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BBC coverageHow to follow:Listen on BBC Radio Ulster and the BBC Sport website; Text commentary on BBC Sport website; Highlights on BBC One NI at 22:20 GMTMichael O’Neill has said he told Stoke City at the outset of their talks that he would not consider leaving Northern Ireland immediately.The NI boss took over at Stoke last week but will remain in his international role until the end of their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.NI are at home to the Netherlands on Saturday before their last Group C game away to Germany three days later.
“Leaving before these two games was not an option,” O’Neill explained.”That would not have been the right thing to do and I was clear with Stoke about that from the start.”While taking the NI side for the Dutch and German games was always O’Neill’s intention, he revealed it was the Irish FA that requested he remains in charge for any potential play-off matches in March.
A cash-strapped children’s hospice has said its future looks more hopeful after a £450,000 fundraising boost.Acorns in Walsall said board members were happy a £2m target to keep it open beyond March 2020 was now achievable.A decision to close it was put on hold in July and the appeal launched following pledges of additional NHS support from 2023/24 onwards.”The community is responding in an amazing way,” Acorns chief executive Toby Porter said.”We are obviously hopeful, but we cannot and will not rest for one moment before we reach our £2m goal,” he added.Latest news from the West MidlandsCelebrities including Jasper Carrot, Dame Julie Walters and Noddy Holder in addition to the local community have supported the Save Acorns Black Country Hospice Appeal, helping them to reach a quarter of the target needed in four months.The charity said that while there was still “a long way to go”, the hospice was now in a position to book stays for families beyond March 2020.About 200 children with life-limiting conditions were cared for at the centre in 2018.Acorns also operates hospices in Birmingham and Worcester.Follow BBC West Midlands on Facebook, on Twitter, and sign up for local news updates direct to your phone.
Dozens of schools are closed with river levels are still rising as floodwater continues to cause problems in the West Midlands.Flood warnings remain in place across the region, following heavy rainfall on Thursday.More than 40 schools are shut in Worcestershire and the River Avon is breaking its banks in Warwickshire with its peak expected on Friday evening.Friday will be drier and rail services have mostly returned to normal.Services are not running between Shrewsbury and Welshpool and between Moreton-in-Marsh and Worcester Shrub Hill due to flooding.Hereford and Worcester’s fire and rescue service said it has helped 43 vehicles in flood, ten of the vehicles got stuck overnight.It said in 24 hours it has rescued 97 people and one dog, which was in a vehicle which got stuck in shallow water on Suckley Road in Knightwick at 14:28 yesterday.And in Croxton, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service were called to rescue a child and their carer from a vehicle stuck in flood water at 08:56 GMT. Schools in Pershore, Evesham, Malvern and Upton in Worcestershire are all closed due to flooding.Chris Bainger, from the Environment Agency, said: “Worcestershire is probably the most affected, and parts of Herefordshire.”Importantly for us at the moment is the area of Evesham, around there because it is going to be very, very close to affected properties.” The River Avon is expected to peak at Evesham later, at its highest levels since 2012, while the river Teme in Tenbury peaked shortly after midnight.Angie Crump, who runs Smart Exchange in Pershore, said water was covering Pershore Bridge as she drove in from her home in Evesham.She said she was the worst she had seen the area for a “long time”. “When I left the shop at 17:00 BST last night, I would say the water was about a metre under the arches, today it is right over the top,” she said.The bridge has since been closed to traffic.The Environment Agency is predicting the River Avon in Stratford-upon Avon, Warwickshire is to peak at 19:00 GMT, predicting levels of 1.9m (6ft), nearly 1m (3ft) above normal river levels.Flood barriers were being put up in the town on Friday morning.Karen Smith, who was walking her dog at the Stratford Recreation Ground, said: “The water has broken the banks and it has come much farther across the fields than I have seen it in years.”Three schools in the county have also been closed due to the weather, with roads also affected. Matt Lawrence from the Environment Agency, added: “There’s still a lot of water about and we are expecting river levels to rise as that makes its way through the system.”Latest updates on flooding in the West MidlandsElsewhere, in Shropshire, Frankwell Car Park has been closed with flood barriers in place, with three county schools also closed.Heavy rain has flooded rail lines between Shrewsbury and Welshpool causing disruption. In Hereford, the River Wye is also set to peak later, with the county council reporting some problems with school bus services.Around Birmingham one warning remains in place for the River Cole, but other stretches of the Cole, Blythe and Tame rivers around the city were downgraded to flood alerts.Problems remained on the roads around the Black Country, with Wigmore Lane in West Bromwich, flooded.Five flood warnings also remain in place for Staffordshire, including for the Bourne Brook at Hints and Drayton Manor Park.Follow BBC West Midlands on Facebook, on Twitter, and sign up for local news updates direct to your phone.
