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News in brief

Former Cumberland News journalist John Aglionby is to visit Carlisle tomorrow to talk about his experiences in South-East Asia after the tsunami struck on Boxing Day.
Now a correspondent for The Guardian, he will be giving a talk at a local church while in the area for a family visit.

Chris Mann, formerly editorial director of Football First and Sport First – the sports-only Sunday newspapers – has joined golf-specialist PR and marketing agency Pete Richardson Communications Ltd (PRC).
Glasgow-born Chris joins the company as director of business development. He began his career at the Southern Reporter and has previously worked on radio for IRN, BBC and LBC and his television work includes spells with the BBC, TVAM, Channel 4 and Sky News, where he was a presenter.

The Kent Messenger Group has won the new commercial FM radio licence for a full-time local radio station in Ashford.
It will broadcast contemporary and classic music as well as news, sport and travel information in a typical local radio mix.

The Independent Publishers’ Forum of The Newspaper Society has held its first meeting of the year.
The meeting, chaired by John Robertson, of the Newbury Weekly News, discussed topics ranging from circulation and readership to press fires and emergency planning.

Two charity projects in London have been awarded thousands of pounds in grants from the charitable arm of Newsquest’s owners, Gannett.
The Inclusive Play Opportunities Project in Barnet has been handed £1,000, while the children and family services charity Norwood has been given £2,000.

South Wales Argus reporter Tom Whiteley donned a bra and bloomers to try out the role of panto dame during the recent pantomime season.
He joined comic actor Trevor Bannister at Newport’s Riverfront theatre, who told him the rights and wrong of his approach, branding Tom’s hands-on-hips stance as “not macho enough”!