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 February 16, 2001

Asylum Computer 'Flawed'
Byline: Vanessa Allen An pounds 80 million computer system designed to clear the backlog of asylum seekers was 'flawed' from the moment it was ordered, a government Minister said yesterday. The system was designed to save more than pounds 100...
Bass Hotels Avoid US Slowdown Trend
Byline: Anita Deshmukh City Editor The slowdown in the US economy does not appear to be hitting the international hotels division of Bass. The group, still getting used to life without its brewing business sold to Interbrew last year, reported...
Bears Spin High-Class Wheel in Star Chase
Byline: Brian Halford World-renowned wrist-spin coach Terry Jenner will visit Birmingham next month to assist Warwickshire in their attempt to unearth a spin 'guru'. During four days at Edgbaston, the Australian, hugely influential in Shane Warne's...
Birmingham Post Comment: Precious Green Belt Being Taken by Stealth
The suggestion by Birmingham City Council that yet more green belt land at Sutton Coldfield be released for industrial development will prompt a hollow laugh from anyone genuinely concerned to protect the countryside. It should be remembered that...
Bitter Pill for Sugar to Swallow
Amstrad, the computer company chaired by Sir Alan Sugar, saw its shares fall by seven per cent yesterday on the London Stock Exchange, as it said its half-year results had been hit by a slowdown in sales of digital set-top boxes. The company is...
BMW Accelerates in Pursuit of Million Annual Car Sales
Byline: James O'Brien Business Staff BMW aims to sell more than one million cars worldwide 'within a few years', the company said yesterday. Last year, BMW sold more than 822,000 cars, nine per cent more than in 1999. Management board member...
Bulger Court Clash on 'Fabricated' Attacks
Byline: John Aston A dispute erupted in the High Court yesterday over the accuracy of reports that one of the killers of James Bulger has allegedly been involved in two separate violent incidents while in detention. The clash between lawyers...
Busy Bullets Must Find Feet with Sharks Lined Up to Take First Bite
Byline: Alan Thomas Birmingham Bullets face the toughest of assignments tonight when they visit Northern Conference leaders Sheffield Sharks (7.30pm). Against a Sharks side already within touching distance of the knock-out stages of the BBL championship...
Buyers 'Vi' for a Piece of the City
Byline: Marsya Lennox A new 'city living' scheme in central Worcester is beating marketing schedules thanks to swift buyer demand. Two apartments at the recently unveiled 'Vi' development by Wimpey Homes have sold off plan and four more plots...
Caines Is Able to Run with the Best
Byline: David Martin in Stockholm Birchfield Harrier Daniel Caines drew attention away from the battle of the evening with a blistering 400 metres victory in the Stockholm Indoor Grand Prix last night. While Jamie Baulch scored a vital victory...
Campaigners Dismiss Care Centre 'Bribe'
Byline: Jason Beattie Political Editor Campaigners dismissed yesterday's announcement of a new ambulatory care centre for Kidderminster Hospital as a 'bribe' to save the marginal seat of Wyre Forest for Labour. Kidderminster was named as one...
City View: America's Super-Rich Bushwhack the President
Byline: Nevill Boyd Maunsell Now here is something that doesn't happen every day. Some of the wealthiest men in America are pleading with President Bush to think again about one of his promised tax cuts. They want him to keep estate tax - America's...
Coles on Fire to Keep Heat on Leader
Byline: Phil Casey In Kuala Lumpur England's Robert Coles demonstrated his determination to avoid a sixth visit to the dreaded Qualifying School in the first round of the Carlsberg Malaysian Open yesterday. The 28-year-old, from Hornchurch, carded...
Corbett Calls for End to 'Regional Flight Rip-Off'
Byline: Jason Beattie Political Editor The Government should intervene to prevent holiday firms from charging passengers more for flying from Birmingham Airport, a Midland MP has demanded. Robin Corbett (Lab Erdington) said tourist companies...
