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tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 19, 2016 3:00pm-4:01pm GMT

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this is bbc news. the headlines at three: thousands escape east aleppo as evacuations from the syrian city continue, including nearly 50 orphans who've been brought to safety after being trapped for months. and seven—year—old bana al abed, whose tweets about life in aleppo gained a worldwide following is also rescued. thousands of workers stage a series of strikes, hitting trains, post offices and airlines in the run up to christmas. a french court finds imf chief christine lagarde guilty of negligence over a massive pay out to a tycoon when she was finance minister. there's chaos at stormont as members walk out in a row over a no confidence vote in the first minister. theresa may delivers her statement
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in the commons on the eu summit. we've that live half past three. good afternoon and welcome to bbc news. the un security council has unanimously approved a resolution urging immediate deployment of united nations monitors to eastern aleppo. meanwhile, evacuations in syria are underway again from both east aleppo and government controlled villages. almost 50 orphans who'd been trapped in a rebel held enclave in eastern aleppo for months have finally been brought out to safety, some are in a critical condition from injuries or dehydration. and a seven—year—old girl, bana al abed, who gained international attention after she began tweeting about life
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in her home city is also among thousands more who have been able to leave. but tens of thousands are still trapped in the city. richard galpin reports. many in east aleppo, including children, waited outside yesterday in freezing conditions. hoping the buses would take them away from the hellish conditions of this, the remnants of the rebel stronghold. but it was only in the early hours of this morning that finally the evacuations resumed. after a new deal was struck between the warring factions. amongst them was this seven year old girl, bana al abed, whose plight has been followed by hundreds of millions around the world. helped by her family, she wrote a series of tweets, she feared they would all be killed. we endured endless
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bombardment in aleppo. we have managed to escape the destruction because our house was reduced to rubble. i would like to say thank you to all those who have been asking about our news. also able to escape today was this group of a0 orphans who had been trapped by the fighting, some critically injured. they are too had used the internet to make a last—ditch appeal for help. this video going viral. translation: please allow us to evacuate aleppo. we wish to leave so we can eat and drink. we love peace. but it is notjust the people of east aleppo being taken to safety today. these buses are carrying hundreds of villagers who have been surrounded by rebel fighters in the nearby province of the glib. allowing these people to escape
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was a key part of the agreement reached at the weekend. translation: this agreement is a humanitarian one. those evacuated include injured or sick individuals, as well as elderly people. today, there is hope that most of these civilians caught up in the fighting here will reach safety. but many thousands more weight to be evacuated, and the ceasefire is very fragile. richard galpin, bbc news. earlier i spoke to geert cappelaere, unicef regional director for the middle east about the 47 orphans children evacuated from eastern aleppo. we are indeed immensely relieved that, finally, the voices from the children themselves have been heard, responded to and that at least that
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group of children are now in much safer areas, have a little opportunity to get their childhood back. where are they all now? some of them are really quite ill. they are. at the request of the caregivers who have been living with the children in the orphanage, we managed to evacuate the children from the idlib province. they are currently in a centre being taken ca re currently in a centre being taken care of. we ensure that the children who need medical attention are being assisted by medical personnel. the children also all will receive counselling because of what they have gone through over the last months is truly traumatic. the children are really in need of counselling so we have dedicated councillors with them and, of
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course, giving some winter clothes. we arejust giving course, giving some winter clothes. we are just giving children back a little bit of childhood. let's get the latest now. our correspondent is at the united nations in new york for us. the russian ambassador was indicating yesterday that he would veto this resolution yet, today, russia has backed it. what has happened? yes, exactly. the russian ambassador said this resolution was ambassador said this resolution was a disaster and even the us ambassador said 2a hours ago eve ryo ne ambassador said 2a hours ago everyone expected a russian veto. when i spoke to a security council diplomat, they said the key sticking point the russian ambassador spoke about during three hours of negotiations yesterday were to include that monitors be allowed
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into allowable, but also other districts outside eastern lebanon. the resolution called for the secretary—general to make arrangements to deploy those 113 year and staff that are already in aleppo to go to the besieged areas, that that include a reference to making security arrangements so the un would have two coordinate and consult with parties on the ground. that said, they said this was probably a russian delay tactic, according to a western diplomat. what we have here is 2a hours later a resolution that largely maintains what the french called for in the original draft. the secretary—general will urgently deploy monitors to besieged eastern aleppo to observe civilians leaving the area and to provide assistance as needed. again, this isjust a piece of paper. what is important is whether this can be implemented, whether this can be implemented, whether syrian forces allow un
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monitors on the ground. we saw the syrian ambassador come out after the meeting and, in contrast to what we have been hearing from the end, he said un monitors are already in eastern aleppo. that shows how difficult it would be to implement this resolution. how significant was it for the security council to get a unanimous vote at this stage, because yesterday it was looking as if the united nations wasn't very united. absolutely. the security council is always a manifestation of the complexities of this war. the resolution could have been the seventh russian veto in as much as six years of the syrian conflict had the russian ambassador followed through with the original promise of feeling. after three hours of negotiations at the security council was able to come to a compromise. what you hear from western officials was a compromised text, a text which
