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Summary

  1. Updates on Friday, 11 August 2017
  2. Hippo named after Game Of Thrones character
  3. Elderly man attacked at home by intruders
  4. Rail users group 'concerned' over franchise takeover
  5. Scarecrows invade Herts village

Live Reporting

By Alex Pope

All times stated are UK

Get involved

BBC Athletics commentators Steve Cram and Brendan Foster

Mark Lawrenson takes on BBC athletics commentators Brendan Foster and Steve Cram on the opening weekend of the Premier League season.

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Miguel Britos celebrates scoring Watford's equaliser against Liverpool

Neil Johnston

BBC Sport

Miguel Britos scores a dramatic 93rd-minute equaliser for Watford as Liverpool are held in a thrilling game at Vicarage Road.

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Our live coverage across the week

That's it from the Local Live team for this week, so goodbye and enjoy the weekend whatever the weather brings us.

We'll be back from 08:00 on Monday, bringing you the news, sport, travel and weather updates as they happen.

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Premier League predictions by BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra DJs Charlie Sloth, Adele Roberts, Trevor Nelson, Nick Bright and Chris Stark on the season's opening weekend.

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Weather: Dry night ahead

Chris Bell

BBC Look East weather

The weather for this evening and tonight will be mainly dry at first across the BBC East region, but cloud thickening from the west will bring the chance of some patchy light rain.

There will be light to moderate southwesterly winds, which will turn more westerly later.

The temperature will dip to 13-15C (upper 50sF).

Weather map
BBC

Tomorrow it will mainly dry with a mixture of sunny spells and patchy cloud, but thicker cloud could bring one or two isolated showers, mainly across Norfolk.

Highs around 20-22C (near 70F).

World leaders at Scarecrow Festival

It seems like the Flamstead Scarecrow Festival has gone a little bit political.

There's Lord Buckethead.....

Lord Buckethead
South Beds News Agency

President Macron, or should that be "Macrow"...

President Macrow
South Beds News Agency

...and latest but not least, Putin and Trump.

Putin scarecrow
South Beds News Agency

Man charged with pulling gun on police in Stanstead Abbotts

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Yesterday we reported that a police officer had been hurt after a man produced what they suspected to be a gun, before driving away in Stanstead Abbotts near Hertford on Wednesday.

Police have just confirmed a 36-year-old man from Hertford has been charged with using an imitation firearm to resist arrest, escaping from lawful custody and assaulting a police officer.

Severe accident: M1 Buckinghamshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Buckinghamshire northbound severe accident, between J14 for A509 and J15 for A45.

M1 Buckinghamshire - One lane blocked and queuing traffic on M1 northbound between J14, A509 (Milton Keynes) and J15, A45 (Northampton), because of an accident.

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

Thousands to be spent in improving diabetes care

Some £473,244 has been secured to invest in diabetes care in Bedfordshire.

The county's NHS clinical commissioning group says the money will be used to try and keep people well and reduce the cost the disease has on the health service.

They hope they'll be able to educate people to help them manage the condition, reduce the number of amputations by improving referrals to specialist teams and increase the number of specialists to improve early diagnosis rates and access to specialist care.

Checking blood sugar levels
Thinkstock

Scarecrow festival in Flamstead

Toby Friedner

BBC Three Counties Radio

Rather strange sights have been spotted at sites around Flamstead near Harpenden.

You can expect to see Paddington Bear.....

Paddington scarecrow
BBC

A very scared crow..

A scared crow
BBC

Jeremy Crowbin...

Jeremy Crowbin
BBC

and Shrek....

They're dotted all around the village for the annual Scarecrow Festival, which runs until Sunday.

Shrek
BBC

The event's been going since 2002, to raise funds for the upkeep of the village church and the Herts Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre.

Thousands of people are expected.

Breaking11 people convicted after slavery trials

Harry Parkhill

BBC Local Live, Lincolnshire

Eleven people have been convicted after a major police investigation into modern slavery including cases in Lincolnshire.

Those convicted were tried in a series of linked trials at Nottingham Crown Court.

living conditions
Lincolnshire Police

'Operation Pottery' was one of the largest investigations of its kind in the UK, Lincolnshire Police said.

Eleven people have now been convicted of offences including; conspiracy to forced or compulsory labour; conspiracy to defraud; fraud by false representation; theft and converting criminal property.

The UK Human Trafficking Centre said that 18 men were illegally trafficked.

Police say they were often forced to live in "shocking" conditions (pictured above).

Most of those convicted were members of the same family.

They will be sentenced in early September.

Their living quarters were truly shocking and at times the men resided in site stables next to the dog kennels."

Ch Supt Nikki MayoLincolnshire Police

Severe disruption: M25 Hertfordshire clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Hertfordshire clockwise severe disruption, after J23 for A1.

M25 Hertfordshire - Very slow traffic on M25 clockwise after J23 A1(M), because of an earlier broken down vehicle. All lanes have been re-opened. Congestion to J21 M1.

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

Under threat village church bid to raise £1m

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

A Hertfordshire church which has rare medieval paintings on its walls will have to be closed within two years unless £1m is raised, according to the priest.

