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Laura Kenny named Sportswoman of the Year

Olympic champion Laura Kenny has been named Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year Credit: Press Association

Harlow born Olympic gold medallist Laura Kenny has been named the 2016 Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year.

Cyclist Kenny won team pursuit and omnium gold during the summer taking her overall tally of Olympic Golds to four.

The 24-year-old beat fellow cyclist Sarah Storey, and Jade Jones, who successfully defended her Olympic taekwondo title, to the prize.

Bird flu: farmers told to keep poultry indoors

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The Government has ordered that all poultry farmers across the region keep their birds inside to protect against a dangerous strain of bird flu that's sweeping across Europe.

As yet the strain of the avian flu hasn't been found in the UK, but the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said the steps should be followed until the New Year as a precaution.

It's a type of highly pathogenic avian flu, H5N8, that has been found in dead wild birds.

Many of the turkeys, ducks and chickens have already been processed for Christmas so it shouldn't affected the supply of birds for Yuletide meals.

Public Health England said the threat to humans from the bird flu strain remains very low.

Here's a report from Kate Prout:

Fog warning to drivers in the East

Drivers urged to take extra care in fog Credit: ITV News Anglia

Drivers are being urged to take extra care on the roads this morning with areas of fog expected across the region.

Highways England is advising drivers to check their headlights and fog lights before setting out on journeys to make sure they are working properly, and adjust their speed to suit the conditions on the road.

The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for fog until 9am, meaning drivers should plan ahead and think about possible travel delays.

Drivers should switch their headlights on when visibility is reduced – generally when you can’t see for more than 100 metres – and use fog lights if you’re struggling to see other vehicles. You shouldn’t use your lights on full beam as the fog can reflect the light back and reduce visibility.

We’d also encourage drivers to check their lights before setting out and make sure they know how to operate their front and rear fog lights.

– Stuart Lovatt, Highways England’s Head of Road User Safety

Drivers are also being advised to:

  • Keep a safe distance behind the vehicle in front and beware of other drivers who may not be using headlights and so will be harder to see.
  • Use your windscreen wipers and demisters, including air conditioning.
  • Be able to stop well within the distance you can see clearly. This is particularly important on motorways and dual carriageways, as vehicles are travelling faster.
  • Check your mirrors before you slow down. Then use your brakes so that your brake lights warn drivers behind you that you are slowing down.

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Rail fares rise: How services in the East will be affected

Video report by ITV News Anglia's Russell Hookey

Rail users were handed a blow today with the announcement that fares will increase again.

From 2 January 2017, passengers will pay an average of 2.3% more - the highest average increase since January 2014.

The Rail Delivery Group say the money will be used to improve services, but public transport campaigners warn some people will be "priced off the railways".

Here's how much rail services in the East of England will increase by:

  • Greater Anglia: 1.8%
  • c2c Rail: 1.8%
  • CrossCountry: Unknown
  • East Midlands Trains: 1.5%
  • London Midland: 1.9%
  • Southeastern: 1.8%

Police forces in the East launch Christmas campaigns

As the festive season begins, police forces across the countries are launching their annual Christmas campaigns to warn against drink driving.

One in six of all road deaths are caused by drivers over the limit.

3,000
people killed or seriously injured by drink drivers every year in the UK

During last year's campaign, Northamptonshire Police tested more than 1,700 drivers. 79 were arrested for drink or drug related offences.

Elsewhere in the East, 56 people were arrested for driving driving in Bedfordshire, 80 were arrested in Cambridgeshire and 130 were arrested in Hertfordshire.

"People are going out, they're doing the right thing of an evening, getting a lift, getting a taxi home.

"It's the morning after....People have had a sleep, they wake up, they're full of the joys of spring, not realising that they've still got alcohol in their system and could still be over the drink drive limit."

– PC David Lee, Northamptonshire Police

Police to use drones to catch poachers

Herts Police are planning to use drones to catch poachers Credit: Press Association

Hertfordshire Police say they are to use drones to help catch poachers and coursers in rural parts of the county.

The Rural East Herts Safer Neighbourhood Team will be using the new technology which are equipped with long range cameras to give them a bird's eye view of the area.

"The problems we often encounter, when responding to reports of poaching and other crime in the rural areas, is that it is often hard to trace offenders across open countryside. The drones have a large range which will enable us to track suspects across land that is hard to reach or inaccessible to vehicles."

– Chief Insp Gerry McDonald, Herts Police
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