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was a compromised text, a text which was very moderate and russia vetoed it it would have been embarrassing to them. it shows the complexities of the syrian conflict and the real test of this resolution will be if it is implemented on the ground. thank you very much. thousands of workers have begun a wave of strikes in the run—up to christmas affecting rail and postal services. three thousand staff at hundreds of crown post offices are on strike today, tuesday and saturday in a dispute over pension changes, job security and closures. but the post office says fewer than 300 branches across the uk will be affected. up to 300,000 southern rail passengers face more misery as conductors begin two more days of strike action. here's our business correspondent, john moylan. postal workers brought a special delivery for the government today. outside the department for business, mail bags containing 70,000 postcards from the public, backing a campaign to fight closures of flagship post offices. we are defending postal
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services across the uk, the very future of high street post offices is under threat. we know the government and the company are lining up to make further announcements in january to close and franchise more of our high street post offices. the timing of the day's strike is designed to put maximum pressure on the post office. this week is by far its busiest for handling parcels and letters, and christmas cheer would appear to be in short supply elsewhere as well, with a number of strikes. planes and trains are also at the heart of this christmas of discontent. southern rail passengers face more disruption as 400 conductors walk—out today and tomorrow. airline travellers will also face double trouble this week, as baggage handlers for swiss port are set to strike this friday and saturday. and talks got underway this morning
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to try and head off a strike over pay involving thousands of airlines of british airways cabin crew. but why is it all happening now? the reality is that management is not listening to them, they need to do something that shows they are serious about the issues that matter to them. the post offers claims it is business as usual, while dozens of city centre sites are closed, post—office insists its modernisation plans will go ahead. what we can't do of course is change a strategy which is about improving post office services for customers in an increasingly competitive marketplace, with changing lifestyles. the post office needs to change and is changing. some say that union laws should be tightened to prevent this disruption. government says it keeps these issues under review. the head of the international
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monetary fund, christine lagarde, has been found guilty of negligence over a huge compensation payment made eight years ago. the french court has found that ms lagarde's, the then french finance minister, was responsible of a payment of more than $400 million to the tycoon, bernard tapie. ms lagarde was not present in the court in paris for the verdict, having left france for washington. the imf report are making shortly to discuss the outcome of the case and the guilty verdict. 0ur paris correspondent, lucy williamson, joins us live with the latest. quite a complicated case but some of what she has been found guilty of? well, the court she was guilty of not appealing against an arbitration deal that resulted in this massive
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400 million euros pay—out back in 2008. it was a pay—out to the owner of the adidas sportswear company. he complained french state had sold it on ata complained french state had sold it on at a fast profit and they owed him. this arbitration deal had been a long time in the negotiation and it came to fruition about a year after christine lagarde became the french finance minister. she gave the green light for the deal to go ahead. it was overturned and that is how this case came about. the court found she was negligent because she had given the green light. what are the implications because she is an important figure on the world financial stage? the imf board are meeting. could she lose herjob over this? she has been found guilty but not given any punishment and spirited criminal record as well. those are the key elements. the imf have supported her in so far and if
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you want to watch what comes from this meeting. yes, she has been found guilty, lawyer says they will appeal against that. as you say, she hasn't been given a sentence. she could have had a fine, 15,000 euros. she could have spent a year in jail. that hasn't happened and her lawyer has confirmed that she will not have a criminal record against her name. it is possible the imf could still maintain their support for her. thank you very much indeed. the headlines for you now on bbc news. thousands escape east aleppo and evacuations from the syrian city continued, including nearly 50 orphans who had been brought to safety after being trapped for months. the government says a series of strikes at crown post offices and ra i lwa ys of strikes at crown post offices and railways called ahead of christmas show contempt for ordinary people and are completely unacceptable. and we just heard the imf chief,
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christine lagarde, is found guilty of negligence over a payment to a tycoon when she was french finance minister. and the main sports headlines at this hour. a triple century as india inflict a record—breaking test score of 759 declared on england at the close of day four. in the words 12 without loss and 270 behind. fifa have four for nominations for displaying poppies and commemorations of armistice day in the world cup qualifiers. england have the biggest fine of £35,000 with scotland and wales 515500 and northern ireland 12,000. and bobsleigh and scarlet on aud championships will be held in june resort. that is after saatchi was stripped of the right to stage it after allegations of russian state sponsored doping. chaotic scenes at the northern
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ireland assembly as politicians from the main parties walked out of stormont. the first minister, arlene foster, was about to make a statement over a controversial green energy scheme but under northern ireland rose she is not allowed to operate without the support of her deputy, martin mcguinness from sinn fein. that credit turmoil from where oui’ fein. that credit turmoil from where our island correspondent, chris barker, now reports. members have to be given notice by the first and deputy first minister ‘s. be given notice by the first and deputy first minister 's. arlene foster went to the stormont assembly today in an attempt to take control of what has become a financial mess. but proceedings began with chaotic scenes. 0pposition parties walked out and the first minister was left alone with her party, the dup, while outside their partners in power—sharing, sinn fein, put pressure for a full independent enquiry into a badly flawed green
