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Summary

  1. Poppy day terror plot: Man cleared
  2. Flooding hits health centre
  3. Preview of local athletes heading to Rio
  4. Updates for Thursday, 16 June 2016

Live Reporting

By Dani Bailey

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

That's all for today - we'll be back tomorrow at 08:00 with live news, sport, weather and travel updates until 18:00.

And don't forget, if you have any pictures, stories or comments you want us to feature get in touch via emailFacebook or Twitter.

Greg Rutherford shows off his long jump

Woburn Sands' Rutherford shows us how the long jump is done.
Woburn Sands' Greg Rutherford is off to the Rio Olympics in August, at a time he says he's in the best shape of his career.

He recently had a long jump pit built at his home, which is sure to have helped him prepare.

Here he shows us just how long jump is done.

Weather: Heavy showers tonight and tomorrow

Alex Dolan

BBC Look East weather

Tonight: Scattered heavy showers and thunderstorms with the risk of flooding. Lows of 7C (45F).

Weather graphic shows heavy rain
BBC

Tomorrow: Cooler and rather cloudy with the risk of heavy showers and thunderstorms. Highs of 19C (66F).  

Dunstable dad's surprise thank you on national TV

Roberto Perrone

BBC Three Counties Radio

A dad from Dunstable has been labelled a "super dad" for his selflessness. 

Martin Rackley gave up everything to look after his three-year-old daughter Ruby after she was diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour shortly after her first birthday. 

Martin with his award
Keech Hospice

This morning he was surprised on national television by his family and friends and presented with a day's VIP racing experience at Silverstone, tickets to the Grand Prix and a holiday for the whole family. 

Watch the moment on ITV's Good Morning Britain here.

Duke of Cambridge talks about problem of cyber-bullying

Prince Harry, Kate and Prince William
PA

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been in Watford today speaking about the growing problem of cyber-bullying.

Prince William
PA

Prince William arrived with Kate and Prince Harry at the Founders Forum where he spoke of his anti-bullying taskforce.

It was announced that some of the world's biggest social media and internet companies have joined the initiative, and will help support young people and their families affected by the problem.

50 days until Rio: Great Britain's team for the Paralympic Games

BBC Sport

Speaking of Rio... The 2016 Rio Paralympics start on 7 September and the countdown is well under way.

Here are the names of the athletes from our area selected by the British Paralympic Association.

GB seven-a-side football team in London
PA

In football seven-a-side, 25-year-old Liam Irons from Dunstable has been confirmed for the team.

On the wheelchair basketball team, both Helen Freeman, 26, from Watford, and Clare Griffiths, 36, from Marlow, will compete. This will be Griffiths' fifth Games.

Welwyn's Chris Ryan, 24, has been confirmed for the wheelchair rugby team.

Euro 2016: England fans rejoice

Toby Friedner

BBC Three Counties Radio

The sun is out, as are the jubilant England fans!

If you've been in a cardboard box for the last couple of hours, England beat the Welsh 2-1 with a dramatic injury time winner in France.

Bring on Slovakia!

View more on twitter
England supporters
BBC

Murray beats Bedene in straight sets

BBC Sport

Andy Murray came through his first all-British contest for 10 years as he saw off Hertfordshire-based Aljaz Bedene in straight sets at Queen's.

Top seed Murray won 6-3, 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals - and will next face another Briton in Kyle Edmund. Read more here.

Murray and Bedene
Reuters

Greg Rutherford shows off his long jump

Jonathan Park

BBC Look East sport

Woburn Sands' Greg Rutherford is off to the Rio Olympics in August, at a time he says he's in the best shape of his career.

He recently had a long jump pit built at his home, which is sure to have helped him prepare.

Here he shows us just how long jump is done.

Greg Rutherford's back garden long jump event

Jonathan Park

BBC Look East sport

To end our Greg Rutherford tales on a lighter note... we hear the 28-year-old's been planning on hosting a long jump competition in his back garden following the Olympics.

Greg Rutherford's long jump pit
BBC

He recently built a long jump pit at his home in Woburn Sands and intends to invite a world-class field.

50 days until Rio: Greg Rutherford freezes sperm over Zika fears

Jonathan Park

BBC Look East sport

Recent news that seemed bizarre to some, but good-planning to others, was that Milton Keynes' Greg Rutherford had a sample of his sperm frozen ahead of the Rio Olympics, due to concern over the Zika virus.

