18/08/2011 Midlands Today


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Good evening and welcome to Thursday's Midlands Today from the


BBC. Tonight: thousands pay their respects to three men describe


today as martyrs. People should learn a lesson. Keep it peaceful


and calm. What now after A-levels? The highs


and lows. And what now with Harry Potter


having cast his final spell? It has Hailed as martyrs for protecting


their community. That's how three young men killed during last week's


riots were remembered at their funerals today. The funerals were


held at a park close to where Haroon Jahan and brothers Shahzad


Ali and Abdul Musavir, were mown down in a hit and run last


Wednesday. Around 20,000 mourners gathered to hear prayers and


tributes to the men with people from all religions joining the


Muslim ceremony. Our reporter was that the service. Incredible scenes.


It was pretty amazing. People kept coming over the course of about two


hours. They were predominantly Muslim, but there were many people


here from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. They had all


come to offer their condolences. The coffins of Haroon Jahan, and


the two brothers slowly made their way into our Summerfield Park.


Thousands of mourners came to pay their respects. I think it is


amazing. Not just in Birmingham but across the country, it shows the


feeling that people have for the family's and what they have been


through. I came just for the funeral. Why did you come? I wanted


to pay my respects. The father of Haroon has been widely praised for


his appeals for calm. He welcomed the mourners as it began in the


park where they played as children. We are still very much in shock.


Part of a says that we would not -- we would not wish anyone else to be


killed. Haroon to hard and the two brothers died as they stop looters


last week. All three were killed by a car. Police were here in numbers


but remained in obtrusive. These have been among the saddest and


most difficult of times bought these communities, but they have


been praised for rallying together as one. We have always come


together as a community and moved forward. Many here took comfort


from the huge share of support, an estimated 20,000 people. I never


expected this many people. It is such a sad day. I'm very proud of


the ceremony that has taken place today. Both as someone who lives in


Birmingham and as a Muslim, in terms of the dignified response but


everyone, not just Muslims, but the vast majority of people have shown.


As the prayers ended, the coffins were taken away for private family


burial. With me now is a local youth worker. 20,000 people here


today. Did you expect to see anything like this? I'm not shocked.


I'm proud of our city and the good people of Birmingham that came out


today. I didn't expect the numbers to be as huge as they were. I think


Birmingham has responded to this tragic and cowardly act with such


dignity and strength in terms of its numbers that we should all be


proud as the nation. We have said already that too weak to harm has


been praised by his words to stay calm -- the father of one of the


brothers. We came here today, we have bought young people who wanted


to be her and be part of this day - - be here. They all attended, one


even faster today, he was not even a Muslim, to show that solidarity.


That gives me hope in our generation, how they respond to


those words. Hopefully, the future will be brighter as well. You can


see behind me their dismantling the state here and getting the pop back


to normal. Many people will be hoping that Birmingham will also


return to normality. But it wasn't just in Summerfield


Park that the community came together to remember the three men.


Shops closed along Dudley Road in Winson Green, as people took time


to pay their respects. Our correspondent spent the day there.


Birmingham City Council has set up an online book of remembrance where


you can log in and make your own comments. The see of bouquets he


has been added to. People are standing quietly again, showing


their sign of respect to their three dead men. At this shrine


seems to be of significance, not just to Birmingham but the whole


country, perhaps the whole world. A sign that peace and goodwill can


prevail over greed and violence. All sections of the community, all


religions. People came here to cent -- to pay their respects. To lay


flowers, to pause and to spend a moment in contemplation. It is a


loss that to accept but she never get over -- you never get over.


whole of the UK is grieving for this. Eight days ago, three young


men lost their lives here. As the riots raged, they were defending


their community and local businesses. One man knew all three,


and every day he has sat and tended the mounting tributes outside


petrol station, unwilling to leave the place where his friends died.


The were really good people. All these people around, trying to look


after this area. Businesses were already share -- shutting up shop


hours before the funeral. A local community centre brought down its


shutters as people hurried away to pay their respects. It is a good


thing we are closing as a mark of respect to the three men who died.


