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Summary

  1. Man raped woman on birthday night out
  2. Driver jailed for killing pedestrian while on phone
  3. Extra security for Birmingham Pride
  4. Police call to hospital made in 'good faith'
  5. First music event in Birmingham since Manchester attack
  6. Olympian Laura Kenny visits Birmingham school
  7. Updates from Friday 26 May 2017

Live Reporting

By Monica Rimmer

All times stated are UK

Severe accident: M42 West Midlands northbound

BBC News Travel

M42 West Midlands northbound severe accident, between J6 for A45 Birmingham Airport and J7 for M6 affecting J4 for A34.

M42 West Midlands - One lane closed and queuing traffic on M42 northbound between J6, A45 (Birmingham Airport) and J7 M6, because of an accident involving five cars. Congestion to J4, A34 (Shirley).

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe disruption: M40 Warwickshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M40 Warwickshire northbound severe disruption, before J16 for A3400 affecting J15 for A46.

M40 Warwickshire - One lane closed and queuing traffic on M40 northbound before J16, A3400 (Henley In Arden), because of a broken down vehicle. Travel time is around 30 minute. Congestion to J15, A46 (Longbridge Island).

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Our live coverage across the day

We'll be back with our usual mix of news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Tuesday.

Enjoy the bank holiday.

Coming up on BBC Midlands Today: Extra security at Birmingham Pride

BBC Midlands Today

Armed police and extra security will be at a number of events across the region this bank holiday weekend.

Birmingham Pride
BBC

Seen as the unofficial start of the festival season, security measures are being stepped up at events across the region.

In Birmingham, West Midlands Police say a "large number" of officers, specials and staff will be on hand to keep visitors to the city's Pride event, safe.

Our reporter Ben Sidwell will have more on BBC1 from 18:30.

Man raped woman after her 21st birthday celebrations in Birmingham

Lisa Wright

Journalist, BBC News Online

A man who raped a woman in a doorway as she made her way home from her 21st birthday celebrations has been jailed.

Florian Lupu dragged the woman, who was with two friends, across a road before the "sickening" attack, police said.

Florian Lupu
West Midlands Police

Lupu fled when her friends shouted at him. He was arrested by officers three months later.

The 29-year-old, of Headingley Road, Handsworth admitted raping the woman in Birmingham last July and was jailed for five years and four months.

Birmingham Pride gets extra security

At Birmingham Pride, which is due to go ahead on Saturday and Sunday, security arrangements have been reviewed and a remembrance silence will be held before the start of the festival's Carnival Parade in Victoria Square.

Organisers say: "Birmingham is a great city and, like Manchester, we shall be showing the world our true spirit of love, unity, and support for one another whilst honouring the victims of Monday night's attack."

BIRMINGHAM PRIDE
BIRMINGHAM PRIDE

Assistant Chief Constable Alex Murray, of West Midlands Police, said they were expecting tens of thousands of visitors to the city.

"I appreciate that people planning to attend may feel a sense of nervousness - I would like to take this opportunity to give you some reassurance that a full policing operation is in place and is subject to ongoing reviews," he added.

"We will have a large number of police officers, specials and police staff on hand to keep the public safe - this isn't only for the Pride event, but also for anyone visiting the city to enjoy all it has to offer."

Your pictures: Costa del Sutton

BBC Weather Watchers

BBC Weather Watcher Di's Walk has been out in sunny Sutton Coldfield.

Even these cows need to take a moment to cool down.

Animals
Di's walk

If you have a picture you'd like to share, sign up here.

Swan
Di's walk

BBC Election Panel: Your thoughts on housing

The BBC is running an election panel, asking voters for their thoughts ahead of 8 June.

We wanted to know: What should we be doing to address the need for more low cost housing? Does any party have policies you think would help?

Houses
Getty Images

Tarz, Birmingham: "Use up all avaliable brownfield sites. If landowners do no build within three years of purchase, then the councils should buy them back at the price that was paid. The council then gets houses built on the sites. This stops land-hoarding. Trouble is, each individual is responsible for his/hers situation, and should not rely on others to house them. All parties talk the talk then do sod all when in power."

Beatrice, Shrewsbury: "Use greenbelt areas to build more houses, decrease demand."

Carol, Stoke: "I think derelict buildings could be used. They could be renovated and either rented or sold at a reduced rate to people who would benefit from low cost houses. There are some old derelict factory buildings near where I live, they have been unused for years now, but could be put to good used if turned into flats."

Birmingham school children win railway artwork competition

Five school children from Birmingham have had their artwork featured on railway timetables and at Birmingham Moor Street station.

They have been announced as winners of a competition run by Chiltern Railways to design the cover of the 2017 summer/autumn timetable.

The winners are:

  • Daream Adu, 10
  • Hafsa Anwar, 11
  • Rizwan Sattar, 10
  • Rebecca Whitehouse, 10
  • Kshaf Javed,13
Competition winners
Chiltern Railways

A presentation took place at Birmingham Moor Street station on Wednesday.

