12/04/2012 Midlands Today


12/04/2012

The latest news, sport and weather for the Midlands.


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Hello, welcome to the programme. The headlines. A family's dismay as

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a schoolgirl with Down's syndrome has a her picture hijacked and

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ridiculed on the internet. You just feel sick, and sad that people have

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got so little respect, or human kindness, really.

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Brighter jobs news as a Chinese lighting firm moves manufacturing

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to Birmingham. As Syria agrees a temporary

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ceasefire, exiles pledge to keep up the pressure with a demonstration

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in Birmingham tonight. We are conscious of making sure that

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people continue to think about what is happening in Syria, continue to

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be active. 100 years after the Titanic sank in

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the act -- Atlantic, remember in the Midlands links with the ill-

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fated liner. Good evening, welcome to Thursday's

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Midlands Today from the BBC. Our top story tonight, how internet

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abuse has disgusted the family of a teenager with Down's Syndrome. The

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mother of Heidi Crowter today appealed to so-called internet

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trollers to stop posting sick and offensive messages about her

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daughter. Pictures of Heidi were copied from a parents support group

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website without permission. They were then posted on other Facebook

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pages where users were invited to mock young people with disabilities.

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Sarah Falkland reports. She is great fun, she has always

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got a caring and happy attitude. She is very sensitive. 16 year-old

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Heidi Crowter has Down's syndrome. Four year, she has been a victim of

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internet trolls. Pictures has appeared on a Facebook page,

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entitled, do not listen to the guy above me, she has Down's syndrome.

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She has always -- also been put on another more sexually explicit page.

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You feel sick and sad that people have got so little respect for

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human kindness, that they can do something like this. Until

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yesterday, Heidi, from Coventry, had been shielded from the truth

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about the trolls, but with her parents trying to tell Wedding --

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get wider support, she felt could not keep it a secret. I think it is

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an acceptable. Were you very shocked? A little bit, yes. In a

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statement today, Facebook says there is a policy in place for

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Heidi's mother to report these unauthorised photos. She tells us

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that she and a small army of her friends have been doing that since

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last October. The statement went on to say that Facebook has a real

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identity Prost -- policy, which makes people accountable for their

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actions and behaviour, and a set of rules which are intended to create

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a balance between enabling free- speech, and preventing harassment

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and abuse. One of the first high- profile cases of trolling involved

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this Worcestershire schoolgirl who died after throwing herself under a

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train. Sean Duffy was jailed for 18 weeks for targeting bereaved

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families on line. He is the second Pursey -- person to be jailed for

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trying in the UK. Bay of Risley do not know anyone with Down's

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syndrome, -- they obviously do not know anyone with Down's syndrome,

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they think things about them like they are stupid, when clearly Heidi

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is not and other people are not. They definitely would not do it is

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a new Heidi. She is intelligent. know! Is the people who did this

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are watching now, what would you like to say to them? I would like

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to say, stop doing it, please. With a snout is Professor Ellis

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Cashmore, who is a professor of social media -- with us now. We

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seem to be hearing more and more about the dark side of the internet.

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Patrols, yes. It is a difficult question to answer -- the trolls,

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yes. Intentional malice is not quite enough. I imagine they are

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people who do not command any authority or respect from their

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front in everyday life, and out of their frustration with their own

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insignificance, they decide to try and distinguish themselves. And one

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they can do this with a fair degree of confidence that they will not be

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Is on social media sites. And they are cool, sadistic sometimes. An

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absolutely offensive -- and they are cruel, sadistic sometimes. In a

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perverse way, they are getting their own way. This is what they

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want. They have aroused people's anxiety and anger. And here we are.

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Top talking about them, right now. You can almost imagine them saying,

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this is a result, they are talking about us. There are so many plus

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point about the internet, but this darker side is so dark, what can be

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done? With every blessing comes a curse. And in practice, this is

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very difficult to police. Facebook are saying, we like to strike a

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balance between free speech and offensiveness. Somewhere in between.

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The number of people who are actually prosecuted, even

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identified, are miniscule compared to the number of people who are

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trailing. So you think it will go on? I cannot see any stop to it.

