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Summary

  1. Updates on Wednesday 25 May 2016
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates to resume at 08:00 on Thursday

Live Reporting

By Alex Homer

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good evening from Local Live for Birmingham and the Black Country

That's it from us on Wednesday.

Join us from 08:00 on Thursday for more news, sport, travel and weather.

Watch: Latest weather forecast for the West Midlands

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today

Through tonight rain is affecting northern parts of the region.

Lows of 9C (48F).

Probe into councillor's 'house buy' plan

An investigation is launched into an allegation a senior Sandwell councillor urged his authority to buy back his mother's previously council-owned home.

Simon Hackett
BBC

Ramadan advice for Birmingham diabetics

Muslim diabetics in Birmingham have been urged not to put their health at risk by fasting during the forthcoming month of Ramadan.

Throughout Ramadan, from 7 June until 6 July this year, most Muslims are required to refrain from eating and drinking during daylight hours.

But diabetics are exempt from this if fasting would put their health at risk. Here is more information about the risks.

Robert Plant forced to cancel appearance at Meltdown festival

Black Country-born Robert Plant says it is with "great disappointment" he's had to withdraw from the bill at this year's Meltdown Festival in London next month. 

A statement from Plant's representatives said: "Robert is a defendant in a court case in LA which was due to take place May 10th. Through court rearrangements, the hearing has been moved to June 14th."

Robert Plant
BBC

The Led Zeppelin star and bandmate Jimmy Page are currently at the centre of a copyright claim over their song Stairway to Heaven. Lawyers for the estate of one of the members of the band Spirit claim they stole the intro from Spirit's 1968 song Taurus. 

Led Zeppelin have denied the claim.

Latest: 'Child abuse' probe; child rapist found abroad; Tata Steel bids

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

If you are just catching up on Wednesday's news, here are our stories from the past few hours:

- A "major" child abuse investigation has been launched in Birmingham after a man was arrested and charged with making indecent images of children

- A child rapist who fled the UK has been arrested in Brazil after three years on the run

- Bids to buy Tata Steel's UK operations are being considered

Tata considers bids for UK steel plants

Business Secretary Sajid Javid and Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones have travelled to Mumbai for a Tata board meeting to discuss bids for Port Talbot and its other UK steel operations.

The deadline for potential buyers to make formal bids closed on Monday.

Tata has declined to say how many actual bids it has received.

The firm employs just under 800 people across the West Midlands.

Tata Steel
Getty Images

Brave Norton meningitis survivor Robert Parsons gets set for 10K charity challenge

Stourbridge News

Sixteen years after his life changed forever - brave Norton meningitis survivor Robert Parsons is challenging himself to complete a 10K walk as a way of thanking all those who helped him on the road to recovery.  

Comedy club chain's Glee over 20th Century Fox legal ruling

The makers of American television show Glee have lost the latest round of a trademark battle.

Twentieth Century Fox had appealed against a Deputy High Court judge's ruling that it breached a trademark owned by a British comedy club chain.

But three Court of Appeal judges have dismissed a challenge.

The Glee TV show aired in 2009
Getty Images

Comic Enterprises had claimed that Twentieth Century Fox's broadcast of Glee in the UK had breached its trademark rights to the phrase The Glee Club. Twentieth Century Fox disagreed.

Light railway for Dudley's tourist attractions?

Fancy a trip on a light railway to see Dudley's tourist attractions?

The town has been given £75,000 to look into providing a railway to support tourism.

The proposed service will link Dudley Zoo on Castle Hill and the Black Country Living Museum on Tipton Road.

Bosses revealed yesterday they hoped to expand the museum, where scenes for the BBC's Peaky Blinders have been filmed, by a third in size.

Black Country Living Museum
BBC

The £20m proposals include creating a new 1940s'-style town complete with a pub and library.

Susan Whiting: Murder jury given majority direction

The judge in the trial of a husband and wife accused of killing a student with learning difficulties - has told the jury they can come to a majority decision on the last verdict. 

Steven Beards from Walsall was convicted o Monday of murdering Susan Whiting. The jury is still deliberating on the charge against Julie Beards. At least ten have to agree.

