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 April 16, 2008

AGENDA: Sticky Jargon and the Mutating Curator
Byline: TERRY GRIMLEY The English language, as we all know, is constantly changing, sometimes but not always for the better. I was reminded of this once again this week when I googled (see what I mean?) a piece of music by Holst. I came across...
AGENDA: Time to Fight the War on Want in Somalia; as a Birmingham Teacher Is Killed in Somalia, Economist Dr Terry Lacey Remembers the Country in More Peaceful Times and Calls for an End to Foreign Intervention
Byline: Dr Terry Lacey My first trip to Somalia was as a young European Commission official accompanying my Director General for Development in 1976 on a mission to see President Siad Barre about the implementation of the African, Caribbean &...
Belts Tightening over Soaring Cost of Living in Britain Today
More than half of Britons are cutting back on spending in the face of higher living costs and economic uncertainty, research showed today. About 57 per cent of people said they were tightening belts as they worried about finances, according to market...
Body Shapes Up for the Future; the Bigger Picture A Radical New Way of Assessing an Individual's Healthy Weight Could Soon Become a Reality Thanks to a Birmingham Research Company
Byline: Jo Ind reports Women of a certain age and a certain size will be able to remember the days when you had to go to an outsize clothes shop merely to buy something in a size 16. Today size 16s are available in most high street stores and...
Bollinger Rise on Magoffin's Mind; CRICKET: LV COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP
Byline: By George Dobell Chief Cricket Writer Worcestershire have had their fair share of Australian imports in recent years. Some, like Tom Moody and Glenn McGrath, will be remembered with fondness for generations.Others, like Mark Harrity and...
Boxing:McIntosh Progresses on Middleweight Title Path
Byline: By Frank Todd Eddie McIntosh maintained his unbeaten record in style at the Tower Ballroom as he cruised to his fourth successive victory in front of manic support in a big month for Birmingham's boxing scene. Pele Reid meets John McDermott...
Burberry Wears It Well as Surging Oil Prices Help Sales; RETAIL
Demand for luxury goods from oil-rich customers helped Burberry defy wider retail woes and report a forecast-beating jump in sales yesterday. The fashion house - famous for its iconic check design - saw "double-digit" comparable second-half store...
Carphone Warehouse Shares Fall on Poor Growth; TELECOMS
Carphone Warehouse disappointed the City after revealing it secured fewer-than-expected broadband connections at the start of this year. The TalkTalk operator said its internet customer base rose to 2.7 million, following 109,000 broadband additions...
Contented Mowbray Says Job Not Done Yet
West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Mowbray said "nobody will be getting carried away" after last night's Black Country derby win over rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers lifted his side back to the top of the Coca-Cola Championship, writes James Peacock....
Corporate High-Flier Opens Toy Shop; ENTERPRISE TOYS
A Warwickshire toymaker has opened his own shop. Steve Peet - who designs outdoor play equipment - has launched Playopolis at the Hatton Shopping Village, near Warwick. Mr Peet had spent seven years designing outdoor play equipment, including...
Cricket:Anyon Bat Brings Inspiration to Jane
Byline: By George Dobell Jimmy Anyon's batting is rarely described as inspirational but it was while watching him that a cunning idea cropped up. Perhaps not his batting so much as his bat as, for a while last season, Anyon had no bat sponsor....
Cricket:ECB and Stanford in Lucrative 'Mid-Summer' Twenty20 Talks
Byline: By Andy Hampson and Timothy Abraham The England and Wales Cricket Board have held "very positive and constructive" talks with Sir Allen Stanford over a lucrative new Twenty20 competition. The ECB are exploring different options as they...
Cricket:Vaughan on Flintoff Watch as All-Rounder Returns to County Action; DIVISION ONE PREVIEW
Byline: By Richard Gibson Michael Vaughan is anticipating the return of all-rounder Andrew Flintoff to England to face New Zealand at some stage this summer and said: "We want him back." Vaughan yesterday welcomed Flintoff's intention to return...
Culture: Alex Is a Peach of Writer; Theatre Alex Jones's New Play Packers Is a Rare West Midlands Premiere for a Black Country Writer Enjoying International Success, Writes Terry Grimley
Byline: Terry Grimley California's Furious Theater had a big hit at the Pasadena Playhouse last year with an apocalyptic comedy set in the aftermath of global warming called Canned Peaches in Syrup. The play is a Romeo and Juliet story set in...
