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  1. Edge Hill students start returning home after Westminster attack
  2. Everton agree deal for new stadium site
  3. 'Steep rise' in child sex offences recorded in the North West
  4. Labour candidate chosen for Gorton by-election after long-serving MP's death
  5. Motorcyclist who died in a crash near Preston was 'one of life's truly lovely guys'
  6. Updates on Thursday 23 March

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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  1. Everton's Goodison stadium

    The council says it will act as a guarantor for the club to secure funding for the new ground, expected to cost in excess of £300m, which would be built near the River Mersey in Liverpool.

    Read more
  2. Our live coverage across the day

    Live updates from the North West have finished for the day, but we'll be back from 08:00 on Friday with the latest news, sport, weather and travel from across the region.

  3. Man kidnapped at gunpoint by masked men in carjacking

    A man was kidnapped at gunpoint by two masked men in a carjacking in Bury, police have said.

    Lepp Crescent

    The victim, aged 21, and his friend told police they crashed into a lamp-post in Lepp Crescent on Wednesday after their car was rammed by another vehicle.

    Two men got out of the car and threatened them with a handgun then stole the car with the victim inside.

    The man was later found safe but with cuts and bruises.

    A 41-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the incident.

  4. Weather: Dry and clear overnight

    BBC Weather

    Staying dry and mostly clear through this evening and overnight. Lows of 3C.

    Video content

    Video caption: Weather: Dry and bright with light winds

    More from BBC Weather

  5. NatWest branch closures across North West announed

    About a dozen NatWest bank branches in the North West are to close, the company has announced.

    Cashpoint generic

    The firm, which has revealed a series of closures across the UK, blamed a "dramatic shift" in banking, with branch transactions falling 43% since 2010. 

    The seven branches earmarked for closure in Merseyside are Formby, Frodsham, Heswall, Huyton, Kirkby, Liverpool One and the University of Liverpool.

    Four are to shut in Greater Manchester - Droylsden, Eccles, Manchester University and Ramsbottom - along with Colne in Lancashire.

  6. Public space dog ban plan to tackle fouling in Knowsley

    Plans to ban dogs from sports pitches, bowling greens, parks and streets where dog fouling is a problem, have been put forward by Knowsley Council.

    Dogs generic

    The council has launched a consultation to replace existing Dog Control Orders for failing to remove faeces and failing to keep a dog on a lead when ordered to by a council officer. 

    It has proposed measures including ensuring owners carry a bag at all times to collect dog mess, keeping dogs on a lead in cemeteries, small parks and council-owned allotments. 

    Council staff would also have the power to issue Fixed Penalty Notices   

    The public consultation ends on 18 May.

  7. Swimming: Bullying claims by Paralympians are investigated

    Dan Roan

    BBC Sports editor

    British Swimming is conducting an investigation after multiple bullying claims were made by Paralympians about a coach, the BBC has learned.

    The sport's governing body began an internal review after several Para-swimmers made complaints - with the complainants understood to include Rio 2016 medallists.

    Swimming was ParalympicsGB's most successful sport in Rio, winning 47 medals - 16 golds of 152 available - and setting eight world records.

    It has now emerged the team, which is based at the Manchester Aquatics Centre, has been embroiled in a bullying controversy for the past two months. 

    In a statement, British Swimming told the BBC: "Whilst some athletes have expressed some concerns, we have immediately undertaken an independent fact-finding investigation into these."

  8. One of country's first male midwives retires after 40 years

    A nurse who became one of the first male midwives in the country has retired after more than 40 years, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals said.

          Geoff Dodd with Blackpool Teaching Hospital NHS Trust chief executive (interim) Wendy Swift and Marie Thompson, director of nursing and quality

    Geoff Dodd (pictured centre) qualified in 1976 and his career includes a two-year stint in the Voluntary Overseas Service in Kenya and setting up the biologic service at Blackpool's Clifton Hospital.

    He received a Health Champions award by presented by prime minister Theresa May during his career.

    At his retirement party held at Clifton Hospital, Geoff said he was sad to leave "but the time has come" and he is "planning to travel, take up painting, learn new languages and sample more ale".

  9. Headlines for the North West

    • A student, from Darwen, who was left with broken bones when he was hit by a car in the  Westminster attack  has said 'it could have been a lot worse'
    • Everton agree a deal to acquire land on which to build a new  £300m stadium in Liverpool , BBC Radio Merseyside understands.
    • A vigil is being held at Manchester town hall later to remember the victims of the terror attack in Westminster
  10. 'Scandalous' 50% NHS bosses' rises probed

    Pay rises of up to 50% for senior NHS managers in Liverpool have been described as "scandalous" by an MP.

