02/11/2011 Midlands Today


02/11/2011

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Hello, welcome to Midlands Today with Suzanne Virdee and Nick Owen.

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The headlines tonight: Eight children left orphaned. Shock

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at the death of a Birmingham couple on a pilgrimage to Mecca. He was an

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excellent example for our community in the way he dealt with his family,

:00:21.:00:24.

the way he treated his sons and daughters.

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He's just won a major music award but now this pop star is facing

:00:28.:00:29.

deportation for living here illegally.

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Cracking what will be the world's largest market. The battle to boost

:00:32.:00:37.

exports to China. And race goers at Warwick on the

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controversy over whipping that's splitting the sport. If the rules

:00:44.:00:49.

don't change, it spoils the race. They used the whip far too much.

:00:49.:00:59.
:00:59.:01:02.

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

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BBC. Tonight: Tributes pour in to a couple killed

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in a fire on a pilgrimage to Mecca. Dawud Burbank and his wife Khalida

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Dost from Birmingham leave eight children. Their two eldest sons

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were with them at the time. The couple died when the bus they were

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in caught fire travelling from Jeddah airport in Saudi Arabia. Mr

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Burbank was a highly respected translator of Muslim religious

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texts as Joanne Writtle reports. A coach load of pilgrims headed off

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on their own spiritual journey to Mecca from Small Heath in

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Birmingham this afternoon. Before they set off, they gave their

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reaction to the deaths of Dawud Burbank and his wife Khalida Dost.

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I am really sad about it and I hope and pray for the best for the

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family. Among Dawud Burbank's closest friends, a head teacher at

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a school next to the Salafi Mosque in Small Heath. I saw one of his

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son's last night. They were very, very noble, calm, collected. I am

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sure inside they are being torn apart. Learned and respected, Dawud

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Burbank had translated many Islamic books from Arabic into English. The

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book store here in Birmingham has many of his translations on the

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shelves. The director of the local mosque and Islamic Centre told me

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the funerals had already taken place in Mecca. He explained that

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Dawud Burbank's deeply religious beliefs meant there were unlikely

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to be family photographs of him. is not that a person and box on a

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pilgrimage for dying but it is about worship. In the process, in

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the endeavour of performing that pilgrimage, if one is to die, that

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is considered a noble death. The Haj. A spiritual journey to Mecca

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every adult Muslim's expected to complete at least once. Dawud

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Burbank and his wife were with the eldest two of their eight children.

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Dawud Burbank converted to the Islamic faith over 20 years ago. It

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was on board a bus leaving the airport in Jeddah their trip ended

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in tragedy. Brief details of the accident came in last night. The

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couple were killed, apparently when a fire broke out. Other pilgrims

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from Birmingham scrambling to escape the flames. There were

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rumours it was an explosion. When I spoke to the chief in Saudi Arabia,

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he denied it was an explosion. He said it was an accident. The engine

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was overheated and it caused -- it caught fire. The couple have been

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buried near the Mecca. Schoolchildren give us their

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versions of William Shakespeare. An Indian pop singer who's just won

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a major music award is facing deportation for living here

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illegally. Garry Sandhu has been in Birmingham for 10 years and is a

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rising star in the Asian music industry. But he's been detained by

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the UK Border Agency and could made to leave the UK at any moment.

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Here's Bob Hockenhull. Until last week, Garry Sandhu was a

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singer whose star was on the rise. In October he was named Best

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Newcomer and Best Male Act at the Brit Asia Awards. But now he's in

:04:35.:04:45.
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the custody of the UK Border Agency. Mr Sandhu has been living in

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Handsworth in Birmingham for 10 years. This councillor from

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Coventry wanted to book him for a concert in the city next year.

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what I understand is that he has outstayed his welcome on a visa. I

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think thousands of Britons up and down this country have welcomed

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Garry Sandhu to their hearts and homes as well. His fans include

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this 17-year-old musician from Edgbaston. He recently recorded a

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video with Mr Sandhu and was shocked to find out he's been

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detained. I just thought there were rumours on the internet and

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children shouting, just making up stuff. I am sure he would be back

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doing what he loves, and his fans would be backing him 100%. But this

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barrister specialising in immigration says the law is clear.

