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Summary

  1. Alton Towers says Smiler ride is safe after criticism
  2. Call for urgent moves to reopen Stafford's A&E to children
  3. Fire choir release 9/11 charity song
  4. Updates from Friday 2 September

Live Reporting

By Allen Cook

All times stated are UK

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Harry Kane

Jonathan Jurejko

BBC Sport

Harry Kane ends his goal drought as Tottenham cruise to a comfortable win which leaves Stoke bottom of the Premier League.

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Prince Oniangue

Will Miller hits an injury-time equaliser as Burton Albion deny Wolves a third Championship win of the season.

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Peaty-inspired boy, 10, swims for ill friend

Alex Smith

BBC News Online

A 10-year-old boy is set to swim 400 lengths of the pool at Uttoxeter Leisure Centre after being inspired by Olympic champion Adam Peaty.

Finlay Bointon met the Uttoxeter gold medallist when he returned from the Games in Rio de Janeiro. 

His mum, Karen, said the swim will raise money to help a friend who has cancer.

Adam Peaty
Getty Images

Terror arrests: 'Four man chatting on social media'

Daniel Sandford

Home Affairs Correspondent

All four men appeared in the dock wearing police issue sweatshirts, some grey, some navy blue.

Naweed Ali, Khobaib Hussain, Mohibur Rahman and Tahir Aziz confirmed their names and addresses in Birmingham and Stoke on Trent.

Charged with preparing terrorist acts they will now remain in prison until they appear at the Old Bailey in 10 days.

The BBC understands the allegation is that they were chatting on social media about wanting to do something and were in possession of potential weapons and extremist material.

Naweed Ali, Khobaib Hussain, Mohibur Rahman and Tahir Aziz
BBC

Stories we're working on: BBC Midlands Today

BBC Midlands Today

Have you been gripped by The Archers this week? Millions have and even if you’re not one of them we’ve been behind the scenes to bring you the latest on the long running Radio 4 soap’s darkest plot – carefully scripted by writers and producers of the programme.

The trial of Helen Titchener, accused of attempted murder after a long running storyline about domestic violence, is attracting big audiences and headlines around the world and raising tens of thousands of pounds for the charity Women’s Aid. 

Helen finally makes public the extent of Rob’s abuse.

Watch Midlands Today on BBC One at 18.30.

Life-sized figure

A life-sized Sir Antony Gormley sculpture reported missing was actually taken by the artist himself, a council says.

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Court sketch of the four accused men

Four men are charged with preparing to commit acts of terrorism following arrests in Birmingham and Stoke-on-Trent.

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Football: City getting the Boot

Worcester City have signed goalkeeper Ryan Boot on a one-month loan from Port Vale.

The 21-year-old had a spell with City during the 2014-15 season, before being recalled when, then first choice Vale ‘keeper Chris Neal injured his wrist.

Jamie Ward

Jamie Ward says joining Burton on loan was an easy choice as he realised he would not be a regular at Nottingham Forest.

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Terror arrests: Four men remanded

Four men from the West Midlands charged with terror offences have appeared before magistrates.

Naweed Ali, 28, and Khobaib Hussain, 24, both of Sparkhill in Birmingham, and Mohibur Rahman, 32, and Tahir Aziz, 37, of Stoke-on-Trent, appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court charged with preparing for terrorist acts.

The men have been remanded in custody and are due to appear at the Old Bailey on 19 September.

Police convoy arrives at Westminster Magistrates Court
BBC

The men were driven to Westminster Magistrates this morning by a police convoy.

Terror arrests: Four men arrive at Westminster Magistrates' Court

Steve Swann

BBC Home Affairs Correspondent

Four men from the West Midlands accused of preparing acts of terror have arrived in London.

A police convoy drove into Westminster Magistrates' Court where they are due to appear.

Police convoy outside Westminster Magistrates' Court
BBC

Ambulance attacks: 'Government need to set up task force'

There are calls for the government to step in after three West Midlands Ambulance staff were violently attacked while treating patients. 

One paramedic fractured a hand and two technicians received injuries to their face during two separate call-outs in Staffordshire on Wednesday night. 

In November last year, the service said physical assaults had risen by 30%, with 108 attacks between April and September 2014, to 139 in 2015.

Tony Jones, from the Unison union, says the government need to set up a task force to find out why the attacks are happening and look at deterrents.

