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Protesters gather in attempt to close down opencast mine

Hundreds of people have gathered at Ffos-y-fran near Merthyr Tydfil to try and shut down the UK's largest opencast coal mine.

Protesters say Wales needs to move away from polluting energy.

The 'End Coal Now' camp is being organised by climate activist network Reclaim the Power, just days before Wales goes to the polls to vote in the Assembly election.

Participants are calling for a ban on opencast coal mining across Wales and the UK and the creation of thousands of green jobs.

"The local community have battled the giant Ffos-y-fran mine polluting their homes and our planet for nearly a decade. Now we are joining them to resist coal company Miller Argent's attempts to override local democracy and force through a new mine next door. Last April, the Welsh Assembly voted for a moratorium on opencast coal mining but the government ignored them. Wales deserves a transition away from polluting energy, towards clean energy and thousands of jobs. Our camp will show the candidates running for election that the public demands a ban on opencast coal mining across Wales, and the rest of the UK."

– Ellen Gibson, Reclaim the Power
Protesters have also called for investment in thousands of green jobs.

Coal company Miller Argent though say they employ more than two hundred local people and support affordable electricity generation.

Nicola Hendy reports:

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Fashion designer Julien Macdonald pays tribute to dad

Top fashion designer Julien Macdonald has paid an emotional tribute to his father Glyn who has died, aged 81.

Julien MacDonald and his parents at 10 Downing Street in 2008. Credit: PA

More than 300 people packed out St Iltyd's Old Parish Church in Merthyr Tydfil for the funeral of the man described as Julien's biggest fan as he rose to fashion stardom.

Everybody came out for my father. There was standing room only at the church, which was a sign of just how many people knew my father in Merthyr.

– Julien Macdonald

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Hooded men rob 69-year-old man on his driveway

Police are appealing for information after a 69-year-old man was robbed at knifepoint on the drive of his Merthyr home by three hooded men.

Swansea Road, Merthyr. Credit: Google Street View

Police say the attack happened at around 11.15pm on Thursday 14th January on Swansea Road, Merthyr Tydfil.

Three men wearing dark clothes and balaclava’s have approached the 69 year old victim as he got out of his car on his driveway.

The male victim was grabbed by one of the offenders and threatened with a knife whilst demanding money from within his home.

Thankfully no injuries were sustained to the victim.

– Detective Inspector Paul Mahoney

The offenders left with a quantity of cash, mobile phones and the victim’s car – a grey Mitsubishi L200 - registration CK59 ZFE which was driven towards Heolgerrig.

Anyone with information is asked to call 101.

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