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Tennis: Venus Williams set for Birmingham singles debut

BBC Sport

Five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams is due to make her singles debut at the Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham today.

Venus Williams plays a backhand during a practice session in Birmingham
Getty Images

Play had to be suspended yesterday at the Edgbaston Priory Club due to rain, delaying her opener against Belarusian Aliaksandra Sasnovich.

She has already appeared in the doubles tournament and lost earlier this week.

Today's action will also feature Ashleigh Barty playing Donna Vekic and, this afternoon, British number one Johanna Konta in her second round match.

Severe disruption: M6 West Midlands southbound

BBC News Travel

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

M6 West Midlands - M6 lane closed on exit slip road and queues southbound at J9, A461 (Wednesbury), because of a broken down van.

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

Thousands expected for Edgbaston's first World Cup game

BBC Midlands Today

More than 20,000 cricket fans are expected to descend on Birmingham this morning as Edgbaston hosts the first of its five World Cup matches.

South Africa's players attend a training session at Edgbaston in Birmingham
AFP/Getty Images

Today's game will see unbeaten New Zealand play South Africa, who are chasing their second win of the tournament.

Among the other matches the ground will host will be one of the tournament's semi-finals and it will then in August host the first Ashes Test against Australia.

Gordon Banks: World Cup winner's contracts up for sale

BBC News England

Contracts signed by England's 1966 World Cup-winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks are set to be auctioned today.

The three contracts from Banks's time at Leicester and Stoke
Richard Winterton Auctioneers

The Sheffield-born stopper, who played for Stoke City and Leicester City, died in February aged 81.

Banks, regarded as one of the world's greatest goalkeepers, was best known for his wonder save from Pele during the 1970 World Cup against Brazil.

Documents from when he played for the Foxes and The Potters are expected to sell for about £5,000 in June.

The items are due to be auctioned at The Lichfield Auction Centre, Wood End Lane, Fradley Park, Lichfield, today.

Severe disruption: M6 West Midlands southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 West Midlands southbound severe disruption, from J6 for A38 to J5 for A452.

M6 West Midlands - One lane closed and it's slow on M6 southbound from J6 A38(M) Aston Expressway Spaghetti Junction to J5, A452 (Castle Bromwich), because of a break down.

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, from J10A for M54 to J10 for A454 Wolverhampton Road Wolverhampton.

M6 Staffordshire - One lane closed and queues on M6 southbound from J10a M54 to J10, A454 (Wolverhampton), because of a break down.

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

Severe disruption: M6 Warwickshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Warwickshire northbound severe disruption, at Corley Services.

M6 Warwickshire - M6 lane blocked on slip road into the services to Corley Services and it's slow northbound at Corley Services, because of a break down.

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

GPs vote on health plan changes

Local Democracy Reporting Service

George Makin

Doctors in Sandwell and west Birmingham are deciding this week whether to back the biggest reorganisation in primary care in the region since 2011.

Midland Metropolitan Hospital
BBC

GPs are being asked to choose between three options which could radically change how services like surgeries, dentists and pharmacists are governed.

They are being encouraged to break away and join new clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) for Birmingham and the Black Country.

NHS England (NHSE) is backing a plan for the areas outside of Sandwell to be transferred to Birmingham and Solihull CCG.

But the proposals face strong opposition from the Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Hospital Trust which says the changes could impact on the Midland Metropolitan Hospital, delayed after the collapse of Carrillion.

The results of the vote will then be considered when a final decision is taken by Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG at its board meeting next week.

Severe disruption: M42 West Midlands southbound

BBC News Travel

M42 West Midlands southbound severe disruption, from J6 for A45 Coventry Road Birmingham Airport to J5 for A41 Solihull By-Pass Solihull.

M42 West Midlands - One lane closed and queues on M42 southbound from J6, A45 (Birmingham Airport) to J5, A41 (Solihull), because of a broken down van.

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

Tory leadership race: Your views on the debate

BBC Politics

Brexit and Islamophobia dominated the second TV debate faced by the Conservative Party leadership contenders.

