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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

  1. Three ice cream vans set on fire in Luton

    Three ice cream vans were set on fire in Luton this morning.

    The incidents happened between 02:34 and 02:41, with vans in Wilsden Avenue, Connought Road and Thornhill Road being set alight.

    Det Con Cathie Layton said: "Thankfully nobody was hurt as a result of the fires, but this could have been a lot worse as the vans were all parked near houses."

  2. Dance festival comes to Ipswich

    The national youth dance festival organisation One Dance UK has joined forces with Dance East in Ipswich to bring the event to the East of England for the first time ever.

    Dance East

    The festival, which runs until Sunday, will showcase youth dance work from across the country.

    Twelve dance groups have been selected from more than 290 entrants nationwide through a series of 20 regional heats.

    Brendan Keaney, chief executive of Dance East, said the festival will "offer the opportunity for young dancers to celebrate their achievements together through a festival full of passion, energy and ambition".

  3. Police ask for drug-users' help in murder inquiry

    Essex Police is appealing to drug-users or dealers in Chelmsford to help with the investigation into the murder of Lee Evans.

    Mr Evans, 47, was stabbed in Cromar Way in the city just before 01:00 on 22 June and died shortly after.

    A 19-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder and of being concerned in the supply of controlled drugs, while a 15-year-old boy has been released on police bail.

    Detectives would like to hear from anyone with involved in drugs generally and specifically from anyone who bought drugs in the Central Park area in the early hours of 22 June.

    A police officer at the crime scene
  4. 'He Can, We Can' hopes to raise boys' aspirations

    • "Some would rather have a job and get money quicker"
    • "People don't take you seriously and start taking the mick".
    • "Fees, money, costs - it's nine grand a year".

    Just three reasons Norfolk teenagers gave to BBC Look East when asked why so few of their peers go to university.

    According to government figures, only 14% of white, working class boys (the worst performing social group in British schools at the age of 16) choose further education.

    The University of East Anglia (UEA) hopes to change that with a new outreach scheme called He Can, We Can, aimed at ensuring pupils are aware of their options, both in further education and the world of work.

    "We want students to see all the opportunities available to them. If we can give them all the information they need, they can make the right decision," said Charlotte Wheatland of the UEA.

    Boys at UEA
    Image caption: School pupils visited the UEA to get a taste of university life
  5. Scotland comes to Corby with town's 50th Highland Gathering

    Final preparations are being made for Corby's Highland Gathering - the 50th since it began.

    The weekend-long event features Scottish dancing, pipe bands and competitions - including the All England Highland Dancing Championship and the world haggis eating competition.

    The town's steel industry first attracted large numbers of Scottish workers in the 1930s and it has been estimated about 70% of the population claimed Scottish heritage by the mid-1970s.

    The Highland Gathering takes place at the Charter Field, Corby Old Village.

    Scottish pipe band at the Corby Highland Gathering
  6. The 'real' Boaty McBoatface launches on Saturday

    The British Antarctic Survey's new polar research ship - the RRS Sir David Attenborough - will be officially launched into the River Mersey from the Cammell Laird yard in Birkenhead on Saturday morning.

    This is the ship that members of the public voted to call "Boaty McBoatface" in an online poll, before ministers stepped in to choose a "more appropriate" name.

    RRS Sir David Attenborough

    From 2019 onwards scientists researching oceans, ice and atmosphere will have access to state-of-the-art facilities on this floating multidisciplinary research platform, operated by the Cambridge-based BAS.

    It will have a crew of about 30 and accommodation for up to 60 scientists and support staff.

    Sir David Attenborough is expected to press the button to launch his namesake and the BBC will be covering the launch, which is being streamed live by the BAS.

  7. Teenager arrested after sex attack in Lowestoft

    A teenage boy has been arrested on suspicion of sexual assault in Lowestoft.

    A female was sexually assaulted shortly before 11:50 on 28 June when an unknown male entered a property near Yarmouth Road. When disturbed, he left.

    Officers arrested a 15-year-old boy from Lowestoft on suspicion of sexual assault yesterday.

    The boy was later released on bail until 8 August.

  8. Bravery award for officer who tackled swords-wielding man

    A lone police officer who had a "heart-stopping" encounter with a man wielding two swords at a remote farmhouse in Norfolk has been given a regional bravery award.

    PC Frances Peters, a dog handler with Norfolk Police, was sent to a house late at night after a man claimed he was going to kill his wife.

    The suspect was talking to himself in the dimly-lit kitchen and ignoring PC Peters when he suddenly grabbed a samurai sword and a Katana sword.

    As he approached her, the officer realised "in a heart-stopping moment" that her dog was not with her and her colleagues were yet to arrive.

    At its annual awards ceremony last night, the Police Federation recognised PC Peters for the way she took control of the "very dangerous situation" by restraining the man and handcuffing him until other officers arrived, and her deputy chief constable agreed...

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  9. Pregnant woman punched in stomach in Milton Keynes

    A heavily pregnant woman was punched in the stomach in Milton Keynes on Monday.

    The woman was walking with a man towards the shops on Farthing Grove, Netherfield, at about 16:40 when they were approached by the offender who accused the man of being racist.

    Farthing Grove, Netherfield

    When the man replied he had not said anything, the offender threw a bottle of water over the man and then punched the woman in the stomach.

    The woman went to Milton Keynes University Hospital and was discharged later that day.

    Thames Valley Police is appealing for information and described the suspect as a black man, in his late 20s or early 30s, with a black beard, about 5ft 6in tall and of average build.

  10. Man arrested after '50-minute' police chase

    A 20-year-old man has been arrested after a police pursuit in Colchester.

