11/04/2012 Midlands Today


11/04/2012

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Welcome to Midlands Today. Tonight... 22 cars set alight in

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two weeks in just one town. Police arrested six people as a community

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leads in fair. It is just senseless. -- lives in fear. The family of a

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baby that died after being accidentally smothered feel let

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down by social services. A father looks for answers after finding his

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teenage son dead under the M6 motorway. Nobody understands

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exactly what has happened or how to deal with it. Outrage at a campaign

:00:44.:00:54.
:00:54.:01:01.

poster warning meat eaters are Good evening. Welcome to

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Wednesday's Midlands Today. Tonight, the hunt continues for members of a

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gang of arsonists are leaving destruction across a town in

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Shropshire. 22 cars had been torched in Telford in two weeks.

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Residents are worried that if culprits are not caught, somebody

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could be seriously injured, or killed. Six people have been

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arrested but police are still hunting other suspects. The charred

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remains of one of 22 cars set alight in an arson attack in

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Telford. This taxi was torched in the early hours of Good Friday of a

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private driveway. The owner was awoken by police and escaped with

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his family as the flames caught his home cracking the windows. We could

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tell it was cracked because of the fire. It had easily caught on fire.

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This has broken. It has damaged my livelihood. I have got nothing.

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apparently senseless attacks led to a trail of damage in Telford in the

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past two weeks. The cars, park close to houses in the middle of

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the night. Tina's may be that the vehicle was burned. -- mobility

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difficult. She has now left a vehicle to miles away at her

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parents''s home. -- at her mother and father's house. I was worried

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and I have had advice around the area. His family became the latest

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victims in the early hours of yesterday when they found that

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their Vauxhall had been set alight. I have worked every day since I was

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16 and I did not deserve it. Nobody deserves it and I did not know how

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I will get to work tomorrow and get home. It is putting people out when

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you do not want to be inconvenienced. Many people do not

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have a spare car these days. Police are patrolling the streets and

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working closely with the emergency services. The neighbourhood is a

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little bit frightening. I talked to a lady in one of these houses and

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she said that she was scared. She said that she was worried that if

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they was a fire, -- there was a fire, she could not get out. Police

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are appealing for information as the community is getting worried.

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Here is our correspondent from Telford. It appears that the

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Community are understandably quite scared. Yes, they really are. We

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have seen this car in my report. It will set alight on the same night

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and on the same street. It is next in another burning car and the

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owners are standing side by side watching in horror. I am joined by

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a chief inspector from West Mercia police. I understand you have made

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six arrests. We have made another arrest. We have got a suspect in

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custody and it is being dealt with by my colleagues. But we have not

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had any charges. Six have already been arrested but on strict bail

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conditions. That has helped us to sort out these offences but we have

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not got any charges at the moment. What about the motives? We do not

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seem to have any. They are different makes and models.

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Individuals are not being targeted and not groups of individuals. This

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is pure vandalism and criminality and we do not understand why it is

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happening. It is just for kicks. The cars are Kate -- close to

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people's homes. How concerned are you? We have not had this in the

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entire year and to have had 22 since 27th March is very serious.

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We are concerned that they are part close to addresses and we have to

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be conscious about where these vehicles are parked. The police

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have appealed for witnesses. You can contact Crimestoppers or

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contact the non-emergency number. Coming up... Hopes and dreams.

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Tears and laughter. We meet the prize winning grandmother that has

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been asked to write a special poem for the Olympics. We feel let down

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by social services. That is the message of the family of a baby boy

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that have -- that has died after an accident in Staffordshire. Eight-

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month-old Alfie Smith died after being accidentally smothered by his

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sleeping father. The coroner said police and social services had made

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mistakes in the run-up to his death. His grave in Stoke-on-Trent is full

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of family tributes. He died before his first birthday. But the tragic

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circumstances of his accidental death have led to questions about

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his care during his life. The coroner heard that he died after

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his father rolled on top of him in his sleep. But in the months before

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his death, social services and the police had been involved with the

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family because they were facing difficulties. The coroner said that

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difficulties. The coroner said that it appears that people in high

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positions at the council had not appreciated the failings which

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existed and put a system in place to avoid what happened. He

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He had been placed in the care of Patricia Owen, his grandfather.

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Other members of the family said they had raised concerns because

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she struggled to cope. They made mistakes all along the way. I

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thought that he was just dumped there. It did not take anybody with

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a degree to realise that that poor lady was going to suck up with the

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consequences for the rest of her light. -- suffer. She could not

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cope. The case highlighted communication problems between

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agencies that had come into contact with the family. Part of my role is

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to make sure these actions did not disappear into the distance. That

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we assessed periodically and make sure that we have got proper

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systems in place. Following the inquest, the council and the police

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had said that lessons had been learned by all agencies involved.

