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BBC News: Victims meeting abuse inquiry staff
Friday 31st October 2014
Last of the Autumn leaves on Dartmoor. Click for live BBC news


Welcome to the Walsall Portal - with in-depth local information, news, sport, everything on around WS2 and Staffordshire!

First some super useful links! Historic Photos, Maps & Jigsaws of Walsall!
Why not click below for some amazing old photos or maps of Walsall or the Walsall area in days gone by!


BBC news for Staffordshire

Two missing after fireworks blaze

Two people are missing and a man has been arrested after a major blaze at a Stafford fireworks warehouse that left two people in hospital.

Queen opens JLR manufacturing centre

The Queen formally opens a £500m Jaguar Land Rover engine manufacturing centre on the Staffordshire-Wolverhampton border.

VIDEO: Potteries' poppies nearly complete

The final pieces of one of the world's most striking commemorative displays are being put into place in London.

Car trapped under lorry in M6 crash

Four people, including two children, are injured when their car became trapped beneath a lorry in a crash on the M6 in Staffordshire.

Port Vale appoint Page as manager

Port Vale confirm the appointment of interim boss Rob Page as the League One club's new manager.

VIDEO: Political week in 60 seconds

The political headlines from the West Midlands

VIDEO: Who is the top dog at Westminster?

Who does this fine canine belong to?

Live BBC World News

Burkina Faso's president resigns

Burkina Faso's President Blaise Compaore announces he has resigned, following violent protests at his attempt to extend his 27-year rule.

UN chief defends Ebola aid workers

UN chief Ban Ki-moon says discrimination against humanitarian workers who return home from the Ebola crisis in West Africa is "unacceptable".

China makes 'biggest cash haul'

Anti-corruption investigators in China reportedly find the equivalent of $33m in cash at an official's home - the biggest such haul to date.

Key Jerusalem holy site reopens

Israel reopens a key Jerusalem holy site after its temporary closure following the shooting of a prominent Jewish activist.

Lawsuit over Malaysia missing plane

Two children whose father was on Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 which disappeared file a lawsuit against the airline and Malaysia's government.

Russia-Ukraine deal secures EU gas

Russia will resume gas deliveries to Ukraine this winter in a deal brokered by the European Union, which will also safeguard supplies to EU countries.

Myanmar in rare multi-party talks

Myanmar's president is holding rare roundtable talks with the opposition, military and ethnic groups, as the US calls for "credible" elections next year.

BBC Sports News

Predictions: Lawro v Rachel Riley

BBC Sport's football expert Mark Lawrenson takes on Countdown co-presenter Rachel Riley.

Silva out of Manchester derby

Manchester City's David Silva will miss the Manchester derby and could be out for three weeks with a knee injury.

Wenger concerned about Twitter

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger admits he is concerned by his players' use of social media site Twitter, plus more.

Two missing after fireworks blaze

Two people are missing and a man has been arrested after a major blaze at a Stafford fireworks warehouse that left two people in hospital.

Queen opens JLR manufacturing centre

The Queen formally opens a £500m Jaguar Land Rover engine manufacturing centre on the Staffordshire-Wolverhampton border.

VIDEO: Potteries' poppies nearly complete

The final pieces of one of the world's most striking commemorative displays are being put into place in London.

Car trapped under lorry in M6 crash

Four people, including two children, are injured when their car became trapped beneath a lorry in a crash on the M6 in Staffordshire.

Port Vale appoint Page as manager

Port Vale confirm the appointment of interim boss Rob Page as the League One club's new manager.

VIDEO: Political week in 60 seconds

The political headlines from the West Midlands

VIDEO: Who is the top dog at Westminster?

Who does this fine canine belong to?

AskTen - Ten amazing things you may not have known last week
http://askten.co.uk


1. Overtime payments at the Passport Office topped £2.5million in a month during a chaotic summer in which holidaymakers’ plans were put in jeopardy, figures show. The then-government agency paid out £6.75million to staff for working extra hours during July, August and September as they tried to clear a backlog of thousands of applications. Daily Mail

2. The number of people earning less than £7.69 an hour increased by 250,000 last year to reach 5.2 million. The increase partly reflected growth in employment, but there was also a reverse in the previous year’s slight fall in low-paid work. Workers in Britain are more likely to be low paid than those in comparable economies such as Germany and Australia. Resolution Foundation.

3. Schools are being urged to hold lessons in body confidence as a new survey reveals that one in four Britons is depressed by their appearance. A new project called Be Real aims to tackle the issue which campaigners say is trapping millions of people in the UK in an unhealthy cycle of depression, short-term dieting, cosmetic intervention and eating disorders. Daily Express

4. One of Apple’s first pre-assembled computers - the Apple-1 - has been sold for a record $905,000 (£565,000) at an auction in New York. The motherboard is one of around 50 Apple-1 computers that were first manufactured by Steve Wozniak in the garage of his Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in 1976. Few of the devices have survived, and the latest sale has fetched the highest price yet thanks to its mint condition.

5. Fewer teenagers scored at least five C grades in their GCSEs, including English and maths, this year amid major changes to the exams and school league tables, official figures show. In total, just over half (52.6%) of pupils in England reached the five A*-C including the basics benchmark, according to statistics published by the Department for Education (DfE). Daily Mail

6. Foreign criminals are costing taxpayers £850m a year with thousands living in the community instead of being deported. Of the 4,200 foreign national offenders living in the community, one in six - 760 - have absconded, according to a National Audit Office (NAO) report. Those missing included 58 “high harm” individuals who have been missing since 2010, the report said. The Times

7. The Star Wars character of Chewbacca was inspired by director George Lucas’ big, hairy Alaskan malamute dog Indiana - who would always sit in the passenger seat of his car like a co-pilot. The dog was also the inspiration behind the name of one of Lucas’ other creations, Indiana Jones. BBC

8. A recent study of 188 countries found that more than half the planet’s 671 million obese people live in just ten countries – with one in ten of them living in the United States, where a third of adults are obese. The UK did not make the top ten. The Independent

9. With a population of just 40,000, Salisbury is one of Britain’s smaller cities. Yet it has beaten London – as well as Paris and New York – to be named one of the top ten in the world. Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015 ranked Salisbury seventh in its list. The Observer

10. Queen Elizabeth sent her first tweet during a visit to the Science Museum in London. The 88-year-odl monarch formally opened the museum’s new Information Age Galleries by touching a tablet scree to send her first message around the world. The tweeted through the @britishmonarchy account, which has 733,000 followers. Daily Telegraph

The latest BBC Video News clips

VIDEO: Poppy hijab for Remembrance

A young fashion designer from London has decided to mark Remembrance Day by creating a special "poppy hijab" for Muslim women.

VIDEO: What happened to Remploy workers?

A year after the last Remploy factory closed, Nikki Fox looks at what has happened to former workers - and what options are available to them

AUDIO: UK benefits 'magnet' for migrants

Deputy mayor of Calais claims UK benefits are a "magnet" for migrants.

VIDEO: Lab for world’s worst animal viruses

A look around a new lab at Pirbright Institute in Surrey, where the world’s most contagious livestock viruses will be kept.

VIDEO: Sixty years of British animation

It has been 60 years since the animated adaptation of George Orwell's 'Animal Farm' - the first British animated film.

VIDEO: Where people openly smoke marijuana

The BBC's Anna Holligan visited a cafe in Amsterdam where people smoke as much marijuana as they like, and the government gets a share of the proceeds.

VIDEO: Tower poppies artist hails volunteers

The artist behind a project to place almost 900,000 ceramic poppies around the Tower of London says he is surprised and happy that so many people have "taken it to heart".