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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Billy Vunipola was making his first appearance since undergoing knee surgery in September, while Maro Itoje broke his jaw in December

England pair Billy Vunipola and Maro Itoje make a winning return as Saracens defy two yellow cards to win at Wasps.

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Coventry City

Louise Gwilliam

BBC Sport

League Two Coventry City pull off an FA Cup shock by beating Premier League strugglers Stoke City to reach the fourth round of the FA Cup.

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Severe disruption: M6 West Midlands southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 West Midlands southbound severe disruption, between J6 for A38 and J4A for M42.

M6 West Midlands - One lane closed and slow traffic on M6 southbound between J6 A38(M) Aston Expressway and J4a M42, because of a broken down vehicle.

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

Our live coverage across the week

Andy Giddings

BBC News

We'll be back with the latest updates from 07:00 on Monday.

Cold weather alert issued

A cold weather alert has been issued for the West Midlands, warning of a prolonged period of low temperatures starting tomorrow until 18:00 on Tuesday 9 January.

The Met Office said colder conditions would spread south across much of the country during Saturday, with widespread frosts expected during Sunday.

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Gospel choir inspired by royals' mental health campaign

Trish Adudu

BBC Midlands Today

A Gospel singer from Coventry today launched a musical mission to create a special choir to perform in the lead up to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding this May.

Inspired by Prince Harry's work around mental health issues, Sandra Godley will audition amateur singers who are living with or have overcome mental and physical challenges.

You'll be able to see my full report on BBC Midlands Today on BBC One at 18:30.

A gospel star is launching a choir fit for the royals

Severe accident: M40 Warwickshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M40 Warwickshire southbound severe accident, between J12 for B4451 and J11 for A361.

M40 Warwickshire - One lane closed and very slow traffic on M40 southbound between J12, B4451 (Gaydon) and J11, A361 (Banbury), because of an accident.

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

In the papers: Blaze fan granted a lifetime wish

Coventry Observer

M42 crash arrest man released under investigation

A man arrested after a fatal crash on the M42 this morning has been released under investigation.

The 37-year-old was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs after the crash between junctions 9 and 10, in which two women died.

Warwickshire Police said the next of kin had been informed.

Man suffers broken leg in crash

A passenger suffered a broken leg and had to be cut free from a vehicle after it was involved in a crash with another car, ending up in a wood.

Crash scene
West Midlands Ambulance Service

The crash happened at the junction of Table Oak Lane and Holly Lane in Balsall, Warwickshire, at about 15:30 yesterday.

The 21-year-old driver escaped with only minor injuries, as did the driver of the other vehicle.

Crash scene
West Midlands Ambulance Service
Footage of aftermath of M42 crash scene
Two women died in the crash in Warwickshire.

M42 fully reopens

BBC News Travel

The M42 has now fully reopened after the deaths of two women earlier in a crash between junctions 9 and 10.

Scene of crash on M42
BBC

Traffic has returned to normal after accident investigation work.

Mayor's office could add £12 to tax bill

Peter Plisner

BBC Midlands Today

A new precept on the council tax could be introduced to pay for the running of the West Midlands Mayor office and boost congestion schemes in the region.

Cycle superhighway
BBC

Raising £7.5m, if approved it would mean £12 extra next year on a Band D rated property.

The bulk of the additional money raised would be used on investment to encourage cycling, park and ride facilities and developing "Sprint" bus schemes.

The Mayor's precept is subject to approval by the West Midlands Combined Authority next week.

Aston Martin car sales up

Aston Martin seems be bucking the national car sales trend, announcing sales are up by 58% - selling more than 5,000 vehicles in 2017.

Aston Martin
Getty Images

The luxury car maker, based in Gaydon, Warwickshire, said sales had hit their highest level in nine years.

M42 crash: Road closures 'slowly removed'

Officers investigating a fatal crash on the M42 this morning say road closures are now being "slowly removed".

