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Summary

  1. News updates for Wednesday 9 December 2015
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates to resume at 08:00 on Thursday

Live Reporting

By Alex Homer

All times stated are UK

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  1. Our coverage across the day

    That's it from us on Wednesday. Join us from 08:00 on Thursday for more news, sport, travel and weather.

  2. Video: Latest weather forecast for the West Midlands

    Shefali Oza

    BBC Midlands Today

    It's a dry picture at the moment and windy but find out what is in store for us tonight and tomorrow morning.

    Video content

    Video caption: The weather forecast for the West Midlands.
  3. Investigation into alleged 'serious sexual assault' in Sutton Park

    Sutton Park in Sutton Coldfield was sealed off earlier because police were investigating an alleged serious sexual assault, officers have revealed.

    The West Midlands force said the assault on the 20-year-old woman was alleged to have happened at around 16:00 on Tuesday and the cordon was to allow officers to search for forensic evidence. 

    Anyone with information is urged to contact the force.

  4. Sports hall honouring Joel Richards opened today by his brother

    A sports hall named after a young referee killed in a terror attack has today been opened.

    Football referee Joel Richards, 19, of Wednesbury, died along with uncle Adrian Evans, 49, grandfather Patrick Evans, 78, and 35 others near Sousse, in Tunisia.

    View more on twitter

    The hall is part of Sandwell council's £8.1m leisure centre complex, which is due to open this year in Wednesbury.  

  5. Travel: M42 delays warning

    BBC Travel

    Three lanes are blocked and there is queuing traffic on the M42 southbound between J5 for Solihull and J4 for Shirley because of a crash, drivers are warned.

  6. Two British men jailed after Syria terror trip win sentence reduction

    Two men who travelled to Syria to "support jihad" have won a reduction in their prison sentences at London's Court of Appeal.

    Mohammed Ahmed and Yusuf Sarwar, now both aged 23 and from Handsworth in Birmingham, went to the war-torn country in May 2013 after contacting Islamic extremists.

    The pair were arrested on their return to the UK and werejailed in December after pleading guilty to one count of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorism acts contrary to Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006.

    Ahmed (left) and Sarwar went to "considerable lengths" to conceal their plans, police said

    They were each given an extended sentence of 17 years and eight months - including 12 years and eight months in jail and a five-year licence period.

    But three Court of Appeal judges today imposed a new sentence of 15 years and three months, made up of a 10 years and three months in custody and an extended licence period of five years.  

  7. Latest: Council cuts; Bus brick attack; Syria jihadists win sentence cut

    Alex Homer

    BBC Local Live

    If you are just catching up with Wednesday's news, here are the headlines:

    - Birmingham City Council will charge residents a Social Care Precept for the first time on top of increasing council tax, in a bid to offset government cuts it says

    - A passenger suffered a fractured skull when she was hit by a brick thrown through the window of a bus in Birmingham

     - Two British men who went to Syria to join rebel fighters have had their prison sentences reduced at London's Court of Appeal

  8. City council will charge new Social Care Precept to boost coffers

    Alex Homer

    BBC Local Live

    Birmingham City Council has confirmed it will take up the opportunity to raise money via the Social Care Precept announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, as well as a 2% annual increase in council tax.

    Together with anticipated increases in business rates, this is expected to bring in an extra £78m by 2019-20.

    The council says only 9% of its income comes from council tax so even the maximum increase would have a "negligible effect" when offsetting government grant cuts.    

  9. Dudley Hippodrome rebuild ruled out by Black Country Living Museum

    Joanna Tidman

    BBC WM

    The Black Country Living Museum has ruled out rebuilding the Dudley Hippodrome theatre at its attraction. 

    The idea had been suggested following the council's decision to knock down the now disused venue on Castle Hill.

    Dudley Hippodrome

    The museum has carried out similar brick-by-brick building projects with the Old Rolfe Street Baths in Smethwick and Bottle and Glass Pub, but said rebuilding the Hippodrome was unrealistic given the scale of the project.

  10. PC in court charged with rape

    Sarah Portlock

    BBC News Online

    A West Midlands Police officer has appeared in court on a rape charge.

    Wolverhampton-based PC Ben Clay, 39, indicated a not guilty plea at Dudley Magistrates Court on Wednesday.  

    The alleged offence happened in June 2014. 

    PC Clay, a neighbourhood police officer, was suspended from his position following his arrest, and is next due to appear at Wolverhampton Crown Court on 2 March.

  11. Teenager stabbed in Wolverhampton city centre in broad daylight

    A teenager has been stabbed in the back in Wolverhampton city centre this afternoon and has been taken to hospital with "serious injuries" according to police.

    Officers cordoned off Broad Street after the 18-year-old man was attacked at around 12:05 and traffic diversions have been put in place.

  12. Watch: Weather forecast

    Alexandra Hamilton

    BBC Weather

    Find out what's in store for the rest of today's weather.  

    Video content

    Video caption: Today's weather forecast for the West Midlands.
  13. Travel: M6 delays after earlier crash

    BBC Travel

    There is slow traffic on the M6 northbound at J5 for Castle Bromwich because of an earlier accident, even though all lanes have been re-opened, drivers are warned.