It is supporting what is going on in the community at the moment. It


is not a race related thing, it goes back to more deep-rooted


problems. It is good that all the committees have come together.


result of their deaths, wise heads prevailed over hot heads, and the


flames of the riots died down in Birmingham. As with the murders of


the two teenage girls are shootings in to set -- 2003, the killing of


these three young men seems to have been a significant moment when


Birmingham held its breath and stepped back from the brink. This


nine-year-old boy it is Haroon's cousin. He said this was a sad but


also a proud day for his family. As people hurried off to the ceremony


at the park, one friend of the dead man spoke to me. I'm comforting


them, helping them to get through a difficult time. We want to thank


everybody for their support. Tonight, as a quarter urged drove


past the makeshift skies -- shrine, the family stop to pay their


respects. As the months and years go on, do you think these men will


be remembered by the local community or will many -- memories


fade? These young men here are trying to keep these flowers alive


with water. Of course, the flowers were Welt, but extraordinary scenes


here will reverberate around the country. People will be taking


notice of what has happened here today. The death of the three men


was always going to have a big impact, why do you think it was so


significant? I think it was because of the words of Haroon Jahan's


father. I think we often underestimate the power of speech.


When that man said, I have lost my son but I don't want any more


violence, I want the by its to stop, people listened. -- I want the


right to stop. The quiet dignity of that father has been appreciated


not just in this country but in the whole world. The impact of that man


has really been priceless. He has maintained the peace in the City of


Birmingham. Ian Beckford is the 4th man to be


charged with murder. Tomorrow morning, a two-minute silence will


be held as a mark of respect and the men.


100 jobs are being created as part of a multi-million-pound investment


at a factory in Stafford that makes engines. It comes just weeks after


a reported 1000 new jobs were being created at a distribution warehouse


Amazon. Yesterday, Stoke-on-Trent lost out to have an enterprise zone,


but today, the news for Staffordshire was better. This is


the new production line which has secured the future of a company


which employs 800 people in Stafford. The recession affected


everybody. We have a global market place and we did see a downturn in


our order book. We had to take appropriate action so we had to


lose some people. However, we have seen a recovery in the market and


we see a strong future for our products. Perkins makes diesel and


gas engines for electrical power. Several temporary staff were laid


off by the positions have been re created as part every �10 million


investment. It is brilliant news everybody and the community. It had


a bit of a knock back, but it is the same way of the work, whichever


industry. It has picked itself up. It is good news for the company.


The factory in Stafford is expanding at a time when Stoke-on-


Trent lost out on a bid to have an enterprise zone. The government


defended the decision by saying the area would benefit from a


neighbouring sown in the Black Country. I'm talking about the good


news here. We have got a chance to be in their. All the local MPs are


pushing for it. Also had good news that in suffix -- South


Staffordshire, it includes the I 54. 90 % of what is made here is


exported. The new investment is a welcome boost for workers to make


22,000 engines per year. A 44-year- old man from Staffordshire has been


arrested in connection with an ongoing corruption investigation.


He has been bailed pending further inquiries into alleged tendering


practices. Two other men already arrested remain on police bail.


TJ Hughes is shutting another three stores with the loss of 130 jobs.


Shops in Coventry, Redditch and Hanley will close later this month.


It follows the demise of five other TJ Hughes stores last week like


The Government's promising a new generation of local television


stations across the Midlands. Ten locations have been identified as


suitable and shortlisted for the new services. Culture Minister


Jeremy Hunt was in Birmingham encouraging people and


organisations to come forward and say why their town or city deserves


one of the new local TV stations. Clear going to issue 20 licences


next year, and out of 65 possible candidates, we are encouraging


people to write in to say why they would like their town or city to


beyond that initial list of 20. Then we will issue the other


licences shortly after that. We will have 20 pioneered licences


that Ofcom will issue next year. shall have to apply to want! Thank


you for joining us. Still to come: Find out how Harry Potter worked


his magic on these actors. First, though, if you got your A


level results this morning, I do hope you got what you wanted - it's


always a nerve wracking time. Overall, it's been another


successful year, with pass rates rising once again. But there won't


be many as successful as Ellie Davidson from Harborne in


Birmingham. She's sealed her place at Oxford University to study maths


with a stunning achievement... Wait for it... She got eight A* grades,


and even taught herself some of the modules at home.


