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Summary

  1. Reaction to Chilcot report
  2. Young girl among two pedestrians hit by a car in Erdington
  3. Tens of thousands of people attend Eid celebrations
  4. Boy, 9, dies from car crash injuries

Live Reporting

By Alex Homer

All times stated are UK

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Latest weather for the West Midlands

Latest weather for the West Midlands
Eleanor Lake

Illegal skin bleaching products are being sold in shops in Coventry, a BBC investigation finds.

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Birmingham tower blocks

About a third of English councils have spent additional money topping up a government fund aimed at cushioning the impact of welfare changes, it emerges.

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Our coverage of Birmingham and the Black Country for today....

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.

'My son died in vain' - Chilcot report reaction

Amy Cole

BBC Midlands Today

"My son died in vain" - that's the view of Reg Keys whose son Tom died in 2003 in Iraq. 

Today Sir John Chilcot finally published his report looking at Britain's role in the Iraq war. We will also speak to Maureen Shearer, whose son Richard Shearer died during the invasion.

We will also be looking into the problem of knife crime and finding out how Eid celebrations have gone.

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

Latest: Car hit two pedestrians; Chilcot Inquiry reaction; Thousands extra at Eid celebrations

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

If you are just catching up on Wednesday, here are our stories from the afternoon:

- A young girl has suffered injuries thought to be "extremely serious" as a car hit two pedestrians in Erdington

- Clare Short, Roger Godsiff and Reg Keys react to the Chilcot inquiry

- A Birmingham park thought to be hosting the biggest Eid celebrations in Europe has drawn a bigger crowd than its organisers expected

Crowds at Small Heath Park Eid celebrations exceed even organisers' expectations

BBC WM

Crowds attending the Eid celebrations in Small Heath Park have exceeded even the expectations of the organisers - with 88,000 estimated to have come today, more than the original 75,000 expected.

The event is thought to be the biggest such celebration in Europe, welcoming Muslims from across the West Midlands.

Our very own Sunny and Shay have been broadcasting live from the park this afternoon and you can see them there in the media area.

Eid celebrations
BBC

Watch: Latest weather forecast for the West Midlands

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today

It's going to be dry tonight.

Lows of 9C (48F).

Find out more.

The weather for the West Midlands.

'Significant quantity of drugs and cash' found in uninsured car

A "significant quantity of suspected class A drugs, crack cocaine and cash" have been seized by police who arrested two people in Cannock on Tuesday.

Two officers pulled over a car which was recorded as uninsured in Church Street at around 20:05.

The Staffordshire force said both occupants, a 31-year-old man and a 20-year-old woman, both from Birmingham, were arrested on suspicion of drug supply offences and they remain in custody for questioning.

Sutton Coldfield scene is today's weather photo

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today

This is today's weather photo - a beautiful vista from Brett Allen in Sutton Coldfield.

Sutton Coldfield
Brett Allen

Traffic queues

BBC Travel

There's queuing traffic on the M6 southbound between J5, A452 (Castle Bromwich) and J4a M42, because of an accident earlier on. All lanes have been re-opened. Congestion is to J6 A38(M) Aston Expressway, BBC Travel reports.

And the A452 Chester Road in Erdington is closed with queuing traffic in both directions between the Court Lane junction and the Church Road junction, because of an accident.

'Look how many lives it's destroyed' - Clare Short's reaction to the Chilcot report

Former Birmingham Ladywood MP Clare Short, who resigned the party whip over the Iraq war, said of Tony Blair and his contact with President Bush: "We didn't see anything - we didn't know what he was up (to)."

She added the Chilcot report's findings were a "damning indictment of the British system of government". 

"Look how many lives it's destroyed," the former International Development Secretary said.

"Look how many countries it's destroyed. We must never do this again." 

Marcus Bignot's journey: From rejection at Birmingham to Solihull, via Crewe

Ged Scott

BBC Sport

He has led Solihull into the National League - the fifth tier of English football - for the first time as the leading non-league club in the Midlands, just three years after the club almost went bust.

Solihull Moors manager Marcus Bignot is old school.

He doesn't do Facebook. He doesn't do Twitter.

I caught up with the boyhood Birmingham City fan as the new season nears.

Marcus Bignot
Empics

Tiny kitten found in Smethwick garden

A kitten which was just a few weeks old was found wrapped in a blue jumper by a member of the public who saw a box in a Smethwick garden start to move.

The RSPCA is appealing for information about the black-and-white youngster, found on Thursday in Hall Road.

The charity has named the pocket-sized pussycat Tommy Atkins - an informal term for British soldiers which was used commonly in the First World War - as he was found on the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.

Tommy Atkins in the hand of an RSPCA worker
RSPCA
The box Tommy Atkins was found inside
RSPCA

He was found in a box for an Italian hotpot.

