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Summary

  1. Updates on Wednesday 18 January
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Thursday 19 January

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

Live updates from Merseyside and west Cheshire have finished for the day, but we'll be back from 08:00 on Thursday with more of the latest news, sport, travel and weather.  

Weather: Cloudy but mild tonight

BBC Weather

It's going to stay cloudy and mild for most places overnight. 

The winds will be light and the cloud thick enough for a little drizzle over the hills and there could be some patchy hill fog too. 

Minimum temperature: 6C.

weather
BBC

Thursday will be mostly cloudy once again with patchy light rain or drizzle, mainly over the hills. Winds will remain light and hill fog will persist in places with a maximum temperature of 9C.

More from BBC Weather

Watch: Birth of baby elephant caught on camera at Chester Zoo

Football: Vassell returns to Chester on loan

BBC Sport

Chester have resigned Walsall full-back Theo Vassell on a youth loan from Walsall until the end of the season.

Theo Vassell
Walsall FC

Bereaved dad to meet FA Cup 'guardian angels'

A man who was watching Plymouth Argyle play Liverpool at Anfield when he found out his son had died is to be reunited with two men who comforted him.  

Kevin and Daniel May
Kevin May
Kevin May: "Home Park is where I go to worship and for them to be thinking of Daniel is beyond words"

Argyle fan Kevin May was at the clubs' FA Cup tie on 8 January when he received a text with the news.

His son Daniel, 25, was quadriplegic, blind and had cerebral palsy following an operation he had as a baby.

Liverpool have brought the unnamed men to Home Park for Wednesday night's replay, along with a special banner.

Bearing the slogan "RIP Daniel May You'll Never Walk Alone", it will be unfurled at the cup tie.

Arrest after 'armed containment' in Birkenhead

A man has been arrested following a stand-off with armed police at a house in Birkenhead. 

Officers went to the property in Raffles Road at about 08:10 this morning to execute a warrant in relation to an investigation into cannabis cultivation.

Rafflkes Road
BBC

When they arrived a man barricaded himself in a room with an eight-month-old baby and an "armed containment" ensued, police said.

Specialist negotiators were called to persuade him out and at 14:20, a 25-year-old man from Prenton was arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon, affray and drug-related offences.

A number of weapons were recovered from the property, including a crossbow and a machete.

The baby was taken from the house unharmed.

Severe accident: M62 Cheshire westbound

BBC Travel

M62 Cheshire westbound severe accident, between J8 for Burtonwood Road and J7 for A57 Warrington Road affecting J10 for M6.

M62 Cheshire - Severe delays and queuing traffic on M62 westbound between J8 Burtonwood Road and J7, A57 (Rainhill Stoops), because of an accident. Congestion to J10, M6 (Croft Interchange).

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

P&O ferry workers jailed for drug smuggling operation

Two P&O ferry workers who conspired to smuggle cocaine into the UK have been jailed for 16 years each.

Mark Quilliam, Edward Tron
Hull News & Pictures

Edward Tron, 51, from Gateshead, and Mark Quilliam, 55, from Liverpool, used their positions to smuggle cocaine into Hull from Rotterdam, their trial heard.

Tron, a steward, and Quilliam, a chef, made up to £60,000 a trip over a six-year-period, Hull Crown Court was told.

Football: Karius set to start for Liverpool against Plymouth

BBC Sport

Liverpool keeper Loris Karius is set to start for Liverpool in tonight's FA Cup replay, but the third-round tie is likely to come too soon for injured pair Nathaniel Clyne and Lucas Leiva.

Loris Karius
Reuters

Right-back Clyne (rib) and midfielder Lucas (knee) both missed Sunday's 1-1 draw at Manchester United.

Liverpool have also opted to leave out centre-back Joel Matip after being forced to pull him out of the match at Old Trafford amid a dispute with Cameroon's football association.

Klopp named the youngest starting line-up in Liverpool's history in the original tie at Anfield, seeing his side held to a 0-0 draw by the League Two promotion chasers.

The winners of Wednesday's replay will host Championship side Wolves in the fourth round on 28 January.

M62 reopens after serious crash

All lanes have now reopened on the M62 after a crash this morning.

A woman was seriously injured after her car veered off the M62 near Warrington and hit a tree. 

It happened just before 07:00 on the Liverpool-bound carriageway between Junction 8 at Burtonwood and Junction 7 for St Helens and Rainhill Stoops. 

