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Jonny Evans denies spitting at Papiss Cisse

Manchester United defender Jonny Evans has denied spitting at Newcastle forward Papiss Cisse during the Barclays Premier League match between the sides on Wednesday night.

Newcastle United's Papiss Demba Cisse has words with Manchester United's Jonny Evans Credit: PA Wire

In a statement issued on the club website Evans has said:

Having woken up this morning I am shocked to have seen the media coverage from last night’s match. I would like to make it clear that I did not spit at Papiss Cisse.

I was totally unaware of any spitting incident and had assumed that the issue at the time was with the challenge and his attempted retaliation to the tackle from the floor.

During the game Papiss Cisse and I spoke about the incident and it is clear by my reaction in the television footage that I was totally surprised by any suggestion of spitting.

It is not in my character or in my nature to spit at anybody nor is it something I have ever done or would ever do. It is certainly not something that I did last night."

– Jonny Evans

Woman charged in relation to Operation Sanctuary

Police on Tyneside have charged a woman in relation to Operation Sanctuary, the police investigation into crimes of a sexual nature against vulnerable women and girls.

Carolann Gallon, 20, of Hareside Court, Newcastle has been charged with trafficking people within the UK for exploitation and causing or inciting prostitution for gain.

She will appear before Newcastle Magistrates' Court on March 9.

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Treasury responds to IPPR report

"Rebalancing the economy and creating a northern powerhouse of jobs, investment and prosperity is a key part of our long term economic plan.

"We have made great strides and already created Transport for the North to speak with one voice to government on the big decisions to benefit the entire region.

"It is crucial we work together to deliver a world-class transport network for the North that reduces journey times, increases capacity and connectivity and enables growth and that's why we will be setting out our strategy for transport in the North in the next few weeks."

– HM Treasury spokesperson

What would the 'Transport for North' involve?

A thinktank is calling for the Chancellor to use this month's budget to give £15 billion to the North East.

They want to create a 'Transport for North' network, imitating the existing Transport for London.

But what would the 'Transport for North' involve?

IPPR have set out a 10-year blueprint for what they think Transport for North (TfN) should do:

  • Appoint a Transport Commissioner for the North, who would be accountable to the public and be a figurehead for developing northern transport.
  • Move towards a contactless, cross-boundary ticketing system - using mobile phones and contactless payments for journeys across different modes of transport.
  • Manage rail franchises, rolling stock and stations in an attempt to reduce overcrowded services and platforms.

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New stamps celebrate famous bridges

Some of the UK's most dramatic bridges are celebrated in a new set of stamps launched by Royal Mail.

Ten bridges feature in the collection of first-class stamps, while a special postmark will be issued today.

The featured North East bridges are:

1 - Robert Stephenson's High Level Bridge, Newcastle/Gateshead

2 - Royal Border Bridge, Berwick-upon-Tweed

3 - Tees Transporter Bridge, Middlesbrough

Andrew Hammond, head of stamps and collectibles at Royal Mail, said:

The story of Britain's engineering genius can be found in its bridges. These new stamps celebrate 10 beautiful and ground-breaking landmarks that span centuries of our history.

– Andrew Hammond, head of stamps and collectibles at Royal Mail,
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