Off-duty student nurse helped young girl hit by car in Erdington

West Midlands Ambulance Service said an "off-duty student nurse" stepped in to help a young girl who was one of two pedestrians hit by a car in Erdington.

A spokesman said the injuries to the young girl are thought to be "extremely serious" and an ambulance has taken her to Birmingham Children's Hospital.

The woman who was with her, whom the service believed was in her 40s, was also treated for "serious injuries, including suspected abdominal and pelvic injuries" and taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, the service said.

Car hits two pedestrians in Erdington

Caroline Gall

BBC News Online

A car  has hit two pedestrians in Erdington.

A woman and a young child have been taken to hospital with "serious injuries", according to police, after being in the collision just after midday.

Officers want to speak to the driver of a black Audi who assisted after the collision.

Chester Road in Erdington is closed between Court Lane and Woodchurch Grange.

View more on twitter

Latest: Boy dies a week after crash; Chilcot Inquiry reaction; Eid Mubarak for tens of thousands

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

Here is a quick recap of the stories we have been covering in the past few hours:

- A nine-year-old boy has died a week after a crash in Handsworth

- Clare Short and Reg Keys react to the Chilcot inquiry

- Tens of thousands of people across Birmingham and the Black Country are celebrating Eid

Nine men due to be sentenced over Birmingham child sex ring

Nine men are due to be sentenced over child sex abuse charges after a boy was "pimped out" as part of a prostitution ring.

The 14-year-old was raped and repeatedly sold for sex in Birmingham's red light district during 2009 and 2010, a three-month trial heard earlier this year.

The victim, now in his 20s, told police of the abuse shortly after it happened but his claims were not investigated until 2012, Warwick Crown Court was told.

Alan Priest (left) and Ashley Sherrington were both found guilty of raping the 14-year-old boy
BBC
Alan Priest (left) and Ashley Sherrington were both found guilty of raping the 14-year-old boy

Mother's reaction to Chilcot inquiry

Sarah Falkland

BBC Midlands Today

The mother of a soldier who was killed in Iraq has described Tony Blair as a "war criminal" and says she holds him entirely responsible for her son's death.

It follows the publication of Sir John Chilcott's long-awaited report, which criticised the legal basis for the war and the equipment available for troops. 

Second Lieutenant Richard Shearer was killed whilst on patrol in 2005. 

Richard Shearer
Mo

Maureen Shearer said: "I feel angry because Tony Blair took us into an illegal war without thinking of the consequences so blame should be apportioned to him."

Hear more on the Midlands Today on BBC One at 13:30.

Underage driver jailed for killing newlywed in Wolverhampton

A wife whose husband was killed by an underage driver, while he worked at a communications box, says she's "lost a piece of herself she will never get back".

Danielle Harding was speaking after the 17-year-old driver who hit Matthew Harding in Wolverhampton was jailed for four-and-a-half years.  The incident happened a little more than a week after their wedding 

Mr Harding, aged 27, from Oldbury, was taken to hospital after being hit by a car but died a day later from his injuries. A colleague suffered a broken arm and jaw.

Matthew Harding
West Midlands Police

The driver, who was 16 at the time, fled the scene at the junction of Jack Holden Avenue and Robert Wynd in Woodcross, but was found nearby and arrested, said police.

The West Midlands force said he had taken his mother’s car without permission and travelled at speeds of up to 47mph in a 30mph zone.

'I failed and for that I feel terrible' - former Birmingham MP's Chilcot reaction

Former International Development Secretary and Ladywood MP Clare Short said she feels "terrible" over her role in the run up to the Iraq War and her failure to prevent the conflict.

"I know I tried my damnedest," she said. 

"But I failed and for that I feel terrible." 

Clare Short resigns from cabinet
Getty Images

Miss Short resigned as Labour MP in 2006 accusing Tony Blair of telling "half-truths and deceits to get us to war in Iraq".

Father of Iraq invasion soldier says conflict 'achieved nothing'

Lance Corporal Thomas Keys from Solihull was one of the servicemen who died during the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

His father, Reg Keys, spent years campaigning against the conflict and said this morning: "When I look at Iraq on my TV screens today, the 200+ deaths that took place the other day, I can only conclude that unfortunately and sadly, my son died in vain."

Reg Keys, whose son Lance Corporal Thomas Keys was killed in Iraq in 2003
BBC
File photo of Lance Corporal Thomas Keys who died in Iraq superimposed over a damaged wall of the police station where he was killed
MOD/BBC

He was speaking as the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq war - published more than seven years after it was set up - said military action was not a last resort at the time.

Tens of thousands of Iraqis were killed, along with 179 British military personnel, after the US-led invasion in 2003 which toppled Saddam Hussein. 

