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Summary

  1. Unemployment increases in the West Midlands
  2. City tram route opening delayed again
  3. Fire breaks out at derelict pub
  4. Villa sale may happen by end of week
  5. Updates on Wednesday 18 May 2016

Live Reporting

By Stephanie Barnard

All times stated are UK

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  1. End of live updates

    That's it for live updates today. We'll be back from 08:00 on Thursday with live news, sport, travel and weather updates for Birmingham and the Black Country.

  2. Overnight forecast: More rain likely

    Shefali Oza

    BBC Midlands Today

    Heavy showers and thunderstorms will die away through the evening to leave a dry night. 

    Cloud will tend to thin and break, perhaps allowing some patchy mist or fog to form during the early hours with lows of 7C (45F).

    Video content

    Video caption: Watch: Weather forecast for West Midlands
  3. Latest headlines: GPS inmate trial to be carried out in the West Midlands; Electric blanket started caravan fire

    Stephanie Barnard

    BBC Local Live

    The top stories in the BBC WM newsroom include:

    - A new scheme to track the movements of inmates using GPS technology will be trialled in the West Midlands

    - A man arrested in Birmingham on suspicion of Syria-related terrorism offences is released on bail

    - An electric blanket was the cause of a fire in a caravan near Cannock in which a man died, say firefighters 

  4. Watch: 2,500 miles to Wembley

    BBC Midlands Today

    How far would you go to get a ticket for the FA Cup final?

    Stu Wilkinson and Tom Lynn have followed the winners of every single round – starting with Gornal Athletic vs Bromsgrove Sporting back in August, via places like Chasetown, Doncaster and Reading.

    Video content

    Video caption: 2,500 miles to Wembley
  5. Aston Expressway: Lane blocked

    BBC Travel

    There's one lane blocked and queuing traffic on the A38(M) Aston Expressway outbound in Birmingham between A38, Dartmouth Circus and B4132, Park Circus, because of a broken down car, BBC Travel news reports.

    There's also a lane blocked and slow traffic on the M6 northbound between J6 A38(M) Aston Expressway and J7, A34 (Great Barr), because of a broken down vehicle. Congestion to J5, A452 (Castle Bromwich).  

  6. Walsall must manage their 'emotions'

    Ged Scott

    BBC Sport

    Walsall boss Jon Whitney says the Saddlers must manage their "emotions" in Thursday's play-off semi-final with Barnsley.

    Whitney's side would make history if they turned round a three-goal deficit.

    No team has even come back to win from three goals down since English football first brought in the play-offs in 1987.

    Walsall interim head coach Jon Whitney
  7. Analysis: The future of Aston Villa

    Mark Regan

    BBC WM Sport

    After years of trying it appears Randy Lerner may be about to sell Aston Villa.

    Following the shock resignations of Mervyn King and David Bernstein from the Villa board Chairman Steve Hollis revealed in statement that he was in “extensive negotiations” related to the sale of the club. 

    Since then speculation has been rife as to who may be tempted to take over from Lerner as owner.

    Former Everton Chief Executive Keith Wyness

    It appears that a solo Chinese investor is closing in on completing the deal for a fee believed to be in the region of £60m. 

    The identity of this potential new owner is as yet unknown but one man that has been linked with playing a key role in the deal is former Everton Chief Executive Keith Wyness (pictured), who would be in line for a similar role at Villa if the deal goes through.

  8. Watch: There are lots of 'ifs buts and maybes' in Villa deal

    BBC WM Sport

    Here's Mark Regan with a run down on what's happening with the Aston Villa story today.

    The club could be sold by the end of the week for as little as £60m.

    Video content

    Video caption: Latest on Villa Takeover
  9. Terror suspect released on bail

    A man arrested in Birmingham on suspicion of Syria-related terrorism offences has been released on bail. 

    The 21-year-old was detained yesterday morning by police in Handsworth. 

    The West Midlands counter terror unit say he's been bailed under strict conditions pending further enquiries. 

  10. Fatal fire at caravan park caused by electric blanket

    A fatal fire at a caravan park in south Staffordshire was caused by an electric blanket, the fire service says.

    Firefighters arrived at St James's caravan park on New Road, Featherstone, in the early hours of Monday and spent more than five hours tackling the blaze, although there was nothing that could be done to save an elderly man found at the scene.

    The fire

    Staffordshire Fire and Rescue is urging people to get their electric blankets tested and said all older or faulty blankets should be replaced.

  11. 'New Street Metro could be open by bank holiday'

    Peter Plisner

    BBC Midlands Today

    Birmingham Metro is delayed for a second time due to track alignment issues.

    The original plan was to open the Metro extension at the same time as the revamped New Street station last September.

    The opening was then put back to the end of the year, but safety concerns over the Christmas shopping period meant another deadline was missed.

    Metro station in Birmingham

    Now the issues with the track mean this weekend's grand opening is off too.

    Once the latest issues have been resolved the tram drivers need to be trained on the new section of track.

    That's expected to take around a week, which means that if all goes well, the Metro extension could be ready to carry its first passengers on the bank holiday weekend.

  12. Councillor 'asked to cancel wife and son's tickets'

    Alex Homer

    BBC News Online

    A former deputy council leader "interfered" in parking tickets issued to members of his family, a lawyer has found.

    A leaked report also alleges Mahboob Hussain tipped off his son about the upcoming sale of a Sandwell Council property.

    Sandwell councillor Mahboob Hussain 'asked to cancel wife and son's tickets'

    Author James Goudie QC suggested Labour's Mr Hussain committed six council code of conduct breaches.

    Mr Hussain, now suspended by Labour, has previously denied any wrongdoing.

  13. Villa buy out announcement could coincide with new manager

    Pat Murphy

    BBC Midlands football reporter

    Aston Villa could be sold for as little as £60m by the end of the week.

    The unnamed buyer's team is now looking over Villa's financial records.

    Former Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson and ex-Chelsea and West Bromwich Albion boss Roberto Di Matteo are the two favoured candidates to replace Remi Garde. 

    Pearson and Di Matteo
    Image caption: Pearson and Di Matteo

    The double announcement of new owner and manager could coincide, but there are still numerous hurdles to be cleared.    

  14. BBC Midlands Today: Stories we're working on

    BBC Midlands Today

    Anthony Bartram, Producer

    We have a huge story today, particularly if you are a basketball fan! He’s 6ft 11in and one of the biggest names in NBA history. 

    Retired Houston Rockets star Hakeem Olujawon (pictured), has moved his family to the West Midlands and is now putting his skills to good use by helping a small community basketball club in Birmingham. 

    Hakeem’s not the only big name on the programme tonight...

    Hakeem Olujawon playing basketball

    As Jaguar launches its new F-Pace in the UK we’ll be giving the new “sports utility” the once over with motoring experts and talking to workers on the production line. 

    Finally if you’ve been toiling away in the garden you’ll be interested in our weather presenter Rebecca Wood’s assignment today. 

    She’s at Coventry University looking at the latest biomechanics research which uses computerised avatars to assess how much a spot of weeding can improve your health. Join us on BBC One from 18:30 tonight.