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Summary

  1. Updates on Wednesday 30 March 2016
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Thursday

Live Reporting

By Alex Homer

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our coverage across the day

That's it from Local Live on Wednesday. Join us again from 08:00 on Thursday for more news, sport, travel and weather.

Lahore attacks condemned by Coventry community leaders

Coventry's community leaders say the scale of recent terrorist activities around the world is a cause of great concern to them

The city's Interfaith and Communities Forum has condemned the terrorist attacks in Lahore that targeted Christians on Easter Sunday.

Police in the park
AFP

More than 70 people died in a public park there. 

And Mark Green from Coventry's Barnabas Fund, which supports Christians in persecuted areas, says there's been a sharp rise in social discrimination in Pakistan, alongside bias in the legal system.

Coming up on TV

Mary Rhodes

Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

We will have all the latest on Tata Steel's plans to sell off UK sites and the hunt for a new boss of Aston Villa.

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

West Midlands Police officer charged with assaulting a man in custody

A serving West Midlands Police officer has been charged with assaulting a man in custody, according to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Police Sergeant Jason Hayles, 44, of Erdington, will appear before magistrates tomorrow charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm at Stechford Police Station in Birmingham on 25 March 2015.

Watch: Latest weather forecast for the West Midlands

Temperatures are going to come down sharply tonight. Lows of 2C (36F).

Find out more about what is in store for us later in the week.

Weather for the West Midlands.

Latest: Deadline for travellers to leave; JLR unaffected by Tata Steel sales; Doha flight route begins

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

Here is a quick recap of Wednesday's top stories:

- Travellers who moved on to Coventry's War Memorial Park were given until 17:00 today to move off the site

- Coventry-based Jaguar Land Rover is unaffected by plans by Tata Steel to sell off UK plants

- Birmingham Airport has begun flights to Doha in Qatar

Deadline nears for travellers to leave War Memorial Park in Coventry

Navkiran Mann

BBC Coventry & Warwickshire

A group of travellers have less than an hour to move out of the War Memorial Park in Coventry.

It is after they parked 12 caravans in the car park over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend. 

The council will seek a possession order to seek their eviction if they miss their 17:00 deadline.

Travel: Kenilworth crash warning

BBC Travel

Station Road in Kenilworth is partially blocked near its junction with Waverley Road because of a crash, drivers are warned.

West Midlands economy a 'major pull factor' for Doha flight route

Peter Plisner

BBC Midlands Today

Birmingham Airport received another major boost this morning with the start of a new service by Qatar Airways - marked by a traditional water cannon blast.

It will fly eight times a week to the capital of Qatar - Doha.

Dreamliner
BBC

The airport is now the fourth destination in the UK being served by the airline and the new route strengthens the West Midlands' connections to Africa, Asia and other parts of the world.

The airline's Chief Commercial Officer, Hugh Dunleavy, said the region's economy was "a major pull factor".

New police patrols in Kenilworth having ‘big effect’

Warwick Courier

Concerns raised by Kenilworth residents about burglary, theft and speeding are being addressed by new police patrols.  

Cash pot for Coventry and Warwickshire business bosses

Business looking for funding between £25,000 and £75,000 can apply for a new Enterprise Loan Fund launched by Coventry and Warwickshire Reinvestment Trust.

The fund is for businesses that require finance for working capital, refurbishment, property development, machinery or equipment.

Coventry-based Jaguar Land Rover unaffected by Tata sale plans

Tata Steel has said it cannot give an "open-ended" commitment to keep steel plants in the UK open, while a buyer is sought. 

Tata also owns Coventry-based Jaguar Land Rover but we have been told that is a different part of the conglomerate and not affected.   

The Indian company plans to sell its UK steel assets, including the Port Talbot plant in South Wales. 

The Business minister, Anna Soubry, has said it could take months for a buyer to be found

Birmingham to the Middle East within hours

Louise Brierley

Reporter, BBC Midlands Today

Doha is now within seven hours' reach of Birmingham after a new flight route is launched.

Birmingham flights to Doha start

Turning the Ricoh Arena yellow to support Marie Curie

Wasps are encouraging everyone to wear yellow to their Aviva Premiership clash on Sunday to support Marie Curie.

View more on twitter

Out and About: Brody Swain meets listeners in Nuneaton

BBC Coventry & Warwickshire

Our very own Brody Swain is also joining the Out and About tour in Nuneaton with Midlands Today until 15:00. He'd love to chat.

Brody Swain interviewing listeners
BBC

Cheltenham still hopes to host the Tour of Britain cycle race

Tourism bosses in Cheltenham say they are not giving up hope of being able to bring the Tour of Britain cycle race to the town. 

Cheltenham was not chosen to host a leg of the country's biggest professional race this year but has decided to bid again for 2017. 

In Stoke-on-Trent last year the tour was thought to have been worth around £600,000 to the local economy. 

Midlands Today on tour in Nuneaton

Mary Rhodes

Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

We're out on the road in Nuneaton today meeting our viewers. Come and see us if you're there.

Mary Rhodes meets viewers
BBC
A viewer tries reading the weather forecast
BBC

Latest: Travellers' deadline to leave; Coventry penalty miss; Rugby raid info appeal

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

Here is a quick recap of Wednesday's top stories:

- Travellers who moved onto Coventry's War Memorial Park have been given a deadline to move off the site later today

- Coventry's manager Tony Mowbray has lamented the missed penalty before defeat to struggling Colchester

- Police appeal for information about an armed raid at a Rugby phone shop

Burial land pledge for Nuneaton

Nuneaton News

All future decisions about burial land will be made with residents' best interests at heart.

That is according to Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough councillor Ian Lloyd, who is responsible for cemeteries, in light of the Nuneaton Cemetery Campaign.

Nuneaton cemetery campaign
Nuneaton News

Midlands Today on tour in Nuneaton

We're out and about today to meet some of our viewers.

View more on twitter

Football: Mowbray on penalty miss 'I expect them to smash it'

Visiting keeper Elliot Parish saved on-loan Norwich player Jacob Murphy's penalty shortly before the interval as Coventry lost to struggling Colchester last night.

Tony Mowbray told Sky Sports Murphy was among a few players to have missed spot kicks this year and suggested some reasons why.

Tony Mowbray
Empics

He said: "Young players watch too much Spanish or Premier League football where they stutter their run-ups or try and give goalkeepers the eyes.

"I expect them to smash it. Nobody is rolling it in corners anymore."

Birmingham to Doha flight route starts

Peter Plisner

BBC Midlands Today

Regular flights from Birmingham Airport to Doha start this morning. 

Qatar Airways will fly its 787 Dreamliner aircraft to the Middle East eight times a week.

Dreamliner
BBC

Independent stores facing high street struggle

Paul Marriott

BBC Coventry & Warwickshire

The growth of independent shops opening on the high streets has stalled, according to a new report today by the British Independent Retailers Association.

Gary Hubbard, who runs the Coventry Photo Centre in Earlsdon Street, says footfall to his shop in the city has fallen by 60% in the past three years.

He also says trade has fallen steadily and there are fewer jobs around as more shops close down.

Rugby scrapyard fire in the early hours of today

Three fire crews battled a scrapyard fire in Rugby in the early hours of this morning.

Firefighters were on the scene for three hours battling the flames at the yard on Newbold Road which broke out at around 02:57.

A crew returned this morning to carry out an inspection to ensure the fire was completely extinguished.  

Travellers who moved onto War Memorial Park given deadline to move

Alec Blackman

BBC Coventry & Warwickshire

A group of travellers who moved onto the War Memorial Park, Coventry, at the weekend have until close of business today to move, or face eviction.

Yesterday there were around 25 caravans in the Park and Ride car park; this morning that's down to 12.

Travellers
BBC

The council carried out a welfare assessment to see whether the group had any needs that the authority was obliged to provide before it could start procedures to move them.

Earlsdon councillor Allan Andrews tweeted that notice to quit was served last night. That gives the group until 17:00 to leave the site.

Latest: Coventry spotkick woes; Rugby raid info appeal; high street traders struggling

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

Here are the top stories on Wednesday:

- Coventry's manager Tony Mowbray has lamented the missed penalty before defeat to struggling Colchester

- Police appeal for information about an armed raid at a Rugby phone shop

- Independent shops are facing a struggle to open on high streets, a new report says

Football: Colchester dent Coventry's play-off hopes

BBC Sport

League One strugglers Colchester further dented Coventry's play-off hopes with victory at the Ricoh Arena.

Gavin Massey scored the only goal of the game in the 18th minute, side-footing in from Elliot Lee's fine pass.

Tata Steel plans to sell loss-making UK plants

The UK and Welsh governments have released a joint statement, insisting that they're working "tirelessly" to ensure the future of the British steel industry. 

The pledge follows the announcement last night that Indian firm Tata plans to sell its loss-making steel plants in the UK, threatening thousands of jobs. 

Roy Rickhuss, general secretary of steelworkers' union Community, said the "worst fear" that Tata would announce plant closures had not been realised.    

'We will not let steel industry die'

Another branch of Tata owns Coventry-based Jaguar Landrover and the carmaker buys its steel from British plants. 

Armed raid at Rugby phone shop - police appeal for information

Paul Marriott

BBC Coventry & Warwickshire

Two crowbar-wielding robbers struck at a shop in Rugby and made off with a "large quantity of mobile phones and cash", say police.

The men, wearing balaclavas, raided the phone store at Junction One retail park on Leicester Road on 17 March.

One is described as white in his 30s, about 5ft 6inches tall, of large build and missing two top teeth. The other is said to be mixed race, in his late 20s and 6ft tall. 

Latest: Coventry suffer defeat; Rugby raid info appeal; high street traders struggling

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

Here are the top stories on Wednesday:

- Coventry's play-off hopes took another hit last night at the hands of struggling Colchester

- Police appeal for information about an armed raid at a Rugby phone shop

- Independent shops are facing a struggle to open on high streets, a new report says

Watch: Latest weather forecast for the West Midlands

Kaye Forster

Weather Presenter

There will be a few showers today but there should be some more sunshine than the past few days.

Highs of 10C (50F).

Latest weather forecast for the West Midlands

Travel: Rugby delays warning

BBC Travel

The A426 Leicester Road in Rugby is closed northbound from the A426 Newbold Road junction because of a police incident, drivers are warned.

Good morning from Local Live for Coventry and Warwickshire

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

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

Comment on our stories or showcase your pictures of the region by emailing us, tweeting @BBCCovwarks or using the BBC Coventry and Warwickshire Facebook page.