe and current ally in the south - Egypt. As the conflict raged in Gaza, Egypt refused to open its borders. Egyptian streets boiled with anger as people demonstrated not just against Israel, but also against their own government. So did Cairo really side with Israel against its Muslim neighbours? Lucy Ash investigates the behind-the-scenes role played by Egypt and its President Hosni Mubarak in the Gaza crisis and she reports from the Rafafh border which has become such a key symbol of this conflict.