The Birmingham Post (England)

The Birmingham Post is the daily newspaper of Birmingham, England. The Birmingham Post covers local and national news, sports, business, and weather.

Articles from January 15, 2002

100,000 NHS Patients Go Private to Beat Delays
About 100,000 uninsured NHS patients are paying for private surgery because of long waiting times for medical procedures. More than 40,000 people waiting to be seen as outpatients were admitted to hospital as emergency cases in December last year...
700 Jobs from Homes' Transfer
Byline: Paul Dale Chief Reporter Transfering Birmingham's entire council housing stock to the independent sector would lead to a pounds 1.25 billion refurbishment package and create 700 new jobs in the construction industry. The figures are contained...
Aga at Home on the Range
Byline: Richard Tyler City Editor Aga Foodservice has put its Leamington-based Leisure Cooker and Flavel cooker brands up for sale to concentrate on its more profitable Rangemaster and professional cooking products. The market leading businesses...
Airbus Will Paint the Airwaves Blue
European aircraft maker Airbus said yesterday that low-cost US carrier JetBlue Airways will buy ten of its narrow-body jets in a pounds 347 million deal that comes amid a general contraction of the airline industry in the aftermath of the September...
American Football: Ravens on Course for More Glory
Ray Lewis led a defence that yielded only nine first downs and the Baltimore Ravens managed 226 yards rushing in a 20-3 victory over the Miami Dolphins in the AFC wild card round. The Ravens' defence, which allowed one touchdown and 16 points last...
Argos and Burberry Clothe GUS with Sales Success
Retailer GUS posted strong Christmas sales at its Argos chain yesterday and said its credit check unit Experian and its Burberry clothing brand have both recovered from September 11. The group, which is Europe's largest for catalogue shopping both...
Assembly Unites against Violence
Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly yesterday observed a minute's silence in memory of the young Catholic postal worker murdered by loyalists at the weekend. Stormont speaker Lord Alderdice called for the House to stand together in sympathy...
Birmingham Post Comment: Transport Policy Looks like a Bad Joke
The saddest point about the state of our railways is that the arguments in favour of public transport are undisputed. An effective and popular network of trains and buses would be good for the economy, good for the environment and even good for...
Bringin' in the Rain; A Production of Singin' in the Rain Would Be Incomplete without a Downpour, and One Man Has the Unique Challenge of Bringing the Weather Inside. Paul Groves Meets Mario Borza
Byline: Paul Groves It is one of the most loved and celebrated musicals of all time and has one of the most instantly recognisable song and dance routines. Everyone knows at least the chorus of the title song of Singin' in the Rain and no doubt...
Byers to Face Rail Plan Backlash
Byline: Alun Thorne A high-powered delegation from the West Midlands is demanding a showdown with Transport Secretary Stephen Byers in the battle to secure more funding for the region's railways. The move comes after the Strategic Rail Authority...
Charles Talks Conservation Not Cannabis at Campaign
The Prince of Wales yesterday kept a great British stiff upper lip in the face of revelations that his son Harry smoked cannabis and drank heavily. Rather than comment publicly on his 17-year-old son's high jinks, Charles defended the albatross...
City View: Free Advice May Not Be So Cheap in the Future
Byline: Richard Tyler When you meet a financial adviser you hope he has your best interests at heart, but as few of us pay for the service up front how can we not expect to be mis-sold? The current system allows agents tied to specific product...
Cricket: Birmingham Helps SA U-19 World Cup Pair
Byline: Brian Halford Two young South Africans who spent last summer playing in the Birmingham League are in their country's squad for this month's Under-19 World Cup. Rory Kleinveldt and Ryan Bailey, who played for Division Two East sides Walmley...
Cricket: Refreshed Caddick Warms to Challenge Posed by Hoggard
Byline: Myles Hodgson Andrew Caddick has returned to England's regimein India, relishing the challenge laid down in his absence by young pretender Matthew Hoggard during the three-Test tour before Christmas. Caddick missed the series, in which...
Cricket: Sri Lankans Strike after Record Stand
Sri Lanka, seeking a 3-0 series whitewash, assumed control of the third Test match in Galle yesterday by taking a flurry of wickets after Zimbabwe's openers had shared a record 153-run first-wicket partnership. On the crumbling surface, home captain...
