Midlands online retailers are preparing for the biggest day for online shopping today, also known as Cyber Monday. Here's some key figures.
A Tory MP planning to vote against the government on HS2 today tells me there are 60 of his colleagues who would like to do the same.
Laura Mvula is favourite to win tonight's Mercury Prize ahead of acts including chart veteran David Bowie and Arctic Monkeys.
The MP for Lichfield in Staffordshire has raised over £1,200 for Movember after wearing a fake moustache at Prime Minister's Questions earlier in the week.
Michael Fabricant was encouraged to wear the moustache by friends and he has raised £1,204 for Prostate Cancer UK.
Mr Fabricant said he felt very nervous and embarrassed when he entered the house.
Jewellery and sporting memorabilia worth more than half-a-million pounds, which was seized from the home of a Solihull conman, are to be sold by police at auction.
Diamond watches, gold cufflinks and ladies jewellery are amongst the hoard of valuables which belonged to Thomas ‘Tommy’ Scragg, who was jailed in July 2012 for a multi-million pound tax fraud.
The bulk of the 57-year-old’s property consisted of around 70 football and boxing collectables, including a pair of boots worn by Wayne Rooney in the 2007 FA Cup Final and a signed pair of Muhammed Ali’s boxing shorts.
The items, valued at around £675,000, have sat in West Midlands Police storerooms since 2008 when they were seized from Scragg’s country house following a raid by detectives from the force’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit.
Scragg is currently serving one of the longest sentences in British criminal history for fraud after being jailed for 17 years following three separate criminal convictions, the latest of which was in March 2011.
His Wolverhampton-based business, Moya Payroll, managed staff wages for several construction industry companies but he used the company as a front to steal over £26m in tax over a five year period between 2002 and 2007.
Another investigation by West Midlands Police uncovered a further £8m of stolen PAYE tax in a 10-month period from April 2007 to February 2008.
Lichfield Conservative MP Michael Fabricant wore a spectacular moustache for Movember sitting in the House of Commons for Prime Minister's Questions. Raising awareness of male cancers.
The Transport Minister, Robert Goodwill MP, has said the government has done everything possible to minimise the environmental and community impacts for the proposed High Speed rail line, linking London to the Midlands.
Earlier today the government published its largest ever parliamentary bill to allow land to be bought and building to start on HS2.
The government has published its largest ever parliamentary bill to allow land to be bought and building to start on the High Speed rail link from London to the West Midlands.
The government says HS2 is an engine for growth.
Anthony Bianco, who is campaigning against HS2, has told ITV News Central that today's bill is "incomplete".
Shadow transport secretary Mary Creagh has said that Labour supports the HS2 plan as it will address the need for more rail capacity across the country.
She said: "Labour supports HS2 because we must address the capacity problems that mean thousands of commuters face cramped, miserable journeys into Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and London.
"However, three years of Government delays and mismanagement has caused costs to balloon. Incompetent ministers have only just launched the consultation on phase 2 of the route, despite the fact that it was being worked on when Labour were in government."
The HS2 Hybrid Bill that is to go before Parliament will give details on how the first phase of the high speed rail project should progress.
The High Speed Rail (London - West Midlands) Bill will provide government powers to allow the construction and operation of the railway.
It will outline powers to:
- build and maintain the first phase of HS2 and its associated works, including secure planning permission for the works;
- compulsorily acquire interests in the land required;
- affect or change rights of way, including the stopping-up or diversion of highways and waterways (permanently or temporarily);
- modify infrastructure belonging to statutory undertakers (e.g. utility companies);
- carry out protective works to buildings and third-party infrastructure.
The publication of the Bill for phase one of the HS2 plan marks a significant milestone in the high speed rail project. Once Royal Assent has been achieved, it is expected that construction of the line from London to Birmingham will begin in 2016/2017 allowing the line to open in 2026.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said the HS2 scheme was the 'most ambitious' infrastructure plan since the building of the M25 motorway around London.
– Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin
HS2 is the most ambitious and important infrastructure project in the UK since we built the M25 30 years ago, and in 30 more it will be just as integral a part of the nation's prosperity.
The Bill will give us the powers we need to get the railway built and start delivering the extra room on our railways that this country so desperately needs. It will also start the process of rebalancing the economy and bringing our great cities closer together.
That is why the Bill is so important - it marks the move from aspiration to delivery. Now is the time to be bold and ensure HS2 becomes a reality.
A bill on the future of the first phase of a high speed rail line from London to the Midlands will be published today.
Hundreds of anti-HS2 campaigners are travelling to Westminster to lobby MPs against the project.