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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Use our tracker to check whether your local services are meeting strict waiting-time targets for cancer, routine operations and A&E.

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Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire southbound severe disruption, between J11 for A460 and J10 for A454.

M6 Staffordshire - One lane closed and very slow traffic on M6 southbound between J11, A460 (Cannock) and J10, A454 (Wolverhampton), because of a broken down vehicle.

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

Severe disruption: M54 Staffordshire eastbound

BBC News Travel

M54 Staffordshire eastbound severe disruption, between J1 for A460 Wolverhampton and M6 J10A.

M54 Staffordshire - One lane closed on M54 eastbound between J1, A460 (Wolverhampton) and M6 J10a, because of a broken down vehicle.

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

The man keeping bankruptcy a secret from friends
He says his friends do not know his journey into debt as bankruptcy means ridicule and embarrassment.
Martin O'Neill

Republic of Ireland boss Martin O'Neill rejects the chance to replace the sacked Mark Hughes as Stoke City manager.

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Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire southbound severe disruption, between J12 for A5 and J11A for M6 Toll.

M6 Staffordshire - One lane closed on M6 southbound between J12, A5 (Gailey) and J11a M6 Toll, 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 Staffordshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire southbound severe disruption, between J15 for A500 and J14 for A34.

M6 Staffordshire - One lane closed on M6 southbound between J15, A500 (Stoke-On-Trent) and J14, A34 (Stafford North), because of emergency repairs. Traffic is coping well.

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

Football

Sam Cosgrove's first goal for Carlisle seals victory for them against Crewe Alexandra in League Two.

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Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire northbound severe disruption, between J11 for A460 and J12 for A5.

M6 Staffordshire - One lane closed and slow traffic on M6 northbound between J11, A460 (Cannock) and J12, A5 (Gailey), because of people on the road.

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

Football

Tom Pope scores a late penalty to rescue a point for Port Vale against Yeovil Town in League Two

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Aramide Oteh celebrates his first goal for QPR

Teenager Aramide Oteh scores his first professional goal to help Queens Park Rangers overcome Burton for the first time.

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Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire southbound severe disruption, at J12 for A5.

M6 Staffordshire - M6 exit slip road partially blocked and slow traffic southbound at J12, A5 (Gailey), because of a broken down vehicle.

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

Quique Sanchez Flores

Espanyol boss Quique Sanchez Flores distances himself from taking charge of Stoke City, saying he is "happy" at the Spanish side.

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Severe accident: M6 Staffordshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire southbound severe accident, between J15 for A500 and J14 for A34.

M6 Staffordshire - One lane closed and slow traffic on M6 southbound between J15, A500 (Stoke-On-Trent) and J14, A34 (Stafford North), because of an accident.

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

Severe accident: M6 Staffordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire northbound severe accident, between J11 for A460 and J12 for A5.

M6 Staffordshire - Two lanes closed on M6 northbound between J11, A460 (Cannock) and J12, A5 (Gailey), because of an accident.

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

Video: What's the weekend weather going to be like?

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

A dry and cloudy night ahead with lows of 4C (39F).

It should also be mainly dry tomorrow, but feeling a touch cooler.

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Severe disruption: M42 Warwickshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M42 Warwickshire northbound severe disruption, between J9 for M6 Toll and J10 for A5.

M42 Warwickshire - One lane closed on M42 northbound between J9, M6 Toll (Curdworth) and J10, A5 (Tamworth), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

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

BreakingProperties evacuated as firefighters tackle house blaze

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

Firefighters are tackling a house fire in Crewe.

There were reports someone was inside.

Furber Street has been closed and neighbouring terraced properties have been evacuated.

Six fire engines are in attendance and searches of the property are being carried out.

Extra bin lorries to continue

Extra bin lorries, which were brought in to clear the Christmas backlog, will continue to be used to collect recycling in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

The borough council says they will remain while it looks at how to make waste collections more reliable.

Bins
BBC

All waste going into the trucks is being recycled as normal, the council says.

Seal found stuck in drain returned to sea

A seal which has been nursed back to health at a Cheshire RSPCA centre after it became stuck in a drain, has been released back into the sea.

Tyrion arrived at the Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre in Nantwich in July after being found at Flint in North Wales.

He weighed only a quarter of his ideal weight.

Tyrion
RSPCA

He was fed fish soup through a tube to start with before moving back to eating whole fish.

Rehabilitating a seal is an expensive and long process but it is definitely worth it, especially that heartwarming moment when they are returned back to the wild.”

