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  1. Updates for Beds, Herts & Bucks

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Rail Strike: Why the rail workers' union is striking?

In this video, Paul Cox from the RMT (Rail, Maritime & Transport Union) talks about why they are taking action:  

The RMT union's Paul Cox says Southern rail strike is about safety not jobs
Bird's Nest Stadium in Beijing, China

After Premier League teams clocked up more than 170,000 miles this pre-season, check how they got on with our full list of results.

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Rail strike 'unjustified' say Govia

The Southern Rail strike is "completely unjustified", according to the chief executive of parent company Govia Thameslink (GTR).

GTR chief executive Charles Horton said the five-day walkout by the RMT union is "completely unacceptable, unjustified and unnecessary" and he apologised for the "inconvenience and disruption to passengers' lives as a result".

He claimed the union rejected GTR's eight-point offer "out of hand".

Southern Rail figures show 447,000 passenger journeys a day

Mack v Mark: Watford man mistaken for Australian swimmer in drugs row

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

A man from Watford has found himself barraged with Twitter abuse for having a very similar name to Australian swimmer Mack Horton who called defending Chinese champion Sun Yang a "drug cheat".

Tweet from Mark Horton reads: For the record I'm not the Australian swimmer who said something about a Chinese swimmer

Mark Horton, who lives in Hertfordshire, has been mistaken for the Olympic gold medallist and received angry tweets from Sun Yang fans after swimmer Horton accused Yang of deliberately splashing him in a training session, saying: "I ignored him, I don't have time or respect for drug cheats."  

Mack Horton bites Olympic gold medal
Getty Images

Watford's Mark Horton has tweeted that it's been "an interesting weekend", but today it's "back to the day job".

Last night alone he was mentioned by other Twitter users 1,000 times, and they are "still coming through".

Rio 2016: Hertfordshire schoolgirl out of games

 A schoolgirl from Hertfordshire is out of the Olympics, despite winning her first heat in the 100m backstroke. 

Gaurika Singh dives into pool in Rio

Gaurika Singh, 13, who attends Haberdasher's Askes' School for Girls near Elstree, has been the youngest athlete at the games, representing her home nation of Nepal. 

The swimmer, who began swimming competitively at the age of nine, was knocked out in heat two yesterday.

#SouthernStrike: 'Govia should be stripped of franchise'

Commuters from Milton Keynes to London through Watford have already had their journeys disrupted since last month because of cancellations on trains. 

But today marks the first day of a five-day strike by Southern Rail train guards.

Dorothy Thornhill, Liberal Democrat Mayor of Watford, says Govia, which runs Southern Rail, should be stripped of the franchise: "To actually axe 800 trains on a critical line, this is actually telling us that they're not fit to run this franchise and there are others who could do it better.

"What is the point of having terms and conditions in contracts if the government is not willing to enforce them?"

Southern train strike: No service from Milton Keynes to London

Strike outside Brighton station

The longest rail strike since 1968 has begun, with hundreds of trains cancelled on the Southern network across south east England.

A five-day walkout by members of the RMT union started at 00:00 in a row over the role of conductors.

Southern plans to run 60% of its normal timetable, but there is no service between Clapham Junction and Milton Keynes.

Weather: Mainly fine day with sunny spells

Alina Jenkins

BBC Weather

Today will be mostly dry and bright with some sunny spells, although a few showers might develop by the afternoon with a high of 19C (66F).

Here's my full forecast...

There are more details on the BBC Weather website.

Welcome to Local Live for Beds, Herts and Bucks

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

Morning all, hope you had a relaxing weekend and are ready for the week ahead.

We've had a few technical problems getting the page published for 08:00 this morning, but we're up and running now and we'll be bringing you all things Beds, Herts and Bucks until 18:00.

Very shortly we'll bring you the weather - it's looking like a bright, clear day - and the latest on the Hertfordshire schoolgirl who competed in her first Olympics at the weekend.

Welcome to Local Live for Beds, Herts and Bucks

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

Morning all, hope you had a relaxing weekend and are ready for the week ahead.

We've had a few technical problems getting the page published for 08:00 this morning, but we're up and running now and we'll be bringing you all things Beds, Herts and Bucks until 18:00.

Very shortly we'll bring you the weather - it's looking like a bright, clear day - and the latest on the Hertfordshire schoolgirl who competed in her first Olympics at the weekend.


Skipper Jimmy Smith scores as Crawley clinch a first victory under head coach Dermot Drummy.

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Luton hit three second-half goals as the Hatters claim a comfortable win at last term's League Two play-off finalists.

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Daniel Powell scores as MK Dons start life after relegation from the Championship with victory at Shrewsbury.

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Ryan Lowe and Alex Kiwomya hit second-half goals as Crewe win at Stevenage on the opening day of the League Two season.