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If you what the subject of that decision, it is important for you

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to leave the country voluntarily rather than be deported because

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should to be deported, then you will be banned from coming back

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into the country for 10 years. Sandhu says he's the victim of

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false accusations. Rumours have been flying around the internet

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claiming he's been released. But the Home Office insists he's still

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in custody. 1,500 jobs could go at Sandwell

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Council over the next four years, as it tries to cut its budget by

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�70 million. Around 500 staff have already been made redundant this

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year. It's now expected that a further thousand could go at the

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Labour-run council. A woman's been charged with failing

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to disclose information under the Terrorism Act. 22-year-old Salma

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Kabal from Birmingham was arrested in September as part of an

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operation by the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit. She'll

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appear in court later this month. Seven men have already been charged

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in connection with the investigation. The Government will

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ignore Labour's idea of an alternative route for the multi-

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million pound higher speeds to project. Labour suggested a writ

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including Heathrow Airport and would run in parts alongside the

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M40 through Warwickshire. This afternoon, Transport Minister

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Theresa Villiers accused the Labour Party of game-playing safe their

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proposal had come too late to be considered.

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Some analysts believe China will overtake the USA as the world's

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largest economy as early as 2016, which explains the increasing

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urgency to break into Chinese markets. As a country, we export

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more to Spain than China and our exports to the Irish Republic are

:07:26.:07:36.
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double those to the world's most populous country. We report how we

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are responding to the challenge. Good result this to the Chinese?

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This firm in Kidderminster is breaking into the lucrative Chinese

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recycling market. They recycle 100,000 tonnes of material a year.

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They already export us more about that to China but they hoped to

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send a lot more. The plastic waste is bailed up at Lawrence for

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cycling. It is shipped to China where they turn it into plastic

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granules to make new products. have got a huge manufacturing base

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so they need the raw products we recycle to be manufactured back

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into products we will buy back in the UK. It is a closed loop in

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reciting. How about electronics? A bit like selling coals to

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Newcastle? They are doing it here at this company, where they make

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specialist part, shrink equipment. 10 years ago, China account of the

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2% of their sales. Today, it is 20%. 10 years ago, America was clearly

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the Raj just growth market for us and we were market leaders there. -

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- clearly the largest growth market. The shift has gone to China. That

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is the single most important market. Gathering in Worcester for a

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conference this evening to promote trade with China, business leaders

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and a representative of the Chinese embassy. I think there are a lot of

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chances for people in Worcester that may go to China to do some

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business. There is a lot of chance. We have got quite a unique event

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tonight in that this because we have got will provide both a

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Chinese perspective and a UK business perspective. That is in

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terms of how we overcome some of the barriers to trade successfully

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with China. The message to firms it is clear. The prospect of China

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becoming the world's biggest economy is a business opportunity

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:09:47.:09:49.

not to be wasted. It is fair to say our exports are warped by imports.

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So there must be real scope to do something, isn't there? Yes. 2015,

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at the estimated 15 cities in China will have populations of more than

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25 million. London only has 7 million. Growth in exports from the

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UK to China is currently 40% although it comes from a very low

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base. UK exports to China are worth �8 billion, and, of course, the

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West Midlands is getting go at share. Yes, those figures are

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frightening. In addition to those companies in the report, what other

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companies are doing well? Jaguar Land Rover with 15% of everything

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that has made in West Midlands plants goes to China, and that

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number is rising fast which is why the company wants a factory there.

