21/02/2012 Midlands Today


21/02/2012

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

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The headlines tonight: Computer hackers signed up by

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defence chiefs to fight crime in cyberspace. People really need to

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be a lot more aware of what they're doing with information and what

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they're putting out on the web. Jail for the car-clampers who

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conned motorists out of half a million pounds. They caused a lot

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of misery, much like drug dealers, and I think they got off very

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lightly with their sentences. Beleaguered emergency services urge

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people to think twice before calling 999 or going to A&E.

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And why pupils from 100 schools are taking it in turns to canoe along

:00:35.:00:45.
:00:45.:00:51.

Good evening and welcome to Tuesday's Midlands Today, from the

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BBC. Tonight, the computer hackers being employed to fight cyber crime.

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They're working in a so-called dirty lab, the first of its kind in

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the country, which has been set up at the request of the Government

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and its listening service, GCHQ. Their job is to infect computer

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systems in a controlled environment to find out how better to protect

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the public. The growing internet crimewave is costing the country an

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estimated �27 billion a year. In this exclusive report, Cath Mackie

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examines how cyber crime, once a work of fiction, is now a dangerous

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reality. Sherlock Holmes, face-to-face with

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his nemesis and arch cyber criminal Moriarty. I can open any door

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anywhere with a few tiny lines of computer code. No such thing as a

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private bank account now. I own secrecy! Moriarty's boast is part

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of the BBC drama, but the threat he portrays is a reality. And this is

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the place where fiction meets fact. Malvern in Worcestershire where, 75

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years ago, scientists invented radar to fight the Nazis. But in

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the 21st century, we have a new battle. And in this room in Malvern

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Science Park they are fighting the cyber war. This is the frontline. A

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dirty lab, the first of its kind in the country. So-called ethical

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hackers like Ruari Douglas break into computer systems to work out

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how businesses can be better protected. So, legally you hatch

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into systems? Yes. How easy is it? It depends. It can be as simple as

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three lines of code. That is very shocking? It is. The first time I

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came across it, I was gobsmacked. Six cyber security firms from

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Worcestershire and Herefordshire have joined forces to build the lab

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at the request of the Government and its listening service, GCHQ, in

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Cheltenham. We can make it look like your office or the Office of

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somebody else with the image of your service. -- server. We can

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then attacked it as a hostile agency might do, or a hacker.

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fear is that not enough small businesses in particular take the

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threat of cyber crime seriously, or believe they're immune. The

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statistics refute that belief. The Government estimates cyber crime is

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costing the UK �27 billion a year in lost revenue, while two thirds

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of businesses that fall victim to hackers go bust in the same year.

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So how do you find the hackers prepared to work for the good guys?

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On our website, you have to do a fairly simple hack but we won't

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talk to you unless you do that. If you do that, we give you a unique

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reference number and it is, give us a clue that you have the right Thai

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mindset. Is it tempting to go to the dockside? No. But can you

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understand why people do? Yes. It is a world of the permission freely

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available that people think is a cure but isn't. -- world of

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information. People need to be very aware of the have the measure and

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they are putting out there on to the web. The dirty lab consolidates

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Malvern's place at the centre of a growing cyber valley - an area of

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expertise in online security. Their job will be to stay one step ahead

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of the cyber criminals. Joining us now from our Westminster

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studio is the MP for West Worcestershire, Harriet Baldwin.

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How important is it for an area like Malvern to be chosen as the

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location for this lab? Of course, it was Winston Churchill back in

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the Second World War who moved the Ministry of Defence secret service

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to Malvern. Many of these firms specialise in a side of defence and

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it is a great location to be located. -- specialise in cyber

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defence. We have these brilliant brains who know a lot about cyber

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security. But these small businesses aren't exactly created

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thousands of jobs? It is a growth area and I think it is very

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exciting to see both the Government is spending a lot of money in this

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area, but as your report highlighted, it is also small

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businesses needing to protect themselves more and more in terms

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of the business they do online. It is estimated that two-thirds of

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those businesses hacked go out of business. If you have an online

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platform and you don't think you are at risk, then you really need

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to have another good, long hard look at that. Do you think we are

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behind? I think we are at the cutting edge. What you have seen

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there shows how the area is leading the way in this and I think it is

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something we will see grow very rapidly. And we need to be at the

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cutting edge because if you are not, the bad guys are! Thank you very

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much. And you can hear more about the

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work at this special cyber lab and what it means for the area on BBC

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Hereford and Worcester from 7am tomorrow morning.