Culture: Tales Told with a Relish for Words; Is Storytelling the New Folk Revival? Graham Higgins Looks at the Word-of-Mouth Success of the Storytelling Caf
Byline: Graham Higgins We tend to picture 'classic' stories in period costume because the folklorists Perault, the Grimms, and Anderson collected them two centuries ago. They netted and mounted stories whose oral 'originals' would have been retold...
E-Business: AOL All Set to Go Fishing - but What Will It Catch?
AOL Time Warner is thought to be on the prowl for acquisitions in Europe even though it is still licking its wounds from costly expansion at the height of the Internet boom. The company has the financial muscle and it certainly has the will. But...
E-Business: Beta Version for Napster Users - but Only for Select Music Lovers
Internet music firm Napster has launched a test version of its new service which prevents the unauthorised copying of files - a feature which made its original service so popular among users but hated by the recording industry, which sued it for copyright...
E-Business: Chips Are Down for AMD and Rivals Intel
Arch microprocessor rivals Intel and Advanced Micro Devices are again squaring up to each other after unveiling their smallest and fastest-ever chips, enabling more powerful applications, such as games, streaming music and video, and office software...
E-Business: Got a Nerdy Website, Mate? Well Now's the Time to Kill It Off
Byline: Chris Tomlinson According to Netcraft (www.netcraft.com), who have been collecting Web server statistics since 1995, there are now 182,142 fewer websites online than at the beginning of December, leaving a mere 36,276,252 sites left for...
E-Business: Microsoft Wizard's 'E-Home' Is Magical
Byline: Steve Pain Billionaire Microsoft founder Bill Gates hopes to further capitalise on the booming electronics consumer market with a raft of new devices which aim to turn homes into digital media networks linked to the US giant's software,...
E-Business: Oxford Is out to Net Lion's Share of Knowledge Market
Byline: Amy Watson Oxford University Press last week announced plans to launch the biggest general knowledge website on the Net. The site, Oxford Reference Online, will be launched in March this year and will make over 100 titles available via...
E-Business: Trade Mark Law Proves It's All in a Name
Byline: Steve Pain West Midlands firms are being urged to adopt a 'brand protection strategy' following a legal battle between car giant DaimlerChrysler and a website which uses the the name of the company's new Vaneo van to market cosmetics and...
E-Business: UK Is Game as Sales Clock a Pounds 1.6bn Score
Byline: Steve Pain UK sales of computer games rocketed last year to an all-time high of pounds 1.6 billion - confounding the gloomy predictions of some experts who claimed the market had seen the end of rapid growth. Demand for software and consoles...
Economy Is Stuck in the Mire, Says New Study
Byline: John Duckers Business Editor The economy failed to grow at all in the fourth quarter of last year from the third quarter, think-tank the National Institute of Economic and Social Research said yesterday. The respected group also revised...
Football: Biancalani Makes Up with Saddlers Boss
Frederic Biancalani appears to still have a future at Walsall despite his moment of madness last Saturday which cost his team three points and left manager Ray Graydon speechless with anger, writes Brian Halford. So irate was Graydon that he did...
Football: Blues Prepare for Scout Boost
Byline: Brian Halford Birmingham City's scouting system has been earmarked for substantial upgrading after the existing network was identified as 'very bare' by general manager John Benson. Benson believes that the number of staff currently at...
Football: Debutant Newell Faces Blues Heavies
Rookie defender Jon Newall has his Halesowen Town debut tonight against Birmingham City strikers Andrew Johnson and Jon McCarthy. The one-time QPR trainee, who joined Halesowen following the demise of Bloxwich United, will get his chance in the...
Football: Derby's Post-Todd Storm
Byline: Ken Gaunt Derby County chairman Lionel Pickering last night stepped in to try to defuse a potential dressing-room row in the wake of Colin Todd's sacking as manager. Italian striker Fabrizio Ravanelli has been touted as Todd's successor,...
Football: Frustration Game on Terraces Doing Merson and Company Few Favours
Byline: Hyder Jawad Paul Merson has admitted that the growing frustration of Aston Villa supporters is making the players nervous --- and he has urged patience as the team bid for a top-six finish in the Premiership this season. The former England...
