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Severe disruption: M6 West Midlands southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 West Midlands southbound severe disruption, between J8 for M5 and J7 for A34 Birmingham Road.

M6 West Midlands - Temporary closure and stationary on M6 southbound between J8 M5 and J7, A34 (Great Barr), because of a police investigation.

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 J14 for A34 and J15 for A500 D Road.

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

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 J8 for M5.

M6 West Midlands - M6 lane closed on exit slip road southbound at J8 M5, because of a break down. Traffic is coping well.

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

Severe accident: M6 Staffordshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire southbound severe accident, from J15 for A500 D Road to J14 for A34.

M6 Staffordshire - Two lanes closed and it's slow on M6 southbound from J15, A500 (Stoke-On-Trent) to J14, A34 (Stafford North), because of an accident.

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

Severe accident: A4123 West Midlands both ways

BBC News Travel

A4123 West Midlands both ways severe accident, at New Birmingham Road.

A4123 West Midlands - A4123 New Birmingham Road in Oldbury blocked at Birchley Island, because of an accident. 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 J10 for A454 Wolverhampton Road Wolverhampton.

M6 West Midlands - One lane closed on M6 southbound at J10, A454 (Wolverhampton), 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 Staffordshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire southbound severe disruption, between J15 for A500 D Road 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 a car that's broken down. In the roadworks area.

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

Workshop tackles LGBT equality 'tensions'

Dozens of women from across Birmingham took part in a workshop today aimed at promoting understanding, equality and diversity.

Peace activist and artist Salma Zulfiqar said the event had been prompted by recent tensions in the community following the teaching of LGBT issues in Birmingham schools.

Workshop
Elaheh Nadalu

Organised by ARTconnects, she said the event brought together about 30 women from different backgrounds - students, Muslims, refugees and members of the LGBT community, among others.

Using art as a starting point, Ms Zulfiqar said the day at Ort Gallery had promoted "mutual respect and understanding", as well as addressing a great deal of misinformation on what are "taboo" subjects for some communities in the city.

Friday's event was also intended to support Saturday's International Day of Peace.

Workshop
Elaheh Nadalu

Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire northbound severe disruption, between J14 for A34 and Stafford Services.

M6 Staffordshire - One lane closed and it's slow on M6 northbound between J14, A34 (Stafford North) and Stafford Services, because of a car that's broken down. In the roadworks area.

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

Floozie fountain to flow again after five years

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Work to restore Birmingham's Birmingham's Floozie in the Jacuzzi fountain is to start early next year.

The statue in Victoria Square is formally known as The River and the city council is planning to fix it as part of a £25m programme of works, once the German market has been cleared away.

Fountain
BBC

The fountain was designed by Indian sculptor Dhruva Mistry, cost £3.5m and was installed in 1993.

The late Diana, Princess of Wales, performed the formal unveiling.

It was turned off in 2013 after needing a series of repairs which cost more than £400,000.

Severe disruption: M6 West Midlands northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 West Midlands northbound severe disruption, after J6 for A38.

M6 West Midlands - One lane closed and it's slow on M6 northbound after J6 A38(M) Aston Expressway Spaghetti Junction, because of a break down.

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

Ice hockey: Blaze head to Scotland for Flyers rematch

BBC Sport

Coventry Blaze travel to Kirkcaldy tomorrow, looking for revenge for their Elite League defeat to the Fife Flyers last weekend.

On Sunday Coventry host Cardiff Devils in the Challenge Cup - the first time the sides have met since the Blaze denied Cardiff the league title with a final day defeat last season.

Flyers vs Blaze
Scott Wiggins

Telford Tigers get their new season under way with matches away to Basingstoke Bison and at home to the newly formed Leeds Chiefs.

They finished off their pre-season preparations with a 4-2 win over Swindon Wildcats and head coach Tom Watkins said he was pleased with the way his new players were making an impact.

Two arrested in attempted murder investigation

Two men have been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a man was badly beaten in Birmingham yesterday.

West Midlands Police said the pair, aged 21 and 22, voluntarily agreed to be questioned and they're being held in police custody.

Jail cell
West Midlands Police

The force believes the 23-year-old victim was attacked, and suffered a serious head injury, after an argument between him and the occupants of a passing car on Alcester Road South in Maypole at around 16:40.

Seven men sentenced after cannabis worth £500,000 seized

Seven men involved in a £500,000 cannabis growing operation in Leeds have been jailed.

Cannabis
Reuters

Almost 800 plants were seized from properties in Armley, Harehills and Gipton, according to West Yorkshire Police.

All seven pleaded guilty to conspiracy to produce cannabis, with Ermijon Gjuta, Ardit Gjuta and Metali Shehu also pleading guilty to fraudulent document offences.

Det Insp Lee Fletcher, said: "This was an organised operation and these men now have time inside to consider the consequences of their actions on the communities of West Yorkshire and beyond."

