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This is East Midlands Today with Anne Davies. And me, Dominic Heale.
Tonight, thousands attend open air prayers for a family killed in a
house fire. The coffins were brought to a local park as grieving husband
and father, Doctor Muhammad Taufiq Al Sattar, called for peace and
unity. All humanity, religions, denominations, nobody wants any or
mishaps. Hyde the laboratory mice prompting talk of an Alzheimer's
breakthrough. Plus it is claimed there will be thousands of more jobs
in the pipeline with a new training centre here in the East Midlands.
And the tonnes of wood and rubble cleared by volunteers from the dyke
that floods their town. Good evening and welcome to the
programme. Thousands of people gathered in Leicester today for the
funeral prayers for a family of four killed in a house fire last month.
The ceremony at Spinney Hill Park was held to remember Shehnila Taufiq
and her three teenage children. Our reporter Eleanor Garnier is there
now. Good evening. Just how many people were there? Police estimate
they were around 7000 people here, who started arriving around 3:30pm,
and by the time prayers started just after 4pm, the crowds were still
gathering. Clearly, the cold and windy weather did not put people off
coming to pay their respects. It is grief that brought thousands of
people together in Leicester today. Mourning the loss of a mother and
her three teenage children, their bodies brought to the park by police
escort. Row upon row, friends, neighbours, strangers, coming for
funeral prayers, and to support this man Doctor Muhammad Taufiq Al
Sattar, now a widower and childless, but expressing thanks to
people all around the world. From all different the nominations,
getting e—mails, cards, telephone calls, that will give me peace and
strength in my heart so that I can see this in Leicester and Dublin and
throughout the world. —— different denominations. I am not angry, guess
macro, my heart is broken. Is silent in reflective prayer, remembering
Shehnila Taufiq, her daughter Zainab, and her two sons back row
one and Bilal. This has brought everyone together. —— her two sons
Bilal and Jamal. This has brought everyone together. Fire engulfed
their home. And one more journey before their final resting place by
ferry to Ireland, where the doctor worked as a neurosurgeon. On
Saturday, in Dublin, their bodies will be laid to rest.
Today was about paying respect to those who died and allowing a
community to come together to mourn, but seven people have now
been charged with the murder of Shehnila Taufiq and her three
teenage children, clearly a court case continuing and one man arrested
yesterday who remains in police custody. Thank you.
Next tonight, landmark research carried out in the East Midlands is
being hailed as a breakthrough in the eventual treatment of
Alzheimer's and other neurological diseases. A team based in Leicester
has shown they can halt brain cell death in mice. However, the
Alzheimer's Society has given the news a cautious welcome. They say
scientists are still a long way from finding a successful treatment. Our
health correspondent Rob Sissons can tell us more.
The work they have been doing in this laboratory in Leicester has got
people excited around the world. They have had interviews with
Canada, America and New Zealand. It is work on the brains of mice
getting everyone so excited. The papers were full of it, scientists
saying it could be a historic turning point in the development of
medicines to treat degenerative new role —— degenerative conditions like
Alzheimer's. We were able to do it genetically, but having a drug that
can target the pathway is a huge step forward, leading ways for drug
companies to develop these further. Both these mice have a rub it
neurological disorder. But this one was treated with the compound,
showing few symptoms, the other is not treated and moves with poor
coordination. This is now opens the way for drug companies to develop
treatments for people. It is hugely impressive in the whole Alzheimer's
sphere anyway, but we hope we can work with them and colleagues based
in Nottingham, chemists there to take this forward. Will it be a game
changer? Heather hopes so. She is an ambassador for the Alzheimer's
Society in Derby and has early signs of dementia. Her attitude, until
there is a cure, make the most of every day. The white there and enjoy
life as best you can. In the meantime, —— go out there and enjoy
your life. In the meantime, make the best of it. This man died last month
after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's in his '40s. His wife
says this gives hope to people. We always hope for a cure, but
unfortunately, there was not, but this is hopeful that other people so
they do not have to go through what we went through. In Leicester, it
has taken five years to get this far and two and a half million pounds.
This story has been everywhere, huge reaction understandably? I guess it
is because of numbers. According to the NHS, the number of people with
Alzheimer's in the UK is well over 600,000. As we live longer, of
course, more will get it. How far off is the treatment going to be
available? There are works going on on other treatments, but in that
laboratory in Leicester, they are protecting five maybe ten years
before treatment humans. Alzheimer's Society, perhaps understandably,
being cautious, what have they said? I believe they are managing
people's expectations, because this will take years, and it may not
translate to an effective drug. We know the compound given to those
mice had a nasty side—effect with their pancreas. In humans, that
could mean the treatment does not work. Still a long way to go. But
keeping fingers crossed. IQ very much, —— thank you very much, Rob.