I really don't know what to say. I cannot believe it. I worked hard


and I thought I would do OK but I never expected to do this well. It


has surpassed all expectations. looks a bit pleased!


Congratulations to her. Ellie has already got her uni place sorted,


but this year there's extra pressure for university places, as


students try to get on a course before tuition fees rise to up to


�9,000 next year. But for many students, university is no longer


the only option. Sarah Falkland was with students at the Q3 academy in


Great Barr in Birmingham as they opened their results.


A picture for the press - but university is out of reach for half


this group. Luke got A, D, B. He's going to take up an in house


apprenticeship at the academy with the aim of being a PE teacher.


thought about university, but obviously with the costs, and the


fact I play for at all, it just was unsuitable. Debbie did well, with


an A star and two As. I'm just excited I have got my results and I


can focus on going to university now. Jonathan got two Bs, but is


going to take advantage of the academy's Inqbate scheme which will


mean he can set himself up in business as a photographer. I will


get premises where I can set up a studio for myself. I get �500


start-up costs, I get a mentor. with 3 As and a C, Aimee is going


to take a year out before applying to drama school - but fees will


then be at a record high. I am hoping maybe they might be reduced


by the time I actually get there. The academy's had an above average


A level pass rate. It only opened 18 months ago - it is pretty swish.


It has raised aspirations and made them believe they really can


achieve. And of course it is not just a building that leads to


success. It is what goes in the building. Such a definitive day.


What they get inside this envelope can decide the rest of their lives.


I'm trying to find out if I have got a place. And inevitably, some


are disappointed. Ben has just heard that Nottingham won't take


him with slightly lesser grades. For him and others, results day


means shattered dreams. Joining us now is Kathryn Jones


from Birmingham City University. This means a very busy day for


clearing. At one point, 400 calls a second. How has it been for you?


Frantic. We have had 3,500 calls and we are open until 8pm tonight.


People are really upset when they don't have their grades. This is a


pivotal part of their educational life, going on to choose probably


their future career. It is. We are dealing with very anxious,


distressed people. There is lots of coverage about the reduction in


places. The message we're trying to get across is to stay calm, speak


to the universities because they may still accepted, although as we


know the pressure is rising and places are limited. But also


consider other options - you can still take a gap year, you could


consider a another subject for another level. Or perhaps part-time


study. You said you were busy, had you still got places at Birmingham


City University? We started out with between 203 hundred places.


The last count we at less than 100. We have some left on law and


specialist areas of Nursing like learning disabilities. Engineering,


technology and planning are also difficult to recruit for but there


is a store -- a shortage of those skills, so do think about what you


want to study. A scary time, but there are still some places out


there. Let us talk about some real success.


So, the England cricket team have successfully established themselves


- officially - as the best test side in the world. And we're proud


to say they got there thanks to two of Warwickshire's stars. But Ian


Bell and Jonathan Trott's successes with England leave the Bears


pushing hard to win the County Championship without them, as Nick


Clitheroe reports. As he proudly leads out his team,


Jim Troughton knows Warwickshire have a real chance of winning their


first County Championship title for seven years. The Bears have been


through a lean spell in recent seasons that even included


relegation, but this year they seem to have got it just right.


Generally, the 16 games over a season of cricket to terms --


determines who is the best side in the country. So it is important ask


what is going on at the club. Conditions have been quite tough.


