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Air pollution 'moderate' for most of Wales

Large parts of England were hit by smog last year. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is forecasting air pollution for the whole of Wales.

High pressure and light winds are being blamed.

It says there will be 'moderate' levels of pollution for most of Wales with parts of the North East and Mid Wales affected by 'high' levels.

It's also issued health advice for adults and children with lung problems and adults with heart problems.

Air pollution levels are expected to fall tomorrow and clear by Saturday.

Welsh Government 'committed to supporting young people into work'

The Welsh Government say it remains committed to supporting young people into work.

It comes after criticism from the National Assembly Enterprise and Business Committee who say not enough is being done to help young people find work.

Youth unemployment in Wales is falling faster than in other parts of the UK. We welcome this report and its recognition that we have prioritised jobs for young people, and that our schemes and programmes have led to improvements.

We remain committed to supporting young people into work and the continued success of programmes such as Jobs Growth Wales and Welsh Government funded apprenticeships are testament to this. However we acknowledge that there are still opportunities for improvement.

We will consider the report in detail and provide a full response to the committee by Thursday 30th April.

– Welsh Government spokesperson


Chris Coleman: 'Gareth Bale should stay at Real Madrid'

Wales manager Chris Coleman says Gareth Bale would be better off staying with Real Madrid and forget about returning to the Premier League.

Credit: PA

Bale's future has been the subject of much debate since Real fans began booing the world's most expensive player at the Bernabeu, while the Madrid media have accused him of being "lazy" and a "ball hog" in trying to shoot for goal rather than pass to colleagues.

Team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo has also shown his displeasure over the Welshman's supposed selfishness and the Portuguese forward reacted petulantly when Bale scored last weekend - his double in a 2-0 win over Levante as he netted his first goals in 10 games.

Bale responded to his first goal by covering his ears with his hands - seen as a sign that he was not listening to the criticism - and kicking the corner flag, and it has led to fevered speculation that he could return home to the Barclays Premier League this summer.

Jose Mourinho's Chelsea have been linked with bringing the former Tottenham player back to London and it has been suggested that Manchester United could swap him for their Madrid-born goalkeeper David de Gea.

But Wales manager Coleman said: "He should stay where he is.

"Chelsea are a huge club and have been successful as are Manchester United - but Real Madrid is Real Madrid.

"Gareth's good enough to win the big trophies, play on the big stage and play with the biggest club.

Despite Bale's difficult start to 2015, Coleman insists his talismanic forward is in good spirits ahead of Wales' table-topping Euro 2016 qualifier in Israel on Saturday week.

Surprise front-runners Israel have won their opening three matches but Wales are unbeaten after four games and have taken points off the top two seeds, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Belgium.

Davies predicts nervy finale

Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Wales star Jonathan Davies expects so-called Super Saturday to be a "pretty twitchy" business when this season's RBS 6 Nations Championship hurtles towards a climax this weekend.

Wales face a lunchtime appointment with Italy in Rome and could then endure the best part of a five-hour wait before discovering if they have done enough to be crowned Six Nations champions for the third time in four years.

Leaders England, second-placed Ireland and Wales, in third, are all on six points, but England's points difference is currently 25 better than Wales', while Ireland have a 21-point advantage on Davies and company.

Wales, though, can throw down the challenge to their title rivals by cutting loose against an injury-hit Italian side that was crushed 29-0 at home by France just three days ago.

But even if Wales win the Six Nations, there will be no trophy presentation until after they return home on Sunday, with organisers deciding to send the original Six Nations trophy to Twickenham and its solitary replica being paraded at Murrayfield, where Ireland tackle Scotland.

I am sure we'll find a trophy somewhere, like a plastic cup or something!

Obviously, people are doubting us and don't think we're going to be involved. But we just worry about ourselves, concentrate on ourselves and on putting a performance together that hopefully means we can get the cup on Sunday.

We will all be pretty twitchy, I assume, although there are a couple of boys who can just go off and switch off.

I think the boys will be watching the other games. There is a dinner afterwards and I am sure the phones will be checked for score updates, but hopefully we can put ourselves in a position to put pressure on the opposition.

It's a tough ask but I think we can do it. We've reacted well in the past to certain situations like this. It's an exciting time for us.

– Jonathan Davies, Wales centre


  1. Nick Powell

Budget 2015: VAT on Severn tolls to end

The Wales Office has confirmed that Seven Bridges tolls are expected to fall when the crossings return to public ownership because VAT would no longer be levied. The tax represents just over £1 of the present £6.50 toll for cars and more than £3 of the £19.60 paid by lorries. The Chancellor also announced that the present £13.10 for small vans and buses would be reduced to the same toll as is charged for cars.

Today's announcement is great news for small businesses but also for the many hardworking people in South Wales who cross the Severn Bridge every day for work. We are determined to do everything possible to support the Welsh economy by improving connectivity in all ways, from road to rail through to strong electronic links.

– Wales Office Minister Alun Cairns MP

The private company that built the Second Severn Crossing will hand back the tolls when the construction costs have been paid off. That's now expected to happen in 2018.

  1. Nick Powell

Chancellor pre-empts Welsh Government on Severn tolls

George Osborne's promise of a cut in the tolls on the Severn Bridges suggests that if he stays in office after the election he'll deny the Welsh Government control of the crossings when they return to public ownership. First Minister Carwyn Jones has said that if he had the power, he would reduce but not abolish the tolls, using the income to pay for M4 improvements as wells as maintaining the two bridges.

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