Creating a New Greenfield Hamlet
Byline: Marsya Lennox On the Cheshire edge of Staffordshire, Countryside Homes is creating a brand new hamlet in a greenfield setting with its own golf course and lake. Between the villages of Weston, Hough and Betley, near Newcastle-under-Lyme...
Culture: Arild Chases the Pure and Beautiful in Music; Martin Longley Encounters a Much-Travelled Jazz Player from Norway
Byline: Martin Longley Norwegian bass player Arild Andersen's career has always been closely associated with Manfred Eicher's Munich-based ECM Records. During the mid-1960s, Andersen was a member of his countryman Jan Garbarek's first band, appearing...
Culture: Movies with a Swing in the Tale; Legendary Actor and Director Robert Redford Shows Alison Jones His Sporty Side
Byline: Alison Jones Robert Redford founded the Sundance Festival as a creative alternative to the glitz and glamour of the Oscars, though he now admits it has become a monster. Matt Damon and Will Smith star in the golfing allegory, The Legend...
Culture: Reviews: Emperor's Lessons in Humility; Mike Davies Takes a Look at the Week's Cinema Releases
Byline: Mike Davies THE EMPEROR'S NEW GROOVE Cert U. 89 mins After years of setting the benchmark for other animation houses to follow, Disney's latest release ironically sees the studio attempting to recreate the look of Warners' vintage...
Culture: Reviews: Mamet Works His Comedy Magic; Mike Davies Takes a Look at the Week's Cinema Releases
Byline: Mike Davies STATE AND MAIN Cert 15. 102 mins Writer-director David Mamet must be feeling pretty pleased with himself right now. In America, Hannibal, which he co-scripted, has become the third biggest opener ever, while here his own...
Doorman Tells of Taunts before Club Attack
One of a group of Asian students taunted a drunken friend of Leeds United footballer Jonathan Woodgate before punching him in the face in a confrontation, a court heard yesterday. A doorman at the Majestyk nightclub in Leeds told Hull Crown Court...
Draconian Proposals Will Punish Motorist
Byline: Julie Kirkbride When Tony Blair first wooed the middle classes by proclaiming that he would be 'tough on crime' I expect none of us realised who he really had in mind. As such, this week's announcement by the Government that their intended...
Equitable Policyholders 'Deceived over Pounds 1.5bn'
Byline: Philip Williams Deputy Business Editor The board of troubled insurance giant Equitable Life was accused yesterday by MPs of deceiving policyholders about its liabilities. The charge came as Equitable chairman John Sclater publicly apologised...
Essence of the Cotswolds
Byline: Marsya Lennox The view at Upper Swell - looking across the old bridge over the Dikler and up to the weir and mill pond - is one that captures the essence of the Cotswold village. With the Old Mill as backdrop, it's the shot that makes...
Explosion of Profits as Gas and Oil Prices Soar; Digging Deep: More Expansion in the Pipeline
BG Group, the gas exploration arm of the old British Gas business, saw its profits for the year more than double thanks to rises in gas and oil prices. The group, which spun off its Solihull-based Transco pipeline business into the Lattice Group...
Floods Still Sink Worcester
Byline: Michael Robson Officials at flood-ravaged Worcester yesterday insisted that they have saved the course a small fortune through their decision to scrap winter jumping. Sailing, rather than horse racing, would have been a more viable sporting...
For What It's Worth: Renovation Challenge; A Flexible Budget between Pounds 260,000 and Pounds 285,00 Can Stretch to a Rural Renovation Project with Plenty of Land, a Small Modern Share in a Midland Best Address, a Big House with Earning Potential in a Welsh Border Village or a Picture Postcard Cottage in a Conservation Area. Marsya Lennox Lines Them Up
Byline: Marsya Lennox The Knowle at Sankyns Green near Little Witley in Worcestershire is the perfect challenge for a buyer with ideas of his own and no money to waste on other people's taste. The detached, part sandstone cottage stands in nearly...
Four in Line for Rail Passenger Franchise Bids
Byline: Peter Woodman Four companies with experience of running passenger train routes are to compete to take over a new rail franchise, it was announced today. The four have been shortlisted by the Strategic Rail Authority for the Wales and...