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The coroner said ultimately that these mistakes and failures did not

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affect the outcome for Alfie Smith. He recorded a verdict of accidental

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death. But he said he was frustrated to see the death of a

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child sleeping alongside an adult and said that was fraught with

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danger. The message cannot be emphasised enough for parents. The

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man convicted of murdering a teacher from Warwickshire in Japan

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has lost his appeal against a light sentence. The body of Lindsay

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Hawker, aged 22 and from Brandon, was found in his flat five years

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ago. Tatsuya Ichihashi had argued that he had not intended to kill

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her. Five people from the Walsall area have been arrested in

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connection with the theft of antique china from the University

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of Durham's Oriental Museum. An 18th century jade bowl and

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porcelain worth �2 million were taken after a hole was made in an

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outside wall on Thursday. Four people have been arrested on

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conspiracy to commit burglary and a 5th has been arrested in connection

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with assisting an offender. A father has been speaking about the

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moment he found the body of his son under the M6 motorway in Birmingham

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are. He had been out with friends and was found dead on waste ground

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underneath the flyover. His family said that they have been left with

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many unanswered questions. His death is being treated as

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unexplained. Thomas Healy has been described as a gifted student.

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Somebody that would do anything for anybody. His father made a

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discovery nobody should ever make. It's was like your worst nightmare.

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I walked along the motorway and I saw something in the distance just

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lying down. It was my son. On Good Friday the 19-year-old met up with

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friends and reminisced about his days in Bishop Vesey's Grammar

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School in Sutton Colefield. They hired a taxi for a night out in

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Birmingham before going back to university. What happened? We

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understand that just before midnight the taxi pulled on to the

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hard shoulder and he got out. His body was found the following day

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below the fire there between junctions five and six. -- flyover.

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If anybody has seen him and knows what happened, please contact the

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police. The taxi company involved said that the driver stopped on the

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hard shoulder for safety reasons because a passenger was trying to

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open the door. Police are not taking further action. Friends had

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gathered at the site to lay tributes. They are too distraught

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to talk about what happened. They said it was still sinking in but

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they like many others are trying to work out what happened on Friday

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night. The family is waiting for the results of post-mortem

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examinations. I would not wish that on anybody, to go through what we

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:11:15.:11:23.

are going through. And... Everybody is going to miss him. Here is our

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correspondent. Are the police closer to understanding exactly

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what happened? Tonight we have had the results of post-mortem

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examinations, confirming that he died because of injuries consistent

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with a fall. Police have a officially said it is not explained

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but they have said is not suspicious. They are appealing to

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drivers that might have witnessed it to come forward. But it does not

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answer the family's questions. What happened in the taxi? Why did

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Thomas depart from the vehicle? How did he fall from the fire that? The

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family might not actually get these answers. -- flyover? Speaking to

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his father, he said that he does not apportion any blame. He just

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wanted the full facts and then he would be able to properly mourn his

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son. A vegan campaign group has targeted Gloucester and said that

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meat-eating can lead to an early death. They have come up with a

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slogan called Fight Obesity - Go Vegan. They said they had chosen

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Gloucester because a mortuary has opened that can take bodies that

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way up to 50 stone. Health services have adapted to an obesity epidemic.

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We have got special ambulances for headier patients, wider wheelchairs

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and stronger operating tables. A mortuary has opened in Gloucester

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that can cope with bodies weighing up to 50 stone and that is why it

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has been targeted by this campaign. Some have been torn down but people

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from the ethical treatment of animals have said that meat-eating

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can lead to an early grave. We want to make people aware that eating

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meat can be detrimental to health. We have seen an obesity crisis

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already in this country. It is detrimental to the environment and

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causes immense animal suffering. The campaign has not gone down well

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with an industry that depends on eating meat. Chris Butcher is for

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an healthy diet but he said that they are scared to mongering. --

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scaremongering. That to my mind is very good for you and I do not

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understand. Nobody argues that obesity should not be tackled but

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it appears that this poster is not getting the message across. But a

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recent study indicated that a diet high in red meat can shorten life

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expectancy. Is a vegan diet the way forward? A plant-based diet can be

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a healthy approach to preventing cancer and obesity and more

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wholegrain is better. But meat and dairy have got used all nutrients

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like calcium. Have low-fat dairy and lean meat for nutrients but did

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not make it the whole part of the diet. The company has not decided

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whether or not to replace the poster or if it will be the start

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of a wider campaign to fight to be city with a meat-free message. --

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You do not like this poster? Why? It is extremely insulting to people

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who may for no particular reason become obese. Either through

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genetic problems or medical problems that they may have. The

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second thing is that eating meat is not a passport to an early death,

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it is the quantity that you meet and that is the real killer.