Culture: It's a Family Aff Air as Keiran Gives It the Full Monty; Theatre
Byline: JOHN SLIM'S AMATEUR THEATRE May I add an intriguing postscript to Bournville Musical Theatre Company's superb production of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers? Please don't stop me, because it's worth the telling. Keiran Snowe, who is 12,...
Dealmaking Beating the Credit Crunch; DEALS
Byline: By John Duckers Business Editor Dealmaking is still flourishing despite the credit crunch, three Midlands professional firms have insisted. The market for mid-caps remains buoyant even though global problems have affected the top end,...
Debenhams Sounds Bullish Note despite Latest Profits Fall; RETAIL
Troubled department retail firm Debenhams said it was pleased with progress yesterday, despite seeing a further fall in profits as shoppers tighten their belts. But it said it expected the trading environment to stay challenging as a result of the...
Delegation Hoping to Attract Chinese Investment; EMERGING MARKETS
A high level trade delegation to China is aiming to promote the benefits to Chinese businesses of investing in the West Midlands. Minister for the West Midlands, Liam Byrne is accompanying Chancellor Alistair Darling on the trip to Shandong Province...
Don't Worry, It Won't Be as Painful as the 1990s This Time; HOUSING BACKGROUND
Byline: By Matt Williams and John Duckers The recent wave of gloomy house price data may have sparked fears among homeowners, but nightmarish thoughts of a 1990s-style crash are misplaced, experts believe. There is little doubt that the market...
Dusty Album Casts Fresh Light on Brutal Boer War
Byline: By Martin Andrew A rare 100-year-old wartime photo album featuring graphic pictures of dying British soldiers is set to fetch thousands at auction after being rescued from a bonfire. The historic album features more than 180 unique pictures...
Football:Dann and Fox Not for Sale, Declares Sky Blues Boss; COCA-COLA CHAMPIONSHIP
Byline: By James Peacock Coventry City chairman Ray Ranson has warned Premier League clubs that defensive duo Scott Dann and Dan Fox will not be up for sale in the summer. The England under-21 internationals have had a meteoric rise since arriving...
Football:Nothing Decided on Sunday, Says Jaidi
Byline: By Rob Tanner Birmingham City defender Rahdi Jaidi believes the fight to stay in the Barclays Premier League will go right to the wire, regardless of the outcome of this Sunday's big Birmingham derby at Villa Park. The Tunisian international...
Football:Walsall's Play-Off Hopes Left in Ruins; COCA-COLA LEAGUE ONE
Byline: By Lisa Smith at The Banks's Stadium Walsall 0 Bristol Rovers 1 Walsall's hopes of securing a place in the League One play-offs were all but dashed last night when they slipped up to a solitary firsthalf goal from Bristol Rovers at...
Football:Young: Fans Can Have Big Say; BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE
Byline: By Lisa Smith Ashley Young believes Aston Villa's supporters can make a big difference to how the team performs against arch-rivals Birmingham City by being the team's 12th man come "high noon" on Sunday. Villa's "king of the wing" was...
Gera Strike Makes Life So Lovely for Albion; COCA-COLA CHAMPIONSHIP : Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 West Bromwich Albion 1
Byline: By Rob Tanner at Molineux West Bromwich Albion fans had almost the perfect evening last night. Not only did they savour victory over their Black Country rivals, courtesy of a solitary Zoltan Gera second-half goal, the victory lifted them...
Giles Gives Confident Warwicks New Chance; CRICKET: LV COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP
Byline: By George Dobell Chief Cricket Write Warwickshire take their first steps on the road to recovery this morning, knowing the journey in front of them will be long and, at times, arduous. It hurts Warwickshire supporters to see their club...
Hardly Any Prospect of Golden Year Ahead; MEDIA
Music publisher Chrysalis, whose stable includes artists such as David Bowie, Blondie and Gnarls Barkley, has ended talks with would-be buyers after rejecting a pounds 104 million, 155p per share cash offer for the business. Shares in the firm slumped...
Industry Leaders Blame PM Brown for Worsening Crunch
Byline: By Jonathan Walker Political Editor Business leaders last night attacked Gordon Brown as they accused the Government of making the economic downturn worse. CBI chief Richard Lambert claimed the economy was in trouble "partly as a result...
Is Gosden's Guineas Prospect Infallible?
Byline: By Tom Peacock Once-raced Infallible faces the acid test very early in her career by tackling the Leslie Harrison Memorial Nell Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket this afternoon. Trainer John Gosden has won this 1000 Guineas trial twice in the...
