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 9, 2003

Algerian Conflict Fuels Claim for Freedom
Byline: Lyndsay Moss Algeria has been blighted by internal conflict for the past 50 years, leading many of its inhabitants to leave the North African country in search of a more peaceful life. As with a large number of refugees, many head to...
Archive: On This Day
1913: Birth of American President Richard Milhouse Nixon: Born in California in 1913, Nixon attended Whittier College and Duke University Law School before becoming a lawyer. In 1940, he married Patricia Ryan and had two daughters, Patricia and Julie....
Big Chill as UK Is Put on Ice
Byline: Emma Brady Snow and freezing temperatures continued to grip the country yesterday, with motoring organisations reporting a steep rise in the number of callouts to breakdowns and flat batteries. London recorded its largest snowfall for...
Big World of Rock: Rappers Hold Key to Ending Gun Culture
Byline: Andrew Cowen Thousands of words have now been written about the awful double killings in Aston on New Year's Day - some sensible, many reactionary and serving little purpose. That something has to be done to stem the rise in gun culture...
Blair Angrily Denies NHS Cash Is Wasted
Byline: Jonathan Walker Political Correspondent A crisis in health services at a new hospital shows spending on the NHS has been wasted, an MP claimed yesterday. Ambulances carrying patients to Worcestershire Royal Hospital have been forced to...
Blair Urges Cricketers to Boycott Zimbabwe Match
Byline: Jonathan Walker Political Correspondent The Prime Minister yesterday urged England's cricket team not to play next month's World Cup match in Zimbabwe. At Commons question time, Mr Blair insisted that the Government had no power to order...
Church Vigil Told 'This Madness Must Stop' Caroline Foulkes and Emma Brady Join a Vigil for Letisha Shakespeare and Charlene Ellis
Byline: Caroline Foulkes and Emma Brady Somewhere in between a moment that should never have happened and the shouting, the arguing, the opinion giving, that followed, there came a time to remember. A time to remember a girl in a red hat, who...
City View: Pro-Euro Campaigners Do Not Have Firms on Side
Byline: Nevill Boyd Maunsell If only members of the British Chambers of Commerce were allowed to vote in a euro referendum, the 'No's would have it. More to the point, perhaps, 49 per cent of the 1,005 firms which replied to the Chambers' survey...
Commercial Property: Birmingham Top of League for High Retail Rents
Birmingham has secured the highest level of retail rent outside central London, according to Jones Lang LaSalle's latest 50 Centres' Guide. The city has also emerged as the best performing area for offices across the whole country. The bi-annual...
Commercial Property: Office Space Take-Up Hits Record Levels
Byline: Steve Pain Take-up of office space in the Midlands reached record levels in 2002, according to the latest Economic and Property Market Review from property adviser GVA Grimley. According to the firm, a significant factor in the increase...
Commercial Vehicle Sales Are Given Unexpected 7.4pc Boost
Commercial vehicle registrations last year were up 2.8 per cent which brought an unexpected end to the 12-month sales period. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said yesterday that during December the growth was 7.4 per cent. The...
Companies Want to Wait over Euro
Chancellor Gordon Brown's five economic tests for entry into the European single currency are irrelevant for the majority of British business, the British Chambers of Commerce found. Polling more than 1,000 members last October, the BCC found that...
Complaints Rise against Doctors
Byline: Julie Wheldon Complaints against doctors to the General Medical Council have rocketed over the last 11 years, according to a new report. The Medical Defence Union said complaints about its members to the GMC had risen by 1,450 per cent...
Council Deprives Poorest of Pounds 13m
Byline: Paul Dale Chief Reporter Birmingham City Council has admitted it failed to spend pounds 13 million earmarked to improve the poorest inner city areas - on the day Tony Blair pledged to use urban regeneration to tackle gun crime. Wards...