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energy scheme. we need to establish the facts and though he benefited from this field scheme. the first minister should stand aside to allow the investigation to take place. the controversial renewal heating incentive scheme worked like this. for every £1 of the company uses they are paid around £160. for every £1 of the company uses they are paid around £1 60. that was to encourage them to buy environmentally friendly boilers. because there were no caps were limits, in the 20 year life of the scheme, it is expected to go £400 million over budget. money is responsible for. the special advisers of the dup interfered in my decision—making. advisers of the dup interfered in my decision-making. last week, the former enterprise minister, jonathan bell, at least officials from his own party of delaying crucial changes to prevent the scheme running out of control. that has been denied by the dup and he has
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since been suspended from the party. but the scheme was badly flawed. a confidential report seen by the bbc suggests those errors have allowed some firms to abuse it by heating buildings just some firms to abuse it by heating buildingsjust for some firms to abuse it by heating buildings just for profit. the first minister was the enterprise minister when the scheme was set up, which is why she is a politician under pressure. i am sorry the scheme did not contain cost control measures and that there were fundamental flaws in its design. this is the deepest political regret of my time in this house. but the other parties we re in this house. but the other parties were not there to hear the first minister explain how she wants to sort this out. they of the assembly again. asign sort this out. they of the assembly again. a sign of the sheer political heat about this issue in ireland. the prime minister is due to give a statement to mps shortly after attending an european council meeting last week. mrs may went to brussels but was not invited to an
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informal dinner in which 27 eu leaders discussed brexit. let's talk to our chief correspondent, vicki young, at westminster. the premise has been playing cards close to your chest over everything brexit. are we going to hear any more detailed today? what was interesting about the summit was that it ran over. there were meetings, a dinner in the evening when theresa may was not invited. that was for the other 27 to talk about brexit. in the end, they didn't talk for long. as she left she didn't do a press conference because time was pressing. the main issue was syria. she will talk an awful lot about that. i think what is interesting is the questions. she makes a statement to mps, they are given up to an hour to mps, they are given up to an hour to ask questions and we will really see how much she gives away during that question time. there are things they will want to ask about.
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intriguingly, yesterday, liam fox, the trade secretary, talking about whether the uk might remain partly in the customs union. there has been speculation about a possible transitional arrangement. i am sure it is these things they want to ask the premise about. she has said it did more than brexit means brexit. 0thers did more than brexit means brexit. others will want to know what she had to say about eu citizens and their rights of where they can stay, whether british people will be able to stay in other countries. she was an early agreement on that. that will be an area where she will be pushed by mps. 0pting out it has been matter of more questions than a nswe i’s. been matter of more questions than answers. we will see of theresa may gives animal away in the next hour 01’ so. gives animal away in the next hour or so. we will bring you that speech by theresa may life at around half past three. very soon. mps holding an inquiry into combating doping in sport have been hearing from a number of key witnesses today. representatives from team sky, british cycling and the world anti—doping agency are appearing before the culture select
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committee at westminster. 0ur correspondent, richard conway, has been watching the hearing and he sent us this. there are two main issues under discussion with leading figures past and present from british cycling. chief amongst them has been the question of the medical package delivered to team sky in 2011. it was reported that this was a medical package delivered. the contents of which have always remained something ofa which have always remained something of a mystery. the current speaker at the committee was asked about this by the daily mail. he was unable to provide a satisfactory answer as to why that package was delivered. today he has come before mps and told them that the content of that package which was delivered to the tea m package which was delivered to the
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team doctor was a non—prescription decongestant. he said it was flown out as part of a regular trip if someone was coming on a out as part of a regular trip if someone was coming on a logistics trip, the team doctor asked for this substance to be brought out. it is regularly available in france, which is where it was flown out to, which has caused questions from mps as to why it was necessary to bring it from the team sky base in the uk. in trying to clear up this matter of why the substance was used, he said it was a non—prescription decongestant and there was no wrongdoing. the uk anti—doping have been looking into this matter for some time. they said that they were happy for questions to be posed to members of british cycling from mps. he has attempted to give clarity on that issue. fifa has found the home nations for
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displaying poppies during world cup qualifiers last month. england were given the biggest penalty, more than £35,000. scotland and wales were fined more than £15,000 and northern ireland got a fine of more than £11,000. england and scotland players wore armbands with the simple when they met at wembley on armistice day and wales and northern ireland's games featured displays to mark the event. a fifa disciplinary committee chairman said he respected the commemorations stressed the rules need to be applied to all member associations. international development secretary priti patel has come under fire from a committee of mp's about how millions of pounds of uk foreign aid money has been spent. it comes after newspaper reports questioned how the aid cash has been distributed. earlier, priti patel told the international development committee that every penny of foreign aid money is spent correctly. earlier, she told the international
