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Summary

  1. Updates on Thursday 19 May 2016
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Friday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Chris Gayle (left), Shahid Afridi (middle), Brendon McCullum (right)

Kalika Mehta

BBC Sport

The domestic cricket scene is set to burst into life as the glitz and glamour of the T20 Blast gets under way on Friday.

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Good evening from Local Live for Birmingham and the Black Country

That's it from us on Thursday.

We're back with more news, sport, travel and weather updates from 08:00 on Friday. Join us then.

Coming up on TV

Mary Rhodes

Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

We will be back - that's the rallying cry from Aston Villa's new owner, Chinese businessman, Dr Tony Xia.

Police officers from across Europe are in the Midlands this week, as part of a major crackdown on foreign criminals.

And we look forward as Walsall need to make Football League history tonight if they're to reach the League One playoff final at Wembley.

Join us for the Midlands Today on BBC One at 18:30.

Report into Sandwell Council land sales delayed again

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

A second legal challenge has further delayed the publication of a law firm's report into alleged irregularities in the sale of Sandwell Council's former properties.

Gowling WLG investigated allegations around the sale of the authority's former properties from 2011-2013, including three old public toilet blocks and a former coroner's office in Smethwick.  

Legal action had been brought to block a report of findings coming out last week, the council confirmed, but a QC said publication was "strongly in the public interest".

The former HM Coroner's office in Crocketts Lane, Smethwick, pictured in August 2012
Google

The council vowed to press ahead and publish online at 17:00 today after calls by MPs for details to be shared.

But at 16:59, Melanie Dudley, assistant chief executive of Sandwell Council, issued a statement to say publication had been delayed "due to a High Court hearing". She added: "It is hoped a decision on the publication will be determined by a judge this evening.”

Watch: Police crack down on foreign criminals

Police officers from across Europe are in the West Midlands as part of a major crackdown on foreign criminals.

Operation Trivium involves teams from the Netherlands, Romania and Lithuania working alongside officers from regional forces to help track people with criminal records. 

'I knew I had no car insurance'

Watch: Latest weather forecast for the West Midlands

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today

Rain continues eastwards across the region. Very mild tonight with lows of 11C (52F).

Find out more.

Weather for the West Midlands.

Dr Tony Xia and the Aston Villa takeover - a comprehensive summary of the sale

Birmingham Mail

A look back at the key events from Wednesday's news that Aston Villa have a new owner.

Latest: Vila buyout agreed; murder arrest in Sandwell; openly transgender councillor

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

If you are just catching up on Thursday's news, here are our headlines:

- A new owner has sealed a deal to buy relegated Aston Villa for £60m

- A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder following the discovery of a body in Sandwell 

- The Labour Party's first openly transgender councillor has spoken of her worries about how people would react

Aston Villa takeover: Supporters' passion prompted buyout - Hollis

It was the passion of the supporters that made Aston Villa's new owner buy the club - that's what the club's chairman Steve Hollis said today.

Mr Hollis revealed the buyer Dr Tony Xia attended Villa's draw with Newcastle and that led to his decision.

Steve Hollis
BBC

Boss: I had to watch firm being raided but police couldn't come until morning

Express and Star

A businessman who called police when he saw a break-in at his firm on CCTV said he was left to watch it unfold after being told officers could not attend until the next day.

Anwen Muston

The Labour Party's first openly transgender councillor speaks of her worries about how people would react.

Read more

Aston Villa takeover: Up to £50m available for new talent says buyer Xia

The man who has agreed to buy Aston Villa has revealed the buyout was a "complex deal" costing a bit more than £100m.

Chinese businessman Dr Tony Xia said between £20m and £50m would be available to buy new players depending on discussions with a new coach, set to be chosen and appointed within the next two weeks.

He confirmed former Chelsea and West Bromwich Albion boss Roberto Di Matteo was among the candidates but said there was "one other very good choice".

Dr Tony Xia
BBC

Tamworth crash driver left hanging over canal

BBC News UK

A driver who crashed through a bridge over a canal leaving her car hanging "precariously at a 40 degree angle" has escaped injury.  

Car hanging over canal
West Midlands Ambulance Service

Her car only avoided ending up in the water in Tamworth when part of the bodywork hooked on to the bridge railing, West Midlands Ambulance Service said.