I Will Fix Italy's Problems, Claims Jubilant Berlusconi; INTERNATIONAL
Byline: By Gary Marshall Italy's Silvio Berlusconi yesterday revealed his strategy for dealing with a myriad of problems facing the country, before even being formally asked to become premier for a third time. On the back of a decisive election...
JD Sports Owner Plays a Good Game to Rise above Gloom; RETAIL
The owner of JD Sports rose above the high street gloom to post a doubling in annual profits. John David Group said pretax profits lifted 103 per cent to pounds 35 million in the 53 weeks to February 2, helped by an 11 per cent rise in like-for-like...
Johnson Book Prize Longlist for All Tastes Is Revealed
The "world's richest non-fiction prize"announced this year's longlist yesterday, with subject matter ranging from adventures in the Congo to ballet's first pop icon. Judges for the 2008 BBC4 Samuel Johnson prize announced the 20 titles in the running...
Johnson Role Puts Doubts over Ashton
Byline: By Alex Lowe Brian Ashton will discover exactly what future - if any - he has as England's head coach when Rob Andrew fronts a specially-convened management board meeting at Twickenham today. Andrew is expected to propose World Cupwinning...
Lambert Warns on Credit Crunch Continuing to Hurt UK Economy; ECONOMICS
The impact of the credit crunch will continue to affect the UK economy for some time, the leader of the CBI warned yesterday. Director general Richard Lambert said the climate for entrepreneurs in the UK had become "distinctly chillier" over the past...
LDV's Special Delivery of Eco-Friendly Vehicles; RBS the Royal Bank of Scotland: AUTOMOTIVE
Byline: By John Cranage The West Midlands is set to become a major centre for the manufacture of eco-friendly battery-powered commercial vehicles with news yesterday that Birmingham vanmaker LDV is to enter the sector. The Washwood Heath company...
Leaf Log Using Composted Leaves as Biofuel Is Pure Green Gold; ENTERPRISE ENVIRONMENTAL
A business has struck green gold, turning composted leaves into 'logs' of biofuel that can provide green energy. The Leaf Log, as the invention is known, is the brainchild of Peter Morrison, who as chief executive of BioFuels International has already...
Letter: A Few Facts on Perrott's Folly
Byline: Coun DEIRDRE ALDEN Dear Editor, Lewis Lucas' comments about Perrott's Folly and the surrounding area made my blood boil (Towering inspiration, Post Agenda, April 14). Firstly, the current art exhibition at Perrott's Folly is not the first...
Letter: The Power to Act on Malnutrition in Homes
Byline: STEPHEN O'BRIEN Dear Editor, I was surprised, but pleased, to read your recent report that the Government is planning to give the new Care Quality Commission (CQC) powers to take action on malnutrition in hospitals and care homes (Post,...
Marketing Agency's Pounds 12m Deal with City
Byline: By Tom Scotney Marketing Birmingham, the agency that promotes the city as a tourist destination, has signed a new pounds 12 million contract with Birmingham City Council. The three-year contract, worth twice as much as the previous deal,...
MGTF Decision Could Yet Prove Beneficial for Longbridge
Byline: By Rhona Ganguly The decision by a components supplier to stop manufacturing body-shells for the MG TF sports car could prove beneficial for Longbridge, a union spokesman claimed yesterday. Industry sources said the decision by Stadco...
Midlands Firms Lag UK on Investments Abroad; EMERGING MARKETS
Byline: By Duncan Tift Business Staff Businesses in the West Midlands lag behind the rest of the UK when it comes to moving into emerging markets, a new study from Barclays has shown. From travel and tourism to manufacturing and professional...
New Koi Carp Herpes Vaccine Set to Boost Biotech Firm; PHARMACEUTICALS
Byline: By Duncan Tift Business Staff Henderson Morley, the Birmingham AIM listed biotech firm, will be hoping for an upturn in fortunes after signing a sponsored development and option agreement with Schering-Plough regarding a licence agreement...
Number of Debt Defaulters Looks Set to Double
The number of people unable to keep up with debts looks set to double in 2008 as the credit crunch limits refinancing options, a report warned today. It is thought a million people are struggling with unsecured debt, owing pounds 25 billion, or...
O'Neill Hoping Testimonial Talk Will Ward off Barry's Suitors; BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE
Byline: By Lisa Smith Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill is hoping a lucrative testimonial and the possibility of a new contract which would make Gareth Barry the club's highest-paid player will be enough to keep his "Captain Fantastic" at Villa...