Football: Megson to Reconsider Front-Line
Gary Megson is ready to revert to three strikers in his starting line-up against Walsall this weekend in a determined effort to rectify West Bromwich Albion's chronic shortage of goals. The manager is far from satisfied that Albion are boasting...
Football: Sky Blues' Morale Sapped Further by Mills Injury Shock
Byline: Michael Ward Coventry City manager Roland Nilsson is facing a double crisis of manpower and team confidence in advance of tomorrow night's rearranged FA Cup third-round tie with Tottenham Hotspur at Highfield Road. The injury to Lee Mills...
Football: Stapenhill Quit after 'Mutiny'
Stapenhill have blamed a player's mutiny for their shock decision to resign from the Midland Alliance. The Burton-on-Trent side, one of the founder members of the Alliance in 1994, said they had been left with only four players for last weekend's...
Football: Stourport Positive Historic Upset Is within Their Reach; FA Umbro Trophy
Byline: Colin Stoner Buoyant Stourport Swifts intend to be positive in attitude and deed as they bid to produce the biggest upset in their history. Player-manager Tim Langford believes the Dr Martens Western minnows have nothing to fear when they...
Football: Sturridge Aiming to Win over Wolves on Penalty Conversion
Dean Sturridge has dropped the broadest of hints that he wants to be the new penalty-taker at Wolverhampton Wanderers. The striker scored twice in the 3-1 victory over Coventry City at Molineux on Sunday but he was denied the chance of a hat-trick...
Fourteen Hurt in Two-Bus Roundabout Crash
Byline: Sophie Blakemore Fourteen passengers were injured in a crash between two buses on one of Birmingham's busiest roundabouts yesterday. The driver of one of the vehicles had to be cut free from his cab by fire crews after the accident on...
Gorillaz Swinging in Brit Award Nominations
The band which Blur frontman Damon Albarn started as a side project last night eclipsed his day job by leading the field for this year's Brit Awards as the shortlists were unveiled. Animated pop band Gorillaz were nominated for six prizes, only...
Greenspan Warning Casts Giant Shadow
Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan sent a chill across the London market yesterday after warning over the state of the US economy. Mr Greenspan's comments came after Friday's session had closed so traders here had plenty of time over the weekend...
Knife Gang Gets 24 Years for Violent Robberies
A gang of men yesterday received jail sentences totalling 24 years for their parts in a string of violent robberies across Birmingham and the West Midlands. Judge Laurence Marshall told Luile Beckford, Rodney Alexander and Efrem Needham: 'Between...
Labour Backbench MP Helps Beat Government on Pensions
Byline: Jonathan Walker -A backbench Birmingham Labour MP has helped to inflict a rare Commons defeat on the Government in a debate over pension law reforms. Former Health Minister Gisela Stuart (Edgbaston) supported a Private Member's Bill to...
Land Rover Row Talks Called
Byline: Steve Pain and James O'Brien Business Staff Crunch talks which could end a damaging legal row threatening more than 10,000 motor industry jobs in the West Midlands are expected to get off the ground in the next few days. Furious Ford...
Letter: Answers Needed on Beds Crisis
Byline: ANDREW LYDON Sir, - While not yet having had a chance to read the Terry Davis report, They Deserve Better, on the care of the elderly and the health service, here in Birmingham, something arising in Jenny Hudson's report (Post, Jan 5) requires...
Letter: Catholic Church Goes Back to the Bad Old Days
Sir, - Barely has the ink dried on the Nolan Report A Programme for Action, that we learn that all the efforts put in by the Catholic clergy involved was nothing but a sham. The Catholic clergy associated with A Programme for Action, while deliberating...
'Low Risk' after BSE Calf Enters Food Chain
The meat from the offspring of a cow infected with BSE reached the human food chain. The Foods Standards Agency urged the public not to panic after it was informed of the matter by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The...
Marijuana Leads to Hard Drugs, Say Ex-Addicts
Three former addicts yesterday issued a stark warning to Prince Harry over the devastating effects that drugs can bring on young people's lives. The trio, all of whom have been treated at Featherstone Lodge in south London, said cannabis could lead...
Megadeth Helps Push Sanctuary Up Charts
Media group Sanctuary yesterday posted an 89 per cent hike in full-year profits as music lovers snapped up offerings ranging from Dolly Parton to Megadeth. Sales at Sanctuary's recorded music arm increased by more than 120 per cent during the year...
New Guidelines Call for Eye-Catching Buildings
Byline: Paul Dale Developers are being warned that the next phase of Birmingham's economic regeneration must produce buildings of top-quality design. City planners have drawn up guidelines for architects, with special emphasis on creating pedestrianised...
News Focus: Fury over Rail Overload despite Two-Year Warning; Transport Reporter Alun Thorne Examines the Background the West Midlands' Neglected Rail Services
Byline: Alun Thorn Rail bosses were warned nearly two years ago that the West Midlands' rail network would be unable to cope with increased passenger numbers unless millions of pounds were invested in the region's infrastructure. The West Midlands...
Non-Catholic to Head Church's Abuse Unit; Independence Assured: 'Valuable Experience and the Highest Credentials'
Byline: Helen Bruce The woman named as the head of the Roman Catholic Church's new national unit to stamp out sex abuse amongst priests yesterday said she was 'pleasantly surprised' to have been chosen for the post. Eileen Shearer, an agnostic...
'Obstructive' Wolves Star Refused Breath Test
Wolverhampton Wanderers footballer Mark Kennedy twice refused to take a breath test after being arrested on suspected drink-driving charges, a court was told yesterday. Magistrates heard how the Republic of Ireland international was 'obstructive'...
Perspective: How to Rescue Your Men from the Plague of PlayStation
Byline: Jess Hybert My husband is an addict. And my baby brother has been enslaved by it since adolescence. Night after night, they crave the mindless release it can offer, entering new and unimagined worlds, leaving reality behind. Even Christmas...
Perspective: Ignore Stress at Your Peril; Chief Feature Writer Paul Groves Looks at a New Report Which Suggests Managers Are Failing to Appreciate the Effects of Stress on Productivity, Working Relations and, Most Importantly, the Health of Staff
Byline: Paul Groves A s you settle in to your desk at work this morning what is the first thing you do? Do you head straight to the coffee machine for a much-needed caffeine fix? By mid-morning, having eased your way into the working day, are...
Pounds 8m Buyout Deal; Window of Opportunity: Thomas Lowe UK's Third Largest Staircase Maker
Byline: Steve Pain Business Staff The parent company of Brownhills-based Thomas Lowe has changed hands in a buy-out deal worth pounds 8 million. Thomas Lowe, which makes staircases for the construction industry, is part of the Benlowe Group,...
Queen Backs Prince on Rehab Centre Visit; for the Birds: Seventeen Species of Albatross Are Endangered by Deep Sea Fishing
Byline: Richard Williams The Queen yesterday backed the Prince of Wales's response to Prince Harry's cannabis smoking and under-age drinking. As police refused to rule out taking action against the 17year-old Royal, Buckingham Palace said the...
Racing: Daly's Jet Ready for Take-Off at Carlisle
Byline: Veritas I f Henry Daly had his way and the weather had not taken such a huge slice out of the racing action, the Pioneer Foods Handicap Chase at Carlisle would not have figured on Lancastrian Jet's race agenda. Daly had been eyeing the...
Racing: Doumen's Delight at Baracouda Progress
French maestro Francois Doumen last night reported Baracouda in fine fettle for the Bonusprint Stayers' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. The Cheltneham entries were published yesterday and the seven-year-old, winner of two races at Ascot this...
RUGBY UNION: Premiership Showing Ugly Compulsion to Besmirch Game
Byline: Michael Blair Judge to rule on racism row said one of the front-page headlines last Friday. Where are we? On the mean streets of Oldham? No. We are at a Rugby Football Union disciplinary hearing. RFU bans players over brawl said afour-column...
School Maintenance Sees Repair Bill Soar to a Quarter Billion
The cost of tackling the essential maintenance and repairs backlog for buildings owned by Birmingham City Council has been estimated at almost a quarter of a billion pounds. But the true cost is likely to be considerably more, councillors were warned...