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development committee that she aims to spend every penny of foreign aid money correctly. 0ur our focus is poverty 0urfocus is poverty reduction our focus is poverty reduction and delivering the global goals. it is a tremendous challenge for the world, quite frankly, and britain will stand up and play its part in doing everything we can, but that is not just a country level, it applies across government. they cross departmental work that we do, the leadership role that we have in this as well, making sure that every single pound that is spent is leveraged in the right way to achieve those outcomes. with me now is our diplomatic correspondent, james landale. the government under pressure on their yet spending from the newspapers. particularly from the
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daily mail. they fundamentally disagree with the government policy of spending .7% of national income on international development. there is pressure from some mps from the right saying this money could be spent elsewhere. we are in a town of austerity, that spend the £12 billion elsewhere. there is pressure from within government. that is because downing street want to have things it can point to to say britain is engaged with the world after brexit. it talks about the united nations permanent secretary, nato, we spent 2% of our income on defence, but also .7% on international development. that is the political pressure the government is balancing. that is why priti patel has had to come before mps and defend lord of the spending the government is making because there have been drip feeds of
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exa m ples there have been drip feeds of examples where you could say the money could be better spent. there has been controversial for a while. david cameron was passionate about ring fencing development aid spending. do you get the sense that the new government is as passionate as david cameron was?” the new government is as passionate as david cameron was? i don't think it is passionate, but it is supportive. priti patel has given a clear commitment that, in her view, .7% stays. it is doing great work, in her words. she is saying the money has got to be well spent, which is why she is making noises about greater accountability. clearly there are some mps who do not like this policy and would dearly love .7% to be reduced. the chancellor giving ambiguous remarks about this ten days ago that provoked a little bit of a flurry saying they beat the government might not committed to this in the
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long—term, but i think an kind of debate is potentially for a next election manifesto. it is not for a short—term change. if theresa may talks about foreign policy she a lwa ys talks about foreign policy she always mentions the .7 target. i don't sense of the government will give way on that. more money being spent on civilians fleeing fighting in syria. i guess that wouldn't be as controversial as other parts of the aid budget. it wouldn't surprise me at the government is happy to get that figure out to act as a counterpoint to some of the criticism. there is a debate here. do you give aid to someone in dire need, he is a refugee who needs food, health, education, or do you give money to try to improve the role of women in ethiopia so you don't get it 13 with the following fragment, creating another hungry mouth any part of the world where population explosion is going to be the big issue of the next ten years
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chris rock there is it a bit there. giving money to someone starving or train to change attitudes so we improve outcomes in the long—term. there is a genuine debate about how the money should be spent. many thanks indeed. the broadcaster and rabbi, lionel bloom has died aged 86. he became a rabbi in 1960 and was a regular contributor to suffer the day on radio 4 on which he shared his struggles with his faith and sexuality. he was the first british rabbi to speak openly about gay. since i couldn't find anyone to love he would love me i decided to love god instead. i began to see people ina god instead. i began to see people in a different light. crushed in a late—night drink i saw god's image. they stopped being cattle but so is germane to paradise like me and when i offered one of my seat i saw how love had blossomed into loving—kindness. love had blossomed into
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loving-kindness. just approaching half past three. the watching bbc news. the weather now. thanks. just before sunset in around half an hour i thought i would take a look at a little ray of sunshine. this is where we see the best weather today, across northern ireland. for most of us it has been cloudy, grey and on the dull side. underneath this cloud there has been burst of showery rain as well. that will continue to spread westwards through the night. where we have those clear skies to northern ireland and the temperatures are likely to fall away through this evening down to around freezing, maybe blow in rural spots. a cold, frosty start here, but it will turn into a wild and windy day as heavy rain moves in from the north—west and the wind will reach storm force
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gusts across the north—west. the culprits of elsewhere, the sun comes through and it would be more promising with highs of six to 8 degrees. it does look as though the rest of the weather is set to change after a quiet start. it will turn increasingly wet and windy. in between you pressure there will be brighter spells. hello. this is bbc news with ben brown and annita mcveigh. the headlines at 3.30pm: evacuations in syria are underway again from east aleppo and government held areas including nearly 50 orphans brought to safety after being trapped for months. the united nations security council has approved a resolution that calls for the immediate deployment of un observers in eastern aleppo. thousands of workers stage a series of strikes affecting trains,
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post offices and airlines in the lead up to christmas. the head of the imf, christine lagarde, has been found guilty of negligence over a huge compensation payment made eight years ago, when she was finance minister. northern ireland's assembly has been plunged into crisis after politicians from most of political parties walk out in a row over a no—confidence vote in the first minister. now the sport. england's cricketers have suffered on day four of the final test against india. the hosts declared on 759—7 in their first innings, that's the highest ever test total conceded by england. at the close england were 12 without loss, 270 lined. quick wickets would
