Thousands of pubs are expected to apply for extended opening licences from the start of next year, flying in the face of warnings of the dangers of binge-drinking, reports The Sunday Times. The Licensing Act 2003 will enable councils to issue licences for extended hours. Yates Group expects some of its bars in London, Manchester and Glasgow to open until 4am; Pathfinder Pubs, is looking to open to 1am or 2am and JD Wetherspoon wants some of its houses to stay open until midnight, with a "handful" not closing until 2am. More than half of Punch Taverns’ landlords are considering opening longer. The Sunday Times 25/07/04 page 4