01/10/2014 Midlands Today


01/10/2014

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Coming to you for the first time in the UK,

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We wash it, we squash it, wd injected into the National Grid

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Midlands Today at 50, looking back on the 80s and 90s with

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And although we're just about clinging onto the warlth

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today, we're already working towards a noticeable change by the weekend,

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Moazzam Begg, the former Guantanamo detainee,

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is expected back in Birmingham after being released from prison.

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He was due to go on trial ndxt week until, unexpectedly, all

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the charges he was facing connected with terrorism were dropped today.

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But friends say being back in jail has opened wounds connected

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While West Midlands Police `dmit the case has challenged the force's

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It all began in February when officers swooped

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On the 1st of March 2014 he was charged with

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seven counts of terrorism rdlated to the civil war in Syria.

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Then today, 1st October, following the review of new material,

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Here's our special correspondent Peter Wilson.

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This afternoon, he walked to freedom. Moazzam Begg (Maas's top

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security prison head held hhgh, all charges against him dropped. West

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Midlands police had arrested him seven months ago in a fanfare of

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publicity. An investigation they describe as long and complex. Next

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week, he was due to go on trial at the Old Bailey, instead the

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prosecution team pulled the plug. We have come to the conclusion, and it

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is the CPS's decision, that there is no longer sufficient evidence to

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provide a really realistic prospect of a so it is right today at the

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earliest opportunity that the case is withdrawn and Moazzam Begg is

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innocent. Who is Moazzam Begg? Quietly spoken but always a fighter.

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First against racist gangs hn Birmingham, then taking his family

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to Afghanistan to start a ndw life, arrested by the Americans. He was

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held at Guantanamo Bay. Fridnds say the latest month in prison have

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reopened old wounds. This is what he told me about his treatment as a

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detainee. They ordered the need to be hogtied, with my hands bdhind my

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back to my legs, with a hood over my head, to begin, beaten and dragged

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around. The Muslim communitx and mini `` many civil rights groups

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protested long and hard when he was arrested. The police face qtestions

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tonight. It is important for the West Midlands police to be open

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honest and transparent with the community as to the circumstances of

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the arrest, the information they had which led to the arrest and the

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reasons why the charges havd been dropped. I have just spoken to

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Moazzam Begg's young son. Everyone in the house is excited aftdr seeing

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the pictures of his release on TV. He is either going to return to his

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home here in Birmingham tonhght or tomorrow morning.

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Joining us now is Kerry Bullivant from CAGE, an organisation that

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works with communities affected by the War on Terror.

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Moazzam Begg is their Outreach Director.

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Did use of `` was it a surprise It caught us by surprise, we wdre

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making sure that we were gohng to get our work together for the trial

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and then we saw that all thd charges were dropped. It is telling that

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they say that they have been doing this at the soonest opportunity but

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they have had this evidence for a number of months and they h`ve

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waited until the very last second to release him. I gather he has accused

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the government of demonising the Muslim community? I think anyone

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within the Moslem community can speak first`hand and say th`t right

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now the feeling of Islamophobia especially in Birmingham on Muslims

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is part of cool. `` is palp`ble I live in sparkle, I live in the

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community and this is how wd feel now. Is he angry about how he was

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treated? He has always been a voice of reason. He went on tours of the

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guards of Guantanamo Bay and spoke with them and reconciled with them.

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When you hear him speak, it is never anger he says, it it is a positive

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message. Do you except that the authorities have to be vigilant with

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terrorism especially with the alarming events in Syria and Iraq?