Emergency crews were called to Glascote Road at about 16:20 on Wednesday.

The driver - a woman in her 50s - climbed out through the back window.

Aston Villa takeover: Doug Ellis thinks it could become China's club

Steve Hermon

Journalist, BBC WM

We spoke to former Villa owner Doug Ellis after its buyout by Chinese businessman Dr Tony Xia was agreed.

Former owner Sir Doug Ellis thinks Villa could become 'The Chinese Club'

Universities join in combined authority collaboration

Birmingham City, Wolverhampton and Coventry universities are linking up to provide West Midlands Combined Authority with research and training skills. 

Combined Universities panel
Coventry University

'Ruff' surfaces not a problem as fancy footwear helps fire dogs put best paw forward

Here's something you don't see every day - two pairs of trainers being worn at once.

But they're not the must-have accessory for picky pooches, these trainers are to protect the working dogs' paws in emergency situations.

View more on twitter

Coming up on TV

Dan Pallett

BBC Midlands Today Sport

The new owner of Aston Villa says he plans to make the club the most popular football team in China.

We have all the latest on the takeover of the club. Join us for the Midlands Today on BBC One at 13:30.

Latest: Villa buyout agreed; body found in Sandwell; man 'hit by train'

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

Here is a recap of the stories we have been covering so far on Thursday:

- The buyout of relegated Aston Villa has been agreed for £60m

- A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder following the discovery of a body in Sandwell 

- A body has been found near a railway line, says British Transport Police which attended the scene following reports a man had been hit by a train 

Arrests in early morning raids targeting suspected burglars

Police investigating a spate of burglaries across east Birmingham over the last few months say they have today made a number of arrests, which include three members of the same family.

Officers visited properties in the city at about 06:00.

They say stolen goods and drugs were recovered, with suspects arrested on suspicion of offences including burglary, assisting an offender and conspiracy to commit burglary.

The raids are in connection with 10 burglaries, mostly in the Sheldon area, between February and March, in which thieves broke into houses, took car keys and then used the stolen vehicles to commit further break-ins.

Football: Stephane Sessegnon and Victor Anichebe leave West Bromwich Albion

BBC Sport

Midfielder Stephane Sessegnon and striker Victor Anichebe leave West Bromwich Albion as their contracts expire at The Hawthorns.

Sessegnon, 31, has scored eight goals in 92 games for the Baggies since joining for a then club record fee from Sunderland in September 2013.

Anichebe, who signed at the same time in a £6m move from Everton, scored nine times in 63 appearances.

Stephane Sessegnon and Victor Anichebe
Getty Images

Overhead wire problem causing train delays

BBC Travel

There's disruption on rail services through Birmingham New Street after an "object" got entangled in overhead wires near Longbridge.

Buses are running between Longbridge and Redditch to replace any cancelled trains, Network Rail reports.

CrossCountry and Cross City routes are affected.

Disruption between Birmingham New Street and Redditch / Cheltenham Spa expected until 13:30 #Longbridge

Watch: Latest weather for Birmingham and the Black Country

Lucy Martin

BBC Weather

Some sunny spells this afternoon before cloud moves in, bringing outbreaks of rain by this evening.

Highs of 17C (63F).

Charity to close as parents struggle with 'reminder'

This week's Walsall Advertiser front page: Charity to close as parents struggle with "reminder".

Walsall Advertiser's front page
Walsall Advertiser

Dead man 'hit by train'

Here's more on our earlier story about delays to services from Droitwich Spa railway station due to an incident attended by emergency services:

British Transport Police said it was called to the line near Ladywood Road following a report at 05:46 that a person had been struck by a train.

A spokesman said: "Paramedics from the West Midlands Ambulance Service also attended but the man was pronounced dead at the scene. Officers are now working to identify the man and inform his family."

Six months since first Syrian refugees were taken in by Birmingham

Kathryn Stanczyszyn

Political Reporter, BBC WM

It's been six months since the first Syrian refugees taken in by Birmingham City Council arrived in the city.

