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  1. Updates on Monday 1 February 2016
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates to resume at 08:00 on Tuesday

Live Reporting

By Stephanie Barnard

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Plans for Sandwell Magistrates Court closure branded 'absolute disgrace' by MP

    West Bromwich East MP Tom Watson has called on the government to put any plans to close Sandwell Magistrates' Court on ice.

    A public consultation on whether to close the borough's only remaining magistrates' court and 13 other courts in the Midlands was launched in July 2015 and a decision is expected imminently, according to Labour's deputy leader Mr Watson.

    Sandwell Magistrates Court

    He added a Freedom of Information Act request showed the government's 2010 decision to cancel a new court on Spon Lane in West Bromwich cost HM Courts & Tribunals Service £3.8m - £1.7m for site clearance and professional fees and a further £2.1m loss on land disposal.

    Mr Watson said: "Now the government wants to close the only court we have in the borough - denying victims and their families access to justice. It's an absolute disgrace."

    The government has previously said its aim is to reduce "surplus capacity".

  2. Cyber attack: Computer files held for $1k ransom

    Qasa Alom

    BBC Inside Out

    I’ve been speaking to a man who was held to ransom in his own home online. A hacker encrypted plenty of Stuart Kettell’s (pictured) files and wanted him to pay $1,000 to get them unlocked - something he has refused to pay.

    Stuart Kettell

    To make people aware, I’ve staged my own cyber-attack on some volunteers who, at the time, had no idea what I was up to. 

    The results are amazing and you can see them on Inside Out at 20:30 tonight.

  3. Latest headlines: Birmingham mum jailed after joining IS and Villa boss 'disappointed' by lack of signings

    Stephanie Barnard

    BBC Local Live

    The top stories in the BBC WM newsroom this afternoon include:

    - A mother who took her toddler son to Syria has been jailed for six years for joining the so-called Islamic State

    - The Labour councillor Muhammad Afzal has withdrawn his name from nominations for Lord Mayor of Birmingham

    - Aston Villa boss Remi Garde is "disappointed" the club have failed to make a signing in the transfer window

  4. Open University strike suspended in Birmingham

    Open University staff have suspended strike action planned for Tuesday.

    Members of the University and College Union (UCU) were due to walk out in protest at the university's plans to close seven regional centres, including one in Birmingham.

    The UCU said it had suspended the action "as a gesture of good faith" while negotiations continued.

    University and College Union members staged a series of strikes in November and December
  5. BreakingLabour councillor withdraws from Lord Mayor nomination

    The Labour councillor Muhammad Afzal has withdrawn his name from nominations for Lord Mayor of Birmingham.

    The Aston councillor faced heavy criticism after he was accused of calling David Cameron an "islamophobe" and criticising the government's prevent strategy which tackles extremism.

    Quote Message: However recent publicity in the local media has given rise to unfair and indeed untrue comments being ascribed to me. I have tried to put the record straight but sadly it has not been possible to do so as rumour and innuendo has replaced facts. from Statement from Muhammed Afzal Labour councillor
    Statement from Muhammed AfzalLabour councillor
  6. BBC WM Takeover: Meet George

    Steve Hermon

    Journalist, BBC WM

    The BBC WM Takeover is coming in March and we're starting to build Team Takeover! 

    George Mafu from Rednal is our latest recruit and he's told us he wants to take about how great Birmingham is, after moving here a few years ago.

    View more on twitter

    We'll be revealing more members of the team, who will be presenting, reporting and producing the radio station for one week.

  7. Your photos: Birmingham


    Share your photos of Birmingham and the Black Country with us.

    Thank you to George Nash who shared this and is now being featured on the BBC Midlands Today Facebook page.


    If you've taken any photos of the local area which you'd like to share with us - email or tweet @BBCWM.

  8. Transfer deadline day: Will Saido stay or will he go?

    BBC Sport

    We are all waiting to hear if Saido Berahino will stay at West Brom, especially after Newcastle bid £21m for the striker.

    Baggies assistant head coach David Kemp has just faced the media and does not believe Berahino will be leaving.

    Quote Message: He is in the squad for tomorrow's game (against Swansea). I would expect that, I haven't heard anything different and I expect him to be around for the rest of the season. He has a dead leg and he came in for treatment and then went home. Like all footballers, no-one likes being injured, especially after just getting back into the team. from David Kemp Assistant head coach, West Brom
    David KempAssistant head coach, West Brom

    Follow live updates of all the comings and goings of Transfer Deadline Day on BBC Sport.

  9. Transfer deadline day: Latest on Villa, Baggies, Wolves and Walsall

    Adam Bridge

    BBC WM Sport

    It's been a fairly quiet transfer deadline day so far. Aston Villa boss Remi Garde is "disappointed" the club have failed to make a signing in the transfer window. Having missed out on three potential targets the Frenchman is not expecting any arrivals or departures from Villa Park. 

    West Brom have completed the signing of Alex Pritchard on loan from Spurs, whilst the club insist they have no desire to sell Saido Berahino despite interest from Newcastle and Stoke. 


    Wolves head coach Kenny Jackett is still hopeful of bringing in a striker and confirmed Middlesboro forward Kike (pictured) was a possible target. 

    Walsall, meanwhile, have moved to quash speculation about the future of Tom Bradshaw by confirming they haven't accepted any bids for the striker and he remains an important part of the team.

    Follow the BBC WM Sport team on Twitter for updates.

  10. Swansea fail in Chester loan bid

    BBC Sport

    West Brom reject Swansea City's loan bid for Wales defender James Chester, while Swans striker Eder is set to join Lille on loan.

    James Chester

    Chester, 27, has made just one Premier League start this season after joining from Hull City for £8m in July 2015.  

  11. Tanzania arrests suspects after pilot killed

    BBC News England

    Tanzanian police have arrested three suspects over the death of a UK pilot working for a conservation fund whose helicopter was shot down by poachers.

    Natural Resources and Tourism Minister Jumanne Maghembe told AFP news agency that those detained were co-operating.

    Roger Gower, 37, from Edgbaston in Birmingham

    "Soon more people making up the poaching gang will be netted and brought to justice," he said.

    Roger Gower, 37, from Edgbaston in Birmingham (pictured) had been flying near an elephant killed by poachers when his helicopter came under fire.

  12. Cyber attack: '80% of cyber hacking can be stopped'

    Qasa Alom

    BBC Inside Out

    I've been speaking to the new West Midlands region's cyber crime unit which is doing a lot of work to try and cut down on online fraud.

    How can we stop it happening? Figures suggest 80% of cyber attacks can be stopped with basic online hygiene.

    Join me on BBC One's Inside Out at 20:30. I'll be looking at four common cyber scams out there and how you can avoid traps.

    Cyber attack