Industrial action will affect London Northwestern and West Midlands Railway train services on Saturdays in November and December 2019.
Both rail firms have sounded a final warning to Birmingham passengers ahead of Saturday, November 16.
Services provided by both train companies will be affected and commuters have been warned only to travel if necessary.
Rail workers have planned a strike on every Saturday leading up to the end of the year.
The firms say: “Because of industrial action by members of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT), we will run a reduced service on Saturdays in November and December.
“We will only be able to provide a very basic service. We ask our customers to carefully consider whether their journey is absolutely necessary, as significant disruption is expected.”
The train companies are working very hard to resolve the dispute with the RMT Union – please note the affected dates could change at the last minute, so check your journey again before you travel.
On an affected day:
there will be fewer trains running,
some stations will not be served,
some London Northwestern Railway services will finish earlier than normal,
there will be no additional replacement bus services.
West Midlands Railways train (Image: West Midlands Railway)
If your journey is delayed by 15 minutes or more, you’re entitled to compensation under the Delay Repay scheme. Please keep a hold of your ticket and submit your claim within 28 days.
Snow Hill Lines: Stourbridge Junction to Stourbridge Town
We will be running a normal service every Saturday.
There will be NO service on the following lines:
Birmingham New Street to Worcester / Hereford
There will be no train service between Hereford / Worcester and Birmingham New Street in either direction.
Trains via Birmingham Snow Hill will operate only between Kidderminster and Birmingham Snow Hill in both directions.
Birmingham to Shrewsbury via Wolverhampton
There will be no train service between Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury in either direction.
Passengers for Shrewsbury and Telford Centre, advised to travel on Transport for Wales or Virgin Trains services along this route, where possible.
There will be no service calling at Bilbrook, Codsall, Albrighton, Cosford, Shifnal or Oakengates.
Birmingham to Rugeley via Walsall
There will be no train service between Rugeley and Walsall in either direction.
There are local bus services available between Walsall and Rugeley.
Snow Hill Lines:
There will be no service between:
Stratford-upon-Avon and Whitlocks End
Stratford-upon-Avon and Dorridge
Leamington Spa and Dorridge
Kidderminster and Worcester / Great Malvern
Birmingham New Street and Worcester/Hereford.
These services will be REDUCED:
Cross City Line: Lichfield – Birmingham – Redditch / Bromsgrove
one train per hour from Bromsgrove – Birmingham – Four Oaks (in both directions),
two trains per hour from Lichfield – Birmingham – Redditch (in both directions).
Wolverhampton to Walsall via Birmingham New Street
There will be a reduced service along this route throughout the day
Birmingham to Northampton via Birmingham International & Coventry
There will be a reduced service along this route throughout the day
Birmingham to Liverpool via Crewe (with London Northwestern Railway)
There will be a reduced service along this route throughout the day.
There will be no service calling at Stone, Stoke on Trent, Kidsgrove or Alsager. East Midlands Railway runs trains between Stoke on Trent and Crewe.
Services at Acton Bridge have varying gaps between calling services throughout the day.
There is a ‘shuttle service’ in both directions between Crewe and Liverpool until 17:00
Snow Hill Lines: all trains via Birmingham Snow Hill
There will be a reduced service throughout the day:
between Dorridge and Kidderminster,
between Kidderminster to Whitlocks End
Nuneaton – Coventry – Leamington Spa
There will be a reduced service throughout the day:
A half-hourly service will operate between Leamington Spa and Nuneaton
Services are expected to be busier than usual
This is the weather forecast for Friday 15th November and the outlook for the weekend. The day. Mainly a cloudy day with just the odd brighter spell when the cloud fragments or breaks. There is a chance of a shower of light rain or drizzle. Feeling cool with today’s top temperature only reaching 8 centigrade. […]
Train passengers faced major disruption as flooding hit rail services. No trains are running between Derby and Nottingham due to flooding on the tracks at Draycot, and other East Midlands’ services have been disrupted.In the West Midlands, a “vast amount” of services were cancelled or delayed because of floods and landslides.The prime minister said an emergency meeting about flooding – which has affected 818 properties across England – would be held.Boris Johnson said troops were “helping deploy over 20,000 sandbags” in South Yorkshire, where hundreds have been forced to leave their homes.More than 100 schools in the West Midlands have shut and weather warnings are in place across the country, including Oxfordshire.Heavy rain has forced a major route into Hull to close in both directions between South Cave and Melton, in East Yorkshire, causing travel disruption.The A63 is the only link between the M62 motorway and the city. Highways England said the closure was “due to increased flooding from water running off the surrounding fields”.Northern Rail warned commuters not to travel between Sheffield, Gainsborough and Lincoln until further notice.East Midlands Railway (EMR) said Network Rail was working to lower the water level at the flooded track in Draycott and disruptions would continue through Friday.Wet weather over the next 48 hours could bring heavy flooding to areas already affected by rising waters, the Environment Agency (EA) said.
