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Summary

  1. Updates on Wednesday 5 April
  2. News, sport, weather and travel updates return from 08:00 on Thursday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

Our live updates have finished for the day, but we'll be back from 08:00 on Thursday with more of the latest news, sport, travel and weather.

Grand National 2017: Police tweet top tips to enjoy the races

Rugby League: St Helens winger Adam Swift agrees new contract

BBC Sport

St Helens winger Adam Swift has signed a new two-year contract with the Super League side .

Adam Swift
SWpix.com

The 24-year-old came through the Saints academy and scored a hat-trick on his debut against Widnes in 2012.

Swift has scored 73 tries in 99 appearances for St Helens and is expected to make his 100th outing against Huddersfield on Friday.

Convicted sex attacker jailed for kidnapping women

A "sexual predator" who dragged lone women into secluded areas has been jailed for life.

Dominic Hill
Greater Manchester Police

Dominic Hill, 32, of Luton Road, Stockport, grabbed two women, aged 22 and 24, in February last year although both managed to escape.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of kidnapping at Manchester Crown Court and given a minimum of six years.

He had been out on licence after sexually assaulting a woman in Manchester in 2010 and was recalled to prison.

Hill was also ordered to sign the sex offenders' register for life.

Football: Liverpool fined and handed ban

BBC Sport

Liverpool have been fined £100,000 by the Premier League and handed a two-year ban on signing academy players from other clubs for a rule breach.

It relates to the club's approach to a 12-year-old academy player at Stoke City in September last year.

Liverpool will be banned from signing any academy players who have been registered with a Premier League or EFL club in the previous 18 months.

This second year of the ban will be suspended for a three-year period.

Footage captures birth of rare giraffe at Chester Zoo

A rare Rothschild's giraffe has been born at Chester Zoo.

The 5ft (1.52m) youngster, which is yet to be sexed or named, arrived at 15:20 on Monday to its eight-year-old mum Orla.  

The Rothschild giraffe is one of the most endangered of the species with 1,500 currently estimated to be living in the wild.

Orla an experienced mum and she delivered the calf safely on to soft straw as the rest of the herd, including her other young Kidepo and Millie, looked on.

Sarah RoffeGiraffe team manager

Bolton fly-tipping incidents down

Fly-tipping in Bolton is down by a third since last year, according to local authority figures.

Fly-tipping
BBC

The number of incidents reported to the council has reduced from nearly 3,000 a year to just over 2,000.

The council has credited the drop to 2015's £1.3m investment in improving the local environment.

Co-op in Easter egg sexism advert row

The Co-op has changed its advert for chocolate Easter eggs after being accused of "outrageous sexism".

Tweet about the Easter egg ad
Ronnie Morris, Twitter

The advert's tagline for its Fairtrade eggs which appeared in national newspapers over the weekend said: "Be a good egg. Treat your daughter for doing the washing up."

One of the  Fairtrade principles  is gender equality.

The Manchester-based supermarket said: "We are proud of our organisation's equality and diversity, we are sorry."

Severe disruption: M6 Cheshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Cheshire northbound severe disruption, between J18 for A54 Middlewich and J19 for A556 affecting J17 for A534 Sandbach.

M6 Cheshire - Delays, one lane closed and very slow traffic on M6 northbound between J18, A54 (Middlewich) and J19, A556 (Knutsford), because of a broken down vehicle. In the roadworks area. Travel time is around 60 minute. Congestion to J17, A534 (Sandbach).

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

Latest headlines for the North West

Football: Koeman's top four assessment

Simon Stone

BBC Sport at Old Trafford

Everton manager  Ronald Koeman made an interesting observation  after his side's 1-1 draw at Manchester United last night.

Ronald Koeman and Jose Mourinho
Getty Images

The result came just three days after Everton were comprehensively beaten by Liverpool, who are now favourites to claim a top four spot at United's expense and a place in next season's Champions League.

Koeman, it seems, finds Jose Mourinho's team far easier to play against than Jurgen Klopp's.

"Manchester United play a different way to Liverpool," he said.

"They have a different system, with different pressing. I feel more comfortable with that than the way Liverpool press.

"United are strong United. They have individual qualities. But it isn’t pressing, pressing, pressing from the start. You get more time and you have more ball possession." 

