this is bbc news, i'm clive myrie. the headlines at 7.00pm. police say anis amri, the chief suspect in the berlin market truck attack, left finger prints on the vehicle. as it was back to business for the berlin christmas market, the chancellor angela merkel commended the public for their response to the attack. translation: i must say, over the last few days, i have been very proud of the calmness and composure shown by people and also of course the officers that have been at work here. two men have been found guilty of manslaughter after a tipper truck crashed in bath last year, killing four people, including a young girl. donald trump is calling for the us
to "g reatly donald trump is calling for the us to "greatly strengthen and expand" its nuclear arsenal. also this hour. the syrian government has declared victory in aleppo after the last rebel fighters and civilians leave the eastern part of the city. the words of a child who moved thousands. we speak to seven—year—old bana, who took to social media to describe the bombing of aleppo. and, prince charles says religious persecution today has echoes of the "dark days" of the 1930s. good evening and welcome to bbc news. breaking news from the prison officers' association. it says that
60 inmates have taken control of a wing at her majesty's prison 0n the isle of sheppey in kent. this came from the prison 0fficers‘ association. that 60 inmates have taken control of a wing at her majesty's prison swaleside on the isle of sheppey in kent. a lot of debate at the moment about the state of britain's prisons, including of course following the riot at birmingham prison last week. several wings were taken by prisoners after a guard was overpowered and his keys we re a guard was overpowered and his keys were taken from him. this is the latest problem concerning england's jails. 60 inmates have taken control ata jails. 60 inmates have taken control at a wing of her majesty's prison in swaleside on the isle of sheppey in kent. we will bring you more and as
when we get it on bbc news. german police say they now believe it's likely their main suspect, anis amri, did drive the lorry that ploughed through a christmas market on monday, killing 12 people and injuring 49. his fingerprints have been found in the cab. police raids are taking place across germany, while its borders with belgium and the netherlands have been tightened. this afternoon, angela merkel said germany had known for a long time that it was a target for islamist terrorists. she said she was hopeful that an arrest would soon be made. this is anis amri, the man european police are hunting, filming himself humming nonchala ntly in berlin, video posted to his facebook page in september. now the 24—year—old tunisian is europe's most wanted man. police are now sure that he was the driver of the lorry that ploughed through the christmas market, his fingerprints been found on the steering wheel on the door.
angela merkel today thanked germans for their measured reaction to the attack. translation: our thoughts are constantly with the relatives of the victims and the injured, we owe it to them to give this our very best. i can say that we've done a lot in recent years to meet the challenge of terrorism. police raids in germany earlier today targeted known contacts of anis amri, turning up nothing. his family in tunisia last saw him five years ago. they say that he was not religious, he drank alcohol and dreamt of owning a car and starting a business. translation: if my brother is listening, i want to tell him to surrenderfor the sake of ourfamily. we will be relieved. if he did what he is suspected of having done he will be sanctioned and it will be a dishonour for us. i am sure my brother is innocent. anis amri left his family and travelled illegally to italy in 2011, spent four years injailfor violence and theft,
but without a passport could not be deported so last year he moved to germany, he was not deported, it was feared he was trying to get weapons for an attack but with no new evidence surveillance of him was halted in september. there are serious questions, should the authorities have taken the threat posed by anis amri more seriously? most germans, as the markets reopen with the new security barriers, criticisms of the police are less important than how they respond. so getting the market back up and running today was symbolic for berlin. we have to respond to the terrorism. but we don't care, we are going to open, we are not scared because it's exactly what they want. the crowds were thinner than usual, but wanted to show that they would not be cowed. i come to show we must not hide,