Cricket: Amiss Backs Zimbabwe Trip Go-Ahead
Byline: Martyn Ziegler Senior figures in English cricket are adamant that England's World Cup match in Zimbabwe will go ahead next month, unless they are ordered by the Government to pull out. Government ministers, who have until now ruled out...
Cricket: Waugh Provides Master-Class
Byline: Richard Gibson in Bowral, New South Wales England were humbled yesterday by an Australian great at the home of the greatest cricketer to grace the game. Mark Waugh, like his twin brother Steve, is not considered good enough any more to...
Cricket: WORLD CUP DEBATE: SHOULD ENGLAND BOYCOTT ZIMBABWE?
England's cricket leaders meet ministers today over plans to play Zimbabwe in the World Cup in Harare on February 13. Martyn Ziegler looks at the issues. Q: What is the Government's position? A: The Government oppose the match taking place, but...
Dealer Expansion Gears Up for Vardy
Byline: Richard Tyler City Editor Motor retailer Reg Vardy yesterday embarked on the first phase of its two-year expansion programme with the acquisition of four dealerships for pounds 8.4 million and said other deals were in the pipeline and would...
'Devastated' Boss to Create Permanent Memorial
Byline: Shahid Naqvi The boss of murdered teenager Charlene Ellis has vowed to create a memorial to her at the fast food restaurant where she worked with her twin sister Sophie. Tony Sealey, who manages a McDonald's near where the shooting happened,...
Dixons and Next Hit by Consumer Downturn
Further proof of an end to the boom times on the UK High Street was delivered by two of the retail sector's biggest names yesterday. The confirmation came courtesy of electronics retailer Dixons, which warned that its Christmas performance would...
Dixons' Shares Slump 30p after Sales Blow
Byline: Cheryl Cole City Staff Shares in Dixons, the country's largest electrical retailer, yesterday slumped 30p to a four-year low of 117p after it admitted Christmas sales had fallen well short of target and warned that full-year profits would...
DJ Shot Dead in Busy Restaurant
A showdown between two gunmen in a busy restaurant left one dead and a waitress shot through the arm, an Old Bailey court heard yesterday. Moments before disc jockey Keiron Bernard was gunned down he allegedly told Jermain Abbott to 'stop dissing...
Dull Image Is Putting Graduates off Printing
An ageing employee population in the printing industry coupled with an unexciting image could see companies in the sector facing a skills shortage. The printing industry is an important part of the West Midlands manufacturing economy and Kevin Tyler,...
Equestrian College Course to Rein in Young People
A modern apprenticeship scheme is to be launched by Walsall Equestrian Society to encourage young people to enter the industry. During recent years the number of school leavers required to keep the industry supplied with new employees who are prepared...
Fair Trials Campaign Supports Woman; Drug Arrest: Sick Traveller Moved from Jail to Hospital
A 22-year-old woman who claims she was duped into carrying drugs through an Indian airport has been backed by campaign group Fair Trials Abroad. Daisy Angus, from Bournemouth, Dorset, was arrested six weeks ago at Bombay airport as she embarked on...
Faking It; Martin Faint Reports on How a Midland Company Is Helping in the Global Fight against Counterfeiting
Byline: Martin Faint Mexico may be a long way from the Midlands but when the country's tequila producers decided to intensify their fight against counterfeiters they turned to a Walsall company. There among the industrial buildings near the town...
Football: Albion Price Not Right for Sanneh
Byline: Hyder Jawad West Bromwich Albion have failed in a bid to sign Tony Sanneh on loan from Nurnberg, it was claimed last night. Sanneh, the United States international defender, has stated that he turned down a move to The Hawthorns because...
Football: Clapham's Pounds 1m Blues Deal Done
Byline: Hyder Jawad Chief Football Writer Jamie Clapham will join Birmingham City tomorrow after agreeing personal terms with the club. The Ipswich Town left back will have a medical today and, unless there are any significant problems, he will...
Football: Crouch in Form for Villa Call
Peter Crouch is hoping that his encouraging performance for the reserve team in a 2-2 draw at home to West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday will put him in the frame for the first-team squad to face Liverpool on Saturday. The England Under-21 striker,...