More from Sportsday - News & Premier League reaction

Two police officers arrested on suspicion of drug dealing

Lancashire Telegraph

An investigation has been launched into the serving police officers after arrests at undisclosed addresses in Haslingden, Bacup and Middleton.  

The badger-friendly motorway link road

A new road between two of Cheshire's motorways has made life easier for motorists and is also hoped to have a huge impact on wildlife too.

Highways England said the A556 Link Road, which connects the M6 with the M56, is the "greenest road" it has ever made.

The agency spent more than £1m ensuring that habitat and highway can co-exist.

Features include a man-made sett for badgers, replacement bat roosts and a network of 21 ponds for great crested newts and water shrews.

Severe disruption: M62 Greater Manchester eastbound

BBC News Travel

M62 Greater Manchester eastbound severe disruption, between J19 for A6046 and J20 for A627 affecting J16 for A666.

M62 Greater Manchester - Slow traffic on M62 eastbound between J19, A6046 (Heywood) and J20 A627(M) Rochdale, because of an earlier broken down vehicle. All lanes have been re-opened. Travel time is around 35 minute. Congestion on M60 to J16, A666 (Pendlebury).

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

Super League clubs agree to increase salary cap over next three years

BBC Sport

Super League clubs have backed a new structure to raise the salary cap from £1.825m to £2.1m by 2020.

Super League launch
SWpix.com

The 12 teams will be able to spend £1.9m next year, £2m in 2019 and then £2.1m in 2020.

There has also been an agreement reached that clubs can have two marquee players - up from one - with exemptions for new or returning players as well as some under the age of 21.

The Rugby Football League board will vote on the proposals on Thursday.

How much will national issues affect Lancashire council elections?

Mike Stevens

BBC Radio Lancashire political reporter

Local government elections are always a good indicator of how voters are feeling , but with Lancashire being home to more than a handful of marginal Parliamentary seats, national party leaders will be keeping a close eye on the results on 4 May.

Lancashire County Council
BBC

Labour held power in Lancashire for 28 years until the Conservatives ended that streak in the 2009 elections.

Four years later, Labour were running the authority again, but without a majority. Instead, Jennifer Mein's Labour group have been reliant on Bill Winlow's Liberal Democrats for support.

Currently, the council breaks into 39 Labour councillors, 35 Tories, six Lib Dems, three independents and one Green.

Man, 29, arrested after man stabbed in Liverpool

A 29-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of assault after a stabbing in Liverpool.

Garway
BBC

Police were called to Garway in Woolton at 18:10 last night following reports a 24-year-old man had been knifed in his arm. 

The arrested man is due to be interviewed by officers.

Wife attack cricketer's suspended sentence to be reviewed

A cricketer who was spared jail after admitting beating his wife with a bat is to have his sentence reviewed .

Mustafa Bashir
Pat Isaacs/Cavendish

Mustafa Bashir, of Middleton, who admitted two counts of assault was given an 18-month sentence, suspended for two years, at Manchester Crown Court in March.

Judge Richard Mansell QC was told Bashir, 34, would be employed as a professional by Leicestershire County Cricket Club, which was "wholly false".

The judge was criticised by domestic abuse charities for saying his wife was not vulnerable as she was a graduate.

Bashir was said to have beaten his wife with a cricket bat and forced her to drink bleach.

The sentence will be reviewed at Manchester Crown Court on Friday.

Blasphemy-fear crucifixion event axed

A fundraising event which involved lifting members of the public on to a cross for a "full crucifixion experience" has been cancelled.


          Rob Slater, pictured, is playing the part of Jesus in the passion play
Manchester Passion 2017

Manchester Passion play fundraiser Alex Stewart-Clark wanted to charge participants £750 for the spectacle in Cathedral Gardens.

However, the offer was withdrawn after the play's committee raised fears over blasphemy and health and safety.

The Passion, a dramatisation of Jesus' final days, will be held on Saturday.

Cricket: Lancashire head coach relishing new season challenge

Scott Read

BBC North West cricket commentator

Lancashire's new head coach Glen Chapple says the competitive nature of this season's County Championship will be beneficial to his players.

Chapple, 42, replaced former coach Ashley Giles in January on a three-year contract.

The new campaign gets under way on Friday with a four-day game against Essex.

