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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

  1. Thanks for joining us

    That's all from our live coverage for Wednesday. Many thanks for joining us.

    We'll be back from 09:00 on Thursday with more of the latest on the coronavirus pandemic and all of the rest of the day's news.

    Have a good evening.

  2. Weather presenter's drumming causes online storm

    BBC North West Tonight weather presenter Owain Wyn Evans has caused a storm on social media when he finished his forecast with a video of him playing the drums to the BBC News theme tune.

    Owain tweeted: "When they said try working from home, I didn't realise they'd expect me to do the music too."

    The footage has already had more than 1.4m views on Twitter.

    Video content

    Video caption: Weather presenter goes viral drumming to BBC News theme
  3. Pogba's trick shots or James Milner being James Milner?

    BBC Sport

    BBC Sport's Quarantine & Chill has produced a football in isolation special, which is packed with delights like Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba's trick shots and Liverpool's James Milner doing James Milner things.

    More from BBC Sport

    Video content

    Video caption: Quarantine and Chill: 10 of our favourite clips from footballers in isolation
  4. Hillsborough: MP to table 'disaster advocate' bill in Parliament

    Plans to create a dedicated independent advisor to work on behalf of families bereaved in major disasters are to be put forward by an MP.

    Maria Eagle

    Maria Eagle, who campaigned with the Hillsborough families for more than 30 years, is due to introduce the Public Advocate Bill in Parliament next week.

    It would create a top-level advisor to support families and liaise with officials such as coroners and lawyers.

    The Garston and Halewood MP said the Hillsborough families had "been through hell".

    The former justice minister worked with some of the families, who lost relatives in the 1989 football stadium disaster, as part of her work as a solicitor in Liverpool and later as a Labour MP in the city.

  5. Council cuts cost of burials and cremations to 'help bereaved'

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Oldham Council has said it will cut the price of burials and cremations by £100 for six months to support bereaved families.

    Shaw Cemetery

    The authority said it was freezing fees and charges as the number of deaths from coronavirus continues to rise, reducing the cost of burials or cremations from £860 to £760 from the beginning of April until the end of September and setting a cremation of £545, down to £445.

    A council spokesman said:

    Quote Message: We appreciate dealing with the death of family member or friend can be very traumatic [and] in these unprecedented times, when there are restrictions on the number of mourners who can attend a funeral, we understand that this could add to the pain and sense of loss.
    Quote Message: We want to do as much as we can to support residents at this difficult time and help the bereaved, if we can, in any way.
  6. Councillor's parents 'return to dressmaking roots' to help NHS

    Councillor Suzanne Richards, who represents the Longsight ward in Manchester, has tweeted about her pride in her parents, who have returned "to their dressmaking roots" to make scrubs for the NHS.

    View more on twitter
  7. Eastern Europeans to be flown in to pick fruit and veg

    BBC Business News

    Eastern European farm workers are being flown to the UK on charter flights to pick fruit and vegetable crops.

    Farm worker picking apples

    Air Charter Service has told the BBC that the first flight will land on Thursday carrying 150 Romanian farm workers.

    The firm told the BBC that the plane is the first of up to six set to operate between mid-April and the end of June.

    The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has not yet responded to a request for comment.

    British farmers recently warned that crops could be left to rot in the field because of a shortage of seasonal workers from Eastern Europe. Travel restrictions due to the coronavirus lockdown have meant most workers have stayed at home.

  8. GMP issue 38 fines for breaching coronavirus rules

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    A total of 38 people have been fined by Greater Manchester Police for breaking lockdown rules under new powers aimed to tackle the coronavirus outbreak, the force's chief constable has said.

    Ian Hopkins

    Ian Hopkins said the force had taken a “measured” approach by engaging with people before resorting to prosecution and fines.

    He said officers had been told not to issue fines for breaking lockdown rules if another offence, such as possession of drugs, had been committed.

    Most of those fined had previous convictions for offences, such as knife crime and robbery, and six were from outside of Greater Manchester.

    The chief constable said:

    Quote Message: The legislation has only been with us for a few weeks. We’ve not had the opportunity to train officers in the way we would usually train them. And I think we are doing pretty well.

    He added that in general, people had been "supportive of the measures" but policing the Easter weekend had been "a real challenge".

    Quote Message: We saw over 1,000 incidents reported to the police to us over the bank holiday weekend [and] we are following those up with local authorities, with housing trusts, particularly for those now who are repeat offenders so that we can work with those other organisations to deal with those.
  9. University donates equipment for NHS and key workers

    Edge Hill University has donated personal protective equipment and advanced machinery to the government to help fight coronavirus.

    Edge Hill University campus

    The university's donation includes PPE, freezers and polymerase chain reaction machines, which can screen patients for symptoms.