    Hospital ward

    Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) chairman Nadim Fazlani got a £50,000 rise in 2014-15, Rosie Cooper's Freedom of Information request found.

    Replying to the West Lancashire Labour MP during Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday, Theresa May promised an investigation into the pay hike.

    Liverpool CCG said its salaries were set within NHS England guidelines.

  11. London terror attack: Cheshire Police receive flowers in sympathy

    Cheshire Police are among forces across England to receive flowers in thanks and sympathy after the London terror attack.

    Well-wishers sent bouquets in tribute to PC Keith Palmer, who was stabbed to death outside the Palace of Westminster.

    The hashtag #ThinBlueLine was trending on Twitter during an outpouring of gratitude to emergency services workers' bravery.

    View more on twitter
  12. Thieving ex-Liverpool vicar spared jail

    Andy Gill

    Reporter, BBC North West Tonight

    A former Anglican vicar who stole more than £100,000 from his diocese has been spared jailed.

    Rev Michael Fry, from Liverpool,  admitted a string of thefts  over eight years ending on 1 January 2014.

    He  was sentenced to 20 months jail, suspended for two years at Liverpool Crown Court.

  13. Morecambe and Lancaster MPs speak after London terror attack

    Lancashire Post

    Local MPs have spoken of their sadness in the wake of yesterday’s London terror attack.

  14. London attacks: Student thanks Met PC

    A university student hit head-on by a car during the attack at Westminster  yesterday has thanked a Metropolitan Police constable who was one of the first at the scene to help him.

    Travis Frain

    Nineteen-year-old Travis Frain, an Edge Hill University student from Darwen, was in London for an educational visit with 12 others.

    On his Facebook page he wrote a "massive thank you" to the emergency services, specifically naming PC Soren Dymond, who bought him lunch after he lost his wallet, as well as staying with him the entire time.

    The student was left with broken bones, but says his ordeal "could have been a lot worse".

  15. Headlines for the North West

    • A student, from Darwen, who was left with broken bones when he was hit by a car in the Westminster attack has said 'it could have been a lot worse'
    • Everton agree a deal to acquire land on which to build a new £300m stadium in Liverpool , BBC Radio Merseyside understands.
    • A vigil is being held at Manchester town hall later to remember the victims of the terror attack in Westminster
  16. Rugby: Sale Sharks centre signs new contract

    BBC Sport

    Mark Jennings has signed a new two-year contract with Sale Sharks .

    Mark Jennings

    The centre, 24, came through Sale's academy and was the youngest player to sign a professional deal with the Sharks, aged 16.

    Jennings, who has represented England youth level, has made six Premiership appearances for Sale this season.

    "He has stayed loyal to the club since joining and he will play a big part in what we are building at the club," Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond said.

  17. London attacks: Injured student 'hit head-on by car'

    A university student who was left broken bones in the attack at Westminster  yesterday has told how he was hit head-on by a car, and said it "could have been a lot worse".

    Travis Frain

    Travis Frain, from Darwen, was one of 13 Edge Hill University students on an educational trip in London  when the attack took place in which four people died.

    The 19-year-old is being treated at Kings College Hospital and is awaiting surgery for his leg. He also suffered fractures to his hand.

    In a message on Facebook, he said: "At the end of the day it could have been a hell of a lot worse, as we've seen with other people there."

    He also said "a massive thank you" to emergency services.

    Westminster Bridge
  18. Envelope update

    Severe disruption: M66 Greater Manchester southbound

    BBC News Travel

    M66 Greater Manchester southbound severe disruption, between J3 for and J4 for M60.

    M66 Greater Manchester - One lane closed on M66 southbound between J3, Hollins and J4, M60 (Simister Island), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

    To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

  19. Everton agree deal for new stadium site

    Everton have agreed a deal to acquire land on which to build a new £300m stadium in Liverpool, BBC Radio Merseyside understands.

    Everton's Goodison stadium

    The Premier League club and landowners Peel Holdings have reached agreement on the Bramley Moore Dock site near the River Mersey.

    It was announced as the  preferred site for the club's proposed new stadium  in January.

    Planning permission would have to be given for any future development.

  20. Speed limit on road next to fracking site lowered

    The speed limit on the road next to the fracking site on the Fylde is being lowered.

    View more on twitter

    The county council says for safety reasons, the stretch of Preston New Road near the site will become a 20 mph limit, instead of the usual 50.

    Energy firm Cuadrilla was given permission by the government to explore for shale gas at the Little Plumpton site in October last year , but the work has attracted protests from opponents of fracking who have been trying to slow up the movement of vehicles.