says rosemary, i am sad, i was here on monday, luckily i left before it happened. i feel anger and sadness, more anger, says anneka. i did not know any of the victims but it makes me really angry. not so much fear as defiance. the people of perlin determined to show they will not give up the things they value and enjoy. damian grammaticas, berlin. professor anthony glees is from the centre for security and intelligence studies at the university of buckingham, and hejoins me now from oxford via webcam. good evening to you. thank you very much for being with us. let us talk about the main suspect, anis amir, first of all. the authorities had him under surveillance for several months but they decided he was effectively no longer a threat. that clearly was a mistake. do you underis stand why they ended their surveillance of him? no, it's com pletely surveillance of him? no, it's completely incomprehensible to me, i have to say. i also ought to say that a number of people in germany this evening are asking this question that i'm about to pose to
you which is — it's remarkable that the police say that amir‘s personal details and his fingerprints were found in the lorry. since when do perpetrators, islamist perpetrators, leave their personal details behind? i know it was said in the case of the paris attacks that unwith of them left a passport there, but to them left a passport there, but to the sceptical mind, i think we have to be sceptical, i do think we need to be sceptical, i do think we need to be sceptical, i do think we need to be careful not to rush to the judgment that this is the person who is responsible. if he was responsible and if he did leave his personal papers there, it would imply that he is extremelyconfident and dead certain he's not going to be caught. as damian‘s package showed, he got into italy without a passport once, what is to stop him
doing it a second time? you are saying it could be a red herring. that a terrorist would leave their identity card in the vehicle used to commitan identity card in the vehicle used to commit an atrocity, ie, leading the authorities down the road to trying to catch him? i think it's perfectly possible. i think it's perfectly possible. i think it's perfectly possible. of course, at this stage, we don't know. the problem is that because the german security service stopped keeping him under surveillance, we don't actually know if he is the perpetrator or if he is the mastermind of the plot or a his papers have been taken to fool the rest of us. this is one of the many levels of failure as far as germany is concerned. this seems me to be
further evidence of the police failure. a failure that failed to protect the christmas market, it was an obvious sight. it's right at the centre of west berlin. a christmas market there would be would be an obvious target if you wanted to attack a christmas market in berlin. no bollards or cctv and the prime suspect not under proper surveillance before hand. the berlin police, i'm not... i'm a friend of germany, i appreciate the awful tragedy that's happened, but in the past where islamist attacks have taken place in germany the police are said they are lone wolves, deranged people, something we hear repeatedly. the argument that these people are lone wolsst wolves, people are lone wolsst wolves, people appear to be lone wolves because we are ignorant to the extent to which they are part of a
network. i'm not impressed, i have to say, by the berlin police. it is the berlin police, there is no national terror command like the united kingdom. it is the berlin police there has clearly been a failure by the german secret intelligence service who also intercept communications. they are a mixture of mi6 and gchq in the federal republic. the bfv, the german mi5, they have a long track record of providing poor service, particularly in respect of extreme right—wing people and, you know, these chickens are coming home to roost. we will have to leave it there. very interesting. thank you for joining there. very interesting. thank you forjoining us. there. very interesting. thank you for joining us. thank there. very interesting. thank you forjoining us. thank you. 0ur correspondent, bethany bell, is in berlin. a security correspondent said there
how many terrorists leave id behind at the scene of the crime. the authorities could be on the wrong track in terms of their chief suspect. at this moment in time the suggestion seems to be that the authorities believe this man, anis amir is the chief suspect? that's certainly what we're saying at the moment. the authorities are not saying that much, it has to be said. they said that they have discovered his fingerprints in the cab of the lorry as well as this identity document, and they put out a warrant for his arrest. that's a european wide arrest war rant as well. their tendency has been to be extremely cautious. we are waiting to see... we heard from angela merkel, the german chancellor, saying she hoped an arrest would be made soon. i think that's a feeling that most germans share, not least the
security forces who are under growing pressure. meanwhile, the christmas market, where the attack happened, here in berlin, where i am now, has reopened again. the lights are back on tonight. the music is not on. normally you would have jolly christmas music in a place like this, that has been switched off in honour, in tribute, to the people who died here. people have been lying candles and laying flowers. they are out drinking mulled wine, eating sausages and gingerbread in a sign they say that life must go on as normal. is there a sense that the chief suspect had been under surveillance for several months by the german authorities and yet they decided not to continue their covert operation watching him just in september? well to put this