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Thanks for being with us this evening. Still ahead: The Caribbean

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schoolgirls blazing a trail to Birmingham before Jamaica's

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athletic superstars head to the China's largest lighting

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manufacturer opened a new factory in Birmingham today. The company

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behind it believes this region could be ideally placed to make

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lights and then sell them across European markets. NVC has so far

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created 70 permanent jobs and hopes to increase that to around 250 by

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2015. The welcome news on jobs, comes despite a regional business

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survey which says the number of manufacturers taking on new workers

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fell from 31% to 26% at the end of 2011. And a warning there are

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flashing images in Kevin Reide's report on how one firm is bucking

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that trend. What do the Beijing Olympics and

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this new warehouse in Birmingham have in common? The company that

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owns the warehouse was the main lighting supplier for the Games.

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Today its founder and owner was here to officially open it. Saying

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he chose Birmingham because it is in the centre of England.

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TRANSLATION: We are not just aiming to distribute in the UK, we see

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here as a stepping stone into Europe as part of global expansion

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plans. The company first came to Birmingham in 2009, employing eight

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people to import the lighting equipment it makes in China. It now

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assembles here and in the future hopes to begin manufacturing.

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have got the money to invest in our country. So it they can give the

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jobs to our workforce. It is lagging a little bit. If they are

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going to bring light into Britain, that is great. The more jobs that

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are available, people can get into work. I think it is a good thing,

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because we have got work in place so more people can get employed.

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All this comes as the West London's -- West Midlands's Chamber of

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Commerce fires a broadside at the government, claiming manufacturing

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jobs are in decline and blames too much red tape, saying it is

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difficult to recruit staff and grow businesses. If you take someone on,

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you commit yourself to red tape, the most simple of which is acting

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as a tax collector for the government. All of those complex is

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multiply and businesses are reluctant to take on people and the

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dole queue grows. That is not our experience here at all. We have

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grown gradually over the last few years, head count is up to 70

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people. The process of recruiting people have not been a problem.

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there may be a storm brewing between businesses and the

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government here in the West Midlands, but for at least one firm,

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the future is looking bright. The economic benefits of the

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proposed high speed railway from London to the Midlands have been

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halved in figures released by the Government. Latest predictions

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suggest the project will bring �1.20 of benefit for every pound

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invested. That compares with an original forecast of �2.40. But the

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Department for Transport insists the figures don't reflect all the

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wider advantages HS2 will bring. A lorry driver who admitting

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causing the death of a cyclist by careless driving has walked free

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from court with a suspended jail sentence. 47-year-old Karl Austin

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from Stoke-on-Trent was killed while taking part in an event for

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his cycling club last summer. Today at Derby Crown Court 62 year old

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Michael Bray, seen here on the far left, was given a six month jail

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sentence suspended for two years. A convicted arsonist who burned

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down mobile homes and blackmailed residents into selling their

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property has been forced to pay �750,000 in compensation. John

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Doherty was jailed for 12 years for terrorising his victims at The Glen

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caravan park near Bromsgrove in Worcestershire. They've been

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compensated under the Proceeds of Crime Act. Campaigners fighting to

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save jobs at a Kidderminster-based carpet firm have been gathering

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signatures for their petition today. More than 150 posts are at risk at

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Brintons Carpets. The company employs 1,700 people worldwide and

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says the cuts will allow it to compete in the future. But

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campaigners want the industry to stay in the town and are planning

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to take their petition to the government.

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Protesters claim it makes no sense to close both GP surgeries in the

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centre of one of our most historic towns and move them to the

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outskirts. A campaign led by comedian Jo Brand's mother has

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collected 1,200 signatures. The NHS says the move is an integral part

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of plans for a �27 million hospital of plans for a �27 million hospital

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of plans for a �27 million hospital and health centre complex and any

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delays could kill off the project. Our health correspondent Michele

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Paduano reports. With muscle inflammation, and

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osteoporosis, 84 year-old Grace is not by far the most elderly and

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frail person in this complex. But she moved to the centre of Ludlow

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to have immunity -- amenity that the GP on her doorstep. Getting on

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and off buses is not easy even for me. It is worse for many people

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here, believe me. They are much worse than I am physically. So, yes,

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we just cannot lose our surgeries. The campaign group, Save the Ludlow

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count surgery, includes a retired GP. It is rubbing salt in the wind

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having collected a petition. Joyce had to go to Downing Street with

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her daughter, comedienne Jo Brand. Nobody is going to want to trail a

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mile and a bit out to the eco Park, and stand in the rain in the winter,

