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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

  1. Blogger wins £24k damages over Apprentice star's Twitter libel

    A food blogger has won £24,000 damages in a libel case against Daily Mail columnist Katie Hopkins.

    Katie Hopkins

    As we reported earlier, Jack Monroe, from Leigh-on-Sea, sued Hopkins over two war memorial tweets she said caused "serious harm" to her reputation.

    Hopkins, who rose to prominence as a contestant on the BBC's The Apprentice show, posted a message in May 2015 asking if Ms Monroe had "scrawled on any memorials recently".

    Ms Monroe said that meant she had either vandalised a war memorial or "condoned or approved" of it.

    The case arose after Twitter users highlighted the daubing of a London memorial to the women of World War Two with profanities directed at the Conservative Party during an anti-austerity demonstration.  

    Jonathan Price, for Hopkins, told the High Court judge her case was "this relatively trivial dispute arose and was resolved on Twitter in a period of several hours".  

  2. MP on third crossing: Design work "will not delay" outcome

    Meanwhile Peter Aldous, Conservative MP for Waveney, says the appointment of Design Council Cabe will in no way hinder the delivery of Lowestoft's third water crossing at Lake Lothing.

    Peter Aldous, pictured with David Cameron, in 2015

    He said: "This design work will not delay delivery of the third crossing as it is integral to the other necessary preparatory work is taking place. 

    "It is important that once Design Council Cabe have carried out their initial work, they set out their ideas, so that local people can share their views and important input on all aspects of the Third Crossing in the upcoming public consultation."

    Mr Aldous is pictured showing former Prime Minister David Cameron the Lowestoft harbour area during a visit in the run-up to the 2015 General Election.

  3. Grain silo death farm fined £50,000 for health and safety breaches

    Andrew Turner

    BBC Radio Norfolk

    A firm has been fined £50,000 after admitting breaches of health and safety law when a man died by sinking into a grain silo at his father's farm and suffocating.

    Scales of justice

    Arthur Mason, 21, was working for his father Hugh Mason, at the family firm Maurice Mason in Fincham, near Downham Market, in July 2014.

    He was cleaning the silo when he fell in.

    Hugh Mason's lawyer Mark Ballysz, told Norwich Crown Court no level of sentence could add to the punishment he has already suffered. 

    The Health and Safety Executive told the court how silo cleaning had been behind schedule at Hall Farm.

    Arthur Mason was wearing a safety lanyard designed to break a fall from height as he worked inside the grain-filled drum.

    But as he stood on the grain, a valve was released and he sank into the grain, with the lanyard extended to twice its original length, failing to stop his descent. 

    Norwich Crown Court heard how grain acts like quicksand when a silo is emptied from below and once trapped it's impossible to self-rescue.

    Another worker climbed in to try and rescue him, but was unsuccessful and a hammer was used to break an access panel in the silo in an attempt to help the 21-year-old.

    But when emergency services, who were on the scene within 10 minutes, freed him, attempts to revive him failed and he was pronounced dead. 

    The firm Maurice Mason was also ordered to pay costs of £22,000.

  4. Time to end our mobile not-spots

    East Anglian Daily Times

    Here's today's front page of the East Anglian Daily Times:

    East Anglian Daily Times front page
  5. Air disaster fund to be spent 77 years on

    Returning to our story about a disaster fund, set up following the first World War Two civilian deaths on the British mainland, finally being spent ...

    Crash site in Clacton on 30 April

    The money was collected after a German Heinkel aircraft crashed in Victoria Road, Clacton, on 30 April, 1940.

    The fund continued to help residents affected by enemy raids, but was banked and forgotten about following the war.

    Tendring District Council  has now decided to use the remaining £1,700 on improvements to a memorial site.

    Michael Talbot, the council's cabinet member for environment, said: "It is our aim to have something ready for the 77th anniversary of the Heinkel coming down on 30 April, although we may have to add the memorial stone at a later date."

    A bench currently at the memorial site
  6. Designers want to make Lowestoft folk "proud"

    Design Council Cabe, enlisted to help Suffolk County Council and its team through the process of planning the Lake Lothing crossing, says it wants to make Lowestoft people proud.

    Aerial view of Lowestoft harbour and Lake Lothing

    Clare Devine, executive director of architecture, built environment and design, said: "Through our extensive experience on major infrastructure projects across the country, we can help to ensure that the design of the bridge and the surrounding landscape provides safer and more pleasant connections, encourages walking and cycling, and creates a new bridge which people in Lowestoft can be proud of."