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Of course, that they lack ntance in the understanding of what is going

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on. They seek to group up everyone which is going on in silhoudtte as

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if it is all one group and one thing. It is better to be s`fe than

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sorry. Not if you are imprisoning innocent people and demonishng and

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attacking an entire community. That will create more problems that your

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original problem in the first place. Thank you very much. Thank

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you for having me. Good to have you with us thhs

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evening here on Midlands Today. What on earth tempted these people

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to apply for a job in dark, smoky, And when racing cars roared through

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Birmingham, looking back The fire service has scaled back its

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plans to reduce full time cover in Hereford and Worcester to jtst one

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fully`staffed engine for each city. It still needs to save ?2 mhllion

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by 2016. But while frontline services won't

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now been as severely affectdd as was first feared,

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the long term problem of how to find Another busy morning at Herdford

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fire station. At present, there are two macro full`time crews and one

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part`time crew who can respond to emergencies across the county. But

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at a meeting today, Hereford and Worcester Fire authority voted to

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keep all three appliances btt reduce staffing to cut costs. Sincd the

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austerity regime started in 201 `12, this authority has saved ?4 million

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without affecting the front line services delivered. The onlx area

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that we have not explored is the front line services and we `re there

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today for that. Councillors voted to keep two full`time crews and one

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part`time crew during the d`y, but only one full`time crew at night,

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supported by two part`time crews. There were concerns. In Herdford,

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51% of the incidents happen doing the day and 41 #49 at night. If they

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say we need a day crew during the day, but not for 49% of the

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incidents at night, funny, ht is a bit difficult. Let's not mess

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around. People's lives are on the line, if a firefighter or someone is

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killed because they have not turned up, it is on your heads. Despite the

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cuts and concerns about avahlability of part`time staff, the chidf fire

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officer was confidence safety would not be, might. We do have pdriods of

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an availability across the two counties, the same as across the

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site `` country. We are aware of whether it because we backfhll to

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move around. The service provider is there. Today's outcome might not be

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as damaging as people first feared. But it will not make all thd savings

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needed to balance the books. There will still be a shortfall. Ht will

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need to be addressed further down the line.

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CCTV images have been released of a man police want to talk to

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following three separate arson attacks in Birmingham last week

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He's seen hiding behind a c`r on 24th September before cycling

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The three fires took place `t A and S supplies in nearby

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Reddings Lane on the 24th, 27th and 29th of September, causing

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A self`proclaimed paedophile hunter from Warwickshire says

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the police don't give him the credit he deserves.

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Stinson Hunter features in ` Channel Four documentary called

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The Paedophile Hunter which is due to be shown at 10 o'clock tonight.

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He poses as an underage girl online in order to catch people he thinks

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Our message is, leave it to the police, we are about bringing

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offenders to justice. For the first time in the UK,

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Severn Trent Water is supplxing gas generated by one

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of the region's sewage plants into the National Grid, providing gas to

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help power around 4000 homes. It's created from the waste produced

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by the people of Birmingham. Our Science Correspondent D`vid

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Gregory`Kumar has been findhng out Since 1998, 14% of the meth`ne has

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been used to generate electricity and heat. It is too noisy to talk on

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here but as you can see frol my elegant mining, this is a vdry hot

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room. This process waste a lot of energy in the form of excess heat.

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So now they are trying something different, the way we do it is we

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wash it, squash it with checking with the National Guard and get it

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into the network. Very rarely, you can see the gas if it is behng fled.

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This is a fairly new idea and a lot of green energy is supported. The

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government is consulting on subsidies and it needs if it changes

:10:46.:10:49.

drastically, it is an idea that may not be rolled out to other sites. So

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how long from Flash to freshly washed gas? By the time it reaches

:10:58.:11:02.

our digestion plant, it sits two weeks while it is being digdstion by

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the bacteria in there and then it starts to digests. With angdr at gas

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that we can put into the network. It is a flow of the Jed gesturds into

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the network. `` it is a flow of the digests in.

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The Conservative Party confdrence in Birmingham has now closed with

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the Prime Minister's keynotd address to the party delegates at the

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Mr Cameron promised to cut taxes for low and middle income e`rners

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and also attacked Labour's record on the National Health Servhce

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in the Midlands, accusing them of being the party that gavd us

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The CBSO's headquarters in Birmingham has officially rd`opened

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The Orchestra's rehearsal space and small performance venue has had

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The CBSO's patron His Royal Highness the Earl of Wessex listened to

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students from Shenley Acadely at the official opening.

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The improvements are part of plans to mark the CBSO's

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We are taking Birmingham's name around the world and also wdlcoming

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the world to Birmingham, so all of the great musicians will be

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rehearsing here and using these fantastic facilities. Then hopefully

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the next place, telling a form at the great job is.

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All this week we're celebrating 50 years of Midlands Today bringing

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It's the half way point tonhght 1984 to 1994.

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Richard Uridge was in this seat for part of the time.

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And he takes us back to a ddcade marked by excess not just in

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# But I'm dancing on the valentine... #

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The 1980s brought wild fashhons and wilder hair and these Birmingham

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The Reflex was their most successful singld.

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And talking of wild hair, it seems a long time ago th`t I was

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Today, I work in my own training company but the

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programme was a big part of my life and I guess it was for you too.

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Miners and their supporters turned up in their thousands

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In 1984 one story dominated the headlines.

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The miners' strike that was to last a whole year.

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Union leader Arthur Scargill led a march through Birmingham.

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We're going into the 18th wdek of a strike.

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We've come too far for anything other than to win a victory

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Eventually, of course, the liners went back but pit after pit closed.

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It was a long and painful ddath for a once mighty Midlands lining

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The final chapter only last year with the closure of Daw Mill

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colliery, our last deep pit in Warwickshire.

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There were men with tears in their eyes this morning when they

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Knowing that that's it, thex're finished, they're on the scrapheap.

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Today community leaders and the police are counting

:14:11.:14:13.

We saw two days of violent rioting, mainly along the Lozells Ro`d.

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It flared up following the `rrest of a black man in a stop

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But Handsworth today is a thriving multi`cultural part of Birmhngham.

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Sometimes you have to dig a little bit deeper for a story

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Two weeks ago, the covers were being taken off

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There was a strange sucking noise and a crater 40 feet wide

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100 feet below ground, the cause of all the troubld.

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The remains of the limestond mine that meant work for the men of

:14:56.:14:59.

But our cameras were well above ground to tell this next tale.

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With a spire just over 200 feet high

:15:10.:15:18.

Waves from Rachel, and a bit of history made in Birmingham today.

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Anxious? Of course not.

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How would you feel going flxing in a basket?

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My presenting colleague Sue Beardsmore was determindd to go

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Yes, Midlands Today had its own balloon.

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Of course, there have been times when ht hasn't

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Five words, Alan Towers with a parachutd.

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It certainly was. Ouch!

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For Alan's fearless pursuit of the story, Alan earned a broken ankle

:16:08.:16:12.

With improving television technology, and increased

:16:13.:16:17.

competition to report the Mhdlands news, there was a need for speed.

:16:18.:16:27.

The Birmingham Superprix saw thousands throng to an inner`city

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racetrack but only after the Birmingham Road Race Bill became

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Staying on the roads, in 1981, legendary Midlands Today reporter

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John Yates met Britain's oldest motorist, just three months short

:16:43.:16:46.

So what do you think of people who come up behind and beep you

:16:47.:17:06.

There were some big news stories in the early '90s that gripped viewers.

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River flooding isn't unusual in the Midlands of course, but when the

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Severn burst its banks 24 ydars ago, many of you struggled to cope and

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Here's your pudding rice. Thank you.

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I hope you're all right. Thank you very much.

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For Rose, her problem should soon be over

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Her daughter is coming here today and taking her away.

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But for a lot of people herd in Worcester, there's nowhere else

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to go and for the foreseeable future, the floods are set to stay.

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In 1991 a royal opening for the International Convention Centre

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bringing much needed investlent and jobs in the depths of a recdssion.

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In 1994, the world was gripped by thd crisis

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in Rwanda with hundreds of thousands fleeing massacres and starv`tion.

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You wanted to help, the donations poured in.

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With Midlands aid money, with your money,

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Oxfam is providing all of them with at least ten litres of water a day.

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But are camps like this really sustainabld?

:18:10.:18:12.

With the spotlight on other trouble spots, does the world's comlunity

:18:13.:18:15.

In fact I think you still hold the record for the amount raised by any

:18:16.:18:21.

Your generosity really did lake a difference.

:18:22.:18:35.

Now there are showers and washbasins, the mortality r`te is at

:18:36.:18:41.

tiny fraction of what it was ten months ago. Another ten years older

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and ten years more grey, a decade of jewellery memories.

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Did you know that for the 25th anniversary we even had

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a train named after the programme by British Rail?

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Happy birthday, be on time `ll the time! The train now leaving platform

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one, the BBC Midlands Today. And if you missed this one, there will be

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another one along in 25 years. Wonderful stuff, good to sed people

:19:19.:19:21.

there! And there's a page on our wdbsite,

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with lots more video and melories You can find it

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at bbc.co.uk/birmingham Birmingham City Football Cltb have

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announced they're not renewhng the contract

:19:31.:19:38.

of acting chairman Peter Pannu. However he does remain a director

:19:39.:19:40.

of the club and On the pitch, there was relhef

:19:41.:19:43.

for the manager Lee Clark l`st night Birmingham City arrived in

:19:44.:19:48.

South East London last night with They hadn't won since the mhddle

:19:49.:19:55.

of August and the club's parent company had just announced `nnual

:19:56.:19:59.

losses of nearly ?13 million. But there was clearly nothing wrong

:20:00.:20:04.

with the team spirit as they took the lead at thd New Den

:20:05.:20:07.

through Clayton Donaldson. David Cotterill created that one

:20:08.:20:10.

and eight minutes later he scored the goal of the night to dotble

:20:11.:20:13.

their advantage. But Birmingham have thrown `way 11

:20:14.:20:16.

points So when Lee Gregory pulled ` goal

:20:17.:20:18.

back for Millwall the nerves set in. The fans needn't have worridd

:20:19.:20:24.

though, Wes Thomas confirming It opens up

:20:25.:20:27.

a five point gap over the rdlegation Now the challenge is to

:20:28.:20:31.

maintain that momentum. A former owner of the Birmingham

:20:32.:20:39.

Brummies speedway team, Tonx Mole, is hoping to take a first step

:20:40.:20:43.

towards reviving the club tonight. The Brummies folded in July when

:20:44.:20:47.

financial problems meant thdy could A meeting's being held

:20:48.:20:51.

at the track in the next hotr to see if a consortium can be formdd to

:20:52.:20:56.

bring speedway back to the city Now,

:20:57.:21:00.

how about this for a job advert Are you willing to work in dark

:21:01.:21:02.

smoky and potentially Are you open to the possibility

:21:03.:21:05.

of wearing prosthetics and lasks? But scores turned out to take on the

:21:06.:21:11.

challenge at Alton Towers today They were auditioning to be one of

:21:12.:21:16.

the cast for this year's Sc`refest, which is the Staffordshire theme

:21:17.:21:19.

park's busiest time of year. There is some flashing imagdry in

:21:20.:21:33.

this report. This is not your average job

:21:34.:21:34.

interview. Next! Usually, you try to bd polite

:21:35.:21:47.

and impress your future employers. Not scare the living daylights out

:21:48.:21:53.

of them! It takes people who can get in people's faces, who can be

:21:54.:21:57.

intense. We put people into a story, most of them in a story, not just a

:21:58.:22:03.

dark room where people say boo. Over 300 people have auditioned for the

:22:04.:22:07.

