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Hard times won't stop the carnival

TIMES ARE tough but one thing is certain – cutting costs is not going to stop the Birmingham Carnival because it’s a dazzling extravaganza that has been part of the city’s cultural heritage for far too long.

These are the determined words of Ava Johnson, one of the stalwarts of Birmingham Carnival 2000 Ltd, who is now campaigning to get carnival back on the road for 2016 – and that means making plans now.

Poet Lemn Sissay becomes Manchester University chancellor

THE AUTHOR and writer Lemn Sissay has been officially announced as the next chancellor of the University of Manchester.

Sissay beat off strong competition from former Labour politician Lord Peter Mandelson and Hallé Orchestra music director Sir Mark Elder to be elected to the post.

In a ballot of university staff and former students, Sissay received 7,131 votes while Sir Mark polled 5,483 and Lord Mandelson received 5,269 votes.


Sissay said he was proud to be chancellor of the university and extremely grateful to everyone who voted for him.

Family angry at medics after mum-to-be dies

THE FAMILY of a pregnant woman who collapsed and died at Kensal Rise station is considering legal action after claiming they have been failed by the NHS.

Estherline Caulker, 39, was 26 weeks pregnant when she collapsed while waiting for a train.

An inquest into her death at Inner London Coroner’s Court heard that paramedics took her to Homerton Hospital in Hackney, rather than the nearest A&E department 10 minutes away after they were called to the scene on January 16 this year.

Damilola Taylor Trust debt-free months after near closure

THE DAMILOLA Taylor Trust (DTT) – the charity founded in memory of murdered schoolboy Damilola Taylor – has been able to clear all its debts just six months into a furious fundraising drive sparked by its near closure.

The campaign was the brainchild of Listen Fundraising, an award-winning telemarketing agency, whose fundraisers’ voluntary efforts resulted in £20,000 of vital income for the struggling organisation – which the company itself then doubled.

‘We did take black voters for granted’

THE LABOUR party has been taking ethnic minority voters for granted, according to all four leadership contenders who spoke at a special hustings held in London last week.

Veteran MP Keith Vaz, one of the first group of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) MPs to enter parliament – hosted the event held in Harrow, northwest London, on June 26.

“All of tonight’s candidates have a superb record in representing diverse communities and I look forward to hearing their vision for our party,” said Vaz as he introduced the panel.

[BREAKING] Officer not guilty of murdering Azelle Rodney

POLICE MARKSMAN Anthony Long has been cleared of murder at the Old Bailey - 10 years after he shot dead 24-year-old suspected armed robber Azelle Rodney.

The former Metropolitan Police officer fired eight short-range shots in just over two seconds at the unarmed man inside a car he had stopped, a court heard.

Long, 58, from Surrey, denied the murder of Rodney, who was hit six out of the eight shots and fatally injured, reported the BBC.

One of the shots fired hit his head as he sat in the backseat of a car that had been under police surveillance.

Lammy shares his vision for London with black entrepreneurs

LONDON MAYORAL hopeful David Lammy yesterday addressed an audience featuring some of the city’s leading young entrepreneurs as the Labour MP laid out his big vision for the capital.

Tottenham MP Lammy is challenging Labour heavyweights Tessa Jowell and Sadiq Khan – tipped as frontrunners – in a contest to be their party’s candidate for the 2016 election.

Lammy was keen to point out that his two rivals both had access to “professional and well-financed teams”.

Rainham schoolboy missing from his home for two weeks

POLICE ARE appealing for help to find a teenager missing from Rainham.

Shaheed Forde-Bryan, 14, left his home on Sunday (Jun 14) and has not returned.

He was last seen by friends on Friday (Jun 26) in Rainham.

Shaheed is described as black, 5ft 6ins tall and of slim build. It is not known what he might be wearing.

His family and officers are growing increasingly concerned for his welfare.

Anyone who has information concerning his whereabouts should call Havering Police’s Missing Persons Unit on 101 or call Missing People on 116000

Two young friends missing from north London

NORTH LONDON police are appealing for the whereabouts of two young friends who have not been since last night (July 1).

Starr Stephenson-Peck, 12 and Samina Abdul, 13, were last seen at approximately 21:15 on Sydney Road with the junction of Roman Road in Muswell Hill.

Starr from Muswell Hill is a black female of medium build around 5ft 10ins and has black hair.

Samina, of Barnet, is also a black female of medium build with black hair extensions which are braided.

Google 'sorry' after photo app labels black friends gorillas

GOOGLE HAS apologised after its photo app assigned the word ‘gorilla' to images of black people.

The blunder was brought to the company’s attention when user Jacky Alciné noticed it had filed a number of photos of him and his black friend in an automatically generated album named 'gorillas'.

Alciné, a computer programmer, took to Twitter to post proof of the Google Photos error, along with the question: "What kind of sample image data you collected that would result in this son?"

"Google Photos, y'all f***ed up. My friend's not a gorilla."