The Al-Baarinis are a family of five - mum Samah, dad Abdul Hamid, and three children, Nour, Halil and Maryam. Abdul Hamid worked as a mechanic in Syria but the whole family fled their home city of Homs in 2012 as the fighting worsened.

The Al-Baarinis
BBC

After that, they were caught up in the Humanitarian System in the Middle East - until the end of January, when they heard they'd be coming to the UK. 

They'd never heard of Birmingham before but they've been helped with the basics by the Birmingham charity Amirah Foundation - including lots of form-filling - and all of them are learning English; a language of which they only knew a few words before.

Robbers who held up shops armed with swords are jailed

Three robbers who held up 13 shops over five months armed with swords, hammers and crowbars have been jailed, West Midlands Police says.

Coventry gang members Anthony Collier, Darren Irwin and Thomas Rawbone (pictured left to right) struck at convenience stores across Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire, stealing tens of thousands of pounds in cash and cigarettes.

Anthony Collier, Darren Irwin and Thomas Rawbone
West Midlands Police

Among their targets was a shop in Kenilworth which they robbed three times.

All three men admitted conspiracy to rob. Collier, aged 31 – who admitted being part of a three-strong gang that robbed Hatton Country World in July 2014 – was jailed for a total of 18 years, while Rawbone, 26, and 34-year-old Irwin were both handed prison terms of 11-and-a-half years. 

Car left hanging over Tamworth canal after leaving road

Tamworth Herald

A car with a woman inside was left hanging precariously over a canal in Tamworth.

the car hanging
EpiTog

'Racism' claim after pair taken off Birmingham plane

Two passengers were asked to get off a UK flight to Rome shortly before take-off over reports they were "acting suspiciously".

The men were asked to leave the plane at Birmingham and were questioned by police.

Officers did not find anything suspicious and the men travelled the next day, said West Midlands Police.

Another traveller on the Sunday flight, Marsha De Salvatore, claimed the report made about the two men appeared to be "pure racism". She said the pilot told passengers over the cabin speakers he believed any suspicions had been "unfounded".

Birmingham Airport sign
BBC

Warley body find: A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder

Here's more on our breaking story: The discovery of the body was made at about 12:40 on Wednesday at a flat in Thompson Road, Warley. The man, 32, has not yet been officially named.

Forensic experts are combing over the scene, which has been cordoned off for their examinations to take place.

A 28-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder and West Midlands Police said he was "helping police with their inquiries".

A post-morterm is due to take place later today.

BreakingPolice investigate body discovered in Sandwell

The body of a 32-year-old man was found at a flat in Sandwell yesterday, police have revealed.

Keith Barker celebrates wicket

Samit Patel's brilliant 68-ball century is not enough to save Nottinghamshire from a 53-run defeat by Warwickshire.

Read more

Latest: Villa takeover; 'racism' claim after pair taken off plane; first Syrian refugees in Birmingham

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

Here are the top stories on Thursday:

- Chinese businessman Dr Tony Xia has agreed to buy relegated Aston Villa for £60m

- 'Racism' claim after pair taken off Birmingham plane

- The BBC speaks to a Syrian family among the first 50 refugees taken in from the war-torn country by Birmingham City Council

Aston Villa takeover: Chinese businessman Dr Tony Xia agrees £60m deal

Chinese businessman Dr Tony Xia agrees a deal to buy Aston Villa for £60m following their relegation to the Championship.

The deal, which is subject to Football League approval, would see Xia take 100% ownership and become chairman.

American billionaire Randy Lerner, who bought Villa in 2006 for £62.2m, put the club up for sale in 2014.

club statement said Lerner "sought the right owner to take care of the club and restore fortunes" and believes Xia is an "excellent choice".

Villa fans protests at Lerner's ownership of the club
Reuters

Travel: Train delay warnings

BBC Travel

Emergency services are reportedly dealing with an incident at Droitwich Spa rail station, causing delays of up to 40 minutes on London Midland trains between Kidderminster and Bromsgrove and between Worcester Foregate Street and Bromsgrove.

Good morning from Local Live for Birmingham and the Black Country

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

I'm back with the latest news, sport, travel and weather updates on Thursday.

Comment on our stories or send us your pictures over email, tweet @bbcwm or reach us on the BBC WM Facebook page.