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Summary

  1. Updates on Wednesday 29 June 2016
  2. The latest News, Sport, Travel and Weather from 08:00 Thursday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

Live updates for Devon and Cornwall have finished for the day, but we'll be back at 08:00 on Thursday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather. 

Don't forget Spotlight will have the latest news on BBC One at 18:30 and 22:30. There will also be news through the night on your BBC Local Radio station.

Soldier took grandfather's 'WW1 life-saving spoon' on Iraq deployment

Andrew Segal

Local Live

A former soldier kept a silver spoon believed to have saved his grandfather's life in World War One. He carried it with him when he served in the Middle East in the 1990s, he has revealed as the world prepares to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme on 1 July.

Spoon. Pic: Royal British Legion/PA Wire
Royal British Legion/PA Wire

Henry Cooper, from Manchester, was 20 when shot in the chest during the 1916 battle. His family believes he survived - although badly wounded - because the bullet was deflected by the spoon and a Bible in his left jacket pocket, his grandson, 54-year-old Rod Cooper, from Paignton, Devon, said.

Rod Cooper in Iraq in 1991. Pic: Royal British Legion/PA Wire
Royal British Legion/PA Wire

Rod served in the Royal Lancers from 1982-2014 and carried it while serving in Iraq in 1991 (pictured). He said: "My mother gave me the spoon just before I left the UK... as a token of good luck and asked me to keep it in my pocket." He added: "I'm not overly superstitious but it seemed harmless and like a good idea."

Latest weather: Getting drier and brighter

David Braine, Weather Forecaster

The wind will ease tonight as the rain slowly clears eastwards through this evening, leaving a cloudy but mostly dry night across the county. Minimum temperature: 11C (52F).

Weather
BBC

Thursday will be much drier and brighter with sunny spells, although cloud will thicken to bring a few showers during the afternoon. Maximum temperature: 18C (64F).

Labour 'facing election wipe-out if Corbyn remains as leader'

Janet Kipling

BBC Radio Devon

Exeter's Labour MP says the Labour Party will be "wiped out" in a general election if Jeremy Corbyn remains as leader.

Ben Bradshaw said: "Anybody who cares about the Labour Party, who cares about the people who need a Labour government, and who will need a Labour government even more because of the fallout from the referendum, can only reach that same conclusion."

A challenge to Mr Corbyn's Labour leadership is expected following a no-confidence vote by MPs. Prime Minister David Cameron has also told Mr Corbyn to resign as leader, claiming it was not in the national interest for him to continue. Mr Corbyn said quitting would betray all the members that back him.

Cornwall business leaders demand Westminster replaces £500m lost EU cash

West Briton

Cornwall's business community is demanding Westminster makes up almost £500 million in investment that the Duchy was due to receive from Europe.

Latest headlines in Devon and Cornwall

Andrew Segal

Local Live

  • An inquest is told that failure to apply parking brakes is the likely cause of death of a man crushed by his own skip lorry at Derriford Hospital
  • Two surgeries in south east Cornwall are to close from Friday, NHS England says
  • A Devon MP says the Labour Party will be "wiped out" in a general election if Jeremy Corbyn remains as leader
  • Exeter City Football Club say they are "bitterly disappointed" local residents are threatening legal action to try to block a proposed redevelopment of their ground
  • Women from across the South West take part in protests at home and in London over changes to the state pension age

Smarter artificial lighting could 'stop trees from budding early'

Andrew Segal

Local Live

Smarter artificial lighting could be developed to be "kinder to nature" and prevent trees from budding prematurely, causing an early springtime, a scientist says.

Researchers at the University of Exeter’s Penryn campus in Cornwall found the key sign of spring was occurring up to 7.5 days earlier in brighter areas because of artificial night-time light.

Beech leaf. Pic: Christine Martin
Christine Martin

Professor Richard ffrench-Constant, of the Department of Biosciences, said the effect was "bad for nature, particularly because of the knock-on effects" to other species reliant on when trees bloomed, such as caterpillars, which, in turn, provided food for birds. 

He added: "A positive from this research is that we found red lighting to be particularly culpable for this effect. We may now have the opportunity to create 'smart lighting' that is kinder to nature."

Exeter Chiefs facing Clermont Auvergne and Bordeaux again

BBC Sport

Exeter Chiefs will face the same two French sides as they did last year in the group stages of the European Champions Cup. 

The Premiership runners-up have been drawn against Clermont Auvergne and Bordeaux in Pool 5, along with PRO12 side Ulster, who they host in a pre-season friendly on 20 August.

Smoking in cars law 'not going to see large amount of police effort'

Tamsin Melville

Political Reporter, BBC Radio Cornwall

Anti-smoking campaigners admit they are "never going to see the police putting a large amount of effort" into enforcing a law banning people from smoking in cars with children inside.  

