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Summary

  1. More news, sport, weather and travel updates from 06:00 on Friday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

Live updates from Merseyside and west Cheshire have finished for the day, but we'll be back from 08:00 on Friday with the latest news, sport, weather and travel from around the region.

Weather: Dry with clear spells

BBC Weather

Staying dry overnight with some clear spells and a mild night with temperatures remaining firmly in double figures. 

Thursday evening's weather is sunny spells and warm temperatures
BBC

More from BBC Weather

Chester Zoo frog rescue: Last hope for endangered frog

Zoo conservationists say a new breeding programme is the "last chance" to save a critically endangered amphibian, the mountain chicken frog, from extinction.

Chester Zoo curator Gerardo Garcia holding a mountain chicken frog
BBC

In a project involving Chester Zoo, a few breeding pairs have been genetically selected and moved into a shipping container that has been converted into a miniature, tropical haven.

The hope is that the animals will breed and that offspring can be released to repopulate their native habitat in Dominica and Montserrat.

Rugby League: Warrington lose Sims for Widnes meet

BBC Sport

Warrington prop Ashton Sims is out through suspension for their Challenge Cup quarter-final local derby against Widnes tomorrow, with Ryan Bailey coming into the squad.

Warrington forward Chris Hill
SWPIX.COM

Wolves have won both meetings in Super League this season, 48-16 in April at Widnes and 28-10 in March.

The Vikings, who have won two of their last six games, have brought prop Jay Chapelhow to their squad.

Watch: Timelapse of Anfield's main stand

Liverpool

Travel: Track fault causes train disruption

A track fault at Birkenhead Central has disrupted train services on some Chester and Ellesmere Port lines.

Football: Dowell signs new three-year deal at Everton

Midfielder Kieran Dowell has signed a new three-year deal with Everton, the club said.

Kieran Dowell claps
Getty Images

Dowell, 18, has agreed a revised contract that will keep him at Goodison until the summer of 2019.

The Ormskirk-born youngster made his Premier League debut in a 2-1 win over Bournemouth less than two months ago.

Watch: Police raids in Wirral

Five people have been arrested and thousands of pounds worth of drugs seized in police raids in Moreton.

View more on youtube

Latest headlines in Merseyside and west Cheshire

This afternoon's top stories:

  • Thousands of pounds worth of drugs are seized and five people arrested after police raids in Wirral
  • A man is charged with a racially or religiously aggravated hate crime against Labour MP for Liverpool Wavertree Luciana Berger
  • An Ormskirk man says he was left naked on the floor of a cell after being stripped by police

Travel: Crash partially blocks Liverpool road

BBC Travel

Dale Street in Liverpool is partially blocked westbound near the Churchill Way junction because of a crash.

It is causing congestion in the area.

More from BBC Travel

Football: Former Reds manager 'sounded out' for England job

BBC Sport

The Football Association held secret talks with Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers late last year about him replacing Roy Hodgson as England's head coach, the BBC Sport Gossip column reports.

Brendan Rodgers
Getty Images

The talks were described as "exploratory", but Rodgers - who recently took over at Celtic - is said to have told FA staff his priorities remain in club football.

Car set ablaze on house driveway

St Helens Star

Police are investigating a suspected arson attack that saw a car engulfed in flames on a busy residential street.  

Weather: Sunny spells this evening but showers Friday

Latest headlines in Merseyside and west Cheshire

Today's top stories in Merseyside and west Cheshire:

  • An Ormskirk man says he was left naked on the floor of a cell - after being stripped by police
  • Five people from Merseyside and Lancashire have been jailed for their part in a £3m banking fraud
  • The new Alder Hey building in has been honoured by Royal Institute of British Architects

New maritime industry academy opens in Bootle

The new £2.5m Port Academy Liverpool opens its doors this morning. 

The facility, which aims to address a skills shortage within the maritime industry, is based at Hugh Baird College in Bootle.

View more on twitter

Travel: Merseyrail track fault leads to delays

BBC Travel

Due to a track fault in the Birkenhead Central area, services towards Chester and Ellesmere Port are slightly delayed.

Merseyrail said the services may be delayed by up to seven minutes until about 16:00.

Metro Mayor candidates 'all very distinct'

Claire Hamilton

Reporter, BBC Radio Mersesyide

The three candidates competing to be chosen as Labour's candidate for the Liverpool city region Metro Mayor - Joe Anderson, Steve Rotheram and Luciana Berger - debated each other for the first time on Wednesday.

It's slightly odd I suppose to have had the three of them together as it's essentially a matter for Labour party members on Merseyside to vote for their favourite candidate.

Joe Anderson, Luciana Berger and Steve Rotheram
PA

But it was very interesting to see them all sitting together with each candidate spending two minutes setting out their stall before answering questions from the audience. 

You might have expected a little bit of an icy edge to the atmosphere - especially as Steve Rotheram and Joe Anderson used to work alongside each other as councillors in Liverpool and are now rivals - but it was quite civilised.

The most interesting bits for me were the different approaches of the three - and they are all very distinct.

Wirral Tennis Centre ready for EU Referendum count

Eu referendum votes will be counted at Wirral Tennis Centre tonight. 

Counting begins as soon as the polls close at 22:00 and the result is expected around breakfast time tomorrow.

View more on twitter

Man handed Sefton gang and drug injunction

A man has been given an injunction preventing him from being involved in gang violence and drug dealing. 