Latest headlines in Merseyside and west Cheshire

Hundreds evacuated in major gas leak in Liverpool

Hundreds of people have had to leave buildings in Liverpool city centre following a major gas leak caused by a "ruptured pipe".  

students
BBC

Offices and homes were evacuated on London Road after the leak occurred at 13:50 near Moss Street.

Police decided not to evacuate the nearby Royal Liverpool University but it is thought ambulances will have to be redirected due to road closures.

A 165ft (50m) cordon was placed around the leak, causing major travel delays.

Major gas leak: Road closures in place

Homes, businesses, shops and student accommodation have been evacuated Liverpool city centre due to a major gas leak, believed to have been caused by workmen rupturing a gas pipe in London Road.

Moss Street, Devon Street, Daulby Street and Prescot Street past the Royal Liverpool University Hospital are currently closed and there are heavy delays.

Access to the Royal Liverpool University Hospital is not affected, Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service says.

Major gas leak: Major disruption in city centre

There's major disruption in Liverpool city centre due to a gas leak on London Road near the Royal Hospital. 

London Road
BBC

Police believe it's been caused by workmen rupturing a gas pipe. 

Merseytravel have told passengers to expect delays on all their city centre services and motorists are being told to avoid the area completely. 

Major gas leak: Cordon in place near Liverpool Royal Hospital

There has been a major gas leak in Liverpool city centre. 

London Road is closed near to the Royal University Hospital and local buildings have been evacuated. The hospital has not closed.

A 50m cordon has been set up and police are advising people to avoid the city centre.

Daulby Street
BBC
Major gas leak
BBC

Major gas leak: People asked to avoid Liverpool City Centre

Major gas leak: City centre road closures

Major gas leak: Road cordoned off

This is the scene in Daulby Street, Liverpool, where people are being evacuated from nearby homes because of a major gas leak.

Daulby Street
BBC

Emergency services are at the scene and motorists are being advised to avoid the area because of heavy delays.

British Gas Transco are also at the scene.

Major gas leak: Workmen 'ruptured gas pipe'

Merseyside Police say they believe the gas leak was caused by workmen rupturing a gas pipe in London Road.

Major gas leak: Buses redirected

Major gas leak: Public transport subject to 'extreme delays'

BreakingMajor gas leak in Liverpool city centre

London Road in Liverpool is closed in both directions due to a major gas leak, with nearby residents evacuated, the city council has said.

Motorists have been urged to avoid Liverpool city centre due to congestion.

More to follow

Weather: Dull but dry afternoon

BBC Weather

A dull and mainly dry afternoon. Chance of the odd spot of drizzle but a few bright spells are also possible. Highs of 9C.

More from BBC Weather

Severe disruption: A5048 Merseyside both ways

BBC Travel

A5048 Merseyside both ways severe disruption, between A5047 Pembroke Road and A580 Islington.

A5048 Merseyside - A5048 Daulby Street in Liverpool closed and queuing traffic in both directions between the A5047 Pembroke Road junction and the A580 Islington junction, because of a police incident.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Football: Liverpool leave Matip out of replay

BBC Sport

Liverpool have decided not to include Joel Matip for the FA Cup replay at Plymouth as confusion over the defender's availability goes on.

Joel Matip
Getty Images

The Reds failed to get clearance from Fifa on whether he could play for his club during the African Cup of Nations.

Matic, 25, 'refused to play' for Cameroon after being named in their preliminary squad.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp hinted he would select Matip regardless but chose not to after taking legal advice.

Klopp claims he has been told that Fifa will decide by Friday whether an investigation into Matip's situation is necessary.

Man wanted in connection with assault in Skelmersdale

A man is wanted in connection with an assault which left a woman with a fractured jaw and damaged teeth in Skelmersdale in December.

Andrew McNair
Lancashire Constabulary

Andrew McNair, 24, of Willow Hey in Skelmersdale is described as white, 6ft 4in tall, with ginger hair, brown eyes and tattoos on his arm and neck. He also speaks with a Liverpudlian accent. 

Police officers are asking anyone with information to contact them but urge the public not to approach him.

Community centre which faced closure celebrating £280,000 grant

St Helens Star

A St Helens community centre which faced the threat of closure 18 months ago has secured a grant of more than £280,000 to enable it to expand its communal activities.  