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all with small children in a pushchair and have got chest

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infections. They are not going to want to. Ludlow is due to get a �27

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million new hospital here. It is meaning more hospital services in

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south Shropshire. Crucially, both town centre at GP surgeries must

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move to the new site. To retain a surgery in the centre of Ludlow

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would not just undermined the integrated nature of care on the

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hospital site, it would greatly increase costs of the overall

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scheme and jeopardise the Ludlow hospital development. Bosses to the

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eco Park run every 20 minutes to 30 minutes. It takes about half an

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hour on this bus to get up to the eco Park. There is also a dial a

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ride service that patients can ask for 24 hours in advance, and there

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is a �100,000 coming for a new community bus service that patients

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can pay for separately. This is a historic market town is spit and

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there seems no room for compromise. -- is split.

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Also roads continue in the Premier League but good Aston Villa be a

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drive into the relegation nightmare?

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We have had the worst of the showers but the best of the

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temperatures, it is getting colder by the weekend. It is all coming up

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later. After 13 months of violence a

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tentative ceasefire's in place tonight in Syria and for now at

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least it appears to be holding. But opponents of the regime are still

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fleeing the country and there's fresh testimony tonight from

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Syrians here in the Midlands who've been aiding refugees. Giles Latcham

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has this report. Back home in Birmingham, husband

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and wife, both Syrian nationals, we are not naming them because they

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fear for their families in Syria. He is an NHS psychologist who spent

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the past nine days in refugee camps. In a clinic, he treated dozens of

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people haunted by nightmares and flashbacks, traumatised by it

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murder and torture. An ad that said that five of her family were killed

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a band of her eyes. -- and Lady DEC said. They planted mines around the

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image -- village and exploded them, children were picking vines and

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they saw that they were slaughtering children like a sheep.

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They went to Syria with the charity Hand in Hand For Syria that went to

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help the casualties of President Asad's crackdown. I saw a mother,

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she said, she did not want anything, she just wanted to remember her son.

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He was 16 year-old and she said he died in front of her eyes. Reports

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of fierce fighting as the ceasefire junior today, a Midlands-based

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activists will stage a vigil tonight in Birmingham, anxious to

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rid mind the world that Syria is still a nation in conflict. We are

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conscious that people continue to think about what is happening in

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Syria, be active in supporting Syrian people. Like standing up

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against anybody, you have to stand in solidarity with each other, and

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that is what we are trying to do tonight. Harrowing though the

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experience was, the doctor and his wife are planning to return next

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month. It is their duty, they say, to their homeland and its people.

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Time for the sport now. What a dreadful night for a Black Country

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side's. A month from now and it'll all be over. But we're still a long

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way from learning how many of our teams will survive when the dust

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settles on the Premier League relegation battle. Wolves

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increasingly look doomed but Aston Villa could still join them in the

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Championship. Nick Clitheroe reports.

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There's no lack of spirit about this Wolves team but the gulf in

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quality was illustrated yet again as Arsenal swept into Molineux.

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Once Neil Swarbrick had awarded a penalty and sent Sebastian Bassong

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off after just 9 minutes victory for the visitors seemed a formality.

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Within a couple of minutes it was two.Theo Walcott doubling the home

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fans dismay. And any hope of a revival was completely quashed when

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Yossi Benayoun added Arsenal's third. If they get five more

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efforts like a got tonight with 11 players on the pitch, we will get

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as many as we possibly can. It is a tough time, and things seem to go

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against you when you are in the bottom of the league. But the

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spirit and the togetherness of the lads showed today, I can only ask

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for for the next five games. Wolves may look relegation certainties now

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but they're not the only Midlands side in trouble. Wigan's victory

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over Manchester United means Aston Villa are only six points above the

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bottom three. West Bromwich Albion are realistically, if not

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mathematically, safe and it looked that way as they succumbed to

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Manchester City's revival of the title race. They were a goal down

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inside six minutes but it was the second half when the deluge of

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goals arrived. They can look forward to another Premier League

:16:40.:16:50.
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season. Their two biggest Midlands Chris Wright took the 10th and

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final wicket to claim for in the innings. Rain-affected play, a

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:17:19.:17:23.

short time ago, Warwickshire were 91-three in reply. The Birmingham

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Brummies won the first big Midlands derby of the Elite League season

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with a 50 points to 42 victory over Wolverhampton. A dramatic 11th heat

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was the outstanding race of the night at the Perry Barr stadium.