85 acting roles at this year's Scarefest. Some with plenty of

:22:08.:22:13.

experience. It is so versathle, different, it is dark, it is totally

:22:14.:22:17.

different to being on a fill or TV set or in a theatre. And sole with

:22:18.:22:23.

none at all. I always thought it would be cool and fun to work it and

:22:24.:22:27.

that is why I have auditiondd. Every time I went through a Maze, I

:22:28.:22:32.

thought, I could do that. Those are successful will end up doing this. I

:22:33.:22:39.

enjoy scaring people. I scare my friends all the time. It is just a

:22:40.:22:44.

bit of fun. It is not just businesses such as Alton Towers

:22:45.:22:51.

developing Halloween benefits. For fancy dress shops, it is vital.

:22:52.:22:57.

Without it, we would find it very hard to get through the year. We do

:22:58.:23:02.

40% of our Ye `` yearly salds in two to three weeks. This year, ht is

:23:03.:23:07.

polluted we will spend ?300 million in this country on Halloween with

:23:08.:23:11.

around 60% of families taking part. Making it the third biggest event

:23:12.:23:13.

behind Christmas and Easter. Screaming. ! Very funny! As for the

:23:14.:23:29.

audition is, it is a few daxs to see if they will be the ones getting

:23:30.:23:35.

paid to scare people silly. It is a funny old world. Is there

:23:36.:23:37.

anything scary in the weathdr? Depends on your train of thought. It

:23:38.:23:47.

might be October but there `re still a few loose ends to tie up from

:23:48.:23:49.

September which illustrate just how dry it was. It is the driest

:23:50.:23:54.

September on record. These facts and figures from Worcester illustrate

:23:55.:23:58.

that quite well. Normally Worcester would see an average of 50

:23:59.:24:02.

millimetres of rain in Septdmber, this year however they only saw 19

:24:03.:24:07.

which is just under half, and most of that fell on the 19th of the

:24:08.:24:12.

month. Obviously all of us `re wanting a bit of rain now, but I

:24:13.:24:17.

think that we will see that by the end of the week. The temper`tures we

:24:18.:24:21.

will hold onto but the change is coming where that is concerned as

:24:22.:24:27.

well. A combination of factors is causing this, a frontal system from

:24:28.:24:30.

the Northwest `` Northwest by the end of Friday and into the weekend,

:24:31.:24:35.

and the isobars are starting to squeeze together tighter indicating

:24:36.:24:42.

that the winds will be pickhng up so it is more breezy into Saturday

:24:43.:24:46.

Behind the cold front, we h`ve a dash of cold air, you can sde the

:24:47.:24:51.

blue sweeping in from the wdst, so it is cooler, wetter and brdezy by

:24:52.:24:55.

Friday and over the weekend. Feeling a lot more autumnal by them. But for

:24:56.:25:01.

this evening and overnight, we are beginning to see the changes. We saw

:25:02.:25:04.

some spots of rain through the day, in fact in some places quitd a lot

:25:05.:25:09.

of rain, it was very localised but it was there. It was brought in by a

:25:10.:25:13.

cold front which will be cldaring to the first part of tonight and then

:25:14.:25:16.

behind it slightly fresher conditions. Still a lot of cloud and

:25:17.:25:22.

when we get breaks, we will get mist and fog patches. Temperaturds were

:25:23.:25:27.

lowest in the north of the region, nice Elsie is, into the countryside

:25:28.:25:32.

it could go lower than that. `` nine Celsius. Just about holding into

:25:33.:25:36.

double figures into Central and southeastern parts. A bit of mist

:25:37.:25:41.

into tomorrow morning, murkx and cloudy, through the day we see

:25:42.:25:47.

breaks with brightness and sunshine. It will be an mostly dry dax,

:25:48.:25:50.

temperatures lower in the North The headlines from the BBC. At the

:25:51.:25:59.

Tory party conference in Birmingham, that I minister `` Prime Minister

:26:00.:26:02.

promises a double dose of t`x cut if the Tories win the election. And on

:26:03.:26:06.

the way home to Birmingham, Moazzam Begg, the former Guantanamo Bay

:26:07.:26:09.

detainee is freed from prison. I will be back at 10pm, Jonathan.

:26:10.:26:13.

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