Football: Dugarry Warms to Gallic Baptism; Victory Comes before the Quality of Opposition for a World Cup Winner, Says James Nursey
Byline: James Nursey Christophe Dugarry says he is itching to make his mark on the Premiership and is unconcerned about the prospect of facing Arsenal on his debut. The 30-year-old Frenchman is almost certain to make his first start for Birmingham...
Football: Groin Injury Ruins Birch Recall Hopes; NATIONWIDEFIRST DIVISION
Gary Birch's hopes of a recall for Walsall's game against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday have been dashed by a groin injury. Colin Lee, the Walsall manager, was hoping to draft the 21year-old midfield player into the squad, but those plans have...
Football: Hopeful Quinn Eyes Brighton Comeback
Barry Quinn is fighting to be fit for Coventry City's game at home to Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday. The defender has missed the past three matches with a broken toe but, having stepped up his rehabilitation, expects to join the squad today...
Football: Megson Targeting Nigerian Defender
Byline: Hyder Jawad Chief Football Writer Ifeanyi Udeze is believed to be the next target for West Bromwich Albion after attempts to sign Artem Sakiri failed. The defender, who plays for PAOK Salonika of Greece, appeared twice for Nigeria in...
Football: Midlands Trio Yes to Olympic Roles
Byline: Hyder Jawad Aston Villa, Birmingham City and West Bromwich Albion have expressed an interest in staging Olympic football matches if London wins the rights to stage the 2012 Games. The British Olympic Association had written to 48 clubs...
Football: Reds Cut by Sharp Tonge
Anfield target Michael Tonge upstaged Neil Mellor to leave Sheffield United on the brink of the Worthington Cup final. Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier has been a long-time admirer of the 19-year-old and it was easy to see why, with Tonge scoring...
Football: Small Pitch and Hostile Crowd Ripe for Shrews Run; FACUP: Kenny Clements Is Predicting a Cup Run to Rival the 1991 Campaign, Reports Gary Sibbald
Byline: Gary Sibbald Remember Kenny Clements? After beating Everton, FA Cup giant-killers Shrewsbury Town are chasing another Premiership scalp in the fourth round. And the message from Clements, the Shrews' skipper when they reached the fifth round...
Football: Stratford Banking on Pride for Title Quest; MIDLAND ALLIANCE
Personal pride, as much as maintaining their title dream, will be the driving force as Stratford Town bid to end Rushall Olympic's eight-game unbeaten league run in Saturday's Alliance match of the day. Sixth-placed Stratford have already lost twice...
Germany Falls Foul of Its Own Economic Rules
Byline: Geoff Meade Germany suffered the indignity of an official reprimand from the European Commission yesterday over the state of its economy. The country - traditionally considered the EU's economic powerhouse - was warned its efforts to...
Golf: Welsh Coast Sanctuary Blows Away Gloom
Byline: Michael Blair I was seated one day at my laptop, weary and ill at ease and my fingers wondered idly over the noisy keys - with apologies to whoever it was who wrote the words to The Lost Chord. I knew not what I was playing . . . actually,...
Golf: Westwood Turning to Leadbetter for Advice
Byline: Phil Casey in Cape Town Former European No 1 Lee Westwood has decided to start taking advice from David Leadbetter in a bid to revive his flagging career and admits he is 'open to suggestions'. Westwood has not won a tournament in over...
Government Announces Ban on Carrying Replicas
Byline: Jonathan Walker Political Correspondent A ban on the carrying of replica guns and air weapons was announced by the Government last night. The policy was revealed just a few hours after the Prime Minister voiced sympathy for the families...
Greggs Plan Expansion and 100 New Jobs
Bakery group Greggs plans to create more than 100 jobs with a pounds 2.3 million store opening and refurbishment programme in the Midlands this year. Greggs plans to open ten shops and refit seven existing outlets during 2003, bringing the group's...