in context, there are a lot of people whom the authorities are watching and in order to have, they say... we heard from different security experts saying that in order to have 24—hour surveillance of people is incredibly time consuming and needs a lot of people on the ground watching. you know, the questions that are being asked here in germany at the moment is... 0ne, here in germany at the moment is... one, is it incompetence they haven't found anybody yet? 0r, one, is it incompetence they haven't found anybody yet? or, is it the fa ct found anybody yet? or, is it the fact that the security services are simply overstretched given the challenges they face. 0k. bethany bell, in berlin, thanks. we'll find out how this story and many others are covered in tomorrow's front pages at 10.45pm and ii.30pm this evening in the papers. our guests joining me tonight are journalist and broadcaster rachel shabi and deputy political editor at the telegraph, ben riley smith. stay with us for that. moving on
now. the owner of a haulage company and his mechanic have been found guilty of the manslaughter of four people who died when a tipper lorry ploughed into them in bath. the court heard that the vehicle had been poorly maintained, on the day of the crash its brakes failed. the driver, phillip potter, who had onlyjust started working for the firm, was cleared of the charges he faced, including causing death by dangerous driving. three men and a four—year—old girl died in the crash in february last year. jon kay has this report. police said it was "carnage", a 32—tonne truck, with defective brakes, had careered down a steep hill towards a city centre. four—year—old mitzi steady didn't stand a chance, hit while she was crossing the road with her grandma. then the truck crushed this car, killing the men inside. robert parker and philip allen were heading back to south wales from a business trip. their driver, stephen vaughan, was 3a years old and newly married. it's just been a horrendous time,
i wouldn't wish it on anybody. sian vaughan told me that being widowed, so soon after her wedding day, had left her heartbroken. the future that we had together has just all been taken away. we were only married for six months and especially having to spend your first wedding anniversary alone was just so far removed from the one that we had planned. it's just been absolutely horrendous. today, the boss of grittenham haulage, matthew gordon, and mechanic, peter wood, were both found guilty of manslaughter. the trial heard the company was a shambles, failing to carry out proper safety checks. the jury was told that as the tipper truck came down the hill that afternoon, its brakes were badly worn, rusty and in a poor state of repair. matthew gordon had no transport manager and effectively flouted every regulation laid down to ensure safety.
peter wood signed off vehicles as safe when clearly they were not. many of the faults at the time of this crash were longstanding. phillip potter, who was at the wheel of the tipper truck, was found not guilty of causing death by careless or dangerous driving. they're constantly in my thoughts. he left court sending his sympathy to the bereaved families. he told the jury he hadn't realised the truck was in such a poor state. this one is for mitzi because when it is blooming, it comes out pink. before the trial, he told bbc news he'd planted trees on the family farm in memory of the victims. it's like you press replay in your head every night and you close your eyes and you just see it and you think — there was nothing else i could have done that day to have prevented it. just thinking of the four people all the time, just thinking how horrible it must be for the families. just how hard it would be to lose someone that you love so much. phillip potter told the trial that as he sat here that afternoon,
trying to take in what had just happened, his boss, matthew gordon, came over to him, grabbed him and said, "don't tell the police about the brake warning light." this was all very much preventable. they've denied us of a family. sian vaughan says she's been horrified to hear in court about the state of the truck, especially as her chauffeur husband took safety so seriously. a word he would have used to describe them would have been "cowboys" because there's no way that steve would ever have put anybody‘s life in danger, let alone his own. the families hope matthew gordon's conviction will send a clear message to the owners of all haulage companies. he and peter wood were remanded in custody to be sentenced in the new year. jon kay, bbc news. the operation to help people leave