The five remaining candidates met for the Our Next Prime Minister debate on BBC One, during which they answered questions from members of the public.

The five remaining candidates
BBC

Afterwards, we found out what viewers made of the answers and they included:

- Owen Reed, 19 and from Bedworth, was a Conservative and has now joined the Brexit Party and gave his view on the candidates views on the Brexit deadline of 31 October

- Robert Dugmore, 63, from Birmingham, explained why he found the debate "profoundly depressing"

You can read more on their views and many others here on the BBC website.

Wednesday's weather for the West Midlands

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

Any overnight rain should soon clear away and we're set for a dry, sunny day:

Rich Davis

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

Severe disruption: M6 West Midlands southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 West Midlands southbound severe disruption, at J8 for M5.

M6 West Midlands - Lane closed on M6 southbound at J8 M5, because of a lorry having a tyre changed.

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

Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire northbound severe disruption, at J12 for A5.

M6 Staffordshire - One lane closed on M6 northbound at J12, A5 (Gailey), because of a break down. Traffic is coping well.

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

Severe disruption: M6 Warwickshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Warwickshire northbound severe disruption, between J4A for M42 J8 and J5 for A452.

M6 Warwickshire - One lane closed on M6 northbound between J4a M42 J8 and J5, A452 (Castle Bromwich), because of a break down. Traffic is coping well.

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

CCTV image released after man stabbed at city pub

Police have released a CCTV image of a man they would like to speak to following a stabbing in Wolverhampton.

CCTV
West Midlands Police

A man sustained a deep cut to his arm that's not believed to be life-threatening in the attack at the Lyme Kaye pub, on Worcester Street, shortly after 05:00, West Midlands Police said.

Officers are asking for anyone with information to come forward.

Clean Air Zone delay 'utterly unacceptable', says charity

The decision to delay the introduction of Birmingham's Clean Air Zone has been described as "utterly unacceptable" by Asthma UK.

Car exhaust
Getty Images

The council has blamed a software delay, but Joe Farrington-Douglas, head of policy at the charity, said it will result in people "continuing to breathe in toxic air" and warned "delays in cleaning up our air could have dire consequences".

He added: "The introduction of an Ultra-Low Emission Zone in London has been a step in the right direction to tackle filthy air, but it is high time that local and national government protect those outside the capital through similar schemes."

Video: What's the weather got in store?

Alex Hamilton

BBC Weather

Areas of showery rain will move in this afternoon with more widespread rain expected throughout the night and lows of 12C (54F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Commons committee 'distressed' over prison scanner failure

HMP Birmingham's difficulties in getting much-needed body scanning equipment have been discussed in Parliament.

HMP Birmingham
BBC

The jail's failure to secure funding for a body scanner to help stop drugs being smuggled in is "inexplicable", the chief inspector of prisons has said.

The prison was taken back into public ownership after private company G4S had its contract terminated.

The Commons Justice Committee was told that procurement of kit is a real problem for prisons.

Conservative Victoria Prentis said the committee was "distressed" to hear that HMP Birmingham had not got the scanner, "which would make life so much easier for drugs finding".

Missing girl, 15, could be in Tamworth

Nick Smith

BBC News Online

Police are looking for a 15-year-old girl who went missing from Swadlincote yesterday morning.

Georgia Mundy was last seen at around 11:30 in Alexandra Road and it is believed she may have travelled to Tamworth.

She is described as 5ft 4in tall, of slim build and is believed to have been wearing a black Nike jacket, blue skinny jeans, dark-coloured Nike trainers and carrying a beige shoulder bag when she was last seen.

Georgia Mundy
Derbyshire Police

Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire southbound

BBC News Travel

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

M6 Staffordshire - Two lanes closed and queues on M6 southbound between J13, A449 (Stafford South) and J12, A5 (Gailey), because of a police investigation.

