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Cricket set to be left out of Birmingham’s 2022 Commonwealth Games bid

Cricket will not be included as part of Birmingham’s bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, according to politicians in the city.

The sport had been expected to feature in Birmingham’s plans should they be awarded the Games due to the involvement of Warwickshire County Cricket Club chief executive Neil Snowball, who also served as head of sports operations at the London 2012 Olympic Games, in the bid.

They were also considering the sport as part of their initial attempt at securing the hosting rights for the 2026 Games.

However, it has now been claimed that Birmingham 2022 will omit the sport from their proposals.

Ian Ward, deputy leader of Birmingham City Council and chair of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games Steering Group, claimed the reason behind the decision to exclude the sport was because the International Cricket Council (ICC) "is not in a position to allow both men’s and women’s Twenty 20 cricket competitions in a Commonwealth Games".

Discussions are expected to continue between the ICC and the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) over cricket’s future at the event.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), who have previously been against the idea, appear to be in favour.

Director of cricket at the ECB Andrew Strauss, the former England captain, told ESPN Cricinfo that he would be "very supportive" earlier this year.

The CGF had invited the ICC to submit an application for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, but it is understood it was met with opposition from several members across the world, including the ECB.

"It’s clear that cricket is no longer featuring,” said Conservative opposition leader and councillor for Erdington Robert Alden told the Birmingham Mail.

Edgbaston has held the first day/night Test match to take place in England ©Getty Images

"It’s very disappointing.

"I understand that’s because there are limits on the number of competitors we can bring in.

"We are looking at a shortened version of basketball – the 3×3 game – but why are we not looking at the shortened version of cricket."

Labour councillor for Hodge Hill and cabinet member Majid Mahmood said not having cricket at the Games was "ludicrous".

Women’s cricket was scheduled to be on the programme at Durban 2022 before the South African city was stripped of the hosting rights for the event earlier this year after failing to meet a series of financial deadlines.

Liverpool, Birmingham’s rival in the battle to become England’s candidate for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, have included cricket as part of their bid.

Cricket at Liverpool 2022 would take place at Old Trafford, located in Manchester.

Birmingham also have an ideal venue to host the sport, with Edgbaston considered one of England’s leading cricket grounds.

It regularly hosts England Test matches and staged the country’s inaugural day/night Test between the hosts and the West Indies.

England are not the only country in the frame to replace South Africa.

Victoria in Canada has indicated that it will bid, while Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia could be another contender.

Australia has also expressed an interest, but this seems unlikely with Gold Coast hosting the 2018 Commonwealth Games next year.

The country has said they will only formally enter the race if another host cannot be found.

insidethegames has contacted Birmingham 2022 for comment.

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Birmingham one of 13 U.S. cities dedicated to ending spread of AIDS by 2030

(Erin Edgemon | eedgemon@al.com)

Birmingham is one of 13 cities in the United States to join the Paris Declaration to end the spread of AIDS by 2030.

Mayor William Bell signed a declaration last week pledging to dedicate local resources in the fight to end AIDS.

State agencies, local organizations and the University of Alabama at Birmingham are partnering to achieve the following goals by 2020: 90 percent of people living with HIV will know their HIV status; 90 percent of those who know their status will be engaged in care and on antiretroviral therapy (ART); and 90 percent of those on ART achieving full viral suppression, UAB stated in a release.

Partners include the city of Birmingham, Alabama Department of Public Health, Jefferson County Department of Public Health, Birmingham AIDS Outreach, Altheia House and others.

"If we can achieve the 90-90-90 plan by 2020, along with zero stigma and discrimination against those living with HIV/AIDS, we will be on our way to ending the spread of HIV/AIDS by 2030," said Michael Mugavero, professor in the UAB Division of Infectious Diseases and co-director for the UAB Center for AIDS Research (CFAR). "The only way to effectively do this is by coming together as a community to commit all of our resources to achieve this goal."