the remaining rebel—held parts of aleppo has been completed and the city has been retaken, according to the syrian army. one of those who managed to leave is seven—year—old bana alabed whose messages on social media captured everything from the death of friends to her family's attempt to live a normal life. 0ur correspondent, 0rla guerin, has been to meet bana and her mother. hello, i am bana, i'm seven years' old, i am from aleppo. from the rubble of aleppo to the red carpet in ankara, bana alabed and herfamily are now being hosted by the turkish government, which opposes the syrian regime. when we met, this child of war told me how her own home was flattened by a bomb. translation: we were playing happily and planning to go out and suddenly it landed. so, we got scared and ran to the basement. when our house was bombed,
we got out of the rubble safely, but we were about to die because the house was collapsing. from inside aleppo, her message echoed around the world, with help from her mother, who manages her twitter account. but some have questioned whose views were being shared. when your mum was tweeting, was she tweeting your words or tweeting her words? me and mum. together? yes. her mother, fatima, insists the twitter account was bana's idea, but admits it is a way to combat the regime. i think there now was a big fight out there. i think our words was a weapon. your twitter was a weapon? yes. but the tweets attracted threats
and made it harderfor the family to join the mass evacuation of eastern aleppo. fatima got bana on to one of the buses, disguised as a boy. today, even the fighters are openly leaving their former stronghold, but bad weather is slowing the last of the departures. just days after leaving, bana is already missing her old home. translation: i was happy to leave, but sad at the same time. i wish i could go back to aleppo, go back home. i want to live in my house, because i love it, even if it had been bombed. i love my house. before saying goodbye, bana sang us a song about childhood and stolen freedoms. # i am a child with something
to say...# 0ne voice, raised for countless others, who often go unheard. 0rla guerin, bbc news, ankara. donald trump has used twitter to announce that america needs to greatly strengthen its nuclear weapons programme. the president—elect said the us must expand its nuclear capability, until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes. 0ur north america correspondent, laura bicker, is in washington for us. we lost the picture of you there. president reagan negotiated bringing down the stop pile now president trump and president putin are thinking differently? you heard mr trump there on his twitter account.
we have no more detailed plans apart from that 140 character account. his words echo the words of vladimir putin who everyier today talked about expanding his country's nuclear possibilities, including building new nuclear warheads, new nuclear missiles. with regards to mr trump's policy, well, we only have hints from past interviews. he has talked of increasing america's capability when it comes to nuclear. he was also pressed in various interviews whether or not he would press the nuclear button. he said in the past that it would be a last possible stance. he certainly wouldn't rule it out when it came to dealing with enemies such as the so—called islamic state. he wanted to be unpredictable. this is in contrast to the last administration when president 0bama talked about the safety and security of a world
without the threat of nuclear weapons. injust without the threat of nuclear weapons. in just 29 days it will be mr trump's finger on those nuclear codes and not mr 0bama's. mr trump's finger on those nuclear codes and not mr obama's. indeed. thank you for that, laura bicker in we told you washington. about that breaking news coming out of kent. that 60 inmates are reportedly taking control of a wing at swaleside prison. the prison 0fficers' swaleside prison. the prison officers' association said there is an ongoing disturbance at the category b training position. the chairman of the prison 0fficers' association joins me now. chairman of the prison 0fficers' associationjoins me now. can you bring us up—to—date with what is going on at swaleside? it's an ongoing incident as we eluded today. we believe 60 inmates have been involved in a disturbance at hmp swaleside. beyond that, there is not
a lot of details, unfortunately. when you say disturbance, have fires been lit, have they taken the keys of any of the guards? any more detail you can give us? of any of the guards? any more detailyou can give us? the of any of the guards? any more detail you can give us? the early sketchy information coming in doesn't suggest there is anything on the scale of the hmp birmingham incident the other day. it sounds like a smaller scale incident. as i say, details are sketchy at the moment. i don't believe the incident has been going on for too long. this isa has been going on for too long. this is a category b training prison. her majesty's inspectorate of prisons in july described the jail as "dangerous" australianed found levels of violence there far too high with many serious incidents? it's a particularly difficult place to work at this minute of time. it suffers from acute staff shortages. people not attracted to the role because of poor pay and pension.