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be required if england were going to get anything out of this match. the game began to drift away. ashwin wasted little time in making his presence felt. as ashwin made 50, it seemed the best the tourists could hope for was a draw. india fancied a 4-0 hope for was a draw. india fancied a 4—0 series victory. karun continued to make hay. soon he passed 150. whenever england assume they have put on a substantial first innings total, india skip past it. in the back of his mind karun would have been remembering how his team—mate fell on 199 yesterday. he displayed no reticence becoming the third indian to convert a maiden 100 to a double century. england were a little more than spectators. karun
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broke 300 with one of the great batting performances. india had registered their highest ever test score. england survived the five overs, but looked like they had enough. in two days they will be on the plane home for christmas. in spirit, they have already gone. theresa may is making a statement. preparing for the negotiations that will begin when we trigger article 50 before the end of march next year. the focus of this council was on how we can work together to address some of the most pressing challenges that we face. these include responding to the migration crisis, strengthening europe's security, and helping to alleviate the suffering in sir yard. as i've said for as long as the uk is a member of the eu, we will continue to play our full part. and that is what this council showed. with the
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uk making a significant contribution on each of these issues. first, migration. from the outset, the uk has pushed for a comprehensive approach that focuses on the root causes of migration as the best way to reduce the number of people coming to europe. i've called for more action in source and transit countries to disrupt the smuggling networks, to improve local ka pass dwrit and support sustainable livelihoods. i have also said that we must better distinguish between economic migrants and refugees, swifting returning those who have no right to remain and thereby sending out a deterrence message to others thinking of embarking on perilous journeys. the kunl agreed to action and the uk remains fully committed to playing our part. we have provided training to the libyan coastguard. the royal navy is providing support in the
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mediterranean. to help return those who have no right to stay. but ultimately we need a long—term sustainable approach for that is the best way to retain the consent of our people to provide support and sanctuary to those most in need. turning to security and defence, whether it is deterring russian aggression, counterterrorism, whether it is deterring russian aggression, counter terrorism, or fighting organised crime, the uk remains committed to the security of our european neighbours. that is true now and it will remain true once we have left the eu. at this council, we welcomed the commitment from all member states to take greater responsibility for their security, to invest more resources and to develop more capabilities. that is the right approach. and as the council made clear, it should be donein the council made clear, it should be done ina the council made clear, it should be done in a way that compliments rather than duplicates nato. a stronger eu and a stronger nato can
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be mutually reinforcing. nato will a lwa ys be mutually reinforcing. nato will always be the bedrock of our collective defence in europe. we must never allow anything to undermine it. mr speaker, we also agreed at the council to renew tier three economic sanctions on russia for another six months, maintaining the pressure on russia to implement the pressure on russia to implement the minsk agreement in full. turning to the appalling situation in syria, we have seen the devastating pictures on our tv screens and heard heartbreaking store considers of families struggling to get to safety. we heard from the mayor of eastern aleppo. a brave and courageous man who witnessed his city brought to rubble and his neighbours murdered and he had to one plea to get those who have survived through years of conflict, torture and fear to safety. we must do all we can to help. the council was unequivocal in its condemnation
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of president assad and his backers, russia and iran. who must bear the responsibility for the tragedy in aleppo. they must now allow the un to evacuate people of syria. we have seen progress in to evacuate people of syria. we have seen progress in recent days, but a few bus loads is not enough when there are thousands more that must be rescued, we cannot have these buses attacked in the way we have seen. buses attacked in the way we have seen. the foreign secretary summoned the russian and iranian ambassadors to make clear that we expect them to help. 0ver to make clear that we expect them to help. over the weekend the uk has been working with our international partners to secure agreement on a un security council resolution that would send in un officials to monitor the evacuation of civilians and provide unfettered humanitarian access. this has been agreed unanimously this afternoon and we now need it to be implemented in full. mr speaker, president assad
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maybe congratulating his regime forces on their actions in aleppo, but we are in no doubt. this is no victory, it is a tragedy. 0ne we will not forget. and last week's council reiterated that those responsible must be held to account. mr speaker, alongside our diplomatic effo rts mr speaker, alongside our diplomatic efforts the uk is going to provide a further £20 million of practical support for those who are most vulnerable. this includes £10 million for trusted humanitarian partners, working on the front line in some of the hardest to reach places in syria, to help them deliver food parcels and places in syria, to help them deliverfood parcels and medical supplies to those most in need. an additional £10 million to unicef. as the mayor of aleppo has said, it is sadly too late to save all those who have been lost, but it is not too late to save those who remain that. is what we must now do. mr speaker, turning to brexit, i updated the council on the uk's plans for
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leaving the european union. i explained that two weeks ago this house voted... i explained that two weeks ago this house voted by a considerable majority... almost 6—1 to support the government by delivering the referendum result and invoking article 50 before the end of march. the uk's supreme court is expected to rule next month on whether the government requires parliamentary legislation in order to do this. i am clear the government will respect the verdict of our independentjudiciary, but i'm clear that whichever way the judgment goes, we will meet the timetable i have set out. at the council i also reaffirmed my commitment to a smooth and orderly exit and commitment to a smooth and orderly exitand in commitment to a smooth and orderly exit and in this spirit, i made it clear to the other eu leaders that it remains my objective that we give reassurance it remains my objective that we give reassu ra nce early it remains my objective that we give reassurance early on in the negotiations to eu citizens living in the uk and uk citizens living in
