Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Summary

  1. Aston Villa: Roberto di Matteo is the new manager, Steve Clarke is assistant
  2. Rail delays after man 'struck by train'
  3. 'Difficult days ahead' for the families of the Birmingham pub bombing victims
  4. Half a million calls to the police 101 number 'have gone unanswered', data suggests
  5. Updates on Thursday 2 June 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Two women affected by Birmingham pub bombings and Hillsborough meet for the first time
Two women who lost family in the Birmingham pub bombings and Hillsborough tragedy have met for the first time.
Roger Gower

A British helicopter pilot shot by suspected poachers in Tanzania was "unlawfully killed", a coroner rules.

Read more

Our coverage across the day

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.

Front page story: Stourbridge's Mary Stevens Hospice to launch urgent £3m appeal

Stourbridge News

Stourbridge's Mary Stevens Hospice is to launch the biggest appeal in its history to fund a £3million revamp of its day unit to cope with increasing demand.  

Stourbridge News front page
Stourbridge News

"Time to get behind them" - Nigel Spink on Di Matteo and Clarke

Mikey Burrows

BBC WM Sport

Former Aston Villa goalkeeper Nigel Spink has backed the impending appointments of Roberto Di Matteo and Steve Clarke.

Di Matteo is expected to be officially announced as Villa’s new manager in the next 24 hours, with the former Albion Head Coach joined by another former Baggies boss in Clarke as his assistant.

Spink has been telling BBC WM it’s time for the fans to leave last season in the past and unite behind the new management team. Listen to the interview in full here.

"Time to get behind them" Nigel Spink on Di Matteo & Clarke
BBC

Mo Farah coming to Brum: 'Home crowd will be a great motivator for me'

BBC Sport

Olympic champion Mo Farah is among 21 world champions set to compete in the Birmingham Diamond League meeting on Sunday.  

This will be my first big European track race of 2016 and a great platform to test myself on the road to the Olympic Games in Rio. I know that having the support of that passionate home crowd will be a great motivator for me on the day and going into the Games.

Mo Farah

Boy treated for serious head injury after falling off scooter

A 10-year-old boy is being treated for a serious head injury after falling from a motorised scooter in Tamworth this afternoon.

West Midlands Ambulance Service says it received a 999-call to the Castle Grounds at about 12:30 after the boy fell from the scooter while going down hill.

The boy was flown by air ambulance to Birmingham Children's Hospital -  his injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

Watch: Overnight forecast for the West Midlands

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

For many places it will stay fine and dry this eveningand tonight, and with some lengthy clear spells and light winds it may get rather chilly in sheltered western parts.

Cloud will build in eastern parts, spreading westwards later with lows of 7C (45F).

Afternoon weather forecast for the West Midlands

'Di Matteo/Clarke partnership could give Villa fans the success they’ve been craving for years'

Rob Gurney

BBC WM Sport

Di Matteo’s appointment has been on the cards for a while, particularly since the other leading candidate for the Villa job, Nigel Pearson, joined Derby.

But it’s the recruitment of Steve Clarke as Di Matteo’s number two that could really work in Villa’s favour.

There’s plenty of symmetry to their respective careers too. The pair played together at Chelsea, and Clarke worked successfully as Jose Mourinho’s assistant at Stamford Bridge too, while Di Matteo won the Champions League when in charge of the Londoners four years ago.  

Di Matteo/Clarke
Getty Images

Clearly getting Villa out of the Championship at the first attempt will be a wholly different proposition for Clarke, with Di Matteo alongside him.

Intriguingly, of course, both worked separately as head coach at West Bromwich Albion, where Di Matteo DID get The Baggies promoted back into the Premier League in his first season in charge in 2009/10. So as long as their ideas mesh, the Di Matteo/Clarke partnership could give the Villa fans the success they’ve been craving for years.

Dudley News front page: Tributes paid to crash victim

Dudley News

The front page of this week's newspaper includes the story about a motorcyclist who was killed after his bike hit a car.

Dudley News front page
Dudley News
Dudley Hippodrome

Dudley Hippodrome could be saved from demolition after councillors agree a five-year lease on the building.

Read more

Star-crossed lovers get twinkle-toed treatment thanks to hip hop dancer

Elizabeth Glinka

BBC Midlands Today

A teenage hip hop dancer will perform in a ballet adaptation of Romeo and Juliet at Birmingham's Aston Hall tonight. 

Hip hop dancer Blessing from Birmingham
BBC

Blessing Adedayo (pictured) is part of an after-school hip hop club at Hodge Hill in Birmingham. She's one of 60 youngsters from across the West Midlands who've trained with Birmingham Royal Ballet for the last three months. 