Legislation introduced in October 2015 makes it illegal to smoke in a vehicle carrying someone who is under 18. It follows advice from health experts, who said it was necessary to protect about 3m children a year exposed in this way to the effects of second-hand smoke.

Smoker in car. Pic: PA
PA

However, in its first seven months since, only three police forces in England and Wales reported incidents, and all were dealt with by verbal warnings. Devon and Cornwall Police issued one warning.

Deborah Arnott, from Action on Smoking and Health, said: "This is a social law. But by having the legislation and penalties we send a strong message to people that this is no longer acceptable."

Exeter City 'bitterly disappointed' over legal action threat to redevelopment

BBC Radio Devon

Exeter City Football Club say they are "bitterly disappointed" after local residents said they would take legal action to try to block a proposed redevelopment of St James' Park.

The Secretary of State declined to call in the city council's granting of planning permission to build student accommodation as part of the project, which would also see the old Stagecoach Stand replaced.

The St James Forum has indicated it would seek a judicial review over the increase in student numbers in the area.

Fatal lorry crash was 'like an explosion'

View more on twitter

Lee Jane, 56, was crushed as he tried to stop the vehicle running away at Plymouth's Derriford Hospital in June 2015. 

The jury inquest, which started this morning in Plymouth, is due to last three days.  

Plymouth Albion re-sign Freestone and Williams

James Law

BBC Sport Online

National One side Plymouth Albion have re-signed hooker Rupert Freestone and back-row forward Dan Williams.

Freestone, 25, made 27 appearances for Albion last season and has been part of Cornwall's County Championship-winning squad for the last two summers.

Brickfields
Getty Images

Ex-Newton Abbot player Williams, 27, has also played county rugby with Devon and represented England Counties in Canada earlier this month.  

Surgeries to close in south east Cornwall from Friday

BBC Radio Cornwall

Two surgeries in south east Cornwall are to close from 1 July.

NHS England said arrangements couldn't yet be finalised for the Rame Group Practice to run services at Millbrook and Lodge House.

It said patients were being asked to register either with the nearby Rame Group, or with another practice. It added that staff at the Rame Group were ready to handle new registrations as a matter of urgency, having already taken on several hundred patients in recent weeks.

Women protest in Truro state pension changes

BBC Radio Cornwall

About 50 women have staged a demonstration in the centre of Truro in protest at the raising of the state pension age for them.

Women Against State Pension Age Inequality protest in Truro
BBC

The Cornish members of Women Against State Pension Age Inequality marched to the office of Conservative MP Sarah Newton, saying they wanted to voice their concerns about the changes.

Many women born between April 1951 and 1960 have claimed they were not aware the age was being raised by up to six years so the start of pay-outs would be equalised for men and women by 2020. The Department for Work and Pensions said the equalisation of the pension age was announced more than 20 years ago and righted a "longstanding inequality".

Plymouth landlord left with £10,000 clean-up bill after tenants from hell

The Daily Mail

A father-of-two has issued a warning to fellow landlords after the "tenants from hell" left his three-bedroom maisonette covered in faeces and urine.

Silver spoon 'saved Battle of the Somme soldier's life'

Andrew Segal

Local Live

A soldier shot during the Battle of the Somme in World War One survived as the bullet hit a silver spoon and Bible he kept in his jacket, his grandson has revealed as the world prepares to mark the 100th anniversary of the battle on 1 July.

Rod Cooper. Pic Royal British Legion/PA Wire
Royal British Legion/PA Wire

Henry Cooper was aged 20 when hit in the chest during the battle in 1916. The bullet was deflected by the items in his left jacket pocket before it pierced his skin. Manchester-born Mr Cooper then spent months in hospital in Southampton recovering. His family kept the spoon after his death in the 1970s.

His grandson, 54-year-old Rod Cooper, from Paignton, said: "The bullet punctured some of his major organs, including his lung. It was lodged inside him and had to be removed. He suffered as a result of his injuries later in life." But he added that his family still believed the spoon had saved his grandfather's life.

The battle, in northern France, was one of the bloodiest of the war, lasting 141 days and resulting in more than 1m men being wounded or killed.

Power cut in Bideford

Early spring budding from artificial light 'could impact wildlife'

Andrew Segal

Local Live

Scientists who say artificial night-time lighting is causing trees to burst into leaf early, have raised concerns that the impact of the phenomenon could have a knock-on effect on other wildlife.

Ash buds. Pic: Judith Garforth
Judith Garforth

Researchers at the University of Exeter’s Penryn campus in Cornwall compared 13 years of data about artificial night-time light across the country and when new leaves and buds first appeared on trees such as sycamore, oak, ash (pictured) and beech. They found the key sign of spring was occurring up to 7.5 days earlier in brighter areas.