Francis Delighted to Dig Deep for Derby Reinforcements
Byline: Brian Halford Winger Jon McCarthy last night reflected upon a Birmingham City squad reinforced by three recent recruits and insisted: 'Nobody can take a first-team place for granted now - and that's the way it should be.' Blues' squad...
Free Text Phones to Help Boost Literacy
Byline: Jonathan Walker Education Correspondent Teenagers could be given free mobile phones on condition they send text messages to each other in a bid to raise standards of literacy. An audience of college principals and university managers...
Future Not Discounted despite Pounds 2m Hit
Byline: Anita Deshmukh City Editor Discount stores group Brown & Jackson, which owns the Poundstretcher chain, took a pounds 2 million hit during the fuel crisis. That, a bad summer for mid-tier retailers, and the closure of the rival C&A...
Giles in Test Injury Fears
Byline: Myles Hodgson in Matara Warwickshire's Ashley Giles limped out of England's final warm-up match before the opening Test against Sri Lanka next week. Spin ace Giles, described as 'the kingpin' of England's attack, suffered a recurrence...
Gladiator Owen in Roman Conquest; AS Roma 0 Liverpool 2
Michael Owen struck two marvellous goals to give Liverpool a stunning victory in the Stadio Olympico. In a stadium where they have twice won the European Cup - the last time back in 1984 against Roma - Liverpool destroyed the Roman giants again...
Greenwood Still Bubbling over at England Chances
Byline: Frank Malley Will Greenwood downed a single glass of champagne to celebrate his sublime hat-trick after England's thrilling opening Six Nations triumph over Wales and then spent the rest of the night worried sick that he might not be selected...
Harriers Wary of Orient's Need to Impress
Kidderminster Harriers have been warned to beware a Leyton Orient backlash as they prepare for tomorrow's trip to Brisbane Road, writes Colin Stoner. Jan Molby's Harriers are determined to build on the morale-boosting win over Barnet, their first...
Henman Blows Away Seeds of Doubt despite Mid-Match Slip
Favourite Tim Henman succeeded where the majority of seeds have failed by reaching the quarter-finals of the Copenhagen Open. Britain's No 1 and the tournament's top seed knocked out Switzerland's George Bastl 7-5 7-5, although not without a scare....
High-Fliers Worcester Left Reeling by Double Injury Blow; DR MARTENS PREMIER
Byline: Colin Stoner Non-League Correspondent Worcester City's delight at climbing into the top three has been tempered with news that Ian Reed and Nathan Jukes will not play again this season. City's roller-coaster season soared to new heights...
Honda Pays for Losses in Europe
Byline: Philip Williams Deputy Business Editor Japanese car giant Honda yesterday reported an unexpectedly-steep drop of nine per cent in its profit for the latest quarter as expanding losses in Europe eroded gains elsewhere. The disappointing...
Horror of Real-Life Hannibals
Hannibal Lecter, the world's most famous cannibal killer, is about to horrify movie-goers as he slices, dices and munches a feast of human flesh. When he returns to UK cinema screens today, in the sequel to Silence Of The Lambs, Hannibal will once...
Hospitals Plan: Fast-Track Hospitals by 2004
Byline: Jenny Hudson Health Correspondent Three new 'hospitals of the future' are to be built in the West Midlands at a likely cost of about pounds 10 million each, Tony Blair announced yesterday. The ambulatory care centres - designed to offer...
Hospitals Plan: Where the Money Is Going
Birmingham: pounds 291 million The massive investment will fund a new superhospital to replace Selly Oak and Queen Elizabeth hospitals. It will include a fast-track ambulatory care centre, pounds 10 million for new research facilities for...
Is Justice Being Done?; Chief Feature Writer Ros Dodd Analyses an Apparent Inconsistency in Sentencing
Byline: Ros Dodd 'Justice has been done here today,' announced Alan Hammond this week after his son's killer was jailed for five years. Justice - in the view of children's charities - was patently not done with the handing down of 'joke' prison...