It's part of a drive to make ballet more accessible to people from all backgrounds.

BHS to be wound down as rescue attempt fails

BHS is to go into liquidation with the loss of up to 11,000 jobs after efforts to find a buyer failed.  

Locally the chain has stores in Birmingham city centre, Wolverhampton, Dudley, Walsall, Redditch, and Sutton Coldfield.

All 163 BHS stores across the country will be holding closing sales over the coming weeks.  

'Sadness and shock' as BHS rescue bid fails

Watch: Pub bombers 'will never be convicted'

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

This video was one of the most-watched on the BBC News website yesterday following the announcement that inquests into the Birmingham pub bombings dead are to reopen.

The IRA's former director of intelligence says the men who bombed Birmingham in 1974 will never be convicted.  

Clothes bank fire

Firefighters say they're shocked to have been called to a fire at a clothes bank yesterday in Solihull.

The fire service said it received a 999-call to a deposit bank on Station Road in Marston Green at about 15:30.

Clothes bank fire in Solihull
West Midlands Fire Service

Not big, and definitely not clever. With a number of people relying on the funds and items from these clothes banks, we can't believe people would even consider setting them on fire.

West Midlands Fire ServiceSpokesperson
Mo Farah

Olympic champions Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford are among the athletes at the Birmingham Diamond League meeting on Sunday.

Read more

Tamworth rail delays: 'Man dead at scene', police say

British Transport Police says officers attended Tamworth railway station following a report a person had been hit by a train.

A spokesperson says "a man has been pronounced dead at the scene".

The incident was reported at 14:26 and police are working to identify the man and inform his family.

Travel: Tamworth train delays expected until 17:00

BBC Travel

More on the disruption to rail services through Tamworth this afternoon - National Rail Enquiries say emergency services are dealing with an incident near Tamworth.

They say that's causing disruptions to journeys between Birmingham New Street and Derby, affecting Cross County trains.

National Rail Enquiries say the disruption's expected to last until 17:00 and some services could be cancelled or delayed by up to 60 minutes.

The BBC Travel website has the latest information

Travel: Tamworth 'incident' blocking rail services

BBC Travel

Train services through Tamworth are being disrupted because of what train operators are calling an "incident". We'll bring you more details when we have them.

Get the latest news from BBC Travel.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Lifeline for Dudley Hippodrome

Dudley Hippodrome will be leased to campaigners for five years in a bid to save the building.

Dudley Hippodrome
BBC

In December the venue, which once hosted famous acts including comedy duo Laurel and Hardy, was earmarked for demolition.

The venue has been empty since 2009.  

101 police calls: Thousands unanswered

James Bovill

BBC Midlands Today, Reporter

I’ve been looking at how many calls to police 101 numbers in the Midlands are being abandoned.

That’s people calling but hanging up before they get through. There’ve been 456,000 unanswered calls since 2012, with big variations across the Midlands.

101 call screen
BBC

About 146,000 have been abandoned in Staffordshire, about one in eight of all calls. Gloucestershire has a similar rate. But Warwickshire and West Mercia are only failing to answer about one in 30 – why?

The Staffordshire police and crime commissioner says forces record calls in different ways and you can’t compare like for like. He wants a standard system across the board.

Nevertheless, his force says it’s investing £450,000 a year in more call handlers. West Midlands Police also says it’s taking on new staff, and the West Mercia and Warwickshire alliance says it's introducing a single system to help improve things.

Motorcyclist 'seriously' injured

A motorcyclist suffered multiple injuries when he came off his bike in Rubery this morning.

It happened at 10.30 on the A38, heading towards junction 4 of the M5.

Ambulance Service staff immobilised the man, thought to be in his 20s, using a neck collar, spinal board, leg splint and pelvic splint.

Villa's prospective owner 'convinced Di Matteo will raise club's profile'

Pat Murphy

BBC Midlands football reporter

More on the breaking news that former Chelsea manager Roberto di Matteo has been appointed the new manager of Aston Villa. Ex-Baggies manager Steve Clarke will be his assistant.

Roberto di Matteo and Steve Clarke
Getty Images

Villa were also linked with ex-Manchester United boss David Moyes and new Derby County manager Nigel Pearson, but Di Matteo was always first choice.  

Dr Tony Xia, the Chinese businessman whose takeover of Villa is awaiting Football League and Premier League approval, is convinced Di Matteo will raise the West Midlands club's profile in the Championship.

The former West Brom and Schalke boss and Clarke have been out of management since last year.

The pair have never worked together in management but were Chelsea teammates for two years.