Julie Beards (left) and Steven Beards with an intermediary appointed by the court to help Mrs Beards
Helen Tipper

M6: Two lanes blocked near Aston Expressway

BBC Travel

Two lanes are blocked on the M6 northbound between J6 A38(M) Aston Expressway and J7, A34 (Great Barr), because of an accident, BBC Travel News reports.

Latest: Convicted rapist found; 'child abuse' investigation; murder trial jurors deliberate

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

Here is a quick recap of our top stories on Wednesday:

- A convicted rapist sentenced in his absence to serve 11 years in jail has been tracked down in Brazil

- A "major" child abuse investigation has been launched Birmingham after a man was arrested and charged with making indecent images of children

- Susan Whiting: Murder trial jurors resume their deliberations

County Championship: Bears lie in third after Durham victory

BBC Sport

Paul Collingwood and centurion Keaton Jennings helped Durham to a four-wicket victory against Warwickshire at Edgbaston.

Warwickshire would have gone top of the table if they had won, but lie third having suffered their first Championship defeat of 2016.  

Keaton Jennings
Getty Images

Golf course cash will help regenerate Tamworth, council bosses pledge

Tamworth Herald

Millions of pounds made through the sale of Tamworth Golf Course will be ploughed into the town's regeneration, council bosses have vowed.

The former Tamworth Golf Course
Tamworth Herald

Tram extension through Birmingham city centre given green light

The government has given the go ahead to the extension of the Midland Metro from New Street to Centenary Square in Birmingham city centre.

It is hoped the work will be finished by 2019.

First tram service on a new extension on 6 December in Birmingham
Centro

Coming up on TV: Hundreds of lecturers on strike

Sarah Falkland

BBC Midlands Today

Hundreds of college and university lecturers across the region have walked out as part of a national two-day strike. 

And Birmingham radio legend Ed Doolan has been honoured for services to broadcasting. 

Join me for the Midlands Today on BBC One at 13:30.

Convicted rapist once of Rugeley tracked down to Brazil

A convicted rapist, formerly of Rugeley, has been tracked down to South America after he failed to answer bail in 2013, say police.

Portuguese Antonio Pedro De Olivera Alves, now aged 44, formerly of Aneurin Bevan Place, was convicted in his absence of one count of rape of a girl under the age of 13 and was sentenced to 11 years imprisonment in June 2013.

Staffordshire Police said when he failed to appear at Stafford Crown Court, the judge ordered a European Arrest Warrant.

Antonio Pedro De Olivera Alves
Staffordshire Police

In September 2014, Alves was tracked down to Brazil.

The force said Alves would remain in custody until the Brazilian Supreme Court made a decision about his extradition back to the UK.

Coming up on TV: Calls to improve firearms information sharing

Danny Shaw

BBC Home Affairs Correspondent

Researchers say governments across Europe must improve the way they gather and share information about firearms to help cut gun crime and tackle terrorism. 

Scientists from Coventry University believe the number of deaths and injuries caused by guns could be reduced - and they've presented their findings to the European Parliament in Brussels. 

I'll have more on Midlands Today from 18:30 on BBC One 

County Championship: Durham wrap up win over Bears

Warwickshire 313 & 114 v Durham 190 & 238-6

Clive Eakin

BBC Coventry & Warwickshire Sport

Jeetan Patel managed to pick up the wickets of centurion Keaton Jennings and Paul Collingwood for 44, but it was a case of too little too late as Durham have just secured victory by four wickets.

Alum Rock man charged with making indecent images of children

A Birmingham man has been charged with making indecent images of children after a two-day search of his Alum Rock home, according to police.

Brian Topliss was arrested on Monday morning and is due before Birmingham Magistrates Court today. 

Police say a full-scale search of the 72-year-old's home in Maitland Road has been under way for the last 48 hours and various pieces of computer equipment have been seized and are being examined.

Officers are going door-to-door in the community as they appeal for more information.

Old library split down the middle during demolition

The demolition work at Birmingham's old Central Library is continuing apace - with the landmark now split down the middle by bulldozers.

The work around Paradise Circus is part of a £500m redevelopment plan in the city centre.

The old Central Library
@BhamUpdates
The old Central Library
BBC

Pensioner 'pinned down and robbed' by 'Good Samaritan'

A man who helped a pensioner find her lost cat, allegedly later returned to her Dudley home to pin her down and rob her, according to police.