Greg Rutherford
Getty Images

Twenty-eight-year-old Rutherford's partner and his young son will not be accompanying him to the Games.

Read more on that story here.

50 days until Rio: Greg Rutherford in 'best shape of career'

Jonathan Park

BBC Look East sport

It's little surprise Rutherford is the bookmakers' favourite for Rio... He believes he is in the best shape of his career. 

Greg Rutherford at Diamond League games
Getty Images

It’s not all been plain sailing though, as Greg experienced a rare defeat at the Diamond League meeting in Birmingham earlier this month, suffering a whiplash injury in the process. 

It's not thought it will keep him out of action for too long as he prepares to defend his Olympic long jump title.

50 days until Rio: Award-winning Greg Rutherford

Jonathan Park

BBC Look East sport

Milton Keynes' Greg Rutherford is one of only four British athletes to have completed the clean sweep of major titles. 

Greg Rutherford
Getty Images

He now holds the World, Olympic, Commonwealth and European crowns. 

He joined Sally Gunnell, Daley Thomson, Linford Christie and Jonathan Edwards on the list of athletes who've held all four titles at the same time.

Euro 2016: England v Wales game

Toby Friedner

BBC Three Counties Radio

We're getting rather a lot of noise through the walls here at BBC Three Counties in Dunstable from the sports bar next door. We hear there's a match on, or something?

Despite Wales leading the match at the moment, England fans are still in the spirit of it all.

England fans
BBC

Fifty days until the Rio Games

Jonathan Park

BBC Look East sport

Incredible to think with all the football fever going on we're now just 50 days away from the start of the Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games.

A year ago we announced our Five to Follow, and since we've been following the highs and lows of five hopefuls from the east of England as they sought qualification and prepared for the challenges of Brazil.

A phoenix rises in front of the Olympic rings at London 2012
Getty Images

In Beds, Herts and Bucks we've been following the progress of Milton Keynes' long jumper Greg Rutherford as he looks to grab his second Olympic gold this summer.

Today we'll bring you updates on how he's got on over the past year, and tell you what other names from the three counties you should keep an eye on this summer, with the Games starting soon on 5 August.

Hungry caterpillars destroy trees

There are some incredible pictures in the Milton Keynes Citizen today of caterpillars completely stripping trees in Stony Stratford of their leaves.

Apparently, it took them just 12 hours to clear them completely! Take a look here.

Rare hoverfly found in garden pond

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Yesterday on Local Live we heard how a very rare Phantom Hoverfly was spotted on the Ashridge Estate in Hertfordshire.

Well, David Smith has emailed us to say he found one struggling on the surface of the pond in his back garden near Royston.

Phantom Hoverfly
David Smith

He said he rescued it from the water, and it soon recovered and flew away!

Renters face 'great risk of eviction'

More than 148,000 households in England have faced eviction in the past year, research from Shelter suggests.

The homeless charity says in Luton, one in 28 households in rented homes were at risk of eviction.

For sale signs
Getty Images

It said data illustrated the chronic shortage of affordable homes, adding the risk of evictions was being exacerbated by welfare cuts. 

But the government questioned Shelter's figures and said it was "misleading" to suggest evictions were due to their reforms.

Read more here.

Poppy day terror plot: Accused 'stamped on poppy' in video

Dominic Casciani

Home Affairs Correspondent

The cousin of a man convicted of planning to behead a poppy seller on Remembrance Day two years ago has walked free from court today.

Police at High Wycombe home
PA

Yousaf Syed, 20, from High Wycombe, was arrested in November 2014 along with his cousin Nadir Syed, 23, of Houslow, West London. The 23-year-old was found guilty of preparing a terrorist act and will be sentenced next week.

The Old Bailey heard the pair recorded a video in which they stamped on a poppy and said it should go to hell. But during his defence Yousaf Syed, who was acquitted by a jury on retrial, said the video was not evidence of a plan to kill anyone, and he had no plan to attack Britain. 

Poppy day terror plot: Man acquitted 'overcome with emotion'

Dominic Casciani

Home Affairs Correspondent

A man from High Wycombe has been found not guilty of planning a terror attack on Remembrance Day in 2014, following a retrial at the Old Bailey.

Old Bailey
BBC

Yousaf Syed, 20, was cleared of preparing a terrorist act, for which his cousin Nadir Syed, 23, was found guilty of last year.

When he was acquitted, Mr Syed was overcome with emotion and held his head in his hands. His cousin will be sentenced on 23 June.  

