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 June 20, 2007

Abortions in England and Wales Rise Nearly Four per Cent on Last Year
The number of abortions in England and Wales is rising, according to figures released yesterday. There were 193,700 in 2006, compared with 186,400 in 2005, a rise of 3.9 per cent, the Department of Health said. The age-standardised abortion rate...
Airbus 'Back in Business' Claim; AEROSPACE
Byline: By Steve Pain Deputy Business Editor European plane maker Airbus yesterday claimed it was 'back in business' after announcing that both of its flagship aircraft programmes were on track. President and chief executive Louis Gallois said:...
A Land Where Almost Anything Is Possible; THEATRE Amateur Stage
Byline: By John Slim I have often indicated that I yield to no one in my admiration of the talent contained in amateur theatre. I make no bones about having seen many productions of plays and musicals, and many individual performances, that could...
Alliance Boots Pension Deal Ends Fears of Sale Disruption; ACQUISITION
The guardians of Alliance Boots' pension scheme struck a funding deal with the group's private equity buyers yesterday, breaking the deadlock that threatened the pounds 11.1 billion sale of the healthcare giant. Boots' new owners, Kohlberg Kravis...
Bad Retail Day as Tesco Doesn't Check out; SHARE PRICES Market Report
Disappointing sales figures from the UK's largest supermarket chain weighed heavy on the London market yesterday, leaving a raft of blue chip retailers in the red. Tesco shares dropped by five per cent after a lacklustre trading update, dragging...
Bournville Gets Back to Basics as US Swallows Up Drinks Division
Since the merger between household names Cadbury and Schweppes in 1969, the group has flitted between aggressive expansion and belt-tightening in a series of moves. Having spent the 1980s and early 1990s snapping up soft drink groups across the...
Bournville Still 'Heart of Cadbury'
Byline: By Jonathan Walker Political Editor Bournville will continue to be the heart of Cadbury "as long as there is breath in my body", the chief executive of Cadbury Schweppes has pledged. Todd Stitzer, head of the the world's largest confectionery...
Boxing: Hatton Enjoying Mexican Wave
Byline: By Mark Staniforth in Las Vegas Ricky Hatton has reigned unbeaten for 42 bouts and won world titles in two weight divisions but perhaps his greatest achievement is to have become admired by great Mexican boxers as one of their own. Few...
Cadbury Being Courted by Big Private Equity Groups; CONFECTIONERY
Byline: By John Revill Manufacturing Editor Employees are reflected in the window of the Cadbury plant at Bournville Two private equity groups are set to slug it out in the pounds 8 billion battle to land Cadbury's American soft drinks business....
Cadbury's Control of Events Seems to Be Slowly Melting Away
Byline: JOHN DUCKERS Cadbury still clearly believes it is in control of events as it continues down the road of splitting itself apart. The trouble is that nobody else seems to think so. The company was once again yesterday desperately trying...
Cemex Plant Now Going Flat out to Keep Up with Boom; CONSTRUCTION
Cemex's Rugby Cement plant is working flat out to cope with demand, the company revealed yesterday. It comes as there remains no sign that the UK construction boom is anywhere near coming to an end. But Cemex is seeing its figures hit by the...
Changzhou Can Learn a Thing or Two from UCE; THE CHINA CONNECTION
Byline: By John Revill Business Staff The resumption of MG car production by Nanjing Automobile Corporation has helped to cement the relationship between a Birmingham university and a counterpart in China. The Technology Innovation Centre at...
Council Chairman Says Professor Is Just Wrong
Byline: By Emma Pinch Champions for Stratford-upon-Avon yesterday hit back at Germaine Greer's stinging attack on their town as "inaccurate" and "misleading". Professor Greer complained that the approach to Stratford consisted of drearily familiar...
Cricket: Cook Seeks Further Progress on Durham's Historic Day; FRIENDS PROVIDENT TROPHY: SEMI-FINAL
Byline: By Justin Goulding There has been much reminiscing in Durham this week but director of cricket Geoff Cook's sights are set firmly on the future on the eve of the biggest match in the club's history. Durham entertain Essex in the Friends...