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Particularly... You have just heard about red meat with the disposition

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to heart disease. I think it is sending out the wrong message and I

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am delighted that part of it has been torn down. In it is medically

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wrong, are you saying that? It is radically wrong, yes. There are

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things that people find real difficulty sometimes with regarding

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their weight. It is an insult to those people and they really will

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be extremely annoyed at this poster. Why are you so glad it has been

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torn down? I understand parts of it has been -- have been torn down and

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I hope PETA do not repeated. They do have a point about the danger of

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pies? They do have a point. No smoke without fire. But I think

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that as your dietician pointed out, a rounded diet which is a little

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from all of the food groups is what you should be aiming for rather

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than basing your intake particularly on meat. Thank you.

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Still to come: once a hospital, later a school and now it is

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derelict. But there is a lifeline for one of the region's historic

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buildings. Do not be caught out by the showers.

:16:36.:16:46.
:16:46.:16:50.

More heading our way and they are A little way off the grass court

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tennis season but we have some news. For 30 years, many of the world's

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top women tennis players have made a beeline for Birmingham to warn

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that for Wimbledon. Last year the Edgbaston Priory was almost

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stripped of the AEGON Classic. Since then it has received a

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facelift. 19-year-old Heather Watson is the

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British No. 3. Who better to inspire young children from the

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Community Programme at the Edgbaston Priory Club? My ranking

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night now is 115 in the world. -- right now. I am working hard to get

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back inside the top 100. Last year she made her debut at the AEGON

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Classic, the traditional stop-off point before Wimbledon. I love

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playing this tournament. I had a lot of fun here last year. There is

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always a great atmosphere playing here and I love the home crowd

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support. It could have been very different. After 30 years of

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staging the AEGON Classic, the club was under pressure to improve its

:18:00.:18:09.

facilities or lose the tournament. Now the work is reaching completion.

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Edgbaston Priory Club was not fit for purpose for major international

:18:13.:18:18.

tournaments. We sat down with the City Council and the Lawn Tennis

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Association to come up with a plan to provide the facilities the

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players' required. News will get around on a tour to say, at bow to

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the AEGON Classic, it is a great tournament with great facilities.

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It is not just about the tournament. It is about the community and

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investment in local parks and making sure this is a world-class

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community facility as well. first big test will come in June.

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The Worcestershire pace bowler Alan Richardson says he is honoured to

:18:52.:18:57.

have been chosen as one of Wisden's top five Cricketers of the year. He

:18:57.:19:03.

will be 37 next month and was the highest wicket-taker last season in

:19:03.:19:06.

the county championship. His coach says he is an inspiration to the

:19:06.:19:11.

younger players. I love watching him bowl. He is in the best years

:19:11.:19:19.

of his life. He had an awesome achievement last year. He runs in

:19:19.:19:25.

hard, as a good rhythm. He can do a little bit in the air and his

:19:25.:19:30.

tremendous to watch. She was born in Jamaica and raised a family in

:19:30.:19:34.

Birmingham and she has always loved expressing her emotions on paper.

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Now Ita Gooden has won a competition linking poetry with

:19:38.:19:43.

sport. She is one of a dozen poets chosen to compose an original verse

:19:43.:19:47.

to celebrate the Cultural Olympics 2012.

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Life is like a road. Leading to everywhere and sometimes know where.

:19:54.:19:59.

Poetry is have passion and now that passion is about to be given a

:19:59.:20:03.

voice at the Cultural Olympiad. Ita Gooden has won a national

:20:03.:20:08.

competition to find 12 poets to celebrate London 2012. Hopes and

:20:08.:20:15.

dreams, tears and laughter, happiness and disaster, loyalty and

:20:15.:20:22.

betrayal. In search of inspiration, Ita has popped into the Alexander

:20:22.:20:25.

Stadium in Birmingham to meet Nathan Douglas, one of Britain's

:20:25.:20:31.

top athletes. I am very intrigued to see what she comes up with.

:20:31.:20:40.

you're a poet? Not really. I wish I was! Five years ago, he won silver

:20:40.:20:43.

at the European Indoor Championships. He went on to

:20:43.:20:46.

produce a top 20 finish in Beijing and now he is training hard for

:20:46.:20:51.

London 2012 at Birmingham's High Performance Centre. Poetry in

:20:51.:20:58.

motion for Ita Gooden. Look at that! The speed that he is going

:20:58.:21:05.

at! Some inspiration there for a poem. Goodness gracious, yes. I do

:21:05.:21:10.

not think my pen will ever go as fast! Ita was born in Jamaica so no

:21:10.:21:14.

wonder she is looking forward to seeing the world's finest athletes

:21:14.:21:19.

training in Birmingham. How about a poem for Usain Bolt to welcome him

:21:19.:21:25.

to Birmingham? Is that a challenge? I will definitely do that.

:21:26.:21:30.