Sectors Join Forces to Give UK Public Freedom to Fly
Byline: Steve Pain A powerful new partnership was launched yesterday to push forward the long-term case for further growth in the UK's aviation industry. The Freedom to Fly Coalition brings together air users, business, tourism, trade unions,...
Shotgun Raid 'Killer' Cleared
Byline: Emma Brady A man sentenced to 20 years imprisonment after a security guard was shot dead during an armed raid yesterday won the battle to clear his name. The Appeal Court quashed Patrick Irvine's convictions for robbery and manslaughter...
Striking Duo Wide of IG Profits Goal
Byline: John Duckers The goal-scoring consistency of Premiership strikers Ruud van Nistelrooy and Michael Owen has caused a headache at City spread betting firm IG Group. The high number of goals scored by the two hotshots and other well-known...
Takeover Threat at Failing Hospital Trust
Byline: Jonathan Walker A failing Midland hospital trust could be taken over under strict new penalties announced by the Government today. Health Secretary Alan Milburn is to outline plans to give the best hospital trusts more freedom and force...
Ted Baker Proves in Vogue
Sales at designer clothing group Ted Baker jumped in the run up to Christmas, as fashion-mad shoppers splashed out on new clothes. Ted Baker, which designs and sells clothes for men and women, said sales were up by 24.7 per cent in the period from...
Tennis: British Duo Go Straight to Victory
Byline: Mark Garrod in Melbourne Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski have suffered too many disappointments over the years to take anything for granted any more. So to be fit, safely through to the second round of the Australian Open and one match away...
TENNIS: THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN: Big Names Are Wounded and Sent Packing
Byline: Ossian Shine & Paul Tait In Melbourne The Australian Open was rocked yesterday after three of its biggest drawcards pulled out with injuries on the opening day. Andre Agassi, men's champion the last two years, and women's fifth seed...
TENNIS: THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN: Scud Puts Rusedski Back in Firing Line
Byline: Julien Linden In Melbourne Mark Philippoussis made a triumphant return to Grand Slam tennis, beating Spaniard Galo Blanco 6-3 6-4 7-5. Philippoussis hasn't been seen in any of the sport's major events since the 2000 US Open, but quickly...
Tenth Pub Will 'Push Area over the Edge'
Byline: Neil Connor Residents in a Birmingham suburb which was once home to JRR Tolkien have vowed to continue their fight against plans for a pub named after the author. The JD Wetherspoon chain is preparing to go ahead with its proposals after...
Threat of War Still Real as Troops Remain on Borders
The threat of war between two south Asian nuclear powers remained alive yesterday, after Pakistan refused to withdraw hundreds of thousands of battle forces assembled on its borders with India unless New Delhi does the same. The Pakistani stance...
Transatlantic Deal in Floorcoverings
Independent carpet retailers in the UK will soon benefit from the power of a transatlantic alliance in the fight for a bigger slice of the fiercely competitive floorcovering market. Midlands-based buying and distribution organisation Associated...
TXU to Mothball Megawatt Units as Market Dips
US-owned utility TXU Europe will shut nearly a fifth of its UK coal-fired generation at the end of March due to overcapacity and falling wholesale prices. TXU will mothball a 333 megawatt unit at its 999-megawatt Drakelow C power station at Burton-on-Trent...
US Is Fearful of Olympic Terror Attack
Byline: Hugh Dougherty America's security chief yesterday warned there is no guarantee the Winter Olympics will be safe from a terrorist attack. Tom Ridge, appointed by President Bush in the wake of the September 11 attacks to oversee efforts to...
US Loses out in Export Clash
The World Trade Organisation ruled against the US yesterday in a row with the European Union over tax breaks for exporters, opening the way for a possible pounds 2.8 billion in retaliatory duties by Brussels. In a written ruling, the WTO's Appellate...
Video Tape Shows Plot to Kill Leaders
Al Qaida militants practised carrying out a mass assassination of world leaders and an attack on a motorcade, according to a video obtained in Afghanistan and broadcast on Australian television. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) aired...
We're on Your Tail, Rivals Tell Tesco
Byline: Philip Williams Sainsbury's, Britain's second-largest supermarket chain, said yesterday that it was taking customers from market leader Tesco for the first time in years. Sainsbury's began a three-year recovery programme last April and...