A woman in 60s and another in her 50s, who were both rear-seat passengers, died when the car they were travelling was involved in a crash with a Merdeces van.

The driver of the car, a man in his 70s, along with a front-seat passenger in his 30s, suffered only minor injuries.

Police thanked motorists for their patience after this "very sad incident" and appealed for anyone with dashcam footage to come forward.

BreakingTwo die in M42 crash

Two women have died after the crash on the M42 this morning, the ambulance service has said.

Ambulance
West Midlands Ambulance Service

The two were travelling in a car that was in a collision with a van between junctions 9 and 10 northbound near Curdworth, in Warwickshire, at about 03:20.

The driver and a third passenger in the car sustained minor injuries.

The van driver sustained back pain and a hand injury and he was taken to Heartlands Hospital for further treatment.

M42 crash: Recovery operation complete

A police investigation and recovery operation has been completed on the M42 northbound between junctions nine and 10.

The motorway was closed after a crash between a van and a car at about 03:15 this morning.

The vehicles have been recovered and the southbound closure has now been lifted.

The northbound carriageway will remain closed for a clean-up operation.

In the papers: Cash injection to ease winter demand

Coventry Telegraph

M42 open southbound after major crash

The M42 is now open southbound at J9 after the crash in the early hours.

Highways England is warning of long delays on the approach from J10.

The motorway remains shut northbound J9-J10 while police continue their investigations.

M42 closure: Diversion route

BBC News Travel

Traffic is being diverted away from J9 northbound on the M42 after a serious crash which happened at about 03:15.

Drivers are being asked to exit at J9 and take the A446 through Bassetts Pole, then rejoin the M42 at J10 via the A5 eastbound.

There are also severe delays on the southbound carriageway.

Severe crash closes M42

BBC News Travel

The M42 northbound between J9 for the M6 Toll and J10 for the A5 is expected to be closed for some hours after a serious crash involving a car and a van.

Police are at the scene investigating.

The southbound carriageway is also shut at the moment between sliproads at J9 and Highways England is warning drivers to expect "severe delays".

M42
Highways England

Video: What's the weather got in store today?

Charlie Slater

BBC Weather presenter

A chilly and cloudy day with showers on and off - highs of about 6C (43F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Severe accident: M42 Warwickshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M42 Warwickshire northbound severe accident, between J9 for M6 Toll and J10 for A5.

M42 Warwickshire - M42 closed and slow traffic northbound between J9, M6 Toll (Curdworth) and J10, A5 (Tamworth), because of accident investigation work. Diversion in operation - follow the hollow square symbol via the A446 northbound then onto the A453 eastbound and join the A5 eastbound to re-join the M42 northbound at J10.

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

Severe disruption: M6 Warwickshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Warwickshire northbound severe disruption, at J2 for M69.

M6 Warwickshire - M6 partially blocked northbound at J2, M69 (Coventry), because of animals on the road. Traffic is coping well.

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

Our live coverage across the day

Andy Giddings

BBC News

We'll be back with the latest news, sport, travel and weather from 07:00 tomorrow, but keep an eye out here for more updates this evening and into the morning.

Company celebrates driverless first in Australia

A Coventry manufacturer has launched the first tests of its driverless vehicle technology in Australia.

Pod Zero
RDM Group

Aurrigo, the autonomous vehicle division of RDM Group, is testing its Pod Zero on a network of mapped courses at the Tonsley Innovation District in Adelaide, South Australia.

Manufacturing work on a further two pods is being carried out at the firm's advanced engineering centre in Coventry, and these will be sent over early next year, the company said.

The vehicles are being used as a possible solution to carrying and delivering cargo around the technology centre.

Ambulance service doesn't blame hospital staff for delays

Andy Giddings

BBC News

West Midlands Ambulance Service says it doesn't blame hospital staff for delays to admissions at accident and emergency last month, saying they are "working incredibly hard to ensure patients are turned around as quickly as possible".