  • Blerim Trota, 34, of Simmons Drive, Birmingham, was jailed for four years and three months.
  • Ermijon Gjuta, 28 of Green Street, Newcastle, received a sentence of four years and three months.
  • Ardit Gjuta, 21, of Amberton Approach, Leeds, was sent to prison for four years and three months.
  • Metali Shehu, 29, of no fixed abode, was jailed for three years and three months.
  • Rigert Papdeja, 21, of no fixed abode, was sentenced to three years and three months.
  • Refik Duraku, 36, of no fixed abode, was sent to prison for two years and six months.
  • Did Dida, 41 of, no fixed abode, was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Weather: Hot weather followed by thunderstorms

Sara Thornton

BBC Weather

The forecast for tomorrow is looking good with sunshine and temperatures up to 24C (75F).

But we're expecting some thunderstorms on Sunday.

Weather forecast for the West Midlands

Market town £2m revamp gets green light

BBC Midlands Today

Plans to restore the historic centre of Wednesbury in the Black Country are set to go ahead.

Wednesbury
BBC

Sandwell Council has been given a £2m government grant to improve the Market Place area, restore buildings and boost economic growth.

The bid, which was made through Historic England, will part-finance a four-year programme of improvements.

Man hit by car seriously injured

A man has suffered serious injuries after being hit by a car in Wolverhampton.

He was taken to hospital after being hurt at the junction of Wolverhampton Road and Grove Street.

Air ambulances from Cosford and Staffordshire were sent to the scene, but not needed, said the ambulance service.

Counterfeit goods seized in raid

Counterfeit goods with an estimated retail value of about £70,000 have been seized from a unit in Birmingham.

Counterfeit goods
Birmingham City Council

Perfume, clothing and footwear were removed along with a vehicle containing fake items, said the city council.

Counterfeit goods
Birmingham City Council

The seizure on Wednesday is part of an ongoing operation targeting organised crime groups involved in the importation, distribution and supply of counterfeit goods.

Severe disruption: M6 West Midlands southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 West Midlands southbound severe disruption, at J10 for A454 Wolverhampton Road Wolverhampton.

M6 West Midlands - Three lanes closed and queues on M6 southbound at J10, A454 (Wolverhampton), because of a vehicle on fire.

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

Tributes left to 'beautiful soul' after suspected murder

Tributes have been left at the scene of a suspected murder in Tamworth.

Flowers
PA Media

A 19-year-old is being questioned on suspicion of murder after the body of Keeley Bunker, 20, was found in Wigginton Park, Tamworth.

One tribute described her as being a "beautiful soul" and went on: "You are going to be missed by everyone lucky enough to have ever met you!"

Tribute
PA Media

Another message read: "Keeley, sending you all my love, you will be missed by all. Rest well xox."

Severe disruption: M5 West Midlands southbound

BBC News Travel

M5 West Midlands southbound severe disruption, at J2 for A4123 Wolverhampton Road Oldbury.

M5 West Midlands - One lane closed and it's slow on M5 southbound at J2, A4123 (Oldbury), because of a car that's broken down. In the roadworks area.

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

Severe accident: A4124 West Midlands both ways

BBC News Travel

A4124 West Midlands both ways severe accident, between Deans Road and Woden Road.

A4124 West Midlands - A4124 Wolverhampton Road in Heath Town closed and queues in both directions between the Deans Road junction and the Woden Road junction, because of an accident.

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

Firefighters help passengers stuck on cliff railway

Firefighters were called out to help passengers on the Bridgnorth Cliff Railway yesterday evening, when it got stuck halfway up the hill.

One of them went down to the carriage using a rope, to offer reassurance and others were then able to get the carriage down using the manual release.

Firefighter climbing
Bridgnorth Cliff Railway

The incident happened at around 18:40 and Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service said nobody was hurt.

Severe accident: M42 Worcestershire northbound

BBC News Travel

M42 Worcestershire northbound severe accident, between J3 for A435 Alcester Road and J3A for M40.

M42 Worcestershire - One lane closed and queues on M42 northbound between J3, A435 (Redditch) and J3a M40, because of an accident.

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

'Make earth great again'

Here's a few of our favourite placards from today's demonstrations in Birmingham.

Protester
BBC
Protester
BBC
Protester
BBC

Severe disruption: M6 Staffordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Staffordshire northbound severe disruption, between J13 for A449 and J14 for A34.

M6 Staffordshire - One lane closed and it's slow on M6 northbound between J13, A449 (Stafford South) and J14, A34 (Stafford North), because of a car that's broken down. In the roadworks area.

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

First time for climate protester

Andrew Dawkins

BBC News

Louise Davis was among the protesters in Birmingham and she said today was the first time she had joined a demonstration.

"It feels important to do something now," she said.

Louise Davis
BBC

"It’s a whole load of things, stuff you see on social media, pictures of sea birds with plastic around their beaks," she added.