Cricket: Crass Windies Beat Themselves; CRICKET: FOURTH TEST MATCH RIVERSIDE: England Defeated West Indies by Seven Wickets
Byline: By Jack Bannister England, easily beating the West Indies with 30 overs to spare, won the series 3-0 as Monty Panesar took his sixth five-wicket haul in 17 Tests and Steve Harmison's unflattering figures did no justice to his best bowling...
Cricket: Harmison Gets Back in Stride for Victory
Byline: By Richard Gibson England captain Michael Vaughan last night reserved special praise for pace spearhead Steve Harmison as he toasted the weather-defying victory which wrapped up a 3-0 npower Test series win over the West Indies. Despite...
Cricket: Harris Is Quick to Find the Right Length
Byline: Brian O'Sullivan Paul Harris, Warwickshire's South African Test left-arm spinner, took three for 47 on his first appearance for the county this season when the second XI restricted Derbyshire to 289 for seven off 105 overs at Dunstall CC...
Cricket: Steyn Targeting Fond Farewell; FRIENDS PROVIDENT TROPHY SEMI-FINAL
Byline: By George Dobell Chief Cricket Writer Dale Steyn leads the Warwickshire attack in today's Friends Provident Trophy semi-final against Hampshire knowing that - win or lose - he will not be at Lord's for the final on August 18. The fast...
Djemba-Djemba Looking Set for Portugal Switch
Byline: By Lisa Smith Portuguese side Benfica are believed to be prepared to offer unsettled Aston Villa midfielder Eric Djemba-Djemba a future on the Mediterranean. It is the second time the Portuguese club has made a bid for the 26-year-old...
Euro MPs Back Equitable Life Damning Report; FINANCIAL SERVICES
Byline: By Geoff Meade and Matt Williams Euro MPs yesterday overwhelmingly backed a damning report into the failure of the UK Government to protect Equitable Life policyholders from the company's financial problems. A vote in Strasbourg saw MEPs...
Firms Owed Money after Longbridge Boycott Talks
Byline: By Neil Connor Chief Reporter More than 2,000 firms facing long waits to receive money from the MG Rover crash voiced their feelings on the liquidation process yesterday with a near boycott of the latest creditors' meeting. Only three...
Football: Hendrie Fit and Raring to Accept Best Offer
Byline: By Lisa Smith Lee Hendrie's future remained in a state of limbo yesterday as the Aston Villa midfield player revealed he was still waiting to see which of a clutch of potential suitors, in the form of other clubs, was serious about offering...
Football: Nicholls Ready to Shine for Saddlers after Signing Deal; COCA-COLA LEAGUE ONE
Byline: By Lisa Smith Nineteen-year-old Walsall striker Alex Nicholls aims to provide manager Richard Money with a few selection headaches this season after signing a new one year deal with the club. The Stourbridge-born youngster suffered a...
Football: Wait Continues for Blades as Panel Delays Verdict
Sheffield United's bid to escape relegation faces a delay of up to 10 days by which time the Blades may be embroiled in a row over striker Steve Kabba. An arbitration panel last night finished hearing the case brought by Sheffield United, who claimed...
Golf: Confident Sullivan Qualifies; AMATEUR GOLF
Byline: By David Morgan Putting aside disappointing play in last year's in the Lytham Trophy, when he struggled with his driving and found many of the Open roster course's bunkers, Andy Sullivan took his place yesterday in the Matchplay section...
Golf: Ghost of Carnoustie Still Hovers over Europe's Finest
Byline: By Mark Garrod While the European Tour rightly hails Angel Cabrera's US Open triumph as a win for one of its own members, one rather less glorious fact remains. Europe's players are still seeking an end to an eight-year drought. A...
Health Scare Drove Laurie towards Slimming Title
A Midlands mother of three, shocked by a health scare into shedding more than nine stone, gained a slimming title yesterday. Having battled the bulge all her life, the wake-up call for Laurie Wells, aged 35, from Worcestershire, came when doctors...
Healthy Start for Enterprise Hub; INVESTMENT
A state-of-the-art centre to encourage new businesses to start up in one of Warwickshire's most deprived areas is to open after receiving pounds 380,000 from regional development agency Advantage West Midlands. The Enterprise Hub will be located...
