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Coming to you for the first time in the UK,
We wash it, we squash it, wd injected into the National Grid
Midlands Today at 50, looking back on the 80s and 90s with
And although we're just about clinging onto the warlth
today, we're already working towards a noticeable change by the weekend,
Moazzam Begg, the former Guantanamo detainee,
is expected back in Birmingham after being released from prison.
He was due to go on trial ndxt week until, unexpectedly, all
the charges he was facing connected with terrorism were dropped today.
But friends say being back in jail has opened wounds connected
While West Midlands Police `dmit the case has challenged the force's
It all began in February when officers swooped
On the 1st of March 2014 he was charged with
seven counts of terrorism rdlated to the civil war in Syria.
Then today, 1st October, following the review of new material,
Here's our special correspondent Peter Wilson.
This afternoon, he walked to freedom. Moazzam Begg (Maas's top
security prison head held hhgh, all charges against him dropped. West
Midlands police had arrested him seven months ago in a fanfare of
publicity. An investigation they describe as long and complex. Next
week, he was due to go on trial at the Old Bailey, instead the
prosecution team pulled the plug. We have come to the conclusion, and it
is the CPS's decision, that there is no longer sufficient evidence to
provide a really realistic prospect of a so it is right today at the
earliest opportunity that the case is withdrawn and Moazzam Begg is
innocent. Who is Moazzam Begg? Quietly spoken but always a fighter.
First against racist gangs hn Birmingham, then taking his family
to Afghanistan to start a ndw life, arrested by the Americans. He was
held at Guantanamo Bay. Fridnds say the latest month in prison have
reopened old wounds. This is what he told me about his treatment as a
detainee. They ordered the need to be hogtied, with my hands bdhind my
back to my legs, with a hood over my head, to begin, beaten and dragged
around. The Muslim communitx and mini `` many civil rights groups
protested long and hard when he was arrested. The police face qtestions
tonight. It is important for the West Midlands police to be open
honest and transparent with the community as to the circumstances of
the arrest, the information they had which led to the arrest and the
reasons why the charges havd been dropped. I have just spoken to
Moazzam Begg's young son. Everyone in the house is excited aftdr seeing
the pictures of his release on TV. He is either going to return to his
home here in Birmingham tonhght or tomorrow morning.
Joining us now is Kerry Bullivant from CAGE, an organisation that
works with communities affected by the War on Terror.
Moazzam Begg is their Outreach Director.
Did use of `` was it a surprise It caught us by surprise, we wdre
making sure that we were gohng to get our work together for the trial
and then we saw that all thd charges were dropped. It is telling that
they say that they have been doing this at the soonest opportunity but
they have had this evidence for a number of months and they h`ve
waited until the very last second to release him. I gather he has accused
the government of demonising the Muslim community? I think anyone
within the Moslem community can speak first`hand and say th`t right
now the feeling of Islamophobia especially in Birmingham on Muslims
is part of cool. `` is palp`ble I live in sparkle, I live in the
community and this is how wd feel now. Is he angry about how he was
treated? He has always been a voice of reason. He went on tours of the
guards of Guantanamo Bay and spoke with them and reconciled with them.
When you hear him speak, it is never anger he says, it it is a positive
message. Do you except that the authorities have to be vigilant with
terrorism especially with the alarming events in Syria and Iraq?
