Len Johnson: The uncrownable champion

Len Johnson is possibly the greatest boxer you have never heard of. Racism prevented him from taking a shot at the title. Here is his story:

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Rugby star's lesson on dangers of homophobia

A rugby League star who was punished for using a homophobic comment to a referee during a televised game has held a coaching session with the world's first Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rugby League club in Manchester. Leeds Rhinos player Zak Hardaker was given a five-match ban after being found guilty of homophobic abuse after his side's defeat to Warrington. The player said he'd learnt his lesson from the experience and took the training session to show he isn't homophobic.

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Manchester United is biggest club in the world - van Gaal

Louis van Gaal labelled Manchester United the biggest club in the world as he addressed the media for the first time since taking over at Old Trafford. The former Bayern Munich, Ajax and Barcelona boss, who was announced as David Moyes' successor in May, took his first training session on Thursday morning before addressing the size of the challenge ahead of him at United.

"I will do my best and that's what I can give. I cannot give predictions because you never know. It's the biggest club of the world, which I know already after two days. I have to adapt to this club. It shall not be easy, but I will do my utmost best. When you see my career, you can see what I have won and that is what I can say. The future shall show if I can do that again."

– Louis van Gaal, Manchester United Manager

Fire closes restaurant in Manchester

Dukes '92
Fire at Dukes '92 in Castlefield, Manchester Credit: Men Syndication

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service were called to the bar mid-morning to a fire in the kitchens involving the chip pan range. The fire spread into the roof space but firefighters quickly brought the fire under control and managed to stop it spreading into the main bar and restaurant. Four fire engines are currently at the scene along with an aerial appliance which is being used to fight the fire from above.

We are dealing with a fire involving the kitchen at Dukes 92 which has spread to the roof through the ducting. Crews have worked really hard to stop it spreading to the remainder of the roof and the bar and restaurant area. The fire is under control and we are now working on the roof to isolate any remaining pockets of fire. A number of people were evacuated before we arrived including the staff and we are working with the owners to look at business continuity going forward.

– Phil Nelson, Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service
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All staff are safe, thank you for your messages. We are currently awaiting an update from the fire department. Thank you for your patience!

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People power helps reduce energy bills in Greater Manchester

People power cuts bills
People power - councils help cut bills Credit: Manchester City Council

There are calls for a ground breaking scheme to reduce energy costs in Greater Manchester to be rolled out across the country. Councils joined forces to broker deals with energy companies on behalf of tenants to cut bills. They're also installing 600 air-source heat pumps to reduce electricity use at peak demand. Now Greenpeace is calling for the Government to roll out these schemes nationally and force greater competition into the market.

Happy Birthday Manchester Library - a celebration of old and new

Manchester Central Library
Library celebrates 80th birthday with old and new Credit: Manchester City Council

Manchester's newly refurbished Central Library is celebrating its 80th birthday with a mix of new and old.

The Get Digital Festival starts today - and visitors also have the chance to celebrate the library's heritage.

Hi tech interior
Library boasts ultra modern features Credit: Manchester City Council

There are demonstrations of Google Glass, the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, 3D printing, and Nao, the walking talking dancing robot - plus business seminars on topics such as e-commerce, digital marketing, and using social media.

Activities will range from e-storytelling sessions to digital music technology workshops.

Library's oldest book
13th century Codex Justinianus - library's oldest book Credit: Manchester City Council

It's a far cry from how it all started when King George V opened the Central Library on 17 July 1934. But visitors can also see archive material relating to that royal opening ceremony as well as many other fascinating material dating back a lot further.

In the first three months after refurbishment Manchester Central Library has welcomed 300,000 visitors with approximately 50,000 book issues and 40,000 sessions booked on PCs.

Reading room
Central Library's reading room Credit: Manchester City Council

In the three months since the library re-opened, it has proved amazingly popular and anyone who has visited it will know Central Library isn't an ordinary library. Not only does it have an outstanding collection of books, it has more than 170 computers, free wifi, a media lounge and even gaming consoles, with new technology at the heart of the library's future.

It is one of the must-visit, key attractions in Manchester city centre.

– Councillor Rosa Battle, Executive Member for Culture and Leisure

Twitter reaction to Bury's decision to cut bin collections to once every three weeks

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@lucymitv Think we pay more then our fair share in every conceivable tax to have them emptied on a weekly basis never mind every 3 weeks!

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@lucymitv Far too long Lucy, 2 weeks should be the maximum wait. Next the city council's be saying every 4 weeks or even monthly. #rubbish

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@lucymitv I can see a large percentage of the residents of Bury having to make a trip to the tip in the 3rd week. Me being one of them.

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@lucymitv we're struggling (family of 5) with the recent change to fortnightly collections in Liverpool. Bin is overflowing circa 10 days

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