Horse Racing: Big Guns Bring in Top Prizes on First Day
Byline: By Nick Robson, Tom Peacock and Martin Kelly at Royal Ascot Aidan O'Brien dominated the feature race on the opening day of Royal Ascot as Excellent Art led home a one-two-three in the St James's Palace Stakes. The mount of former stable...
Horse Racing: Right Royal Fight on the Cards
Byline: By Anita Chambers and Nick Robson Manduro bids to go a couple of places better than 12 months ago when he lines up for what may be "the race of the meeting" in today's Prince Of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot. The Andre Fabre-trained raider...
'Hungry' Shoosmiths Fee Income Up to Pounds 95m; LEGAL
Law firm Shoosmiths is celebrating a healthy set of financial results with fee income up to pounds 95 million, a year on year increase of 27 per cent. Net profit for the firm, which has a major Birmingham office, also showed solid growth with a...
Inquiry Will Look at Loan Problems for Ethnic Firms; FINANCE
A drive to investigate why ethnic minority businesses face additional barriers accessing finance was announced by the Government yesterday. An Ethnic Minority Business Task Force was launched aimed at helping to foster growth among black and minority...
Interest Rates Hit Tesco as Slowdown Confirmed; RETAIL
Byline: By Steve Pain Deputy Business Editor Tesco, the world's fifth largest retailer - yesterday confirmed a slowdown in its core UK sales growth in the first quarter - and said it expected a "tougher year" after UK interest rate increases made...
INTERNATIONAL: Pakistan Row over Rushdie Knighthood Escalates
Pakistan's government summoned Britain's high commissioner in Islamabad yesterday for talks on Salman Rushdie's knighthood. The move came amid continuing protests in the country over the awarding of the honour to the controversial author. A Foreign...
INTERNATIONAL: US Soldiers Storm Al Qaida Sanctuary
Byline: By Des Webster About 10,000 US soldiers using heavily armoured Stryker and Bradley fighting vehicles fought their way into an al Qaida stronghold north-east of Baghdad yesterday. American and Iraqi forces, under cover of attack helicopters,...
Internet Scams Taking Big Toll of Region's Small Firms; ENTERPRISE
Forty four per cent of small businesses in the West Midlands have been a victim of cyber crime, according to new research. The study, commissioned by the Get Safe Online campaign, showed the a wide number of SMEs were at risk from internet scams,...
Internet Traders Illegally Refuse Customers Right to Cancel Orders; RETAIL
Some internet traders are not complying with laws that protect shoppers who buy online, according to a new report. The Office of Fair Trading found many eretailers had a "weak" awareness of the relevant regulations. One fifth of online electrical...
It's the Reel Thing as Cinemas Expand Locations; LEISURE
A Midlands-based cinema chain is looking to expand after multi-million pound backing from Allied Irish Bank. The cash will allow Reel Cinemas, a niche operator, to upgrade its current premises and expand into new locations throughout the UK. ...
Lawn Tennis: Henman Ends Drought with 'Intense' Display; NOTTINGHAM OPEN
Byline: By Brendan McLoughlin Tim Henman yesterday credited a more intense approach to his game for his first ATP Tour victory since February at the Nottingham Open. The British No 2 qualified for the second round of a tournament for only the...
Lawn Tennis: O'Brien Leads British Charge; TENNIS: EASTBOURNE
Byline: By Bill Pierce Britain's much-maligned female tennis players are slugging it out for pre-eminence in the build-up to Wimbledon after another splendid day of home comforts at Eastbourne. Elena Baltacha rose 130 places in the world rankings...
Letter: Choosing Gender above Policy and Personality; OPINION DEPUTY LEADERSHIP
Byline: PAUL BURKE Dear Editor, As someone who is neither a Labour Party member or Labour voter, but someone who follows our political processes quite closely, I was somewhat taken aback by the tone of Chris Game's 'analysis' article (Kings and...
Make Sure You Do Plenty of Homework and Take Local Advice; THE CHINA CONNECTION
Byline: Bill Donnelly We are all familiar by now with the "Nigerian" scams - an email or personalised letter from a substantial sounding person in Africa offering huge rewards in return for a 'small investment' to be used to 'free up' a business...