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Nero the police dog and X-ray of his neck

A police dog that broke its neck in two places while chasing suspected muggers is recovering at home after being released from a veterinary hospital.

Read more

Our live coverage across the week

Thanks for following our live coverage across the three counties this week - regular updates will resume on Monday morning at 08:00, but there will be updates on major developing stories across the weekend.


Have a great weekend!


Julie Reinger

BBC Look East weather

A few evening showers in the region, but generally a fine end to the day with some further spells of sunshine. Tonight will be dry with light winds and lows of around 13C (55F).

BBC Weather

Some long spells of sunshine on Saturday, although it may turn hazy with highs of 24C (75F).  

For the latest forecast, visit BBC Weather.

Murder charge follows death of man with 'multiple crushing injuries'

Andrew Woodger

BBC News

A man has been charged with murder after another was found with what a post-mortem examination describes as "multiple crushing injuries".

Patrick Maloney, 43, was fatally injured at a travellers' site at Toddbury Farm, Little Billington on Tuesday.

Bedfordshire Police said he died as a result of injuries "consistent with being involved in a collision with a vehicle".

Thomas McCarthy, 24, from the same travellers' site has been charged with Mr Maloney's murder.

Little Billington travellers' site
South Beds News Agency

He will remain in police custody until his appearance at Luton Magistrates' Court tomorrow.  

A 42-year-old woman also arrested on suspicion of murder had already been released on police bail, which she is due to answer on 14 September.

BreakingMan charged with murder on travellers site

Bedfordshire Police are confirming a man has been charged with murder following the death of a 43-year-old on a travellers' site near Leighton Buzzard.

More to follow shortly....

Vicarage Road closed after hole appears

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

Drivers are being advised to avoid Vicarage Road in Watford after the appearance of a hole in the road's surface.

The road has been closed at the junctions of Fearnley Road and Farraline Road while council workers determine the extent of the void.


Hertfordshire woman 'survives Afghanistan Taliban ambush'

A woman from Hertfordshire has survived a Taliban ambush on a tourist convoy in Afghanistan.

Karin Weston
Royston Rotary Club

Karin Weston from Buntingford was among a group of 12 tourists being escorted by the Afghan Army when it came under attack yesterday, as first reported in the Hertfordshire Mercury.

It's understood the group were visiting religious sites in a western province of the country when their minibus was hit by a rocket.

Hatters 'targeting title' as season opens

Geoff Doyle

BBC Three Counties Radio sport

Luton Town manager Nathan Jones is targeting promotion as the Hatters start their League Two campaign with a long trip for tomorrow's match at Plymouth.

The Hatters could give league debuts to Danny Hylton, Jake Gray, Jordan Cook and Johnny Mullins. 

Nathan Jones
Getty Images

Mr Jones believes his side should do well this season.

He said: "They're not pressures - they're ambitions... when you’re ambitious pressure comes with that. 

"I think we are third favourites, but I want to win the league so my ambitions are slightly bigger than the bookies' ones."

Dons boss predicts 'really hard' opening month

Geoff Doyle

BBC Three Counties Radio sport

Despite relegation to League One last season, MK Dons manager Karl Robinson is predicting a tough start to life in the lower league. 

His side travel to Shrewsbury for the first game of the season.

Karl Robinson
Getty Images

Robinson said: "The first four weeks are going to be really hard for us because we haven't been able to get the players we wanted to get.

"It's going to be the hardest first game of the season I have ever played.”

Weather: A dry end to the day

Julie Reinger

BBC Look East weather

A few evening showers, but generally a fine end to the day with some further spells of sunshine. Tonight will be dry, with light winds.

Temperatures will fall to 13C (55F).

Weather chart for Saturday 05:00
BBC Weather

Some long spells of sunshine on Saturday, although it may turn hazy at times. Light west to south-westerly winds, but an onshore wind could develop around parts of the coast.

Maximum temperature: 24C (75F).

BBC Weather has more details.

Rio 2016: The East gymnasts going for gold

Three gymnasts from the East of England are hoping to come home from Rio 2016 with medals hanging from their necks.

Max Whitlock, from Hemel Hempstead but who now trains in Basildon, Brinn Bevan, also from Essex, and Louis Smith, from Peterborough, will compete for Team GB along with Kristian Thomas and Nile Wilson.

BBC Look East caught up with the trio ahead of their departure for Brazil last week:

Max Whitlock said he felt honoured to be selected to represent Team GB. 

"I want to go there, enjoy experience and do my best... The results that we have got behind us as a team, gives us a lot of confidence and hopefully we can all have successful competitions out in Rio."

Get the latest from Rio 2016 with BBC Sport.