Currently, almost 40 percent of all individuals infected with HIV in Alabama are still not suppressed, meaning their virus is not under complete control with medication, according to UAB.

"The research at UAB continues to advance within the HIV/AIDS field," said Michael Saag, founder of the UAB 1917 Clinic and director of the UAB CFAR. "Without buy-in from our community, we can do only so much to educate, diagnose and treat those living with HIV/AIDS. This partnership will propel us to ‘bend the curve’ downward, leading to eliminating the spread of a disease that continues to take lives."

The UAB CFAR is one of the seven inaugural Centers for AIDS Research established in 1988 by the National Institutes of Health. The UAB CFAR was among the first to make the newest, most effective treatments available to patients, including the combination therapy that today is the standard of care.

The center recently launched a 90-90-90 scientific working group as a centerpiece of the center’s strategic plan, according to the university. As a chartered university-wide research center, UAB CFAR stimulates interdisciplinary, translational AIDS research that bridges basic, clinical and behavioral sciences.

The Fast-Track Cities initiative was launched on World AIDS Day 2014 in Paris, France. More than 70 high-burden cities around the world have since signed the Paris Declaration on Fast-Track Cities Ending AIDS and engaged political leaders, affected communities, civil society, city health officials, clinical and service providers, and other stakeholders to accelerate their local AIDS responses.

Former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman addresses audience members before a screening of the documentary "Atticus v. The Architect" about his prosecution and imprisonment during the Netroots Nation conference in Atlanta, Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017. Siegelman is maintaining his innocence just days after completing his 78-month sentence on public corruption charges. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

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How To Survive Your Move To Birmingham Apartments

Moving to Birmingham apartments can be extremely stressful for everyone, and that’s especially the case if you don’t prepare ahead of time for your move. Though you can’t eliminate all moving anxiety, the fact is that there are a few ways to make the process go seamlessly!

*Make sure you save up enough money for your move so you don’t have to worry about rent, going to work right away, and decorating your place. Birmingham apartments are a great place to live, but you need to be able to pay your rent on time and turn your new apartment into a home. It’s a good idea to have about three month’s rent for backup!

*Have a bed and linens ready to install to ensure your first night at your new place is reassuring and isn’t filled with anxiety. It can be hard to fall asleep in a new place, but when you have your favorite bed with you it can remind you of home!

*Before your move, make sure that all of your boxes are properly labeled and everything is arranged according to category. You really wouldn’t want to mix your bathroom towels with your kitchen utensils. You’ll be glad you took the time to organize everything according to location and you’ll have an easier time putting things away.

*Organization is key to making sure that you don’t feel overwhelmed in your new apartment. Go to a local charity shop and get some baskets to organize odds and ends. It’s important to not have empty boxes lying around and stuff all over the place when getting settled.

There are plenty of ways you can feel more at ease in your new apartment by following the tips above. Planning ahead and keeping anxiety at bay are always good ways to start!

Luther Strange: People of Alabama are fed up with lying politicians

U.S. Senator Luther Strange speaks at the Huntsville Madison County Chamber of Commerce Washington Update Luncheon at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, Ala. Wednesday May 31st. (Bob Gathany / bgathany@AL.com)

By U.S. Senator Luther Strange

The people of Alabama are fed up. They are tired of politicians who lie to them, and they are sick of elected officials who’ve been in Washington so long they’ve forgotten why they ran in the first place. Washington, D.C., as President Trump has put it, has become a swamp where the public good is far from most politicians’ minds.

What I see in Washington reminds me of what I saw in Montgomery when I was first elected Alabama’s Attorney General. In Montgomery, corruption was the problem, so I assembled the finest public corruption prosecution team in the country. Their work wasn’t always popular with the mainstream media or the local politicians. We didn’t let that stop us. Instead, we prosecuted a Speaker of the House who had sold his office for personal gain and sent a message to every elected official in Alabama that corruption wouldn’t be tolerated. And when Governor Bentley resigned his office, it was my team that put together the evidence that finally forced him to do the right thing.