Hero Firefighter Dies Trying to Rescue Brother
Fire chiefs have paid tribute to an off-duty firefighter who died while trying in vain to rescue his brother from a house blaze. The chief executive of East Sussex Fire Brigade said Alex Kent had upheld the great tradition of the British fire service...
I'll Fight Claims of Pounds 1m Bribe - Sharon
Byline: Robert Porter Israeli Premier Ariel Sharon yesterday denounced reports that he is under investigation for receiving almost pounds 1 million from a British businessman as slander designed to prevent his re-election later this month. Sharon...
IMI Stays Close to Its Roots after Pounds 27m Deal
Byline: Richard Tyler International engineering group IMI, one of the West Midlands' largest publicly listed companies, has pledged its future to the region by rejecting a move to the capital. Instead it will move its its head office to the Birmingham...
Insurance Broker Perkins Slade Gets New Chairman
Byline: Steve Pain Birmingham commercial insurance broker Perkins Slade has gained a new chairman in a development which it says will help ensure it remains independent. Ron Forrest, formerly chairman and chief executive of Aon International,...
Jackie Jinxes High-Kicking Love Hewitt; A Love of Boxing and Natural Rhythm Meant Following Jackie Chan for Stunts in the Tuxedo Came Easily to Jennifer Love Hewitt. That Is until She Tried a Triple Kick. Alison Jones Reports
Byline: Alison Jones It is not unusual for stars to have more than one string to their bow. Jennifer Love Hewitt, however, seems to be playing with a whole orchestra. Teen angst (Party of Five), horror (I Know What You Did Last Summer) and comedy...
Laura Ashley Happy to Just Break Even
Shares in clothing and home furnishings retailer Laura Ashley tumbled 18 per cent after it hit another setback. The group, known for its flowery fabrics, stunned investors by warning that results for the year to January 25 would be 'substantially'...
Letter: Stop Hunting with Dogs
Byline: KATHERINE WATSON Sir, - Now that Alan Michael's Hunting Bill has reached the committee stage surely it is time that we stopped accepting the illusion of harmless country sports achieving 'vital pest control'. For a long time fox hunting...
Letter: Underground City Rail System Is the Only Option
Byline: R F BLYTH Sir, - I am very frustrated by Centro's proposals to ruin our city centre by extending the Metro. Centro is in the process of submitting a Transport and Works Act Order to the Government so it can begin the scheme. It claims...
Lives at Risk from Faulty Seatbelts
Byline: Richard Warburton A charity set up to promote the safety of schoolchildren travelling on coaches and minibuses yesterday called on the Government to clamp down on bus operators using vehicles with faulty seatbelts. Belt Up School Kids...
Marie's Stormy Chapter in Stratford's History; Her Sentimental Novels May Be Almost Unheard of Today, but Marie Corelli's Determination to Preserve Shakespeare's Stratford Saved Some of the Town's Finest Buildings from Destruction. Caroline Foulkes Investigates the Life of This Remarkable Woman
Byline: Caroline Foulkes Although her romantic novels never made much of an impression beyond the parlours of sentimental Victorian ladies, Marie Corelli played a significant part in the literary life of Stratford-upon-Avon. Marie, whose real...
Market Report: Dixons Profit Shock Affects Retail Stock
Retail stocks tumbled sharply yesterday after electricals retailer Dixons issued a shock profits warning. Disappointing Christmas sales at the group, which also owns Currys and PC World, meant shares lost a fifth of their value and pulled down the...
Mobile Phone Call Cab-Hailing System Is Launched
An pounds 8.5 million mobile phone cab-hailing system called Zingo has been launched by taxi manufacturer Manganese Bronze. The group, whose London Taxis International operation builds black cabs at Coventry, say the system has gone live in London...
New York Aims to Prohibit the Sale and Possession of All Toy Guns
Byline: Kiran Randhawa In its continuing fight against gun crime, New York is to introduce sweeping legislation aimed at banning the sale and possession of all toy guns, including brightly coloured water pistols. Currently, the city's law prohibits...
