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Video: What's the weather got in store?

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

Can we expect the rain to dry up over the next few days?

Here's the weekend forecast.

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Flood alerts updated

Latest update on flood warnings issued

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

Rain will gradually ease and clear with some sunny spells later and highs of 17C (63F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

More rain on the way

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

There's some respite on the way from the rain in the latest weather forecast for the West Midlands.

But the wet weather is due to return tomorrow morning:

Alex Hamilton

You can get a latest forecast at any other time by heading to the BBC Weather website.

Flooding risks remain

There's still a high risk of flooding across parts of the West Midlands and Cheshire this afternoon, despite the rain easing in many places.

Sutton Coldfield
Suttonwalker

There are still nine flood warnings - the Environment Agency's second-highest warning level - for the region, meaning flooding is expected.

Just below that level, there are also more than 20 flood alerts spread out over every county in the region.

Unpaid forensics roles a 'disaster in waiting'

A forensic specialist from Hexham has called West Midlands Police's appeal for volunteer digital forensic analysts a "disaster waiting to happen".

The force has advertised the unpaid roles which involve sifting through "distressing [and] indecent images".

Forensics professionals have expressed concerns that volunteers working at least 16 hours a month will not receive adequate emotional support.

Sam Raincock said on Twitter: "I actually cannot believe what I have read here.

"It is an absolute disgrace and a disaster waiting to happen."

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In the papers: Vehicles stranded by floods

Allen Cook

BBC News

Flooding from the wet weather's dominating the websites of a lot of our local newspapers today.

The Express and Star says many vehicles have been left stranded in flood water as 'torrential rain' swept the West MIdlands.

Rain in Frodesley, Shropshire
Peter Steggles

The Shropshire Star reports that one village in the county was the wettest place in the country on Wednesday.

While the Stoke-on-Trent Live website's covered the rescue of a man in Cheshire who 'ignored road closure signs' and drove into flood water.

Travel disruption expected from more flooding

Drivers are being warned there could be more flooding and disruption this morning.

River Teme, Ludlow on Wednesday
Shropshire Lass

After several days of rain and more overnight, the forecast is for further wet weather through today.

The Environment Agency has flood warnings in place for parts of Shropshire, Warwickshire and Staffordshire, as well as flood alerts across the West Midlands.

The Met Office has a yellow weather warning in place until midday which covers Cheshire, including around Crewe and Nantwich.

Yesterday, the bad weather caused disruption to trains as flood water blocked railway lines and several roads were under water.

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

It will be a cloudy day with outbreaks of rain, with some of it heavy, and highs of 15C (59F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Benefits mum 'not intentionally homeless'

The Supreme Court has overturned a decision by Birmingham City Council to declare a mum-of-four as "intentionally homeless" after she could not afford to pay her rent.

Terryann Samuels fell into arrears in 2011 after a shortfall between her housing benefit and £700-a-month rent for a house in West Bromwich.

Supreme Court
PA

The council found her home was "affordable" and she had "flexibility" in her budget, which was made up of other benefits including welfare and child tax credits.

"I find it hard to see on what basis the finding of intentional homelessness could be properly upheld," Lord Carnwath, one of five Supreme Court judges looking at the case, said.

It was ruled Ms Samuels should not have had to use her other benefits to make up the shortfall in housing-related benefits and the judges called on the council to "accept full responsibility".

Homelessness charities supporting Ms Samuels, Shelter and Child Poverty Action Group, welcomed the ruling.

When someone is forced to choose between rent and keeping their children fed, they cannot be viewed as 'intentionally' homeless when they choose the latter."

Polly NeateChief Executive of Shelter

More flood alerts as river levels rise

Allen Cook

BBC News

There are now five flood alerts across the West Midlands as the rain continued to fall today.

River Teme at Ludlow, Shropshire
Shropshire Lass

By 16:20, the Environment had issued them for:

In several of these cases, the agency's said river levels are continuing to rise and low-lying roads and farmland could flood.

Yellow warnings of rain remain in place across the West Midlands until Thursday.

Officer cleared of assault to face gross misconduct hearing

A police officer cleared of assault after being accused of hitting a man over the head with a baton after a high-speed pursuit is still expected to face a gross misconduct hearing.

PC Sunil Narr, of West Midlands Police, denied assault occasioning bodily harm over the blow to Joshua Ward in Hillfields, Coventry in August 2017.

Police
BBC

The jury at Birmingham Crown Court accepted he was aiming at Mr Ward's shoulder and accidentally hit his head.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said a file was passed to the Crown Prosecution Service, who made the decision to charge PC Narr with assault.

The IOPC investigation also concuded an independent tribunal could find the officer had breached standards of professional behaviour during the incident.

"It's expected that a gross misconduct hearing will be organised by the force in due course," the IOPC said.

Mixed employment figures for West Midlands

BBC Business News

The unemployment rate in the West Midlands in the three months to April fell to 5.0%, according to new data.

Job centre sign
PA

The Office for National Statistics said 145,000 were out of work in the region, down 4,000 on the previous quarter.

But its figures also showed 11,000 fewer people were employed over the period, compared to the previous three months.

Overall, the UK’s unemployment rate remained at 3.8%, and has not been lower since the October to December 1974 period.

Helpline launched for victims of forced marriage

A confidential helpline for victims of forced marriages and honour based abuse is being launched.

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner's office has provided £47,200 to fund the project.

The number of recorded forced marriages increase from 7 in 2011 to 35 in 2018, with honour based abuse crimes increasing from 52 to 182 during the same period.

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Severe weather warnings extended

Severe weather warnings for rain have been extended across most of the West Midlands with flooding and travel disruption expected to continue throughout the week.

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Fallen trees across Warwickshire and Worcestershire have caused disruption with more rain forecast throughout the day.

Officer in Shipston
Warwickshire Police

Fallen trees affected Metro services between Birmingham and Wolverhampton and the A34 at Monks' Heath in Cheshire was partially blocked near the Capesthorne Hall turn

Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkill said the UK was in for "some treacherous weather".

The yellow warnings are in place until 12:00 on Thursday.

Rain set to cause disruption 'throughout week'

A severe weather warning for rain remains in place for parts of the West Midlands, with travel likely to be disrupted.

Weather warning map
Met Office

The Met Office said parts of Warwickshire, Staffordshire and Birmingham and the Black Country are set to be most affected, with rain and thunderstorms likely to continue throughout the week.

Video: What's the weather got in store?

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

It will be wet with spells of heavy rain tonight with lows of 9C (12C ).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Why more men don't donate blood

Blood donations from men has fallen, new figures show, as the NHS says they are "less motivated by altruism" than women.

Nationally, the number of men giving blood in England has fallen by nearly 25% in the last five years.

Donated blood
PA

The research shows that only 46% of the active blood donors at the Midlands’ donor centres are male, with the number of donors dropping "worryingly quickly" said NHS Blood and Transplant.

It hopes to attract 2,760 new donors in Birmingham and 360 in Stoke-on-Trent.

Men are being targeted in a new campaign as they generally have higher iron levels then women, so are more likely to be able to donate on any given day.

They also do not make new antibodies, making it easier to match their blood to patients, compared with pregnant women.

Mike Stredder, Director of Blood Donation for NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “Men are more likely to be able to donate, and able to help more patients with each donation, so we need a new generation of young male donors, to ensure our donor base is strong enough to keep supplying lifesaving blood to hospitals".

Severe weather warnings issued

Heavy rain could cause travel disruption to parts of the West Midlands later.

Some areas could see a month's worth of rainfall in a single day, with wet weather to last well into the week.

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The first of four severe weather warnings is set to affect parts of Warwickshire and Staffordshire, with heavy rain also expected to sweep through Birmingham and the Black Country, Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire through Monday.

Areas most affected could see local flooding and disruption to transport.

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

It will be a cloudy and wet day with heavy rain spreading through the area and highs of 13C (55F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Video: What's the weather got in store?

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

There will be some heavy and potentially thundery showers into the evening with high winds and lows of 9C (48F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Heavy rain and thunderstorms likely to disrupt travel

Parts of the West Midlands are already seeing heavy rain showers, but it's set to get worse.

A Met Office is warning is in place for most of the West Midlands until 23:00, with Warwickshire and Worcestershire expected to face the worse of the weather.

Some flooding of homes and businesses is likely, the Met Office said, with spray and flooding on roads likely to disrupt travel.

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