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Category: Birmingham

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Shooting fiasco makes the Commonwealth Games look silly once again

The organisers of Birmingham 2022 dropped the sport from the schedule but have now reinstated it, 7,000km away in IndiaJon Oliver, on his HBO show Last Week Tonight, runs an occasional series called How Is This Still A Thing? Over the years he has done…

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Birmingham gets ready for 2022 Commonwealth Games

Locals in host city have concerns any benefits will be short term, while others are optimistic the event will unite everyoneIn the summer of 2022, thousands of athletes, officials and fans from more than 70 nations and territories will descend on Birmi…

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England players return to muted reception in Birmingham

Crowd of about 400 greet World Cup squad after fans were advised to stay away England’s World Cup squad landed at Birmingham airport to a muted fanfare as they were greeted by a few hundred supporters behind barbed-wire fences.Fans had been warned to s…

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A pioneer, but first a footballer: how West Brom celebrates Cyrille the King

At the iron gates of the Hawthorns, fans gathered to share memories of Cyrille Regis, the first black hero of English footballAs any pub quiz regular will tell you, the Hawthorns, home of West Bromwich Albion since 1900, is the highest league football …

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Birmingham named as 2022 Commonwealth Games host city

• Games to be held in England for first time since 2002• Cost of holding the event expected to be around £750mBirmingham has been confirmed as the host city of the 2022 Commonwealth Games, bringing the multi-sport event to England for the first time si…

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Birmingham set to be confirmed as host for 2022 Commonwealth Games

• Formal announcement expected on Thursday morning• Durban stripped of Games in March because of financial difficultiesBirmingham is set to be confirmed as the host for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.The Games were originally awarded to Durban in 2015 but…

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Behind the scenes on Birmingham derby day with football fans and police – video

Police on the streets separating rival supporters, cordons restricting access around the ground, holding the away end back after full time: these are familiar experiences for football fans attending derbies up and down the country. Here we go behind th…

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Commonwealth Games: Birmingham beats Liverpool for 2022 endorsement

West Midlands hub picked as recommended city for England’s bid after application highlighted that 95% of its venues were already in place

Birmingham has been chosen over Liverpool for England’s bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games, with an “exciting and inspirational” bid it hopes will seal its title as the UK’s second city.

The West Midlands hub impressed judges with its promise to show off British business alongside the Games, which will take place three years after Brexit.

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Birmingham bids to host 2026 Commonwealth Games

City hopes for £390m economic windfall from event and points to £740m generated for Scottish economy by Glasgow games

Birmingham is bidding to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games, which it hopes could result in a £390m economic windfall.

Civic leaders said the sporting event would be able to “showcase the very best” of the city and deliver a “huge economic impact” to the West Midlands.

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Hillsborough verdict a damning indictment of the British establishment | Letters

I was living in Sheffield in 1989, and bought a copy of the Sheffield Star’s special edition on the tragedy, published the following day, on Sunday 16 April, which I still have (After 27 years, justice, 27 April). Reading it again, in the context of the inquest verdicts, it is striking to note that the paper’s account of the disaster, written by local reporters in the hours following it, and based on eyewitness accounts, is virtually identical in its conclusions to that of the jury’s verdicts 27 years later. The front page explicitly states that “Liverpool fans were not to blame, but the victims.” It also describes the decision of Duckenfield (not named at that stage) to open the gate as “a moment of madness”, which “backfired in a catastrophe which brought about the biggest soccer tragedy in the history of the British game”. Harry Livermore, the lawyer who represented the Heysel stadium defendants, and who was at the game in a different stand, is quoted as saying that the tragedy “was entirely due to the inefficiency of Sheffield Wednesday FC for their lack of proper organisation, and the inefficiency of the Sheffield police. It may be hard luck that they are held responsible – but this again is a tragedy that should never have happened”.

It was crystal clear from the very outset what had happened and who was to blame. This makes the subsequent lies and cover-up, and the extent to which they were believed, even more damning. The perpetrators of those lies should be held to account just as surely as should those whose negligence and stupidity caused the disaster in the first place.
Isabella Stone
Matlock, Derbyshire

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Britain’s 95-year-old world sprint champion – video

Meet Charles Eugster, Britain’s 95-year-old world sprint champion. The nonagenarian broke the 200m sprint world record for his age group at the World Masters Athletics in Birmingham last August and has now gone viral, after footage of his run was poste…

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Trinity Mirror launches digital-first strategy as users flock to websites

Trinity Mirror is to launch the next phase of its digital-first strategy with a restructure of its operations in the north-east by taking a giant step into the future.

Under the slogan Newsroom 3.1, the company is introducing a new publishing process in its Newcastle and Teesside newsrooms.

