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Summary

  1. Drug smuggler jailed for 10 years
  2. President's ex-wife accused of torture
  3. Cladding on two Coventry tower blocks
  4. Water lost at hospital
  5. Pigs filmed in 'bleak' conditions
  6. Updates from Friday 30 June 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Severe accident: M6 Warwickshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Warwickshire southbound severe accident, between J3A for M6 Toll and J3 for A444.

M6 Warwickshire - Stationary traffic on M6 southbound between J3a M6 Toll and J3, A444 (Nuneaton), because of an accident involving a motorcycle and a rolling road-block.

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, between J15 for A46 and J16 for A3400.

M40 Warwickshire - Slow traffic on M40 northbound between J15, A46 (Longbridge Island) and J16, A3400 (Henley In Arden), because of a rolling road-block and animal transfer between horseboxes.

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

Severe disruption: M40 Warwickshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M40 Warwickshire southbound severe disruption, between J16 for A3400 and J15 for A46.

M40 Warwickshire - Slow traffic on M40 southbound between J16, A3400 (Henley In Arden) and J15, A46 (Longbridge Island), because of a rolling road-block and facilitating animal transfer between horseboxes.

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

Severe disruption: M6 West Midlands northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 West Midlands northbound severe disruption, at J4A for M42.

M6 West Midlands - M6 lane blocked on entry slip road northbound at J4a M42, because of a broken down horse box. Traffic is coping well.

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

Severe accident: M6 Warwickshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Warwickshire southbound severe accident, at J3 for A444.

M6 Warwickshire - M6 lane blocked on entry slip road southbound at J3, A444 (Nuneaton), because of an accident.

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

Severe accident: M40 Warwickshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M40 Warwickshire southbound severe accident, between J15 for A46 and J14 for A452.

M40 Warwickshire - M40 partially blocked and slow traffic southbound between J15, A46 (Longbridge Island) and J14, A452 (Royal Leamington Spa), because of an accident.

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

Severe accident: M6 Warwickshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Warwickshire northbound severe accident, between J3 for A444 and J4 for M42.

M6 Warwickshire - Stationary traffic on M6 northbound between J3, A444 (Nuneaton) and J4, M42 (Coleshill), because of an accident and a rolling road-block.

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, between J15 for A46 and J16 for A3400.

M40 Warwickshire - One lane closed and slow traffic on M40 northbound between J15, A46 (Longbridge Island) in Sherbourne and J16, A3400 (Henley In Arden) in Warwickshire, because of barrier repairs.

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

Severe accident: M40 Warwickshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M40 Warwickshire southbound severe accident, between J16 for A3400 and J15 for A46.

M40 Warwickshire - Very slow traffic and one lane closed on M40 southbound between J16, A3400 (Henley In Arden) and J15, A46 (Longbridge Island), because of an accident.

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

Our coverage across the day

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

Watch: Your weekend weather forecast for the West Midlands

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

Here's how your weekend's going to start in the West Midlands on the weather front.

Keep yourself updated over the next two days with the BBC Weather website.

Rebecca Wood

Government funding to improve roads

BBC Midlands Today

The government has announced a £282m upgrade for major roads and motorways in the Midlands.

Improvements include work on the M42 at junction six to help ease congestion on and off the A45, better access to Birmingham airport and preparations for the new HS2 station.

Ministers say the extra money will help the region's economy grow.

Roads
Getty Images

Delays of over an hour on the M42

Drivers on the M42 northbound are warned to expect delays of more than an hour after an accident closed several lanes of the carriageway.

There are delays between junction 2 and junction 3a (Earlswood) as a large spillage is cleared.

Diversions are in place

View more on twitter

Tottenham and Man City enter Checkatrade Trophy

Manchester City and Tottenham will be among the youth teams who will be trying to follow in the Sky Blues' footsteps and win the Checkatrade Trophy next season.

They are among the new clubs who will play.

Premier League champions Chelsea will also enter an Under-21 side, as they did last season, but Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool have turned down the chance to participate.

Mark Robins
Empics

Coventry manager Mark Robins (pictured above) says new signing Michael Doyle is in with a chance of being named the club captain for the coming season.

Robins says his experience having rejoined the club will be crucial.

The experience we brought in, certainly Michael Doyle, I think he's gonna help a lot of the younger players here. We [have] still got a core nucleus of younger players as well."

Mark Robins

Your photos: Offchurch

BBC Weather Watchers

G Man sent us this photo of Offchurch. You can get involved with BBC Weather Watchers.

Offchurch
G Man

Work to restore water after leak affects hospital site

BBC Coventry & Warwickshire

A Warwickshire hospital says a bypass has been installed to allow it to get water while a ruptured pipe is repaired.

The problem happened near the main entrance to Hospital of St Cross in Rugby shortly after 09:00.

A spokesperson for the hospital trust has also said patient care had not been affected and patients "should attend their appointments as normal, following road diversions as appropriate".

The spokesperson said earlier: "We can confirm that we are aware of a major water leak on Barby Road, which has affected the site at the Hospital of St Cross.

"Severn Trent have installed a bypass which is temporarily allowing water to the site. We are currently working with Severn Trent and the Highways Agency to restore normal levels of water to the site. We are currently monitoring the water supply and reserve tanks at the site to ensure that the water supply is meeting demand."

Notorious Coventry junction being revamped as part of £700,000 project

Coventry Telegraph

A notorious Coventry gyratory is being revamped in a bid to help shake its ‘Malfunction Junction’ moniker.

'Stay in there' advice over high-rise flat fires

BBC Coventry & Warwickshire

Coventry City Council says it is sticking with "stay put" advice for people in high-rise flats in the event of fire.

It stipulates residents should remain where they are if fire breaks out in their block - unless, that is, they're told to leave by firefighters.

Andrew Walster from the local authority said the advice was based on everyone's safety.

Rather than having lots of people trying to exit a building, when you have the fire service trying to get into the building with their hoses etc etc to fight the fire and not cause it to spread, it is better that people stay in there, but they absolutely repeated if people want to get out, then they should get out."

Andrew WalsterCoventry City Council

Police overtime spending cut

Police in Warwickshire and West Mercia managed to cut the amount they spent on overtime last year, but it remained over £4.5m, despite cuts to police numbers.

Since 2010, the average spending on overtime for the two forces has been £5.3m, reaching a peak of over £6m in 2011-12.

Police officers
BBC

Since the partnership of the two forces, the number of police officers has fallen by around a quarter, but until last year spending on overtime had remained over £5m a year.

Ex-wife of former Liberian president faces torture charges in court

The ex-wife of former Liberian president Charles Taylor has appeared in court accused of torture offences linked to the country's civil war.

Agnes Reeves Taylor pictured in the early 1990s
BBC

Agnes Reeves Taylor, 51, (pictured above in the early 1990s) faces six charges relating to alleged offences committed in the west African country between 1989 and 1991.

She appeared at the Old Bailey on Friday via video link from HMP Bronzefield in Surrey, where she is being held on remand.

She spoke only to confirm her identity and acknowledge she understood what had been said in court.

Reeves Taylor, a lecturer and head of department at Coventry University, faces five charges of torture and one of conspiracy to torture, the court heard.

The defendant, of Kitchener Road, Dagenham, east London, was remanded in custody ahead of a further preliminary hearing at the same court on 20 July.

Robins looking to bring in fresh players

BBC Coventry & Warwickshire

Coventry City boss Mark Robins says he's still looking to bring in fresh players ahead of the new season.

He's so far added eight players to the squad as they aim to get out of League Two at the first attempt.

It's back to training for the Sky Blues. They'll play Sutton United in a pre-season friendly in eight days' time.

Ryton training ground
BBC
Ryton training ground
BBC

We’re just sort of reshaping things and trying to get a good balance. So there's a lot of hard work gone on and obviously we've, I think, brought some good players in and that'll be borne out I'm sure during the season but [there's] still quite a bit of work to do yet."

Mark RobinsCoventry City boss

Adrian Edmondson joining RSC for Twelfth Night

Alec Blackman

BBC Coventry & Warwickshire

The comedian and actor Adrian Edmondson is joining the RSC for its production of Twelfth Night.

Adrian Edmondson
Getty Images

Edmondson (pictured above) will play Malvolio with the former EastEnders star Kara Tointon playing Olivia.

The run starts at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in November.

Severe accident: M42 Worcestershire northbound

BBC News Travel

M42 Worcestershire northbound severe accident, between J3 for A435 Portway and J3A for M40.

M42 Worcestershire - Two lanes closed and very slow traffic on M42 northbound between J3, A435 (Portway) and J3a M40, because of an accident involving a lorry and a car earlier on and a spillage on the road.

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

Drug smuggler jailed for 10 years

A drug smuggler has been jailed for 10 years after trafficking cocaine to criminal groups around the country, the National Crime Agency (NCA) says.

Adrini Kuqi
National Crime Agency

Adrini Kuqi, 31, supplied criminal groups - according to the NCA - with more than 50kg of the Class A drug.

Having pleaded guilty at Birmingham Crown Court, Kuqi, of New King Street, London, received the ten-year term along with a concurrent one-year prison sentence for money laundering.

The NCA said Warwickshire Police officers, working with the agency, stopped his car on the M42 south of Birmingham.

Drugs in the car and a house had a street value of about £1.2m, the NCA added.

Severe disruption: M6 Warwickshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Warwickshire southbound severe disruption, at J1 for A426 Rugby.

M6 Warwickshire - M6 lane closed on exit slip road southbound at J1, A426 (Rugby), because of emergency repairs. Traffic is coping well.