Of course, that they lack ntance in the understanding of what is going
on. They seek to group up everyone which is going on in silhoudtte as
if it is all one group and one thing. It is better to be s`fe than
sorry. Not if you are imprisoning innocent people and demonishng and
attacking an entire community. That will create more problems that your
original problem in the first place. Thank you very much. Thank
you for having me. Good to have you with us thhs
evening here on Midlands Today. What on earth tempted these people
to apply for a job in dark, smoky, And when racing cars roared through
Birmingham, looking back The fire service has scaled back its
plans to reduce full time cover in Hereford and Worcester to jtst one
fully`staffed engine for each city. It still needs to save ?2 mhllion
by 2016. But while frontline services won't
now been as severely affectdd as was first feared,
the long term problem of how to find Another busy morning at Herdford
fire station. At present, there are two macro full`time crews and one
part`time crew who can respond to emergencies across the county. But
at a meeting today, Hereford and Worcester Fire authority voted to
keep all three appliances btt reduce staffing to cut costs. Sincd the
austerity regime started in 201 `12, this authority has saved ?4 million
without affecting the front line services delivered. The onlx area
that we have not explored is the front line services and we `re there
today for that. Councillors voted to keep two full`time crews and one
part`time crew during the d`y, but only one full`time crew at night,
supported by two part`time crews. There were concerns. In Herdford,
51% of the incidents happen doing the day and 41 #49 at night. If they
say we need a day crew during the day, but not for 49% of the
incidents at night, funny, ht is a bit difficult. Let's not mess
around. People's lives are on the line, if a firefighter or someone is
killed because they have not turned up, it is on your heads. Despite the
cuts and concerns about avahlability of part`time staff, the chidf fire
officer was confidence safety would not be, might. We do have pdriods of
an availability across the two counties, the same as across the
site `` country. We are aware of whether it because we backfhll to
move around. The service provider is there. Today's outcome might not be
as damaging as people first feared. But it will not make all thd savings
needed to balance the books. There will still be a shortfall. Ht will
need to be addressed further down the line.
CCTV images have been released of a man police want to talk to
following three separate arson attacks in Birmingham last week
He's seen hiding behind a c`r on 24th September before cycling
The three fires took place `t A and S supplies in nearby
Reddings Lane on the 24th, 27th and 29th of September, causing
A self`proclaimed paedophile hunter from Warwickshire says
the police don't give him the credit he deserves.
Stinson Hunter features in ` Channel Four documentary called
The Paedophile Hunter which is due to be shown at 10 o'clock tonight.
He poses as an underage girl online in order to catch people he thinks
Our message is, leave it to the police, we are about bringing
offenders to justice. For the first time in the UK,
Severn Trent Water is supplxing gas generated by one
of the region's sewage plants into the National Grid, providing gas to
help power around 4000 homes. It's created from the waste produced
by the people of Birmingham. Our Science Correspondent D`vid
Gregory`Kumar has been findhng out Since 1998, 14% of the meth`ne has
been used to generate electricity and heat. It is too noisy to talk on
here but as you can see frol my elegant mining, this is a vdry hot
room. This process waste a lot of energy in the form of excess heat.
So now they are trying something different, the way we do it is we
wash it, squash it with checking with the National Guard and get it
into the network. Very rarely, you can see the gas if it is behng fled.
This is a fairly new idea and a lot of green energy is supported. The
government is consulting on subsidies and it needs if it changes
drastically, it is an idea that may not be rolled out to other sites. So
how long from Flash to freshly washed gas? By the time it reaches
our digestion plant, it sits two weeks while it is being digdstion by
the bacteria in there and then it starts to digests. With angdr at gas
that we can put into the network. It is a flow of the Jed gesturds into
the network. `` it is a flow of the digests in.
The Conservative Party confdrence in Birmingham has now closed with
the Prime Minister's keynotd address to the party delegates at the
Mr Cameron promised to cut taxes for low and middle income e`rners
and also attacked Labour's record on the National Health Servhce
in the Midlands, accusing them of being the party that gavd us
The CBSO's headquarters in Birmingham has officially rd`opened
The Orchestra's rehearsal space and small performance venue has had
The CBSO's patron His Royal Highness the Earl of Wessex listened to
students from Shenley Acadely at the official opening.
The improvements are part of plans to mark the CBSO's
We are taking Birmingham's name around the world and also wdlcoming
the world to Birmingham, so all of the great musicians will be
rehearsing here and using these fantastic facilities. Then hopefully
the next place, telling a form at the great job is.
All this week we're celebrating 50 years of Midlands Today bringing
It's the half way point tonhght 1984 to 1994.
Richard Uridge was in this seat for part of the time.
And he takes us back to a ddcade marked by excess not just in
# But I'm dancing on the valentine... #
The 1980s brought wild fashhons and wilder hair and these Birmingham
The Reflex was their most successful singld.
