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  1. Updates on Wednesday 29 June 2016
  2. The latest News, Sport, Travel and Weather from 08:00 Thursday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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  1. Our live coverage across the day

    Live updates for Devon and Cornwall have finished for the day, but we'll be back at 08:00 on Thursday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather. 

    Don't forget Spotlight will have the latest news on BBC One at 18:30 and 22:30. There will also be news through the night on your BBC Local Radio station.

  2. Soldier took grandfather's 'WW1 life-saving spoon' on Iraq deployment

    Andrew Segal

    Local Live

    A former soldier kept a silver spoon believed to have saved his grandfather's life in World War One. He carried it with him when he served in the Middle East in the 1990s, he has revealed as the world prepares to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme on 1 July.

    Spoon. Pic: Royal British Legion/PA Wire

    Henry Cooper, from Manchester, was 20 when shot in the chest during the 1916 battle. His family believes he survived - although badly wounded - because the bullet was deflected by the spoon and a Bible in his left jacket pocket, his grandson, 54-year-old Rod Cooper, from Paignton, Devon, said.

    Rod Cooper in Iraq in 1991. Pic: Royal British Legion/PA Wire

    Rod served in the Royal Lancers from 1982-2014 and carried it while serving in Iraq in 1991 (pictured). He said: "My mother gave me the spoon just before I left the UK... as a token of good luck and asked me to keep it in my pocket." He added: "I'm not overly superstitious but it seemed harmless and like a good idea."

  3. Latest weather: Getting drier and brighter

    David Braine, Weather Forecaster

    The wind will ease tonight as the rain slowly clears eastwards through this evening, leaving a cloudy but mostly dry night across the county. Minimum temperature: 11C (52F).


    Thursday will be much drier and brighter with sunny spells, although cloud will thicken to bring a few showers during the afternoon. Maximum temperature: 18C (64F).

  4. Labour 'facing election wipe-out if Corbyn remains as leader'

    Janet Kipling

    BBC Radio Devon

    Exeter's Labour MP says the Labour Party will be "wiped out" in a general election if Jeremy Corbyn remains as leader.

    Ben Bradshaw said: "Anybody who cares about the Labour Party, who cares about the people who need a Labour government, and who will need a Labour government even more because of the fallout from the referendum, can only reach that same conclusion."

    A challenge to Mr Corbyn's Labour leadership is expected following a no-confidence vote by MPs. Prime Minister David Cameron has also told Mr Corbyn to resign as leader, claiming it was not in the national interest for him to continue. Mr Corbyn said quitting would betray all the members that back him.

  5. Latest headlines in Devon and Cornwall

    Andrew Segal

    Local Live

    • An inquest is told that failure to apply parking brakes is the likely cause of death of a man crushed by his own skip lorry at Derriford Hospital
    • Two surgeries in south east Cornwall are to close from Friday, NHS England says
    • A Devon MP says the Labour Party will be "wiped out" in a general election if Jeremy Corbyn remains as leader
    • Exeter City Football Club say they are "bitterly disappointed" local residents are threatening legal action to try to block a proposed redevelopment of their ground
    • Women from across the South West take part in protests at home and in London over changes to the state pension age
  6. Smarter artificial lighting could 'stop trees from budding early'

    Andrew Segal

    Local Live

    Smarter artificial lighting could be developed to be "kinder to nature" and prevent trees from budding prematurely, causing an early springtime, a scientist says.

    Researchers at the University of Exeter’s Penryn campus in Cornwall found the key sign of spring was occurring up to 7.5 days earlier in brighter areas because of artificial night-time light.

    Beech leaf. Pic: Christine Martin

    Professor Richard ffrench-Constant, of the Department of Biosciences, said the effect was "bad for nature, particularly because of the knock-on effects" to other species reliant on when trees bloomed, such as caterpillars, which, in turn, provided food for birds. 

    He added: "A positive from this research is that we found red lighting to be particularly culpable for this effect. We may now have the opportunity to create 'smart lighting' that is kinder to nature."

  7. Exeter Chiefs facing Clermont Auvergne and Bordeaux again

    BBC Sport

    Exeter Chiefs will face the same two French sides as they did last year in the group stages of the European Champions Cup. 

    The Premiership runners-up have been drawn against Clermont Auvergne and Bordeaux in Pool 5, along with PRO12 side Ulster, who they host in a pre-season friendly on 20 August.

  8. Smoking in cars law 'not going to see large amount of police effort'

    Tamsin Melville

    Political Reporter, BBC Radio Cornwall

    Anti-smoking campaigners admit they are "never going to see the police putting a large amount of effort" into enforcing a law banning people from smoking in cars with children inside.  

    Legislation introduced in October 2015 makes it illegal to smoke in a vehicle carrying someone who is under 18. It follows advice from health experts, who said it was necessary to protect about 3m children a year exposed in this way to the effects of second-hand smoke.

    Smoker in car. Pic: PA

    However, in its first seven months since, only three police forces in England and Wales reported incidents, and all were dealt with by verbal warnings. Devon and Cornwall Police issued one warning.