Legacy Loses Sole Rights to Dome Bid
Byline: Jon Smith The future of the Millennium Dome was thrown into doubt again yesterday after the Government re-opened bidding to run the troubled site. Legacy lost its preferred bidder status and fresh pitches will be invited in a new competition...
Legal and Finance: Quarterly Reports Will Add Pressure
Byline: John Duckers Business Editor A Birmingham accountant has hit out at the European Commission which has said it will legislate later this year to make it mandatory for listed companies to report on a quarterly basis. Oliver Baker, head...
Legal and Finance: Workplace Guidelines Can Stop the Tears; Office Heartbreak: Companies Left Counting the Cost of Failed Romance
Byline: John Duckers Business Editor What happens when an office romance goes sour? And just how far should it go before an employee feels harassed or intimidated? According to a survey by risk managers, Smithson Mason Group, only a fifth (19...
Links to States Add Up to 2,000 New Jobs
More than 3,000 new jobs have been created in the West Midlands in the first nine months of the financial year, many of them from the US. The regional development agency Advantage West Midlands said 2,000 of them were created by 23 projects it delivered...
MacArthur Says Charity Work Lifted Her Despair; Home the Heroine: Round-World Yachtswoman Takes a Bow at Marina
Homecoming record-breaker Ellen MacArthur yesterday said her triumph in the Vendee Globe round-world race had been made worthwhile thanks to the sick children she helps through her charitable work. Holding up a banner with the words 'Thank you Ellen',...
Medical Company Hits the Acquisition Trail; Joint Progress: Smith & Nephew Aims to Be Global Player
Byline: Richard Tyler City Staff Medical devices company Smith & Nephew, transformed by a major restructuring last year, said yesterday it was now ready to go on the acquisition trail and become a global player. 'We don't have a financing...
Megson in 'Keep Your Cool' Plea
West Bromwich Albion are under orders to keep a tight reign on their discipline and self-control in the heat of tomorrow's First Division derby with Birmingham City at St Andrew's, writes Michael Ward. Manager Gary Megson has warned his players...
Midlands Urged to Seize US Trade Opportunities; Minister for Trade Richard Caborn Analyses the West Midlands' Own 'Special Relationship' with the United States
Byline: Richard Caborn A new US President has been sworn in. And with the new incoming administration this is a better time than ever to look at the export opportunities for companies in Birmingham and the West Midlands. The West Midlands has...
Motoring: Dangers Ahead for New Drivers
Byline: Tony Willard Almost anyone can pass their driving test to join the 32 million people already on Britain's crowded roads - but what can they expect?. Observant motorists build a personal databank of cars and types of drivers they see as...
Motoring: New Mondeo Lives Up to Its Marketing Promise; Memorable Model: Ford Keeps Best Elements and Adds a Few Refinements
To develop an outstanding specialist car is a great achievement - to make a volume model memorable is in some ways a bigger one. Ford has done just that with the new Mondeo which lives up to the marketing promise to 'set new class standards'. ...
Motoring: Tiny YRV in Need of Big USP
Byline: Chris Russon Motoring Correspondent There are HGVs and LGVs, MPVs and SUVs and now there is going to be a YRV. Unlike the others, this is not a generic term but the name of the latest little car from Daihatsu. It stands for Young Recreational...
New Brass in Pockets for Wolves
Byline: Ged Scott Wolverhampton Wanderers last night opened the door on a new era of opulence at Molineux as they made a major signing - without the financial assistance of their multi-millionaire chairman, Sir Jack Hayward. As expected, Cedric...
News Focus: De Beers Moves Back into the Oppenheimer Family Fold
Byline: RICHARD TYLER The fabulously-wealthy Oppenheimer dynasty took diamond king De Beers back into the family yesterday in a multi-billion dollar deal that is expected to keep the diamond trade closed to all but the privileged few. The Oppenheimers'...