BreakingPoppy day terror plot: Wycombe man not guilty

A Wycombe man has been found not guilty of planning to behead a poppy seller on Remembrance Day.

More on this very shortly.

Tennis: Murray faces Hertfordshire's Bedene at Queens

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

With no-one to support in today's football - except perhaps Wales - Scotland will probably have their eyes on the tennis, where Andy Murray will face a British opponent for the first time in 10 years at London's Queen's Club this afternoon.

Aljaz Bedene
Getty Images

He's taking on British number two, the Hertfordshire-based Aljaz Bedene, who plays out of Welwyn Garden City.

Bedene said: "I would say this is going to be one of the biggest [matches of my career] - although it's not a Grand Slam... it's at Queens, it's at home and I'll just try and enjoy it, put my game on court and see what happens."

Weather: Showers on their way

BBC Weather

After a mainly dry start, some showers will soon develop and they could be heavy, thundery ones.

Maximum temperature: 19C (66F).

Rainbow and blue sky over Hitchin
BBC

Abbots Langley shooting: Man arrested on suspicion of attempted murder

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

A 21-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, in connection with a shooting at a private party in Abbots Langley.

Police in Abbots Langley
BBC

Three people were injured at the party in High Elms Lane at about 21:00 on Sunday. One suffered a gunshot wound to his shoulder, another a head injury, and the third is believed to have been stabbed in the abdomen.

The arrested man, from Hemel Hempstead, remains in police custody. 

Six other men were previously arrested on suspicion of affray and released on bail.

One man injured in M40 crash

A man has been injured in a crash between two cars and a lorry on the M40 this morning at J4.

Fire crews released the man with hydraulic equipment.

Another woman and a man involved in the crash were unhurt. Traffic is now easing London-bound.

What do tiger cubs eat?

CBBC

Watch Blue Peter's Lindsey prepare a meal for mama tiger and her super cute cubs at Woburn Safari Park.

The video is available here.

Tiger cub in Woburn eating meat
BBC

Woburn tiger cubs: In pictures

Tiger family at Woburn
Woburn Safari Park
Tiger cubs running
Woburn Safari Park
Tiger Cubs by pool
Woburn Safari Park

Tiger cubs introduced to their dad

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

Dad and daughter tigers at Woburn
Woburn Safari Park

How cute is this? The two Amur tiger cubs that were born at Woburn Safari Park in Bedfordshire last September are slowly being introduced to their dad.

The two female cubs - Mishka and Milashki - have been visiting their four-year-old father Elton this month... in the run-up, of course, to Father's Day!

Dad and daughter tigers at Woburn
Woburn Safari Park

Amur tigers are classed as "critically endangered" as there are only about 520 in the wild.  

Travel: Queues on M40

BBC Travel

Traffic is queuing on the M40 London-bound at J4 due to an accident involving a lorry and two cars earlier.

All lanes have been reopened but there is congestion to J5. Stay up-to-date here.

Peculiar 'purdah': What happened with the Bedford and MK hospitals review?

Bethan Bell

BBC News Online

The NHS in Bedford and Milton Keynes released a report about the future of hospitals in the area, but then - despite it being available for anyone to read - refused to do any media interviews about it, citing "purdah" as the reason. A public meeting on 14 June was then cancelled for the same reason.

Milton Keynes Hospital
BBC

The review group says it had taken legal advice and been advised that to proceed with such a meeting in the immediate run-up to the EU Referendum would contravene the principles of the moratorium.

It leaves them in the invidious position that the review has been published but they cannot talk about it.

Bedford MP Richard Fuller was critical of the decision, however, saying that if "purdah" was such a concern the report should have been published on 24 June - after the EU referendum.

EU Referendum: When political 'purdah' seems peculiar

Last week, we told you about how Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Groups were being criticised for the joint health review of the future of the two hospitals and their refusal to speak due to "purdah"...

But why is the veil of silence during a pre-election period used in what seems like very peculiar ways?

Composite image of bin lorries and flowers
BBC

A 28-day moratorium before all polls - so-called "purdah" - is a period during which no major announcements should be made to avoid influencing their outcome.

Councils are told they can talk about local issues - such as potholes - but should steer clear of things like the impact on the local area of immigration.

But can bin lorries, art installations and roses really influence the way the public votes? They have all emerged as victims of the zealous - sometimes perhaps over-zealous - application of the convention in recent months.

