Morning news digest - Huge fire at scrap yard, pervert jailed for sex attack and hospital bed waits 'rocket'
Catch up with all the latest news from Lancashire and across the county here in our morning roundup.
LARGE FIRE CAUSES TRAFFIC DELAYS ON M65
Drivers have been warned to be especially careful on the M65 between junctions 7 and 8 after a large fire has caused smoke to billow across the motorway.
According to Lancashire Fire services around 400 vehicles are currently on fire at Excell Recycling Centre on Moorfield Industrial Estate on Moorfield Road in Altham.
PERVERT JAILED FOR SEX ATTACK ON GIRL, 13, IN PRESTON PARK
A pervert who subjected a teenage girl to an horrific sex attack in a Lancashire park was on the FBI’s ‘Most Wanted’ list. Gerard Zalewski, 32, of Dartford, Kent, fled to the UK to avoid jail for a sex attack on a child in the USA in 2006.
The FBI put the fugitive on their Most Wanted list, but once in the UK he was able to continue his vile behaviour. Earlier this year, he met a 13-year-old girl online, who he then groomed and then abused in a sickening attack in Withy Grove Park, Bamber Bridge.
MAN IN INDUCED COMA FOLLOWING BLACKPOOL COLLISION
Police are appealing for witnesses following a collision in Blackpool in which a 24-year-old man has suffered serious head injuries.
The incident occurred at around 2.45pm on Monday when a Volkswagen Passat collided with the pedestrian as it pulled away from some traffic lights on George Street.
The pedestrian was taken to the Royal Preston Hospital with a fractured skull and internal bleeding. He remains in an induced coma although is thought to be in a stable condition.
DAVID DAVIS FACING COMMONS PRESSURE OVER BREXIT NEGOTIATION DETAILS
Brexit Secretary David Davis is expected to face calls in the Commons to reveal how detailed a plan Theresa May will set out before starting negotiations with the European Union.
Faced with a revolt by up to 40 Tory MPs, the Prime Minister on Tuesday bowed to pressure and backed a Labour motion which says she should publish a plan before triggering the formal process of leaving.
In return, most of the rebels and Labour will back a compromise Government amendment to support Mrs May's pledge to invoke Article 50 to start Brexit by April.
NUMBER OF PATIENTS FORCED TO WAIT FOR HOSPITAL BED 'ROCKETS IN FIVE YEARS'
There has been a sharp rise in "trolley waits" - the length of time people wait for a hospital bed after being admitted in an emergency, figures show.
Data analysed by the BBC shows 473,453 patients waited more than four hours between October 2015 and September 2016 - almost a five-fold increase since 2010/11.
The figure represents 11% of the 4.2 million patients admitted over the period. More than 1,400 faced delays of more than 12 hours.
THERESA MAY TO TELL GULF LEADERS IRAN NUCLEAR AGREEMENT MUST STAND
Theresa May is throwing her political weight behind the Iran nuclear deal after sustained attacks on the agreement by US President-elect Donald Trump.
The Prime Minister is using a speech at the Gulf Co-operation Council gathering in Bahrain on Wednesday to assure regional leaders she is "clear-eyed" about the threat posed to them by Iran, and to insist the nuclear arrangement with Tehran must stand.
On the final day of her trip to Bahrain, Mrs May will tell Gulf leaders: "We secured a deal which has neutralised the possibility of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons for over a decade. It has already seen Iran remove 13,000 centrifuges together with associated infrastructure and eliminate its stock of 20% enriched uranium."
SOUTHERN RAILWAY TO LAUNCH LEGAL ACTION IN BID TO STOP STRIKES BY TRAIN DRIVERS
The owners of Southern Railway will launch legal action today in a bid to halt a series of crippling strikes by train drivers, using a nine-year-old European case as part of its argument.
Members of Aslef are due to walk out for three days next week in a dispute over driver-only trains, which will halt all Southern services.
Drivers yesterday started an indefinite ban on overtime, which, coupled with a strike by the Rail, Maritime and Transport union in a separate row over changes to the role of conductors, led to around half of Southern's services being cancelled.
NO CONFIRMED REPORTS OF FIRES STARTING IN CORSA HEATING SYSTEM, SAYS VAUXHALL
Vauxhall said it has received "no confirmed reports" of fires starting in the heating and ventilation systems of some Corsa models after it was reported there may be a risk.
According to The Sun, analysis of a burnt-out Corsa D, a model introduced in 2006, found the fire had broken out "in the region of the heater system".
An expert told the newspaper that heating problems that affected wiring in some Vauxhall Zafira models had also been detected in the Corsa's heating and ventilation components.
HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS IN UK BENEFIT MONEY USED TO FUND TERROR, SAYS LORD CARLILE
Hundreds of thousands of pounds in British benefits have been used to fund terrorism in recent years, a former watchdog has claimed.
Lord Carlile of Berriew, the former independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, said the problem had become worse during the rise of Islamic State, also known as Isis, which gained prominence in 2014 after seizing swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria.
He called on the Government to put in place a system to monitor housing benefit paid to people when they leave the country.
NUMBER OF WORKERS IN POVERTY AT RECORD HIGH, STUDY FINDS
The number of workers living in poverty has reached a record high as the UK's housing crisis fuels growing insecurity, a new study reveals.
Research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) showed that 3.8 million workers, or one in eight, are in poverty after an increase since the economy started recovering six years ago.
A total of 7.4 million people, including 2.6 million children, are living in poverty despite being in working households, said the report.
HOSPITALS 'WOEFULLY FAILING' TO CRACK DOWN ON SMOKING
Hospitals are failing to crack down on smoking on their premises, according to a new report.
A survey of 140 hospitals for the British Thoracic Society found that only one in 16 fully enforced a no-smoking policy.
Enforcement includes giving people information on the trust's smoke-free policy, as well as policing hospital grounds and putting up signs.
COURT ORDERS AIM TO 'STOP STALKERS IN THEIR TRACKS' BEFORE TROUBLE ESCALATES
Stalkers will be hit with court orders as soon as their victims raise the alarm under a new crackdown.
Ministers are set to hand police powers to apply for measures to stop perpetrators who torment strangers, acquaintances or work colleagues before their fixations spiral out of control.
Under the plans, suspects could be ordered to stay away from their targets or have their internet use restricted even if they have not yet been arrested or charged.
TREATMENT OFFERS RENEWED HOPE TO HODGKIN'S LYMPHOMA PATIENTS
A type of immunotherapy could offer hope to Hodgkin's lymphoma patients who have run out of treatment options.
Nivolumab has received its European licence after promising results in a clinical trial of people with the classic form of the aggressive blood cancer.
The data showed that 95% of patients were still alive after a year, with 68% of patients seeing their cancer reduced while on the drug.