In the coming months a similar digital-first working system will be rolled out to the publisher’s other regional centres in Birmingham, Cardiff, Liverpool, Manchester and Huddersfield.

It comes against the background of a rapid increase in online audiences. Trinity Mirror recorded 119m page views on its regional sites in February alone, a year-on-year rise of 72%.

“There has been huge growth in the past year,” says the company’s regional chief, Neil Benson. Together, the regionals and the nationals (largely the Daily Mirror), are now drawing more than 60m uniques a month.

In a press release, Benson is quoted as saying: “Digitally, we have made great progress over several years but we now need to accelerate the growth and engagement level of our digital audiences.

“In an era when audiences want access to live-up-to-the-minute information across a variety of platforms, our working day will no longer be built around our print products.

“The new structure gives us the capability to produce more digital content all day and every day, while still producing brilliant newspapers.”

In practical terms, it means that the entire focus of newsrooms throughout the day will be on posting copy online. Previously, there was a tendency to favour digital in the mornings and then work on print after that.

Now content will be created in order to hit key digital audience spikes across the day, ensuring that users can find refreshed and new content each time they visit a website.

That online content will then be edited and packaged into the print versions of the north-east region’s newspapers – the Chronicle, Evening Gazette, Journal and Sunday Sun.

It amounts, in other words, to a change in the mind-set for the editors and journalists. Print comes second and with it, a change of editorial emphasis in the newspaper – “less megaphone, more discussion,” says Benson.

As for the effect on jobs, the overall size of the north-east’s editorial team will increase by 17. There will be 25 new roles but eight existing staff are at the risk of redundancy.

Among the new digital positions will be jobs specifically aimed at increasing audience engagement and driving traffic, such as social media editors, planning analysts and advance content writers.

In addition, two football roles will be created with a Newcastle United editor and a Middlesbrough FC editor.

Darren Thwaites, the publisher’s north-east editor-in-chief says: “The demand for local content is as great as ever and it’s our job to give the audience what they want, when they want it.”

Evidently, Newsroom 3.1 will make maximum use of content through SEO and social media as well as through digital analytics tools, such as Chartbeat and Omniture.

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Football fan fined for ripping up Qur’an at match

Middlesbrough supporter Mark Stephenson ordered to pay £235 for tearing and pretending to set fire to pages

A football fan who ripped up pages of the Qur’an during a match has been fined.

Mark Stephenson, a Middlesbrough season-ticket holder, was ordered to pay £235 by magistrates.

The 25-year-old from Shrewsbury committed the religiously aggravated public order offence last December during Middlesbrough’s Championship fixture at Birmingham City. He was reportedly “shocked and appalled” at his own actions.

The purchasing manager was among a group of about 20 visiting supporters who were handed pages of the Qur’an by a woman during the match.

Jonathan Purser, prosecuting, told Birmingham magistrates court that Stephenson, who had no previous convictions or cautions, was seen with a lighter, apparently pretending to set fire to some of the pages. Stephenson told a steward who asked what the book was: “It’s the Muslim bible: we hate Muslims.”

Other fans were shouting and chanting at the time of the offence, and the words Qur’an, Muslims and burning were overheard by a steward.

Defence solicitor Ash Mistry told magistrates that his client had been drinking alcohol before the match and at half-time, and had very little recollection of his actions.

Magistrates opted not to impose a football banning order on Stephenson.

theguardian.com © 2014 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds



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Football fan fined for ripping up Qur’an at match

Middlesbrough supporter Mark Stephenson ordered to pay £235 for tearing and pretending to set fire to pages

A football fan who ripped up pages of the Qur’an during a match has been fined.

Mark Stephenson, a Middlesbrough season-ticket holder, was ordered to pay £235 by magistrates.

The 25-year-old from Shrewsbury committed the religiously aggravated public order offence last December during Middlesbrough’s Championship fixture at Birmingham City. He was reportedly “shocked and appalled” at his own actions.

The purchasing manager was among a group of about 20 visiting supporters who were handed pages of the Qur’an by a woman during the match.

Jonathan Purser, prosecuting, told Birmingham magistrates court that Stephenson, who had no previous convictions or cautions, was seen with a lighter, apparently pretending to set fire to some of the pages. Stephenson told a steward who asked what the book was: “It’s the Muslim bible: we hate Muslims.”

Other fans were shouting and chanting at the time of the offence, and the words Qur’an, Muslims and burning were overheard by a steward.

Defence solicitor Ash Mistry told magistrates that his client had been drinking alcohol before the match and at half-time, and had very little recollection of his actions.

Magistrates opted not to impose a football banning order on Stephenson.

theguardian.com © 2014 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds