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  1. London

Tower of London poppies to stay on display past Armistice Day

Two key parts of the poppy display at the Tower of London will stay in place until the end of November, giving more people the chance to catch the popular installation.

The Wave, above, and Weeping Window parts of the installation will stay until the end of the month Credit: Reuters

Historic Royal Palaces said the Weeping Window and Wave sculptures will remain in place for a few weeks after the rest of the poppies start to be taken away on November 12th. It comes as the government announced it will help fund a tour of the two sculptures around the UK, until they reach a final home at the Imperial War Museum in 2018.

The remainder of the 888, 246 poppies which have been bought by members of the public will start to be sent off next week.

A Tower of London Yeoman walks through the display Credit: Reuters

A petition to keep the poppies at the Tower of London for another year has so far gained over 25,000 signatures, while public figures including Boris Johnson have also spoken out in favour of keeping the display.

Hundreds expected at service honouring Matthew Boulton

More than 1,000 people are expected to attend a special service honouring Birmingham-born entrepreneur Matthew Boulton today.

The service is being held at Westminster Abbey, when a memorial to the manufacturer will be unveiled to mark his contribution to the Industrial Revolution.

The service will be held at Westminster Abbey later Credit: PA

It will sit along an existing memorial to James Watt, to mark their business relationship. Between them, they produced and installed hundreds of Boulton & Watt steam engines towards the end of the 18th century which helped factories and mills make great technological advances.

The Abbey will also fly the Birmingham City Council flag while the service is taking place.

Paralympian helps launch faster East Midlands trains

Paralympian Richard Whitehead helped to launch the new faster East Midlands to London trains this morning.

Trains will run up to eight minutes faster following £70m of investment and upgrades to 160 miles of track.

The Paralympic gold-medallist believes the quicker train journeys will improve community links and bring more business to the East Midlands.

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  1. National

HS2 rail project has £3.3bn funding gap, watchdog says

The proposals have faced bitter opposition from campaigners. Credit: PA

The HS2 high-speed rail project has an estimated £3.3 billion funding gap which the Government has yet to decide how to fill, a report from a Whitehall spending watchdog said today.

It was not clear how HS2 - which runs through Tory heartlands and is bitterly opposed by some - would deliver and rebalance economic growth, the report by the National Audit Office (NAO) added.

The timetable for planning phase one of the project - from London to Birmingham with work due to start in 2016/17 - was "challenging", the NAO said.

This challenging timetable "makes delivering this work difficult and increases the risk that the programme will have a weak foundation for securing and demonstrating success in the future", the report said.

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