News Focus: Radstone Designs with Deadly Intent; Special Correspondent Dan Lalor Takes a Look at a Midlands Company Which Scales the Heights and Plunges the Depths
Byline: Dan Lalor Think speed. Think sleek, sexy machines performing to the mechanical limits of their age. From Roman chariots via 18th century stagecoaches to warplanes on training sorties, the ancient market town of Towcester in Northamptonshire...
'No Fear' of Thinner Blue Line
Byline: Ros Dodd West Midlands Police is facing a crisis in retaining officers, the head of the region's Police Federation has claimed. Inspector Joe Tildesley said he feared the force would soon have major problems both recruiting and holding...
No Ray of Hope for 1,700 Insurance Staff as Sun Sets on Direct Selling
Insurance company Sun Life Financial of Canada yesterday announced it is to cut more than 1,700 jobs in the UK over the next three years. The company, based at Basingstoke, Hampshire, said the move followed a decision to close its business to new...
Oil and Energy Fail to Power FTSE Rally
The London Stock Exchange rallied yesterday as positive news from the US provided tech and telecom stocks with a much-needed boost. By the close of a mixed session, the FTSE-100 Index of leading shares was ahead 21.7 points at 6,197.9. The Footsie...
Perspective: Politicians Have No Respect for Manners or Worthy Issues
Byline: Jason Beattie It is sometimes worthwhile dragging an unsuspecting member of the public off the streets and inviting them to share with you the delights of Parliament. We who have the honour of working in this august institution - a word...
PM Accused of 'Sick' Aim to Wipe out the Tories; Election Trail: Tough Task Ahead, Concedes Hague Aide
Byline: Paul Dale Chief Reporter A top Tory on the pre-election trail in Birmingham yesterday admitted it was proving difficult to raise enthusiasm among Conservative voters. With Labour at least 20 points ahead in most opinion polls, shadow...
Pounds 431m Deal Milestone for West
High-Point Rendel, the Midland-based international business, management and technology consultant, has been appointed project manager for the pounds 431 million rebuilding of one of China's biggest city squares. The 2.8-acre Tianfu Square in the...
Pounds 641m to Cure Hospitals
Byline: Jenny Hudson Birmingham's new superhospital received the go-ahead yesterday as part of a pounds 3billion NHS development programme. The pounds 290 million facility was the largest in the latest phase of projects which are planned for...
Recall Eats Away at Mitsubishi
Scandal-ridden Mitsubishi has announced another damaging recall which will cost it a special loss of pounds 143 million. Some 5,000 UK-owned cars are affected by a possible corrosion problem. The models are Galant Saloons and five-door coupes...
Residential Property: Farmhouse with Space and Character
Byline: Marsya Lennox Take a typical Warwickshire farmhouse, weigh up its period character and square footage - and add more of both. Welford Hill House near Stratford-upon-Avon had plenty of the former and not enough of the latter, until radical...
Residential Property: Prized Consent for a Prime Mansion
Byline: Marsya Lennox The view from the site of the proposed house, showing Claverdon in the distance and one of the property's mature oaks. A'rare development opportunity' on offer at Langley near Warwick looks beyond the reach of average, aspiring...
Residential Property: Properties of Contrasting Interest
Byline: Helen Macklin Two interesting properties currently on the market are 5 Malvern Grange, Barnt Green and Marlborough House, Worcester. Barnt Green is a coveted village, renowned as a an area popular with celebrities and boasting a variety...
Residential Property: Why Not Convert to Rural Recycling?
Byline: Marsya Lennox Commuter-land homehunters converted to rural recycling can choose from three former barns on the books of John Shepherd. The new and nearly-new homes are all the work of Priory Developments Ltd, a local company specialising...
Roussel Roused by Wolves Call
Byline: Ged Scott Cedric Roussel might have taken a pay cut in leaving Coventry City for Wolverhampton Wanderers. Yet, while the pounds 1.5million Wolves new boy insists that deserting the Premiership is merely a temporary measure, he's also...
Sale Bargains Give Shoppers Bags of Scope for Spending
Byline: Nevill Boyd Maunsell Economics Editor Shoppers spent freely in the January sales after being relatively careful in the run-up to Christmas. Official numbers confirmed yesterday that retail sales rose a seasonally adjusted 0.7 per cent...
