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Cycling's Tour of Britain comes to the Midlands

The Tour of Britain comes to the Midlands today.

The riders on the opening stage of the Tour of Britain Credit: John Giles/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The cyclists, led by yesterday's surprise winner Eduardo Zardini start off from the Hive in Worcester at 10.45am.

The route takes them into Herefordshire and Gloucestershire before finishing 115 miles later in Bristol.

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  1. West Country (E)

Second badger cull underway

This year's controversial badger cull in Somerset and Gloucestershire is underway, the Government has announced.

The second year of a four-year scheme has started in the two counties in an attempt to prevent the spread of bovine TB in cattle.

We are pursuing a comprehensive strategy supported by leading vets which includes cattle movement controls, vaccinating badgers in edge areas and culling badgers where the disease is rife. This is vital for the future of our beef and dairy industries, and our nation's food security. At present we have the highest rates of bovine TB in Europe. Doing nothing is not an option and that is why we are taking a responsible approach to dealing with bovine TB.

– Elizabeth Truss MP, Environment Secretary

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Warning for drivers as school traffic peaks today

Today is expected to be the busiest day on the roads for the post-summer break morning rush hour, as all schools in the region have now returned for the autumn term.

As many as one in five journeys today are expected to be school runs Credit: PA

Experts say as many as one in five journeys today will be parents doing the school run - and the busiest time is set to be 8am.

Traffic levels are then expected to ease off over the coming weeks.

Minister to launch support for businesses to grow online

A new programme of support to help growing UK companies break into the online trade market will be launched in Birmingham today.

The online trading industry is expected to be worth £68 billion by 2020 - and Trade Minister Lord Ian Livingston will be at the NEC to unveil the e-Exporting Programme.

Lord Ian Livingston will launch the e-commerce programme at the NEC Credit: PA

It means businesses of all sizes will be able to access specialised services to help boost their sales on a global scale.

Companies have also been invited to a round-table discussion with the UK Trade and Investment regional director Paul Noon, to discuss the challenges facing firms in the international market.

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