Next Looks to Beat Festive Blues with a Good Year
Fashion retailer Next had a poor Christmas with like-for-like sales down on 2001, but yesterday remained confident it would pull impressive figures out of the bag for the full year. Next said trading had been tough in the 18 weeks to December 24,...
Ofgem Wins Right to Block Transfers
Regulator Ofgem has won the right to block cash transfers worth up to pounds 30 million between Midland electricity distributor Aquila Networks and the firm above it in its ownership chain. The regulator was said to have acquired the right to veto...
Parents Urged to Beat the 'Daily Grunt'
Children's language skills have worsened because parents no longer talk to them, a senior official said yesterday. Families spend too much time watching television or in front of the computer screen and not enough on conversations around the dinner...
Peacock Shows off Good Festive Trading
Peacock Group chief executive Richard Kirk said yesterday he did not believe a downturn in consumer spending this year would affect his discount retailing company after it put in a robust performance over the Christmas period. 'At our end of the...
Perspective: There Is No Magic Formula for Happiness
Byline: Jo Ind Psychologists have, apparently, devised a formula for happiness, namely P + (5xE) + (3xH) where P is personal characteristics, E is existence and H is higher order. Don't bother asking what is meant by 'characteristics', 'existence'...
Police Extend Clues Hotline; Aston Double Killing
Byline: John Revill Crime Reporter A confidential information hotline has been extended to encourage members of the community to give information about the murders of Letisha Shakespeare and Charlene Ellis. More than 30 calls have been made to...
Police Pledge to Get Tough over Steep Rise in Drink-Drive Cases
Byline: John Revill Crime Reporter Police across the Midlands have pledged to get tough with drink drivers after all four forces in the region recorded a dramatic rise in cases over the festive period. Drivers have failed to heed pre-Christmas...
Racing: Big Freeze Set to Tighten Grip
Byline: Nick Grant Prospects for jumps racing in Britain on Saturday appear to be diminishing fast as the cold spell shows no sign of relenting. Nick Cheyne, clerk of the course at Ascot, will look at the Berkshire track at 9am tomorrow but admitted...
Racing: Humouresque to Overcome Gloom
With Wetherby and Wincanton abandoned due to the cold snap, Southwell provides the only action of the day, writes Stable Boy. The Nottinghamshire track plays host to an eight-race card and Humouresque looks the pick of the runners in the Bet Direct...
Registering Support of Bone Marrow Donors; A New Campaign Has Been Launched in Birmingham to Encourage People to Make a New Year Resolution to Help Save a Life. Health and Science Reporter Sophie Blakemore Reports on the Drive to Recruit Bone Marrow Donors in the Midlands
Byline: Sophie Blakemore Despite the abundance of literature urging people to give blood, there is still a reluctance to come forward and make donations. So promoting the idea of becoming a bone marrow donor is littered with obstacles. But...
Rugby Union: Scrummage Additions Have Rising Stourbridge Set for Harrogate
Byline: Michael Blair Rugby Correspondent - Another week, another win. Stourbridge's ascent of National League Two seems inexorable. Beating Wharfedale last Saturday meant that they have taken the points from five of their last six matches and...
Saddling Up for the Challenges Ahead
Byline: James O'Brien Most companies have mission statements which sometimes ignore their limitations but Jabez Cliff & Company, saddler and loriner to The Queen, appears to have got it right without one. Instead the company has a motto to...
Senior Judge Gives Severe Warning on Gun Crimes
Birmingham's most senior judge has promised protection for witnesses who 'stick their heads above the parapet' to help police investigating the Aston shootings. Richard Wakerley QC, (below) the Recorder of Birmingham, also said anyone convicted...
Slowdown in Property Demand, Says CBI
Byline: Steve Pain Business Staff steve_pain@mrn.co.uk - Demand for commercial property held up well in the second half of last year but is expected to slow somewhat in the first six months of 2003, according to a new survey from the CBI. As...