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It is in detailed talks with a Chinese car manufacturer although

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they will be not be making that many cars. JCB is the other firm

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dibbing well. They have already got up factory in Trina, five years ago

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they built it. They are doing very well. What are the Chinese

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consumers looking for? What do we need to offer them? What reporters

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bought in China is made in China, but they do like high-value

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products like fashion items, premium products, like Jaguar Land

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Rover products, and, of course, especially the loot of products. We

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are also exporting expertise. A good example is at Longbridge, the

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old car factory, where the trainees have set up a design centre. There

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is a similar one in Leamington. They're working with a variety of

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Chinese firms. Andy Newman reports now on how companies in

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Worcestershire are responding to the challenge.

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It's exactly a year since the public inquiry began into standards

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of care at Stafford Hospital. Now a series of roadshows are touring the

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country to try to ensure the failings don't happen again. Today

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the roadshow reached Stafford. Our Staffordshire reporter Liz Copper

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looks at the impact the inquiry's had and what the future might hold

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for the town's hospital. What happened here ensured the

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county town of Stafford became the focus of national attention. The

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failings at its hospital still preoccupy families who live here.

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We depend on the local hospital. It is somewhere we go to drink most of

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our lives so we want an efficient place. I am going into hospital for

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not a serious operation in the next week, and I am not going into

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Stafford. I don't feel... They have convinced me they've got it right

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yet. I feel, you know, get it resolved and then move on. But what

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will the future be as the hospital and its staff do move on? It's

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likely it'll be smaller and there'll be fewer beds. It's all

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part of the Government's plans for changes in the NHS as a whole.

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need to understand the size that Staffords needs to be. We need to

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really put some investment and some time and effort into building the

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community of the structure, so, some of the people that currently

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work in Stafford may well be working in the community. The A&E

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department is also under scrutiny. The inquiry has already heard

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evidence of what went wrong in the past. Now it's because his vocation

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-- is shifting to the future. Trammel is canvassing the views of

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those working inside and outside the NHS. Could the world of

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retailing help reshape the NHS? The John Lewis Partnership appeared

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before the inquiry advising on, amongst other things, customer care.

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We talked to other organisations out of prison sector to look for

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new ideas, new stimulus as to how we can translate back into our

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world in retail and see if we can create new solutions to great

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service. So I am an advocate of doing that in our world, so I hope

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I will be able to support the inquiry in this same way. It'll be

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next year before the people of Stafford learn the inquiry's

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recommendations. But they will have repercussions for the entire health

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service. Still much more to come in

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tonight's programme, including the ex-soldier facing his toughest

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challenge - skiing to the North Pole and then doing the same at the

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South Pole. But no Arctic snow or temperatures here. Quite the

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opposite. It's mild, it's windy and be warned, there's more heavy rain

:14:09.:14:19.
:14:19.:14:21.

It's the largest youth drama festivals in the UK, introducing

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thousands of young people to our greatest writer and Warwickshire's

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most famous son, William Shakespeare. This week,

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schoolchildren from across the region have been performing their

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own interpretations of his works at Birmingham's Old Rep Theatre.

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Here's our Arts Reporter Satnam Rana. Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art

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thou Romeo? Final rehearsals for the

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Shakespeare Schools Festival ahead of tonight's performance of Romeo

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and Juliet for students at Birmingham's Stockland Green School.

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We had got children -- teachers to help us, to modernise it. Yes, it

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was hard at first, but I went over the lines, and watched Romeo and

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Juliet and I came to terms with his language. The student have been

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treading the boards since January and all this week The Old Rep

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Theatre in Birmingham will have four performances per night open to

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the public. These are not the only young people taking part in this

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year's festival. Across the region, 40 schools have taken to the stage,

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with over 1,200 schoolchildren performing the Bard's words. From

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Warwickshire to Worcestershire, Herefordshire to Shropshire and

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here in the West Midlands, professional theatres have been

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hosting condensed versions of Shakespeare's famous plays. For

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students taking part in the Shakespeare School Festival, it's

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been both a challenge and a triumph. This is a chance for them to grasp

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their cultural heritage and understand something they don't

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often get a chance to engage with in a school curriculum. Here, with

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a kiss, I die. This festival proves that Shakespeare isn't just a

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playwright of the past but one who appeals to present generations with

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their own take on how to act out his words.

