Birmingham is still failing to reach the "premier league" of European cities, a Cabinet Minister has warned.
David Miliband, a local government Minister, said Birmingham had not enjoyed the same success as rival cities in Europe.
He highlighted Turin, in Italy, or Valencia, in Spain, as examples of thriving cities with strong economies and high quality services - and warned that Birmingham needed to catch up.
Birmingham's Lord Mayor has been criticised after turning down calls for a disaster fund for victims of the tornado which devastated parts of the city.
Coun John Hood, the current Lord Mayor, revealed he and city council leader Mike Whitby had decided not to launch an appeal, despite pleas from MPs representing the areas affected.
A war veteran locked up by his own side on suspicion of being a spy has been reunited with his interrogator after 61 years.
Sergeant George Holmes was taken prisoner twice and escaped only to be questioned as a possible enemy spy by a British RAF unit in 1944.
Mr Holmes has now been contacted by fellow Brummie Dennis O'Connor, the Leading Aircraftman who quizzed him all those years ago.
Tory leadership contender Ken Clarke was struggling to win the backing of West Midlands MPs last night, despite his Birmingham background.
The former Chancellor was based in the city for 16 years when he worked as a barrister in the region's courts.
Last night he launched his campaign to become the next Conservative leader, declaring: "I am the man to do it."
But he failed to gain the backing of Birmingham's sole Tory MP, Andrew Mitchell (Con Sutton Coldfield), who is supporting rival candidate David Davis, the shadow Home Secretary
Birmingham has fired the first salvo in its Battle of Trafalgar anniversary celebrations at a ceremony commemorating Admiral Lord Nelson's visit to the city.
Civic leaders and heritage campaigners joined scores of spectators and one of Nelson's descendants at the unveiling of a commemorative plaque marking the naval hero's visit in 1802.
Three years before his death at Trafalgar, Nelson visited one of Birmingham's great industrialists Matthew Boulton and was received with great affection by the people of the city.
He commissioned the medal for the Battle of the Nile at Boulton's Soho factory.
More on these stories in Thursday's Birmingham Post