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Sebastian Ulamek held off Wolverhampton's Freddie Lindgren

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round the final bend to open up an eight point lead. It was the

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Brummies' first win of the season. A netball team from Jamaica is in

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Birmingham this week as part of a sports exchange leading up to the

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Olympics. The Jamaican under 16 national squad will play a series

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of matches in the city. Later this year the stars of Jamaica's track

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and field team will be based in Birmingham ahead of the Games in

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July. Nadine Towell reports on our Jamaican Connection in the run up

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to the greatest show on earth. Bringing a flavour of the Caribbean

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to the council house in Birmingham. For many of these Jamaican

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teenagers, this is their first overseas trip. They are here as

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part of a pre- Olympics exchange programme, building up to the

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arrival of the Jamaican athlete in Birmingham this summer. So after

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their formal welcome, the girls were then introduced to the sites

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and the shops. It is very wonderful, just the buildings are amazing. The

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different look. It is very nice. Festival, the temperature, it is

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very cold! As well as the building, they are larger, much larger.

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This is what they are really here for, a series of competitive

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netball matches between the Jamaicans and a team from

:18:43.:18:46.

Birmingham, been played every day for the rest of this week. This

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time last year, a team from Birmingham went to Jamaica on the

:18:50.:18:55.

first leg of the exchange. Now they are in no mood for revenge. It was

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very competitive last year, they beat us in every match. This year,

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we are hoping to change it and beat them tonight. They are amazing,

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really good. I am hoping to win today! These girls are the first

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Jamaican sports team to come into Birmingham in 2012. They are well

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aware they are being followed here by their countrymen later this year,

:19:18.:19:22.

including Olympic champion and world record holder Usain Bolt.

:19:22.:19:29.

are seeing them, we hope we have her set the stage for them. We hope

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they receive the wonderful hospitality we have received from

:19:31.:19:36.

Birmingham. On court, the Jamaicans won the first match of the series

:19:36.:19:38.

by a tight margin. Up the atmosphere here is anything to go

:19:38.:19:43.

by, the athletes arriving for the Olympics this summer should expect

:19:43.:19:50.

a hero's welcome. Just give us the timetable of when

:19:50.:19:55.

our visiting Olympians are arriving. We are only 14 weeks away from the

:19:55.:19:59.

Jamaican team arriving, July 15th. The following day the US team

:19:59.:20:09.
:20:09.:20:12.

arrives. The city of Coventry arena is the first game in football.

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Let's go back to cricket, in seven county matches today, 77 wickets

:20:18.:20:23.

fell. The batsmen did not want to be out

:20:23.:20:26.

so long! The ball was moving but not as much as it should have done

:20:26.:20:32.

for the amount of wickets. It is perishing out their! It's 100

:20:32.:20:35.

years since the sinking of the Titanic. But not many people

:20:35.:20:39.

realise how much of the liner was built right here in the Midlands.

:20:39.:20:41.

Well, now a new exhibition's commemorating this region's role.

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Bob Hockenhull reports on our links to the Titanic disaster and on the

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lasting effect on the lives of people even today.

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On route to the spot where the Titanic sank. But not all on board

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this week's anniversary crews are descendants of the victims. We

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spoke to Sheila from Hall Green in Birmingham, just before she set off.

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She has no family connection to the disaster, yet felt compelled to

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join the cruise, retracing the chip's fate full journey. She had

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been collecting memorabilia connected to the tragedy since her

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father described seeing a sinking ship during the Second World War.

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He said it was a terrible thing to witness the death of a ship, and it

:21:27.:21:32.

seemed such an emotive expression it stayed with me. To me, that

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Cruise is an opportunity not only to pay respects to the hundreds of

:21:36.:21:42.

people who died, but also to the ship herself. Sport in the White

:21:42.:21:48.

