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Two charged with drug supply

Two men have been charged with drug supply offences after an investigation into the alleged movement of drugs from Wolverhampton into Worcestershire, Staffordshire and Derbyshire.

The two, both 26 and from Wolverhampton, have been charged with three counts of conspiring to supply heroin and three counts of conspiring to supply crack cocaine.

They have also been charged with facilitating the travel of another person with a view to exploitation, said Warwickshire Police.

They're both due to appear at Warwick Magistrates' Court on 31 July.

Psychologist says we can all learn from Djokovic

BBC Sport

Visualisation techniques which helped Novak Djokovic win Wimbledon can be used by "almost every human being", a psychologist has said.

Djokovic said after lifting the title "I always try to imagine myself as a winner" and Dr Jennifer Cumming from the University of Birmingham said there has been "tons of research" on the power of imagery in normal life.

novak djokovic
Getty Images

The technique of "imagery" involves creating or recreating an successful experience in your mind, to encourage positive thinking and improve performance.

"Generally we can all capitalise on this and the more we use it, the more we can improve it," Dr Cumming said.

She said we probably already use the technique without realising, for instance re-tracing your steps when you lose your keys, and that it can help in situations like job interviews or exams to imagine, in detail, how they will happen.

Points failure causes delays and cancellations

BBC News Travel

A points failure is causing disruption to rail services between Wolverhampton and Stafford.

Lines are now open but services may still be cancelled, delayed by up to 30 minutes or diverted, the National Rail website reports.

This is expected to continue until approximately 19:30.

CrossCountry, London Northwestern Railway and Virgin Trains services are affected.

In addition, Transport for Wales services between Newport and Hereford have been disrupted by a fault on a train at Abergavenny earlier.

Services may be cancelled, delayed or revised until 17:00.

Reward offered for return of sacred silverware

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

A £10,000 reward is being offered for the return of silverware stolen from the University of Sussex, in Brighton.

The objects, which include two chalices by the sculptor Hans Coper, were taken from the University's sacristy, and are worth £100,000.

Stolen silverware
University of Sussex

The objects were taken after locked doors and containers were forced open at the sacristy in Falmer, sometime between 13:50 and 14:20 GMT on 7 December.

Stolen silverware
University of Sussex

Detectives believe the thief may have connections with Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Wiltshire.

A CCTV image of a man they would like to speak to has been released.

Silverware theft suspect
Sussex Police
Detectives would like to speak to this man about the theft

University staff strike over pay and conditions

Support staff at the University of Birmingham are taking strike action in a row over pay and conditions.

Striking staff

Caterers, cleaners, security guards and other staff who are members of Unison are taking two days of industrial action.

The union says senior managers have refused to negotiate over fair pay and have and imposed a below-inflation pay rise of 2%.

Striking staff

The University of Birmingham said a "very small number" of staff were involved in the industrial action and it remains "business as usual on campus."

“The University has met a number of times with Unison and the other support staff unions over the last week in order to try to bring an end to the action and made an extensive offer around pay and the voluntary Living Wage," it added.

Unemployment down slightly in West Midlands

Unemployment across the UK was 3.8% between March and May 2019. The rate is at its lowest since late 1974.

Unemployment rates

In the West Midlands figures fell slightly to 4.8%, according to the Office for National Statistics. Unemployment is highest in the North East at 5.6%.

Figures also showed wage growth in the UK was 3.6% in the year to May 2019, the highest growth rate since 2008.

Video: What's the weather got in store?

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

It should be a dry and clear night with lows of 7C (45F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Sir Vince Cable in Brexit studies role

Sir Vince Cable will teach at a Centre for Brexit Studies at Birmingham City University, it has been announced.

Sir Vince, who leaves his role as the Liberal Democrat party leader next week, has joined the centre as a visiting professor.

Sir Vince Cable

“The former business secretary has been appointed to the think tank to offer insight and analysis, and brings with him decades of experience working in frontline politics.” the university said.

