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Northampton Saints pair Manoa and Ma’afu to join Toulon

Samu Manoa is heading to Toulon. Credit: PA

Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal has confirmed that Northampton Saints forwards Samu Manoa and Salesi Ma’afu will sign for his club at the end of the season.

The news will come as a blow to Northampton who had managed to tie down their other prized assets in Dylan Hartley and Courtney Lawes last week.

American star Manoa has been handed a four-year contract by the European Champions, and Boudjellal has backed him to impress in France.

“Samu Manoa is the first four-year contract that I have signed.

For me, he will become the star of the Top 14. He is a rugby phenomenon, made for Mayol."

– Mourad Boudjellal, Toulon owner
Salesi Ma’afu is also heading for the exit door. Credit: PA

Toulon have also agreed a deal to sign Saints prop Ma’afu, while New Zealand centre Ma’a Nonu and Clermont winger Napolioni Nalaga have also joined.

Much-needed makeover of train carriages to begin

An Abellio Greater Anglia train. Credit: ITV News Anglia.

Train operator Abellio Greater Anglia will today begin a much-needed refurbishment of carriages used on the Norwich to London rail line.

The improvements will include new tables and seat covers, power points and better lighting.

The first of the refurbished carriages will return to use early next year with the entire fleet finished by October 2016.

"We are delighted to begin this major refresh for our MkIII carriages, which will deliver a significant improvement in the travelling environment for passengers on our key intercity services between Norwich, Ipswich, Colchester and London."

– James Burles, Abellio Greater Anglia's managing director.


Health minister says ambulance response times should stay as they are

Health minister and Suffolk MP Daniel Poulter says he does not agree ambulance response time targets should be lengthened.

It follows claims in a national newspaper at the weekend that proposals had been agreed by NHS England bosses "in principle" to double the target from eight to 19 minutes for some patients.

A leaked NHS document suggested the change would affect people in the "Red2" category, meaning their condition was considered "serious but not the most life-threatening".

Yesterday health secretary Jeremy Hunt said there were "no plans to double ambulance waiting times, and there never have been".

Daniel Poulter, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, said he believed the current targets were appropriate.

"At the moment, I think we have response times that work for the ambulance service and they are there to make sure people who are the most sick are prioritised when a 999 call somes in.

"That's what good care is about. So I think the response times as they are at the moment are helping us to make sure, over those busy periods at Christmas, people are being seen in the right way."

– Daniel Poulter, Health Minister.

Ten years on: Couples recall how they survived the Boxing Day tsunami

Two Cambridgeshire couples who escaped the Asian tsunami in 2004 have been recalling their experiences as its tenth anniversary approaches.

Paul and Caroline Holden, from Brampton, near Huntingdon, were on holiday in the Maldives when the earthquake and subsequent tidal wave struck on Boxing Day.

They survived by clinging to a tree.

It wasn't until later that they discovered Caroline was pregnant at the time.

They named their daughter, Meera, after the place where they survived the tsunami which killed nearly 250,000 people.

Dorothy and Kenneth Williams, from Cottenham, near Cambridge, were on holiday in Phuket when the tidal wave hit.

They say they can still remember horrified screams as people tried to run to safety.

Teenager to appear in court over Chelmsford stabbing death

Ashley Woolley, who was killed in Chelmsford.

A teenager is to appear in court this morning charged with the murder of 18-year-old Ashley Woolley in Chelmsford.

Tributes were left at the spot where Mr. Woolley was stabbed in Oaklands Park last Thursday. He later died in hospital.

A museum in the park where he sought help remained closed over the weekend as a mark of respect.

A 17-year-old boy is due to appear at Chelmsford Crown Court having appeared before the town's magistrates at the weekend.

He is also charged with threatening a person with an offensive weapon in a public place.


Classmates of Chelmsford stabbing victim to be offered counselling

Ashley Woolley, who was a student at Chelmsford College. Credit: ITV News Anglia.

Classmates of a student who was stabbed to death in an Essex park are to be offered counselling.

Ashley Woolley was studying business at Chelmsford College.

He was killed following the attack on Thursday as he walked through Oaklands Park.

College principal Andy Sparks said staff and students would received support for as long as they needed it.

"Ashley was well liked by both students and teaching staff - the college community is shocked and upset by this tragic loss.

"Since the news of the tragedy broke, tributes to Ashley have been flooding in which is a testament to his popularity."

– Andy Sparks, Principal, Chelmsford College.

Man dies after car hits bridge

A man in his 20s has died after his car struck a bridge in Norfolk .

Police are appealing for witnesses to the crash which took place in Gorleston at about 5.25am on Sunday.

A black VW Golf was travelling along the A143 Beccles Road underpass of the A12 Gorleston bypass when it crash into the bridge footing.

The driver, a man in his mid 20s from the Norwich area, died as a result of the collision.

Mum drops four dress sizes so she can donate kidney to her son

Rosalind Ruffhead and her son Tom. Credit: ITV News Anglia.

A mother from Kempston in Bedfordshire has donated a kidney to her ill son - after losing 3st in weight to have the operation.

Rosalind Ruffhead dropped four dress sizes in order to give the organ to her son Tom, who lives in Shefford.

His health had been going steadily downhill.

Olivia Paterson went to meet them.

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