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BBC News: Video of British hostage released
Thursday 18th September 2014
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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

Adams resigns as Port Vale manager

Micky Adams resigns as Port Vale manager after a run of six straight defeats for the League One side.

Queen of Scots letter up for auction

A letter penned by Mary, Queen of Scots while she was being held in a Staffordshire manor goes under the hammer.

Police calls hit by 'lack of staff'

A lack of staff is to blame for Staffordshire Police taking twice as long to answer phone calls from the public, the force says.

Dixons to save 800 Phones 4U jobs

Dixons Carphone is set to save 800 Phones 4U jobs, while mobile phone network operators Vodafone and EE are in discussions to buy parts of the stricken Staffordshire retailer.

VIDEO: Lack of GPs 'threatening' surgeries

Doctors and an MP have said recruitment problems are threatening the future of surgeries in the West Midlands.

Wedgwood appeal raises £700,000

A public appeal launched to save the Wedgwood Museum pottery collection raises £700,000 in two weeks.

Six regions hit new house price peak

The West Midlands sees average house prices lift above their pre-financial crisis peak after values rose again in July, official figures show.

Live BBC World News

Video of British hostage released

A new video is released showing a British man, identified as journalist John Cantlie, believed to be held hostage by Islamic State militants.

Ukraine president urges US support

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko calls on the US to provide military assistance to his country to counter pro-Russian eastern separatists.

Australia in 'beheading plot' raids

Police carry out anti-terrorism raids in Sydney sparked by intelligence that Islamist extremists were planning random killings in Australia.

Nigeria has 'torture officers'

Torture has become such an integral part of policing in Nigeria that many stations have an informal torture officer, Amnesty International says.

France to launch air strikes in Iraq

France's President Hollande says he is ready to launch air strikes to help Iraqi forces fighting the Islamic State group.

California wildfire doubles in size

A wildfire threatening thousands of homes in central California doubled in size overnight, burning 111 square miles (288 sq-km).

Ebola team 'held captive in Guinea'

Officials in Guinea say a team of health workers and journalists who were trying to raise awareness about Ebola may have been kidnapped.

BBC Sports News

Struggling Fulham sack boss Magath

Fulham sack boss Felix Magath following their poor start to the season and appoint Kit Symons as caretaker manager.

Pick your best Ryder Cup moment

Tense, tantalising, captivating, controversial, the Ryder Cup delivers iconic moments year after year. Choose the best from our top 10.

Thompson wins Laser bronze for GB

Nick Thompson wins bronze medal for Great Britain in the Laser class at the Sailing World Championships in Santander.

GB to face USA in Davis Cup opener

Great Britain will face seventh seeds the USA in the first round of the 2015 Davis Cup World Group in March.

Adams resigns as Port Vale manager

Micky Adams resigns as Port Vale manager after a run of six straight defeats for the League One side.

Queen of Scots letter up for auction

A letter penned by Mary, Queen of Scots while she was being held in a Staffordshire manor goes under the hammer.

Police calls hit by 'lack of staff'

A lack of staff is to blame for Staffordshire Police taking twice as long to answer phone calls from the public, the force says.

Dixons to save 800 Phones 4U jobs

Dixons Carphone is set to save 800 Phones 4U jobs, while mobile phone network operators Vodafone and EE are in discussions to buy parts of the stricken Staffordshire retailer.

VIDEO: Lack of GPs 'threatening' surgeries

Doctors and an MP have said recruitment problems are threatening the future of surgeries in the West Midlands.

Wedgwood appeal raises £700,000

A public appeal launched to save the Wedgwood Museum pottery collection raises £700,000 in two weeks.

Six regions hit new house price peak

The West Midlands sees average house prices lift above their pre-financial crisis peak after values rose again in July, official figures show.

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

1. Barnardo’s calculated that one in five families in England would not have been able to afford a trip to the seaside on bank holiday Monday last week. Looking at the cost of train tickets, fish and chips and sun cream, the charity estimated that a day trip could cost as much as £172.20 and blames welfare cuts for poverty. Metro

2. Networking, risk-taking and ruthlessness are the keys to running your own business, as well as being aged 31, a survey has found. Only six per cent of entrepreneurs feel academic qualifications were vital to success, with eight per cent saying their good looks had helped their chances. However, a third of those polled make less money and work longer hours than they had expected. BBC

3. There was a "statistically significant" rise in immigration in the year to March according to new figures. Net migration into the UK totalled 243,000 in the 12-month period, up almost 40% on the previous year. Some 560,000 people, most from the EU, entered the country and 316,000 left. David Cameron has pledged to reduce annual net migration to 100,000. The Times

4. The latest figures, from the 2012 Health Survey for England, show that 14% of children aged two to 15 were obese and 28% were classed as overweight or obese. Those aged 11 to 15 were more likely to be obese with one in five children placed in that category. In children aged two to 10, 10% of both boys and girls were obese. Daily Mail

5. The World Health Organization has called for a ban on the use of electronc cigarettes indoors and says age restrictions should be introduced to stop children using them. A new report says e-cigarettes are likely to be less harmful than traditional ones but says they should not be promoted as devices that can help people quit. Daily Express

6. The UK is deeply elitist according to an analysis of the backgrounds of more than 4,000 business, political, media and public sector leaders. The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission study found that 71% of senior judges, 62% of senior armed forces officers, 55% of top civil servants, 43% of newspaper columnists and 36% of the Cabinet were educated at independent schools and Oxbridge. BBC

7. Darts is being given a middle-class makeover. The game, once synonymous with the working-class, is now drawing a wealthier crowd who are paying £600 for tickets. Prince Harry and Zara Phillips have both been to world darts championships. Stephen Fry has dipped his toe in darts commentary. The Sunday Times

8. Salaries offered in job advertisements have witnessed their first annual rise since the recession. A study found that the average annual wage offered in the UK was £33,873 in July, up 0.9% on the same period a year ago. The rise bucked this month’s official jobs data which showed an unexpected 0.2% drop in earnings growth in the three months to July. Daily Telegraph

9. House prices in Britain will be more than 25% higher in five years, with London finally being overtaken by other parts of the country. Property firm Savills predicts that house prices will jump by 9.5% this year across the UK, up from its original estimate of 6.5%, with the property market having “exceeded all expectations”. The Times

10. A slice of cake from Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s wedding in 1981 has sold at auction for $1,375 (£820). The cake, in its original white and silver presentation box, was sold to a mystery online bidder in Los Angeles. Fans of royal food have previously purchased cakes dating back to Queen Victoria’s wedding in 1840. The Times

The latest BBC Video News clips

VIDEO: Police appeal after art theft attempt

Birmingham Police have asked for help to identify a man caught on CCTV attempting to take a piece of art from a city centre gallery.

VIDEO: Nine convicted of 'pyramid scheme'

Nine women have been convicted of operating a "pyramid" scheme in which thousands of investors lost money.

VIDEO: Police search Alice suspect's home

Police have been searching the property of suspect, Arnis Zalkalns, as they continue to investigate the disappearance of 14-year-old Alice Gross.

VIDEO: Why are there so many blackberries?

It has been a bumper year for edible plants and berries according to The Woodland Trust, who say this autumn could see the best fruit crop since records began.

VIDEO: Farewell to the paper car tax disc

From October 2014 the paper car tax disc will be phased out as details are moved onto an electronic register.

VIDEO: War ammo found in residential garage

Munitions and other artefacts from World War One and World War Two have been found during a raid on a residential garage in St Albans, Hertfordshire.

AUDIO: 'I found migrant under my campervan'

A driver describes the moment he found a migrant "clinging on with his fingernails" to the bottom of his campervan.