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Still to come this evening... Shame! Shame on you! Protesters

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tackle farming delegates over Five members of a rogue car-

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clamping company have been jailed. The judge at Worcester Crown Court

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said they'd milked the public out of at least �500,000. The court was

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told that the scam targeted vulnerable motorists across the

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Midlands, from Nuneaton to Cheltenham, and became a licence to

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print money. The problem was first uncovered during an investigation

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by BBC Inside Out in the Midlands, as Joan Cummins reports.

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Redditch-based Midlands Parking Contracts was investigated on a

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number of occassions by the BBC's Inside Out programme. Between 2006

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and 2009, the operators developed an unsympathetic and aggressive

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approach to vulnerable motorists. Often obscuring signage, they'd

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wait for someone to park, clamp them and demand a �125 release fee.

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Then they'd demand a cancellation fee for the tow truck of another

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�175. Total amount - �300 in cash to the clampers. Worcester Crown

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Court heard how legitimate campaign businesses are regarded as a

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necessary evil, just like the taxman, however, in this case, GCHQ

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started to milk the public, ripping off motorists for cash. -- n c p

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started to melt the public. Hundreds of motorists complained to

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police and Trading Standards about their treatment at the hands of MCP.

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Helen Mays' experience was typical. The money was snatched from my hand,

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thumbed through and counted on the bonnet. Very rude, very aggressive

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and very intimidating. You know, I was just traumatised. Andrew

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Minshull was the main man of the operation. His then partner, Debbie

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Worton, used an alias to fob off motorists when they tried to

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complain. Simon Barry was the firm's negotitaor and Christopher

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Cartwright and Faisal Qadeer were the frontline operatives who

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targeted the vulnerable. Some people have had to walk out because

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they still feel very aggrieved at how they were treated and how

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things turned out for them. And they do feel that they were "as if

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somebody had put on a mask and rob them". They are one step down from

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drug dealers. That is my view. They cause misery in their own way, as

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drug dealers to. All the defendents pleaded guility to conspiracy to

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defraud and received prison sentences of between 12 and 32

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months each. This case has highlighed calls for a change in

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the law on legislating clampers. shouldn't be allowed. Most cities

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have their own traffic wardens. It should be done properly through

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those people and not this hugely extortionate way of dealing with

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this issue. A sixth man will be sentenced within the next few weeks,

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whilst all those convicted face paying thousands of pounds back

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under the proceeds of crime. The son of a teacher who was killed

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in a coach crash in France has thanked people for their kind

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tributes. Peter Rippington died after the bus carrying pupils from

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Alvechurch Middle School in Worcestershire crashed as it

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returned from a skiing trip. In a statement, Max Rippington also said

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he was delighted to be reunited with his mother and sister, who

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survived the accident. The coach driver, 47-year-old Derek Thompson,

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has been charged with involuntary manslaughter.

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Police have been given another 36 hours to question a man being held

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on suspicion of murdering the retired Worcestershire teacher

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Betty Yates. She was found dead at her cottage near Bewdley last month.

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47-year-old Stephen Farrow was arrested on Friday. He's also being

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questioned in connection with the murder of the Reverend John

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Suddards, who was found stabbed at his vicarage in Thornbury in

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Gloucestershire last week. Angry scenes at the National

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Farmers' Union meeting in Birmingham today, as delegates were

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confronted by protesters against plans for a badger cull here in the

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Midlands. Farmers say the move is essential to control the spread of

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bovine TB, a disease that now costs millions of pounds a year to

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control, as our environment correspondent, David Gregory,

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reports. Pro-badger, anti-cull and very

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:10:22.:10:22.

angry. We are here to make the Government listen to the majority

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of people who want an alternative to culling. There are one of our

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best-loved animals and we think it's wrong to just shoot them.

