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Summary

  1. Speakers for both Leave and Remain have been in the area ahead of the EU vote
  2. Oldest serving police officer retires
  3. Updates on Tuesday 31 May 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Families of the victims welcomed the decision
Inquests into deaths of 21 people in the 1974 Birmingham pub bombings are to be reopened, a coroner has ruled.
Kieran Conway IRA

The men behind the Birmingham pub bombings that killed 21 people in 1974 will not be brought before a court, a former IRA member says.

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Twenty one people were killed in the bombings
Twenty one people died when bombs devastated two pubs in Birmingham on 21 November 1974.
Couple caught up in Birmingham pub bombings relive horror
A couple injured in the Birmingham pub bombings speak of the horror and the fight for justice.
Ex IRA man: Birmingham pub bombers will never be convicted
The IRA's former director of intelligence has said the men who bombed Birmingham in 1974 will never be convicted.
firemen search through the wreckage after a bomb went off in Birmingham

A coroner will rule on whether inquests into the 21 deaths in the Birmingham pub bombings should be resumed.

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Two men walking along a bridge through Smethwick

Rebecca Woods

Broadcast Journalist BBC News Online

Fifty years ago a groundbreaking documentary shone a spotlight on to a West Midlands town as racial tensions reached boiling point.

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The story of Birmingham's pub bombings

Birmingham pub bombings: An unfinished story
A coroner is to rule on whether to hold inquests into the deaths of 21 people who died in the Birmingham pub bombings.

BBC News looks at the events of that night and after.

Good evening from Birmingham and the Black Country

We're back at 08:00 tomorrow with our usual mix of news, sport, travel and weather, but keep an eye out here for updates through the evening and into the morning.  

Latest headlines: FA leads brain injury and ball heading research; oldest West Midlands police officer retires

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

The top stories for Birmingham and the Black Country this aftermnoon include:

- The Football Association has committed to leading a British-based effort to find out if heading the ball is linked to developing brain illnesses

- The oldest police officer in West Midlands retires today

 - Albion defender James Chester, Wolves midfielder Dave Edwards and Blues winger David Cotterill have all been confirmed in the Wales squad for the Euro's

In or Out: Leaving EU could 'have dangerous consequences for millions'

Bromsgrove MP, Sajid Javid, who is part of the campaign to remain in the EU claims it would be bad for small businesses if we voted to leave.

Mr Javid told the crowd at Innovation Birmingham Campus...

If we vote to leave the EU small businesses will be hit hard. You may have heard the myth that only massive multi nationals want us to stay in the EU - that small businesses want out but that's just plain wrong. It's a misconception that could have dangerous consequences for millions of people who rely on small businesses for their livelihoods and jobs.

Sajid JavidBromsgrove MP
Vote leave - vote remain campaign posters
Getty Images

FA committed to leading research into heading football injuries

The Football Association says it is committed to leading a British-based effort to find out if heading the ball is linked to developing brain illnesses.

It has has been in talks with the Professional Footballers' Association about funding research into the issue since 2014.

Striker, Jeff Astle, who won five England caps, died in 2002, aged 59, of a brain condition normally linked to boxing.

The Jeff Astle Foundation was set-up in his memory to promote care of other sufferers and research into the condition and has called on the FA for a number of years for more research.

Jeff Astle
PA

Euro 2016: Local talent

Mikey Burrows

BBC WM Sport

The last Blues player to represent the home nations at a major tournament was goalkeeper Jack Butland (pictured) who was part of Roy Hodgson’s England squad for Euro 2012. 

Technically Butland was third choice and didn’t play so the last Blues representative to actually get on the pitch was Emile Heskey who signed for Blues just before Euro 2004.

Jack Butland
Getty Images

Albion don’t have to go quite so far back, Ben Foster was England’s second choice goalkeeper at the World Cup two years ago and played the third group game against Costa Rica after England had already been knocked out.  

M6 lane closure near Wolverhampton

BBC Travel

There's a lane blocked and queuing traffic on M6 southbound between J10a M54 and J10, A454 (Wolverhampton), because of an accident, BBC Travel News reports.