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The Met Office said yellow warnings for rain for South Yorkshire and the East Midlands meant fast flowing or deep floodwater was possible, “causing a danger to life”.It said further homes or businesses could be flooded and some communities “may be cut off by flooded roads”, warning of “heavy and persistent” rain until 22:00 GMT.Yorkshire flooding: latest updates
Villagers rally round flood-hit neighbours
“Even some amount of rain could cause rivers to rise,” Met Office meteorologist Luke Miall said.Parts of Lincolnshire and the Midlands could also be affected by rain falling on already saturated ground, the EA said. In South Yorkshire, which has been badly hit, hundreds of people have had to leave their homes in the village of Fishlake and the Army was deployed to help the relief effort around Doncaster.About 30 residents have been evacuated from a caravan park in Lincolnshire as a precaution. The Short Ferry Caravan Park near to Bardney is close to the River Barlings Eau, which burst its banks over the weekend flooding more than 1,000 acres of fields.Schools are shut in Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Warwickshire along with dozens of road closures.Several motorists have had to be rescued from their cars with river levels expected to peak on Friday. Rail services in and out of Birmingham stations are being cancelled or delayed by flooding affecting at least eight different routes with a knock-on effect for other train journeys because of congestion at stations and on the tracks.Anne Hathaway’s cottage in Stratford-upon-Avon was closed on Thursday afternoon because surrounding roads were flooded. It is not known if the venue will reopen on FridayIn Oxfordshire, fire crews rescued a number of people from vehicles stuck in flood water. Kate Marks, flood duty manager, said: “The Environment Agency has teams working around the clock on the ground erecting temporary barriers and delivering sandbags to areas expecting further rainfall.”There are 130 flood warnings in place across the country, meaning flooding is expected. Sixteen of those have been issued along various parts of the River Don, while seven are for the River Severn including the Tewkesbury and Shrewsbury areas.The agency has advised people “to stay away from swollen rivers” and not to walk or drive through floodwater as just 30cm (11.8in) of flowing water is enough to move your car.About 500 homes have been flooded in Doncaster with 1,200 properties evacuated in areas hit by the floods.Fishlake has been cut off by the floods and the council said the village was not safe and that residents were advised not to return home.The EA said it was “currently pumping 1.2 tonnes of flood water every second out of Fishlake”.Doncaster Council said roads into the area remain closed, adding: “There is still a lot of deep standing water in the area presenting significant safety risks.”The advice from South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue is that where you cannot see the ground it is unsafe to walk or drive.”The authority said the EA, along with emergency services, were working hard to make the area safe but “the latest estimates suggest a safe return could be up to three weeks away for some residents”.It said nine hubs had been set up in the town for residents to get help on returning to their homes and how to claim financial support. More than £190,000 has been donated to an appeal to support flood victims in South Yorkshire as well as £50,000 being pledged from the Red Cross for those affected in Yorkshire and the Midlands.Peter Pridham, a church warden in Fishlake, said residents had been told the risk of further flooding was “being managed and is manageable”.He said: “We are moving from an immediate emergency to a long-term recovery. It’s going to take a very long time to return to any normality.”Personnel from the Light Dragoons have laid sandbags in Stainforth, near Doncaster, in an attempt to shore up the village’s bridge.
