UK News: Union bosses predict surge in strike action

SENIOR union leaders today predicted a surge in strike action for 2011 on a scale not seen since the campaign to abolish the poll tax.

Mark Serwotka, the leader of the Public and Commercial Services Union, said strikes were "inevitable" and could affect the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Talks over water crisis

THE Stormont executive was set to meet in emergency session today as pressure mounts on ministers to sack senior managers of Northern Ireland Water over their handling of the leaking pipes scandal.

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First Minister Peter Robinson and deputy Martin McGuinness will take charge of the talks.

Mist and fog threat to New Year celebrations

MIST and lingering fog is threatening to mar revellers' enjoyment of tomorrow night's New Year fireworks displays, forecasters said.

Despite the big thaw, increasingly warmer air has reacted with the cold ground, throwing a haze of fog and mist across much of the country this week.

Weather experts predict this murky blanket shows no sign of easing, meaning hundreds of firework celebrations will be cast against a dull rather than crisp winter sky.

Flu cases soar by 40%

CASES of flu rose by more than 40 per cent last week, according to figures released by doctors.

The Royal College of General Practitioners reported that incidences of flu in England and Wales reached 124 per 100,000 of the population in the week ending December 26. There were 86 per 100,000 cases in the previous week.

The middle-aged have been particularly badly hit.

Corden to tie the knot

GAVIN and Stacey star James Corden has got engaged to his pregnant girlfriend.

Corden, 32, asked Julia Carey to marry him while they were on holiday. A spokeswoman for the star said: "They are engaged and are both very happy."

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Slough: Four men were being held on suspicion of murder today after a young man was fatally wounded at his Slough home on Tuesday. The 23-year-old victim, who has not been named, died from a single puncture wound to his stomach, a post-mortem examination found.

London: Three people were being held by police today after a teenager was shot dead and two youths were stabbed on a London housing estate. Police found the 17-year-old gunshot victim in a stairwell at Heron House on the Pelican Estate in Peckham at about 4.30pm yesterday following reports of an assault.