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Summary

  1. Updates from Tuesday 27 January 2015
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Wednesday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good evening

That's all for today's BBC Local Live.

Scroll down for all the developments in the murder of Alice Gross.

Join us tomorrow from 08:00 where we'll have all the latest news, sport, travel and weather updates for London.

Alice Gross recap

Just to recap today's developments in the

Alice Gross murder investigation:

  • Police said they would have charged Arnis Zalkalns with the 14-year-old's murder if he had lived
  • Officers believe there was a "sexual motive" to her death, although there was no evidence she had been assaulted
  • She died after being compressed by a heavier body
  • Even if they had known earlier about Zalkalns' murder conviction in Latvia it would not have saved Alice
  • A cigarette butt with Zalkalns' DNA was found close to Alice's body and her iPhone case was found buried 5ft (1.5m) in his garden
  • Her body was heavily concealed in the River Brent and was weighed down with bricks, tree trunks and sediment
Last footage of Arnis Zalkalns
Met Police

Mild and breezy

It will be relatively mild during the evening, with the increasing breeze and generally cloudy skies helping prevent a frost.

While most of the night will be dry, there is a chance of some patchy rain arriving from the north west by dawn.

Lows of 5C (41F).

Coming up

BBC London News

TV

On

tonight's programme on BBC One at 18:30, Nick Beake has a round-up of the police investigation into murdered schoolgirl Alice Gross. Earlier detectives
said they would have charged Arnis Zalkalns with her murder had he not killed himself.

Also on the programme, controversial cycle superhighways are

set to be given the go ahead. And paramedics who had planned on going on strike on Thursday talk about the pressures they face.

Football tonight

Murray Burnell

BBC London 94.9

Tonight,

Millwall and
Dagenham can boost their respective survival hopes in the Championship and League Two with wins over Reading and Cambridge.

Strike cancelled

A 48-hour strike planned by workers on London's Docklands Light Railway in a dispute over terms and conditions has been called off.

DLR train
BBC

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union said talks with operators Keolis/Amey had secured an agreement.

Workers were due to go on strike from 04:00 tomorrow.

Farringdon delays

There are currently delays of 40 minutes on Thameslink trains between Blackfriars and St Pancras International because of a safety check in the tunnel at Farringdon which was badly flooded earlier this week.

Keep up-to-date with

BBC Travel or on Twitter
@BBCLondonTravel.

Dubai flies past Heathrow

Dubai International has taken over from Heathrow as the

world's busiest international airport in terms of yearly passenger numbers.

Dubai International Airport
AP

The United Arab Emirates airport said it had just under 70.5 million passengers through in 2014, compared with about 68.1 million for Heathrow.

News on the hour

Will Shindler

BBC London 94.9

In the 17:00 bulletin, I'll be telling you about the ceremonies which have been taking place to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by Soviet forces.

In London, the annual Holocaust Memorial Day service was addressed by the Prince of Wales, who said the Holocaust was a warning and a lesson to everyone.

Bank to relocate

A merchant bank has announced that it is moving 600 staff into Wimbledon town centre, making it the biggest private employer in the borough.

This Is Local London says Close Brothers are re-locating the staff from their office in Tolworth Tower to Wimbledon Bridge House in Hartfield Road.

Spy 'poisoned twice'

The inquiry into the death of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko, who died from polonium poisoning in 2006, has finished for the day.

Counsel to the inquiry Robin Tam QC said a month before Mr Litvinenko was killed in November 2006, he may have been poisoned.

He had recalled feeling unwell around the time of a meeting at a security company in mid-October and "vomiting on one occasion about two or three weeks before being hospitalised," he said.

Catch up on today's evidence here.

Firefighter remembered

London Fire Brigade

tweets: Firefighters past & present remembered Fireman Stephen Maynard who died at a ship fire 35 years ago. Pic
@stevedude68

Firefighters remember Stephen Maynard
@stevedude68

Noisy neighbours app

Croydon Council has launched a new smartphone app which allows users to report noisy neighbours,

East London Lines reports.

The 'My Croydon' app has a decibel meter that measures noise and informs users whether it is loud enough to be classed as a "nuisance".

3D heart

Alice Bhandhukravi

Presenter/Reporter, BBC London

Here I am holding a replica heart made by a 3D printer used by Evelina London Children's Hospital and King's Imaging to help save a two-year-old girl.

Alice Bhandhukravi hold 3D replica heart
BBC

Find out more in the

18:30 news on BBC One.

News on the hour

BBC London 94.9

Radio

Coming up on the 4pm bulletin: A public inquiry has opened into the murder in London of the former Russian spy, Alexander Litvinenko. He was poisoned more than eight years ago - after becoming an outspoken critic of the Kremlin.

British Police have identified two suspects, now living in Russia - Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitry Kovtoon. Both men deny any involvement.

How to cope with sharing with strangers

Tenants in London are increasingly sharing bedrooms according to reports.

If you are in this position, Clare Spencer, who rented a room along with two other people she did not know for three months,

offers her coping strategies.

These include getting changed in the bathroom and staying out until bedtime.

Chelsea host Liverpool

Murray Burnell

BBC London 94.9

Chelsea have the chance to redeem their exit from the FA Cup tonight as they host Liverpool for a chance to make the final of the League Cup.

It's 1-1 on aggregate and we have full commentary on

BBC London 94.9.

'Polar bear' goes on the Tube

An animatronic polar bear gave commuters on the Underground this morning when it joined them.

Animatronic polar bear on the Tube
PA

It was all part of a publicity stunt for Sky Atlantic's new drama Fortitude.

A team of 19 Hollywood prop specialists spent six weeks designing and building the realistic replica animal, with six to eight people working on the costume at any one time.