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do you hope to achieve here today? Well, to alert the public to this

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outrageous action that is proposed by the union. Inside the conference,

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NFU President Peter Kendall welcomed the decision to go ahead

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with a cull. Meriden MP and DEFRA minister Caroline Spelman told the

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1,100 farmers in the audience they need to keep explaining why the

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cull is necessary. Just the other side of the motorway, literally

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every other farm is shut down with TB at the moment, which has massive

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logistical and financial implications. There is a lot of

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pressure on both sides of the argument. You have to take tough

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decisions and now is the time to do that. That decision is the right

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one, which is to get an eradication plan, which includes controlling

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badgers and the disuse of cattle. There was much else for farmers and

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politicians to discuss today at the conference, but the badger cull

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remains an important issue for many outside this hall. There on legal

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challenge is underway but if the Wes goes ahead this autumn, it will

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take place this year and every four years. Neither side of the debate

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sees much room for compromise. And David joins us now from the NFU

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Conference at the ICC. Was it just about the badger cull today, David?

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No. There was plenty going on, and with us to talk about it is Peter

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Kendall. Drought was a big issue coming up? Yes. It is one of those

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issues that, in spite of the farming industry being positive

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about, we need water to grow our crops. We are looking to the

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Government to make sure they prioritise farming and the drought

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is a good example to show that you can make some policies to make sure

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farmers have priorities for water when there is no rain. But we also

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have to invest on the long term. Because this is going to get worse.

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So we won the farmers to work with government to make sure they have a

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better supply of affordable food. - - so we want. And what about the

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red tape in farming? We are trying to dig through the proposals. It is

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very good of government to say they're going to reduce the

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regulatory burden on small businesses but it is a very

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different to make a -- difficult to make a real difference to farmers.

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We all farmers -- we want farmers to be able to farm rather than sit

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in officers -- offices and do paperwork. So, you hear it here

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first. They want to be farming, not filling in paper.

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Every ambulance and fast-response vehicle available has been on the

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road today as West Midlands Ambulance Service fought to cope

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with a third more calls than would be expected on typical day in

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February. The job has been made harder, with some ambulances stuck

:13:35.:13:38.

outside Accident and Emergency departments for up to three hours.

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The delays in getting to the next 999 call could put patients' lives

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at risk. Here's our health correspondent, Michele Paduano.

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Everything was out on the road today, dealing with emergency calls.

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There's normally an increase following cold weather but this has

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gone on for longer than usual. just concerned. Very, very busy at

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the moment, so I haven't shaved! Are very busy and tired! The red on

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this board shows that they can't meet demand. We say it every time,

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but genuinely now, the system is under huge pressure and we are

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asking people to make sure that before they dial 999, it is a life-

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threatening emergency. There has long been a problem with getting

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ambulances out of hospital quickly. Many have been waiting for more

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than an hour. Coventry is the worst, with one ambulance being stuck

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outside for three hours. That was because one paramedic was left at

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University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire to deal with a number

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of patients. 12 ambulances were delayed for an hour. We have two

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managers working at that particular site and what we have tried to do

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is work with our ambulance crews as they have come in, to try to

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support the crews, but also working with the executive team at the

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hospital. The Trust accepted that ambulances had to wait longer than

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it would like. But it said that it was working with West Midlands

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Ambulance Service to address this and no patients were put at risk.

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In Stoke-on-Trent, they took in more patients but turn-around times

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were quicker. Even here, ambulances eventually were diverted to other

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hospitals. Coming up later, are Stoke City

:15:20.:15:25.

heading for a Valencia victory? Potters fans prepare to head out to

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sunny Spain for their Europa League match.

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And it might be football they're heading to Spain for, but if it was

:15:31.:15:34.

the weather they were after, they needn't have bothered because it

:15:34.:15:44.

could soon be just as warm back Thousands of blood cancer patients

:15:44.:15:47.

could be saved if pioneering drugs developed and tested in the West

:15:47.:15:52.