Where in a position now where we can challenge and it is important


we played good cricket from here on in. Warwickshire a fourth but just


17 points behind their leader, Durham. It didn't go too well at


first as Hampshire got off to a flying start under grey skies. But


soon the visitors found themselves feeling the force of Warwickshire's


determination to lift the county title again. Champions in a great


new stadium. Brilliant. We're just worried a rather weather. That is


the worst thing. On top of his new pavilion, winning it would be the


icing on the cake. The cups are all right, but the championship is the


main one, definitely. Wickets fell regularly, to the delight of a


crowd which wasn't big but was certainly enthusiastic. And


Warwickshire took control of the match, with Hampshire all out for


just 141. Onto football and Stoke City have


already kicked off in their Europa League play-off in Switzerland this


evening. The score there is currently FC Thun 0, Stoke - 1.


Birmingham City kick off in about an hour against the Portuguese side


Nacional. It's their first game in a major European competition for 50


years. We have to make sure we are still in the Thai come next


Thursday. If we had a choice, we would have done it this way, away


from home first. Taking it back to son Andrew's next week, that is


what we've got. It is up to was. And if you want to follow


Birmingham City or Stoke City in the Europa League, you can hear


full commentary on BBC WM and BBC Radio Stoke.


Harry Potter is the most successful film franchise of all time, turning


a whole load of unknown teenage actors into worldwide stars. Among


them, our very own Oliver and James Phelps from Sutton Coldfield, who


were cast in the roles of the Weasley Twins. Now, after eight


movies it's all come to an end. Ben Sidwell's been to meet the brothers


and find out what the last 11 years of their lives have been like and


We told all our closest friends we were going to be in Harry Potter


and they did not believe us. We any told a few people, and they did not


believe us. Then a week later we turned up with ginger hair, and


then they said, OK, maybe you are. At school we were just going into


year 10. We picked our GCSEs, and neither of us picked drama. It was


not on our radar at the time. 14, Oliver and James Phelps, from


Sutton Coldfield, began filming the first Harry Potter movie. Back then,


no one had any idea just how big it would all become. We knew they


would make two, and there were whispers of three or four. But to


do eight... And the premiere for the last one last month, to bring


the whole of London to a standstill, because they reckon in and around


Trafalgar Square and Leicester Square, they reckon there were


20,000 people. The twins have received a similar reception around


the world and get plenty of fan mail. Some more unusual than others.


The weirdest one was recently. James got a massive box. A huge


package. I thought, this should be good. I opened it up and there was


a water melon in sight, which said, please sign and send back. Despite


the fame and adulation and money they have received, both James and


Oliver still live in the Midlands and have no intention of leaving.


Earlier in the year we were in the States the two months. Although it


was really nice weather and quite miserable over here, when we came


home, we said, I'm glad to be home. We still go down to Birmingham and


we both go down to Gloucester to watch the rugby. The Midlands is


our home. Both Oliver and James continue to make movies. But


whatever the future brings, they have some fantastic stories to tell


their children in the future. never kept a scrapbook, but no


friends and family who have kept scrapbooks. We saw a couple of


weeks ago, things we forgot even happened. As you say, it will be


great to show kids and Gran kids. We're very lucky.


Now, a look at the weather. Can you do any magic on that? I am afraid


not! We have had many changes since the start of the week, so the


weekend is unsettled but still warm. Temperatures in the low twenties.


That is thanks to this area of low pressure. It will produce a narrow


but fairly intense band of rain tomorrow night and into Saturday


morning. The best day in terms of dry weather and sunshine will be


tomorrow. In the interim period, we are looking at today's main


clearing to the north-east. Under clear skies, temperatures will dip


to lows of around seven Celsius, so in other chilly night ahead. It


does mean that tomorrow morning we start off with a good deal of


sunshine right across the board. It stays dry today even though we get


an increasing cloud. Temperatures rising to 20 Celsius, so it will be


warmer than today and it turns even warmer during the weekend. Tomorrow


night we get the cloud increasing and rain moving in. Even then those


temperatures already left, with loads of about 13 or 14 Celsius.


Fairly wet on Saturday, some heavy showers on Sunday but highs of 23


A look at tonight's main headlines: The frantic scramble for a


university place - tens of thousands are expected to miss out


after another record A level year. And around 20,000 people turned out


in Birmingham at the open air funerals of three men killed during


last week's riots. That's all from us this evening,


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