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Cowen to brief at island talks Drink-driving trial for Gazza

Taoiseach Brian Cowen will today brief government ministers from the North and Britain on the economic crisis during the latest British Irish Council summit.

The talks in the Isle of Man will focus on rescue efforts targeting public finances, banking systems and unemployment.

Mr Cowen will tell his counterparts about the latest developments in the Irish economy.

The council, set up under the Good Friday Agreement, includes the governments of Ireland, the UK, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey.

Communications Minister Eamon Ryan will attend the talks, which will also address digital inclusion. The meeting will be the 15th summit of the British Irish Council.

Drink-driving trial for Gazza

Former England football star Paul Gascoigne was expected to go on trial today accused of drink driving.

The ex-Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur player is accused of driving a Ford Transit van while more than four times the limit on February 7 in North Yorkshire.

Previous hearings have been told the midfielder was found to have 467 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of urine. The legal limit is 107 milligrams.

He denies the charge, and he has also pleaded not guilty to driving without insurance.

The trial is expected to last two days.