There’s corruption in Washington, too, but the real problem is more subtle. It’s apathy, born of public officials spending too much time inside the Beltway and too little time with the constituents they represent. And it leads to promises broken and the people forgotten.

When Jeff Sessions represented us in the United States Senate, he never fell victim to this apathy, and when I was honored with the opportunity to fill his shoes, I committed to following his example.

So when I became your Senator, I made three promises:

I promised to carry on Jeff Session’s legacy of fighting for the conservative values we believe in. I promised to help pass the Trump agenda and serve the people’s interest, not the special interests. And I promised to help Donald Trump drain the swamp in Washington. Every day, I’ve worked to make those promises a reality.

I drafted and proposed a law to secure our borders and build the border wall–and make the sanctuary cities pay for it. I have introduced the most conservative pro-life legislation in the history of the Senate, declaring that life begins at fertilization and that the unborn deserve the same Constitutional protections we have. And I have continued my fight to protect the Second Amendment by introducing legislation to rollback Obama’s efforts to curtail our God-given rights.

Fighting for these common sense proposals hasn’t been easy. I’ve got the fake news stories and the angry #NeverTrump politicians and PACs to show for it. But we are just getting started, and we have a lot of work left to do – repealing Obamacare, reforming our tax code, rebuilding our military and rolling back job-killing regulations.

President Obama had eight years to pass bad legislation and enact poorly conceived executive orders that grew the size of government and shrunk the freedoms–and the paychecks–of the American people. While I was Attorney General, we fought back against many of these proposals, and we won, too. Now we need to finish the job in the Senate.

There’s an election coming up, and in that election the people of our state will choose their next Senator. I am asking for your vote to finish the work we have begun. Draining a swamp is hard work, but it’s worth it. And it’s what the people of Alabama deserve.

AL.com has invited each of the candidates for United States Senate to submit one op-ed ahead of the August 15 primary.

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£246 Million Battery Technology Investment To Be Launched By Business Secretary In Birmingham

The first phase of a £246 million Government investment into battery technology is being launched.

Business Secretary Greg Clark said the aim is to ensure the UK leads the world in the design, development and manufacture of electric batteries.

Known as the Faraday Challenge, the four-year investment round is a key part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy. It will deliver a programme of competitions that will aim to boost the research and development of battery technology.

Birmingham’s car industry and universities are engaged in research to make electric batteries more efficient, more compact and longer lasting to power our vehicles of the future and lessen the economy’s dependence on oil, as well as boost our economy.

The West Midlands has already launched a bid to open a national battery research centre in Coventry.

The minister will tell a meeting hosted by the Resolution Foundation at the University of Birmingham today: “To enjoy a high and rising standard of living we must plan to be more productive than in the past.

“Economists have pointed to what they have called a productivity puzzle in Britain. That we appear to generate less value for our efforts than, say, people in Germany or France.

“In other words, we have to work longer to get the same rewards.

“It’s not that we want – or need – people to work longer hours. It’s that we need to ensure that we find and seize opportunities to work more productively as a country, as cities and regions, as businesses and as individuals.”

“If we can do so, we can increase the earning power of our country and our people.”

Mr Clark said there had been an “extraordinary” reaction to a Green Paper on the Industrial Strategy, with over 1,900 written responses, from new start-ups to big businesses and from organisations as diverse as the Premier League to the Women’s Engineering Society.

The Farday Challenge

Mr Clark says the investment will begin by bringing together the UK’s best minds and facilities to create a Battery Institute.

He says: ” The most promising research completed by the Institute will be moved closer to the market through industrial collaborations led by Innovate UK.

“And the Advanced Propulsion Centre will work with the automotive sector to identify the best proposition for a new state-of-the-art open access National Battery Manufacturing Development facility.

“The work that we do through the Faraday Challenge will – quite literally – power the automotive and energy revolution where, already, the UK is leading the world.”