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

Council set to accept £4.5m for pollution plan

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Tom Davis

Coventry City Council is preparing to accept £4.5m government funding for its air quality action plan, but said it “in no way indicates” they are agreeing to Clean Air Zone charges.

Buses
BBC

The authority will use emergency powers to accept the grant from the Joint Air Quality Unit (JAQU) at a full council meeting later today.

Funding will be used to carry out “associated work to meet the terms of the direction issued by government on 26th March” – the implementation of a Class D clean air zone.

In the same meeting, the council is also set to accept a grant of £2,517,500 to enable the retrofit of 131 buses to be compliant with desired low emission requirements.

Ambulance delays due to 'annual maintenance'

BBC Radio Stoke

Ambulances carrying 20 patients had to wait more than an hour to be admitted to the Royal Stoke Hospital yesterday because of "annual maintenance" at its accident and emergency department.

Ambulance
BBC

The hospital said "processes for ambulance handover were delayed and had an impact on the number of ambulances waiting at the emergency department for a brief period yesterday".

It said improvements had been made today.

West Midlands Ambulance Service said it sent someone to help manage the hold-up yesterday and said it brought 205 patients to the A&E department - lower than the expected number.

Man charged with assaulting paramedic and police officer

A man has been charged with assault after a paramedic and police officer were attacked in Warwickshire.

The pair were assaulted after being called to a report of an incident at a property in New Street, Bulkington, on Sunday evening.

The 46-year-old man, from the town, has been charged with assault by beating of an emergency worker, one count of common assault on an emergency worker and one count of using threatening, abusive or insulting words to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

He's due at Warwick Magistrates' Court today.

Hazrat Umar death: More charges brought

A man has been charged with perverting the course of justice over the death of 18-year-old Hazrat Umar.

Hazrat Umar
West Midlands Police

The college student was stabbed in Norwood Road, Bordesley Green, Birmingham, on 25 February.

Mahmood Sarwar, 51, of Endicott Road, Aston has been charged with perverting the course of justice, and is set to appear at Birmingham Crown Court on 16 July.

Adam Muhammad,17, has admitted murdering the teenager and was sentenced to life, with a minimum term of 14 years and three months.

Charity urged to rethink closure plan

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Gurdip Thandi

Walsall councillors have called on the community to help save a town hospice from being axed.

Acorns
Tim Wilson

Earlier this month, Acorns Children’s Hospice announced its facility in Walstead Road, Walsall, could be closed after 20 years of supporting youngsters with life-limiting illnesses.

Bosses said the proposal, which has put 61 jobs at risk, was put forward due to the rising cost in care and they added families would be re-accommodated in their Birmingham and Worcester centres.

Councillor Tim Wilson, in charge of children's services at the council, said: “A decision had not yet been made. There is opportunity, through consultation, to shape and influence the decision. We must collectively take this opportunity.”

The formal consultation document setting out the plan can be found on Acorns website.

City clean air charges delayed

The introduction of Birmingham's Clean Air Zone (CAZ) is to be postponed due to a government delay in digital systems to make the zones enforceable.

Birminghamn
BBC

The proposed zone was due to come into force in January 2020, but the vehicle checker tool, due to be delivered in October, now won't be ready until December.

The council said the zone would now come into force in July next year at the earliest.

"While this does mean people will have longer to make these changes, it will also delay Birmingham in achieving air quality compliance, leaving our city exposed to dirty air for longer than anticipated."

Councillor Waseem ZaffarBirmingham City Council's cabinet member for transport and environment

Severe disruption: M6 Warwickshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Warwickshire southbound severe disruption, at J3 for A444 Bedworth Bypass Nuneaton.

M6 Warwickshire - M6 lane closed on entry slip road southbound at J3, A444 (Nuneaton), because of a break down. Traffic is coping well.

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

Dan Evans in first round of Queen's

Dan Evans will play three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka in the first round at Queen's today.

Dan Evans
PA

The Birmingham player continued his impeccable Wimbledon preparation lifting the Nottingham title having won 10 straight matches.