it's a tough place to work. prisoners there are in for long periods of time. big power guys. a lot of violence and drugs in those prisons at this minute in time. it's a particularly hard place to work, if you are short of staff it makes it harder to work there. you are in touch with colleagues on the ground there? yes i am. we want to support them and hope there is a speedy resolution to this latest incident. at the moment, all that you can really say is that there is an ongoing disturbance? that's right. yeah, we've got no real details. we do know it's around about 60 prisoners. 0n do know it's around about 60 prisoners. on a wing of that establishment. there is an ongoing incident. details will emerge as the night goes on, i'm sure. 60 inmates on the a wing. thank you forjoining us, mike rolfe from the prison
0fficers' us, mike rolfe from the prison officers' association. thank you. festive travellers around the country are bracing themselves for another year of christmas chaos as severe weather and station closures conspire to cause misery for people trying to get home. the met office says the worst of the weather is expected tomorrow and saturday, with gusts of up to 90mph forecast in parts of scotland, as storm barbara closes in. in the south, major rail disruption is on the way, as london's paddington station closes from the early hours of christmas eve. 0ur correspondent, paul clifton, is at reading railway station where many travellers crossing the country from the south—west are being diverted. it's good to see you. you would be talking to us about the chaos caused by strikes, now it's the authorities themselves closing the stations because of what, maintenance work? yeah. a different sort of disruption, if you like. good evening. if this was a pantomime and you said — is it worse than ever, eve ryo ne you said — is it worse than ever, everyone would shout back at you —
oh, yes it is. there is a lot of disruption to come. 0n the roads people who monitor trafficjams can't decide if tomorrow is the worst day of the entire year or whether it will be christmas eve. 0n the railway we know that on great western there will be no trains at all into london's paddington station from tomorrow night for several days. great western be railways suggest passengers could divert to waterloo station. that's got a problem, it's closing on christmas eve as well from 8.00am and for several days. it's for the usual major engineering work. you can hear warnings going on about it behind me. with me is dan pains, why close paddington? it will allow for significant work around the crossrail project and the electrification project. that will allows lou us from next year to start introducing the brand new faster more frequent services that we need. two years ago this went badly wrong. the work overran.
contractors didn't tell network rail, who didn't tell you. you couldn't tell passengers. thousands we re couldn't tell passengers. thousands were stranded. what are the chances of that happening again?l were stranded. what are the chances of that happening again? a lot happened since then. we haven't seen an overrun of that magnitude since. we are in the right place. we can't guarantee that something isn't going to trip us up. everybody is working ha rd to trip us up. everybody is working hard to make sure it doesn't. why does it is have to be done at christmas not during the summer holidays? we do this work across the whole of the year. a lot of the work is happening overnight when nobody sees it. sometimes you need a couple of days to let network rail get on with the job of upgrading the railway so it's fit for the 21st century. travel will be possible? we have ealing broadway open. we can't go into london paddington we can get within five minutes journey of it, an easy trip from the tube station. waterloo is open if people prefer is to travel that way. thank you very much. 0n the roads it will be bad tomorrow. 0ne much. 0n the roads it will be bad tomorrow. one of the sat—nav
companies is calling it "carmageddon." 12 million cars on the road. clive, it won't be good. at least we've been warned — will that make a difference? i don't know. no. thank you a thanks for that. good to see you. the weather is coming up with darren bett. windy and wet weather on the way for friday. it's been more snow in scotla nd friday. it's been more snow in scotland today. the showers in the north becoming fewer and less wintry. much of england and wales will be dry, clear skies, mist and fog patches, but to the west the temperatures will rise as the wind picks up, cloud increases and this is the first sign of our second named storm of the season, storm barbara. bringing some windy weather and heavy rain quickly into scotland and heavy rain quickly into scotland and northern ireland and that heavy rain and winds sweeping into western parts of england and wales during the afternoon. east anglia and the
south—east dry until later on. windy towards the north—west where there will be showers after the rain. later in the afternoon into the evening the winds will ramp up in the north of scotland. gusts of 80mph—90mph. this happened is where the worst of the weather will be. we have an amber warning from the met 0ffice. gusty winds will be on the way for christmas day. the headlines... hello. this is bbc news. the headlines... fingerprints of the suspect anis amri, have been found on the door of the lorry used in the berlin christmas market attack. chancellor angela merkel says she's hopeful an arrest will be made soon, and is pleased by the way her country has responded to the attack. i must say, over the last few days i
