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Alfie Evans' father meets the Pope to ask for his help

The father of Alfie Evans has met the Pope and begged him to save his son. Tom Evans flew to the Vatican for an audience with the head of the Catholic Church.

After their meeting, the Pope led crowds in silent prayer for Alfie. The little boy's parents want him to be moved to a hospital in Rome, after losing their latest appeal for his treatment to continue at Alder Hey.

Doctors there say continuing treatment is inhumane and futile.

Andy Bonner has the details.

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Manchester Cathedral event to commemorate the Battle of Manchester Hill

Only seventeen soldiers of the 16th Battalion The Manchester Regiment made it back to British Lines. Credit: ITV News

A special concert is being held later to commemorate the Battle of Manchester Hill during the First World War.

Only seventeen soldiers of the 16th Battalion The Manchester Regiment made it back to British Lines after the day long battle in which they tried to halt the last major German offensive of the war. The rest were either killed, wounded or taken prisoner.

It was the British military's second most bloody battle.

Colonel Wilfrith Elstob, their commanding officer won the VC for his part in the action

Lieutenant Colonel Wilfrith Elstob VC Credit: Manchester City Council

Manchester Cathedral will host Manchester Hill Remembered. It will feature music, poetry and performance to mark the anniversary.

Police psychologist appeals to mother of baby found dead

A police psychologist has appealed directly to the mother of a baby whose body was found in Greater Manchester to come forward.

The newborn baby was found in woodland in Heywood near George Street early yesterday.

Police have now confirmed the child was a baby girl.

A Moses basket was taken away from the scene and flowers have been left by residents.

The psychologists appeal is read a member of the police team:

  • If you are the mother or are calling on her behalf please contact the police psychologist on 07387705768

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Talks between Merseyrail and RMT over driver-only trains

Credit: pa

Talks are due to take place later aimed at ending the long running dispute over the role of guards on Merseyrail trains.

The RMT union has staged 16 walkouts over the last year, claiming driver- only trains will compromise safety.

The union is staging a series of protests across the North of England as part of its dispute with Arriva Rail North (Northern) over the same issue.

The rail operator says the driver-only system is safe and is already widely used on networks elsewhere in the country.

Mountain rescue teams take part in Peak District search

The injured teenagers were airlifted to hospital Credit: MEN

Mountain rescue teams from Oldham and Glossop have taken part in the recovery of a group of teenagers who got into difficulties on a trek in the Peak District.

The group of seven teenagers from Leicestershire got into trouble on Black Hill while completing an expedition as part of the Duke of Edinburgh Awards scheme.

A 16 year old suffered an injured leg and was unable to carry on in freezing conditions on the 1900 foot summit. Two of the group remained with the injured teenager while the other four went to raise the alarm. 40 people took part in the rescue, with other teams being mobilised from Woodhead and Holmefirth and a Coastguard helicopter.

Two young people were taken to hospital, but its thought their injuries were minor.

I have nothing but praise for the way the D of E party reacted. They were met with man extremely hazardous situation but they did all the right things. They were just the unfortunate victims of the conditions and the circumstances. But I hope this doesn’t put them off enjoying the outdoors in the future.... We’re all volunteers and are funded entirely by donations. We’re currently in the midst of a record-breaking year, this is our 31st call out. We’ve been absolutely battered by the bad weather as have all our teams. Yet everyone worked together fantastically well and showed great skill and courage to get these young people to safety.

– Owen Phillips, Team Leader at Holme Valley Mountain Rescue team
Around 40 people took part n the rescue Credit: MEN
The rescue took place in freezing conditions Credit: MEN

Soldier from Manchester killed in Syria

Sgt Matt Tonroe Credit: Ministry of Defence

A soldier from Manchester has been killed while serving in Syria.

33 year old Sergeant Matt Tonroe from the Parachute Regiment was embedded with US forces when he was killed by a bomb on Thursday.

An American soldier also died and fiver others were injured in the attack in the town of Manbji near Aleppo.

Sergeant Tonroe enlisted in the Army on the 27th September 2004. On completion of his initial training he joined the 3rd Battalion of The Parachute Regiment in Colchester where he served as part of the Sniper Platoon.

Matt Tonroe was a deeply intelligent man and one of life’s characters. He was a caring and considerate soul, a loving and dutiful son, and a friend to many. Yet he had a steel core, served his country with pride and was a first class soldier, proven in combat, faced risk willingly and was ever ready for more. He thus died as he lived: daring and fearless in duty. We mourn his loss dearly, are proud to have known him and will honour him by continuing this fight.

– Sgt Tonroe's Commanding Officer

My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Sergeant Matt Tonroe at this dreadful time. Sergeant Tonroe served his country with great distinction and it is clear from the tributes made by his colleagues that he was not only exceptionally dedicated and courageous but also a gifted and intelligent instructor who was respected by everyone he served with. Sergeant Tonroe fought to protect British values, our freedoms and to keep us back at home safe. His sacrifice, unflinching commitment and bravery will never be forgotten.

– Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson
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