MP abused after launching anti sexism campaign

Labour MP Jess Phillips says she is considering taking legal action after receiving thousands of abusive messages on Twitter from men discussing whether or not they'd rape her. 

Last week, she launched a campaign against sexism, abuse and intimidation online. But Birmingham Yardley MP says the threats against her have increased dramatically over the last few days and she will be contacting Twitter and speaking to the police:

Jess Phillips speaking to Victoria Derbyshire
BBC

I think that the vast majority of these people who are doing this are in America, so there's very little West Midlands Police can do about it. But, I certainly will be contacting Twitter about some of the ringleaders of this dog-piling.

Jess PhillipsYardley MP

Twitter has said it doesn't comment on individual cases for privacy and security reasons, adding : "We do not tolerate behavior that crosses the line into abuse, including behavior that harasses, intimidates, or uses fear to silence another user's voice.

Watch: UKIP's Farage heckled on Birmingham walkabout

Nigel Farage has been heckled during a visit to Birmingham's Rag Market. 

The UKIP leader was confronted over a number of issues including his MEP's salary and for "blaming immigrants" for the mistakes of bankers.

UKIP's Nigel Farage heckled on Birmingham walkabout

The 19-year-old protester, Labour party activist Luke Holland, said UKIP leader Nigel Farage was a "hypocrite".

Responding after Mr Holland said he had been pushed Mr Farage said: "Oh the victim. It must be awful." Other campaigners could be heard telling the heckler to "go back to school". 

Wales announce Euro squad: Chester, Edwards and Cotterill

Mikey Burrows

BBC WM Sport

Three West Midlands based players have been named in the Wales squad for Euro 2016. 

Albion defender James Chester, Wolves midfielder Dave Edwards and Blues winger David Cotterill are all in Chris Coleman's final 23 man party to go to France. 

Chester, Edwards and Cotterill
Getty Images
Chester, Edwards and Cotterill

Edwards is the first Wolves player to represent one of the home nations at a major tournament since Steve Bull was part of the England squad at the 1990 World Cup.  

You can read more on today's BBC Sportsday live page and listen to BBC WM.

Birmingham Pride celebrates 20 years

Thousands of people gathered in Birmingham over the bank holiday weekend to celebrate the city's 20th Pride festival.

Read more on BBC News and see more photos on the BBC WM Facebook page.

Birmingham Pride van celebrating the Spice Girls
BBC
Highlights of Birmingham Pride weekend 2016
BBC

Woakes helps England secure Test series win

BBC WM Sport

Best ever Test figures for Warwickshire's Chris Woakes helped England secure a Test series win over Sri Lanka.

A nine-wicket wicket win at Chester-le-Street gives Alastair Cook's side a 2-0 lead in the three-match series, with the final match at Lord's to come.

Chris Woakes
Getty Images

It was a special day for the captain too - who became the youngest ever batsman, and the first Englishman, to reach 10,000 runs.

In or Out: EU Referendum

Phil Mackie

Midlands correspondent, BBC News

"We just want to do what normal countries do," says Nigel Farage who wants Britain to leave the EU.

Both In and Out campaigns are in Birmingham today to spread their messages.

Nigel Farage arrived to the theme tune of the Great Escape at the city's Rag Market. 

View more on twitter

Public toilets 'wiped out in parts of UK'

BBC Breakfast

Tamworth Council is one of 22 councils in England to only have one public toilet, the BBC has learnt.

At least 1,782 facilities have closed across the UK in the last decade, Freedom of Information requests found.  

Public toilet
BBC

Public toilets have existed on UK High Streets for more than 150 years but there is no legal requirement for local authorities to provide toilets, meaning they are often closed down if councils feel they cannot afford the upkeep.    

Police poke fun at Perry Barr fraudster who dubbed himself 'da real don'

Great Barr Observer

A police constable has poked fun at a Perry Barr fraudster who was jailed on Friday by translating his rap lyrics.