Coming up, traders who sell so—called legal highs are told to
examine their consciences. Plus we find out about the new IVF treatment
that increases pregnancy rates by 20%.
A court has heard extracts from a teenager's diary in which he
describes how he'd carry out a massacre at his school. The Old
Bailey was told the teenager from Loughborough, who can't be
identified, intended to lock the exits, throw explosives into a
classroom and "finish off" any survivors. Earlier the court had
been shown weaponry, including pipe bombs, found in the boy's bedroom.
Investigators have been trying to get inside a burned—out derelict
building in Derby where a man's body was found. The discovery was made on
Tuesday night after a large fire at the former Friargate Pine Company
building. The cause of his death and the cause of the fire are not known
at the moment. Police think they know the identity of the man, but
haven't released any further details. Two men have been arrested
in connection with the fire. More than £11 million is to be spent
improving Nottingham's bus services. Five cities across the UK will
benefit from the government's new Better Bus Funding. The idea is to
drive up performance and passenger numbers. Nottingham City Council has
received the biggest pay out and will be able to choose where the
money goes. You are watching East Midlands
Today, here on the BBC. Shopkeepers are being urged to stop
selling "legal highs", substances that have the same effects as hard
drugs. The call has come from a Nottinghamshire charity that helps
young people who've taken them. Some have seen friends die. Our Social
Affairs Correspondent, Jeremy Ball, reports.
Getting high doesn't have to mean breaking the law. But that doesn't
make it safe. These young men in Sutton in Ashfield have all
experienced problems with legal highs. It can be quite frightening.
I have seen little green men, I tried to pick them up, tried walking
through a door, but it was a wall. I was instantly tripping, could not
thing straight, or control my mind or body. It is like your brain turns
off. John was only 11 when he started taking legal highs. Three of
his friends have died from overdoses. They overdosed on it, not
knowing what was in it, did not know how to deal with over diocese ——
overdoses. This is what legal highs look like. They're chemical
compounds that mimic the effect of hard drugs. But they can be sold as
incense or bath salts, as long as they're labelled not for human
consumption. And they are easy to get hauled off.
Shops like this seldom over—the—counter. And it is
perfectly legal to buy them online as well. But one charity is asking
traders to examine their consciences. This conference in
Mansfield heard why they're so worried. A survey of vulnerable
young people found that two thirds of them had taken legal highs. Far
more than the number who smoked. We are really concerned. The stuff they
are selling is just as damaging as illegal drugs. They may think it is
legal, but may have some legal substances such as mephedrone. ——
some illegal substances. Legal or not, these young men say they don't
want to repeat the experience. But there'll be plenty of others still
taking legal highs tonight. Next tonight, a breakthrough in IVF
treatment which gives women a 20% greater chance of falling pregnant.
It's a relatively simple procedure which is being trialled by
researchers at a Nottingham clinic. They say the results are very
significant and very promising for women trying to have a baby through
IVF. Sarah Teale reports. Let's see what he is up to.
This is an exciting time for mum—to—be Jo Cummings from Ripley.
She's almost 29 weeks pregnant with a baby boy. After trying to conceive
for three years, she fell pregnant on her first cycle of IVF treatment
at the Nurture Clinic in Nottingham. She was part of a clinical trial for
a procedure called endometrial scratching. A tiny sample of the
womb lining is taken away before IVF takes place. It is fantastic to know
now how worthwhile it has potentially been for me to take
part, but at the time, even 1% more of a chance was worth it. When you
feel desperately trying to get pregnant, I read that and thought,
if it helps me, or anyone else, it is worth it. There have been greater
developments in IVF, such as number of eggs and embryos. The missing
part of the puzzle has been implementation. It's something as
safe as this to do that, it would be fantastic. 180 women are taking part
in the Nurture trials. The first study took place in Brazil.
And the results are pretty astonishing. Pregnancy rates are up
from 29% to 49%. And live births up from 23% to 42%. Why such a simple
procedure works is still a mystery. A lot of anecdotal evidence. People
who have had IVF in the past, or infertility investigations, and it
has not worked, but the fall pregnant. It may be the lining of
the womb regenerating itself. Or maybe complex than that, but that
could be an easier way to understand it. Jo says she still can't believe
she was one of the lucky ones. It still has not sunk in in, despite
seeing him beautifully on—screen all. It amazes me every day. It is
wonderful. Wonderful indeed. Lovely.
