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  1. National

Labour activists gather for party's annual conference

Labour activists will gather today ahead of the start of the party's annual conference following Scotland's decision to reject independence.

Ed Miliband has arrived in Manchester ahead of his party's annual conference. Credit: PA Wire

Ed Miliband arrived in Manchester as Prime Minister David Cameron announced plans to ensure English MPs were the only politicians allowed to vote on issues that affect England.

But Mr Miliband said he wants a national debate on the issue of constitutional reform.

Any moves to restrict Scottish MPs' votes on English matters could undermine any future Labour Government.

The Labour event is due to begin with a women's conference as Deputy Leader Harriet Harman, shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper and shadow equalities minister Gloria De Piero all address activists.

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Devolution for England?

The Scots have voted no to independence. Now though, there are calls for devolution for the major regions of England. That could mean cities like Manchester and Liverpool getting much more control over their own budgets - even including the power to raise taxes. But is there an appetite for such a thing? Ashley Derricott reports.

Friday prayers dedicated to Alan Henning

Muslims across the region have dedicated Friday prayers to Alan Henning, who's being held by Islamic State. The extremist group has threatened to kill the former taxi driver from Salford - who's been their prisoner since Christmas. Today, at a mosque in Manchester, imams and worshippers condemned IS - and offered Alan their support.

Labour Party Conference comes to Manchester

Labour leader Ed Miliband Credit: PA

Eleven thousand delegates are descending on Manchester for this weekends Labour Party Conference. Its a key event for the Party as it will be the last one before the General Election next year, and comes hard on the heels of the 'No' vote in the Scottish Referendum, a result which the party campaigned for.

Its estimated the conference will net the city more than 25 million pounds, despite the disruption caused by road closures and heightened security in the city centre.

It will get underway tomorrow with the Women's Conference followed by four days of speeches, meetings and debates. Its the fifth time the party have made the city the base for their annual conference starting in 2006.

The following closures will be in place.

Windmill Street, from Mount Street to Museum Street From 7am on Saturday 20:

Lower Mosley Street, from Great Bridgewater Street to Windmill StreetWindmill Street, from Lower Mosley Street to Mount Street Mount Street, from Windmill Street to Peter Street Restrictions will begin to be lifted on the evening of 24 September, and all of these roads will re-open Thursday 25 September morning.

Diversions will be sign posted. Access to the Manchester Central car park will be available during this time. Existing road closures will remain in place during the conference.

Macca urges meat free day

Sir Paul McCartney is urging people to have a meat free day to help reduce their carbon footprint. It comes ahead of UN Climate Summit which is taking place in New York next week. Together with politicians and others he's launched an online campaign for a 'meat free Monday'

Sir Paul McCartney wants us all to have a 'meat free day' Credit: PA

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  1. Border

Farron welcomes No vote, but 'powers must be devolved'

Scotland's decision to reject independence has been welcomed by politicians south of the border today.

The MP for South Lakes Tim Farron said that although he was "delighted that Scotland has said a firm no to separation", he hoped the calls for devolution would be echoed on a smaller scale in local communities in Cumbria.

“Westminster’s foundations have been shook by the debate and the ramifications have been felt here in Cumbria too.

"The next challenge is to make sure we devolve powers from Westminster down to communities like Windermere and throughout the South Lakes.”

– Tim Farron MP

Labour conference comes to Manchester

The Labour Party will return to Manchester this weekend for its Annual Conference, an event which is expected to generate 25 million for the local economy. It's the 5th time it's been held in the city, Ed Miliband, the shadow cabinet and some 11,000 delegates and exhibitors will convene at Manchester Central from Sunday, 21 September to Wednesday, 24 September. It will mean a number of road closures:

From 7am on Thursday 18:

  • Windmill Street, from Mount Street to Museum Street

From 7am on Saturday 20:

  • Lower Mosley Street, from Great Bridgewater Street to Windmill Street
  • Windmill Street, from Lower Mosley Street to Mount Street
  • Mount Street, from Windmill Street to Peter Street

Restrictions will begin to be lifted on the evening of 24 September, and all of these roads will re-open Thursday 25 September morning.

Diversions will be sign posted. Access to the Manchester Central car park will be available during this time. Existing road closures will remain in place during the conference.

Prayers for Alan Henning's release

Mosques across the North West are expected to hold prayers for the release of hostage Alan Henning. He was abducted on Boxing Day last year while on a humanitarian aid mission to Syria. On the 14th of September the cab driver from Salford was filmed being threatened with execution by his captors - Islamic State. Now a campaign for Alan's release is growing with leading Muslims calling for the people holding him to show mercy and return him to his family.
Anjum Anwar, speaking at Blackburn cathedral said she hoped Alan would be set free soon.

  1. National

British hostage has been taken captive in Syria before

British journalist John Cantlie, who appears in a new video released by Islamic State militants, has been taken hostage in Syria before.

Despite being injured in a failed escape attempt before his release the first time, Mr Cantlie chose to return a few months later.

Speaking in August 2012, he said: "We were moved at gunpoint with the weapons loaded, with the safeties off, down into another larger tent where there were two Syrian prisoners.

"We were told that we should prepare to meet our maker and at that point we decided 'this isn't going so well'."

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