St Leonard's Church, Flamstead
Geograph/Chris Reynolds

The money is needed to fix the roof and walls of St Leonard's in Flamstead, near Harpenden, which have been damaged by water.

Vicar Tom Sander said it's becoming harder to raise the money.

"The Heritage Lottery Fund had a specific fund for places of worship like churches which make up about 40% of the listed buildings in the entire country," he said.

"That fund has now been closed and merged into the wider Heritage Lottery Fund and while we're still eligible to apply, the likelihood of us being successful has got a lot smaller."

Severe disruption: M1 Bedfordshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Bedfordshire southbound severe disruption, between J11 for A505 Dunstable Road and M1 J10.

M1 Bedfordshire - One lane closed and very slow traffic on M1 southbound between J11 A505 Dunstable Road and M1 J10, Luton Airport Spur Road, because of a lorry having a tyre changed.

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

Severe disruption: A1(M) Hertfordshire southbound

BBC News Travel

A1(M) Hertfordshire southbound severe disruption, at J5 for B197.

A1(M) Hertfordshire - One lane closed and very slow traffic on A1(M) southbound at J5 B197, because of an overturned vehicle.

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

Fancy a commute with kid-only carriage?

A rail operator is trialling family-friendly carriages designed to keep children occupied on journeys.

Chiltern Railways has been laying on board games, toys and craft materials on some services running from Birmingham to London via Warwickshire, Banbury and High Wycombe.

One passenger said travelling was easier without a child "running up and down the train".

The train where kids get a carriage to themselves

Whipsnade hippo named after Game of Thrones character

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

The HBO TV show Game of Thrones has inspired the naming of a new hippopotamus at Whipsnade Zoo near Dunstable.

The male calf, who was born on 21 July is called Hodor.

His weight at birth was 30kg (66lbs) - the same as an adult Labrador dog.

The zoo told me they were "keen to choose a name that was a blend between the calf's parents Hoover and Lola", but some staff were also massive fans of the show.

"As the hippo will grow to a huge 1,500kg, they felt loveable giant Hodor was a very apt namesake," a zoo spokesman said.

Hodor from Game of Thrones
HBO
Hodor, played by Kristian Nairn in the HBO series
Hodor the hippo
ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Zookeeper Angela Robinson says: "Hodor seems to be a very confident and playful young hippo and, like any youngster, he has taken a liking to winding up his mum by chasing and play-biting at her tail".

Hodor and Lola the hippos
ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

He's pictured with his mother, Lola, as you can see they have the same pink skin markings, a natural variation in pigmentation, giving the appearance of wearing socks.

Hodor and Lola the hippos
ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

The new calf is part of the European Endangered Species Programme, which helps ensure the survival of endangered species in zoos across Europe.

Common hippos are classified as "vulnerable" on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species, but their populations are in decline due to threats including hunting and habitat loss.

Severe disruption: M25 Hertfordshire clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Hertfordshire clockwise severe disruption, after J22 for A1081.

M25 Hertfordshire - One lane closed and heavy traffic on M25 clockwise after J22, A1081 (St Albans), because of a lorry having a tyre changed and recovery work.

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

How long could your summer holiday flight be delayed?

BBC Business News

Flight data from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) analysed by the BBC shows that passengers using Luton-based Easyjet had the longest delays of the 10 busiest airlines during the last two summers.

EasyJet plane
Getty Images

All flyers using EasyJet had an average delay of 24 minutes.

The average delays at airports were worst for passengers flying from Gatwick - with Luton a close second.

Passengers leaving Gatwick waited 27 minutes, while for those at Luton it was 24.

The analysis, by the BBC's data journalism team, is based on the last two years of CAA data for all flights from or to UK airports during June to August.

An EasyJet spokeswoman said: "EasyJet operates the largest number of flights of any UK airline, flying over 78 million passengers per year.

"In 2017, EasyJet will operate 33% more flights than in 2011, with less than 0.8% delayed by more than three hours.

"In fact, despite a number of adverse external factors like increasingly congested airspace, particularly in the London area, and record numbers of air traffic control strikes, over the last year EasyJet has actually reduced the proportion of flights delayed by more than three hours.

"We work hard to minimise disruption and fully comply with all relevant regulations."

Severe accident: M25 Berkshire clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Berkshire clockwise severe accident, after J15 for M4.

M25 Berkshire - Queuing traffic on M25 clockwise after J15 M4, because of an accident, which is now on the hard shoulder. All lanes have been re-opened. Congestion to J13, A30 (Staines).

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

Video weather forecast: Mainly dry, but cloudy

Lucy Martin

BBC Weather

Sunshine this morning will give way to cloud and rain this evening across the BBC East region.

The weekend will be cloudy, but dry with temperatures peaking at 20C (68F).

Elderly man attacked in Luton home

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

An elderly man has been attacked by two masked men who broke into his Luton home.

Ashburnham Road, Luton
Google

The men left empty-handed after the break-in at about 05:00 in Ashburnham Road.

Bedfordshire Police say the victim has been left extremely shaken and fearful to be in his own home.