    Former Prime Minister David Cameron announced that  the government would provide £70m to the project , which is estimated will cost about £100m, during a visit to Suffolk in March 2016.

  7. It all started so brightly, but clouds are moving in

    Cloud will increase this afternoon. Most places will stay dry in Essex, but there may be a spot of drizzle over the hills.

    Brighter spells are possible in the west later, but it'll be cloudy in the east. Maximum temperature 11C (52F). For more precise details for where you are, go to BBC Weather

    Colchester sunrise

    Many thanks to BBC Weather Watcher  North Essex Hammer for sending this photo of the sunrise over Colchester this morning. 

  8. Design help enlisted for long-awaiting £100m third water crossing

    Suffolk County Council has enlisted the support of design experts, Design Council Cabe , to help in the creation of the long-awaited Third Crossing at Lake Lothing in Lowestoft , which is estimated to cost in the region of £100m.

    The organisation will play an integral part in leading design workshops and reviews with the project design team, using an independent design advice panel drawn from their network of experts. 

    That panel will include architects, landscape architects, urban planners and designers and engineers.

    Artists' impression of crossing

    Councillor Guy McGregor, Suffolk County Council 's lead on the crossing, said engaging the experts was an "important step" and the crossing would bring "significant transport benefits" to motorists, pedestrians and cyclists.

    "Design is a really important element of the scheme," he said.

    "Their scrutiny will ensure we meet the key objectives of the project, while also delivering the scheme on time and on budget."

  9. Location, Location, Location: Police station to be sold

    Waltham Abbey police station is to be put up for sale as Essex Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex  cut costs.The front counter of the station on Sun Street was closed to the public in November 2011. The police station itself later closed in September 2016.It is one of several to be sold as the force's estate is reduced from 80 to 30 buildings.

    The estate costs £10m a year in running costs, but the force said the buildings would require £30m of maintenance work to bring them up to standard. 

    Acting Ch Insp Lewis Basford, district commander for Brentwood and Epping Forest, said: "Whilst I understand people are attached to their police stations, as they are an important part of the community, effective policing is not reliant on buildings as it is my officers that catch criminals, prevent and detect crime and support victims."

    View more on twitter
  10. Queen Elizabeth Hospital appeal after A&E spike in demand

    Nic Rigby

    BBC News

    The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn has called for people to first contact a health advice line after a spike in the numbers attending its accident and emergency department.

    Queen Elizabeth Hospital

    The hospital's chief operating officer Karen Croker said: "In recent days, the hospital has seen a significant number of very frail and seriously ill patients requiring acute medical treatment.

    "We are working closely with our partners in the health and social care system to ensure we proactively manage this spike in demand.

    "While we would never deter anyone from seeking medical treatment, we would ask the public to help our staff during this busy period by first contacting NHS 111 for advice before setting out for A&E."

    Advice can also be found on the internet by visiting  www.nhs.uk/staywell  or the Choose Me, Not A&E website .

    Ms Croker added: “We also ask that people who have experienced diarrhoea or vomiting in the past 48 hours refrain from visiting the hospital unless it is a medical emergency to help prevent norovirus."

  11. Suffolk makes top-10 shortlist for number of sub-standard bridges

    Research by the RAC Foundation shows Suffolk has made the top ten of councils with the highest number of sub-standard road bridges .

    Damaged bridge at Great Bealings

    Suffolk came sixth with 121 sub-standard bridges. 

    Topping the list is Devon with 249, but more locally Essex came in third place with 160. 

    Last December, a report to Suffolk County Council showed that 350 bridges were in very poor condition and 147 were in a "severe state", which means they'll need attention within the next 12 months.

    The picture above shows the damaged bridge at Great Bealings near Ipswich.

    It was hit by a vehicle in September, but cannot be fixed during the winter months due to the nature of the repairs required.

  12. Canaries press call: 'Crazy' position ahead of Rovers' visit

    Phil Daley

    BBC Radio Norfolk sport

    Norwich City are holding their regular Friday press conference ahead of tomorrow's visit of Blackburn Rovers .

    The visitors are two points above the relegation zone, while the Canaries are nine points outside the Championship's play-off places.

    Ivo Pinto said: "If you said we would be in this position before the season started, I would say you were crazy."