World number 70 Evans, who was banned from the sport for a year from April 2017 for cocaine use, is already assured of a Wimbledon main draw slot.

'Brolldozer' signs for Coventry Blaze

A Canadian forward, nicknamed the "Brolldozer" for his hard-hitting style of play, has been signed by Coventry Blaze for the new Elite League season.

David Broll has played nearly 300 games in the American Hockey League for teams including the Toronto Marlies, Syracruse Crunch and Laval Rockets, and racked up nearly 600 penalty minutes in that time.

David Broll
St. John’s IceCaps

Head coach Danny Stewart said: "We wanted to add some size and presence up-front and he does that."

But he said the 26-year-old can also "possess the puck, and has a very good skill set."

Reward offered in connection with teenager shot in the head

A £10,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to the conviction of those responsible for the attempted murder of a boy in Wolverhampton.

Scene of shooting
BBC

The 16-year-old was shot in the head in Graiseley Street in the Penn Fields area on 6 May. He remains in a serious condition in hospital.

At the time of the incident, witnesses spoke of a large group of people in the street and then a number of shots being heard, said Crimestoppers.

The charity said the "shocking" incident "would affect this young person for many years to come and has unsettled the local community".

The £10,000 reward is valid until 10 September, it said.

Holly Willoughby joins in stem cell donor drive

A stem cell donor drive, to try and help a boy from Worcestershire, has been held by ITV's This Morning show.

Finley Hill, from Belbroughton, who has a rare and life-threatening immune system disorder and needs a transplant, featured on today's programme.

View more on twitter

Presenter Holly Willoughby posted on Instagram: "Having a simple swab from my cheek to determine if I’m a potential match and can donate blood stem cells... simple yet life saving.

"Only 2% of the U.K. are signed up to be a donor... that’s clearly not enough... come and join me."

View more on instagram

Donor drives have also been taking place to help a 12-year-old Coventry boy with a rare blood disorder.

Paddy Igoe, from Earlsdon, has aplastic anaemia which requires frequent blood transfusions, and is also looking for a matching donor.

Four seriously hurt after police pursuit crash

A driver who failed to stop for police during a pursuit has suffered life-threatening injuries after the car crashed with two others in Birmingham.

A woman and two men in one of the vehicles were also seriously injured, police said.

A Seat Ibiza failed to stop on Middleton Hall Road, close to the junction with Northfield Road, Cotteridge, at about 22:20, and was found a short time later having crashed with a VW Fox and a Jaguar XF.

The road was closed for several hours, but has since reopened.

West Midlands Police has referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

Severe disruption: M6 Warwickshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Warwickshire southbound severe disruption, at J3 for A444 Bedworth Bypass Nuneaton.

M6 Warwickshire - M6 lane closed on exit slip road and it's slow southbound at J3, A444 (Nuneaton), because of a break down.

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

Cricket World Cup weather
While it's set fine and dry for England v Afghanistan at Old Trafford today, heavy showers could delay the start of play tomorrow at Edgbaston.

Thunderstorms may bring torrential rain

Heavy rain and thunder could cause travel disruption across parts of the West Midlands later, the Met Office is warning.

View more on twitter

A yellow severe weather warning is in place from 18:00 today until 21:00 on Wednesday.

Weather warning map
Met Office

Thunderstorms may bring torrential rain, with anything from 15mm to 50mm expected.

Severe accident: A38 Staffordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

A38 Staffordshire northbound severe accident, between A38 and A5121.

A38 Staffordshire - A38 Lichfield Road in Barton-under-Needwood closed and queues northbound between the A38 junction and Branston Interchange, because of an accident involving two lorries and debris on the road. Congestion to Alrewas.

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

Severe accident: A515 Staffordshire both ways

BBC News Travel

A515 Staffordshire both ways severe accident, between B5017 Stubby Lane and Pipey Lane.

A515 Staffordshire - A515 in Draycott In The Clay closed in both directions between the B5017 Stubby Lane junction and the Pipey Lane junction, because of an accident.

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