Police Officers Take Battle over Pay Award to Court
Byline: By John Aston Police officers in England and Wales yesterday launched a legal attack over the Government's "morale-hitting" refusal to pay in full the expected 2.5 per cent pay award. Home Secretary Jacqui Smith erred in law when she...
Reforms Make South Africa Ripe for Investment; EMERGING MARKETS South Africa Is Fast Coming of Age. Jeremy Butler, Director of KPMG's New and Emerging Markets Group Based in Birmingham, Looks at Their Private Equity Industry
Byline: Jeremy Butler Despite the fact that South Africa is classed as an emerging economy, it nevertheless has a highly developed economic infrastructure and, according to a 2007 Word Bank report, is ranked as 35th in the world for ease of doing...
Reviews: 'I Do' like a Fun Show; the Wedding Singer Birmingham Hippodrome ****
Byline: Alison Jones Given the job description of The Wedding Singer and the fact this is set in the 80s, it offered the writers an era's worth of "Now that's what I call a back catalogue" to go at. However, instead of pillaging the best, or...
Reviews: Of Spies and Men; Single Spies Malvern Festival Theatre ***
Byline: Terry Grimley Alan Bennett has said his interest in the Cambridge traitors had to do with the idea of exile rather than espionage, to which you might add that to be gay in 1930s Britain must have already been a kind of exile at home. ...
Royal Family Blackmail Case Sex Act Allegation
Two men tried to blackmail a member of the Royal Family with an audio recording featuring claims he had performed a gay sex act, a court heard yesterday. Ian Strachan, 31, and Sean McGuigan, 41, are alleged to have demanded pounds 50,000, an Old...
Rugby Union: Bees in Do-or-Die Fight
Byline: BRIAN DICK 'Basement battle' doesn't even begin to describe this Saturday's colossal match between Pertemps Bees and Sedgley Tigers. 'Relegation showdown' is slightly closer but not sufficiently dramatic, while the oval ball equivalent...
Scan Was Intriguing, but We Need Reassurance of Accuracy; the Bigger Picture Jo Ind Tried out the 3D Scanner for Herself and Greeted the Results with Enthusiasm and Scepticism in Equal Measure
Byline: Jo Ind Taking our clothes off and allowing a stranger to scrutinise an image of our naked body is not something we ordinarily do. But that is precisely what is being asked of people when they are invited to step into a scanner to assess...
Servicemen Killed by Roadside Bomb; INTERNATIONAL
Two British servicemen killed in a roadside bomb as they patrolled close to a major Nato base in Afghanistan on Sunday were named by the Ministry of Defence yesterday. Senior Aircraftman Graham Livingstone of the Royal Air Force Regiment and Senior...
SHARE PRICES: Big Guns Lead FTSE 100 Revival after Five Days; MARKET REPORT
Blue-chip big guns Tesco and Astra-Zeneca led a revival yesterday as the London market broke a five-day losing streak. The grocery giant's pounds 2.85 billion profits haul and the settling of a patent dispute by the drugs company pushed them up...
Somali Teacher Was Killed for His Christian Beliefs
Byline: By Rupert Neate A Birmingham teacher killed in Somalia was targeted because he had converted from Islam to Christianity, his widow claimed yesterday. Daud Hassan Ali, 64, was shot dead in the early hours of Monday outside an English school...
Some Relief as Inflation Stalls despite Warnings; ECONOMICS
Byline: By Nevill Boyd Maunsell Economics Editor To the surprise of economists, inflation stopped getting worse last month. Prices rose by 0.38 per cent between February and March, but that was in line with March last year, so the rise in the...
South African ANC Takes Different Line from Mbeki; INTERNATIONAL
African leaders yesterday publicly criticised Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe regime, breaking their self-imposed silence. South Africa's ruling African National Congress split from President Thabo Mbeki's quiet diplomacy and described the situation as...
Step Down, Lord Jones Told
Byline: By Jonathan Walker Political Editor Angry Labour MPs rounded on Lord Jones of Birmingham last night amid claims he plans to quit the Government because he doesn't want to back Gordon Brown in a General Election. Khalid Mahmood, MP for...
Sun, Sea, Sand and Religious Persecution
Some of the most popular tourist destinations for UK travellers are among the worst nations for persecution of Christians, according to a list published by a charity yesterday. A so-called "sun, sea, sand and persecution" list published by the charity...