Roberto Di Matteo

Pat Murphy

BBC Radio 5 live

Former Chelsea boss Roberto di Matteo is appointed Aston Villa's new manager, with Steve Clarke coming in as his assistant.

Read more

BreakingDi Matteo is new Villa boss

Pat Murphy

BBC Midlands football reporter

Roberto di Matteo is the new Aston Villa manager and will be assisted by former Chelsea teammate Steve Clarke. 

Ex-Chelsea, West Brom and Schalke boss Di Matteo replaces Remi Garde, who was sacked in March prior to the club's relegation from the Premier League. 

Italian Di Matteo, 46, and former West Brom and Reading boss Clarke, 52, have been out of management since last year. 

Di Matteo, who guided Chelsea to Champions League success in 2012, was always the first choice of Dr Tony Xia. 

The Chinesse businessman, whose takeover of Villa is currently awaiting Football League and Premier League approval, is convinced that Di Matteo will raise Villa's profile in the Championship.

Di Matteo
Getty Images

Latest headlines: 'Difficult days ahead' for pub bombings families; Police to invest in 101 call centre

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

The top stories in the BBC WM newsroom this lunchtime include:

- There are "difficult days ahead" for the families of the Birmingham pub bombing victims, according to a lawyer  

- Campaigners say the government having to review future development plans for Birmingham is a huge step in the right direction

- Staffordshire Police says they are investing nearly £500,000 a year in its call centre - after a BBC investigation found one in eight calls to its non-emergency number had been 'missed' in the last four years

Mark Duffy

Sheffield United sign Birmingham City midfielder Mark Duffy and Bury full-back Chris Hussey on two-year deals.

Read more

Stories we're working on: BBC Midlands Today

BBC Midlands Today

Hilary McConnell, Producer

Midlands Today will have more on the fatal crash on the M5 Southbound between junctions 8 and 9.  

Have you ever called 101? - we have a special investigation into the non-emergency police number. Almost half a million calls to the police 101 number in the Midlands have gone 'unanswered' in the last four years.

We’re also finding out why polecats are growing in numbers in the Midlands.

Join us for those stories and more on Midlands Today, BBC One, at 13:30, 18:30 and 22:30.

Watch: 24-hour forecast for the West Midlands

Kay Crewdson

Weather presenter

It should stay dry through the day despite a dull and cloudy start.

Here's my one-minute forecast for what's in store for the next 24 hours.

The weather for the West Midlands.

Watch: 'Clean it up' - will doggy-doo messages work in Dudley?

Daz Hale

BBC WM

Dudley Council is using spray-painted warnings to remind dog owners to clean up after their pets.The images - in bright yellow paint - not only feature a dog but a pile of mess at its feet.  

Dudley Council using spray-painted message in campaign to clean up dog mess

Erdington girl who beat cancer opens new £500,000 centre

Royal Sutton Coldfield Observer

A four-year-old girl from Erdington who won her battle with cancer was the guest of honour at the official opening of Birmingham Children's Hospital's new £500,000 centre.

Erdington girl who beat cancer opens new £500,000 centre
Sutton Coldfield Observer
Mulberry Bush

A lawyer for some families of the Birmingham pub bombing victims says there are "difficult days ahead" now inquests will be reopened.

Read more

Polecats numbers grow but many don't recognise them

David Gregory-Kumar

Science correspondent, BBC Midlands Today

The polecat isn't just surviving it's doing really well with numbers increasing according to surveys by the Midlands-based Vincent Wildlife Trust. But would you recognise one if you saw one? Here's a simple spotters' guide.

Polecat
VINCENT WILDLIFE TRUST

Chasewater steam railway honoured with Queen's Award

Lichfield Mercury

Chasewater Railway has been honoured with the prestigious Queen's Award for Voluntary Service.

Chasewater Railway
Lichfield Mercury

Di Matteo set for Villa boss job?

Steve Hermon

Journalist, BBC WM

We're still waiting for Roberto Di Matteo to be confirmed as the new manager of Villa. 

Reports yesterday claimed the former Albion head coach was close to agreeing terms to take over at Villa Park.

Roberto Di Matteo
Getty Images

Latest headlines: Families hope for pub bombings answers; police 'miss' half-a-million 101 calls

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

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

The Birmingham pub bombings families are hopeful that fresh inquests will mean their questions will be answered

- Almost half a million calls to the police 101 number in the Midlands have gone unanswered in the last four years, a Freedom of Information request reveals

- Roberto Di Matteo should be confirmed as the new manager of Aston Villa - reports yesterday claimed the former Albion head coach was close to agreeing terms to take over at Villa Park