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Pupils evacuated at six West Midlands schools over 'bomb threats'

Bomb threats were made to six schools in the West Midlands this morning in what police believe to be a series of hoaxes.

Oldbury Academy in Sandwell Credit: Google Maps

West Midlands Police is investigating the threats but said in a statement that "intelligence experts insisted there was no credible threat".

At least one school - Oldbury Academy in Sandwell - send pupils home and has said it will remain closed until tomorrow.

The police said today's calls, which were made in quick succession at around 9am, "mirror" similar threats made to Oldbury Academy and Bristnall Hall last week.

Similar calls took place this morning at four schools in London, which evacuated pupils, and at around 8am bomb threats were made to four schools in Cornwall.

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Anti-Islam protesters march in Leipzig over NYE attacks

Thousands of anti-Islam protesters have marched through the streets of Leipzig, Germany.

Members of far-right group Pegida (Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West) joined a demonstration by their Leipzig sister movement Legida.

Holding banners and shouting slogans including "Merkel needs to go", the event was organised in protest over the mass violent and sexual assaults which took place in Cologne on New Year's Eve.

The attackers have been widely described as looking of "Arabic" and "north African" descent.

A rival anti-Pegida rally was held at the same time - and according to ITV News deputy news editor Zoe Kalus, who was in Leipzig, that outnumbered the Legida rally.

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Background of Cologne criminals 'should not be kept quiet'

German interior minister Thomas de Maiziere has described the violence in Cologne as "completely unacceptable" Credit: Reuters

The German interior minister has said the fact that people of foreign descent were behind much of the violence in Cologne on new year's eve should not be kept quiet but neither should it lead people to general suspicion towards all refugees and migrants.

Thomas de Maiziere described the violence as "completely unacceptable" and said it was urgent that new tougher legislation be agreed to punish the perpetrators, saying Germany could not afford long, divisive debates about changes to the law.

Group of migrants attacked by mob in Cologne

An anti-immigrant rally in Cologne, January 10, 2016 Credit: Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters

German police say a group of Pakistanis and a Syrian were violently attacked by about 20 unknown assailants on Sunday in Cologne.

There are raised tensions in the city after an anti-migrant rally followed new year's eve attacks on women.

Police say the mob attacked six Pakistanis, two of whom were hospitalised. Shortly afterward, a group of five people attacked a 39-year-old Syrian national, injuring him slightly.

Asylum seekers 'among suspects' in Cologne violence

A German state interior minister has said people of foreign descent were responsible for virtually all of the violence on new year's eve in Cologne, adding that this included migrants who arrived in Germany over the past year.

More than 100 women reported being threatened, robbed or molested during news year's eve celebrations in the city.

"Based on testimony from witnesses, the report from the Cologne police and descriptions by the federal police, it looks as if people with a migration background were almost exclusively responsible for the criminal acts," Ralf Jaeger, Interior Minister from the State of North Rhine-Westphalia told a special commission.

"All signs point to these being north Africans and people from the Arab world," he added. "Based on what we know now from the investigation, asylum seekers who arrived in the past year are among the suspects."

Arrests as police clash with protesters in Cologne

A man is led away by police during the protest. Credit: Reuters

Police made a number of arrests during clashes with protesters in Cologne on Saturday.

Supporters of anti-immigration right-wing movement Pegida have been taking part in a demonstration following mass assaults on women on New Year's Eve, with some throwing firecrackers and beer bottles at police, Reuters reported.

Two people were injured during the protest, with a police spokesman saying some of the protesters came from the "hooligan scene".

More than 3,000 people attended the rally, with police using a water cannon against protesters at one point.

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