There will be online commentary of every game on BBC Radio Lancashire , Manchester and Merseyside .

Driver summonsed to court over road deaths

A man has been summonsed to court following the death of a woman and teenager who were hit by a car.

Shelby Lauren Maher, 17 and Rachel Murphy
Lancashire Police

Shelby Lauren Maher, 17 and Rachel Murphy, 23, of Preston, were hit by a car on the A59 at Brockholes Brow on 20 April 2016.

Mohmed Salma Patel, 35, of Blackburn, has been summonsed to appear in court for offences of causing death by dangerous driving.

The date and location of the hearing is yet to be confirmed.

Weather: Remaining dry and bright this afternoon

BBC Weather

There will be sunny intervals for most this afternoon, especially over low lying areas. Cloud could develop over hills which will be thick enough to produce a few light showers.

Some clear spells will develop overnight, possibly leading to a local rural ground frost.

Lows of 7C.

More from BBC Weather

Boy, 16, charged after BB guns and weapons find

A 16-year-old has been charged after weapons were found during a search of a house in Liverpool. 

Police searched a property in Adelaide Road in Kensington and found two ball bearing pellet guns and other weapons on Tuesday,

The teenager has been charged with two counts of possession of a firearm and possession of ammunition without a certificate.

He is due to appear at Liverpool Youth Remand Court later.

Football: Bolton Wanderers boss wants focus in League One promotion push

BBC Sport

Bolton Wanderers cannot become complacent in the push for League One promotion, says manager Phil Parkinson.

Phil Parkinson
Rex Features

Mark Beevers scored an injury-time winner at Southend on Tuesday as second-placed Wanderers moved seven points clear of Fleetwood in third.

The Lancashire side are attempting to return to the Championship at the first attempt after relegation last year.

Probe into 'unprovoked' attack on man in Lancaster

An investigation is under way after a man was assaulted in an "unprovoked" attack in Lancaster.

Church Street
Google

The 36-year-old victim was punched in the back of the head and face by a boy as he walked along Church Street with two friends at about 22:00 on Saturday.

A group of youths had thrown a small sign and traffic cone at them before the man was attacked, leaving him with a swollen and bloody nose. 

The boy is described as aged 13 to 14 years old and was wearing a grey hooded top with a white Superdry logo on the front. He was on a black mountain bike.

This was a random and unprovoked attack on the victim. If anyone witnessed what happened and has not yet spoken to us I would urge them to get in touch.

PC Mark Howson

Severe disruption: A56 Greater Manchester both ways

BBC News Travel

A56 Greater Manchester both ways severe disruption, between M66 J1 and M66.

A56 Greater Manchester - A56 in Edenfield closed in both directions between Ramsbottom and Ramsbottom Junction.

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

Police warning to Big Wheel climber

A video blogger who climbed Liverpool's Big Wheel has been warned over his " exceptionally dangerous high jinks ".

Wheel of Liverpool
Google

Jason Osborne, 18, was spotted climbing the waterfront ferris wheel shortly after 06:10 on 23 March by a member of public who told the police.

A video on YouTube showed him scaling the tourist attraction next to the Echo Arena before being met by officers at ground level.

Merseyside Police said it had offered "advice" to the teenager.

Boy arrested over paperboy assault bid

A 14-year-old boy has been arrested after a paperboy was chased with a lighter after having what is believed to be petrol thrown over him.

Cheetham Hill Road, Dukinfield
Google

The teenager was on his paper round in Cheetham Hill Road, Dukinfield, Tameside, at about 18:45 on Wednesday when he was attacked by two teenagers.

Police have urged a potential witness - described as white and bald - who was walking nearby at the time of the attack to get in touch.

The boy has been arrested on suspicion of attempted assault.

Football: Dyche relieved after Burnley's first win since January

BBC Sport

George Boyd scored the only goal as Burnley beat Stoke at Turf Moor to end their seven-game winless run.

Boyd swept home Jeff Hendrick's cross 12 yards out after the Republic of Ireland international had beaten two Stoke defenders on the left flank.

The goal was one of only three shots on target for Sean Dyche's side but gives them their 10th home win of the season.

Stoke had the better chances in the 90 minutes but were not clinical with Marko Arnautovic wasting the visitors' best opportunities.