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

Great Britain's men in Wheelchair Rugby European Championships semi-finals

Great Britain's men have reached the semi-finals of the Wheelchair Rugby European Championships.

The team includes former Coventry student Jim Roberts, who had both of his legs amputated after contracting bacterial meningitis.

New Coventry City CEO 'ambassador for club'

The Sky Blues' new chief executive officer says engaging with supporters is a key part of the job.

Dave Boddy has taken over the role after similar spells at Worcester City and Newport County.

I've always had a policy that within reason I'll try and deal on a one-to-one basis with any query I get from supporters. I'm always open to engaging with them whether it be in forums, one-to-one email communication. I see my role as being an ambassador for the club and that's an important part of it."

Dave BoddyCoventry City chief executive officer

Water company has 'isolated problem' at hospital

Severn Trent says it has "isolated the problem" after water was lost at Hospital of St Cross in Rugby.

A spokesperson said: "We have engineers working outside [the site] to repair a water pipe that burst this morning.

“We’ve isolated the problem and water supplies should now start returning for any customers that were affected in the area.

"We’re sorry for any inconvenience this has caused and we’ll now work as quickly as possible to get the pipe repaired.”

Patients told to check appointments with hospital after water lost

Police have asked members of the public to check with Hospital of St Cross in Rugby to confirm appointments after water was lost there earlier due to a burst main.

Van
Rugby Police

According to officers, water is "now being taken on site slowly".

'No water at hospital'

Water was lost at Hospital of St Cross in Rugby earlier due to a burst main, police say.

Scene
Rugby Police

A road was shut between the entrance to the day surgery unit and main car park, with the closure set to remain, police said, due to surface damage.

Your photos: Coventry

BBC Weather Watchers

Kingfisher Whisperer has sent in this photo of Coventry. You can also get involved at BBC Weather Watchers.

Coventry
Kingfisher Whisperer

'Metro mayor' trying to win business backing

The mayor of the West Midlands has been trying to win business backing for his vision for the region over the next four years.

Andy Street
BBC

Andy Street has been in Nuneaton talking to 60 firms, including Holland & Barrett and Triton Showers.

He said while the borough council there wasn't a full member of the region's combined authority, he was determined that local firms wouldn't be left behind.

It's nothing to do with being eclipsed. It's actually all about working together. If you think how people move between the different places for their jobs, where investment comes from, that's how the total economy works."

Andy StreetWest Midlands mayor

'Just two WM Housing tower blocks in Coventry have cladding'

Alec Blackman

BBC Coventry & Warwickshire

Coventry City Council says that two residential blocks which have cladding do not use the type found at Grenfell Tower in London.

The authority says the cladding on the West Midlands Housing Group pair is of a higher quality.

Councillors were told at a meeting last night every block in the city had been inspected twice and would get a third inspection by West Midlands Fire Service.

Cladding fitted to Grenfell Tower during its refurbishment was changed to a cheaper version, documents obtained by the BBC suggest.

Andrew Walster from Coventry City Council said he was satisfied the blocks were as fire safe as they could be.

We have no cladding on residential blocks in Coventry which is the same as the cladding in Grenfell. We have cladding on two West Midlands Housing Group buildings and we're reassured that that cladding is of a much higher quality and a much higher fire-retardant quality than that in London."

Andrew WalsterCoventry City Council

'Driverless' car trial comes to Coventry

BBC Midlands Today

People in Coventry are being asked how they feel about 'driverless' cars today ahead of a city-wide trial.

Driverless car
BBC

Millions of pounds are being spent to test the system over the next two and a half years.

Researchers at University of Warwick will be speaking to local people at the city's Transport Museum today.

Cricket: Warwickshire stay bottom of league

BBC Sport

Warwickshire are still bottom of the cricket County Championship after their hopes for a first win of the season were washed away yesterday.

Rain meant the Bears had to settle for a draw against Lancashire at Edgbaston, but coach Jim Troughton says they can take some positives.

Edgbaston
Rex Features

We know we haven't been up to our best, but it was a good day to take 10 wickets. We had to think outside the box to take those wickets."

Jim TroughtonCoach

Pigs filmed in 'bleak' conditions

An investigation is under way after an animal rights group released footage they said showed pigs in overcrowded conditions at a farm.

Images filmed at Hogwood Farm in Warwickshire by Viva allegedly showed pigs in cramped sheds, while some sick animals had no access to food or water.

Pigs
VIVA

The Animal and Plant Health Agency said it would investigate the footage.

A farm spokesman said it would review procedures, but insisted it complied with all animal welfare standards.

Watch: Latest weather forecast

Sara Blizzard

BBC Weather

After a rather cloudy, but generally dry start, some patchy rain is likely this afternoon.

Find out what the weather has in store for the weekend.

West Midlands weather forecast