New jobs in the gas industry are being promised with the opening of a
£6 million training centre in the East Midlands. Half of National
Grid's gas engineers are due to retire in the next ten years and new
apprentices are now urgently needed. Simon Ward has been to the centre in
Nottinghamshire. National Grid is a company that
distributes gas and electricity to our homes on behalf of the energy
firms. This training complex is being officially opened today at
Eakring in Nottinghamshire. These pipes would normally be under high
pressure with gas. For training purposes, high pressure air is used.
With so many gas engineers due to retire from the company in the next
decade, new staff will be needed and they'll be trained here. Technicians
coming into this industry can experience the real physical reality
of the equipment and the computers that drive the gas around the UK. We
are going to be hiring and training thousands of engineers in the
future. This industry needs a lot of talent coming in. We are investing
in skills and people. There is another half miles were below ground
of pipework. Davey is a big issue in this high—pressure. Trainees working
very realistic conditions. The first apprentices studying here in
Nottinghamshire have come down from Scotland. We can pick the brains of
people with this knowledge, working in the industry for 40 years, and
hope lay fill their boots at some point. It is not traditional to want
to work in engineering, but interested for me. There must be
more women interested in this type of job. The issues of how much
energy costs and how it is generated are very much in people's minds at
the moment. National Grid says it will stay at the forefront of the
industry with this new centre. Beautiful sky there. Very nice.
Still to come... A big moment for a mixed up mutt at the Mother of
Parliaments. An "almost poodle" called Noodle is crowned Westminster
Dog of the Year. But which honourable member does he belong to?
Got a glimpse there. Just a tiny glimpse.
Volunteers have completed the first leg of clearing blockages from a
dyke which caused major flooding in a Nottinghamshire town a few weeks
ago. So far, tonnes of debris has been collected from the waterway in
Southwell. The group is now demanding that it's regularly
maintained by council workers. Quentin Rayner is there.
Whenever floods hit Southwell, Potwell Dyke is usually to blame.
Unable to cope with sudden surges of rainwater, and clogged by debris, it
overflows causing misery and mayhem. In July, three inches of rain fell
in just 80 minutes, making the county the wettest place in the UK.
Since then, twice a week, a team of volunteers has been clearing the
dyke to improve its ability to cope with any future flash floods. In
seven weeks, a lot has been removed from the half a kilometre cleared so
far. All this huge pile, we have taken to the tip, huge quantities of
recycling, metal, plastic, huge rubbish, about 120 bags of what
looks like domestic rubbish, but it is nasty and smelly. The problem is
the dyke isn't actually owned by anybody with overall responsibility.
There's confusion and uncertainty among the 80 or so landowners as to
their responsibilities about maintaining it. We are looking for
one government agency to take this on board and look after the dyke
properly. The County Council, District Council, perhaps. Done
piecemeal will not work. We need one board to look and make sure it is OK
and clear it when needed. The County Council was at work today, repairing
a hole caused by the floods beneath a bridge over the dyke that
threatened to rupture a sewer. Last month, hundreds of people packed
into the Minster for the first public meeting of the newly formed
Southwell flood forum. The County Council has commissioned a detailed
flood study, which is expected to be published by next April. Action is
promised. It can't come soon enough for those in peril from the Potwell
Dyke. Thank goodness we have had a quiet
autumn so far. So far, chickens and hatching and whatnot. Now for the
sport. First, the chairman wants them in
the Championship. Their manager says second place sucks. I am quoting
there. No lack of ambition then at Mansfield Town. Back in the Football
League after a five year exile, expectations are high. Despite two
recent defeats, the Stags have been surprising people this season.
Angela Rafferty went behind the scenes at their midweek cup game
this with week. An hour before kick—off and this is
where you'll find the man who masterminded Stags promotion. Alone
in his office, finalising his set pieces for tonight's match. The last
three or four years have been fourth from bottom and people calling for
my head. But off to a good start. The club seems to have a massive
smile on its face. Little wonder. An unexpected defeat last weekend ended
an eight game unbeaten run enough to put them into the playoffs.
Expectations are high. I wanted to drive on the club. Try and finish as
high as we can. For Mansfield fans, a return to the Football League
means the world. Something you cannot define, it is in your heart.
