Wales bans smoking

Smoking in pubs and bars in Wales will become illegal today when the ban on smoking in enclosed public places begins at 6am.

Smoking in pubs and bars in Wales will become illegal today when the ban on smoking in enclosed public places begins at 6am.

Anyone caught lighting up will face a £50 fine and the Assembly Government has embarked on an advertising and publicity campaign to warn people that the ban descends on Wales before England.

English smokers will not have to stub out their cigarettes until July 1

A backbench bid to delay the Welsh ban and bring both sides of the border into line was defeated in the Assembly earlier this year.

Ministers say Wales's three smoke-free months could save 100 lives because passive smoking kills 400 people a year in Wales.

Tickets sell out

TICKETS for this year's Glastonbury Festival sold out today in a record-breaking time of just 90 minutes.

Music fans swamped the event's booking phone line and website after they went on sale at 9am.

By 10.45am a record 137,500 tickets had been snapped up for the festival, which returns after a year's absence to its Worthy Farm home, in Pilton, Somerset.

An extra 27,500 revellers were able to get their hands on the sought-after tickets this year after organisers won approval to boost the capacity to 177,000.

But it did little to satisfy the huge demand for the festival, as hundreds of thousands of revellers were left disappointed after missing out on the £145 tickets.

£55m short

HEALTH trusts have been left more than £55m out-of-pocket by a new dental contract introduced a year ago, the Liberal Democrats said yesterday.

Over three-quarters of primary care trusts had received less money than they were expecting under the new system, according to research by the party.

Some 78% of respondents to a Lib Dem survey of PCTs reported a shortage in patient charge revenue.

The shortfall amounted to £55,658,754 among the 86 trusts that responded to the survey. Another 66 PCTs did not provide figures.

Peace begins

BRITAIN today announced a £36.5m package to help the peace process in Nepal, as the country's rebels joined the interim government after ending their decade-long insurgency.

UK Development Minister Gareth Thomas made the announcement as he visited the Himalayan country, where it is expected he will meet the Maoist rebels.


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer