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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Severe disruption: M5 Worcestershire northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Worcestershire northbound severe disruption, at J5 for A38 Droitwich.

M5 Worcestershire - M5 lane closed on exit slip road northbound at J5, A38 (Droitwich), 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: M5 Worcestershire southbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Worcestershire southbound severe disruption, from J5 for A38 Droitwich to J6 for A4538 Pershore Lane.

M5 Worcestershire - One lane closed and slow traffic on M5 southbound from J5, A38 (Droitwich) to J6, A4538 (Worcester), because of a broken down vehicle.

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

Severe accident: A449 Worcestershire both ways

BBC News Travel

A449 Worcestershire both ways severe accident, from the Caunsall turn off to the Axborough turn off.

A449 Worcestershire - A449 Wolverhampton Road closed and queuing traffic in both directions from the the Caunsall turn off junction to the the Axborough turn off junction, because of an accident.

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

Severe disruption: M5 Worcestershire southbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Worcestershire southbound severe disruption, from J5 for A38 Droitwich to J6 for A4538 Pershore Lane.

M5 Worcestershire - One lane closed on M5 southbound from J5, A38 (Droitwich) to J6, A4538 (Worcester), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

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

Severe accident: M42 Worcestershire northbound

BBC News Travel

M42 Worcestershire northbound severe accident, from J2 for A441 Alvechurch to J3 for A435 Alcester Road Portway.

M42 Worcestershire - One lane closed on M42 northbound in Bromsgrove from J2, A441 (Alvechurch) to J3, A435 (Portway), because of an accident.

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

Dillon Pennington

Josh Hunt

BBC Sport

Worcestershire Rapids maintain their perfect T20 Blast start against Northamptonshire, but Sussex lose their 100% record.

Read more

Severe accident: M5 Worcestershire southbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Worcestershire southbound severe accident, at J6 for A4538 Pershore Lane.

M5 Worcestershire - One lane closed and slow traffic on M5 southbound at J6, A4538 (Worcester), because of an accident and a fuel spillage.

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

Rain today but here's how the weekend's looking

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

The rain's finally arrived today for parts of the West Midlands after the long heatwave - here's how your weekend is looking:

Rebecca Wood

If you want to get a latest forecast for your area at any other time, head to the BBC Weather website.

Dog suffers 'pretty horrific' attack in car park

Stewart Kingscott

Producer, BBC Hereford & Worcester

Police in Hereford say they're investigating after a vicious dog attack in the city.

Milo after attack
Lucinda Nicholls

Lucinda Nicholls owns Milo, a dachshund, and says, on 3 July, three huskies, released from the back of a van in the car park at Lidl, attacked her pet.

She told BBC Hereford and Worcester that the owner of the huskies reportedly saw what happened and bundled them into the back of the van and drove away.

Lucinda says Milo is now slowly recovering after several operations.

Milo after dog attack
Lucinda Nicholls

The quick actions of my stepfather, he literally scooped up Milo, ran into a nearby pet shop. He then spent the rest of the day and the night in surgery and at the vets so, pretty horrific."

Lucinda NichollsDog owner

Grave theft reports probed

Allen Cook

BBC News

An investigation has been launched into reports that a woman's been seen stealing from graves.

Wyre Forest Crematorium
Google

According to West Mercia Police, she was spotted on Sunday afternoon taking various items at Wyre Forest Cemetery and Crematorium, Stourport-Upon-Severn.

Officers have described it as a "distressing time" for the families involved and the whole community.

Your photos: Heavy rain hits gardens

BBC Weather Watchers

Parts of Herefordshire and Worcestershire have been deluged with heavy rain this afternoon.

Our BBC Weather Watchers have taken these photos - users Cloudgazer in Bransford, LouNik in Hereford and Tubsnook53 in Colwall:

Bransford
Cloudgazer
Hereford
LouNik
Colwall
Tubsnook53

Severe disruption: M5 Worcestershire southbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Worcestershire southbound severe disruption, between M42 J4A and J5 for A38 Droitwich.

M5 Worcestershire - One lane closed on M5 southbound between M42 J4a and J5, A38 (Droitwich), because of a broken down vehicle and slow vehicle.

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

'They're not fools' - Brexit White Paper divides Tory MPs

Allen Cook

BBC News

The former Environment Secretary Owen Paterson says he'll vote against Theresa May's Brexit plan unless it's changed, but he's fallen short of calling for her to go.

Why Tory MPs are fighting over the government's Brexit white paper

The government has published its blueprint for UK relations with the EU and the White Paper is aimed at ensuring trade co-operation, with no hard border for Northern Ireland, and global trade deals for the UK.

But North Shropshire's Conservative MP Owen Paterson says he can't support it.

I'm very worried about the public reaction. Seventeen-point-four-million people voted in the referendum to leave, they were given the absolute categoric, final decision, that was made clear by Parliament. This paper, I'm afraid, is going to disappoint people and they're not fools."

Owen PatersonShropshire North Conservative MP

However, the Worcester MP and Brexit minister Robin Walker says he's backing the new strategy.

I've been speaking to businesses who have really welcomed the proposals because they can see that they allow them to continue with their business, doing business across the UK and exporting into the EU without having to worry about tariffs or blockages at the border."

Robin WalkerWorcester MP and Brexit minister

Severe accident: M5 Worcestershire northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Worcestershire northbound severe accident, from J7 for A44 Whittington Road Worcester to J6 for A4538 Pershore Lane.

M5 Worcestershire - One lane closed and queuing traffic on M5 northbound from J7, A44 (Worcester) to J6, A4538 (Worcester), because of an accident. Travel time is 20 minutes.

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

James Husband

James Husband told his victim before he raped her it was "OK" as he had had a vasectomy.

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Heatwave suspected cause of fish deaths at angling pool

A number of fish have died at an angling pool after the recent heatwave is suspected to be behind a build up of algae.

Pool closed sign
Environment Agency

The Environment Agency says staff have been working with Ombersley Angling Club at its pool near Droitwich Spa since Wednesday.

Algal blooms squeeze out slower growing plantlife and use up the available oxygen in the water.

Pool having oyxgen pumped in
Environment Agency

The Environment Agency says it's been pumping oxygen into the pool and levels have now stablised, saving the remaining carp.

Elderly and disabled people set for smart speakers

Tom Edwards

Reporter, BBC Hereford & Worcester

Hundreds of elderly and disabled people in Worcestershire are going to be offered smart speakers in a bid to improve their quality of life.

A selection of smart speakers
BBC

Last year, Hampshire County Council said it became the first local authority to trial the technology allowing residents to live independently.

The aim was for the voice-activated speakers to be used to remind them to take medication, check when a carer is due or work the television or other devices.

Now, Worcestershire County Council's aiming to roll out them out in the next 12 months and says the move could save money in the long-term.

It will never replace the more traditional hands-on care. What it will do for individuals, I think the outcomes that people can achieve by using the technology will help them to recover parts of life that they may have lost."

Steve MedleyWorcestershire County Council

Severe disruption: M5 Worcestershire northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Worcestershire northbound severe disruption, between J5 for A38 Droitwich and J4A for M42 J4A.

M5 Worcestershire - One lane closed and slow traffic on M5 northbound between J5, A38 (Droitwich) and J4a M42 J4a, because of a broken down car.

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

Severe accident: M5 Worcestershire northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Worcestershire northbound severe accident, from J7 for A44 Whittington Road Worcester to J6 for A4538 Pershore Lane.

M5 Worcestershire - Queuing traffic and one lane closed on M5 northbound from J7, A44 (Worcester) to J6, A4538 (Worcester), because of an accident involving three cars and a van. Travel time is 15 minutes.

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

Rain brings no respite for fish in 'drying out' rivers

Despite rain and possibly thunderstorms being forecast today for the West Midlands, more fish are set to be rescued from a river that's still drying out.

Dried out River Teme
Environment Agency

Parts of the upper River Teme in north Herefordshire completely dried out in the space of just a few days in the heatwave.

Hundreds of salmon, trout and lampreys have been rescued by the Environment Agency.

Today, the organisation says staff are back at the river and will also be checking the nearby River Redlake in Shropshire as it's also drying out.

In the papers: Burglars smash their way into home

Worcester News

Collapsed teenager's death 'unexplained'

Vicky Breakwell

BBC Hereford and Worcester

A teenager has died after being found collapsed in the road in the early hours of this morning.

Cordoned off street
BBC

Police say the 17-year-old was discovered on Old School Lane, Hereford, near the Royal National College For The Blind at about 04:15.

The area remains cordoned off and officers say they are treating the death as unexplained.

Cities and towns set for anti-Trump protests

Protesters are set to take to the streets of cities and towns across the West Midlands this afternoon to demonstrate against Donald Trump's visit to the UK.

Donald Trump
AFP/Getty Images

Mr Trump is on a two-day working visit to the country and has said that Britons "like me a lot" and he feels "fine" about any protests.

In the West Midlands, protests are planned in locations such as Birmingham, Coventry, Stoke-on-Trent, Leamington, Bewdley, Shrewsbury and Malvern.

Thundery weather 'could cause flooding'

A weather warning for thunderstorms comes into effect across the West Midlands from 11:00 today.

Weather warning map
Met Office

Heavy showers and thunderstorms could could some localised flooding, said the Met Office.

Police are warning that road surfaces are likely to be slippery after the recent hot spell of weather.

Severe disruption: M50 Gloucestershire westbound

BBC News Travel

M50 Gloucestershire westbound severe disruption, from J2 for A417 to J3 for B4221.

M50 Gloucestershire - One lane closed on M50 westbound from J2, A417 (Ledbury) to J3, B4221 (Newent), because of debris on the road. Traffic is coping well.

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

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

It will be a mainly dry day with the risk of some showers, which could turn thundery, and highs of 24C (75F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands
A video of a woman pulling a hook from a shark's mouth is shared more than 500,000 times.
Footage of a woman pulling a hook from the animal's jaws is shared more than 500,000 times.

Date set for new firm to take on children's services

Claudia Berry

BBC News

A brand new company to deliver children's social care in Worcestershire will start operating from October 2019, following a damning Ofsted report last year.

Worcestershire County Council HQ
Worcestershire County Council

The inspection found "widespread and serious failures" and the service was given an inadequate rating in January last year.

A government-appointed commissioner then ruled that the authority should hand over its children's social care department to an outside operator.

Today, the county council's cabinet approved that a completely owned council company called Worcestershire Children First would start in April 2019 as a "shadow" firm before going fully live on 1 October 2019.

A mix of rain and showers across the West Midlands

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today

Rain is spreading over from Wales, meaning some of us could see some showers over the coming days.

In other parts of the region there will be more sun.

Weather forecast with Shefali Oza.

Closure postponed for respite centre for disabled children

Vicky Breakwell

BBC Hereford and Worcester

Parents fighting to save a respite centre say they won't give up campaigning even though they've been told it will now stay open until at least next April.

The Ludlow Road centre, in Kidderminster, is an adapted bungalow for physically disabled children - it had been threatened with closure as the county council looks to save money.

Ludlow Road protesters
BBC

But the parents of the severely disabled children, who are able to stay there overnight, say it's a lifeline for their families and they threatened legal action.

Today, the council confirmed it would remain open until April 2019 but there were no guarantees beyond that.

However, it's promising to work with parents and carers to make sure they meets children’s needs.

This has been the most stressful time in my life. The last seven months has thrown up a lot of emotions that we, as parents of disabled children, do not release. You keep those feelings at the back of your mind because if you do, you wouldn't be able to care for your child."

Amanda DanbyMother

Backlash over huge polytunnel farm plans

Vicky Breakwell

BBC Hereford and Worcester

The largest polytunnel farm in Herefordshire could soon be built on 91 acres of land, but many people living locally aren't happy.

Farmer George Leeds has applied to grow strawberries in more than a mile of plastic tunnels near Hereford and to install 72 caravans for more than 300 workers.

A general view of a polytunnel
Getty Images

He says it will help to meet the demand for British strawberries and the workers will contribute to the local economy.

But people in the nearby village of Ocle Pychard have told BBC Hereford and Worcester that it will ruin their community overnight.

A consultation on the plans with Herefordshire Council finished earlier this month and the plans are now awaiting a decision by councillors.

Severe disruption: M5 Worcestershire northbound

BBC News Travel

M5 Worcestershire northbound severe disruption, from J5 for A38 Droitwich to J4A for M42 J4A.

M5 Worcestershire - One lane closed and slow traffic on M5 northbound from J5, A38 (Droitwich) to J4a M42 J4a, because of a broken down vehicle.

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

'Violent and abusive' killer jailed for life

A man found guilty of stabbing his wife to death on New Year's Eve, after she planned to leave him, has been jailed for life.

Melanie Clark
Facebook

David Clark, 49, will serve a minimum of 15 years for murdering his wife Melanie, 44, at their home in Stoke Prior, near Bromsgrove, Worcestershire.

Birmingham Crown Court heard he was controlling and bullying toward both his wife and her children from a previous relationship.

Jason Corden-Bowen, of the Crown Prosecution Service, described Clark as a "violent and abusive man who would not accept the fact that his wife had called time on their relationship".

Hot water is bad news for fish

The Environment Agency says water temperatures in the River Wye in Herefordshire reached 25C (77F) yesterday.

It has rescued more than 1,000 fish from the River Teme in the past week, because the hot weather has caused water levels to fall and smaller rivers to dry up completely in places.

River Wye
Environment Agency

What's more, higher water temperatures mean a lower oxygen content.

The Environment Agency also reported temperatures of 22C (72F) in the River Severn in Tewkesbury.

Severe accident: A44 Herefordshire southbound

BBC News Travel

A44 Herefordshire southbound severe accident, between Bredenbury Primary School and The Three Pines Garage.

A44 Herefordshire - A44 Worcester Road in Bredenbury closed and queuing traffic southbound between the Bredenbury Primary School junction and The Three Pines Garage junction, because of an accident.

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