Man Stabbed Tackling Raiders Gets Police Award
Byline: By Emma Brady A Shropshire man who was stabbed five times as he grappled with two armed robbers, will receive a bravery award from the Association of Chief Police Officers today. Stephen Kendrick was the only customer in the Spar store,...
Midlands Confident despite UK Gloom; ENTERPRISE
Byline: By Joanna Geary Enterprise Editor Entrepreneurs in the West Midlands are confident about their own prospects for business growth despite an increasingly pessimistic outlook for the UK economy, the Bank of Scotland has said. In its Small...
Military Stories Ban after Hostages Fiasco
Byline: By Gavin Cordon Serving military personnel are to be banned from selling their stories to the media, Defence Secretary Des Browne announced yesterday. In a Commons statement Mr Browne said he had accepted in full the recommendations of...
Motor Racing: Hamilton Role at Silverstone; MOTORSPORT
Byline: By Liz Byrnes British Racing Drivers' Club chairman Robert Brooks believes the 'Lewis Hamilton effect' could help to keep the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. BRDC own the Northamptonshire circuit but their grand prix contract ends...
Offices Become Galleries in City Museum Project
Byline: By Emma Pinch A new floor of exhibitions restoring Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery to its former glass vaulted splendour, will see treasures from the city's history dusted off and put on long-awaited public display. The pounds 13 million...
Outstanding Business Solutions from Brightest Students; EDUCATION
Over 70 of the region's brightest students have presented their outstanding business solutions at The Year in Industry Company Exhibition. Innovations designed to improve a range of sectors were on display at The University of Birmingham. The...
POLITICS: Bad Landlords Will Be Named and Shamed
Bad landlords would be "named and shamed" under plans for social housing league tables announced by Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly yesterday. Tenants and councils would also be able to complain to a new independent social housing watchdog with...
POLITICS: Computer Experts Concerned over New Electronic Voting
Computer experts invited to observe last month's elections raised "serious concerns" over the use of new electronic voting technology in a report released today. The Open Rights Group said it could not express confidence in the election results...
POLITICS: Crime and Punishment Review Pledge by Brown
Prime minister-in-waiting Gordon Brown pledged a host of new crime and punishment measures yesterday including drug education for the under-10s. He promised a "radical review" of anti-drugs policies and promised to look at giving judges the power...
POLITICS: Thousands of Criminals Set for Release as Prisons Fill Up
Byline: By James Tapsfield and David Barrett Thousands of criminals including drug dealers, burglars and fraudsters could be released up to 18 days early to ease prison overcrowding. The "temporary" move could apply to any offender sentenced...
Prestigious Export Award for Arden Photonics; ENTERPRISE
A high-tech Birmingham company has been given an award for its export effort. Arden Photonics, based in Aston Science Park, has received the UK Trade & Investment Small Exporter of the Year award. Founded in 2001, Arden employs three and...
Recycling Help for SMEs as New Adviser Appointed; ENTERPRISE
SMEs in the West Midlands now have the benefit of their own recycling adviser. The Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has appointed Claire Atkins as part of its Recycle at Work scheme. Ms Atkins, who will be based in Birmingham, is...
Reviews: Novel Drama Where the Canal Is the Star; THEATRE Box Birmingham Repertory Theatre on the Canal ***
Byline: Terry Grimley This may seem like stating the obvious, but how much you enjoy the Rep's midsummer boating extravaganza is likely to depend very largely on the weather. Monday's special press performance hit the jackpot, a miserable rainy...
Reviews: Resounding Declaration of Confidence; THEATRE Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra Symphony Hall *****
Byline: Norman Stinchcombe Conducting the fifth and sixth symphonies of Beethoven and Mahler on consecutive nights is a declaration of confidence in one's own abilities and that of the orchestra. Jaap van Zweden was vindicated in both cases. ...
Row between Pizza Chains Is Real Hot Stuff; TRADE MARKS
A red hot row has erupted between rival pizza companies over who owns the rights to a Hot Stuff Pizza. The spicy saga revolves around rival claims by Hot Stuff Foods and Homer Simpsonendorsed competitor Domino's. Hot Stuff Foods claims that it...