Competition winner
Chiltern Railways

The winners' work can be seen in a temporary exhibition at the station for the next six months.

Severe accident: M42 West Midlands northbound

BBC News Travel

M42 West Midlands northbound severe accident, between J4 for A34 and J5 for A41 affecting J3 for A435 Portway.

M42 West Midlands - Two lanes closed, queuing traffic and long delays on M42 northbound between J4, A34 (Shirley) and J5, A41 (Solihull), because of an accident. Travel time is around 40 minute. Congestion to J3, A435 (Portway).

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe disruption: M42 West Midlands northbound

BBC News Travel

M42 West Midlands northbound severe disruption, between J5 for A41 and J6 for A45 Birmingham Airport.

M42 West Midlands - One lane closed and slow traffic on M42 northbound between J5, A41 (Solihull) and J6, A45 (Birmingham Airport), because of a broken down vehicle.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Bank holiday getaways: Busiest roads for four years

Highways England have suspended 150 miles of roadworks across the West Midlands in anticipation of today's Bank Holiday getaway.

The RAC are warning drivers to expect the busiest spring bank holiday weekend for traffic in four years.

It estimates that 16.5m leisure journeys will be taken between today and Monday because of soaring temperatures.

Data picture
BBC

Undercover officer accused of 'planting bomb' described as 'absolutely professional'

An undercover officer accused of planting a pipe bomb to frame the alleged "Three Musketeers" terror cell has been described in court by his friend and colleague as "absolutely professional, honest and committed".

The anonymous officer, known only as Vincent, was cross-examined for days over his role in the discovery of an explosive device in the car of convicted terrorist Naweed Ali.

Naweed Ali, Khobaib Hussain, Mohibur Rahman and Tahir Aziz
JULIA QUENZLER
Naweed Ali, Khobaib Hussain, Mohibur Rahman and Tahir Aziz (L-R) deny preparing terrorist acts

Vincent has repeatedly denied the allegation of Mr Ali's defence team that he planted the incriminating evidence in the car before MI5 arrived to bug it.

The officer, who has around 35 years of experience in law enforcement, told jurors he had never been involved in any impropriety or had any disciplinary findings against him.

Mr Ali and Mr Hussain, 25, both of Sparkhill in Birmingham, and Mohibur Rahman, 32, and Tahir Aziz, 38, of Stoke-on-Trent, deny preparing terrorist acts. The trial continues.

Birmingham Pride: Increased security measures in place
Extra security measures in place following Manchester bomb attack.

BBC Election Panel: Your thoughts on defence

The BBC is running an election panel, asking voters for their thoughts ahead of 8 June.

We asked:

What should we do about defence? Do you support Trident? Which party’s policies do you think best look after our defence needs?"

Submarine
PA

Shah, Birmingham: "I don't support Trident. None of the party's have any viable long term financially savvy solution."

Barry, Telford: "Trident must be supported and we should have four submarines and not just three please do not let corbyn near them."

Harold, Coventry: "I would oppose Trident if there is a viable alternative. It's difficult to say which party best looks after our security but I would go with Labour."

Daniel, Walsall: "I support a strong defence but am not an interventionist. I don't find much to like in Labour's mixed stance on the nuclear deterrent but do not like how the Conservatives have steadlily cut the military either. No party really fully reflect my views I don't think."

Former Redditch MP says counter-terror strategy needs reviewing

Former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith says the Prevent programme, aimed at stopping people becoming involved in extremism, must be reviewed.

The ex-Redditch MP was involved in strengthening the programme in 2008, but told BBC WM one of its main aims is still not happening.

Jacqui Smith
PA

The government were right to say that they should be reviewing it, but wrong to not have already done it, I think it needs to be looked at in more detail alongside other elements of the counter-terror strategy."

Jacqui SmithPolitician

Severe accident: M5 West Midlands northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 West Midlands northbound severe accident, after J2 for A4123 Oldbury affecting J3 for A456 Halesowen.

M5 West Midlands - One lane closed and queuing traffic on M5 northbound after J2, A4123 (Oldbury), because of an accident involving a lorry. Congestion to J3, A456 (Halesowen).

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire southbound severe disruption, between J13 for A449 and J12 for A5.

M6 Staffordshire - One lane closed and heavy traffic on M6 southbound between J13, A449 (Stafford South) and J12, A5 (Gailey), because of a broken down vehicle.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Delays on Redditch to Birmingham trains

BBC News Travel

Train services between Redditch and Birmingham are facing delays and possible cancellations due to a points failure, which has left some lines blocked, operator London Midland says.

Olympian Laura Kenny visits Birmingham school

Richard Wilford

BBC WM

Olympic champion Laura Kenny has told BBC WM she expects to be back competing in the velodrome at Tokyo 2020.

The 25-year-old is taking a break from the sport as she's expecting her first child later this summer.

Speaking on a visit to St Matthew's Church of England Primary School in Nechells, Kenny says she has one very important hurdle to get over before preparations for Tokyo begin.

