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British-born astronaut Piers Sellers has died aged 61

Piers Sellers, pictured in January 2003 Credit: Rui Vieira PA Archive/PA Images

The British-born astronaut Piers Sellers has died of cancer at the age of sixty-one. Originally from Crowborough in East Sussex, Dr Sellers, was a climate scientist for NASA in the United States of America. He was a pupil at Cranbrook School in Kent as a boy.


Homeless choir performs as Brighton's rough sleeper numbers almost double

A choir full of people who once slept on the streets has played in Brighton this week - as new figure's show the city's homeless population has almost doubled.

Today the Government announced a new £1.25million grant to help tackle the 'homeless crisis' in the city. But campaigners say its not nearly enough.

Andy Dickenson reports and speaks to Arthur Richford and Emma Broomfield from the Choir With No Name, Cllr Clare Moonan of Brighton and Hove City Council, and Andy Winter of the Brighton Housing Trust.

'Stopping to see Christmas lights saved our lives' Kent couple minutes from Berlin Christmas Market disaster

Tragedy in Berlin as lorry ploughs into Christmas Market

A couple from Kent who were caught up in last night's suspected terror attack in Berlin have spoken of their own lucky escape, and their sadness at the loss of life during the tragedy in Germany.

Barry and Lynn Butler, from Maidstone, were in Germany with their daughter as the horror unfolded at the city's Christmas market. The couple who run a coffee shop in Kent, spoke to us - in Berlin - earlier today.


Two critically endangered Orangutans returned to rainforest home

Credit: International Animal Rescue

Two critically endangered Bornean orangutans have been returned to freedom in the Bornean rainforest after four years learning how to fend for themselves in the wild.

The two orangutans were an eight year old male called Johnny and a female named Desi of around ten years old.

The East Sussex branch of the International Animal Rescue (IAR) charity says Johnny and Desi were being taken care of by its Orangutan Conservation Centre in Ketapang, in Indonesia. Both animals spent more than four years at "forest school" where they learnt to climb, forage, make nests and acquire a variety of other survival skills.

Johnny had been rescued by an IAR team in September 2011, while Desi was rescued in March 2012. Both were being kept as pets until they were rescued.

Credit: International Animal Rescue
Credit: International Animal Rescue
Credit: International Animal Rescue

Work to start on £30m Proton Therapy treatment centre

The construction of a new cancer treatment centre is due to begin in Reading next month as part of a £30 million project. The facility will offer a pioneering form of treatment and help around 1,000 patients each year.

The Proton Therapy unit which is being built at the Thames Valley Business Park near the University of Reading's Shinfield campus - will be one of the first to open in the UK and means patients will no longer have to travel abroad for the treatment.

'Proton Therapy' came to national attention when the parents of Ashya King from Hampshire took him out of hospital in the UK to have treatment in Prague. The interviewees in Mary Stanley report are Professor Karol Sikora, Chief Medical officer at 'Proton Partners'; and Mike Moran, the Chief Executive of 'Proton Partners'.

More talks tomorrow as rail dispute rumbles on

Talks aimed at resolving the bitter Southern Railway dispute have been adjourned and will resume tomorrow, as passengers face more disruption.

The company warned its services will be "severely disrupted" tomorrow even though a 48-hour strike by drivers in the Aslef union ends at midnight tonight.

The drivers will continue with an overtime ban tomorrow, and will strike again on Friday unless there is a breakthrough to a row over driver-only trains.

Malcolm Shaw has finding out how commuters are coping.

Grinding to a halt - rail dispute hits rural communities

Rail bosses went to the High Court today to try to stop train drivers on Southern going on strike next week.

Members of ASLEF are due to walk out on Tuesday, bringing the service to a complete standstill.

The rail company claims the action breaks European law.

Meanwhile, the effects of the long-running dispute are being most keenly felt in some of our rural communities, as Malcolm Shaw reports.

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