Watch: Action Man missing-in-space footage emerges

Footage has emerged of an Action Man astronaut doll missing after it was launched into near space.

"Major Tom" disappeared after taking flight on 26 June, to toast 50 years of the doll, close to where it was made.

It travelled 19 miles (30km) before descending. A tracker device was found in a Northamptonshire field but the doll and capsule were missing.

Watch the action man, who is missing in Northamptonshire, make it to space.

The space flight - which used a modified original space capsule for the doll and a parachute to help it back to earth - was the brainchild of Chris Hillcox, from Sutton Coldfield.

Marston Farm Hotel fined after inspector discovered filthy kitchens

Tamworth Herald

Filthy food hygiene standards have led to a hotel chain being hit in the pocket with a court bill running into thousands of pounds.

Football: Phillips joins Albion from QPR

BBC WM Sport

Matt Phillips, a former QPR winger, has become West Bromwich Albion's first signing of the summer and has posed for a picture with the obligatory shirt in hand just to prove it.

View more on twitter

MP to meet with minister over school closure plans

Adrian Goldberg

Presenter, BBC WM

The MP for Selly Oak is to meet with a government minister to discuss the situation at a school in Druids Heath, which could close next year. 

Labour's Steve McCabe claims the proposal for Baverstock Academy emerged "out of the blue" and argues it would be more expensive to shut it than rescue it. 

A consultation will begin in late August. 

Baverstock Academy
Google

Body found in Tamworth 'was that of man missing since April'

A body found on some wasteground underneath the A5 Fazeley Bridge in Tamworth on Monday has been identified as missing man John Broughton, according to Staffordshire Police.

The force said 66-year-old Mr Broughton went missing in April and a "detailed investigation to locate him was undertaken".

His death is not being treated as suspicious, police said, and a report will be prepared for HM Coroner.

Arrest after man chased by group who were 'carrying weapons'

Louise Hancock

Newsreader, BBC WM

Police have arrested a man after reports another was being chased by a group in Sparkbrook. 

Officers received reports at around 18:45 of a man being chased by a group of other men, some reportedly carrying weapons.  

The man ran into a mosque in Henley Street, followed by one of the men, who was detained by members of the public. 

Officers closed off the area yesterday evening and say the incident is in no way related to the mosque.

Eid Mubarak: Tens of thousands expected in Birmingham park

Daz Hale

BBC WM

Up to 75,000 are expected to attend Small Heath Park today for what is thought to be the biggest Eid celebrations in Europe.

The crowds will descend to mark the end of Ramadan.

Lisa Potts: Injured nurse 'forgives' Wolverhampton machete attacker

Adrian Goldberg

Presenter, BBC WM

A nursery nurse from Wolverhampton who saved the lives of children from a machete wielding attacker 20 years ago has told BBC WM she has forgiven the assailant. 

In a crime that shocked the nation, paranoid schizophrenic Horrett Campbell walked into St Luke's Infants and attacked at random. 

Five months later he was detained indefinitely in a mental health unit.

Lisa Potts
Lisa Potts

Lisa Potts - who was 21 at the time - was awarded the George Medal for Bravery for protecting the young children under her long skirt. 

She told us she had to come to terms with what happened 20 years ago.

Latest: Boy dies a week after crash; nurse forgives machete attacker; MP wades in on school closure

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

Here are our top stories on Wednesday so far:

- A nine-year-old boy has died a week after a crash in Handsworth

- A nursery nurse from Wolverhampton who stood as a human shield between children and a machete-wielding paranoid schizophrenic has forgiven her attacker 20 years on

- The MP for Selly Oak is to meet a minister to discuss plans to close a school in Druids Heath

Watch: Latest weather forecast for the West Midlands

Sara Blizzard

BBC Weather

It is going to be another fine, dry day and warm too.

Highs of 19C (68F).

Find out more.

Boy, 9, dies from Birmingham car crash injuries

Liam Barnes

BBC News Online

A nine-year-old boy who suffered serious head injuries when he was hit by a car has died.

He was taken to hospital after he was struck by a Ford Focus at 17:55 in Grove Lane, Handsworth, on 24 June. He died a week later, police said.

Crash scene
Simon Wade

Travel: Delays around Eid prayer event

BBC Travel

There is heavy traffic on the A45 Small Heath Highway, in Small Heath, Birmingham, at the junction with Golden Hillock Road, because of the Eid prayer event at Small Heath Park, drivers are being warned.

Good morning from Local Live for Birmingham and the Black Country

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

I'm here with Wednesday's news, sport, travel and weather updates.

Comment on our stories and share your pictures over email, tweet @bbcwm or visit the BBC WM Facebook page.