10/10/2013 East Midlands Today


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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.


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