Star liner uniform worn by the Titanic crew, Andrew has also let

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the 100 year old tragedy have a profound effect on his life. The

:21:51.:21:55.

amateur historian has spent 30 years uncovering the region's

:21:55.:22:00.

forgotten contributions to the ship, not just the anchor, famously made

:22:00.:22:04.

near Dudley, but much more. She is registered in Liverpool, so the

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people of Liverpool thinks -- pink she is a love of will ship. She was

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built in Belfast so they think it is a Belfast ship. But 70% of the

:22:15.:22:18.

interiors were made in the Birmingham and Black Country, so

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she is a Birmingham and back- country ship. Andrew has set up a

:22:23.:22:28.

museum, collecting bits of the ship itself. This debris was found by

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fishermen in Ireland. Visitors will be able to get up close to this

:22:34.:22:37.

genuine Titanic sidelight. It was brought up on the seabed in the

:22:37.:22:41.

1990s, and is now owned by the Coventry-based Titanic Heritage

:22:42.:22:45.

Trust. More and more is being uncovered about the victims from

:22:45.:22:50.

the Midlands. One of them, William Higgins, was a former MD at the

:22:50.:22:54.

engineering company where Andrew's exhibition was being staged. It is

:22:54.:23:00.

about people, people who's lives were never fulfilled. Generation

:23:00.:23:03.

it's a who never went forward. That is the most poignant thing about

:23:03.:23:07.

the whole story. Andrew's research has found it is a story about life

:23:07.:23:12.

as well as death. Worcester confectioner Henry Morley died in a

:23:12.:23:16.

tragedy, but Kate Phillips, the 19 year-old shop assistant he was an

:23:16.:23:20.

open with, survived, and gave birth to their daughter. Three brothers,

:23:20.:23:27.

Jess of Alfred and John Davies from West Bromwich died, but there are

:23:27.:23:30.

parents set up a successful business in America with the

:23:30.:23:33.

compensation money. A country so many other people were destined

:23:33.:23:38.

never to reach. It is an intriguing story and

:23:38.:23:42.

continues to be fascinating. I interviewed 80 Turkic -- Titanic

:23:42.:23:44.

survivor years ago, it was fascinating.

:23:44.:23:48.

Tomorrow, we will have report on the captain of the Titanic, Edward

:23:48.:23:53.

Smith. He came from Staffordshire. How much was he to blame for the

:23:53.:23:57.

disaster? For a lot more, go to the website.

:23:57.:24:00.

The weather has been causing some interesting outcome in the cricket

:24:00.:24:09.

Things have been kicking off in Coventry. Earlier on we had report

:24:09.:24:13.

of thunderstorms there. April has not release Brown any surprises on

:24:13.:24:20.

us so far. At the beginning of the week we had a westerly which meant

:24:20.:24:23.

temperatures were reasonable. That will change by the weekend, we will

:24:23.:24:28.

see northerlys flooding in and washing away those warmer colours.

:24:28.:24:32.

Mrs Howard looks in summary. Wintery showers come the weekend,

:24:32.:24:39.

also it will turn more windy and it will be colder. Back to tonight and

:24:39.:24:43.

this evening, first of all. Showers will be dying away in the next

:24:43.:24:46.

couple of hours. Looking much clearer and dry across the region,

:24:46.:24:52.

so it will be cold as well. It could be freezing across rural

:24:52.:24:56.

parts, we will see a widespread frost in those areas, more so than

:24:56.:25:01.

on previous night. For tomorrow morning, we will be soaking up the

:25:01.:25:08.

rays once again. A beautiful sunny start. Then the show was full role

:25:08.:25:12.

in from the north-west by the afternoon. -- the showers will roll

:25:12.:25:18.

in on the afternoon. Top temperatures still quite reasonable.

:25:18.:25:25.

As the northerlys sink in, like winds tomorrow, it will turn colder.

:25:25.:25:30.

The days are cold, the night will become colder. Tomorrow night,

:25:30.:25:35.

temperatures could get below freezing. Again, a widespread frost.

:25:35.:25:39.

For gardeners, it can do watch out for his Saturday night into Sunday.

:25:39.:25:46.

Or widespread frost and wintry showers as well. Dry ice under. But

:25:46.:25:55.

A fragile ceasefire in Syria appears to be holding tonight.

:25:55.:25:58.

And internet abuse for a girl with Down's syndrome, her family say

:25:58.:26:02.

they are disgusted and appeal for aid to stop.

:26:02.:26:06.

There have been reports of a big bang similar to a large explosion

:26:06.:26:10.

across cock -- Coventry, Warwickshire and Northern

:26:10.:26:17.

Oxfordshire. Houses shook and windows shook, as far as rugby.

:26:17.:26:21.

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