Laura Kenny on school visit
BBC

First baby on the way at the end of the summer, which we're really looking forward to. I feel like I'm almost wishing my life away, because I want it here now, and then after that I'm going to give myself at least six weeks completely off after, get myself back going again, I don't want to rush into it, I want to enjoy my new life. It might take me a year before I race again, but.... Tokyo is definitely on the cards."

Laura KennyOlympian

Audience pictures: Birmingham City centre

BBC Midlands Today

Thanks to Birmingham photographer Tim Cornbill for this sunset shot over the city last night.

Sunset
Tim Cornbill

Midlands Today: Extra security for 'Pride' event

Ben Sidwell

BBC Midlands Today

West Midlands Police say a "large number" of officers, specials and staff will be on hand to keep visitors safe at the city's Pride event on Saturday and Sunday.

Security measures have also been stepped up at festivals in Staffordshire, Shrewsbury and Hay-on-Wye.

Catch my report on BBC One at 13:30.

Birmingham Pride 2016
BBC

Anu the wonder blade girl inspires Paralympic champion

BBC Midlands Today

Anu, the seven-year-old girl who has touched the hearts of millions of people around the world, has won another fan.

Paralympian Kadeena Cox raced against the little girl at school in Shirley, Birmingham, after seeing a video posted by BBC Midlands Today on social media of Anu showing off her new pink sports blade to friends.

It was because of last year's successful Paralympic games, that a fund was set up to pay for specialist prosthetics to help children like Anu, but that funding is due to run out next March.

Anu the wonder blade girl inspires paralympic champion

Travel: Taxis called as train breaks down

BBC News Travel

Services between Stourbridge and Stourbridge junction were being affected.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Driver jailed for killing pedestrian while on phone

BBC WM

A driver who was using his mobile phone when he killed a pedestrian in the Black Country has been jailed.

Ryan Freeth
West Midlands Police

Ryan Freeth, of Marshall Crescent in Wordsley, Dudley, was driving at speeds in excess of 48mph in a 30mph limit when he hit 66-year-old Leslie Marks in Amblecote in November 2015.

The 27-year-old was jailed for four years and five months at Wolverhampton Crown Court.

Chelmsley Wood sisters get £300k after lottery card ripped

Two sisters have been awarded £300,000 by the National Lottery, despite their winning scratchcard being ripped in half while they celebrated.

Scratch card
National Lottery

Lucy Dixon, who's 46 and from Chelmsley Wood in the West Midlands, said it had been folded in her pocket and was torn when she jumped in the air with 38-year-old Annie.

Sisters
National Lottery

The National Lottery said "a range of security checks" had to take place, but it was glad to be able to pay the sum.

Annie said they had been "lucky but unlucky" and "the wait was worth it".

First music event in Birmingham since Manchester attack

The first major music event in the West Midlands is taking place tonight since the bomb explosion at the Manchester Arena on Monday night.

Ska band The Specials are performing an outdoor gig at Birmingham's Genting Arena.

The Specials
BBC Music

The NEC Group, who run the venue, say there will be visible armed police and dog patrols at all their venues.

Severe disruption: M6 Warwickshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Warwickshire northbound severe disruption, between J1 for A426 Rugby and J2 for M69 affecting M1 J19.

M6 Warwickshire - Two lanes closed and queuing traffic on M6 northbound between J1, A426 (Rugby) and J2, M69 (Coventry), because of a broken down lorry and a fuel spillage. Travel time is around 20 minute. Congestion to M1 J19, Catthorpe Interchange.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Anu the wonder blade girl inspires paralympic champion
The seven-year-old internet hit was joined by athlete Kadeena Cox for her PE lesson at school.

Manchester victims in Friday prayers at Birmingham mosque

BBC Midlands Today

Leaders at Birmingham Central Mosque say the victims of the Manchester terror attack will be in their thoughts today when they gather for Friday prayers.

Birmingham Central Mosque
BBC

Thousands are expected to attend the mosque this lunchtime, where special prayers will be said for the victims, ahead of a minute's silence in memory of those who died.

Travel: Accident on the M5

Highways England says two lanes are blocked on the M5 between J2 and J3.

View more on twitter

Police call to hospital made in 'good faith'

Louise Hancock

Newsreader, BBC WM

Police were called to Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital yesterday evening to reports of a man acting suspiciously.

Officers detained and searched a 46-year-old local man in an area away from the main building.

Hospital
West Midlands Police

As a precaution, access to parts of the hospital was restricted for around 50 minutes while checks were completed.

The man has not been arrested and West Midlands Police says the call to them from security staff was made in "good faith".

Severe accident: M5 West Midlands southbound

BBC News Travel

M5 West Midlands southbound severe accident, between J2 for A4123 Oldbury and J3 for A456 Halesowen.

M5 West Midlands - Heavy traffic on M5 southbound between J2, A4123 (Oldbury) and J3, A456 (Halesowen), because of an accident involving a lorry and a car earlier on. In the roadworks area. All lanes have been re-opened.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Watch: Your 50-second weather forecast

Mel Coles

BBC Weather

Another dry, sunny and hot day in store with top temperatures of 25C (77F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands