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Blackpool gets stamp of approval

Blackpool Pleasure Beach stamp Credit: Royal Mail

Ten new stamps celebrating the variety and originality of the UK's seaside architecture are being launched by the Royal Mail today.

The selection features distinctive types of architecture from resorts large and small, from the Victorian and art deco eras, to 1930s' modernism up to the present day. Among six special stamps is Blackpool pleasure beach.

Royal Mail said all of the attractions have been newly photographed to mark the "resurgence of interest in the British seaside" in the past two decades.

Royal Mail spokesman Andrew Hammond said: "This stamp issue captures the spirit of the seaside experience through the buildings and structures that are so distinctive of the UK's resorts, which were designed for the pleasure of the visitor."

All ten stamps can be bought in a presentation pack for £10.05. The miniature sheet depicting four pier stamps is available for £3.80.

Is Balotelli behind 5 figure dog's home donation?

Balotelli Credit: MEN Syndication

Mario Balotelli has apparently shown his heart is in the right place after appearing to have made a generous donation to Manchester Dogs’ Home.

The millionaire ex-City striker who now plays for Liverpool is thought to have given a five-figure sum to the home after 60 dogs were killed in a blaze a week ago today.

Staff at the dogs home suspect the dog-loving Italian is behind the generous handout - and have revealed how the Premier League star previously volunteered for their charity during his time at Manchester City.

Madcap Mario offered his free time walking abandoned dogs for the Harpurhey home while his pet pooch was in quarantine in Italy ahead of a move to Manchester. Read more here.

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Woman found with head injuries in Moss Side

Police are appealing for witnesses after a woman was seriously assaulted in Moss Side. Police were called to Cadogan Street at 4:30 yesterday to find the 37 year old with a head injury. She was taken to Hope Hospital where she is currently undergoing surgery.

A 43-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of assault. Enquiries are ongoing.

The woman was badly injured and remains in hospital. I want to reassure those that live nearby that we believe this is an isolated incident and there is no wider threat to the local community.

“There may have been a lot of people around at that time in the afternoon, perhaps leaving work, and we are keen to speak to anyone who may have witnessed the assault.

“If you have any information about the assault I urge you to contact us as soon as possible."

– Wasim Chaudhry, GMP

A dash down the runway for charity

Vernon Kay, Gary Lineker and Gok Wan will be joining 200 runners on Sunday 21st September for a charity runway run at Manchester Airport. The 4k run is in aid of two special children’s charities Flying Start and a medical centre in the african country of Uganda.
Runners and walkers will wear red outfits to complete the course around the edge of the runway.

Bolton's Vernon Kay will join around 200 runners and walkers Credit: PA

New campaign to encourage responsible drinking

Lancashire police are warning of the dangers of excess alcohol Credit: PA

POLICE across Lancashire are highlighting the dangers of irresponsible drinking as part of a week of action. They're asking people to think about drinking responsibly and consider the impact excessive drinking has on police resources. Drink related anti-social behaviour is the most common form that people experience and the force says 72% of assaults requiring treatment are alcohol related.

People often ‘pre-load’ before drinking in towns and cities Credit: ITV Granada

“Nearly half of all violent crime in the UK is alcohol related, every weekend the emergency services have resources diverted to our town centres dealing with people who have consumed alcohol in such a way as to cause themselves or others real harm.

“Drunkenness is a big problem and we all need to do more to address this issue, one thing that would really help is people taking responsibility for themselves on a night out."

– Superintendent Samuel Mackenzie, Lancashire Police

Santas to fly high over Liverpool in zipwire challenge

Zipwire in Liverpool city centre Credit: ITV

Liverpool Wire zip wire challenge will be playing host to a group of Santas who will be flying high over the city centre this morning.

The group will be dressed in full Santa suits as they embark on the zip wire challenge to help launch this year's Liverpool Santa Dash.

Around 10,000 people are expected to take part in the 2014 event on 7 December.

Around 10,000 took part in the 2013 Liverpool Santa Dash Credit: PA

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Manchester gears up for Food and Drink Festival

The Manchester Food and Drink Festival at Albert Square.

The Manchester Food and Drink festival gets under way today.

The event, based at Albert Square and around the city, lasts twelve days and promises to showcase the finest cuisine the region has to offer.

The event's motto this year is 'eat, drink, dance', with more live music than ever before.

Click here to visit their website and see what's on and where.

And watch below as festival organiser Phil Jones talks about what the Festival brings to the city.

  1. National

British hostage's friend urges IS to 'show him some mercy'

A British aid worker who was with Alan Henning when he was captured by Islamic State militants in Syria has pleaded for mercy for his friend.

In an interview with BBC News, Majid Freeman had this message for Mr Henning's captors:

Please show him some mercy and understand he is a humanitarian aid worker. He's not a fighter, he's not come there for no political reasons, he's come there strictly to help the people. Please, please don't kill him.

– Majid Freeman

He also spoke of Mr Henning's motivation in going to Syria:

When he seen the difference he made himself on the ground. When he went to the refugee camps, when he held a baby in his hands himself, it was very powerful for him. I think that changed his whole life.

– Majid Freeman
  1. National

Video shows British hostage the day before his capture

Video footage of British hostage Alan Henning filmed the day before his capture in Syria has been released in which he describes his trips to the country as "worthwhile".

The 47 year old was kidnapped while travelling with a humanitarian aid convoy shortly after crossing into Syria from Turkey.

"It's all worthwhile when you see what is needed, as you get where it needs to go. That makes it all worthwhile," Mr Henning says in the video, filmed on Christmas Day 2013.

"No sacrifice we do is nothing compared to what they are going through every day," he adds.

  1. National

British Muslims urge IS captors to 'see the errors of their ways'

More than 100 Muslim leaders from across the UK have signed an open letter calling for the release of British aid worker Alan Henning.

The letter, printed in The Independent, is also supported by the Muslim Council of Britain which represents more than 500 Muslim organisations:

We, the undersigned British Muslim Imams, organisations and individuals, wish to express our horror and revulsion at the senseless murder of David Haines and the threat to the life of our fellow British citizen, Alan Henning ...

We plead with those holding Alan Henning to see the errors of their ways. To embrace the word of the Quran and accept that what they are now doing constitutes the worst condemnable sin.

– open letter
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