Midlands were available on the NHS. That's the message at the heart of

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a new appeal being run by BBC WM to fund research nurses who would give

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these drugs to patients on a trial basis. Our reporter Joanne Writtle

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is in Victoria Square in Birmingham now, where the launch is being

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:16:13.:16:14.

promoted. Tell us more, Joanne. town hall behind me is illuminated

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blood red to highlight the theme to help blood cancer patients. It is

:16:22.:16:25.

called Red Alert Appeal and the radio station is backing the

:16:25.:16:30.

leukaemia charity, based at the hospital in Birmingham. Currently

:16:30.:16:34.

there are 7,000 adults and the West Midlands with leukaemia and I have

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been speaking to one of them. Kris Griffin, from Kidderminster,

:16:37.:16:40.

wondered if he would survive four years ago when he was diagnosed

:16:40.:16:43.

with chronic myeloid leukaemia. Now he has a five-month-old son and is

:16:43.:16:47.

in remission. He's backing the appeal to fund research nurses in

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West Midlands hospitals. I don't think anybody would be as bold to

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save his, but this is about a cure for cancer. If we can cure

:16:59.:17:04.

leukaemia and fires ways into this to reverse it, there is no reason

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we couldn't use the research methods on other forms of cancer.

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These guys are pioneers. They are absolutely amazing. They are

:17:13.:17:16.

keeping people alive and we must not ever forget that. Research

:17:16.:17:19.

nurses trial new drugs on blood cancer patients. Successful

:17:19.:17:21.

clinical trials mean ground- breaking medication could

:17:21.:17:25.

eventually be available on the NHS. And that led to a new world record

:17:25.:17:28.

in Birmingham's Victoria Square this afternoon for the most people

:17:28.:17:31.

dressed as nurses in one place. 201 of them, including WM presenter

:17:31.:17:40.

Joanne Malin, who started the Red Alert Appeal live on air. People

:17:40.:17:46.

came out of offices, they put on nurses' uniforms, they launched Red

:17:46.:17:49.

Alert Appeal with us and we are record-breakers! Cure Leukaemia

:17:49.:17:53.

patron and Michelin-starred chef Glynn Purnell also dressed up.

:17:53.:17:57.

think a when this is the thing that has been missing with leukaemia and

:17:57.:18:00.

now we are doing this, it will bring more awareness and we can

:18:00.:18:05.

start using some of these advanced drugs that are available, so it is

:18:05.:18:09.

so positive. Kris Griffin says he's lucky. But if his anti-cancer drugs

:18:09.:18:14.

stop working, he could have to rely on clinical trials.

:18:14.:18:20.

I am joined now by Professor John Caldwell, a blood cancer specialist

:18:20.:18:28.

and pioneer of Cure Leukaemia. What do the nurses do? Not only do they

:18:28.:18:31.

deliver a potentially life-saving therapy, but they become the friend

:18:31.:18:35.

and counsellor and advocate for these patients at this most

:18:35.:18:40.

difficult and challenging time in their lives. Who of the drugs aimed

:18:40.:18:45.

at? We are extending potentially curative treatments to patients who

:18:45.:18:55.
:18:55.:18:56.

had exhausted standard NHS care. And we are able to offer to them

:18:56.:18:59.

treatments that made either cure or significantly prolong their lives,

:18:59.:19:03.

when previously they had no chance of this. How successful do you

:19:03.:19:08.

think this will be? We have seen one before responses for treatments

:19:08.:19:13.

that have gone on to become standard means of care in the NHS.

:19:13.:19:17.

But we can accelerate access to these life-saving therapies for

:19:17.:19:23.

patients are in our region. Thank you. In a nutshell, a �1 donation

:19:23.:19:28.

acquits to �10 worth of drugs. And if you want to help BBC WM's

:19:28.:19:31.

Red Alert Appeal for Cure Leukaemia, you can go to the website and

:19:31.:19:41.
:19:41.:19:44.