The 83-year-old victim was out looking for her missing cat when she met a man at Herald Court, off Priory Street who offered to help around 18:00 on 12 May.

After searching for the lost pet, he went around to her home for a drink.

The so-called Good Samaritan
West Midlands Police

He returned later and allegedly forced his way into her home and stole banks cards and cash before pinning her down and making threats, said the West Midlands force, which is appealing for information on its 101 number.  

Lecturers' pay strike - other staff 'could enter dispute'

Judith Burns

Education reporter

Some university lecturers in Birmingham and Wolverhampton are due to start a two-day strike over pay, amid warnings other staff could join the dispute.

The University and College Union says the 1.1% rise offered by the universities is "an insult".

But the Universities and Colleges Employers Association said the walkout was "disappointing given the very good pay offer".

UCU rally 2013
Chris Ison, PA

Lichfield cinema and shopping complex gets planning approval

Lichfield Mercury

Plans for a new shopping centre and cinema complex in Lichfield have been approved.

The Friarsgate scheme
Lichfield Mercury
Durham batsman Keaton Jennings drives to the cover boundary, watched by Warwickshire wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose

Durham's Keaton Jennings hits an unbeaten 88 to steer his side to within 84 runs of victory against Warwickshire.

Read more

Lanes closed on the motorways

BBC Travel

A lane is closed and there's queuing traffic on the M6 northbound between J12, A5 (Gailey) and J13, A449 (Stafford South), because of an accident and recovery work, BBC Travel news reports.

There's also a lane closed on the M42 exit slip road northbound at J5, A41 (Solihull), because of a broken down vehicle. 

Protest over plans to scrap student bursaries

Nurses, midwives, and other healthcare workers from the West Midlands are heading to Westminster today to lobby MPs over plans to scrap bursaries for students. 

It comes as a new report claims replacing bursaries with loans for those studying nursing, midwifery and other health degrees will mean around 2,000 fewer people a year will study for a career in the NHS.

Nurses
Science Photo Library

Perry Barr stabbing: Man charged and due before magistrates

Louise Hancock

Newsreader, BBC WM

A man has been stabbed in Perry Barr, Birmingham.

The 32-year-old is believed to have been attacked at an address in Normandy Avenue on Monday. 

Another man - Mohammed Ahmed, aged 43 from Witton Road in Aston, according to police - has been charged with attempted murder, possession of an offensive weapon and affray and is due to appear before magistrates today.

The injured man is in hospital where his condition is described as stable.

Latest: Murder trial jurors deliberate; tram extension approved; protest over bursaries cut

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

Here are our top stories on Wednesday so far:

- Susan Whiting: Murder trial jurors resume their deliberations

- A planned Midland Metro extension in Birmingham city centre has been given the go ahead by government

- Nurses, midwives and other healthcare workers are due to lobby MPs in Westminster today over plans to scrap student bursaries

Susan Whiting: Jury to resume deliberations for murder-accused

A jury is to resume deliberations this morning at the trial of a Walsall woman accused - along with her husband - of killing a student with learning difficulties.

Yesterday, 34-year-old Steven Beards was found guilty of the rape and murder of 20-year-old Susan Whiting in Bloxwich last year. 

The jury at Leicester Crown Court has not yet reached a verdict on charges of murder and abetting rape, against his wife 36-year-old, Julie Beards. 

Susan Whiting
West Midlands Police

Where did you get that hat from?

The sun might not have its hat on today but the Floozie in the (garden) jacuzzi in Birmingham was wearing hers.

Floozy in the jacuzzi
BBC

Watch: Latest weather forecast for the West Midlands

Lucy Martin

BBC Weather

The weather seems to have taken a slight turn for the worst. Highs of 10C (50F).

Find out more.

Weather for the West Midlands.

Travel: Breakdown causing delays

BBC Travel

There is slow traffic on the M6 southbound between J10a for the M54 and J8 for the M5 because of a breakdown, drivers are warned.

Good morning from Local Live for Birmingham and the Black Country

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

I'm here with the news, sport, travel and weather on Wednesday.

If you see a story you think we should be covering, or want to share a picture, email us, tweet @bbcwm or reach us on the BBC WM Facebook page.