have been very proud of the composure shown by people and also of course, the officers that have been at work here. two men have been found guilty of manslaughter, after a tipper truck crashed last year in bath, killing four people including a young girl. 60 inmates have taken control of a prison on the island sheppey in kent. the prison officers' association has confirmed there is an ongoing disturbance. us president elect donald trump says america must strengthen its nuclear capabilities signalling a possible u—turn on 30 yea rs of signalling a possible u—turn on 30 years of policy to get rid of nuclear wednesday. —— nuclear wednesday. the syrian government says the last rebel fighters and civilians have left eastern aleppo and it now has full control over the entire city. let's return to one of our top stories. german police say they now believe it's likely their main suspect, anis amri, did drive the lorry that ploughed through a christmas market on monday killing 12
people and injuring 49. his fingerprints have been found in the cab. police raids are taking place across germany. earlier today our news correspondent rana jawad visited the town of 0ueslatia where anis amri the man suspected of the truck attack in berlin is from. she gave us his family's reaction to the news. this is the home that anis amri grew up this is the home that anis amri grew up in, he was barely 16 when he left his hometown in this province, there have been other worst of anger from his siblings who gathered here since we arrived and his sister came out at one point, she was crying, she was shouting at some of the journalists around saying everyone was dry to vilify her brother and the entire family. she doesn't believe that her brother had anything to do with the berlin
attacks and his brother also came out at some point and talked to us saying that his brother said he might come back to tunisia as early as january. translation: we are waiting for our brother to come back, we did not expect to hear the news we heard. by last talked to him ten days before the attack. ies operatives have been largely recruited from this country for over two years, some of them have come from big cities like tuna is, others from big cities like tuna is, others from sleepy towns like here. they come from different backgrounds, some have been from wealthy families, some have very high education, others have been averaged tunisians, trying to get high in life and still others like the suspect have come from abject poverty. friends and family say that he grew up much like any other youngster, he loved spending time
with his friends, loved listening to music and he drank alcohol but we also know he had a criminal history, he was sentenced in a censure to five years injail in a he was sentenced in a censure to five years in jail in a province and he was also imprisoned in palermo in sicily forfour years he was also imprisoned in palermo in sicily for four years before he was also imprisoned in palermo in sicily forfour years before he moved on to germany. it's not believe tea ever had any islamist links here before he left the country so if he did get radicalised as happened during his stay in europe. alan pardew says he's sad that his time at crystal palace has come to an end. pardew has been sacked with the club just one point above the premier league relegation zone. former england boss sam allardyce has emerged as the odds on favourite to succeed him. here's our sports news correspondent, david 0rnstein. this is a results business and that is what steve parish determine and co—owner made clear in a conversation i had with him after the news was announced. they can't
afford to get relegated from the premier league, he wanted to put on record has since your gratitude for the tremendous service alan pardew gave to the club in his time as a manager and previously as a player, pointing to the fa cup final performance against manchester united, just in may, they narrowly lost out. pardew says he is sad by the decision and thanked the fans, the decision and thanked the fans, the players and also steve parish and the board, no mention of the american co—owners david lidster and josh harris for their support. let's get more on that developing story, an ongoing disturbance at her majesty is presence will slide on the island sheppey. 0n the line is eric allison, the prisons correspondent for the guardian newspaper and he visited swell site not too long ago. thank you for joining us. you reported at the time
there were high levels of violence at the jail? yes, there were and i reported that. the main thrust of the story was that they are actually doing some quite good things, some innovative things are. they have opened an academy in the education department, doing very well but the governor told me it was a troubled jail. he said there was high—level is of violence and access and the use of then legal highs. her majesty isato use of then legal highs. her majesty is a to prisons in a report back in the summer described the prison as dangerous. well, it is. basically it isa dangerous. well, it is. basically it is a category b training prison, but there is a novel lot of young men in there, about 1100 inmates. and they are all serving sentences of at least four years and in some cases you are talking 20 and 25 years. and
a lot of young men even though there is 1100 in there it's not overcrowded because they are all in single cells. but clearly, it's a troubled prison. it would appear to have been confined to one wing at the moment. but i'm not really surprised because again, like all state sector prisons, it's suffered pretty severe staff cuts which means the regime has been restricted. pretty severe staff cuts which means the regime has been restrictedlj was the regime has been restricted.” was talking to mike roth from the prison officers' association some minutes ago and he seemed to be linking what's going on along with the disturbances not as great obviously at birmingham last week and other problems in the prison system across england. and he seems to be suggesting that this is the latest exa m ple to be suggesting that this is the latest example of the problems because of a lack of staff. yes and i have to agree with that. i haven't