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the eu countries that their right it stay where they have made their homes will be protected by our withdrawal. this an issue i would like to agree quickly, but clearly requires the rest of the agreement of the eu. i welcomed the subsequent short discussion between the 27 other leaders on their own plans for the uk's withdrawal. it is right that the other leaders prepare for the negotiations just as we are making our own preparations. that is in everyone's best interests. my aim is to cement the uk as a close partner with the eu once we have left. i want the deal we negotiate to reflect the mature, co—operative relationship that close friends and allies enjoy. a deal that would give our companies the maximum freedom to operate and trade within the european market and allow european businesses to do the same here. a deal that will deliver the closest possible co—operation to ensure the security of our allies, but a deal when it means when it comes to
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decisions about our national interest we can make these decision for ourselves. a deal that will mean our laws are once again made in britain, not in brussels. with a calm and measured approach this government will honour the will of the british people and secure a right deal that will make a success of brexit for the eu and for the world and i commend this statement to the house. thank you mr speaker, i would like to thank the prime minister for advance copy of this statement. i think we can all agree this has been a year of enormous change this inn this country and the re st of change this inn this country and the rest of the world, but with that change comes a great deal of division. so as we move swiftly towards the trigger of article 50 i wa nt towards the trigger of article 50 i want to appeal to the prime minister to not only work hard to heal the divisions in britain, but also to make sure her new year's resolution includes a commitment to build better relations with our european
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partners so we get the best deal for the people of this country. notjust a brexit that benefits big business and bankers, and at the moment, it is clear that on the international stage the prime minister and britain are becoming increasingly isolated. if we are to build a successful britain after brexit, it is more vital than ever that our relationship with our european partners remains strong, cordial and respectful. it is also clear, mr speaker, through my own discussions with european leaders that they're becoming increasingly frustrated by her shambolic government and the contradictory approach to brexit negotiations. the mixed messages from her front bench only adds to the confusion. this government fails to speak for the whole country. instead, we hear a babble of voices speaking for themselves and their vested interests. for instance, mr speaker, last week we were told by
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britain's permanent representative to the eu that a brexit deal may ta ke to the eu that a brexit deal may take ten years. contradicting what the secretary of state for brexit told a select committee that day when he said a deal could be struck in18 when he said a deal could be struck in 18 months. there is a bit of a difference there. we also heard from the chancellor, who told us that britain was looking for a transitional deal with the european union. only for the secretary of state for international trade to warn against a transitional deal saying any arrangements close to the status quo would go against the wishes of those who voted to leave. the people of britain, mr speaker, deserve better than this confusion at the heart of government. and confidence is being lost. the office for budget responsibility made their ownjudgment for budget responsibility made their own judgment on the for budget responsibility made their ownjudgment on the government's brexit plans in november when they published new forecasts for 2017. growth was revised down. wages revised down. business investment revised down. business investment
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revised down. business investment revised down. the only thing the obr raised was their forecast for inflation. they're risking mr speaker even weaker growth than they have delivered so far and financial services and hitting the manufacturing industry very hard. i do, mrspeaker, manufacturing industry very hard. i do, mr speaker, welcome that the government have now accepted labour's demands for a published brexit plan. but it is still unclear as to how the plan will be presented and when we will receive it here in parliament. so can the prime minister today do what the secretary of state for brexit, the chancellor of state for brexit, the chancellor of the exchequer, the secretary of state for international trade and the permanent secretary to the eu all failed to do last week and give this country some real answers. can she tell us when the house will receive the government's plans for article 50? how long we will be given to scrutinise that plan? can she also tell us how long the
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british government envisages the whole process to take? and can she tell us if the british government will be looking for an interim transitional deal with the european union? these are basic questions that still haven't been answered nearly six months after britain voted to leave the european union. mr speaker, there are also reports la st mr speaker, there are also reports last week that the uk will be asked to pay a $50 billion euro bill to honour commitments to the eu budget until 2020. can the honour commitments to the eu budget until2020. can the prime honour commitments to the eu budget until 2020. can the prime minister tell this house if this is in fact the case? and can she update us all on the government's contingencies plans for the projects and programmes in the uk that are currently relyingant on eu funding after 2020? there currently relyingant on eu funding after 2020 ? there is currently relyingant on eu funding after 2020? there is much concern in many parts of the country about those programmes. mr speaker, i welcome the prime minister's desire to bring forward and give greater clarity to the issue of rights of