Lee StewartRSPCA, Stapeley Grange

Chilly chickens get knitted jumpers

Chris King

Reporter, BBC Radio Stoke

Students in Cheshire have knitted jumpers for a group of chickens they've rescued.

The chickens fitted with jumpers

The animals, now at the zoo at Reaseheath College, in Nantwich, were rescued from an intensive colony farm.

When they arrived, the chickens were missing feathers and had never been outside.

The students say the jumpers keep the animals warm and have helped them recover and get back to behaving more normally.

Crewe manager frustrated by inconsistent form

Graham McGarry

Crewe Alexandra commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

Crewe Alexandra manager David Artell says he wants to break out of their sequence of winning one game and then losing the next.

That inconsistent run stretches back to November and they travel to Carlisle tomorrow, aiming to win two in a row for the first time this season.

David Artell
Getty Images

Artell said that if they carry on with this sequence they should be "fine" at the end of the season, but he went on to say "I don't do fine, you want more than that".

We've got to become more consistent. It starts off with winning one game and then winning another. At the moment we keep falling at that second hurdle."

David ArtellCrewe Alexandra manager
Rescued chickens have been given knitted jumpers to keep warm.
Students in Cheshire have knitted jumpers for a group of chickens they've rescued.

In the papers: Car hits tree after two-vehicle collision

The Sentinel

These are some of the headlines from the Sentinel newspaper:

Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire southbound severe disruption, between J13 for A449 and J12 for A5.

M6 Staffordshire - One lane closed on M6 southbound between J13, A449 (Stafford South) and J12, A5 (Gailey), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

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

Engineering firm rejects takeover bid

Engineering firm GKN, which has bases in Birmingham, Telford, Redditch and Leek, has rejected a £7bn takeover bid.

Melrose, a manufacturing turnaround firm, made the offer on 8 January and causing shares in GKN, which makes parts for Airbus and Boeing and employs 56,000 people around the world to jump by more than a quarter.

GKN
GKN

The GKN board said the cash and shares bid was "entirely opportunistic" and "fundamentally" undervalued GKN.

Opposition to fire station changes

Plans to staff one of Crewe's two fire engines with an on-call crew, rather than full-time firefighters have been opposed by Cheshire East councillors.

The county's fire authority is due to make a decision on the proposals next month, but members of the authority argued it would be a downgrading of services.

Crewe fire station
Google

The councillors also questioned if the fire service could recruit enough part-time firefighters.

Severe accident: A54 Cheshire both ways

BBC News Travel

A54 Cheshire both ways severe accident, between Shop Lane and Clay Lane.

A54 Cheshire - A54 in Little Budworth blocked and queuing traffic in both directions between the Shop Lane junction and the Clay Lane junction, because of an accident involving two vehicles.

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

Man charged following police stand-off

A man has been charged following a day-long stand-off with armed police in Stoke-on-Trent in which a woman had to be taken to hospital.

Ruxley Road
BBC

Officers were called to a property in Ruxley Road in the city on Wednesday morning.

Mark Heath, 44 of Ruxley Road has been charged with assault by beating, false imprisonment, and wounding or inflicting grievous bodily harm without intent.

He's due to appear in court later.

Service for 156 victims of mine explosion

A remembrance service to mark the centenary of one of the worst mining disasters in North Staffordshire takes place this weekend.

Minnie Pit
BBC

An explosion ripped through the Minnie Pit in Halmerend on 12 January 1918, with 44 of those killed aged under 16.

An inquiry into the disaster found the explosion had been caused by a build-up of methane gas in two of the pit's main seams.

Minnie Pit memorial
BBC

Tomorrow there will be a commemoration walk which will pass Halmerend Methodist Church on the way to the Minnie Pit Memorial.

Weather warning for fog in place

Patchy fog may cause difficult driving conditions this morning, the Met Office is warning.

A yellow warning for fog is in place for parts of the West Midlands until 10:00.

Weather warning map
BBC

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Charlie Slater

BBC Weather presenter

After a misty, murky and foggy start to the day it will be mainly dry with the odd spot of light rain this afternoon and highs of 7C (45F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands
Quique Sanchez Flores

Juliette Ferrington

BBC Sport

Stoke City make Quique Sanchez Flores their preferred choice - and are waiting for an answer from the Espanyol manager.

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Sean Scannell in action for Burton Albion

Winger Sean Scannell returns to Premier League side Huddersfield early from his Burton loan spell because of injury.

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