The Faraday Challenge’s competitions are divided into three streams – research, innovation and scale-up – designed to drive a step-change in translating the UK’s world-leading research into market-ready technology that ensures economic success for the UK:

Research: To support world class research and training in battery materials, technologies and manufacturing processes, the Government has opened a £45m competition, led by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), to bring the best minds and facilities together to create a virtual Battery Institute. The successful consortium of universities will be responsible for undertaking research looking to address the key industrial challenges in this area.

Innovation: The most promising research completed by the Institute will be moved closer to the market through collaborative research and development competitions, led by Innovate UK. The initial competitions will build on the best of current world-leading science already happening in the UK and helping make the technology more accessible for UK businesses. ‘

Scale-up: To further develop the real-world use and application of battery technology the Government has opened a competition, led by the Advanced Propulsion Centre, to identify the best proposition for a new state-of-the-art open access National Battery Manufacturing Development facility.

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Back Smaller Builders To Tackle Housing Shortage Says Wayne Hemingway

Fashion giant turned urban designer Wayne Hemingway has called on Government to speed up house building for young people.

Mr Hemingway, who famously founded the Red or Dead fashion house, told a meeting of council bosses at the Library of Birmingham that they should emulate Birmingham City Council’s Municipal Housing Trust to tackle the national shortage.

The Housing Trust is currently the largest house builder in the West Midlands with 800 properties under construction and more in the pipeline, and is looking to rapidly expand its output to help meet the city’s target of 89,000 new homes by 2031.

But he said the Government also needed to encourage more smaller building firms to start developing rather than wait for the big construction beasts who he accuses of restricting housing growth to drive up demand and keep profits high.

Mr Hemingway said his staff, many professional young people earning a good living in the creative industries, could never afford a house and have nowhere decent to rent. “Most of them are in constant dispute with their landlords,” he said. “And there are people in a much worse position than them.”

“For those of us over 40 there was a feeling that if you rolled your sleeves up and put a bit of elbow grease you would most likely do better than your parents.”

He added young people today do not have that feeling.

He called for a change in the market to encourage smaller local building firms. Asked what the Government and town halls can do he said: “They can help people who will build faster while working with less margins.

!I know from my years in the industry the big house builders will build more slowly than they could, they will blame staff shortages, they will blame skill shortages but ultimately they often release a certain amount of homes every month which keeps demand up, keeps the price up and doesn’t serve society.

!When we get a big site of 300 or 400 homes it needs to be split among SMEs like Clive Jessup or Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust who all go on to a development and build it out fast.”

He said this will increase the pace and quality of the building through direct competition.”

He went on to praise Birmingham’s architectural renaissance, noting the large amount of construction work around Paradise, Arena Central and Centenary Square. He said: “I think the Library of Birmingham is a fantastic building. Birmingham is being noticed.”

Council leader John Clancy hosted the Local Government Association Conference event with Clive Jessup of Birmingham construction firm Jessup Brothers.

The council used the event to launch its document “Building great homes, creating great places” targeted at other councils and developers.

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Mario Addison Speaks At Housing Authority’s ‘Man To Man’ Event

Mario Addison speaks at the “Man to Man” event.(

He may have played in the Super Bowl, but the NFL’s Mario Addison told a group of Birmingham man that life is about more than athletic achievement.

Addison, who grew up in North Birmingham Homes, spoke to almost 200 people this week as a part of the Housing Authority of the Birmingham District’s “Man to Man” event.

(Special)

Addison will also host a football camp for HABD youth this summer.

The program at the Smithfield Community Center brought together 180 men of all ages participating in this summer’s HABD summer camp. Addison, a defensive end for the Carolina Panthers, urged the young men to seek and embrace the positive examples that are already present in their daily lives.

“It doesn’t always have to be your parents. There are other people,” he said, motioning to the HABD staff lining the walls as examples.

Though Addison said playing in the NFL has been like “a dream come true,” it’s not the only thing of importance in his life. He has had to adjust to his role as the father of an 8-year-old girl.

