The latest news, sport and weather for the East Midlands.
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This is East Midlands Today with Dominic Heale and me, Anne Davies.
Tonight — the horrifying news that came in a late night phone call. He
said, have you heard anything? I said, "no—mac." He said, "your house
came on fire." In just moments, this man had lost his wife, daughter and
two sons. Also made, the pro—Minister tells us
that cash—strapped local councils should stop living. These cuts are
relatively modest, they can be done. Plus, a vigil for Christians killed
in a Pakistan suicide attack. And the world beating supercomputer
that is unlocking the secrets of the stars.
Good evening and welcome to Friday's programme. First tonight:
The father who lost his entire family in a house fire in Leicester
two weeks ago has described the moment he was told of the tragedy.
He's also revealed he can't bring himself to go and see the gutted
property. Dr Mohammed Taufiq al Sattar said
his faith is keeping him strong after the loss of his wife and three
children. Sarah Teale reports. It was a devastating fire which
engulfed the Taufiq al Sattar family home at Woodhill in Leicester, two
weeks ago. Dr Sattar was in Dublin, where he worked as a neurosurgeon,
When he was woken with a phone call from a friend. And he said, "Have
you heard anything?" I said "No". He said, "Your house came on fire". And
he said he hadn't seen anybody taken out from the house. As a
neurosurgeon, I know we deal with life and death everyday in life, as
well. So, yeah...it was on my mind, as well. Dr al Sattar has only
visited the family home once, since. Very painful. I have not seen my
house again. And I don't want to see it, as well. I don't want to go
inside, as well. His three children — daughter Zainab, 19, and sons
Bilal, 17, and Jamil, 15 — died along with Dr al Sattar's wife
Shehnila. A wonderful lady. She was very active. And she made so many
friends here in Leicester. When we came, first time in 2006, you can't
believe — we did not know any single person in Leicester. And now you can
see how the community is with us. Dr al Sattar says that support and his
faith have given him strength to cope. There are so many people who
have condolences — sympathy with yourself and with your family. Even
if they don't know you but they are there. This is what is giving me
comfort in my heart. 18—year—old Kemo Porter from Leicester has been
charged with murder. Seven other people are still being questioned by
police. Sarah Teale, East Midlands Today.
The Prime Minister has dismissed warnings from East Midlands councils
about town hall cuts. David Cameron describes a new round
of belt tightening on town halls as relatively modest and not impossible
to find. In an interview with our Political
Editor John Hess in Downing Street, the Prime Minister was responding to
the latest warnings from local politicians of dire consequences.
Well, I think there is a danger they are trying to play a blame game.
Look, everyone in this country, everyone watching this programme,
knows that we have a big budget deficit. We can't live beyond our
means. We've had to make cuts, cuts in central government and local
government. But actually, when you look at the cuts in local
government, the additional cuts they are being asked to make, they are
relatively modest. It can be done. And I would praise local councils in
what they have done so far to make efficiencies without hitting front
line services. They can go on doing that. You will be aware that even
the leader of Leicestershire has been to hold meetings with
Conservative MPs here saying, actually, even his authority can't
take any more cuts. I don't accept that. I think local councils have
shown you can find efficiencies. Things like the pay freeze we put in
place have made sure we are keeping people in work, providing good
services. But of course it's difficult. The cuts that are being
asked for are relatively modest, something like 2.3%. It's not
impossible to do. The Housing Federation says the East Midlands
has only built 43% of homes that the region needs. —— is only building.
It supported Ed Miliband's pledge for the additional homes by the end
of a Labour government. And yet, already we are hearing from
Conservative MPs in marginal seats saying, "Not in my backyard". Where
is this going to be sorted out? We are sorting it out because we are
reforming the planning system so these houses can be built. People
are absolutely right saying this has got to be determined locally and
planning authorities should make decisions. My view is that actually,
when you trust local councils, what you find is that if they are given
the choice, they do build the houses but try to make sure they are built
in a way that local people support. That is what we have put in place
and I am confident we will get the housing that we need. Finally, one
of your MPs described you as a disturbing cocktail of Alan
Partridge and John Wayne. How would you describe yourself? I get
described as a lot of things in this job but I hope I am a bit more John
Wayne than Alan Partridge. Prime Minister, thank you very much
indeed. Thank you. And you can see more of that
interview and hear from the MEP who accused him of being more like Alan
Partridge on the Sunday Politics for the East Midlands. That's on BBC One
from 11am. Coming up in the programme — for
sport it's a big weekend. The latest East Midlands derby is tomorrow.
It's Nottingham Forest vs Derby County and this time around there is
a bit of extra spice! For the 20,000 football fans were
going to pack into the ground here tomorrow, it will be bright, funny
and a little bit breezy. That continues across the East Midlands.