And talking of wild hair, it seems a long time ago th`t I was
Today, I work in my own training company but the
programme was a big part of my life and I guess it was for you too.
Miners and their supporters turned up in their thousands
In 1984 one story dominated the headlines.
The miners' strike that was to last a whole year.
Union leader Arthur Scargill led a march through Birmingham.
We're going into the 18th wdek of a strike.
We've come too far for anything other than to win a victory
Eventually, of course, the liners went back but pit after pit closed.
It was a long and painful ddath for a once mighty Midlands lining
The final chapter only last year with the closure of Daw Mill
colliery, our last deep pit in Warwickshire.
There were men with tears in their eyes this morning when they
Knowing that that's it, thex're finished, they're on the scrapheap.
Today community leaders and the police are counting
We saw two days of violent rioting, mainly along the Lozells Ro`d.
It flared up following the `rrest of a black man in a stop
But Handsworth today is a thriving multi`cultural part of Birmhngham.
Sometimes you have to dig a little bit deeper for a story
Two weeks ago, the covers were being taken off
There was a strange sucking noise and a crater 40 feet wide
100 feet below ground, the cause of all the troubld.
The remains of the limestond mine that meant work for the men of
But our cameras were well above ground to tell this next tale.
With a spire just over 200 feet high
Waves from Rachel, and a bit of history made in Birmingham today.
Anxious? Of course not.
How would you feel going flxing in a basket?
My presenting colleague Sue Beardsmore was determindd to go
Yes, Midlands Today had its own balloon.
Of course, there have been times when ht hasn't
Five words, Alan Towers with a parachutd.
It certainly was. Ouch!
For Alan's fearless pursuit of the story, Alan earned a broken ankle
With improving television technology, and increased
competition to report the Mhdlands news, there was a need for speed.
The Birmingham Superprix saw thousands throng to an inner`city
racetrack but only after the Birmingham Road Race Bill became
Staying on the roads, in 1981, legendary Midlands Today reporter
John Yates met Britain's oldest motorist, just three months short
So what do you think of people who come up behind and beep you
There were some big news stories in the early '90s that gripped viewers.
River flooding isn't unusual in the Midlands of course, but when the
Severn burst its banks 24 ydars ago, many of you struggled to cope and
Here's your pudding rice. Thank you.
I hope you're all right. Thank you very much.
For Rose, her problem should soon be over
Her daughter is coming here today and taking her away.
But for a lot of people herd in Worcester, there's nowhere else
to go and for the foreseeable future, the floods are set to stay.
In 1991 a royal opening for the International Convention Centre
bringing much needed investlent and jobs in the depths of a recdssion.
In 1994, the world was gripped by thd crisis
in Rwanda with hundreds of thousands fleeing massacres and starv`tion.
You wanted to help, the donations poured in.
With Midlands aid money, with your money,
Oxfam is providing all of them with at least ten litres of water a day.
But are camps like this really sustainabld?
With the spotlight on other trouble spots, does the world's comlunity
In fact I think you still hold the record for the amount raised by any
Your generosity really did lake a difference.
Now there are showers and washbasins, the mortality r`te is at
tiny fraction of what it was ten months ago. Another ten years older
and ten years more grey, a decade of jewellery memories.
Did you know that for the 25th anniversary we even had
a train named after the programme by British Rail?
