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  1. Sarah Rogers, ITV News

North West drivers could face a 'toxin tax' of £20 a day for driving a diesel car

Drivers of some diesel vehicles in the north west are about to find out if they face paying a new tax of up to £20 a day.

It comes amid concern over air pollution.

The suggestion is that diesel vehicles, once promoted as having fewer emissions, are partly to blame.

A scheme to scrap your car altogether is also a possibility, although the government says we'll have to wait until Monday for details.

Sarah Rogers reports:

Canal boat festival

Credit: National Waterways Museum

A maritime tradition is returning to Ellesmere Port over the next few days. The Easter Boat Gathering is being held at the National Waterways Museum in the town. The festival will be the culmination of the museum's 40th anniversary celebrations. It also marks the start of the summer cruising season where many boats will set off to other parts of the canal network.

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Where is the best place to live in the NW?

This is one story that may cause some controversy - where is the best place to live in the North West? Well according to the Sunday Times its Knutsford in Cheshire.

Acacia Avenue, Knutsford Credit: pa

Judges on the panel used a wide range of criteria including jobs, exam results and broadband speed, community spirit and local shops and culture.

Perhaps in a move to keep the good people of our region happy, a number of other areas of the north west were also voted as among the best places to live in Britain. Here are some of them in no particular order.

  • CUMBRIA
  • LIVERPOOL
  • CLITHEROE
  • KENDAL
  • ANCOATS
  • LYMM
  • SADDLEWORTH
  • RAMSBOTTOM
  • WEST KIRBY
  • KIRBY LONSDALE

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Watch: Power station opens in Carrington

It's a quarter of a century since Carrington Power Station in Greater Manchester closed down.

The closure was seen as a sign of the declining place of coal in the economy. Well today, a new, GAS-fired power station has officially opened on the same site.

The seven hundred million pound plant can provide eletricity to more than a million homes and businesses across the north west.

One minister described it as a great day, but some enviomental campaigners say its a step in the wrong direction.

Tim Scott reports.

Rare tortoises unveiled at Chester Zoo

Ploughshare tortoises are amongst the most endangered species in the world Credit: Chester Zoo

Four extremely rare tortoises have gone on display at Chester Zoo.

The ploughshare tortoises, regarded by many conservationists as the world’s most threatened species of tortoise, were handed to the zoo in 2012 after being confiscated by customs officials in Hong Kong in 2009.

They were part of a shipment of 13 being smuggled from their native Madagascar. They will now form part of the European Breeding Programme for the species, which is being run with Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists Ploughshare tortoises as critically endangered by having been poached to the point of extinction. They are highly prized for their distinctive gold and black shells and fetch exceptionally high prices on the international black market.

The ploughshare tortoise is iconic because of its beautiful shell but the species is under huge pressure for its survival. There’s a very real possibility the species could be lost forever due to illegal trafficking for the exotic pet trade. Most of these illegally exported tortoises are sold in markets in South East Asia.

The United Nations estimates the illegal trade is worth billions of pounds each year and, despite efforts to crack down on it, it continues to grow. These tortoises are seen as the jewel in the crown of the reptile world. It’s very possible that, within the next two years, there will be none left in the wild because of this trade.

Conservation has never been more critical. We can’t sit back and watch this important species simply disappear and our long-term ambition is to maintain a safety net population at the zoo.

– Dr Gerardo Garcia, Chester Zoo
The four tortoises were rescued from smugglers Credit: Chester Zoo
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