Cultural Olympics are funded by almost �70 million of lottery money

:21:30.:21:36.

and suitably inspired Ita Gooden is itching to start work on her

:21:36.:21:41.

celebration poems of London 2012. I cannot wait to hear it Ita's poem

:21:41.:21:48.

about Usain Bolt. Six straight defeats for the Wolves and only six

:21:48.:21:52.

games left. They start tonight at home to Arsenal. The last time they

:21:52.:21:56.

met in December, Steven Fletcher and a valuable point from a 1-1

:21:57.:22:00.

draw. Time is fast running out if Wolves are to survive in the

:22:00.:22:05.

Premier League next season. BBC WM will have regular reports

:22:05.:22:09.

from Molineux and full match commentary on West Brom's game away

:22:09.:22:15.

to Manchester City. You can see all of the goals on Match Of The Day at

:22:15.:22:21.

10:25pm. We have a message saying, they are

:22:21.:22:26.

not in a relaxed state of mind. He is not the only one!

:22:26.:22:30.

Where were we? One of the region's most important historic buildings

:22:30.:22:34.

has moved a step closer to being saved. The 14th century former

:22:34.:22:40.

grammar school has been derelict for more than 20 years.

:22:40.:22:45.

Dating back to 1340, Coventry Grammar School as it is now known

:22:45.:22:49.

first opened as an infirmary before becoming a hospital chapel and then

:22:49.:22:54.

a school. It is a scheduled ancient monument on English Heritage's at

:22:54.:23:00.

risk register. You can see why. Signs of rodents are one thing and

:23:00.:23:04.

the abandoned state of some of the rooms another. The main hall is

:23:04.:23:09.

pretty much intact with authentic furnishings. One of the most

:23:09.:23:13.

interesting things in here are these wooden pews. Nobody knows

:23:13.:23:17.

exactly how old they are but we can reference some kind of date because

:23:17.:23:23.

there is some graffiti. If you look closely, you can see it is dated

:23:23.:23:27.

17th 72. We have built around it without considering how important

:23:27.:23:33.

it is. Let us repeat, it is probably the largest by far oldest

:23:33.:23:38.

buildings still standing in the City. That is by about 200 years.

:23:38.:23:42.

Now the Heritage Lottery Fund has earmarked the building for a grant.

:23:42.:23:48.

It would be incorporated into the city's Transport Museum and used to

:23:48.:23:51.

display this collection of artefacts from the car industry

:23:51.:23:55.

which are currently kept in storage. All sorts of things, trophies,

:23:55.:24:04.

magazines, books, a wards... A huge heritage for the city. Schools will

:24:04.:24:08.

be able to come and see the objects and they will be able to see them

:24:08.:24:12.

and see what sort of things we have on offer. The museum is now drawing

:24:12.:24:20.

up detailed plans and hopes to get full approval early next year.

:24:20.:24:29.

Let us find out more about the It was not a day to be caught

:24:30.:24:33.

without an umbrella. You will find you will be ducking and diving over

:24:33.:24:38.

the next couple of days. Quite a few showers around. By the weekend,

:24:38.:24:46.

they will start to die out. Now, we have got quite a lot of fronts

:24:46.:24:50.

hovering so that is why we have got showers over the next couple of

:24:50.:24:54.

days. By Sunday, there will be one front heading in from the north.

:24:54.:24:59.

You can see the isobars starting to tighten indicating strengthening

:24:59.:25:03.

winds. Right now, it is looking quite bright because the showers

:25:03.:25:07.

are beginning to die away. We still run the risk of thunder and

:25:08.:25:13.

lightning until about 9pm. After that, much of more dry and more

:25:13.:25:18.

clear. Down to two degrees which will give rise to a slight frost.

:25:18.:25:23.

Also, some mist. That will clear by the morning. A cracking start to

:25:23.:25:27.

the day with a lot of sunshine but not for long. The showers will

:25:27.:25:30.

start to roll in and get there and congregate from the north-west.

:25:30.:25:36.

They will be quite heavy once again. With lighter winds, a good

:25:36.:25:40.

quantities of rain. Again there is the risk of thunder and lightning

:25:40.:25:44.

and possibly even Hale. Top temperatures in the sunshine of

:25:44.:25:48.

around 11 degrees. The skies will clear and the temperatures will

:25:48.:25:52.

fall even lower through the night so head. More of a frost tomorrow

:25:52.:25:57.

night. And again on Friday night. The winds will pick up and the

:25:57.:26:00.

temperatures will drop. By the weekend, few are showers but it

:26:00.:26:04.

will be colder. The headlines: jailed for 11 years,

:26:04.:26:08.

the man who set fire to a furniture store in London during last

:26:08.:26:12.

summer's riots. 22 cars set alight in just two

:26:12.:26:16.

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