He will focus on “looking at the economics and scenarios” related to Britain’s exit from the EU.

Playground repaired after 'mineshaft' damage

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Joe Sweeney

A playground in a Wolverhampton park has been closed after damage caused by a suspected mineshaft.

Work is being carried out to make the area in the north of Ashmore Park, Wednesfield, safe after the Coal Authority contacted the city council.

The play area in Ashmore Park, Wednesfield, Wolverhampton,
Wolverhampton City Council

Phil Bateman, Labour councillor for Wednesfield North, said the work was expected to take two weeks but it could be longer.

“At the moment the full works area is fully fenced off, which also includes the skate park, and this will all be fully reinstated upon completion of the works," he said.

The council added the work was being paid for and managed by the Coal Authority and it wanted the area made safe and restored "as soon as possible".

Woman arrested after jewellery stolen

Jewellery with an estimated value of over £15,000 has been taken from an address in Essington, Wolverhampton.

Stolen Jewellery
Staffordshire Police

It's believed the items were taken from an address on Hough Way on 16 June.

A 31-year-old woman, arrested on suspicion of theft, has been released under investigation.

Video: Your 50-second weather forecast

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

It will be a dry and fine day with light winds and highs of 22C (72F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

Clear and dry start to the weekend

Rebecca Wood

BBC Midlands Today

Starting off dry with clear spells tonight, here's the rest of the forecast for the West Midlands:

Rebecca Wood with Friday night's West Midlands weather

You can get the latest forecast for your area at any other time by heading to the BBC Weather website.

Blues, Villa and Wolves news

BBC WM Sport

Marc Roberts scored for Birmingham City in a 1-1 draw against the Portuguese second division side Cova da Piedade, part of Blues' pre-season tour of Portugal.

They lost a penalty shoot-out used at the end to help decide placings in their friendly tournament.

Jonathan Kodjia
Getty Images

Aston Villa's Jonathan Kodjia (pictured) scored for Ivory Coast in their Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final in Egypt last night, but it wasn't enough to see them into the last four.

They were knocked out on penalties after a 1-1 draw with Algeria.

Wolves' first opponents in the Europa League look more likely to be Crusaders from Northern Ireland, after they won the first leg of their tie against B36 of the Faroe Islands last night 2-0.

They'll play again in the Faroes next week, with the winners meeting Wolves for their first-leg game at Molineux on 25 July.

Video: What's the weather got in store?

Rich Davis

BBC Weather presenter

There will be some sunny intervals this evening but also some showers which may be heavy.

It should be a dry night with some clear spells with highs of 13C (55F).

Latest weather for the West Midlands

'Kim Kardashian’s surgeon doesn't work in Wolverhampton'

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Joe Sweeney

People in Wolverhampton are being warned about the dangers of unregulated cosmetic surgery and body art.

Wolverhampton city councillors decided to take action after being shown graphic images of procedures that had gone wrong.

They including people being left with second degree burns, and a woman who was left unable to walk after a pedicure - after a procedure likened to having a potato peeler applied to the skin.

Getty Images

The council's Senior Environmental Health Officer Charlotte Rose told members: "The problem is that anyone can – and does – practise carrying out these procedures with no training. And we are powerless to stop them."

Deputy mayor Greg Brackenridge said something needed to be done, because, “You can guarantee that the guy who works on Kim Kardashian’s backside is not going to be the same as a guy operating in a back alley in Wolverhampton.”

Thunderstorms warning issued

Parts of the West Midlands could be affected by thunderstorms later, with some disruption to travel expected.

View more on twitter

The Met Office has issued a yellow warning which is in place from 13:00 to 21:00.

Complaints about Velo race 'must be addressed'

Local Democracy Reporting Service

The route will be changed for next summer's Velo cycle race in the West Midlands, following complaints over this year's event and Solihull councillors say concerns raised by residents must be addressed before next June.