Dan's here now, with the sport. Football, and Birmingham City can

:19:44.:19:47.

climb up to third place in the Championship if they win at

:19:47.:19:51.

Barnsley tonight. The teams drew 1- 1 when they met in September thanks

:19:51.:19:54.

to a late equaliser from Chris Burke. Tonight's game was postponed

:19:54.:19:58.

ten days ago because of a frozen pitch at Barnsley. But the

:19:58.:20:00.

Birmingham manager Chris Hughton says they're used to playing catch-

:20:00.:20:10.
:20:10.:20:11.

Stoke City have won their appeal against Rory Delap's red card,

:20:11.:20:15.

picked up during Sunday's FA Cup tie against Crawley. That means his

:20:15.:20:19.

three-match ban has been cancelled. Tomorrow, Stoke fly out to Valencia

:20:19.:20:22.

for the second leg of their Europa League match, and they could be

:20:22.:20:27.

joined in Spain by up to 5,000 travelling fans. Ian Winter has

:20:27.:20:32.

been to meet three of them. Viva Espana! Never before have

:20:32.:20:35.

Stoke City fans been able to sing "this year we're off to sunny

:20:36.:20:44.

Spain"... Until now. So far, they've ticked off Turkey. And Tel

:20:44.:20:48.

Aviv. They've crossed off Kiev. And now, it's time to say "hola" to

:20:48.:20:58.
:20:58.:21:11.

Football commenator Nigel Johnson is the voice of BBC Radio Stoke.

:21:11.:21:13.

Journalist Angela Smith lives in the Canaries and often flies 2,000

:21:13.:21:17.

miles from Tenerife to support the Potters. But they didn't get a

:21:17.:21:20.

dazzling seaview of the sun-soaked Mediterranean from this tapas bar.

:21:20.:21:29.

Because Hector Garcia's is on the High Street in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

:21:29.:21:34.

Valencia are an outstanding football team. They gave our team a

:21:34.:21:39.

lesson last week. Stoke have to meet that. Hand on heart, it will

:21:39.:21:43.

be difficult, but I am not going to write them off. They think they can

:21:43.:21:48.

do it and I think the 5,000 Stoke fans that will be there Loring them

:21:48.:21:56.

on also believe they can do it. -- roaring them on. OK, so Valencia

:21:56.:22:06.
:22:06.:22:06.

has 320 sunny days a year. I can't believe how much interest it has

:22:06.:22:10.

generated. It seems there will be thousands of Stoke fans going there

:22:10.:22:14.

and I hope we can turn them over. If they have never been before,

:22:14.:22:21.

they are in for a treat. This is probably my favourite Spanish city.

:22:21.:22:25.

But only 50 of their fans made the trip last week. The weather in

:22:25.:22:29.

Stoke isn't quite as good. But 5,000 Potters will enjoy a good old

:22:29.:22:39.
:22:39.:22:42.

sing-song in Spain on Thursday They are having fun! Good luck to

:22:42.:22:46.

them on Thursday. Now, Dan what's the latest on a new

:22:46.:22:50.

Wolves manager? Well, it's still unclear who's taking over. The

:22:50.:22:52.

Reading manager Brian McDermott is reported to have been in

:22:52.:22:56.

Wolverhampton this week. But some claim he's just after a new deal at

:22:56.:23:01.

Reading. Gus Poyet at Brighton was also linked to the job this week

:23:01.:23:04.

but Wolves have dismissed that claim. But the former Birmingham

:23:04.:23:09.

City boss, Steve Bruce, is still among the bookmakers' favourites.

:23:09.:23:12.

Wolves want the new manager in place by the weekend, so we should

:23:12.:23:21.

Hundreds of schoolchildren will be taking to canals and rivers through

:23:21.:23:25.

the region in canoes as part of a relay event. It's been organised as

:23:25.:23:27.

part of Get Set, the London 2012 Olympics education programme for

:23:27.:23:31.

schools. The relay starts on Thursday, and our reporter Amy

:23:31.:23:35.