Victory for Burnley sees them moves eight points clear of the relegation zone and up to 12th, one place below Stoke.

Latest headlines for the North West

  • A cricketer from Middleton who was spared jail after admitting beating his wife with a bat is to have his sentence reviewed.  
  • A 19-year-old is critical after he was stabbed in Huyton in the early hours of this morning
  • An investigation into an "unprovoked" assault on a man in Lancaster is under way

Severe disruption: M62 Greater Manchester eastbound

BBC News Travel

M62 Greater Manchester eastbound severe disruption, between J18 for M60 and J19 for A6046.

M62 Greater Manchester - Heavy traffic and one lane closed on M62 eastbound between J18, M60 (Simister Island) and J19, A6046 (Heywood), because of a broken down car.

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

Greater Manchester & Liverpool City Region: How will mayors affect you?

Voters in Greater Manchester and across the Liverpool City Region will choose their first elected mayors on 4 May.

Ballot box
BBC

It is part of a devolution deal that will give the regions more control over issues such as housing and transport.

The mayors will lead combined authorities of representatives from each of the existing local councils.

Ahead of the election, the BBC wants to know what you want from the new mayors and where you think their immediate priorities should lie.

Grand National 2017: Terminally ill boy awarded honorary 41st place

Terminally ill Bradley Lowery has been awarded an honorary 41st place in the world’s most famous steeplechase, the Grand National.

The  five-year-old from County Durham and his family will be guests of honour at this weekend's race day and he even has his own racecard - with red and white silks matching his beloved football team, Sunderland FC.

Bradley Lowery
Randox Health Grand National
Bradley Lowery racecard listing
Randox Health Grand National

Bradley, who has neuroblastoma, has led out the England team at Wembley as well as his home team Sunderland - and has even been invited to BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

Last year, after appearing as a Sunderland mascot at Goodison Park, Everton donated £200,000 towards his treatment fund.

Severe disruption: M60 Greater Manchester anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M60 Greater Manchester anti-clockwise severe disruption, at J13 for A572 affecting J15 for M61.

M60 Greater Manchester - Very slow traffic on M60 anticlockwise at J13, A572 (Worsley), because of an earlier broken down vehicle. All lanes have been re-opened. Congestion to J15, M61 (Swinton Interchange).

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

Sexist comment 360k payout 'excessive'

A £360,000 payout to a former secretary over a " single sexist comment " at work was "excessive", a major firm has told an appeal.

BAE Systems in Warton
Getty Images

An employment tribunal had ruled Marion Konczak was unfairly dismissed from her job with BAE Systems in Lancashire.

It upheld a sex discrimination claim that a sexist comment from Mrs Konczak's manager "pushed her over the edge" into a breakdown.

Three Court of Appeal judges have reserved judgement on the case.

Football: Luke Shaw used 'his body with my brain', says Jose Mourinho

BBC Sport

Manager Jose Mourinho said Luke Shaw used "his body with my brain" during Manchester United's 1-1 draw with Everton and has told the club's young players they need to "grow up" quickly.

Luke Shaw and Jose Mourinho
Reuters

Defender Shaw, 21, made his first appearance since January on Tuesday night and it was his injury-time shot that led to the penalty from which Zlatan Ibrahimovic equalised.

"He was in front of me and I was making every decision for him," said Mourinho.

"He has to change his football brain."

Severe disruption: A583 Lancashire eastbound

BBC News Travel

A583 Lancashire eastbound severe disruption, between Moss House Lane and Westby Road.

A583 Lancashire - A583 Preston New Road in Little Plumpton closed and heavy traffic eastbound between the Moss House Lane junction and the Westby Road junction, because of a demonstration.

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

Chester student accommodation plans rejected

Phil McCann

Cheshire Political Reporter, BBC News

Plans to build a halls of residence for more than 300 students have been rejected by councillors.

Hoole Way
Google

The application was turned down amid concerns Chester is being "swamped" with student accommodation.  

The city's student population has ballooned over the past ten years, meaning more purpose-built student accommodation and increasing concerns from local residents. 

Cheshire West and Chester councillors decided to refuse the plans on vacant land off Hoole Way, on the basis it was too big and would cause parking problems in the Newtown area. 

The developers claimed it would allow the city to attract the "very best students", and local business groups also backed the scheme.