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On Wednesday, the prime minister faced criticism over his response to the flooding during a visit to Stainforth.One resident told Boris Johnson: “I’m not very happy about talking to you so, if you don’t mind, I’ll just mope on with what I’m doing.”Mr Johnson said he understood the strength of feeling as “you cannot underestimate the anguish that a flood causes”.Do you live in areas affected by the adverse weather and flooding? Share your experiences by emailing email@example.com.Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways: WhatsApp: +44 7756 165803
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A deputy chair of Stourbridge Conservative Association has resigned amid claims of Islamophobia within the party.Kyle Pedley said he was “aghast” at comments made during a local election selection meeting in October.The chairman of Stourbridge Conservative Association denies any Islamophobia in his party.Conservative central office says any claims of discrimination are always investigated thoroughly.Mr Pedley has been a deputy chairman since August 2019 and he participated in a selection for candidates for the local council.’Are you really a Muslim?’He says in his first meeting as an officer they interviewed a candidate for selection for the local council. “As soon as his two-minute pitch ended, he was faced with a barrage of questioning which was factored around one thing and one thing alone, and that was his religion and his race.”It was ‘Are you really a Muslim? Do you pray five times a day? How many times a year do you go to the mosque?'”Mr Pedley added: “When he went out of the room the first topic of conversation was not about his merit, it was along the lines of ‘do we need an Asian?'” Mr Pedley says he sent two complaints to Conservative central office, the first three weeks ago, including one to the Conservative chairman’s office.’Mystified’ by resignationOther than an acknowledgement he says the party has not followed up with an investigation.The chairman of the Stourbridge Conservative Association said there was no Islamophobia in his association and was “mystified” at Mr Pedley’s resignation from the party.He said he did not remember or recall the details of the selection meeting as described by Mr Pedley.Politics Live has spoken to another member of the Stourbridge Association who is a Muslim, and he said he never witnessed any discrimination within the party.Baroness Warsi, the former co-chair of the Conservatives who has pushed for an inquiry into Islamophobia in the party, said she was “shocked” but “not surprised” by the allegations. “This is really a reflection of the kind of things that I’ve been hearing now over four years, happening in associations up and down the country.” A Conservative Party spokesperson said:”The Conservative Party will never stand by when it comes to prejudice and discrimination of any kind. Serious allegations such as these are always investigated thoroughly, which is testament to the seriousness with which we take such issues.”Our complaints process is rightly a confidential one and there are a wide range of sanctions including suspension and expulsion which are applied on a case-by-case basis.”
A man caught on CCTV encouraging his dog to maul a neighbour’s cat to death has been jailed for 18 weeks.Footage of Amos Price setting his dog on eight-year-old Cleo on 23 October was shared widely online after it was released in a bid to identify him.The 30-year-old, from Pelsall, West Midlands, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.Price, described by police as “a yob”, was also banned from keeping animals for life at Walsall Magistrates’ Court.The crime was discovered when Cleo’s owner, Gary Truefitt, checked his home’s CCTV footage after he became suspicious that his pet had not come back inside.It showed Price opening the garden gate and releasing his dog, which savaged Cleo outside her home in Woodlands Crescent, Pelsall.In a statement, Mr Truefitt said: “I feel as if there is a big part of my life missing.”I don’t want to go home because I know Cleo is not there.”He previously described Cleo as “a daft cat in lots of ways” but a companion who “will be very much missed”.Latest news from the West MidlandsWest Midlands Police said the attack was “completely mindless, senseless and beyond any justification”.”As a police force and community we have all been appalled by the sickening actions of Price.”The unemployed father of two, who has recent convictions for criminal damage and assault, claimed he was drunk at the time.His defence said he was “extremely ashamed and sorry” and that his family had received death threats after the footage was shared on social media.Magistrates said Price’s guilty plea meant the maximum sentence they could impose was 18 weeks, but added: “We would if we were actually permitted to do so have imposed a far greater custodial sentence.”Follow BBC West Midlands on Facebook, on Twitter, and sign up for local news updates direct to your phone.
A multimillionaire who left his injured and bleeding partner to die after “rough sex” has lost a Court of Appeal bid to have his jail term cut. John Broadhurst admitted manslaughter and was jailed for three years and eight months in December. He was cleared of murder.Natalie Connolly had suffered more than 40 injuries when she died at their home in Kinver, Staffordshire, in 2016.Judges said the appeal “ignored” his “role in Ms Connell’s injuries”.Broadhurst, 41, of Wolverley, Worcestershire, told a 999 operator he had found his partner “dead as a doughnut” at their home in December 2016.He claimed the 26-year-old mother of one was injured as a result of consensual sexual activity fuelled by alcohol and drugs.Latest news from the West MidlandsLawyers for Broadhurst argued the sentence was too long, but three senior judges agreed on Thursday the term was “not manifestly excessive”.Lord Justice Holroyde said they were “unable to accept” that Broadhurst’s “gross negligence was of brief duration”, adding that the appeal “ignored his own role in Ms Connolly’s injuries and intoxicated state”.Some of Ms Connolly’s injuries were as a result of her drunkenly falling over and were not caused by Broadhurst, the court heard.The couple had both been drinking heavily and had taken cocaine in the hours before Ms Connolly’s death. The level of alcohol in her blood was five times the legal limit for driving.Lord Justice Holroyde read statements from her family which detailed the “pain and suffering” her death had caused them.”This offence has not only ended one life, but has blighted many others,” he said.Follow BBC West Midlands on Facebook, on Twitter, and sign up for local news updates direct to your phone.