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Stores braced for busiest day of the year

More than 200 thousand shoppers are expected today Credit: PA

Shoppers are expected to hit the UK high street in force as retailers hope for their most profitable day ahead of Christmas.

The high street traditionally experiences its busiest day two days before the Christmas shut down.

Bosses at the Manchester Arndale shopping centre said they expected about 220,000 visitors and customers were spending more money this Christmas.

Dangerous Xmas lights seized

Trading standards teams in Oldham have stopped the sale of thousands of potentially dangerous Christmas lights. Approximately 2,500 LED lights, believed to have been sold online from overseas, were discovered at a property in the town following reports from members of the public.

Sales of these lights have been suspended Credit: Oldham Council

“Given the safety risks we would urge consumers, who think that they may have purchased any of these mains-powered LED lights, to stop using them and seek advice from their supplier.”

– Councillor Dave Hibbert, Oldham Council

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Mersey Duck Boats "extremely poorly maintained"

A report into the sinking of an amphibious tour bus in Liverpool's Albert Dock has said its extremely fortunate no one drowned or was injured. The Duck tour craft got into difficulties in June 2013. 33 passengers and crew were forced to abandon the ship when it sank. The report by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch said the craft were poorly maintained and for nearly 14 years they had operated with insufficient buoyancy foam to keep them afloat should they suffer major damage.

33 people had to abandon the craft when it sank in June 2013 Credit: PA

Completion of home sold for just £1

Work has been completed on the first property to be refurbished as part of Liverpool's pioneering Homes for a Pound scheme.

Jayalal Madde with Liverpool Mayor, Joe Anderson Credit: PA

Jayalal Madde, 49, was the very first applicant to be allocated a house last year under the city council's pilot scheme to sell 20 of its properties for just £1. He will be giving Mayor Joe Anderson a guided tour of his house on Cairns Street in Granby ahead of moving into the property in time for Christmas.

Credit: ITV Granada

Parklife organisers fined over 'mum' marketing texts

The organisers of the Parklife music festival have been fined over marketing texts that appeared on recipient's mobile phones as having come from "Mum".

Organiser of the festival have been fined over marketing texts Credit: PA Images

A number of people complained, many that message caused substantial distress.

One complainant said that their mother had recently passed away and they still had her number saved in the contacts, so receiving the text was distressing.They described the campaign as “unprofessional and disgusting”.

Another person reported that they had recently lost their mum and were shocked when 'Mum' flashed up as a notification on the mobile screen.

They felt so strongly about the situation they sold the tickets and refused to attend the festival.

The Information Commissioners Office fined the festival organisers £70,000.

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First TV ad for 50 years to show someone smoking

The first ad in 50 years to show someone smoking will be broadcast tonight. Credit: VIP

The first advert in 50 years to show someone smoking is to be broadcast on TV tonight.

The VIP e-cigarettes ad will feature someone exhaling what appears to be cigarette smoke.

The ad, which can be broadcast following a change in law from the Advertising Standards Authority, will debut tonight during a break in ITV1's Grantchester.

Anti-smoking campaigners have attacked the ads for "sexualising" e-cigarettes but VIP said e-cigarettes are a healthy alternative to smoking.

It is not the first time VIP's TV campaigns have sparked controversy - its first ad, broadcast last December, was also criticised.

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