BP's Tate sponsorship revealed

Tate has revealed oil giant BP donated £3.8m to its galleries as part of its sponsorship deal over a 17-year period.

The

figures have been released after Tate lost a three-year Freedom of Information battle, brought by environmental campaigners.

Who wants to work in a tunnel?

Mario Cacciottolo

BBC News

The £16bn Crossrail project has dug out many miles of tunnels beneath London's streets.

Crossrail tunnel
BBC

The company has taken on thousands of unemployed people and even created a special academy to train them - but who wants a job that takes you underground?

I dig deep to find out.

News on the hour

BBC London 94.9

Radio

Coming up at 15:00, Det Supt Carl Metha tells BBC London 94.9 police are confident Latvian builder Arnis Zalkalns was responsible for Alice Gross's murder.

Also, thousands of people were put at risk from radioactivity when the former Russian spy, Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned in London, a public inquiry into his death nine years ago has been told.

New jobs

Waitrose is set to create 2,00 jobs in new shops and by expanding existing site.

BBC Business reports that some of the posts will be at a new depot in south London.

Superhighway 'to go ahead'

Tom Edwards

Transport correspondent, London

The consultation process seemed to drag on and on but now London Mayor Boris Johnson has decided to go ahead with his contentious flagship cycle superhighway.

Cycle superhighway plan
Transport for London

The plan is to put a single segregated cycle lane along Embankment to link Hyde Park with Tower Hill.

My

blog has more analysis on what this all means for the mayor and cycling campaigners.

Strike cancelled

Tomorrow's 48 hour strike on Docklands Light Railway has been suspended,

reports BBC Travel.

Litvinenko 'killed on third attempt'

Two prior attempts to kill ex-Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko may have been made before he died from radiation poisoning in London in 2006,

the BBC has learned.

Alexander Litvinenko
Getty Images

The one-time officer with the successor to the KGB fled to the UK where he became a fierce critic of the Kremlin and worked for security service MI6.

A public inquiry into the death of the 43-year-old opened today.

News on the hour

BBC London 94.9

Radio

Coming up at 14:00, Det Supt Carl Metha tells BBC London 94.9 police are confident Latvian builder Arnis Zalkalns was responsible for Alice Gross's murder.

Also, thousands of people were put at risk from radioactivity when the former Russian spy, Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned in London, a public inquiry into his death nine years ago has been told.

Det Ch Insp Andy Chalmers said: "During this investigation I found out a lot about what Alice was like as a person. She was a bright, talented young girl.

Alice Gross
Metropolitan Police

"Those who loved and knew her talked of her beauty inside and out and the spark she had."

Her body was weighed down with bricks tied to a bicycle wheel and logs which were so heavy that the fire brigade required heavy lifting equipment to remove them.

Log used to weigh down her body
Met Police

Alice was found naked and tied up.

Where Alice was found
Met Police

Her body was found in chest high, still water with a thick layer of sediment. She was discovered under low lying branches and thick foliage that formed a canopy over her hidden body.

The Met said Latvian authorities confirmed to them on 11 September his murder conviction.

As the force had still not ascertained his whereabouts by 16 September, a public appeal for his whereabouts was made.

By 17 September, officers had identified him on the CCTV footage as being in the area when Alice went missing.

The next day he was named as a suspect.

As the Met releases CCTV images of Zalkalns' last known movements in 4 September, the force has revealed that he was reported missing by his partner on 5 September.

Homicide Command, the team that was investigating Alice's disappearance, was informed of his disappearance on 8 September.

Last sighting of Zalkalns
Met Police

Inquiries were sent off to Latvia via Interpol to establish his history.

In this

video report by Robert Piggot that was made days before Alice's body was discovered, Zalkalns' mother-in-law warns that he is a dangerous man.

Viktorija Zalkalne
BBC

More information about Zalkalns' arrest in 2009 over an alleged indecent assault on a 14-year-old girl has been released.

  • It is said to have happened near to Grand Union Canal in Boston Manor
  • Police say the allegation was "thoroughly investigated" but the complainant declined to support the prosecution so Zalkalns was not charged
  • No checks were made to see if he had any overseas convictions because it was not the Met's policy to do so
  • Detectives say even if the conviction was known about, it would not have altered charging decision
  • Police say it's "very unlikely" Zalkalns would have been deported had conviction been known about

Here is the

CCTV footage that the police have released of Zalkaln and Alice's movements on the day she was killed.

Arnis Zalkalns
Met police

Alice's inquest has been put back and will now not take place as planned on Thursday.

A new date has yet to be fixed.

The family said they were also "astonished" by the continuing support for

Alice's Youth Music Memorial Fund. So far £17,000 has been raised.

Family picture of Alice with her father, mother and sister
Family handout

"We are planning to hold a music event in the summer as a celebration of Alice's life and passion for music.

"We also hope that in time an annual event can be launched to promote opportunities for young musicians, in tribute to Alice's aspirations."

Alice's family said although they now have certain information as to how she died, they still had unanswered questions on what the authorities knew or should have have known about when Zalkalns came to the UK.

"Alice believed in the free movement of people and so do we. For her sake we are determined to ask these questions responsibly and sensitively.

"For that reason we have asked Liberty to help us and we look to the forthcoming inquest into Alice's death to help us find answers to these questions."

The general labourer, who worked at a building site in Isleworth, west London, is thought to have come to the UK in 2007.

He served seven years in prison for murdering his wife Rudite Zalkalns.

Latvian court documents about the 1998 murder case reveal a psychologist assessed Zalkalns as being mentally stable and said he knew exactly what he was doing when he murdered his wife and buried her in a shallow grave.

Arnis Zalkalns
BBC

In a confession Zalkalns - an experienced welder who took his wife's surname - told police he made a metal pole and an eight-inch knife, which he used to hit and stab her.