The scientists said they believed "early bud bursting" would have a "cascade effect" on other organisms whose life cycles work in synchronicity with the trees. It said the proliferation of the winter moth, for example, which fed on fresh emerging oak leaves, was likely to be affected. That could impact on birds in the food chain that relied on it for food, the university said.

Plymouth Argyle sign Latvia international centre-back

James Law

BBC Sport Online

Plymouth Argyle have signed Latvia international defender Nauris Bulvitis subject to a medical, while Pilgrims striker Ryan Brunt has signed a new contract.

Argyle will be Bulvitis' ninth club in six countries, including Lithuania, Slovakia, Switzerland and his homeland.

Nauris Bulvitis
Getty Images

In the 2009-10 season the 29-year-old was on loan at Inverness, helping them win promotion to the Scottish Premier League as First Division champions.  

Daughter's heartbreaking appeal to help Torquay hammer-attack mum

Torquay Herald Express

A 20-year-old has made a heartbreaking appeal to "help restart my mum's life" after a horrific attempted murder in Torquay.

'Starballing' could explain starfish strandings, experts say

Rachael Thorn

BBC News Online

Large numbers of common starfish may become stranded on beaches during high winds because of a movement termed "starballing", scientists have discovered.

Starfish starballing
Plymouth University

Researchers at Plymouth University have observed the critters rolling along the seabed with their arms curled into a circle shape which appears to help them change location more quickly.

Dr Emma Sheehan, of Plymouth’s Marine Institute, said the common starfish was "naturally a slow-mover" travelling at no more than 67 cm (26 in) per minute, and the discovery of "starballing" may help explain their mass strandings.

Speed of Sound: Prince Harry joins Coldplay on stage at charity show

Andrew Segal

Local Live

Prince Harry has called for more to be done to combat HIV/Aids as he kicked off an energetic set by Coldplay during a charity concert.

Prince Harry and Chris Martin. Pic: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

The prince joined the band, led by Devon-born Chris Martin, on stage during the show in Kensington Palace Gardens in London on Tuesday night, which was being hosted by his charity, Sentebale.

The charity was founded in 2006 to raise awareness and funds for adolescents living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. 

BreakingLikely cause of driver crushed by lorry 'was failure to apply parking brakes' inquest hears

Simon Hall, Home Affairs Correspondent

BBC Spotlight

An inquest has heard that the likely cause of death for a man who was crushed by his own skip lorry, was the failure to apply parking brakes.

Lee Jane was crushed as he tried to stop the vehicle running away at Plymouth's Derriford Hospital in June 2015.

View more on twitter

The jury inquest, which started this morning in Plymouth, is due to last three days.

Tributes paid after the South West's oldest person, Eileen Knight, dies

Cornish Guardian

Tributes have been paid to Eileen Knight, the oldest person in the South West, who has died at the age of 109.

Women campaign in the capital against changes to the state pension

Martyn Oates

BBC South West Political Editor

Dozens of women from Devon are in Westminster to protest about not being given enough warning that they'd have to work for longer. 

Many women born between April 1951 and 1960 have claimed they were not aware the age was being raised by up to six years so the start of pay-outs would be equalised for men and women by 2020.  

View more on twitter

But, the Department for Work and Pensions says the equalisation of the state pension age was announced over 20 years ago and rights a longstanding inequality. 

View more on twitter

Latest weather: A mostly cloudy and windy afternoon

BBC Weather

It'll be a mostly cloudy afternoon, with scattered outbreaks of rain or drizzle that may be heavy in a few places. Some low cloud will cover the moors at times, but drier intervals should also develop with some brightness possible by the end of the day. Moderate or fresh winds will be strong around the coast and may gust to near gale or gale force. Maximum temperature: 17C (63F).

Weather
bb

Tonight will be mainly dry, with some clearer periods possible. However, thicker cloud is going to return from the south west towards the end of the night. Winds will ease and become light or moderate. Minimum temperature: 11C (52F).

Who are Devon's Conservative MPs planning to back for their next leader?

Jenny Kumah, Devon Political Reporter

  • Geoffrey Cox (Torridge and West Devon): Says he will take time to carry out consultation sessions with his association and local party members 
  • Johnny Mercer (Plymouth Moor View): Stephen Crabb (Work and Pensions Secretary) 
  • Neil Parish (Tiverton & Honiton): Boris Johnson 
  • Hugo Swire (East Devon): Has "yet to decide" 
  • Sarah Wollaston (Totnes): Theresa May (Home Secretary) 
  • Others are still considering who to back

The sky's the limit: Devon and Cornwall Police show off drones

BBC One

Rav Wilding finds out how Devon and Cornwall Police use drones to find missing people.

