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Spiders set to invade region's homes

50% of us are said to be scared of spiders Credit: Press Association

The mild summer weather means there will be an increase of spiders this autumn.

The eight-legged critters have had plenty of insects to eat - and now, they're heading indoors to mate.

Most are harmless house spiders, males on the hunt for females, the mating season starts now and carries on until December. Experts, though, say they are good to have in the house as they keep your insects down.

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Pardew under pressure ahead of Hull clash

Organisers from a campaign group called 'Sack Pardew' have staged a large-scale protest in and around St James's Park ahead of their match with Hull City.

Under pressure: Alan Pardew could be replaced by Hull Manager Steve Bruce if he is sacked by Newcastle. Credit: Press Association

The group say they will be distributing 30,000 leaflets and 100 banners from 10 pubs in Newcastle city centre. Tigers Manager Steve Bruce is one of the favourites to replace Pardew if he is sacked. It is the first time the two side's have met since Pardew head-butted Hull City's David Meyler last season.

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Prince talks down claims of Gale racism

Lancashire batsman Ashwell Prince has revealed he did not consider there to be a racist element to the verbal abuse delivered to him by Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale.

Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale Credit: ITV Yorkshire

Gale was banned for two matches after being reported by umpires for his part in an unseemly bust-up at the end of the third day's play in the Roses match earlier this month. That punishment was then extended by the England and Wales Cricket Board to prevent Gale playing an active part in lifting the LV= County Championship trophy following Yorkshire's victory at Trent Bridge last week.

Subsequent reports indicated that Gale had referred to South African Prince as a "f***ing Kolpak" and that the racial connotations of the term were key to the charge.

The phrase Kolpak refers to a Maros Kolpak, a handball player who set in motion a legal precedent that now allows some foreign-born cricketers to play in England under the laws of the European Union.

Yorkshire are backing their man staunchly and will surely have taken note of a revealing interview given by Prince to South African station Ballz Radio.

In it he admitted time-wasting, explained he was unhappy with the aggressive nature of the abuse Gale responded with but appeared unmoved by suggestions of racism.

"I took offence to the way he spoke to me, that's the bottom line," Prince told the broadcaster.

"The way the guy approached me and spoke to me, that's what I took offence to. I didn't stand there and think, 'That may be a racial slur'.

"What happened was the guy walked towards me and had a go at me and I defended myself. If the ECB feels there's racial connotations to it, that's up to them to do whatever they want to do.

"It's gone all out of control at the moment.

"People are calling me a cry baby, but at the end of the day I want to clear it up, I didn't report this guy to the ECB, the umpires did."

Gale is expected to be at Headingley throughout his side's final championship game of the season against Somerset next week, with a disciplinary hearing initially slated for Tuesday pushed back to allow for all the relevant parties to be involved.

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