Supermarket Giant Sees Relentless Rise Continuing; RETAIL
Byline: By Tom Scotney Business Staff Supermarket giant Tesco forged ahead despite the tough market conditions yesterday, reporting a pounds 2.8 billion annual profit in a record start to its financial year. Tesco, the world's third-biggest food...
Tale of Bishop Declared a Saint to Be Revealed
The extraordinary tale of how a dead bishop reputedly resurrected a hanged man in the Middle Ages and was declared a saint by the Pope is the subject of a TV documentary tonight Thomas de Cantilupe, Bishop of Hereford from 1275-82, is credited with...
Tata Group More Than Doubles Sales in China; EMERGING MARKETS
Sales of India's Tata Group - the conglomerate that has agreed to buy Jaguar and Land Rover - in China more than doubled in the financial year ended in March to pounds 325 million. The group's procurement in the country surged by 300 per cent to...
THE BIRMINGHAM POST: Creating Jobs
Uncertainty surrounds the future of vehicle production at Longbridge. Almost three years after Nanjing Automotive bought the plant, not a single car has been sent to showrooms. Nanjing was in turn acquired by its competitor SAIC, and this may...
THE BIRMINGHAM POST: GOATs Will Be the Exception Not the Rule
Who hasn't on occasion wondered why the politicians can't stop arguing and just work together to do what's best for the country? It was this plea that Gordon Brown sought to answer when he appointed Digby Jones to his ministerial team. Sir Digby...
Top Boss' Fight against Red Tape; ENTERPRISE REGULATION
Byline: By Tom Scotney Enterprise Editor One of the Midlands' richest men has called for the regulatory burden on small businesses to be lifted. Bob Edmiston, who owns business assets worth half a billion pounds, said employment and health and...
Trade Links with Fujian and Hong Kong Grow; EMERGING MARKETS
Birmingham businesses wanting to find out how to develop and grow sourcing and manufacturing links with Hong Kong and China's Fujian province will find out more at a seminar in the city tomorrow. The seminar, organised by Hong Kong's investment...
Two BA Executives Go after Terminal 5 Debacle
Byline: By Peter Woodman Two top British Airways executives yesterday paid the price for the Heathrow Terminal 5 (T5) fiasco. BA said that "following the airline's move to T5", operations director Gareth Kirkwood and customer services director...
Ulster Killing Inquiry to Probe 'State Collusion'
The inquiry into the murder of solicitor Rosemary Nelson opened yesterday declaring its intentions to probe allegations that the state colluded in the murder of one of its own citizens. The independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding...
Utilities Still Exercising Powers Accordant with a Monopoly; ENTERPRISE
Byline: MIKE CHERRY When is a contract not a contract? Seemingly, when purchasing your gas or electricity, from one of the main suppliers. With the large price increases being demanded of business by most energy suppliers, one would have thought...
Vickery Limps out as Wasps Match On
Wasps continued their late-season charge towards the Guinness Premiership play-offs with a seventh consecutive league victory. But last night's 29-19 victory over Sale was overshadowed by a potentially serious knee injury to England captain Phil...
Watchdog Clips easyJet Wings over Fares Advert
Low-cost airline easyJet broke advertising rules by raising fares after promising a 25 per cent discount on all its routes, a watchdog said yesterday. Some passengers taking advantage of the Easter deal would have paid more for a seat than before...
We Must Not Talk Ourselves into Recession, Warns Boss
Byline: By Jonathan Walker Political Editor The West Midlands economy is still strong despite gloomy economic forecasts, the head of a leading business organisation insisted yesterday. Richard Edwards, chairman of Birmingham Forward, which represents...
Western Europe Car Sales Feel Pinch; RBS the Royal Bank of Scotland: AUTOMOTIVE
The crisis in the financial markets sent new car sales sharply into reverse across Europe last month. Registrations in the 25 EU and three EFTA countries slumped 9.5 per cent to 1,654,214 in March, a fall of nearly 173,000 compared with the same...
West Midlands House Prices Were Already Stuck; HOUSING
Byline: By Nevill Boyd Maunsell Economics Editor House prices in the West Midlands, which Halifax reported fell sharply in March, had already been rising more slowly than elsewhere in Britain. Numbers from the Department of Communities and Local...
You're Not Stupid, Gordon. but Please Don't Treat Us as If We Are
Byline: NEVILL BOYD MAUNSELL Gordon Brown has many failings. We have been chronicling them for years. But, whatever else, the man is not stupid. His problem is that he has convinced himself that the rest of us are. Yesterday, he eyed a...