Strength to Strength for Land Rover Sales
Byline: James O'Brien Business Staff Land Rover global sales were up more than six per cent last year giving the Solihull 4x4 manufacturer its second biggest sales year. Announcing its figures yesterday Land Rover said total global sales were...
Teenage Asylum Seekers Are Ricin Terror Suspects
Byline: Nick Allen Two people suspected of being part of the ricin terror plot were teenage asylum seekers, it emerged yesterday. The pair lived in the flat where the killer toxin was found in Wood Green, north London and were housed there by...
TENNIS: Quality-Conscious Agassi Pushes for Later Start to Australian Open
Andre Agassi has backed calls to move the Australian Open a few weeks later in the tennis calendar. The first grand slam of the season starts at Melbourne Park on Monday, with many of the top stars having played only one Tour event and yet to fine-tune...
The Money Is There - Where's the Leadership?
It did not take long for the New Labour Government to convince itself that complex social problems can be solved by the generation of more and more public spending. Poor hospitals, failing schools, rising crime, disaffection among young people -...
The Past Isn't Such a Foreign Place Culture; Trevor Fisher's Third Book about Victorian Sexuality Is a Study of the Affair Which Led to the Downfall of Oscar Wilde. but, He Tells Ross Reyburn, the Victorians Have Nothing to Teach Us When It Comes to Hypocrisy
Byline: Ross Reyburn Writer Oscar Wilde, imprisoned and destroyed as a result of his homosexual activities, would not have been breaking the law today. However, Staffordshire author Trevor Fisher argues that moral attitudes in modern Britain today...
Thrilled by a Show of Sheer Joy; the Threepenny Opera MAC, Cannon Hill Park
Byline: Christopher Morley With the works of Bertolt Brecht virtual ever-presents in Theatre Studies syllabuses, any performance can be guaranteed to draw a large student audience. Sometimes the youngsters will go away wondering what all the...
Time to Explode a False Image; Birmingham Has Been Wrongly Tagged as Britain's Deadliest City after the New Year Shootings. Chief Feature Writer Paul Groves Looks at What Is a Perennial Problem - Creating Convenient Stereotypes
Byline: Paul Groves It is widely regarded as Britain's most violent city. An unwelcoming concrete jungle seething with resentment and hatred, and where outsiders take their lives in their own hands if they venture into certain no-go areas. No,...
Tories Stoke Up Burglary Policy Row
Byline: Jane Merrick Burglars should be sent to prison 'in appropriate circumstances', the Prime Minister insisted yesterday as the Tories sought to exploit alleged ministerial splits over penal policy. Tony Blair rejected a claim by Conservative...
Typecast Jen Freed by Black Comedy; Jennifer Aniston Proves She Can Do More Than Play a Dippy Blonde, Says Robin Walker
Byline: Robin Walker Friends fans will have a difficult time recognising Jennifer Aniston in her latest film, The Good Girl, and that was precisely what she intended. The usually gorgeous and funny Aniston strips away the clothes and the glossy...
US-Based Cruise Giant Buys UK P&O Princess
Cruise giant Carnival was yesterday close to clinching its pounds 3.3 billion bid to buy UK rival P&O Princess. P&O Princess had originally struck a merger deal with American-owned Royal Caribbean but Miami-based Carnival entered the fray...
Visitor Visa Imposed on Jamaicans
Byline: Caroline Gammell All Jamaican nationals entering Britain will have to apply for visitor visas in order to enter the country, the Home Office announced yesterday. From midnight tonight, no Jamaican will be allowed through immigration without...
We Have No Split in Cabinet over War, Storms Angry Blair
Tony Blair was yesterday forced to fend off accusations from Tories that military preparations for a possible conflict with Iraq were being hampered by splits within his own Cabinet. In his first Commons clash of the year with Tory leader Iain Duncan...