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european citizens in the united kingdom. however, if the prime minister is serious about this, why wait? why won't this government end the worry and uncertainty as this house demanded in july the worry and uncertainty as this house demanded injuly and give an unequivocal commitment to guarantee people's rights before article 50 is triggered as the tuc and the british chamber of commerce have called for this weekend. not only is it the right thing to do, it would also send a clear signal to our colleagues and to our european friends that britain is committed to doing the right thing and committing toa doing the right thing and committing to a friendly future relationship. and with that in mind, mr speaker, i would like to take this opportunity to welcome the austrian president on his election. i'm sure we will all agree his victory in the presidential elections represents a
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victory for respect and kindness over hate and division. and is a signal against the dangerous rise of the far—right across europe. mr speaker, i'm also glad that the european union council leaders discussed the other pressing global issues last week notably the terrible situation in syria. therefore, i want to use this opportunity to renew the calls i made ina opportunity to renew the calls i made in a letter to the prime minister last week for an urgent and concerted effort from the government to press for an end to the violence and a un—led ceasefire. the creation ofa un and a un—led ceasefire. the creation of a un brokered humanitarian condors and ensurance of effective advanced wantion of attacks to the civilian population as well as urgent talks through the un to achieve a negotiated political settlement. it is clear the rules of war are settlement. it is clear the rules of warare being broken settlement. it is clear the rules of war are being broken on all sides. labour has long condemned attacks on civilian targets on all sides
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including those by russian and pro—syrian government forces in aleppo... for which there can be no excuse. i also know mr speaker the issue of cyprus and renewification was announced. could the prime minister give us was announced. could the prime ministergive us an was announced. could the prime minister give us an update on what was said on this issue? britain is after all a guarantor of sirry ot defendants from the 1960 treaty? there is a lot to do this 2017 with a lot of important decisions to be made. i make a plea to the prime minister, to represent all sides, whether they voted to leave or remain and to make the right decisions that benefit notjust her party, but everyone in this country. thank you mrrks speaker. on the issue of cyprus, yes, the president has updated us on the talks. these
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are important talks. i think we all accept that we have perhaps the best opportunity for a settlement in cyprus that we have seen for many, many years and the president made clear, the talks have been taking place under un auspices between the two leaders, they have been encouraged and generated by the two leaders of the it is important that we recognise the leadership that they have shown in relation to this issue. the right honourable gentleman is right, there are three garn to, greece, turkey and the united kingdom. we stand ready to play our part as required and when it is appropriate for us to do so. there is a possibility, there is a meeting coming up injanuary, there isa meeting coming up injanuary, there is a possibility that will be attended by others like the united kingdom and in the eu council conclusion the eu said that it stood ready to participate if that was going to be part of helping this deal to come through. secondly, on theissue deal to come through. secondly, on the issue of sir extra, as i ——
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sairia, the right honourable wrote to me asking us to take action through the united nations. we have been working over the weekend to ensure that there was a un security council resolution today. that was accepted as all members of this house will know. we have had a number of security council resolutions recently that russia vetoed and the most recent one that russia and china vetoed. we have a regulars sluice that's been accepted by russia and china and accepted by the security council that provides for the un monitoring, but also for the humanitarian access and un monitoring of people leaving aleppo which i think is important. then he spent most of his comments in relation to the whole issue of brexit. now, he started off, i mean, he started off by talking about us wanting a deal that benefits the united kingdom. yes, i have been saying that ever since i first came into this role. we want to make sure we get the best possible deal, but i
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have to say to him in negotiations you don't get the best possible deal by laying out everything you want in advance. that's the whole point of negotiations. he talks about isolation. well, look, the point is, the uk is going to leave the european union. we are leaving the group that is the european union. in due course, they will be meeting only as 27 because we will no longer bea only as 27 because we will no longer be a member. but ma is clearfrom what happened at the eu council is that as long as we are a member, we will continue to play our full part within the european union. he talked about the question of eu funds and eu funds that are currently intended to continue beyond the date at which we would be leaving the european union. the chancellor of the exchequer set out very clearly some weeks ago what the position on this was. that those funds will be continue to be met provided they give value for money and meet the uk
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government's objectives. he talked about the length of the process as he knows once we trigger article 50. how long within that process it does ta ke how long within that process it does take depends on the progress of the negotiations that that take place. he then talked about uncertainty and needing investment to come into the united kingdom and how he gave the impression there was a bleak picture out there of the economy, the fastest growing economy in the g7 i would remind him. let's look at companies that announced new additional investment since the brexit referendum, honda, jaguar land rover, nissan, aldi, associated british ports, gsk, statoil, the list will continue because this is still a good place to invest. it is a good place to grow businesses and then he talks about confusion on the front bench. well, he has been
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looking at his own front bench when he considers this matter. let's just ta ke he considers this matter. let's just take one very simple issue of immigration. the shadow home secretary suggests freedom of movement should be maintained. the shadow chancellor said should have a fair deal on freedom of movement and the shadow brexit secretary says we should have immigration controls. they can't agree on aspect of leaving the european union. with the right honourable gentleman's negotiation techniques, if he was into office we would be getting the worst possible deal that we could get for the united kingdom. mr speaker, may i ask my right honourable friend when she was at the council and she reminded the council leaders about her generous offer to allow eu citizens who were here in the uk to remain and for uk citizens to receive the same