Thousands of ambulances were delayed by over half an hour, before patients could be offloaded, with the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust seeing the largest number of hold-ups.

Ambulance
BBC

The ambulance service said it was talking to hospitals to try to reduce the problem, but added "every time an ambulance is delayed it means we find it more difficult to get to the next patient in a timely manner".

NHS England has said the biggest single safety risk to patients is an ambulance not being able to get to patients in time."

West Midlands Ambulance Service

'Inadequate' college now rated 'good'

A Coventry college that was rated "inadequate" in 2016 has been given a rating of "good" in every category following an inspection by Ofsted in November.

Hereward College
Google

Leaders at Hereward College have been described as working "tirelessly" and with a "relentless focus" to improve the safety and success of students.

At a previous inspection in 2016 concerns had been raised about significant weaknesses including ineffective safeguarding arrangements.

Hereward is a specialist college for young people with disabilities and additional needs.

Surge in calls to out-of-hours service

Andy Giddings

BBC News

NHS 111 services in the West Midlands took 35,058 calls during Christmas week.

Figures released today show that around England there were nearly 500,000 calls to the advice line over the seven days.

NHS call handler
BBC

Of those calls, which were made to both the Staffordshire and West Midlands 111 services, 19,528 were answered within 60 seconds.

Across England as a whole, a record 480,000 calls were made to NHS 111 that week.

Coventry graduate named African of the Year

A Coventry University graduate who set up an organisation aimed at de-radicalsing would-be extremists across West Africa, has been named African of the Year 2017.

Mutaru Muqthar
Coventry University

Mutaru Mumuni Muqthar, from Ghana, set up the West African Centre for Counter Extremism (WACCE) after graduating from a masters degree in international terrorism at the university.

The 35-year-old, who now lives in Accra, said his education in the city had "helped me on my journey in so many ways".

Congratulating Mutaru on the award, university Vice-Chancellor John Latham said students "make a significant contribution to their communities, be they in the UK or internationally, and Mutaru’s is among the most significant and important".

Dai Young

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young signs a new 'long-term' contract to stay with the Premiership runners-up.

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Aldi notches up record Christmas sales

BBC Business News

Supermarket chain Aldi racked up record sales in the UK and Ireland over Christmas and crossed the £10bn mark for the first time.

Aldi
Getty Images

The company, which has its UK headquarters in Atherstone, Warwickshire, saw UK sales rise by more than 15% in December compared with the year earlier.

The German chain currently has a 6.9% share of the UK market, according to Kantar Worldpanel.

This figure makes it the fifth-biggest supermarket in the UK after Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's and Morrisons.

In the papers: Demand doubles at food bank

Coventry Telegraph

Some of the main stories on the Coventry Telegraph website today include:

Flood warnings in place

The Environment Agency said it's monitoring storm surges with some flood warnings still in place south of our region.

flood map
Environment Agency

Peaks are expected this evening and Friday morning on the Severn and Wye.

Flood warnings have been issued for:

NHS trust put on highest alert level

A hospital trust in Warwickshire has been named among the most under pressure in England.

The trust that runs hospitals in Warwick and Stratford-upon-Avon said their efforts to treat urgent cases are being "hampered" by patients that could be treated elsewhere.

Warwick Hospital
Google

The South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust is one of 20 hospital trusts to have declared the most severe level of "operational pressure" in A&E over the last week, BBC research shows.

The medical director of Warwick Hospital, Dr Charles Ashton, urged patients considering to attend A&E to think about "whether it truly is an emergency and necessary".

Further weather warning for wind issued

Strong winds could once again cause disruption to travel and loss of power supplies, the Met Office is warning.

They are expected across the region today between 08:00 and 19:00.

Weather map
Met Office

Video: What's the weather got in store?

Charlie Slater

BBC Weather presenter

After a damp start to the day, it should be a drier and brighter day with highs of 11C (52F).

There is, however, a warning for wind today as winds are set to strengthen this afternoon.

Latest weather for the West Midlands