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Back on track - UK's oldest velodrome re-opens

It's one of the oldest velodromes in the world, but now it's been brought right up-to-date.

The cycle track at Preston Park in Brighton has undergone repairs and renovation costing £160,000.

And a champion of the sport performed the official re-opening of the historic track, where he himself trained.

Malcolm Shaw spoke to Kim Fortescue Talwar, Preston Park Youth Cycling Club, Pete Mitchell, GB Para-Cycling Team, and Cllr Alan Robins, Brighton & Hove City Council (Lab).

Children's parade kicks off 50th Brighton Festival

Thousands have taken to the streets of Brighton today for this year's children's parade.

The event marks the start of the Brighton Festival, now celebrating its fiftieth year.

More than eighty schools have spent weeks preparing spectacular costumes and effigies to parade through the city centre.

Malcolm Shaw spoke to Andrew Comben and Pippa Smith of the Brighton Festival, and to Gavin Henderson, who created the parade.


'Match4Zara' bone marrow donor campaign leads to transplant operation for teenager after match found

Zara and her family raised awareness of her search for a donor via social media

A teenage blood cancer patient from Winchester who launched a social media campaign to find a bone marrow donor to help save her life has had her transplant operation.

Zara Al Shaikh is half-Arabic and half-English and her mixed ethnicity means she has a very rare tissue type. She urgently needed a blood stem cell donor to treat her leukaemia. Following months of campaigning to raise awareness, a donor match was found in April.

Zara had her operation yesterday and a message on the 'Saving Zara's Life - Match4Zara' Facebook page said that she was sitting up and smiling after a successful transplant operation. Her family also took the chance to thank everyone who spread the message about her search.

Facebook page with Zara's message thanking supporters Credit: Match4Zara Facebook page

Zara's supporters had been working with charities such as Delete Blood Cancer UK to raise awareness. Her family are asking for people to continue signing donor registers so other families can benefit from the support which they have received.

Other donor registers include NHS Blood and Transplant and the Anthony Nolan organisation.

What to watch - the curtain rises on the 50th Brighton Festival

Tomorrow morning the curtain rises on the 50th Brighton Festival.

Over the next three weeks more than a thousand shows, exhibits and performances will delight, inspire and possibly bemuse audiences from across the world - at both the Festival and Fringe.

The pair have become so big now they rival Edinburgh as one of the largest arts extravaganzas in the UK. Andy Dickenson's been finding out more.

He speaks to Mark Rees, director of Digging for Shakespeare, Andrew Comben from Brighton Festival, Laurie Anderson, guest director of Brighton Festival, Julian Caddy from Brighton Fringe and Charles Linehan.

Kent Police: Jailed ex-MEP 'badly let down' those who had who supported and trusted him

Peter Skinner was jailed at Southwark Crown Court today after fraudulently claiming over £100,000 in expenses Credit: Yui Mok/ PA Wire

Kent Police have given their response to the sentencing of the former South East MEP Peter Skinner for expenses fraud at Southwark Crown Court today. The ex-MEP from Snodland in Kent was jailed for four years.

The court heard how officers from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate launched an investigation into Skinner’s activities in December 2010 after becoming aware of a potentially fraudulent document relating to consultancy work that Skinner claimed had been provided by his father.

Kent Police said that it was later established that the document, which authorised payments of £5,000 to his father’s business every three months, contained fake signatures.

Investigators carried out further audits of Skinner’s personal and office accounts and found numerous examples of the politician spending money that had been intended for staff on himself and others.

Kent Police gave examples such as the former MEP buying a Land Rover Discovery for his ex-wife and paying monthly maintenance payments as part of his divorce settlement. There was also evidence that he used the money to pay for his honeymoon to the United States and Hawaii following his second marriage.

The Investigating officer Detective Sergeant Adrian Brown said that Skinner had betrayed his supporters:

"Peter Skinner served as an MEP for 20 years and has badly let down those who supported and trusted him throughout his time in office.

‘He abused his position, diverting significant sums of public money from legitimate parliamentary use to enhance his own lifestyle."

– Detective Sergeant Adrian Brown, Kent Police

The MEP was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court today having previously been found guilty of one count of fraud, one count of false accounting and one count of making a false instrument.

The MEP had claimed about £480,000 of expenses during his time in office. An investigation found that more than £100,000 of it had been diverted for his personal use. The Prosecutor Jonathan Davies told the court the total lost to the European Parliament was £132,434.02, and the judge agreed that it was "in excess of £100,000".


Not guilty - man who caused Gatwick security scare

It was a security scare that put Gatwick into 'lockdown' - and cost the airport £1.2m in lost business.

A Frenchman was seen dumping an air rifle in a bin in the departure hall - just hours after 130 people were killed in the Paris terror attacks.

But Jerome Chauris walked free from court, as a jury accepted his defence that his poor English meant he was confused by the signs at Gatwick.

Malcolm Shaw reports.

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VIDEO: Which question leaves astronaut Tim Peake stumped during live link-up with Kent schoolchildren?

Kent schoolchildren had the chance to fire questions at astronaut Tim Peake, as he flew overhead aboard the International Space Station today.

Pupils from 23 schools came together to ask him questions via radio link-up from Wellesley House School in Broadstairs.

One question asked by a little girl called Scarlett left him stumped: "What is your favourite Shakespearian quote?", she asked.

But science is clearly his strong point and his answer was inspiring.

WATCH : Kent school children have some surprising questions for astronaut Tim Peake

There were worrying moments at the start of the live link-up when Tim Peake didn't seem able to hear messages from the school.

Science teacher Kerry Sabin-Dawson said: "There was so much tension in the room, waiting and hoping he would hear us. But he did and that was a wonderful moment."

WATCH: Full package

'I felt like I was being hunted down' Woman stalked for four years speaks out

It's believed one in five women, and one in 12 men, will be stalked in their lifetime - yet stalking is a crime rarely reported to the police.

This week singer Lily Allen spoke of her experiences after a stalker broke into her home and threatened to kill her. She says the police did little to help.

Now, as we approach the end of Stalking Awareness Week, a victim from Brighton - who was stalked for more than four years - has come forward and told us her story.

Andy Dickenson speaks to Sam Taylor and we also hear from Kristiana Wrixon of the Suzy Lamplugh Trust.

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