A council report on the 2019 Velo Birmingham and Midlands noted some disruption was caused and Councillor Joe Tildesley, Solihull’s cabinet member for leisure, tourism and sport, said a planning group would once again meet monthly to discuss preparations.

RB Create Ltd

This year, about 17,000 people took part and the council noted the event had raised more than £1m for charity. Councillor Diana Holl-Allen said it could be seen as a "tremendous success", but there had been some difficulties.

The event faced criticism two years ago, with some residents saying they felt trapped in their homes. This year, a vet said he may have been able to save the life of a horse or its newborn foal had he not been delayed by stewards.

Speaking last month, Velo organisers said they were "committed to growing and improving it year-on-year".

Solihull Council said it planned to increase the number of school and community events around next year's race, to encourage more people to take up cycling and physical activity.

Wet night ahead for West Midlands

Sara Blizzard

BBC Weather

After a pretty dry day, we're in for some rain tonight in the West Midlands, here's the full forecast:

Sara Blizzard

Head to the BBC Weather website at any other time for a latest forecast for your area.

Civic hall 'will reopen on time' despite firm's collapse

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Joe Sweeney

A revamp of Wolverhampton Civic Hall will be finished on time and within budget, a council's pledged.

Wolverhampton Civic Hall in North Street

The ongoing refurbishment of the building has been hit by several setbacks, including the collapse of construction group Shaylor last month.

The local authority's Director of Regeneration, Richard Lawrence, told councillors it had already had several offers of replacement contractors and he was confident work would restart this autumn.

The Civic Hall is currently scheduled to reopen in 2021 which, along with the regeneration of the city's Wulfrun Hall, was budgeted at £38.1m last year.

PM's tribute to student paramedic in fatal crash

BBC Midlands Today

The prime minister's paid tribute to a student paramedic who died after the ambulance she was in was involved in a crash with a car.

Tammy Minshall
Staffordshire Police/Family handout

Tammy Minshall, 31, was airlifted to hospital and later died after the crash in Needwood, near Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire, last week.

Ms Minshall, from Stretton, Burton-upon-Trent, was a first year student at Staffordshire University and was travelling in the back of the ambulance.

The whole house will want to join me in sending our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Tammy Minshall, the student paramedic who was killed in a traffic accident last week while on duty. This is a reminder of the members of all our emergencies services who risk their lives each day on our behalf."

Theresa MayPrime Minister

Wednesday's weather forecast

Sara Blizzard

BBC Weather

Any patches of rain this morning should clear away leaving a mostly dry rest of the day.

Here's the full West Midlands weather forecast.

Sara Blizzard

You can get a latest forecast for your area at any other time by heading to the BBC Weather website.

Call for action on tackling 'credit deserts'

BBC Business News

A new report identifying 29 areas of the UK that are "credit deserts", includes Sandwell, Stoke-on-Trent and Wolverhampton.

Payday Advance sign
Getty Images

That may suggest neighbourhoods where it is impossible to borrow money - but, actually, the report says they are areas where the only option for many people are high-cost, short-term loans.

Cross-party think-tank Demos says there is high demand for affordable credit in these areas, but little opportunity to get it.

People often struggle as they may have low incomes, or thin or poor credit scores, among other factors. So, the rely on payday loans and pawn shops.

The report says there is no one-size-fits-all solution, but that local authorities and businesses need to be aware and step in to improve the situation.

Non-invasive tech to help rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis

People with rheumatoid arthritis could benefit from earlier diagnosis thanks to new technology pioneered by the University of Birmingham.

3D scanner

About 500,000 people in the UK suffer from the condition which causes painful inflammation and swelling.

The new technique will create a 3D image of a patient's blood inside their hand which could detect symptoms earlier.

The system we have developed offers a low-cost, objective way of detecting the disease and potentially grading how advanced it is. We hope, in time, it will enable clinicians to diagnose the disease earlier and offer personalised treatment plans for patients.

Professor Hamid DehghaniUniversity of Birmingham