'Ongoing police incident' in Birkenhead

This was the scene in Birkenhead this morning, where armed after police were called to a house on Raffles Road at about 08:10.

Raffles Road, Birkenhead
BBC

The road remains closed and there are few details at this stage - but the force says it is an "ongoing incident".   

Police incident in Birkenhead
BBC
Police incident in Birkenhead
BBC

One lane reopens on M62 after serious crash

A woman has been seriously injured after her car veered off the M62 near Warrington and hit a tree. 

It happened just before 07:00 this morning on the Liverpool-bound carriageway between Junction 8 at Burtonwood and Junction 7 for St Helens and Rainhill Stoops. 

One lane has now reopened on the carriageway, which was closed for five and a half hours this morning while police investigation work took place.

Merseyside Police are appealing for witnesses

Latest headlines in Merseyside and west Cheshire

  • The M62 westbound near Warrington remains closed after a woman's car veered off the motorway and hit a tree this morning
  • Armed police have been called to a house in Birkenhead  
  • Merseyside features in a list of the top ten areas where organised dog fighting is reported to police, RSPCA figures show

New Maghull railway station decision expected

Plans for a new railway station in Merseyside are expected to be given the go-ahead later. 

Merseyrail
El Pollock / Geograph

The £13m Maghull North station will be on the Ormskirk branch of the Northern Line.

It will be the town's second station and has been designed to cope with its growing population. 

If approved by councillors in Sefton today, building work would start later in the year.

Woman 'serious' after M62 crash

A woman is in a serious condition in hospital after a crash on the M62 westbound this morning.

Police are appealing for information following the incident, which saw a black Vauxhall Corsa hit a tree between Junction 8 and Junction 7, near Warrington, at about 06:50.

The female driver has been taken to hospital for treatment.

The motorway remains closed westbound while collision investigators try to establish what happened.

Owner of Southport 'drugs den' flats fined £36,000 for unsafe living conditions

Southport Visiter

The landlord of a Southport property closed by police following reports of drug activity has been ordered to pay more than £36,000 for failing to comply with housing regulations.  

Hightown mobile phone mast plans decision due

A plan to build a 68ft (21m) mobile phone tower in the heart of a village in Sefton's expected to be approved by councillors later.

Hightown
Google

Clarke Telecom has submitted plans for the mast in Hightown, which it says will boost reception for the area's 02 and Vodafone customers. 

However, 400 people have signed a petition against the plan, saying it is "inappropriate" for the village. 

Armed police at scene of 'ongoing incident' in Birkenhead

Armed police have been called to a house in Birkenhead, Wirral, this morning. 

Raffles Road near the library has been closed by police.

There are few details at this stage - but the force says it is an "ongoing incident".

Latest headlines in Merseyside and west Cheshire

  • Merseyside features in a list of the top ten areas where organised dog fighting is reported to police, RSPCA figures show  
  • A Chester homeless charity is calling on the council to provide daytime shelter for rough sleepers during winter  
  • Part of the M62 westbound has been closed due to a serious accident - the carriageway between Junction 8 and 7 will stay shut for several hours

Football: Everton's move for Belfodil stalls

BBC Sport

Everton's £10.4m deal for Standard Liege striker Ishak Belfodil has stalled and may now be abandoned.

Ishak Belfodil
Getty Images

The move was close to completion at the end of last week and the 24-year-old was awaiting clearance to fly to Merseyside from Standard's warm weather training camp in Spain to complete the formalities and undergo a medical.  

St Helens Council could be next to back ban of The Sun newspaper

St Helens could become the latest local council to ask retailers to stop selling The Sun. 

The Sun newspaper
PA

A motion is being considered at a full council meeting later today. 

Wirral, Liverpool, Sefton and West Lancashire councils have already to voted to support the campaign, which was launched in protest at the paper's coverage of the Hillsborough disaster.

Chester homeless charity calls for day time shelter for rough sleepers

A Chester homeless charity is calling on the council to provide daytime shelter for rough sleepers during winter.

Homeless man
Getty Images

Organisation, Share, wants a day centre to be set up in addition to the shelter provided at night. 

In a statement Cheshire West and Chester Council said: "We operate a robust Severe Weather Emergency protocol, which works to ensure that anyone who is homeless has access to services throughout the day as well as the night time during the colder months."