As a parent, Addison said he now understands that every decision he makes will impact his child.

“It ain’t all about Mario anymore,” he said.

Addison told the group of teenagers and adolescents that it’s important to plan now for what they want to become in life. Athletics is not a guaranteed path to success. Even he is beginning to plan for life once his professional football career is over.

“We need more firemen, we need more teachers and lawyers, policemen,” he said.

The event this week is an expansion of the annual HABD Fatherhood initiative. Activities in June are part of the national HUD initiative to promote fatherhood and positive lifestyles for men. The program this year includes outreach to younger men as well. Activities will continue throughout the summer, including a midnight basketball program.

“This was amazing. For a former resident to come back and spend time with our kids spoke volumes for me,” said Cardell Davis, chairman of the HABD Board of Commissioners, who also participated in the panel discussion.

Addison ended the event with a drawing where two boys were awarded a shopping spree to Academy Sports next week.

HABD President/CEO Michael Lundy called Addison the prefect person to speak to the young men.

“The thing about his story is it’s so realistic,” Lundy said. “He talked about the mentors in his life, and if it weren’t for the people in his life he would not have made it. Even with the ups and down, he still made it. The kids could identify with that.”

Former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb is running for the Democratic nomination for governor. (Greg Garrison/ggarrison@al.com)

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Neighborhood Voices: Crestline

Hunter Williams speaks about the recent wave of crime in his area, and what he would like to see done about it.

Image courtesy of Google Maps.

Weld’s “Neighborhood Voices” series features interviews with the presidents of each of Birmingham’s 99 neighborhood associations about the strengths and challenges facing their communities. If you are a neighborhood leader and would like your neighborhood to be included, you can reach out to us at sam@weldbham.com.

The Crestline neighborhood sits east of Birmingham as a suburb of Mountain Brook, just south of Interstate 20 and Montclair Road and north of Old Leeds Road. Crestline borders the city of Mountain Brook and Birmingham’s Eastwood neighborhood. According to the Birmingham Housing Survey, the population of Crestline is 3,154. Parts of the neighborhood are represented by District 2’s Kim Rafferty and District 3’s Valerie Abbott.

Last week, Crestline Neighborhood President Hunter Williams spoke with Weld about concerns over crime and having all neighborhoods treated equally by city leaders.

Weld: Why did you decide to become your neighborhood’s president?

Hunter Williams: I wanted to become more involved. I think that there is a lot of momentum in Birmingham right now, and at the same time there is a lot that needs improving with our city. Instead of being on the sidelines, being neighborhood president was a good way that I could help contribute to fixing some of the issues we have locally.

Weld: How would you characterize the community involvement among members of your neighborhood?

Hunter Williams: Crestline is a very involved neighborhood. Most residents know each other and look after each other, probably more so now than ever with the large increase of crime our area has been experiencing.

Weld: What are some of the biggest problems facing your neighborhood?

Williams: Our number one issue in our neighborhood is crime. Burglaries, auto thefts, et cetera, are becoming commonplace. We would like to see more police presence in Crestline to help deter the increase in crime.

Weld: What are some other ways in which you’d like to see your neighborhood improve?

Williams: We would like to see the mayor’s office and the city council give our neighborhood the same resources they give other neighborhoods. We need sidewalks in certain high-pedestrian-trafficked areas, as well as street re-paving throughout the entire neighborhood. Initiatives like Operation Greenwave have taken services away from our area. If you drive through Crestline, all of the right-of-ways and public property need to be cut and have not been for a long time.

Weld: In what ways do you think the Birmingham city government could help your neighborhood improve and flourish?

Williams: The city of Birmingham could allocate public safety resources and tax dollars to our area. We understand that the growth of our city center is important to the city as a whole and benefits our neighborhood. However, it is also important that the city does not neglect any of the 99 neighborhoods.

Weld: What do you want Birmingham citizens outside of your neighborhood to know about your neighborhood?