The add your site. Absolutely fantastic, brilliant start to the
season. —— the team is your side. A fantastic start. As the fans
streaming, it is down to business. A break from league action this week
brought the auld enemy to town. Up against Chesterfield in the
Johnstone's Paint Trophy. The Stags' performance outstanding. The result,
though, a big disappointment. Gutting, but it is a long season. I
have to stay focused, mentally strong, I have good young players. I
believe in them. I think they will achieve. A post—match beer with the
fans. A chance for the chairman to make clear his vision for the
future. We are a championship club. We want to be in the championship
season after season. They've proved many doubters wrong already. You
would not bet against them doing it again this season.
Some other news, Leicester Tigers will hand a debut to winger Miles
Benjamin in tomorrow's Heineken Cup clash with Ulster. The game in
Belfast will cap Benjamin's return from injury. Ulster's Ravenhill
Stadium is already sold out. But we'll be there for you.
One of the country's top sprinters is moving to the region. World
junior 100m champion Adam Gemili will train in Loughborough for the
forthcoming season. The 20—year—old has split from his coach and will
now work under British Athletics senior sprint coach Steve Fudge.
Gemili's new training group will include James Dasaolu, who is
Britain's second—fastest sprinter in history and Paralympic star Jonnie
Peacock. He'll divide his time between Loughborough and London
where he's studying for a degree. Finally tonight, our search for the
BBC East Midlands Sports Unsung Hero. We're looking for a volunteer
who's given their time and effort to help sport in your community. The
winner will get a very special night out at the BBC Sports Personality of
the Year show in December. So if you know someone who fits the
bill, please fill out a nomination form. You can get them online at
bbc.co.uk/unsunghero. Or you can ring 0845 308 8000. Calls cost up to
5p a minute from most landlines. They may cost considerably more from
mobiles. Nominations need to be in by next Wednesday. Please get in
touch if you know someone, they deserve the recognition.
Please do, it is so worth it. 500 Aquaboxes have been packed up
ready to leave the East Midlands bound for Syrian refugees in
Lebanon. The boxes contain water filters and survival essentials.
They have been assembled by volunteers in the Derbyshire village
of Cromford. Over two million people die every
year due to waterborne diseases. If an earthquake or flood has displaced
you, it can have tragic effects on whole communities. The charity
Aquabox is trying to help. This morning, 500 boxes of filters and
aid worth £60,000 are being shipped to Syrian refugees in Lebanon. Each
one goes to a family, containing a family filter which will give at
least 18,000 litres of safe drinking water. The rest of the boxes full of
emergency aid, tarpaulin, tools to make shelter. Stainless steel cooker
parts, plates, bowls, mugs, to enable people to eat. They make the
water filters here in Cromford. These smalls pumps can filter all
bacteria out, so families can drink safely. It is a project we are
immensely proud of. I think the fact we get about 70 volunteers coming
here every week to either assemble the pumps or the boxes. They come
and enjoy coming. They realise that they are doing something that will
help these poor, unfortunate people. There's a constant need for these
boxes all across the world. And that needs constant donations.
They are brilliant, those water boxes. Great work being done in
Derbyshire, as ever. Weather now, it was pouring outside. Not very nice,
feeling chillier, because of dramatic changes.
Some lovely warm temperatures on Monday, but dramatic come down
today, struggling to reach double figures.
11 degrees not particularly unusual, but the strength of wind made it
feel chilly. A northerly wind particularly felt across the East
Coast. That is normally a sheltered wind direction, keeping most of the
showers subway, some decent sunshine this morning, but the wind coming to
an easterly direction, bringing more showers tonight. Quite a damp night,
cloudy, breezy, but all of that will hold temperatures up, so not that
much lower than the time highs, around seven or eight Celsius.
Tomorrow morning starting cloudy, damp, spit sunspots rain through the
morning, but brisk northerly winds continuing, driving the showers
through. Tom Dryer sports tomorrow, but staying cloudy and breezy. ——
some Dryer sports. Temperatures higher around 13 or 14 degrees. The
wind will make it feel cooler. Into the weekend, keeping that strong
easterly wind through Saturday. The weather front will edge northwards
through the day as well, so not a very good day for Saturday, cloudy,
damp, outbreaks of the rain, and the wind making it feel chilly.
Hopefully, the wind easing down into Sunday. Some rain around, some
cloud, and quite cool, and not much fine of things warming up next week.
Never mind. Staying cheerful. Finally, one local pet has been
putting their best paw forward. A Leicestershire MP's dog has been
crowned Westminster Dog of the Year for 2013. Alan Duncan's cocker
spaniel poodle cross, named Noodle, was the proud pooch who took the
title in today's competition. This is a dog —— dogafesto, not a
manifesto. Noodle once an end to politics and ruff justice! I have
never seen him looking so pleased. That is it from us.