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Time for a winter's tale. The sport. That gag was much ado about

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nothing! Coventry City fans are feeling

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pretty unhappy right now. Some of them staged a protest outside the

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London headquarters of the club's owners before last night's game

:16:33.:16:36.

against Millwall. After the match, the Sky Blues manager Andy Thorn

:16:36.:16:39.

said he's sick of hearing excuses from the players as the club

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plunged deeper into relegation trouble. Coventry were beaten 3-0.

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And they're now four points adrift of safety near the foot of the

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Championship table. Thorn described their second half performance as

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unacceptable and amateurish. The Birmingham City manager Chris

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Hughton says the board is keeping him fully informed about the club's

:16:58.:17:01.

financial pressures. The parent company has delayed publication of

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its annual reports but investors are being warned about a

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substantial loss last year. Blues are preparing for tomorrow night's

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Europa League tie against Bruges at St Andrews and the manager says

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it's not a distraction. Because there are so many games,

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your concentration has to be a mark. -- has to be on that. Things out of

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prison control or away from the football pitch, you cannot concern

:17:32.:17:36.

yourself so much because there is a big enough job going on on the

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football pitch and dealing with these games. You can hear the match

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commentary on BBC WM tomorrow evening. A couple of hours earlier,

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step's trip to Tel Aviv is also live on BBC Stoke.

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Now, the new jump season got underway at Warwick Racecourse this

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afternoon. But there's a big row between the jockeys, and the

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sport's governing body. It's all to do with new rules governing the use

:18:00.:18:04.

of the whip. Jump racing fans have waited all

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summer to enjoy this Wednesday at Warwick. The first meeting of the

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season. Seven races over hurdles and fences. 50 horses of mixed

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ability. And none of them expecting to receive more than eight strokes

:18:15.:18:19.

of the whip. If they get one over the eight, their jockeys are

:18:19.:18:27.

guaranteed a five day ban. The jockeys believe the new rules are

:18:27.:18:31.

too strict and the penalties to severe. They are angry and

:18:31.:18:35.

threatened to strike if they cannot reach a compromise with the British

:18:35.:18:40.

resourcing -- British Horseracing Association. Andrew Thornton is one

:18:40.:18:44.

of many top jockeys who are furious. He believes 8 strokes per race is

:18:44.:18:47.

not enough. He says jockeys are being punished too harshly for

:18:47.:18:49.

accidentally miscounting. And in any case, Andrew tells me, the

:18:49.:18:52.

current whips covered in foam don't hurt the horses, they just sting to

:18:52.:18:59.

keep them focused on the job in hand. You can do that. It is a

:18:59.:19:03.

sting, but as you can see, it doesn't mark. We have loved horses

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all our lives. We don't want to beat forces. That is not our

:19:08.:19:14.

passion. It is to run -- it is to win races, make it a competitive

:19:14.:19:21.

sport and for everybody to endure it. -- and for everybody to enjoy.

:19:21.:19:24.

In a statement, the BHA said the situation is best served by

:19:24.:19:26.

maintaining dialogue behind closed doors rather than playing the whole

:19:26.:19:30.

thing out in the media. But today's punters at Warwick had plenty of

:19:30.:19:32.

opinions. I think the jockeys are run a very difficult situation. If

:19:32.:19:35.

they use the whip, they will be accused of cruelty that don't know

:19:35.:19:40.

any better. If they don't use it, they will be accused of not trying.

:19:40.:19:44.

The jockeys are threatened strike action. It would be bad for racing

:19:44.:19:47.

if they do. Andrew Thornton rode two winners at Warwick this

:19:47.:19:50.

afternoon, and used his whip sparingly. Well within the rules.

:19:50.:19:53.