Williams: Crestline is a great neighborhood for anyone looking to move. Property values have been steadily increasing over the past years, and people are always moving into the area. The people are always nice and welcoming, and it is convenient to grocery stores and several restaurants.

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Major Plans For £125m Birmingham Apartment Complex

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A derelict spot in Birmingham city centre is set to be transformed into a plush new apartment block in a £125 million development.

City firm Court Collaboration has taken over the Holloway Head scheme, close to the giant Radisson Blu tower, and wants to start work on up to 487 apartments by next year.

New plans for the 17-storey scheme, drawn up by architect Corstorphine + Wright, also include ground floor shops as well as a gym and rooftop gardens for residents.

The plot has lain vacant for more than 25 years but, after agreeing a deal to buy it from Panther Securities, Court Collaboration’s founder Anthony McCourt says it has a bright future.

Panther has long been planning to regenerate the run-down spot, which is also home to Girlguide Birmingham, and it was once going to have a hotel and casino before taking a new direction two years ago to become residential.

Around 20 separate planning applications have been lodged for the site since the 1990s.

CGI of plans for 487 flats in Holloway Head

The development is a stone’s throw away from the most expensive apartment ever sold in the city centre – the £1.8 million penthouse at Concord House – and Mr McCourt said the area was becoming a more attractive place to live.

He said: “With Grand Central, the improvements to the Mailbox and the wider transformation of Birmingham city centre, Holloway Head is an in-demand location. We have something really special planned.

“This area is going to improve and improve and we’re thrilled to be a part of that. This shows our confidence in what is happening in the city.

“Things like the Curzon Street HS2 regeneration and the Smithfield scheme at the wholesale markets site are already transforming the city centre as a place to work and live and we are prepared to take risks and invest on the back of that vision.

“We are here in Birmingham seeing things happen in front of our eyes – you can’t do that from an office in north London.”

Hertfordshire-based investor Panther Securities worked to get the scheme, at 49-51 Holloway Head, off the ground from 1990 but it resulted in the recent £11 million sale.

Mr McCourt thinks everything is in place to make a success of what he calls the “Leabank Quarter” near Holloway Head.

CGI shows how apartments will look at junction of Holloway Head and Ellis Street

He points to the nearby Concord House scheme in a former Debenhams warehouse as evidence of people willing to live in this area.

It will see the long-awaited rebirth of the derelict 1.3 acre brownfield site which is central to the regeneration of that corner of the city.

Mr McCourt said he expected to see interest from young professionals on the back of hundreds of jobs moving to Birmingham with the likes of HSBC and HS2 relocating here.

Hundreds of jobs will be created in the construction phase.

The apartments will be sold through Court Living – a new arm of the Colmore Row-based firm which will deal directly with the market.

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Why You Need To Move To Birmingham

Birmingham, Alabama is a great place to live and there are lots of benefits you can enjoy when you move there. Whether you like craft beer or love the outdoors, there are lots of amazing benefits you can enjoy when you move to Birmingham.

Birmingham has a very strong craft beer scene and there are lots of breweries to choose from. Many of the brew pubs have live music and great food and they are great places to spend some time. Birmingham is a great place to watch a live music show and there are lots of clubs and bars and places where you can catch a show.

If you enjoy festivals, you will enjoy living in Birmingham because it seems like there is a festival every weekend. Summer is a great time to get out and enjoy a free event on the weekend. If you love sports, you will really enjoy Birmingham because there are a ton of sports events to enjoy and the residents are really into their teams.

The city is a great place to enjoy the outdoors and there are so many things you can do where you don’t have to travel far. You can paddle boat, zip line, and enjoy some of the many parks that are easy to walk to. The weather is great in Birmingham and you don’t have to worry about snow or freezing cold temperatures.

You will enjoy plenty of sunshine when you visit or move to Birmingham and the city is is easy to travel around as it has a good public transportation system and the roads and freeways are not too crowded. If you want to visit or move to Birmingham, you can find some great things to do there and the city is very nice.