For the next two years, Steven Gray, from Bootle, cannot associate or communicate with 15 others or enter certain parts of Sefton. He also cannot use or threaten violence. 

Steven Gray
Merseyside Police
Map of Sefton
Merseyside Police

The judge at Liverpool Crown Court handed out the order to protect the public and stop the 23-year-old committing further crimes.  

Wirral MP seeks views for survey on accident blackspot

Wirral Globe

Residents living near a notorious accident blackspot in Meols in Wirral are being urged to complete a survey as part of an ongoing campaign to tackle traffic issues that have plagued the neighbourhood for years.  

Football: Reds favourite picks his best Euro 2016 starting XI

BBC Sport

Former Liverpool stalwart and TV pundit Mark Lawrenson has picked his best starting line-up from all the group stage games at Euro 2016.

Mark Lawrenson
BBC

Who would make it on to your team sheet? Have a go at choosing a formation, take a look at other BBC pundits and commentators' list of contenders and pick your best XI.

Cheshire campaign launch to encourage people to report rape

Chester Chronicle

A new campaign to encourage more people to report rape and seek the help they need will be launched on tomorrow.

Unilever to stop using 'sexist stereotypes' in adverts

The consumer products giant Unilever - which has its main research and development facility in Wirral - has decided to stop using sexist stereotypes to sells its products

Mother and daughter
Unilever

It will mean an end to ads featuring women in the kitchen or doing the laundry. 

For example an advertisement for its stock cubes now replaces a mother and daughter cooking together with a father and son.

Latest headlines in Merseyside and west Cheshire

Today's top stories in Merseyside and west Cheshire:

People go to the polls in EU referendum

Polling has opened in the historic EU referendum. Here are the doors open wide at The Gregson in Wavertree.

The Gregson
BBC

Weather: Very high pollen for North West today

'Urban park' plans for Liverpool fly over

It's been a feature of Liverpool's skyline for many years - and its future has been up for debate for a while - but there are now plans for Liverpool's Churchill Way Flyover to become an "urban park".

Churchill Way
BBC

On 1 July a picnic - the first of a six summer events - will take place on the flyover.

The group behind the events - Friends of the Flyover Group - was set up in 2012 after the council released a blueprint proposing it be demolished.  

Other suggestions for the flyover include turning the roads into cyclist and pedestrian-friendly routes with planting, kiosks, cafes, lighting and power infrastructure in a scheme modelled on New York's High Line.

Latest headlines in Merseyside and west Cheshire

Today's top stories in Merseyside and west Cheshire: 

  • A man has been charged with a racially or religiously aggravated hate crime against Labour MP for Liverpool Wavertree Luciana Berger
  • St Helens Council is bidding to host a major arts and culture festival, which aims to boost the region's economy
  • A teenager from Moreton, Wirral has been charged after a schoolgirl was hit by a suspected stolen van

Dog thefts increase by 50% on Merseyside

The number of pet dogs stolen across Merseyside has increased by more than 50%

Dog
Louise Marsh

Figures obtained by the BBC show there were 53 thefts in 2015, compared with 34 the year before. 

More than 5,000 dogs have been reported stolen across England and Wales since 2013 - prompting campaigners to call for a change in the law.

Travel: Rail disruption in Liverpool

BBC Travel

Trains aren't stopping on Merseyrail Northbound at Liverpool Moorfields due to engineering works.

More from BBC Travel

Maritime college opens in Liverpool

A new college, aimed at providing courses to young people looking for a career in the maritime industry, opens its doors today. 

Liverpool2 terminal
Peel Ports

Port Academy Liverpool has cost £2.5m, and is said to be the only vocational college of its kind in the North of England. 

It will offer students the chance to train in several subjects, including marine engineering. 

Alder Hey Hospital makes Riba list

The new grass-roofed children's hospital in Liverpool is one of several buildings honoured by Royal Institute of British Architects.

Alder Hey Hospital
BBC

Huge rise in number of dog thefts in North West

There's been a big rise in the number of dogs stolen in the North West according to figures obtained by the BBC. 

According to the region's police forces, around 800 dogs have been stolen in the last three years. 

Greater Manchester saw the highest number, with 381 dog thefts. While Merseyside and Lancashire police forces also dealt with more than a hundred cases each.

Increase in numbers of stolen dogs

Man charged with hate crime against MP Luciana Berger

A man has been charged with a racially or religiously aggravated hate crime against the shadow mental health minister, the Met Police has said.

Luciana Berger
BBC

Joshua Bonehill-Paine, 23, is accused of harassing Labour's Liverpool Wavertree MP Luciana Berger between October 2014 and January 2015.

Scotland Yard said the charges followed allegations that "malicious communications" were sent on social media.

Lime Street development 'in limbo' until court decision

Liverpool Echo

Liverpool’s Lime Street development is in “limbo” until a key court judgement comes through developers have said.  

Third teenager arrested after girl hit by Wirral van

A third teenager from Moreton has been arrested after a schoolgirl was hit by a suspected stolen van in Wirral. 

The 17-year-old is being questioned - along with a 19 and a 16-year-old. 

A 15-year-old girl suffered minor injuries when she was hit in Upton.

St Helens in the running for major arts and culture festival

St Helens is in the running to host a major arts and culture festival. 

The Great Exhibition of the North is a two-month event which will be held in 2018 to showcase the best in art and design. 

St Helens
Geograph / Michael Heavey