He says all his fellow jockeys are hoping to resolve their dispute

:19:53.:19:55.

with horse racing bosses by dialogue, without the need to

:19:55.:20:00.

strike. Ian, this subject's sparked quite a

:20:00.:20:09.

reaction. We have some e-mails from you. Ian Rubery says: "From now on,

:20:09.:20:11.

whips should be used for safety purposes only, e.g. Steering." He

:20:12.:20:14.

goes onto say, "Misuse of the whip should result in outright

:20:14.:20:17.

disqualification." Johnnie Walker says, "No, whips do not have a

:20:17.:20:19.

place in horse racing today. Greyhounds, racing pigeons and also

:20:19.:20:22.

for that matter Formula 1 seem to excite people enough without any

:20:22.:20:26.

cruelty." Amy Louise Swatman says, "The whip should be banned in horse

:20:26.:20:30.

racing. The poor horses are already running as fast as they can and do

:20:30.:20:33.

not deserve to be beaten for their efforts!!" It seems the majority of

:20:33.:20:37.

people who've emailed want an outright ban. That's not even on

:20:37.:20:43.

the cards, is it? No. It is not an option and it

:20:43.:20:46.

would create a bigger outcry amongst the jockeys if it were to

:20:46.:20:49.

come into force because the jockeys are adamant they believe the whip

:20:49.:20:54.

is a vital safety tool to keep the balls on the straight and narrow in

:20:54.:21:01.

the heat of a race to make sure it is safe -- to keep the horse. It is

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a very heated debate added his son to -- it is going to run a little

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bit longer. We will have more on it tomorrow.

:21:07.:21:09.

Now to one man's incredible challenge. Skiing across the South

:21:09.:21:14.

Pole and then the North Pole, alone and without back-up. To date, no-

:21:14.:21:17.

one's ever achieved it. Next week, though, Coventry explorer Mark Wood

:21:17.:21:21.

will set off on the first leg of an epic journey, as Sarah Falkland

:21:21.:21:31.
:21:31.:21:33.

We are heading to our first bit of ice trouble.

:21:33.:21:36.

With 25 expeditions already under his belt, Mark Wood is used to

:21:36.:21:42.

inhospitable places. But nothing as bad as this. The South Pole, the

:21:42.:21:44.

coldest place on the planet, where average temperatures are around

:21:44.:21:54.
:21:54.:21:55.

minus 50 Celsius. It is the North- South solo expedition... The former

:21:55.:21:58.

soldier and firefighter is going to ski the 680 miles across it. Then,

:21:58.:22:02.

within a few weeks, tackle the 700 miles of ice across the North Pole.

:22:02.:22:07.

The added interest is polar bears. Large icebergs. There'll be the

:22:07.:22:10.

usual dangers but the extreme solitude and tiredness could be his

:22:10.:22:17.

worst enemies. My biggest fear as a solo expedition is finding a wrist

:22:17.:22:21.

-- a reason to give him, to have that moment where it is... I have

:22:21.:22:28.

been on my own, I find it really tough. The trip to actually being

:22:28.:22:32.

alone and travelling so far is to create things in your mind, if you

:22:32.:22:37.

like. I will be thinking about home, about redecorating the house, about

:22:37.:22:42.

the next expedition. About how I am going to change my life when I get

:22:42.:22:45.

back, how I am going to make a difference. All these wonderful

:22:45.:22:50.

things. You think about everything. You create a whole Disney World in

:22:50.:22:53.

your head. Personal ambition aside, his big motivations are

:22:53.:22:55.

highlighting climate change and educating young people. His epic

:22:55.:22:58.

journey will be followed by schools across the Midlands, including

:22:58.:23:01.

youngsters at his old school Finham Park in Coventry, who'll be Skyping

:23:01.:23:10.

with him. If he can do this, he will be famous. It is a main job.

:23:10.:23:14.

Mike in expedition history. It is really, really gonna be good.

:23:14.:23:18.

would never do it because it is scary. If he's to survive, Mark

:23:19.:23:22.

will have to drag more than his body weight in food. He leaves for

:23:22.:23:32.

South America and the South Pole Incredible, isn't it?

:23:32.:23:35.

And to see more of the sort of hostile territory that Mark will be

:23:35.:23:37.

facing, why not take a look at David Attenborough's stunning

:23:38.:23:47.