Dons boss praises new signing

Andrew Woodger

BBC News

MK Dons manager Karl Robinson has been outlining some of his reasons for signing Scott Wootton on a free transfer a day before their League One opener at Shrewsbury tomorrow.

Mr Robinson said: "Scott is someone I've known since he was 13 and I've seen his career blossom. It was a really proud moment seeing him start for Manchester United's first team and he's played in the Champions League for them as well."  

Karl Robinson
Getty Images

'Shocking level of violence' in marriage feud

Andrew Woodger

BBC News

Sentencing Shah at Luton Crown Court, Judge Michael Kay QC said: "There has been a feud between two families over a marriage.

"It is truly shocking that this level of violence and hatred can arise over something like a marriage."


Feud was over 'love match'

Andrew Woodger

BBC News

Khalid Chaudhry told the court the feud stemmed from his son having a 'love match' with his wife, rather than her having had an arranged marriage.

Algar Shah, who has been jailed for 18 months for making threats to kill and possessing a knife, denied he had been at the shop where the confrontation had taken place.

He also denied there was any bad blood between the families.

Prosecutor Neil King told the trial Shah was picked out at a police identity parade by the victim and another worker at the Pak Food Store in Luton.

Trial hears of confrontation at food store

Andrew Woodger

BBC News

The trial at Luton heard Algar Shah had gone to the Pak Food Store on Bishopscote Road and confronted Mr Chaudhry, who was making a delivery there.

The prosecution said Shah had said (in Punjabi): "Come out. I want to break your teeth".

Luton Crown Court
South Beds News Agency

He was dragged out of the shop by staff while shouting "I will come back with a knife. I will kill you".

He returned and Mr Chaudhry said: "He was aggressive. I was scared."

Man jailed after 'family marriage feud'

Andrew Woodger

BBC News

A man has been jailed for 18 months after making threats to kill in a "feud" between two families over a marriage.

Algar Shah, 36, of Alder Crescent, Luton had denied making threats to kill Khalid Chaudhry at the town's Pak Food Store, and of possessing a knife.

The jury at Luton Crown Court found him guilty after a three-day trial.

The court heard the feud stemmed from a "love" marriage between Shah's sister and Mr Chaudhry's eldest son.

Hertfordshire Sports Village in Hatfield reopened after legionella bacteria discovered

Welwyn Hatfield Times

Hertfordshire Sports Village in Hatfield has reopened after it was forced to close when legionella bacteria was discovered.  

MK Dons sign Scott Wootton

BBC Sport

MK Dons have signed Scott Wootton on a free transfer. 

The central defender, 24, has agreed a two-year contract having earlier this summer left Leeds. 

Scott Wootton i white
Getty Images

"This is a really good, forward-thinking club and I'm delighted to be here," he told MK Dons' official website. 

Wootton, who has previously been at Manchester United, Peterborough, Nottingham Forest and Rotherham, becomes the Dons' fourth signing of the past week following George Williams, Chuks Aneke and Lee Nicholls.

Weather: Dry and sunny into the weekend

Sunny with some cloud for the rest of the afternoon as the temperature peaks at 22C (72F) across the three counties.

Dry and sunny on Saturday, with temperatures rising to a peak of 22C (72F) again in the late afternoon.

St Albans weather

For more detail, visit BBC Weather.

One from the vaults: Duke of Bedford gets on his bike in 1972

Forty four years ago this month John Russell, 13th Duke of Bedford (1917-2002), was photographed trying out an unusual tricycle.

John Russell, 13th Duke of Bedford tries out an unusual tricycle at an exhibition of cycles by inventor Wilf Lunn
Getty Images

The trike was part of an exhibition of cycles by inventor, and legendary BBC television star, Wilf Lunn (right) at the Duke's seat at Woburn Abbey, Bedfordshire.

Man sought in theft inquiry

Andrew Woodger

BBC News

Police are re-appealing for help in tracing a man they want to speak to in connection with the theft of a motor vehicle.

Hertfordshire Police have been unable to trace John Wickens, 27,since the theft on 13 June. 

His last known address was Hemel Hempstead and it is believed he may still be in the town, in Luton or in north London.

The force allege that in July he also breached a court order imposed on him in March.

John Wickens
Hertfordshire Police

Ambulance service had 999 call about dead squirrel

Nic Rigby

BBC News

The East of England Ambulance Service says it's received more than a thousand hoax and inappropriate 999 calls over the past two years.


They say that these calls divert time away from real emergencies.

Operators at their control centre in Bedford have had calls about a cat with a broken leg, a man snoring in the back of a taxi and one about a dead squirrel.

Welwyn Garden City neighbours save groom’s life after cardiac arrest

Herts Advertiser

A Welwyn Garden City couple soon to be wed are thanking their lucky stars after their neighbours saved the groom’s life.