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E-cigarette ban proposals defeated in Welsh Assembly

The bill was aimed at restricting the use of e-cigarettes in public places where children are present Credit: PA

Plans to ban the use of e-cigarettes in public places where children are present have been defeated in Wales.

The Public Health (Wales) Bill aimed to restrict the use of nicotine inhaling devices in places such as schools, restaurants and cafes as well as on public transport.

But the contentious legislation, which had faced scrutiny from opposition parties and even some health charities, was defeated by just one vote in the Senedd.

Welsh Lib Dem leader Kirsty Williams said: "Labour's illiberal plan flew in the face of medical evidence. When you've got a whole host of experts and charities like Cancer Research UK against you, you should realise you're on the wrong side of the argument."

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Almost 5,000 homes without power after Storm Imogen

Almost 5,000 homes in the South West, Midlands and Wales have been left without power after Storm Imogen hit with hurricane-force winds.

Engineers have been working through the night to restore affected services, Western Power Distribution said.

Storm Imogen felled trees and downed power lines with hurricane-force winds. Credit: ITV Meridian/Sally Ann Simkiss

Almost 300 Environment Agency flood warnings are in place across the UK amid heavy downpours, with 59 warnings calling for "immediate action".

The South West and Wales are expected to see up to more than 1.5ins (40mm) of rain during Monday.

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Hat-trick hero Earnshaw hangs up his boots

Former Wales striker Robert Earnshaw has announced his retirement from football.

The 59-times capped forward played for the likes of West Brom, Norwich, Derby and Nottingham Forest after starting his career at Cardiff, where he scored over 100 goals in his first spell at his local club.

Earnshaw has retired from playing football. Credit: PA

Earnshaw also played for Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel and finished his career in Major League Soccer with spells at Toronto FC, Chicago Fire and Vancouver Whitecaps.

The 34-year-old is joint-seventh on Wales' all-time list of scorers with 16 goals and has scored a hat-trick in the Premier League, Championship, League One, League Two, FA Cup, League Cup and for his country.

Earnshaw's haul included a winner on his debut against Germany in 2002 and a hat-trick at home to Scotland two years later.

"Football taught me how to be a man on and off the field and to be a better person," Zambia-born Earnshaw wrote on the official Whitecaps website.

"After 579 matches and 236 goals later in my 19th year, I can now say this chapter is turning to give me a chance to start a different role and give back what I've learned and experienced.

"I've always been scared to see the end of my playing days and now that it's here I'm sad.

"But I'm also excited that Vancouver Whitecaps FC have given me a chance to become the head coach of the U-14 Pre-Residency team, as well as the club's strikers coach."

Train strike action expected to cause chaos in Wales

A train strike at Arriva Trains Wales is expected to cause travel chaos on the first day back to work after the Christmas break.

Members of Aslef at Arriva Trains Wales will walk out for 24 hours. Credit: Lynne Cameron / PA Archive/PA Images

Members of the Aslef union are striking for 24 hours over pay and conditions. The company said all its services are expected to be cancelled because of the action.

In a statement the company said: "We deeply regret this disruption and continue to do all we can to avert strike action however we are advising customers to make alternative travel arrangements for Monday 4th January and to check their travel plans for Tuesday morning, January 5th.

"An indefinite train driver over-time ban is also currently in force which may impact some timetabled services until the dispute is resolved."

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