    Deborah Arnott, from Action on Smoking and Health, said: "This is a social law. But by having the legislation and penalties we send a strong message to people that this is no longer acceptable."

  9. Exeter City 'bitterly disappointed' over legal action threat to redevelopment

    BBC Radio Devon

    Exeter City Football Club say they are "bitterly disappointed" after local residents said they would take legal action to try to block a proposed redevelopment of St James' Park.

    The Secretary of State declined to call in the city council's granting of planning permission to build student accommodation as part of the project, which would also see the old Stagecoach Stand replaced.

    The St James Forum has indicated it would seek a judicial review over the increase in student numbers in the area.

  10. Fatal lorry crash was 'like an explosion'

    View more on twitter

    Lee Jane, 56, was crushed as he tried to stop the vehicle running away at Plymouth's Derriford Hospital in June 2015. 

    The jury inquest, which started this morning in Plymouth, is due to last three days.  

  11. Plymouth Albion re-sign Freestone and Williams

    James Law

    BBC Sport Online

    National One side Plymouth Albion have re-signed hooker Rupert Freestone and back-row forward Dan Williams.

    Freestone, 25, made 27 appearances for Albion last season and has been part of Cornwall's County Championship-winning squad for the last two summers.


    Ex-Newton Abbot player Williams, 27, has also played county rugby with Devon and represented England Counties in Canada earlier this month.  

  12. Surgeries to close in south east Cornwall from Friday

    BBC Radio Cornwall

    Two surgeries in south east Cornwall are to close from 1 July.

    NHS England said arrangements couldn't yet be finalised for the Rame Group Practice to run services at Millbrook and Lodge House.

    It said patients were being asked to register either with the nearby Rame Group, or with another practice. It added that staff at the Rame Group were ready to handle new registrations as a matter of urgency, having already taken on several hundred patients in recent weeks.

  13. Women protest in Truro state pension changes

    BBC Radio Cornwall

    About 50 women have staged a demonstration in the centre of Truro in protest at the raising of the state pension age for them.

    Women Against State Pension Age Inequality protest in Truro

    The Cornish members of Women Against State Pension Age Inequality marched to the office of Conservative MP Sarah Newton, saying they wanted to voice their concerns about the changes.

    Many women born between April 1951 and 1960 have claimed they were not aware the age was being raised by up to six years so the start of pay-outs would be equalised for men and women by 2020. The Department for Work and Pensions said the equalisation of the pension age was announced more than 20 years ago and righted a "longstanding inequality".

  14. Plymouth landlord left with £10,000 clean-up bill after tenants from hell

    The Daily Mail

    A father-of-two has issued a warning to fellow landlords after the "tenants from hell" left his three-bedroom maisonette covered in faeces and urine.

  15. Silver spoon 'saved Battle of the Somme soldier's life'

    Andrew Segal

    Local Live

    A soldier shot during the Battle of the Somme in World War One survived as the bullet hit a silver spoon and Bible he kept in his jacket, his grandson has revealed as the world prepares to mark the 100th anniversary of the battle on 1 July.

    Rod Cooper. Pic Royal British Legion/PA Wire

    Henry Cooper was aged 20 when hit in the chest during the battle in 1916. The bullet was deflected by the items in his left jacket pocket before it pierced his skin. Manchester-born Mr Cooper then spent months in hospital in Southampton recovering. His family kept the spoon after his death in the 1970s.

    His grandson, 54-year-old Rod Cooper, from Paignton, said: "The bullet punctured some of his major organs, including his lung. It was lodged inside him and had to be removed. He suffered as a result of his injuries later in life." But he added that his family still believed the spoon had saved his grandfather's life.

    The battle, in northern France, was one of the bloodiest of the war, lasting 141 days and resulting in more than 1m men being wounded or killed.

  16. Early spring budding from artificial light 'could impact wildlife'

    Andrew Segal

    Local Live

    Scientists who say artificial night-time lighting is causing trees to burst into leaf early, have raised concerns that the impact of the phenomenon could have a knock-on effect on other wildlife.

    Ash buds. Pic: Judith Garforth

    Researchers at the University of Exeter’s Penryn campus in Cornwall compared 13 years of data about artificial night-time light across the country and when new leaves and buds first appeared on trees such as sycamore, oak, ash (pictured) and beech. They found the key sign of spring was occurring up to 7.5 days earlier in brighter areas.

    The scientists said they believed "early bud bursting" would have a "cascade effect" on other organisms whose life cycles work in synchronicity with the trees. It said the proliferation of the winter moth, for example, which fed on fresh emerging oak leaves, was likely to be affected. That could impact on birds in the food chain that relied on it for food, the university said.

  17. Plymouth Argyle sign Latvia international centre-back

    James Law

    BBC Sport Online

    Plymouth Argyle have signed Latvia international defender Nauris Bulvitis subject to a medical, while Pilgrims striker Ryan Brunt has signed a new contract.

    Argyle will be Bulvitis' ninth club in six countries, including Lithuania, Slovakia, Switzerland and his homeland.

    Nauris Bulvitis

    In the 2009-10 season the 29-year-old was on loan at Inverness, helping them win promotion to the Scottish Premier League as First Division champions.