Samurai Defendant Unfit to Stand Trial; Paranoid Delusions: Ashman Feared Conspiracy of Police, Freemasons and Horse Racing
Byline: Richard Warburton Ashman had conspiracies involving the masons, antiques trade, horse racing and the South African elections. Jacqueline Short psychiatrist By Richard Warburton A man accused of a Samurai sword attack which left...
Shares Sparkle at Pounds 12bn Offer for Diamond Miner
Byline: Richard Tyler City Staff Anglo American, the world's largest mining company, teamed up with South Africa's wealthy Oppenheimer family yesterday to offer pounds 12.2 billion to takeover famous diamond miner, De Beers. The bid valued the...
Son of Star Wars 'Risks Arms Race'
Britain's top military officer has warned the United States that it could endanger ties with Europe, Russia and China by rushing into a missile defence shield without consulting other major powers. Retiring Chief of Defence Staff Sir Charles Guthrie...
SOS Text Message Girl Waits for Rescue
Byline: Julie Wheldon A group of Britons stranded on a boat in Indonesia were due to be rescued today - 44 hours after putting out a mobile phone SOS text message. At 2.20am on Wednesday Nick Hodgson in England received a message from girlfriend...
Steelmen Wait on Voice Fitness Call before Home Recovery Bid; DR MARTENS WESTERN
Bilston Town will be sweating on the fitness of top scorer Scott Voice tomorrow as they bid to bounce back from being shunted off top spot for the first time in nearly four months. Two injury-time penalties to earn Bromsgrove Rovers a 5-5 draw at...
Surveying Blow as Three UCE Degrees Axed
Byline: Jonathan Walker Education Correspondent A Birmingham university has lost three degree courses because it is not elitist enough, it was claimed yesterday. The University of Central England, based in Perry Barr, has lost accreditation for...
Television Choice
Timewatch - Hitler, Churchill And The Paratroopers BBC 2, 9pm Timewatch reveals the powerful story surrounding the battle of Crete in 1941. It was the first large-scale paratroop invasion ever carried out but was to provoke starkly contrasting conclusions...
Terrorist Friend of German Minister Jailed for Three Murders
Terrorist Hans-Joachim Klein, a friend of German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, has been jailed for three murders carried out more than 25 years ago in an attack on an OPEC conference. The four-month trial in Frankfurt focused international attention...
Trainer's Anguish at Mystery Dog Deaths
They were staggering around, walking into walls, in a state of total confusion, and very ill. Francis O'Hare trainer By Helen Bruce A greyhound trainer was last night awaiting test results which he hopes will reveal why nine dogs dropped...
Transfer System Plan Backed to End Uncertainty
Byline: Michael Ward Aston Villa have offered qualified support for this week's historic agreement between the European Commission and the presidents of FIFA and UEFA to redefine the vexed transfer system. The club's financial director Mark Ansell...
Victim's Blast for Hot-Headed Ehiogu
Coventry City have moved quickly to sign goalkeeper Chris Kirkland on a contract that will tie him to Highfield Road for five-and-a-half years. The 19-year-old, who has been at the club since joining as a trainee in 1997, attracted the attention...
Volunteers with Passion for Helping Other People; Commitment and Passion Lies Behind the Work of 10,000 Midland Volunteers Striving to Transform Other People's Lives. Sarah Probert Talks to a Trio Devoted to Helping Others
Byline: Sarah Probert Incensed by the Stephen Lawrence murder, Birmingham student Louise Morganstein became intent on stamping out racism. Her passion for equality and sheer dedication has helped turn around the fortunes of many teenagers and...
We Can Still Escape the Drop, Vow Battling Pitmen; NATIONWIDE CONFERENCE
Hednesford Town insist they still have enough time to recover from their trials and tribulations to remain a Conference club. The Pitmen's new boss, Colin Lambert, the man who led them to their headline-grabbing FA Cup exploits four years ago, will...