    It has also offered to house NHS or emergency services staff who have to self-isolate from their families, and will release any qualified member of staff on full pay if they wish to temporarily rejoin the NHS.

    Dr Clare Strode, who teaches biology, said:

    Quote Message: We’re delighted that we could loan out vital equipment to help our country during this health crisis and we are willing to loan out more equipment should the need arise.
  10. Liverpool City Region launches £400k creative businesses fund

    A £400,000 fund has been launched to aid coronavirus-hit creative industries in the Liverpool City Region.

    Rodney Street, Liverpool

    Film and TV-related firms can apply for project investments of up to £25,000.

    Grants of up to £5,000 and loans topping that up to £10,000 will be available for the music sector.

    David Jones, who runs Presto Music School in Liverpool, said the support would prove "critical" to firms like his and play a key role in protecting the region's "rich musical heritage".

    Announcing the support package, metro mayor Steve Rotheram said the industries were "at the beating heart" of the region's identity.

  11. Pharmacies ask people to not stockpile medicine

    Community Pharmacy Lancashire, which represents pharmacies in the county, has said it is under "intense pressure" and is asking people to take steps to help reduce strain on the service.

    A Pharmacy Sign

    The association asks people to avoid pharmacies if they are showing any symptoms of Covid-19, and also to only order medicine as normal to avoid stockpiling.

    A spokesman said:

    Quote Message: Ordering extra prescriptions and buying more over the counter medicines than you need will contribute to disruption to the medicines supply chain.

    Pharmacies in Lancashire may also have to reduce their opening hours to give staff time to prepare prescriptions and restock shelves.

  12. Tributes paid to disabled suspected murder victim

    Tributes have been paid to a paraplegic man from Kirkham who police believe was murdered last week.

    Lee Walker

    The body of Lee Walker was found in Chestnut Close on 8 April.

    In a statement, his family said he had "tried so hard adapting to becoming paraplegic", adding: We are all so proud of him."

    A Lancashire Police spokesman said the cause of the 47-year-old's death was "unascertained" despite a post-mortem examination having been carried out.

    A 39-year-old woman from Preston was arrested on suspicion of murder but released pending further investigation.

  13. Eight residents die at Waterloo care home

    Eight residents have died with suspected coronavirus at a care home in Merseyside, bosses have said.

    Green Heys Care Home

    Green Heys care home in Waterloo has lost a "devastating number" in the past two weeks, said Community Integrated Care which runs the home.

    It provides care for up to 44 older people.

    Fifteen people are believed to have died from the virus at Oak Springs Care Home in Liverpool.

  14. HS2 construction gets green light despite lockdown

    BBC Business News

    The government has given formal approval for construction work on the HS2 rail project to begin despite lockdown measures.

    The high-speed rail project is set to link London with Manchester and Leeds via Birmingham.

    HS2

    Construction firms involved in phase one of the high-speed rail project will need to follow social distancing rules.

    HS2 minister Andrew Stephenson said: "We cannot delay work on our long-term plan to level up the country."

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson approved the decision to build the rail link in February after a review into its cost.

    Matthew Kilcoyne, deputy director of the free-market Adam Smith Institute, called the government's announcement "tone-deaf" in the light of the coronavirus pandemic.

  15. Council warns public about email and letter fraud

    Bolton Council has warned people in the borough about fake letters and emails that are circulating which claim to be from the authority.

    Bolton Council building

    Scams include an email asking parents for bank details to get free school meals and a fake letter warning businesses that they are being reported for selling food to the public.

    The letter contains spelling errors and says businesses must shut until they have been visited by a council officer.

    Councillor Adele Warren said:

    Quote Message: During such a worrying time for everyone, it is really sad that there are some people trying to take advantage using fraudulent means.
    Quote Message: I would urge everyone to be vigilant and if they suspect a letter, email or service is a scam, they should ignore or delete it and then report it to the authorities.
  16. Dog walkers help isolated owners

    BBC News UK

    Many people across the UK are unable to leave their home due to the coronavirus outbreak. So what happens if you have a dog that needs a daily walk?

    The answer is a rapidly growing network of volunteer dog walkers.

    The BBC's David Sillito has been talking to a canine charity that’s now coordinating a national network to help vulnerable and isolated dog owners.

    Video content

    Video caption: Coronavirus: Dog walkers help isolated owners
  17. A minute's silence for the 96 who died at Hillsborough

    At 15:06 on 15 April 1989, the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough stadium in Sheffield was stopped as a fatal crush developed on the terrace being used by Reds supporters.

    Thirty-one years on, the city of Liverpool and the wider world will pause to observe a minute's silence and remember the 96 men, women and children who died in the UK's worst sporting disaster.

    Hillsborough victims

    A final memorial service was due to be held at Anfield on the 31st anniversary of the tragedy but had to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.