A vigil is being held this evening in Leicester to remember people
killed in a suicide attack on a Christian church in Pakistan.
More than 80 died in the bomb blast last Sunday, including five members
of the same family with relatives in Leicester.
Well our reporter, Eleanor Garnier, is outside the church where
tonight's service is being held. Have many people arrived yet? At
least 50 people have arrived for this evening's vigil at the Church
of the Resurrection, here in Leicester. The service started half
an hour ago but people are still arriving. People of all faiths were
invited for the service. The assistant bishop of Leicester is
also here to join in the prayers, readings and music. This double
suicide bombing happened thousands of miles away in Pakistan but the
pain and impact is being felt here in Leicester. My report contains
some distressing images. This area had been packed with
Christian worshippers when two suicide bombers blew themselves up.
Dozens of men, women and children were killed, among them the uncle
and cousins of this man. He moved to Leicester two years ago. I am very
upset because I lost my family. In Pakistan. When I saw in the news...
My heart was weeping. I think nobody is safe in Pakistan. The double
suicide bombing happened at the all Saints Church as hundreds of
worshippers left Sunday Mass. Now, prayers are being fed thousands of
miles away in Leicester to remember those who died. I think it is a
reminder for us to respect the human life and it is a reminder for us
coming together to reflect on the value of life. And also, coming
together, that we may pray that people do not do things, take the
lives of other people. As mourners come to terms with what has
happened, it is thought this attack is the worst on Pakistan's Christian
community in the history of the country.
Now, militants linked to the Pakistani Taliban have said they
carried out that attack at that church on Sunday. But, in fact,
today, there has been another blast, this time on a bus. We know that at
least 17 people have died. People who came for this evening's vigil
have told me that all those who died will be in their prayers.
Thank you very much. A once—prominent member of the
English Defence League is on the run after being found guilty of a
violent attempted robbery in Nottinghamshire. Guramit Singh
Kalirai was sentenced to six and a half years on Tuesday after a
Hucknall shopkeeper was tied up and threatened with a knife in May. Two
other men were also jailed. But Kalirai, a former EDL spokesman from
Bramcote, failed to turn up at Nottingham Crown Court. A warrant's
now been issued for his arrest. Senior councillors at Derbyshire
County Council could be in line for a 10% pay rise, just days after they
announced 16,000 jobs may have to go. —— 1600. The newly—elected
Labour leadership says it needs to save £157 million over five years.
It also wants to change the way its cabinet members' allowances are
structured. An independent panel's recommended paying a smaller number
of councillors more, to make up for extra work they'll have to do.
A new research centre which aims to come up with better treatments for
patients with breathing problems opened today. £8 million pounds has
been invested into the Leicester Respiratory Biomedical Research
Unit. —— £8 million has been invested. It's based at the
Glenfield Hospital and will look into conditions like Asthma and
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD. We need to have
better drugs and this is a great facility for both studying new
medicines, testing them on patients, but also we have a lab which allows
us to come up with new ideas for different types of medicines which
might help patients. Police are making a direct appeal to
a missing teenager from Mansfield to return home. 14—year—old Ciaran
Sweeney ran away almost two weeks ago.
Despite being missing for all this time, officers believe he may not be
far away. Simon Ward reports from Mansfield.
The police are searching homes on this stage, trying to get
information about where the boy is. There have been numerous reported
sightings of the 14—year—old but none confirmed. Today, the police
spoke directly to him. If you are not wanting to go home for a
reason, don't want to face your mum, it is more important that we find
you and make sure you are safe. You can go to a police station. You
don't have to go home. You can speak to any of our uniformed staff
industry. Or even go into a major supermarket or some building like
that. It was almost two years ago that he ran across this Heath after
an argument with his mother. He was in such a hurry that he ran off
without any shoes. The police say someone in a house near here could
be sheltering him. It is most likely that he is in this area and that
somebody is helping him. That is what we are trying to appeal to
anybody who might know the whereabouts of the boy. Whether they
are looking after him themselves or think they might know someone who
is, we need to know and that he is safe. 's family and the police say
he is not in trouble, they just want him home. The focus is trying to
discover whether he is hiding in one of these houses.
A Government report says police in Derbyshire carry out too many
strip—searches in custody. Her Majesty's Inspectorate studied
stations in Derby and in the north of the county. It claims officers
couldn't always give convincing reasons for the searches and those
arrested were sometimes put in undignified safety clothing,
unnecessarily. It did praise their general treatment. The force says
the safety of those in custody is its main priority.