    View more on twitter
  13. It all started so well, but getting cloudier later

    Cloud will increase this afternoon, with most places staying dry in Suffolk, but with a spot of drizzle over the hills. 

    The west might benefit from brighter spells, but it'll be cloudy in the east. Maximum temperature 10C (50C). For more precise detail where you are, visit BBC Weather .

    Scene from Snape

    Many thanks to BBC Weather Watcher Iken Canoe Man for sending in this picture of the sunrise at Snape this morning - we want to know if the black labrador dog (I'm told, called Wigeon) at the front of the shot appreciated the scene as much as we did...

  14. Canaries duo in Northern Ireland squad

    Chris Goreham

    BBC Radio Norfolk sport

    Norwich City's Michael McGovern and Kyle Lafferty have both been selected by Northern Ireland for their next World Cup qualifier. 

    Goalkeeper McGovern returned to the Canaries first team for the 1-1 draw at Bristol City on Tuesday ,while striker Lafferty hasn't started a league game all season. 

    View more on twitter

    Phil Daley will be tweeting  from the Canaries' regular Friday lunchtime press conference.

  15. Burglar, who brandished a meat cleaver and assaulted officer, is jailed

    A 23-year-old burglar who brandished a meat cleaver and assaulted a police officer has been jailed for 10 years. 

    James Preston, from Bardfield Road, Colchester was appearing at Ipswich Crown Court where he had already admitted a number of burglary offences and possession of bladed weapon, after incidents just up the A12 in Suffolk.

    James Preston

    Preston admitted a burglary in East Mill Green, Bentley, and an attempted burglary at a property in Capel Road, Bentley, all during a crime spree on 1 February.

    It was whilst the Capel Road burglary was in progress that officers were called, and they managed to detain him after he "fled the scene on foot" towards the A12.

    The defendant also admitted an aggravated burglary with intent at an address in Pound Lane, Capel St Mary, possessing a meat cleaver, and assaulting a police officer.

  16. Chief executive praises hospitals for tobacco-free policy

    Two hospitals in East Anglia have been praised for becoming smoke-free.

    No smoking sign at Ipswich Hospital

    In his  blog , Duncan Selbie, the chief executive of Public Health England , said lessons are to be learned from Ipswich and Colchester hospitals.

    The two trusts officially became tobacco-free on Wednesday.

    Mr Selbie said: "They are based in two of the largest towns in East Anglia, making them the main port of call for thousands of people, both as a workplace and for treatment.

    "The decision to take the final step and go tobacco-free has not been taken lightly but with joint chief executive Nick Hulme keen to improve the health of his staff, patients and anyone who visits the sites, this was an important step forward in combating the detrimental effect of smoking on the population, community and the NHS."

  17. What is Ipswich's MP getting excited about?

    Kate Williams

    BBC Local Live

    Hopefully he and I are on the same page, and we'll reveal all this afternoon...

    View more on twitter
  18. Norfolk and Norwich Festival artistic director's 'brilliant adventure'

    Nic Rigby

    BBC News

    The artistic director of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival , who has announced he is to step down, has spoken of how running the event has been a "brilliant adventure".

    William Galinsky

    The board of Norfolk and Norwich Festival has thanked William Galinsky (pictured) for helping "to establish the festival as a world class event". 

    Mr Galinsky said: "After seven festivals, 60 world premieres, 124 new commissions, 40 festival co-productions and 2,143 individual performances I have decided it's time to catch my breath and 2017 will be my Norfolk and Norwich Festival swan song.

    "Being artistic director has been the most brilliant adventure - at times, it has made me feel like Willy Wonka.

    "From Wildwork's Wolf's Child in the forests of Felbrigg Hall, to a cardboard St Peter Mancroft built by thousands of volunteers, the festival has given me the opportunity to bring the audiences experiences beyond an artistic director's wildest dreams.

    "Seven festivals have gone in a flash and none of it would have been possible without the amazing festival team, our army of wonderful volunteers, the wisdom and support of the NNF board, the faith of Arts Council England and Norwich City Council, and all of our friends, supporters and sponsors and, perhaps most importantly of all, the enthusiasm of our audiences."

  19. Biker seriously injured in Bury St Edmunds crash

    A motorcyclist suffered serious injuries in a crash in Bury St Edmunds yesterday evening. 

    The biker - a man in his 50s - collided with a blue Volvo on Oakes Road during the rush hour. 

    The motorcyclist is at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge being treated for a life-changing injury. The road was shut for nearly four hours for police investigations.