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Rescue teams searching for missing trawler recover two bodies from the sea

The Morgenstar's crew included two Dutchmen, one Portuguese and one Belgian Credit: marinetraffic.com

Two bodies have been recovered by rescue teams searching in the English Channel for a Belgian-flagged trawler missing with four people on board.

A major air-sea operation was launched for the 130ft fishing boat after it disappeared in the Dover Strait yesterday afternoon. RNLI lifeboat crews were sent to investigate debris spotted by an aircraft on the French side of the Channel north-west of Boulogne.

Two bodies have now been recovered and the search operation has been suspended for the night.

The joint search and rescue operation between Dover coastguard and the French maritime authorities had continued for most of today. Vessels in the area are being asked to remain vigilant and to report any sightings. The RNLI says it's a sensitive and on-going operation.

The Morgenster's last known movements off the South coast Credit: www.marinetraffic.com

Challenge of a lifetime for Hampshire man

Preparing for adventure Credit: Paul Howard

A Kings Worthy man is taking on the challenge to walk nearly 3,000 miles around the coast of the UK to raise money and awareness for the charity Shelter, which helps the homeless. So passionate is Paul Howard about his mission that he has sold his car and several of his belongings to fund his adventure. Adding to the pressure, he will pull a trailer of essentials harnessed around his waist for the entire journey, including his camping gear, cooking equipment and clothes.

Paul sets off from Brighton Pier on Sunday before heading along the South Coast, up the East Coast to Scotland, down through Wales before finishing in Winchester. The whole journey is scheduled to take around 7 to 8 months. Paul was inspired to fundraise for Shelter whilst working at Trinity, an organisation which helps the homeless in Winchester. “I fancied a challenge and thought I’d do a bit of a walk. Then it just escalated and this is how it’sended up!” Paul plans to visit 233 towns and villages on his journey and will camp out each night. He wants his experience to reflect that of the homeless. He said “I’m nervous about not finding anywhere to sleep. It’s going to be daunting. I’m worried about the weather and it’s a long time to be away from family. But I’m also pretty excited about the whole thing. I’m extremely lucky to be able to take a year out to do this, to see beautiful sights and have the support of my family. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity”

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Pensioner in Sussex robbed by man posing as police officer

Hastings police are warning residents about a man who posed as a police officer and deceived a pensioner after conning his way inside the home.

The man who pretended to be a plain clothed police officer called at the address of an 86 year old man in the town. The 'officer' asked the man if he had any cash in the house as he suspected that it could be counterfeit. The pensioner handed over £200. The 'officer' took the money and said that he would take it away to check it. He never returned.

The man is described as white, 5'8" tall, in his late twenties, of slim build, with short cropped brown coloured hair. He was wearing blue suit style trousers with a grey v neck jumper.

Detective Sergeant Tony Webb, of Hastings and Rother CID said: "The man who pretended to be a police officer assumed the role of someone in a position of trust and abused a pensioner's good nature. Please tell your friends and family members about this incident as I'd like as many people to be aware of what happened"

Portsmouth has most improved school in country

An academy in Portsmouth is the most improved in the country according to GCSE performance tables published today. Four years ago fewer than 40 per cent of pupils gained five or more C grades and above including English and maths at Charter Academy - now it's over 80 per cent.

Elsewhere in the region there have been big falls in achievement as new rules come into force on which results and qualifications can and can't be counted.

Our social affairs correspondent Christine Alsford spoke to: Dame Sharon Hollows, Principal at Charter Academy, Dr Rory Fox, Principal at Ryde Academy, Dylan Davies, Principal at Brighton Aldridge Community Academy, the minister for school reform and Tory MP for Bognor Regis and Littlehampton Nick Gibb and GCSE students.

Performance plummets at GCSE - or does it?

Reforms to school performance tables published today have resulted in big falls in attainment at GCSE level. Some independent schools have posted results of zero after the qualifications many of them favour were not included. Others saw drops of up to 20 per cent after the rules on grades achieved in re-sits were altered. Some heads say the tables are now confusing and irrelevant.

The government says it's about encouraging schools to equip pupils with robust academic qualifications. Our social affairs correspondent Christine Alsford spoke to Felicity Lusk, head of Abingdon School in Oxfordshire, Charlotte Vere from the Independent Schools Association, academy principal Dylan Davies, the minister for school reform Nick Gibb and GCSE students from the South facing tougher exams this summer.

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British Citizen Award winner from Brighton

The mother of a promising footballer who died after a fight in Rottingdean has received a British Citizen Award today for her campaign work.

Darran Saunders help set up the Connor Saunders Foundation in memory of her teenage son. It has raised enough money to buy 12 defibrillators for local schools.

ITV reporter Andy Dickenson spoke to Darran about her work before Christmas:

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