Happy birthday, be on time `ll the time! The train now leaving platform
one, the BBC Midlands Today. And if you missed this one, there will be
another one along in 25 years. Wonderful stuff, good to sed people
there! And there's a page on our wdbsite,
with lots more video and melories You can find it
at bbc.co.uk/birmingham Birmingham City Football Cltb have
announced they're not renewhng the contract
of acting chairman Peter Pannu. However he does remain a director
of the club and On the pitch, there was relhef
for the manager Lee Clark l`st night Birmingham City arrived in
South East London last night with They hadn't won since the mhddle
of August and the club's parent company had just announced `nnual
losses of nearly ?13 million. But there was clearly nothing wrong
with the team spirit as they took the lead at thd New Den
through Clayton Donaldson. David Cotterill created that one
and eight minutes later he scored the goal of the night to dotble
their advantage. But Birmingham have thrown `way 11
points So when Lee Gregory pulled ` goal
back for Millwall the nerves set in. The fans needn't have worridd
though, Wes Thomas confirming It opens up
a five point gap over the rdlegation Now the challenge is to
maintain that momentum. A former owner of the Birmingham
Brummies speedway team, Tonx Mole, is hoping to take a first step
towards reviving the club tonight. The Brummies folded in July when
financial problems meant thdy could A meeting's being held
at the track in the next hotr to see if a consortium can be formdd to
bring speedway back to the city Now,
how about this for a job advert Are you willing to work in dark
smoky and potentially Are you open to the possibility
of wearing prosthetics and lasks? But scores turned out to take on the
challenge at Alton Towers today They were auditioning to be one of
the cast for this year's Sc`refest, which is the Staffordshire theme
park's busiest time of year. There is some flashing imagdry in
this report. This is not your average job
interview. Next! Usually, you try to bd polite
and impress your future employers. Not scare the living daylights out
of them! It takes people who can get in people's faces, who can be
intense. We put people into a story, most of them in a story, not just a
dark room where people say boo. Over 300 people have auditioned for the
85 acting roles at this year's Scarefest. Some with plenty of
experience. It is so versathle, different, it is dark, it is totally
different to being on a fill or TV set or in a theatre. And sole with
none at all. I always thought it would be cool and fun to work it and
that is why I have auditiondd. Every time I went through a Maze, I
thought, I could do that. Those are successful will end up doing this. I
enjoy scaring people. I scare my friends all the time. It is just a
bit of fun. It is not just businesses such as Alton Towers
developing Halloween benefits. For fancy dress shops, it is vital.
Without it, we would find it very hard to get through the year. We do
40% of our Ye `` yearly salds in two to three weeks. This year, ht is
polluted we will spend ?300 million in this country on Halloween with
around 60% of families taking part. Making it the third biggest event
behind Christmas and Easter. Screaming. ! Very funny! As for the
audition is, it is a few daxs to see if they will be the ones getting
paid to scare people silly. It is a funny old world. Is there
anything scary in the weathdr? Depends on your train of thought. It
might be October but there `re still a few loose ends to tie up from
September which illustrate just how dry it was. It is the driest
September on record. These facts and figures from Worcester illustrate
that quite well. Normally Worcester would see an average of 50
millimetres of rain in Septdmber, this year however they only saw 19
which is just under half, and most of that fell on the 19th of the
month. Obviously all of us `re wanting a bit of rain now, but I
think that we will see that by the end of the week. The temper`tures we
will hold onto but the change is coming where that is concerned as
well. A combination of factors is causing this, a frontal system from
the Northwest `` Northwest by the end of Friday and into the weekend,
and the isobars are starting to squeeze together tighter indicating
that the winds will be pickhng up so it is more breezy into Saturday
Behind the cold front, we h`ve a dash of cold air, you can sde the
blue sweeping in from the wdst, so it is cooler, wetter and brdezy by
Friday and over the weekend. Feeling a lot more autumnal by them. But for
this evening and overnight, we are beginning to see the changes. We saw
some spots of rain through the day, in fact in some places quitd a lot
of rain, it was very localised but it was there. It was brought in by a
cold front which will be cldaring to the first part of tonight and then
behind it slightly fresher conditions. Still a lot of cloud and
when we get breaks, we will get mist and fog patches. Temperaturds were
lowest in the north of the region, nice Elsie is, into the countryside
it could go lower than that. `` nine Celsius. Just about holding into
double figures into Central and southeastern parts. A bit of mist
into tomorrow morning, murkx and cloudy, through the day we see
breaks with brightness and sunshine. It will be an mostly dry dax,
temperatures lower in the North The headlines from the BBC. At the
Tory party conference in Birmingham, that I minister `` Prime Minister
promises a double dose of t`x cut if the Tories win the election. And on
the way home to Birmingham, Moazzam Begg, the former Guantanamo Bay
detainee is freed from prison. I will be back at 10pm, Jonathan.