The Crimewatch Roadshow finds out how Devon and Cornwall Police use drones to find missing people and even map crime scenes.

Local Labour Party row over Jeremy Corbyn

Janet Kipling

BBC Radio Devon

Exeter Labour MP Ben Bradshaw is being criticised by local Labour Party members for calling on Jeremy Corbyn to stand down. What do you think should happen? 

Also, there's a call for a law banning adults smoking in cars carrying children to be redrafted after figures reveal not a single driver's been prosecuted. Can it ever be enforceable? 

Call in on 0345 3011034.

Former Ivybridge student Webster picked for Olympics

BBC Sport

Former Ivybridge Community College student Sonny Webster has been selected for the Team GB weightlifting squad for this summer's Olympic Games.

The 22-year-old, who now trains in Bristol, is one of two weightlifters picked to represent the country at Rio.

Sonny Webster
Getty Images

Webster was first introduced to the sport as a 12-year-old under former Commonwealth Games gold medallist Michaela Breeze, who taught at the Devon school.  

'Almighty bang' heard after lorry ran out of control

Simon Hall, Home Affairs Correspondent

BBC Spotlight

Lorry driver, Lee Jane, was crushed under his own vehicle as he tried to stop it running away at Plymouth's Derriford Hospital, an inquest has heard.

A witness told the inquest they heard an "almighty bang" after the skip lorry ran out of control.

Mr Jane, who was from the Higher Compton area of the city, died in June 2015 whilst working as a lorry driver for Viridor.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

The jury inquest, which started this morning in Plymouth, is due to last three days.

Motorcyclist killed in tractor crash named by police

BBC Radio Cornwall

A man who died after a serious collision on the A3047 near Camborne on Tuesday has been named as 53-year-old Stephen Fitch from Connor Downs.

At about 07:40 a black and white Triumph Speed Triple motorcycle collided with a blue New Holland T6 tractor. Both vehicles were travelling from Connor Downs towards Roseworthy.

The motorcyclist, Mr Fitch, suffered serious injuries and later died in hospital.

Skip lorry driver 'crushed trying to stop runaway vehicle'

BBC Radio Devon

A lorry driver was crushed under his own vehicle as he tried to stop it running away at Plymouth's Derriford Hospital, an inquest has heard.

Crashed lorry
BBC

Lee Jane, who was from the Higher Compton area of the city, died in June 2015 whilst working as a skip lorry driver for Viridor. 

The jury inquest, which started this morning in Plymouth, is due to last three days.

Latest travel in Devon and Cornwall

BBC Travel

  • In Devon, we've got reports of an incident on the B3215 at Belstone Corner, close to Sampford Courtenay Railway Station
  • Long Lane in Combe Martin is partially blocked due to an incident near the A399
  • In Cornwall, there are reports of an accident on the A39 Newquay Road in Truro, near Bodmin Road
  • On the A390 Penwinnick Road in St Austell, there are reports of an accident near Pondhu Road

EU Referendum: Businesses and charities look to deal with Brexit effect

BBC Spotlight

Businesses and charities in the South West which receive EU funding or have close ties with Europe are trying to ensure the Brexit vote doesn't have a detrimental effect.

Torquay Training Partnership
BBC

The Training Partnership in Torquay (pictured) finds work experience placements for foreign students and does the same for British students abroad. 

Traditionally their main competition had been London, but now it could become Dublin, managers said.

Could Cornwall's tourism industry benefit from Brexit?

Laurence Reed

BBC Radio Cornwall

Smoking in cars with children present has not seen a single prosecution in the seven months it became law. Should the law be redrafted?

And I talk to travel expert Simon Calder about holidaying after the Brexit result. Could Cornwall benefit?

Call in on 01872 222222.

Flying Visit: Police drone team thanks BBC Crimewatch

View more on twitter

The Crimewatch Roadshow found out how Devon and Cornwall Police use drones to find missing people and even map crime scenes. You can find out more here.

Artificial lighting 'causing early springtime'

Press Association

Artificial lighting has been causing springtime to come early, with trees bursting into leaf a week earlier in areas with more light pollution, newly published research has found. 

Sunlight through trees. Pic: Andrew Segal
Andrew Segal

Researchers at the University of Exeter’s Penryn campus compared the amount of artificial night-time light across the country and the date at which new leaves first appeared on trees such as sycamore, oak, ash and beech. 

Comparing 13 years of data about when the buds were bursting with satellite images of artificial lighting, the researchers found the key sign of spring was occurring up to 7.5 days earlier in brighter areas. The study was a collaboration between the university and environmental consultants Spalding Associates in Cornwall.