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BBC News: Bosses sign letter supporting Tories
Tuesday 31st March 2015
Click to find out more about Palm Sunday and Holy Week


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

College announces 100 job cuts

Up to 100 staff are to lose their jobs at Stoke-on-Trent college, it is announced.

War horse statue 'step closer'

The organiser behind a "war horse" memorial in Staffordshire hopes work on the life-size bronze statue can begin next year.

Heads' threat to parents over gaming

Head teachers in Cheshire warn parents they will report them to the authorities if they allow their children to play computer games rated for over-18s.

Couple 'injured by their own car'

Two people are seriously injured in a road accident in which they were run over by their own car.

Former JCB site to be demolished

Work begins to demolish thousands of tonnes of concrete on the site of a former JCB factory.

PC 'had sex but not in work time'

A police officer tells a court he had sex with different women but never at the expense of either his work or his colleagues.

VIDEO: Political week in 60 seconds

The political headlines from the West Midlands.

Taylor calls for darts to come home

Phil Taylor calls for Stoke darts venue

Live BBC World News

Opposition wins Nigeria election

Muhammadu Buhari wins Nigeria's presidential poll, in the country's first ever election victory by the opposition.

Bloody end to Turkey hostage crisis

A Turkish prosecutor and two gunmen who took him hostage have been killed after a shootout in Istanbul, officials say.

Lufthansa knew of co-pilot depression

The Alps crash co-pilot Andreas Lubitz informed Lufthansa's flight school in 2009 of a "serious depressive episode", the airline says.

Deadline for Iran talks extended

Nuclear talks between world powers and Iran will continue past a midnight deadline into Wednesday, US officials say.

US lifts Egypt weapons freeze

President Barack Obama has told his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel Fattah al Sisi, that the US will resume military aid to Egypt, frozen since 2013.

EU milk quota system is abolished

EU milk quotas are scrapped, bringing an end to more than 30 years of efforts to prevent overproduction.

Iraqi forces in 'major Tikrit push'

Iraqi forces have made major advances against Islamic State (IS) in Tikrit - retaking the government headquarters, officials say.

Libya Tripoli-based Islamist PM fired

MPs remove Omar al-Hassi as head of Libya's Islamist-backed alternative government in Tripoli amid allegations of financial irregularities.

BBC Sports News

Italy 1-1 England

Andros Townsend's second-half equaliser earns England a 1-1 draw against Italy in a friendly in Turin.

Murray reaches 500 career wins

Andy Murray reaches 500 career wins with victory over Kevin Anderson at the Miami Open, beating the South African 6-4 3-6 6-3.

Israel 0-1 Belgium

Belgium knock Wales off top spot in their Euro 2016 qualifying group with a narrow win over Israel.

Girls' PE lessons give 'nightmares'

Less cross-country in "knickers and polo shirt" and improved facilities in schools would improve PE for girls, says Victoria Pendleton.

Portugal 0-2 Cape Verde Islands

Portugal rest captain Cristiano Ronaldo and suffer a shock defeat at home to African side Cape Verde Islands.

Netherlands 2-0 Spain

Netherlands score twice in the first 16 minutes to register a comfortable 2-0 friendly victory over Spain in Amsterdam.

College announces 100 job cuts

Up to 100 staff are to lose their jobs at Stoke-on-Trent college, it is announced.

War horse statue 'step closer'

The organiser behind a "war horse" memorial in Staffordshire hopes work on the life-size bronze statue can begin next year.

Heads' threat to parents over gaming

Head teachers in Cheshire warn parents they will report them to the authorities if they allow their children to play computer games rated for over-18s.

Couple 'injured by their own car'

Two people are seriously injured in a road accident in which they were run over by their own car.

Former JCB site to be demolished

Work begins to demolish thousands of tonnes of concrete on the site of a former JCB factory.

PC 'had sex but not in work time'

A police officer tells a court he had sex with different women but never at the expense of either his work or his colleagues.

VIDEO: Political week in 60 seconds

The political headlines from the West Midlands.