Solihull Site Could Be Safe
Byline: By John Revill Manufacturing Editor Land Rover's Solihull factory could be safe until at least 2012 even if it is sold by Ford, it has been claimed. The site, which makes the Discovery, Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Defender, has...
THE BIRMINGHAM POST: Midlands Will Recover after Heart Surgery; OPINION
The loss of the Heart of England England Tourist Board after 40 years would appear to be a devastating blow to the region's efforts to promote itself as a tourism destination. On closer examination, the situation is more complicated. A new body,...
The EU Work for Small Businesses; ENTERPRISE
Byline: Mike Cherry Many of us want to help make the EU work for small businesses and the people of Europe, yet too often we see crass ideas coming forward that will have the wholly opposite effect. This time they have come up with a blinder...
The Same End for Women Who Were Worlds Apart; ANALYSIS
Byline: CHRIS UPTON They pulled two women out of the river that day. The Thames has claimed many a victim over the years, but March 16 1920 kept the coroners busier than usual. There are never any easy explanations for drowning, but the officials...
This Evil Gunman Is Jailed for Life
Holding a gun to his head in menacing pose, this is evil Marcus Bailey who was jailed for life yesterday for shooting an unarmed West Midlands Police officer. Bailey, of Warnford Walk, Wolverhampton, was told he must serve a minimum of 15 years...
This Is Your Pilot Speaking; THEATRE Terry Grimley Looks Forward to an Evening of Theatrical Experiment at the Custard Factory
Byline: Terry Grimley With the partial exception of Coventry, which over the years has given us Tic-Toc, Snarling Beasties, Talking Birds and Theatre Absolute, the West Midlands has proved difficult ground for fledgling theatre companies. There...
Too Late I Conjure Up a Few Germane Ripostes; at Monday's Big Debate, Hosted by the Birmingham Post and the NEC Group at the ICC, Germaine Greer Made Clear Her Dissatisfaction with the RSC and Stratford-upon-Avon. Post Arts Editor Terry Grimley Gives His Reply
Byline: Terry Grimley The trouble with taking part in public debates - and, bizarrely, I've just taken part in two in two days - is that your best contributions invariably occur to you too late. You can bet your life that on your way to work...
Tourism Board to Close as Aid Axed
Byline: By Rhona Ganguly The Heart of England Tourist Board is to close after 40 years following the loss of pounds 1 million of funding from Advantage West Midlands. The region's oldest tourist board announced yesterday that it would cease trading...
Trifast Looks Ahead after Positive Year; MANUFACTURING
Byline: By Duncan Tift Business Staff Industrial fastenings maker Trifast yesterday reported strong full-year results with a 113 per cent increase in pre-tax profit and a positive outlook for the year ahead. The company reported a pre-tax profit...
Unite's Joint Project with Cala Gets Second Chance; PROPERTY
Byline: By Joanna Geary Business Staff Student accommodation provider Unite is to resubmit plans for a pounds 30 million development in Selly Oak within the next few days. UK property director Tim Mitchell said new proposals for the joint project...
Warning over China's Patchy Property Performance; THE CHINA CONNECTION
Entrepreneurs aiming to grab a slice of Britain's pounds 3.3 billion exports to China have been warned to remain aware of the company's patchy performance when it comes to protecting intellectual property. Jonathan Middup, Ernst & Young's Birmingham-based...
We Need Reconciliation Rather Than Victory; ANALYSIS by Richard Burden, Labour MP for Birmingham Northfield and Chair of the Britain-Palestine All Party Parliamentary Group
Byline: By Richard Burden Let us be clear. There was no justification for Hamas' military takeover in Gaza last week. Reports of summary executions and of those considered to be rivals being thrown from rooftops were nothing short of horrific. ...
Whitbread Plans to Take Travel Inn Brand to India; HOTELS
Byline: By Steve Pain Deputy Business Editor Leisure group Whitbread yesterday unveiled plans to expand its Premier Travel Inn brand into India - creating as many as 12,000 hotel rooms. The company is investing pounds 150 million in a 50-50 joint...