Harris went to see how the training was coming along.

:23:35.:23:38.

Paddle practice on the River Avon. These are among hundreds of

:23:38.:23:40.

schoolchildren taking part in a four-month relay through Midlands

:23:41.:23:48.

waterways in these bell boats, a twin canoe. But it's a journey that

:23:48.:23:54.

begins much further afield. The relay route starts 300 miles away

:23:55.:23:57.

in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, and ends here in Evesham, a journey

:23:57.:24:04.

spanning seven counties and involving a lot of muscle power.

:24:04.:24:07.

And that's why these pupils from the Vale of Evesham Special Needs

:24:07.:24:14.

School are training hard. In just a few hours, they're kicking the

:24:14.:24:20.

relay off near Stoke Mandeville, the birthplace of the Paralympics.

:24:20.:24:25.

I am feeling absolutely excited and I am really looking forward to it.

:24:25.:24:30.

Very good exercise for building your muscles. And I really like it

:24:30.:24:34.

because it is really good fun. looking forward to it and it will

:24:34.:24:38.

be a fantastic day out for us. relay has been organised by their

:24:38.:24:41.

teacher, Andy Train, as part of Get Set - the London 2012 education

:24:41.:24:45.

scheme. And Andy knows a thing or two about the Olympics. He's

:24:45.:24:48.

competed in five in sprint-canoeing, and was once the best in the world

:24:48.:24:53.

in marathon canoeing. The symbolism behind the journey is the fact that

:24:53.:24:55.

we're bringing the values of the Paralympics and the Olympics from

:24:55.:24:59.

their homes back to Worcestershire, and by doing that we can talk to

:24:59.:25:09.
:25:09.:25:09.

the children of Worcestershire about friendship and determination.

:25:09.:25:12.

More than 100 schools are taking part in the relay. Andy hopes it

:25:13.:25:15.

will make Midlands pupils feel involved with the Olympic Games and

:25:15.:25:25.
:25:25.:25:29.

bring London 2012 a lot closer to They looked like they were having

:25:29.:25:39.
:25:39.:25:40.

fun! We need to know what the Thank you. Temperatures will be

:25:40.:25:45.

rising bit by bit, when, by Thursday, they will hopefully reach

:25:45.:25:51.

their maximum. The magic number is 16 degrees Celsius. Better than

:25:51.:25:55.

most temperatures across mainland Europe, and just about on a par

:25:55.:25:59.

with Spain. That will be great for those Stoke City fans heading that

:25:59.:26:06.

way for the match. Even Spain could be cooler with a coastal breeze. A

:26:07.:26:11.

change in the weather over the next 36 hours and tonight is really

:26:11.:26:16.

quite quiet. Cloudy but also very mild. Temperatures tonight a

:26:16.:26:21.

matching daytime temperatures for this time of year, solos of around

:26:21.:26:26.

five to a degree Celsius. The cloud will continue to thicken through

:26:26.:26:30.

the night. The breeze will be picking up as well, so by the time

:26:30.:26:35.

we get to tomorrow morning, quite a blustery start. Cloudy but dry,

:26:35.:26:39.

with a bit of sunshine located to the south of the region, but then

:26:39.:26:44.

we see this morning in from the North, says some fairly heavy rain

:26:44.:26:50.

up towards Staffordshire. Although temperatures up to 10, 13 degrees,

:26:50.:26:56.

which is very good for the time of year, we are looking at gusts of

:26:56.:27:00.

wind of 40 miles an hour. That will take the edge off those valleys.

:27:00.:27:06.

Then we have this transition of the rain clearing away. By Thursday cob

:27:06.:27:12.

we are looking at highs of 16 degrees and dry and sunny!

:27:12.:27:19.

A look at tonight's main headlines: Nearly ten years of austerity - the

:27:19.:27:21.

price Greeks will pay for the latest eurozone bail out.

:27:21.:27:24.

And computer hackers have been signed up by defence chiefs to

:27:24.:27:31.

fight crime in cyber space. That is about it for now. But

:27:31.:27:36.

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