Jahangir Khan
BBC

Faked letter doing the rounds - warning

Disregard this letter about overgrowing trees if you receive it, Sandwell Council warns.

This bogus letter about overgrown trees is doing the rounds in West Bromwich. It isn't from us. Please warn others.

This bogus letter about overgrown trees is doing the rounds in West Bromwich. It isn't from us. Please warn others.

New Street Midland Metro - your views?

Following a three-month delay, trams started running from Birmingham New Street station yesterday.

Have you used one yet - what did you think? Email us, tweet @bbcwm or reach us on the BBC WM Facebook page.  

View more on twitter

Accident on M6 near Wolverhampton

BBC Travel

There's a lane closed and slow traffic on the M6 northbound at J10, A454 (Wolverhampton), because of an accident, BBC Travel News reports.

Latest headlines: Man treated for serious head injury; MP abused online after launching anti abuse campaign

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

The top stories for Birmingham and the Black Country this lunchtime include:

- A man is being treated for serious head injuries after two men were arrested on suspicion of assault and robbery in Birmingham

- Yardley MP Jess Phillips says she's received thousands of notifications over abusive messages on Twitter in the last two days

Chris Woakes is available for the Birmingham Bears T20 clash with Durham on Friday

In or Out: EU Referendum

Rob Mayor

Black Country Political Reporter, BBC WM

A referendum is being held on Thursday, 23 June to decide whether Britain should leave the European Union or remain in it.

Both Leave and Remain are in Birmingham today sharing their opinion.

Campaigning to remain,Business Secretary and Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid said if we vote to leave the EU, small businesses will be "hit hard".

Sajid Javid speaking in Birmingham
BBC

You can keep up to date with the EU Referendum on BBC News.

Watch: West Midlands forecast

Charlie Slater

BBC Weather presenter

A bright start, but towards this afternoon we'll see showers spreading across the Midlands.

See my one-minute forecast...

Broken down train between Snow Hill and Stourbridge

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

Due to a broken down train between Birmingham and Stourbridge services may be cancelled or delayed, London Midland warns.

View more on twitter

MP considers legal action over social media abuse

Birmingham Yardley MP Jess Phillips says she's received thousands of abusive messages on Twitter in the last few days.

The messages were from men discussing whether or not they would rape her, she said.

Last week she launched a campaign against sexism and abuse online #ReclaimTheInternet.

Yardley MP Jess Phillips
BBC

Unfortunately it's something I've got used to. I've had 500 tweets or so from people saying they don't want to rape me referring that they'd do it to someone they liked. It's as if I should be thankful that these people say they are not going to rape me. I've got to the stage that legal action in some way is the way to attack these people whether that be civil or criminal. It's not a solution to block and ignore them.

Jess PhillipsYardley MP

Watch the birdie: Zoo opens hut for Australian birds

Joanne Malin

BBC Midlands Today

Dudley Zoo is celebrating the final stage of its £200,000 redevelopment, with the opening of a Lorikeet Lookout. 

Lorikeets
Dudley Zoo

The former Monkey Tails building is now home to free flying Australian Rainbow Lorikeets.  

Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow

Yorkshire's Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root are among four England players freed to play for their counties in the T20 Blast.

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Man treated for serious head injury after Birmingham assault

A 32-year-old man is being treated for a serious head injury after disorder at a food market in Birmingham during the early hours.

A 23-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of assault and a man aged 33 on suspicion of robbery, West Midlands Police say.

Officers received reports of disorder at International Food Market, Villa Road, Lozells, at about 1:30.

Villa Road in Lozells closed due to 'police incident'

BBC Travel

Villa Road in Lozells, Birmingham is closed in both directions between the B4124 Hamstead Road junction and the Heathfield Road junction, because of a police incident. 

Police are directing traffic.  

View more on twitter

Amavi hopeful to make new season

Villa defender Jordan Amavi says he's hoping to be fit for the start of the new season. 

The French left-back suffered cruciate ligament damage in November while playing for the country's under-21s.

Jordan Amavi, of Aston Villa
Getty Images