Severe accident: A1(M) Hertfordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

A1(M) Hertfordshire northbound severe accident, at J7 for A602.

A1(M) Hertfordshire - Queuing traffic on A1(M) northbound at J7, A602 (Stevenage), because of an accident, which is now on the hard shoulder. Congestion to J6, A1000 (Welwyn).

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

Rail user group 'concerned' over change of operator

A group representing train passengers in Northampton and Long Buckby has said it's "concerned" about the change of operator announced by the government.

West Midlands Trains Ltd - a joint venture between the Dutch firm Abellio and Japanese partners - will take over the routes currently operated in Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and the capital by London Midland from December.

The new operator is promising extra capacity with new, longer, trains, but Paul Minton from the Northampton Rail Users Group says he fears it's more about saving money.

He said: "We're particularly concerned that Abellio may well put in a cost-cutting paper bid versus London Midland which may have some service ramifications later - recognising that the Department for Transport were probably going to go for what was the lowest cost to run the franchise.

"We've not spotted anything which will give us a lot of faith otherwise at this stage."

West Midlands Trains promise 'improvements from day one'

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

The new operators of commuter trains from Milton Keynes and Northampton into London are promising improvements.

A West Midlands Rail train
West Midlands Rail

West Midlands Trains Ltd will takeover the service from London Midland in December.

The franchise also includes the Bedford to Bletchley, and St Albans Abbey to Watford lines.

Dominic Booth, from West Midlands Trains, said: "From day one we'll start to work on daily punctuality and reliability improvements... [and] compensation when we do get things wrong.

"We're changing that mechanism so that passengers are recompensed automatically for anything longer than a 15-minute delay, so passengers will start to see benefits and our investments coming in very early in the franchise."

Today's weather: Dry and bright

BBC Weather

It's due to be dry and sunny for most of the day, but there's a chance of it becoming cloudier later this afternoon with some patchy rain coming in from the west.

Maximum temperature: 22C (72F).

For a full forecast where you are, visit BBC Weather.

Sunrise at Felixtstowe
Wesley Stankiewicz

Welcome back to live updates

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Welcome back to Local Live - we'll be here until 18:00 with the latest news, sport, weather and travel updates for your area.

Today is due to be mostly dry and sunny for most of the day but a regional weather forecast will be with you shortly.

Get in touch with us at any time using the Get Involved button at the top of the page.

Severe disruption: A1(M) Hertfordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

A1(M) Hertfordshire northbound severe disruption, at J8 for A602.

A1(M) Hertfordshire - A1(M) exit slip road partially blocked and slow traffic northbound at J8, A602 (Stevenage), because of a broken down vehicle.

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

Severe accident: A1(M) Hertfordshire southbound

BBC News Travel

A1(M) Hertfordshire southbound severe accident, between J7 for A602 and J6 for A1000.

A1(M) Hertfordshire - Slow traffic on A1(M) southbound between J7, A602 (Stevenage) and J6, A1000 (Welwyn), because of an accident, which is now on the hard shoulder. All lanes have been re-opened. Congestion to J8, A602 (Stevenage).

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

Severe accident: A1072 Hertfordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

A1072 Hertfordshire northbound severe accident, between A1155 Fairlands Way and A602 Hitchin Road.

A1072 Hertfordshire - A1072 Gunnels Wood Road in Stevenage closed northbound between the A1155 Fairlands Way junction and the A602 Hitchin Road junction, because of accident investigation work. Traffic is coping well.

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

Severe accident: M40 Buckinghamshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M40 Buckinghamshire northbound severe accident, between J2 for A355 and J4 for A404.

M40 Buckinghamshire - Two lanes closed on M40 northbound between J2, A355 (Beaconsfield) and J4, A404 (High Wycombe Handy Cross Roundabout), because of an accident.

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

Severe accident: M25 Essex anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Essex anti-clockwise severe accident, between J26 for A121 and J25 for A10.

M25 Essex - Three lanes closed and very slow traffic on M25 anticlockwise between J26, A121 (Waltham Abbey) and J25, A10 (Enfield), because of an accident involving lorry and car.

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

Our live coverage across the day

That's it for our live updates today, thank you for your company.

Scroll down to catch up on the stories we've been covering.

We'll be back again from 08:00 tomorrow.

Meanwhile, any breaking news will still appear here overnight.

Have a great evening.

Weather: Dry overnight

Alex Dolan

BBC Look East weather

Staying dry this evening - any cloud in the BBC East region will thin and break to bring clear spells and some chilly temperatures overnight as it dips to 8C (46F) in light westerly or south westerly winds.

There will be a chilly start to Friday, with sunny spells and highs of 22C (72F).

BBC East weather map
BBC

It will gradually turn cloudier during the afternoon with patchy rain by the evening, spreading across the region overnight in light to moderate south westerly winds.

For a more detailed forecast of where you are, visit BBC Weather.

Heron catches fish: Watch the birdie!

Earlier we bought you a photo of the moment a heron speared a fish on the River Flit in Bedfordshire... and now you can watch the perfect catch of the day!

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