    Officers were alerted to a Volkswagen Passat in Cowdray Avenue which was speeding and had false number plates shortly after midnight this morning.

    The car continued to break the speed limit and was pursued by police.

    The man was detained in Eastwood Drive just after 00:50 and remains in custody on suspicion of dangerous driving, theft of a motor vehicle, possession of an offensive weapon, failing to stop for a police officer, driving under the influence of drugs, driving without a license and driving without insurance.

    Essex Police is appealing for anyone who may have seen the vehicle driving between 00:00 and 00:50 to make contact.

  11. Squash club forced to shut due to Trump visit

    It is not just protesters who have been upset by Donald Trump's UK visit.

    Essex Junior Squash Club said on its website players have been forced to down rackets and an exhibition match has been moved due to the US President's three-day stay.

    The Off the Walls Squash academy uses courts at Colchester Garrison where extra officers drafted in for the visit are understood to be sleeping.

    A police chief apologised yesterday for the standard of accommodation for some officers which had attracted criticism on social media.

    Squash rackets and ball
  12. Trump visit: US President and PM meet at Chequers

    The Prime Minister has met with the US President Donald Trump at at her country home in Chequers, Buckinghamshire.

    Trump arrives at Chequers

    The US president walked up to shake her hand and told her: "It's nice to see you again."

    May and Trump at Chequers

    Donald Trump describes his relationship with Theresa May as "very, very strong", adding: "We really have a very good relationship."

    May and Trump at Chequers

    Theresa May said: "We're going to discuss the real opportunities we've got for a fantastic trade deal when we leave the European Union."

    Trump and May at Chequers
  13. 'Important habitat burnt away' in nature reserve fire

    Firefighters spent 48 hours putting out a fire which took hold at a nature reserve near Peterborough earlier this week

    The peat blaze took hold in an area measuring 100 sq m at Holme Fen, near Yaxley, on Sunday and was the fourth fire the Cambridgeshire Fire Service has been called on to tackle during the recent hot spell.

    View more on twitter

    Natural England - which runs the reserve - posted photographs of the damage on Twitter this week, as the fire service also warned of the dangers of blazes in open areas.

    Watch commander Will Collins said peat blazes were particularly difficult to put out as the fire burns down several feet into the earth and although it "looks like it's out, it will resurface a few metres away", adding it's usually an "arduous" task to put them out, not least because they are quite a way from the nearest road.

    Holme Fen
    Image caption: It is not known how the latest fire started

    The county's nature reserves have been described as being "like tinder boxes at the moment", but Holme Fen's rangers said they were trying to prevent further damage to the area by keeping everything "as wet as we can".

  14. Opening of new school buildings in Fairfield delayed

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    The completion of building work to expand a school will not be ready by the start of the new school year.

    The work at Fairfield Park Lower School, near Stotfold, should have been finished by September, but it looks it will be ready just after the October half-term.

    During a meeting of Central Bedfordshire Council's children's services overview and scrutiny committee, Conservative councillor Steve Dixon labelled it "completely unacceptable" and "nauseating".

    Toby Markham, chief executive officer of home builders Campbell Buchanan Group, which represents Morgan Sindall, which is carrying out the building work, said: "We've been working collaboratively on this - the school [structure] is completed.

    "We will pay towards the cost of temporary accommodation at the exisiting school."

    Fairfield Park Lower School
  15. Man charged over Southend stabbing

    A police officer and vehicle at the scene of the stabbing

    A 20-year-old has been charged with stabbing a teenager in Southend.

    The man, of no fixed address, will appear at Southend Magistrates' Court, charged with wounding with intent and possession of an offensive weapon in a public place.

    A 16-year-old boy was stabbed on Central Avenue just before 16:00 on Wednesday and was taken to hospital with serious injuries.

    He has since been released and is recovering.

    A 34-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and released on police bail until 7 August.

  16. Trump visit: Protesters gather near Chequers

    About 150 protesters have gathered in Butler's Cross, a village near Chequers in Buckinghamshire where US President Donald Trump is due to meet Prime Minister Theresa May for talks at 11:00.

    Butler's Cross protest

    One US-born protester, who has lived in the UK for 18 years, said: "I am ashamed to have him as our leader and he just keeps making blunder after blunder and people don't seem to be quite shocked enough.

    "He will see that the protests are here, [but] he will ignore them and say that they didn't happen."

    A British protester said: "It's not really about whether he cares or not, it's about showing everybody else that we can't be doing with him."

    Arriving in the UK on Thursday, President Trump said he was "fine" with the protests.

    Butler's Cross protest
    Butler's Cross protest
  17. Firefighters tackle blaze at Thetford Forest

    More than 50 firefighters are on the scene of a forest fire on the Suffolk/Norfolk border.

    Crews from across the two counties were called to Thetford Forest, close to the A1065 south of Brandon and to the north west of Center Parcs at Elveden, just before 06:00.

    Suffolk Fire and Rescue's station commander Trevor Hill said it was "very difficult access" for the crews.

    "We've got it under control now, we've stopped any further fire spread, and at the moment we're trying to damp it all down because it's very deep-seated," he said.

  18. Trump visit: Roads around Chequers closed

    Thames Valley Police is advising people to avoid the area around Chequers, near Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire as they prepare for the visit of US President Donald Trump.

    Chequers

    Officers said Missenden Road is already closed to traffic and vehicle check points in the area are expected to remain in place until the middle of Friday afternoon.

    President Trump is due to arrive at Chequers for talks with Theresa May at 11:00 with a press conference scheduled for 13:40. He is due at Windsor Castle in neighbouring Berkshire at 15:30.

    Meanwhile, the press are "struggling" through the Buckinghamshire countryside to get to the venue, as the BBC's North America correspondent James Cook tweeted.

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