It's on BBC One at 9 pm tonight. It is sensational.

:23:47.:23:55.

We have got quite mild weather, haven't we?

:23:55.:23:59.

Yes, the cloud and rain are stacking up, poised to come through.

:23:59.:24:02.

It is being generated by this rather intense area of low pressure

:24:02.:24:06.

currently to the West and sitting out of the Atlantic. As well as the

:24:07.:24:11.

rain, we will have stronger winds, and also milder air. That changes

:24:11.:24:16.

by the weekend. The first batch of rain comes through tonight. It is

:24:16.:24:21.

going to be mild. We have got some dribs and drabs across us but it

:24:21.:24:24.

starts to pick up and beef up through the middle part of the

:24:24.:24:28.

night into the small hours of tomorrow morning. You can see some

:24:28.:24:33.

bright colours developing in the central part. The Met Office has

:24:33.:24:37.

issued a yellow alert for up to 12 mm out of the some of the biggest

:24:37.:24:43.

bursts. The temperatures, a mild night. It is still quite breezy as

:24:43.:24:47.

the rain comes the rain. It is quite gusty through the day

:24:47.:24:50.

tomorrow although the rain dies away by the morning, and leaving us

:24:51.:24:55.

with a brief dry period with quite a lot of cloud tomorrow. The next

:24:55.:24:59.

area of rain spills up from the South during the latter part of the

:24:59.:25:02.

day which is going to be fairly light initially. It is through

:25:02.:25:06.

tomorrow evening and tomorrow night that it turns heavier. Tomorrow is

:25:06.:25:13.

a mild day with highs of 16. That is above average. Tomorrow evening,

:25:13.:25:18.

this rain becomes heavier. There is a yellow alert issued from the Met

:25:18.:25:23.

Office. It clears up, quite a mild night. Friday morning, some

:25:23.:25:26.

sunshine, followed by some heavy showers.

:25:26.:25:33.

A look at tonight's main headlines: Tributes have been paid to a couple

:25:33.:25:43.
:25:43.:25:43.

who died on a pilgrimage to Mecca. And more on that story about the

:25:44.:25:46.

deaths of a couple from Birmingham on a pilgrimage to Mecca. Our

:25:47.:25:49.

reporter Giles Latcham is with a travel agent in Birmingham who

:25:49.:25:54.

organises similar visits. Giles. They have sent about 350 people to

:25:54.:26:00.

make it. This isn't the first incident, as it? There was another

:26:00.:26:07.

one before. Another bus was coming to Mecca. That caught fire as well.

:26:07.:26:14.

I believe two people died, which is on the website. You have been there

:26:14.:26:19.

personally. What would you say to people having second thoughts? What

:26:19.:26:26.

is safety like? Well, actually, the Saudi government, they tried to do

:26:26.:26:32.

their best to control the things, but when there are approximately 3

:26:32.:26:35.

million people, these types of things, these unpredictable things

:26:35.:26:40.

do happen. It is a very wealthy kingdom, we are entitled to expect

:26:40.:26:45.

high standards of safety, aren't we? They are trying their level

:26:45.:26:50.

best and investing money to improve things. So I have seen a lot of

:26:50.:26:55.

changes. I went this year and last year as well, so I have seen a lot

:26:55.:27:00.

of things improved. Thank you very much for talking to us. This is a

:27:00.:27:05.

community in mourning for the loss of Dawud Burbank and his wife. The

:27:05.:27:09.

investigation into what happened continues. We have heard in the --

:27:09.:27:14.

we have heard that temperatures reached 44 sources in Saudi Arabia

:27:14.:27:20.

yesterday and the engine overheated. A very sad note on which to close

:27:20.:27:25.

the programme. Tomorrow, we will find out which of our region's

:27:25.:27:28.

politicians might be made redundant as the government moves to cut the

:27:28.:27:33.

number of MPs at Westminster. We will be meeting the 15-year-old

:27:33.:27:36.

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