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Four charged with terror offences due in court later

Four men from the West Midlands are due before Westminster magistrates later charged with terrorism offences. 

  • Naweed Ali, 28, of Evelyn Road, Sparkhill
  • Khobaib Hussain, 24, also of Evelyn Road, Sparkhill
  • Mohibur Rahman, 31, of High Lane, Stoke-on-Trent
  • Tahir Aziz, 37, of Wulstan Road, Stoke-on-Trent

All four were detained by West Midlands Police counter terror officers two weeks ago. 

A fifth man, aged 18, has been released without charge. 

Police cordoned off an area near the Pentahotel, in Holloway Head near Birmingham city centre
BBC
River Dove

An investigation is launched after more than 1,500 fish are found dead in a polluted brook in Staffordshire.

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Life-sized figure

An appeal is made to find a life-sized sculpture of a man by Sir Antony Gormley which has been missing for 30 years.

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Asda Uttoxeter

A police officer is sacked after being caught on CCTV attacking her mother's love rival in the reduced meat aisle of Asda.

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Football: Joe Allen tipped as star Stoke player for Mark Hughes

Matt Sandoz

Stoke City commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

The former Stoke City midfielder John Mahoney says Joe Allen could be the midfielder that Mark Hughes has needed for a long time. 

Joe Allen
Stoke City

Allen signed in the summer for £13m and was named in the team of the tournament at Euro 2016 after his performances for Wales. 

He's got more to his game than just 'fetch and carry', he's a continuity player, he gets the ball going and it moves it on. And also he can pick a pass, he's got a lot to his game. Obviously I think maybe he could get a few more goals but that may be still to come from him."

John MahoneyFormer Stoke City midfielder

Stories we're working on: BBC Midlands Today

BBC Midlands Today

Hilary McConnell, Producer

Midlands Today will be looking at the issue of organ donation today - we meet a man from Worcestershire who needs a new kidney but faces up to 15 years on the waiting list. He’s hoping to find a living donor match. And we’re meeting a young girl from Warwickshire who’s just returned to school after a liver transplant.

David Gregory-Kumar will be finding out more about this year’s honey harvest. It turns out urban bees are producing more honey than rural hives because there's more diversity of plants and flowers in the town as opposed to the monoculture of the agricultural landscape.

And Jaguar goes back to motor racing, but will Formula E - which is electric car racing - have all the glamour of Formula 1? Dan Pallet finds out. 

Formula E racing
BBC

We'll also have an update on how our local Paralympics athletes are doing in the Games which start today.

Join us on BBC One from 13:30, 18:30 and 22:30.

Watch: Learning to drive at the age of five

BBC Midlands Today

Children as young as five have been testing out an electric two-seater car which has been designed for primary school age children. 

The 11-year-old daughter of motoring journalist Quentin Willson was among those driving the car, called Firefly.

Mr Willson has campaigned for children to be taught driving safety as part of the school curriculum, to help reduce the number of accidents and fatalities.  

Learning to drive at the age of five in an electric car
Lincoln Plaza, Docklands

A 31-storey luxury residential tower block in London's Docklands described by critics as "jarring, unsettling and shambolic" is judged the worst UK building of the year.

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West Midlands parks 'at risk of decline'

BBC Midlands Today

Public parks in the Midlands are at risk of decline and some of the facilities in them could close, according to a new report by the Heritage Lottery Fund. 

Findings showed that 78% of councils across the region anticipate budget reductions of 10% or more over the next three years with nearly half their parks expected to deteriorate. 

Fallen gates at a park
BBC

Football: Stoke City's Joe Allen 'had to move on' from Liverpool

Paul Fletcher

BBC Sport

Wales midfielder Joe Allen says he feels "refreshed and positive" following his summer move from Liverpool to Stoke City.

Allen scored his first international goal on his 32nd appearance in Wales' 4-0 win over Moldova in their opening 2018 World Cup qualifier.

Joe Allen in action for Wales
Getty Images

The 26-year-old joined Stoke City from Liverpool for £13m in July after only starting eight league games in 2015-16.

"I think it had come to the point where I needed to move on," Allen said. "Personally, it was pretty obvious."

Joe Allen

Wales midfielder Joe Allen feels "refreshed and positive" following his summer move from Liverpool to Stoke City.

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