Taylor calls for darts to come home

Phil Taylor calls for Stoke darts venue

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


1. Bill Gates has been named the richest man in the world for the 16th time. In the annual ranking of global billionaires, the Microsoft founder beat Mexican businessman Carlos Slim to the top spot. Gates’ net worth rose by just over $3bn (£1.94bn) in the year to 13 February, to $79bn. There are now a record 1,826 billionaires in the world - an increase of 181 in the past 12 months. Forbes Magazine

2. British Airways has retained its title as the UK’s leading consumer ‘superbrand’. In an eye-catching installment of the annual ranking, several household names including Cadbury, Heinz and Marks & Spencer dropped out of the list of favourite brands. Meanwhile, the likes of John Lewis, Lego and Häagen-Dazs featured in the upper reaches of the grouping. The Guardian

3. The number of zero-hours contracts has increased from 1.4 million to 1.8 million, new figures have revealed. The new total for last August is 400,000 more than a previously published estimate in January 2014. The number of people saying they were employed on zero-hours contracts in their main job was 697,000 in the quarter to December, up from 586,000 in the same period in 2013. The figures mean some people are on more than one contract with no guarantee of a minimum number of hours. Office for National Statistics
4. Drinking up to five cups of coffee a day could help prevent heart disease, new research has found. A team of experts studied a group of more than 25,000 Korean men and women with an average age of 41. They had no previous signs of heart disease. Their coffee consumption was listed as none, less than one cup a day, one to three cups a day, three to five cups a day and five or more every day. The researchers discovered those who drank between three and five cups were less likely to show signs of heart disease. Daily Express

5. Drivers are to get ten minutes’ grace before being given a ticket if they stay too long on council parking spots. The changes in the law in England are expected to come in within weeks and will apply to all on-street and off-street council parking spots. Other measures in the Deregulation Bill include a right for residents and local firms to demand their council reviews parking in their area. CCTV camera cars that automatically issue parking fines are to be made illegal - apart from in areas near schools and in bus lanes. New York Times

6. More than half a million people are believed to have come to England from abroad over the past three years, according to Oxford University research. And two-thirds of the 565,000 migrants believed to have arrived between 2011 and 2014 are EU citizens, the study by the university’s Migration Observatory said. The estimated numbers were put together to provide an up-to-date idea of the migrant populations across England. They come in advance of official estimates from the Office for National Statistics, due in June. Daily Mail

7. Large firms will be forced to reveal details of the gap between how much they pay male and female employees after the government agreed to implement the measure. The Liberal Democrats had been pushing for the policy in the face of Tory opposition, and Equalities Minister Jo Swinson said it was “fantastic news” that her party had won the “argument in government”. The measure will be added to legislation currently going through Parliament and will come into force within the next 12 months. Financial Times

8. Apple, Sony and HTC are among the most female-friendly employers in the technology industry, a report on gender equality has found. The study, published on the eve of International Women’s Day, saw Apple come out on top, with 28% of female staff holding senior positions. Among them are former Burberry chief executive Angela Ahrendts and Sue Wagner, founding partner and director of asset manager BlackRock. Daily Mail

9. As The U.S. puts its clocks forward - two weeks ahead of the UK - potentially dangerous consequences have been revealed by scientists. Sleep scientists say effects of the time shift can include a pernicious phenomenon known as “microsleeps,” or momentary losses of concentration at critical times. Susceptibility to “microsleeps” increases after the clocks change, resulting in a spike in car crashes, including fatal ones where alcohol is involved, as well an increase in workplace injuries. The Guardian

10. The very first Apple logo featured Sir Isaac Newton sitting under a tree, with an apple about to hit his head. It was ditched as its high level of detail didn't really show up when shrunk down on products. Metro

The latest BBC Video News clips

VIDEO: UK economy grows by 2.8%

Official figures show that the UK economy grew by 2.8% in 2014, the highest rate of growth since 2006.

VIDEO: Plaid Cymru launches manifesto

Plaid Cymru launches its general election manifesto calling for an end to austerity measures and more funding for Wales.

VIDEO: Could existing drugs offer MS hope?

Depression and heart-disease drugs are to be tested in a trial to find treatments for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) from existing medicines.

VIDEO: Abandoned horses 'crisis' - RSPCA

The RSPCA says it is looking after so many abandoned horses, donkeys and ponies that it cannot take in any more.

VIDEO: Bandleader Last bows out

Bandleader and composer James last talks to David Sillito as he performs his last shows in Britain before his retirement

VIDEO: Cannabis safer than alcohol, says party

Using alcohol causes violence and induces crime, unlike cannabis, says a party standing in the general election.

VIDEO: Disability village 'under threat'

The village of Botton in North Yorkshire has been home to people with learning disabilities for 60 years, but there are claims that the community could be under threat.

VIDEO: Virginia Woolf's final letter

Virginia Woolf's final letter final letter was found by her husband Leonard on the day she disappeared.