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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Severe accident: M6 West Midlands southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 West Midlands southbound severe accident, between J5 for A452 Newport Road and J4A for .

M6 West Midlands - Queuing traffic and three lanes closed on M6 southbound between J5, A452 (Castle Bromwich) and J4a, because of an accident.

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

Severe disruption: M6 West Midlands both ways

BBC News Travel

M6 West Midlands both ways severe disruption, at J9 for A461.

M6 West Midlands - Stationary traffic on M6 in both directions at J9, A461 (Wednesbury), because of a broken down horsebox and all traffic being temporarily held.

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

What's the weather got in store?

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today

There should be plenty of late sunshine around this evening, before a dry and largely clear night with lows of 12C (54F).

Here's your forecast:

The forecast for the West Midlands
Two plastinated bodies on display at an exhibition in Sydney

The organiser of the Birmingham display of more than 20 dead Chinese men calls concerns "fake news".

Read more

New look for region's transport

Buses, trams and trains will share the same logo and corporate design, in a rebranding exercise by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM).

Tram
BBC

Transport bosses hope the changes - similar to London's famous Roundal - will make it simpler to use public transport.

New branding
BBC

The branding will be rolled-out over a number of months.

BreakingPoundworld to disappear from high street

The administrators of Poundworld have announced the closure of its remaining stores, some of them in the West Midlands.

Another 78 stores are to close by Sunday 29 July and another 112 stores by 10 August.

That will result in 2,339 job losses.

Administrators have been closing the firm's 335 stores since it went into administration in June.

BreakingBaby found safe and well after car-jacking

A four-week-old baby that was in the back of a car stolen in Birmingham this afternoon has been found safe and well.

She was left a health centre and will shortly be reunited with her mother, West Midlands Police said.

Her mother has been taken to hospital after sustaining leg injuries.

Car-jacking baby 'may be abandoned'

Police say thieves may abandon a four-week-old baby once they realise she's in the car and they are asking for the public to look out for her.

Officers said their priority was the baby's safe return.

BreakingFour-week-old baby caught up in car-jacking

Dozens of police officers are currently responding to reports of a car-jacking in Acocks Green, Birmingham.

West Midlands Police has tweeted that a four-week-old baby girl was still in a car seat in the back when it was taken from Marie Drive just after 16:00.

The force said it was "urgently looking for a grey Audi A3 S line with the reg no BJ66 YLV".

It said the vehicle was believed to headed towards Solihull.

Drug dealers jailed after 'production line' uncovered

Four drug dealers have been jailed for bringing crack cocaine and heroin to the streets of Worcester.

The longest sentence was for 33-year-old Asgar Ali Khalfe (far left), from Townley Gardens in the Aston area of Birmingham, who was given 12 years in prison after admitting conspiracy to supply crack cocaine, conspiracy to supply heroin, production of crack cocaine and possession of criminal property.

Jailed men
West Mercia Police

Christopher James Franklin, who is 35 and from Barbourne Road in Worcester (centre left) was jailed for five and a half years after pleading guilty to supply crack cocaine, conspiracy to supply heroin, assault and dangerous driving.

Shakur Abdul Hussain, 38, from Compton Road in Worcester (centre right), was sentenced to four years after being found guilty by a jury at Hereford Crown Court of conspiracy to supply crack cocaine, conspiracy to supply heroin and possession of criminal property.

The fourth man, 22-year-old Terry Melsom, of no fixed address (far right), was sentenced to six years and five months in prison after admitting conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and conspiracy to supply heroin.

West Mercia Police said the four had set up a production line in Birmingham and were "hardened drug dealers who made a substantial amount of money".

Jury discharged in terror trial

Dominic Casciani

Home Affairs Correspondent

An Old Bailey jury has been discharged after failing to reach a verdict in relation to a Birmingham man accused of telling an undercover operation he wanted help to go and fight in Libya.

Naa'imur Zakariyah Rahman and Mohammad Imran
Julia Quenzler

Over a five-week Old Bailey trial Mohammed Aqib Imran, 22, had denied preparing for acts of terrorism by seeking help to reach Islamic State group fighters abroad.

The trial heard that he had allegedly made contact with IS commanders online - but didn't realise he was actually speaking to undercover officers from the FBI and MI5.

Imran was yesterday unanimously convicted of a lesser charge of possessing a "guidebook" for mujahideen fighters living in the West but the jury were unable to reach a verdict on the more serious charge.

His co-accused, Naa'imur Rahman, 20, was convicted of preparing to attack Downing Street in the hope of killing the prime minister.

Severe disruption: M42 West Midlands southbound

BBC News Travel

M42 West Midlands southbound severe disruption, between J5 for A41 Solihull and J4 for Stratford Road Shirley.

M42 West Midlands - Two lanes closed, long delays and queuing traffic on M42 southbound between J5, A41 (Solihull) and J4, Stratford (Shirley), because of a broken down vehicle. Congestion to J6 (Birmingham Airport / Coventry). Travel time is 30 minutes.

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

Severe disruption: M42 West Midlands southbound

BBC News Travel

M42 West Midlands southbound severe disruption, from J5 for A41 Solihull to J4 for Stratford Road Shirley.

M42 West Midlands - One lane closed and slow traffic on M42 southbound from J5, A41 (Solihull) to J4, Stratford (Shirley), because of a broken down vehicle.

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

Severe disruption: M42 Warwickshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M42 Warwickshire northbound severe disruption, between J3A for M40 J3A and J4 for Stratford Road Shirley.

M42 Warwickshire - Two lanes closed and queuing traffic on M42 northbound between J3a M40 J3a and J4, Stratford (Shirley), because of a vehicle fire.

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

Shisha lounge licence revoked

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Carl Jackson

A Birmingham shisha lounge has had its council licence stripped after police declared it was on the radar of every armed officer in the city.

Arabian Nites
Google

It is now unlikely that Arabian Nites, which has been temporarily closed by order of magistrates since a shooting in May, will ever reopen.

A Birmingham City Council licensing sub committee today took away the venue’s ability to play music, provide late night refreshment and perhaps most significantly, sell alcohol.

Committee chairman Councillor Barbara Dring confirmed the decision had been made to prevent crime and disorder and protect public safety.

Mayor could take over police role

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Tom Dare

A vote on whether the mayor in the West Midlands should take on the role of the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) will be held tomorrow.

The board of the West Midlands Combined Authority will vote on the first phase of combining the two positions.

West Midlands Police badge
Getty

The proposals were first laid out in the West Midlands’ second devolution deal earlier this year, and would see the mayor take on the powers of the PCC in time for the 2020 mayoral election.

A similar process is currently under way to bring the powers of the West Midlands Fire Authority under the mayor.

An agreement on Friday would see the proposals put to an eight-week public consultation in November - people would then be asked their views on combining the two positions.

In the most recent respective elections (2016 and 2017), more people voted for the current PCC than the mayor.

Severe accident: M6 West Midlands northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 West Midlands northbound severe accident, at J7 for A34 Birmingham Road.

M6 West Midlands - M6 lane closed on exit slip road and heavy traffic northbound at J7, A34 (Great Barr), because of an accident involving a lorry and a car.

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

Christmas death warning inspires man to shed nine stone

Bev Holder

BBC Shared Data Unit

A stark warning that he could be dead by next Christmas prompted father-of-two Mark Oldfield from Dudley to lose more than nine stone (57kg).

Figures released showed Dudley men have one of the highest rates of premature deaths, in the West Midlands.

Mark Oldfield
Mark Oldfield

Diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, Mr Oldfield topped 24 stone (152kg) at his heaviest in January 2016.

The warning that he faced a premature death came with a referral to a slimming group in Netherton on a 12-week programme - which helped him to lose weight through healthy eating and an exercise plan.

You can read more about the link between poverty and the mortality rates from avoidable causes here.

BreakingStadium to host Ashes opener

Edgbaston will host the opening match of next year's Ashes Test between England and Australia, it's been announced.

Edgbaston
Edgbaston

The rivals will meet from Thursday 1 August 2019.

The stadium will also host the T20 Blast final on 21 September, after an agreement was made to relocate the event from Trent Bridge.

Neil Snowball, Chief Executive of Warwickshire CCC and Edgbaston Stadium said there was "nowhere better" for the team to start the series.

Severe disruption: M6 West Midlands southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 West Midlands southbound severe disruption, at J9 for A461.

M6 West Midlands - M6 lane closed on exit slip road southbound at J9, A461 (Wednesbury), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

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

Weapons seized in string of armed incidents

Five people were arrested, and weapons recovered, in separate incidents across the West Midlands yesterday, police said.

Almost 2,300 emergency calls were made to West Midlands Police yesterday, which has seen record numbers of 999 calls in recent weeks.

Shotgun
West Midlands Police

A sawn-off shotgun was seized after armed police responded to reports of a man threatening to shoot open his front door, in Chelmsley Wood.

Two people were arrested.

Two 16-year-olds were also arrested in Coventry, on suspicion of possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, after a caller suggested youths had pointed a "handgun" at staff.

Responding to reports of a man armed with a knife, a 20-year-old was detained in Brierley Hill, and a knife recovered.

Severe disruption: M6 Warwickshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Warwickshire southbound severe disruption, at M6 J4.

M6 Warwickshire - M6 lane closed on entry slip road from A446 southbound at M6 J4, Coleshill, because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

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

Severe disruption: M6 West Midlands southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 West Midlands southbound severe disruption, at J6 for .

M6 West Midlands - M6 lane closed on exit slip road to A38 / Aston Expressway and queuing traffic southbound at J6, Spaghetti Junction.

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

Severe disruption: M6 West Midlands northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 West Midlands northbound severe disruption, from J5 for A452 Newport Road to J6 for A38.

M6 West Midlands - One lane closed on M6 northbound from J5, A452 (Castle Bromwich) to J6 A38(M) Aston Expressway Spaghetti Junction, because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

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

In the papers: Man in court over attempted murder

Express and Star

These are some of the headlining stories on the Express and Star website today:

Fire delaying rail services

BBC News Travel

A fire close to rail lines between Birmingham Snow Hill and Stratford-upon-Avon is delaying rail services.

A signalling fault is also affecting services between Birmingham New Street and Wolverhampton, said West Midlands Railway.

A homeless man asleep in a park

Jessica Labhart

Broadcast Journalist, BBC News

Rough sleepers experience dehydration, heat exhaustion and sunburn as temperatures continue to soar.

Read more

Severe accident: M42 Worcestershire northbound

BBC News Travel

M42 Worcestershire northbound severe accident, after J3 for A435 Alcester Road Portway.

M42 Worcestershire - M42 partially blocked and queuing traffic northbound after J3, A435 (Portway), because of an accident.

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

Severe disruption: M40 Warwickshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M40 Warwickshire northbound severe disruption, after J16 for A3400 Stratford Road.

M40 Warwickshire - Queuing traffic and heavier than usual traffic on M40 from J3a, M40 interchange to Henley In Arden.

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

PC due in court charged with assault

A police officer is due in court today charged with assault after two women were arrested by a bus station.

PC Kevin McClenaghan, from the West Midlands force, faces two charges of assault followig the arrest after a disturbance near Halesowen bus station on 22 December.

He is also accused of attempting to pervert the course of justice in relation to a witness statement about the incident, the police watchdog said.

He is due at Birmingham Magistrates' Court.

Severe disruption: M6 West Midlands southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 West Midlands southbound severe disruption, from J10 for A454 Wolverhampton to J9 for A461.

M6 West Midlands - Two lanes closed, slow traffic and queuing traffic on M6 southbound from J10, A454 (Wolverhampton) to J9, A461 (Wednesbury), because of a broken down vehicle. Congestion to J10A (M54 interchange).

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

Watch: Your 50-second weather forecast

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

After a misty start for some, it should be a fine day with plenty of sunshine and highs of 27C (81F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

MPs call for tower block sprinklers

MPs have called on government to fund the fitting of sprinklers in high-rise tower blocks in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster.

Seventy two people died in the fire in June 2017. A public inquiry is looking at the adequacy of regulations, the tower's refurbishment, and the response of authorities in the aftermath.

In May, Birmingham City Council approved plans to retrofit sprinklers in 213 tower blocks, despite the expected £31m bill.

Birmingham tower blocks
PA

At the time, council leader Ian Ward said he was disappointed no central funding would be made available despite his cross-party request.

Today, among other measures, the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee said "sprinklers should be fitted to all high-rise residential buildings" and that the "government should make funding available for installation in council and housing association-owned buildings".

This morning Mr Ward was quick to highlight the committee's call.