Noah Serra-Morrison death: Trial continues

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

The trial continues today of a mother who, along with her partner, is accused of killing her 13-month-old son in Luton last year.

Luton Crown Court
South Beds News Agency

Ronnie Tayler-Morrison, 21 and Hardeep Hunjan, 26, deny the murder of Noah Serra-Morrison last November. Luton Crown Court heard the toddler died of a "massive head injury" and the prosecution could "prove Noah's death was murder". Miss Tayler-Morrison has always maintained her son fell out of his cot.

The court was told that after being released on bail, the couple fled to Scotland, where they were caught hiding in the roof of a friend's house.

Amersham Health Centre: 'Open for emergencies'

Matthew Lockwood

BBC Three Counties Radio

I've been to Amersham Health Centre, which is closed today after yesterday's floods.

Their website says they will be closed until further notice and those with appointments today will be informed.

But a written note on the door this morning says they opened at 08:30 to see "emergency problems" but won't be able to deal with "routine problems".

Amersham Health Centre sign
BBC

Amersham Health Centre: Patients being assessed outside

Matthew Lockwood

BBC Three Counties Radio

I'm still at Amersham Health Centre which has just opened for emergency appointments after it was affected by yesterday's flooding. 

Amersham Health Centre
BBC

Patients are being assessed at the entrance to the building and about 10 to 15 patients have been turned away so far but they were due to have routine blood tests and vaccines.

Dr Clare Gabe said: "We offer our sincere apologies to our patients and would like to reassure them that we are working closely with all the local organisations to restore a normal service as soon as possible."

Health centre closed due to flooding

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Amersham Health Centre in Chiltern Avenue is closed today due to flooding caused by yesterday's rain.

Amersham Health Centre
Google

A statement on its website says the electricity has had to be "turned off for safety reasons" due to "major flooding" and the "building will be closed until further notice". 

There will be no appointments today and staff will be contacting patients with booked appointments to tell them but the centre has advised anyone who felt they needed to be seen before they were open again to go to the minor injuries unit at Wycombe General Hospital.

The story is also being reported by the Bucks Free Press where you can see pictures.     

Today's weather: More heavy rain forecast

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

It's likely to be another day of dodging the showers as a yellow warning of rain from the Met Office is still in place.

The day will start mostly dry and some sunny intervals are possible but showers are due to become heavy and thundery later.

Maximum temperature: 19C (66F).

24 Hours in Police Custody: Your reaction

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

There was a strong reaction on social media to last night's 24 Hours in Police Custody programme on Channel 4, with people praising the police for investigating the reported rape but feeling worried that people may be discouraged from reporting cases because it is so difficult to prove.

This exchange is typical:

One person tweeted it's "no wonder so many women don't come forward" and it "must be so frustrating for police".

Bedfordshire Police responded by saying it hoped the "dedication of its officers to thoroughly investigate would encourage survivors".

View more on twitter

Bedfordshire Police: A Question of Consent

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Bedfordshire Police have published another blog following last night's 24 Hours in Police Custody programme on Channel 4 in which a woman reported a rape and the accused man was released without charge due to a lack of evidence.

Bedfordshire Police HQ
Google

In A Question of Consent, Det Cons Paul Falcon writes about the issue of consent and difficulties in investigating rape.

He said: "I’d really like to tell people out there – victims or not – that we would never simply close a case because it’s one person’s word against another.

"We do all we can to prove a version of events and make sure that victim gets all the support they need for the ordeal they’ve experienced."

24 Hours in Police Custody: Those reporting rape will be 'believed and supported'

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Last night's Channel 4 programme 24 Hours in Police Custody was another difficult watch as it dealt with the case of a woman who claimed she had been raped at a hotel in Bedford but due to insufficient evidence, the man she accused was not charged.

After the broadcast, Bedfordshire Police took to social media to reiterate that people who report rape will be believed and supported, with a full investigation carried out.

View more on twitter

Welcome to Local Live for Beds, Herts and Bucks

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Good morning and welcome to the live page for the three counties, where we'll bring you the latest news, sport, weather and travel until 18:00.

This morning we'll be looking at Bedfordshire Police's reaction to the broadcast of last night's 24 Hours in Police Custody programme.

Plus, Amersham Health Centre is closed today due to flooding caused by yesterday's rain. We'll bring you what we know about that plus a weather forecast for today.

Remember, if you'd like to get in touch at all, you can email us or send us a tweet.