One of the region's busiest roads will see the start of weekly
overnight closures from this weekend. The A453 between the M1 and
Nottingham will be closed from 8pm on Saturday nights until 6am on
Sunday mornings, from now until March. It's part of the on—going
widening work. The Highways Agency has warned drivers to leave plenty
of time for their journeys — especially if travelling to East
Midlands Airport. If you are due to be travelling in
or out of Nottingham then be aware there are long delays on the A453.
Some power cables came down and blocked the road both ways. They
have been moved but congestion has still built up.
New figures on house prices show that the East Midlands is currently
one of the strongest performing regions in the UK. Prices rose on
average by more than 3% in the third quarter of this year, with the
average price of a home reaching nearly £162,000. According to the
Nationwide Building Society, Leicester was the strongest
performing area in the region, with annual price growth of 6%.
Derbyshire recorded 1%. You might have heard that there is a
massive super brain at work in the East millions. It's not Dom, it's
called Complexity. It's a huge super—computer in Leicester that's
putting Britain at the leading edge of space science.
It's even helping unravel the mystery of how the stars themselves
are created. Navtej Johal reports. The results from this machine have
drawn some of the brightest scientific minds in the country to
our part of the world. This £2 million supercomputer can handle
over 90 trillion operations per second. That means a task that would
take months on a desktop computer can be performed in a few days.
Physically, this supercomputer has been named Complexity. —— in a
fitting fashion. This is one of five supercomputers being used to throw
the UK to find out more about our galaxy. At this conference, hosted
by the University of Leicester team, everyone working on the project has
been brought together for the first team. You can see the posters
showing the results of what is coming out of the project at the
moment. These are at the cutting edge of what we understand of
astronomy and particle physics. This is the sign that the UK is really
leading the world in this. It is keeping the head. Leicester's
machine has been exploring black holes. It has always been thought
that black holes stop stars being created. But Ph.D. Student Martin
Bourne has been on the team whose findings could actually suggested
the opposite. We are finding that these can actually create stars. The
results that are coming out on the effect it has on the amenity is
amazing. Again, it is just showing how hard the people here are
working. The scientists say it is down to supercomputers like
Leicester's that the UK is able to make these new discoveries and stay
at the top of global scientific research.
Just how long would you be on the helpline is that crashed!
A long time! It must be chilly in our studio. There are many and
scarves. That is because —— except for me, I
am staying neutral. We have to special fans dressed up for the
occasion. The waiting is barely over. It's the biggest game of the
season for the fans — the East Midlands derby. Nottingham Forest
against Derby County is tomorrow at the city Ground. We are going to
have more from these men but first, Natalie Jackson has been in both
camps this week. The Derby, the biggest game of the
season. Steve it is massive, definitely massive. When it comes to
drama, passion, intrigue and plots and twists, trust me, this game
cannot be beaten. This is all about bragging rights. I think, over the
last number of games, Derby have managed to get their hands on the
bragging rights and we would like to turn that around. For many years, we
didn't get anything at all. It is nice to have given them some
happiness in that department. We wanted to go out there and give
it all to get the three points, to put any good performance and keep
good going. For the fans as well, you know. So that they have bragging
rights because it is important. I am pretty sure that Saturday will be
very different in the sense that it will be lots of blood and guts and
thunder. You know, really intense. This year, much will be made of the
relationship between the two managers. Davis formally took Derby
to the Premier League. Back in 2010, Billy accused Nigel of kneeing him
in the back of the leg during a touchline melee. The other has
always denied the allegation. I should cancel the men so I don't
think it will be a drink and a chat afterwords but out of respect for
the job that we do, we will she can. I agree with him, we certainly will
not be having a drink after the game but, as I said, we will do what we
have got to do with regards to respect for each other and the clubs
we are —— jobs were getting. —— jobs we are getting done.
No love lost between the managers, is there?! But they have both
emphasised they want the game played in the right kind of spirit and the
fans to keep it friendly too. Lets talk about it all then, with our
guests. In the Rams corner, Craig Ramage — a Derby boy who turned out
for his hometown club. And in the Reds corner, David Johnson — a
proper Forest hero who seems to spend half his life within yards of
the city Ground. What's the atmosphere like at these games,
then? It's amazing. I was brought up as a Derby fan so it was a little
bit extra special for me but the atmosphere, everything about it, I
think it is on par with a Merseyside and Manchester derby. It means that
much to the Derby people and Forest people. To you agree? Steve
much to the Derby people and Forest people. To you agree? It is a
fantastic atmosphere if you win. It is a long way back down the motorway
if you get beaten but obviously, it is a City Ground and lots of fans so
I am happy. What is your best memory? In 1990, I managed to score
against the red dogs! I was very happy about it. What Mike —— we beat
them and went on to the play—offs and did not get to the final but it
was a good year. Let's talk about what is going to
happen tomorrow. Forest have got the edge. Does that matter, the weight
of history? Not really. I think that Derby have come to the city ground
and done very well. In the last game, obviously. This year, Forest
have been bested. Some quality players. I don't think they could
have played at a better time, tomorrow. Derby have got these
recent games. They won five out of the last ten, only three wins for
Forest. We have been struggling at home but we are playing well, the
teams are coming at us and we can break on. It is a little bit
different. Finding them little holes that were causing them trouble.