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privilege, did she manage to take to one side donald tusk and ask him why when his own government was keen to agree to that, he turned around and vetoed it? well, my right honourable friend is right, i made clear once again that i hope this issue of eu citizens living here and uk citizens living in the eu member states can be dealt with at an early stage of the negotiations. the other member states and the council have been clear that they're not prepared to ennear negotiations before article 50 is triggered. but i will continue to remind them of our hope, for very good reason because we want to give certainty and reassurance to people that this can be dealt with at an early stage and the people concerned can get on with their lives. may i thank the prime minister for advanced sight of her statement and wish colleagues as it is the last opportunity to do so a very merry christmas, a fantastic 2017. it is
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more than six months since the brexit referendum when more than 62% of voters in scotland voted to remain in the european union. and tomorrow, the scottish government will become the first administration in the uk to publish its plans in detail, the prime minister has said that she will seriously engage with the scottish government which is to be welcomedful she says she has a respect agenda. so will the prime minister commit to meet with the first minister to incorporate priorities of the scottish government in the uk negotiating position? on security, mr speaker, the prime minister's statement welcomed commitments on capability including cyber threats. without going into details, for very obvious reasons, is the prime minister confident that enough safeguards are in place regarding democratic institutions in the uk including political parties? studio: angus robertson talking. we heard about the recent eu summit
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meeting. she talked about other areas they discussed, migration, renewing economic sanctions on russia, syria, but on article 50, she said it was clear that the government will respect the views of the independentjudiciary next month when they give their ruling on whether or not article 50 should be ruled on by the whole of parliament rather than just the government. but she said whatever the outcome of that, supreme court decision, the government would meet its stated deadline of the end of march for triggering article 50. she said her aim was to cement the uk as a close partner of the eu once we had left. she insisted the uk wants to remain a close partner of the eu as long as we are still in the european union and denied she felt she was doing snubbed at the eu summit the other day. that's the latest from the house of commons. she is still on her feet. you can house of commons. she is still on herfeet. you can watch house of commons. she is still on her feet. you can watch the rest of
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that session in the commons on our bbc parliament channel. let's check out the weather prospects with tomasz schafernaker. the jet stream is going to go bananas. all this mist and fog and the murk and the low cloud that we have had in the last few days, it will be blown away by the strong winds. this is thejet will be blown away by the strong winds. this is the jet stream. will be blown away by the strong winds. this is thejet stream. quite a powerful one make ago beeline for the uk and ripples on the jet stream strea m the uk and ripples on the jet stream stream up these areas of low pressure. there is one later on in the week passing to the north of scotla nd the week passing to the north of scotland and more low pressure is make ago beeline for the uk. just how much wind and how much rain we're going to get, when this is this going to be happening is still open to question, but the sure thing for the here and now is that we are still at least for a day or so stuck in this gloom with all the drizzle and the mist and the murk. those winds haven't picked up yet. it is
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grey out there and that's how it is going to stay through the rest of this evening and into tomorrow morning. the north in scotland and northern ireland, we are starting to get interjection of colder air coming in here. that means a touch of frost for folks in scotland and northern ireland. so this is what it looks like around 8am. you can see temperatures around freezing. something we have not seen down south for quite sometime now. although getting a little bit lower now, fours and five ins places. still milder there across wales and the south—west. i think the main message is that for the short—term, things are still not changing a lot. there will be a bit more sunshine around for sure, but the gales and the weather front and all that is going to be heading our way is out there in the atlantic. so we are talking into belfast and into western parts of scotland, but the
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majority of the country is still settled with sunshine or low cloud. wednesday is the kind of transition day. whether fronts starting to push through the uk. quite a few isobars and arrows across england and wales. the winds are starting to pick up. you can see some sunshine developing here, but some really gusty showers across northern parts of the uk. this is colder air starting to get into scotland and northern ireland. and then towards the end of the week, there will be a roller—coaster. sunshine, ithink, on thursday and then thursday night and into friday it looks as though once again things will turn u nsettled once again things will turn unsettled and into christmas, it is probably going to be the win that's going to be more of a problem than anything else with the weather. this is bbc news. the headlines at
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four o'clock. thousands escape east aleppo as evacuations from the syrian city continue, including nearly 50 orphans who had been brought to safety after being trapped for months. with russian backing, the security council voted to quickly deploy un observers to aleppo to monitor evacuations and report on the fate of civilians there. theresa may gives herfinal statement of the year to the house of commons. she tells mps she did not feel snubbed at the brussels summit last week and she is confident brexit is still on track. the supreme court is expected to rule next month on whether the government requires legislation in order to do this. i am cleared the government will respect the verdict of our independentjudiciary but i am clear whichever way the judiciary goes we will meet the

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