"We were talking about it’s such a good turnout - I hope people would still be here if it wasn’t as nice."

Brexit 'distracting us from the 'real issue'

Andrew Dawkins

BBC News

Climate change protester Oliver Vlaytchev 24 from Birmingham, says he believes all the attention on Brexit at the moment is "distracting" us from the bigger issue.

"[The] need to change is the real issue at hand and outlast our natural expiry date," he said.

Gabby and Oliver
BBC

"When I was a teenager and throughout my youth [I’ve been] changing my personal life, cutting down plastic consumption, use of public transport, single use plastic, cut down on meat," he added.

"Let’s get our priorities right and focus on real issues at hand rather than be warring tribes focusing on petty things such as oil, immigration."

'Adults aren't going to fix it for me'

Andrew Dawkins

BBC News

For some of these 1,000 or so protesters in Birmingham it's the first time they have demonstrated.

For others, including pupils like 15-year-old Dominic, it's the first time he's taken time off school to protest.

"I’m in year 11 so my GCSEs are coming around really quickly," he said.

"I had to fight very hard to get my school to authorise this absence. I’m lucky I had a very supportive head of year. I had to write a letter."

Crowd
BBC

He said the tipping point for him was when he "realised adults weren’t going to fix it" for him, despite being told "since year seven" that climate change would "affect us all".

But he said Greta Thunberg had also been a big inspiration.

Climate action wanted 'now'

Andrew Dawkins

BBC News

The huge crowd in Birmingham is now on the march.

A chant goes up: "What do we want? Climate action.

"When do we want it? Now."

March
BBC

Thousands join climate protests

The protests seem to be benefiting from the nice weather.

Bumper crowds are in Birmingham's Victoria Square, as well as in Shrewsbury, Coventry and Hereford.

Demonstrators in Birmingham
BBC
Band in Birmingham
BBC
Hereford demo
BBC
Shrewsbury demo
BBC

Severe accident: A461 West Midlands both ways

BBC News Travel

A461 West Midlands both ways severe accident, between Junction 9 Shopping Centre and Myvod Road.

A461 West Midlands - A461 Wood Green Road in Wednesbury closed and queues in both directions between the Junction 9 Shopping Centre and the Myvod Road junction, because of an accident involving car and lorry.

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

'Twelve years to save the planet'

Andrew Dawkins

BBC News

Possibly a thousand people are in Birmingham's Victoria Square to support a protest against climate change, many of them schoolchildren and families.

Composer Sarah Baker from Kings Heath told me three of her daughters would be at the protest, two of them missing school. She said they would be there with her "approval".

"What's the point of education if there's no planet. We've been told we've got 12 years [to save it]," she said.

Sarah Baker
BBC

Sarah said her inspiration had been Greta Thunberg, who had "showed one small person could galvanise a world and make political change".

"If we all make changes, together we can make a difference. But without political change our small acts aren't enough," she said.

Birmingham protest
BBC

Hospitals trust could come out of special measures

The NHS trust that runs Worcestershire Royal Hospital could be lifted out of special measures.

After an inspection this summer, the Care Quality Commission says it's found significant improvements at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch and Kidderminster Hospital, although it says staffing levels at Worcestershire Royal still need to be improved.

The Alexandra Hospital
Google

NHS England is now considering a recommendation that Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs all three sites, should be taken out of special measures, as long as extra support is put in place first.

Worcester's MP, Robin Walker called it "a hugely welcome step forward".

Broken-down trail causing rail delays

BBC News Travel

A broken-down train is delaying rail services between Birmingham Snow Hill and Whitlocks End.

View more on twitter

Man arrested after woman's body found

BBC Radio Stoke

A 19-year-old man has been arrested after a woman's body was found in Tamworth last night.

The discovery was made in the Roman Way area just after 21:00 after an ambulance was called out to reports of someone in the water near Edgar Close.

Staffordshire Police car
Staffordshire Police

Paramedics arrived to find the woman, but said nothing could be done to save her.

The man, who police say was arrested in connection with the death, remains in custody.

Severe accident: A449 West Midlands southbound

BBC News Travel

A449 West Midlands southbound severe accident, between A4150 Ring Road St Johns and Marston Road.

A449 West Midlands - A449 Penn Road in Wolverhampton blocked and queues southbound between Penn Road Island and the Marston Road junction, because of an accident.

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

Severe accident: M6 West Midlands southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 West Midlands southbound severe accident, from J7 for A34 Birmingham Road to J6 for A38.

M6 West Midlands - One lane closed on M6 southbound from J7, A34 (Great Barr) to J6 A38(M) Aston Expressway Spaghetti Junction, because of an accident.

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

Man suffers head injury in assault

A man has been taken to hospital with serious injuries after officers were called to reports of an assault.

He was discovered with a head injury on Alcester Road South in Maypole, Birmingham, on Thursday afternoon.