Hopefully, we will get her own form sorted out but we have a great
chance tomorrow. Is the way for going to be enough for Derby? I
think the quality of the home team will get them through tomorrow. They
not a chance! I would be happy with the draw but I think we will get
ours in tomorrow. Thank you both for joining us. Derby are looking at
signing a couple of new players. News of that to come and Forest on
the vibe, the pear drops on signings also.
Of course, it is not all about Forest verses Derby, Leicester are
in stunning form at the moment. One player in particular is enjoying his
best form yet in a Foxes shirt. When striker Jamie Vardy joined last
season, he cost the club £1 million — a record fee for a non—league
player. His aim — to prove it's been money well spent.
He has gone from non—league to a team vying for the Premier League. I
mean, when they tell you you're not good enough, you think, that said,
it's not gone to happen. He did not play for a year but was persuaded to
return and it was the best decision of his life. His goal—scoring
exploits earned him a £1 million move to the Foxes. That price tag
and proving he was good enough to could stall. The physicality of the
players, the quality of the players. It was always going to be hard but
last year, me seeing what works and working hard in the off—season. I
think it helps when you aren't seeing on Twitter support from all
of the —— when you are getting abuse on Twitter. You have to prove
yourself. Scoring two goals already and the promise of more to come, can
he complete his fairy tale and be in the Premier League? It would be a
dream come true. We will just have to, hopefully it will happen and I
will have to pinch myself again! That was a great interview, really
interesting. Don't step away from the rest
because there is plenty more actually. There is more?
Also in action this weekend, Notts County at Carlisle. And the other
big local derby. Can't believe that Chesterfield versus Mansfield has
fallen on the same day as Forest v Derby. What a renewal of old
rivalries that is! Follow all the games on your BBC Local Radio
station. It's not all that's happening. Very quickly, here are
our four to watch. Leicester Tigers are off to Exeter
off the back of a home win in Newcastle. The Heineken cup looms.
The Panthers are looking in very good nick but Belfast are the next
visitors to the arena. Super featherweight level fights.
All the best to everyone taking part in the Robin Hood Marathon. We know
how much you put into it. They do us all proud.
Whatever you're doing, sporting wise, it is going to be.
We have to say, special good luck to John Hyslop, who you saw earlier, in
the marathon. He is running for a good cause. So
are others. Good luck. You will notice that they are in
pink! That is not unusual.
We will not give away things at that.
Let's have a look at the weather. Such a big sporting weekend and the
weather is coming up big time as well, I am pleased to say. With
plenty of sunny weather, that is what we got earlier also. The
temperatures got to around 18. Temperatures over the weekend are
looking pretty good. Staying dry also. A bit of a breezy time. As far
as this evening, I dare say it could even be barbecue weather, fingers
crossed! Going into the early hours of Saturday, under those clear
skies, that will mean that the temperatures will plummet. Pretty
much widespread across the East Midlands, doughnut around single
figures. That is your towns and cities at ten but really it is
definitely single figures. As for tomorrow, we are in a little pocket
of settled weather and that is very good news for us. As far as going
through to the football, that is the important thing, kick at the
ground, 1215. It will be dry and buy it and not too badly drawn. Here is
what it looks like on the radar. Plenty of bright and sunny weather
with a little bit of cloud creeping into parts of Leicestershire as we
make our way and the last part of this afternoon. —— the afternoon.
The temperatures are up to around 19 Celsius which is a touch more than
the average. If you can get yourself a little bit of an isolated sun
trap, it might get a little bit higher. Through into Sunday, I
mentioned it would be breezy throughout the weekend. It will be
noticeably more so on Sunday afternoon. It is the Robin Hood
Marathon in Nottingham. Looks like it will be a little bit of the cool
start after that cold night on Saturday. He will be pleased to hear
that it is bright, dry and sunny as well. I did mention that it would be
quite breezy. I hope that Breeze is behind you, rather than running into
it for your sake stop the low pressure is making its way in but it
will turn into drizzle as it gets the words of an East Midlands. It
stays dry, bright and settled in the can. Best of luck for the marathon.
All—rounder to yours for a barbecue! I am fixated. A good idea. Nice to
end on a nice weather forecast. Good luck to everybody. When Mike indeed.
We will see you this weekend. Goodbye.