a lwa ys i have to agree with that. i haven't always agreed with the prison officers' association but without a doubt they have lost a third of the staff in state sector prisons over the last few years and that means a more restricted regime and it means prisoners spending a lot longer in their cells under course frustration builds up and when they are released, an association or exercise, that is when it tends to kick off. i'm not surprised and to be honest, i think there's more to come, the prison system is an absolute mess, the worst state that at any absolute mess, the worst state that atany time absolute mess, the worst state that at any time i have seen it and i go back and for long time, many decades! not sober note, eric, thank you forjoining us. six months ago the uk went to the polls in the eu referendum and voted for brexit. wales, unlike the other nations in the uk, gets more money back from the eu than it pays in — but still voted to leave. as part of our series reflecting
the impact of the referendum, our wales correspondent sian lloyd has taken a journey across south wales. the train from cardiff is approaching the end of the line and the former steel down of ebbw vale. european union funding paid to re—open this railway to passengers. it was part of a plan to regenerate the south wales valleys. millions of pounds of eu funding have been invested here but in the county of blaenau gwent, there was an overwhelming vote to leave the eu by the biggest margin in wales. it's taken so much longer than i thought it would be. i thought once i voted leave that would be it, they'd start changing things, but they didn't. sports centres, schools, colleges and i know it was massively funded by the european union, so, i was disappointed because i realised that now we might have to fight to get this money for areas like ebbw vale. the welsh government is still looking to be the european union to help boost the fortunes of these former industrial towns.
a metro system that would better—connect 1.5 million people is one of its flagship policies. just this month, the first minister, carwynjones, visited brussels, before time runs out. but according to this public policy expert, many people living in communities like this, haven't felt the benefit of the eu capital scheme. in a lot of cases we've had more of the same. so we've had a new road, but there was already a road. we've had a new college, but actually there was already a college. so the kind of transformational affect that we'd like to have seen, just hasn't happened. but the welsh government says eu structural funds has been crucial in supporting growth. between 2000 and 2013, £3.3 billion was allocated to wales. a further £1.9 billion was due to be spent here between 2014 and 2020. the uk government has given assurances that it will bridge any funding gap. getting on board for a future outside the european union
is what those in the business community are now focussing on. we need to see delivering on measures such as the m4 relief road, the electrification of the valleys line. we are looking at big investment in infrastructure and energy. let's go on and deliver those and that will create business opportunities. cardiff is the final destination for these passengers — the city that gets the lion's share of investment in wales. the welsh capital voted to stay in europe. it's many of those who travel into the centre every day who delivered the result injune. they wanted change but the route to realising their ambition, and the future it'll create, is still uncertain. sian lloyd, bbc news. more rural homes in the uk are to get superfast broadband, after the government said it was expanding its scheme to areas of the countryside that suffer from poor internet access. it's spending nearly half a billion pounds to do so — a move which should benefit more
than half a million homes, as our technology correspondent rory cellan—jones now explains. connecting rural homes across the uk to fast broadband has meant an investment of £1.7 billion of public money. and nearly all of that has gone to bt. the compa ny‘s contracts with councils and local authorities mean it has to return some of that money if more than 20% of homeowners sign up when the fast broadband arrives. now, the government says that this cash clawback, coupled with efficiency savings, means another £440 million can be reinvested in the programme. there's a target of reaching 95% of homes with superfast broadband by the end of 2017. ministers believe that's within reach, and that up to 600,000 more homes and businesses could be hooked up with the new programme. we will have connected 4.5 million premises to superfast broadband, of which 1.5 million have taken up
the option of superfast, and that take—up has led to more money being put back into the system, which means we can connect those harder to reach premises and make sure they have superfast broadband too. the woman running bt‘s broadband programme says she sympathises with those still waiting to be connected. there's still more to be done. if you're one of the have—nots, it really hurts today, and i understand that. we are really determined to have a look at how we go further and faster. but critics say bt has been using the wrong technology, hooking up homeowners via a copper wire to a cabinet, rather than laying fibre—optic cables direct into their homes. it's one of the more controversial aspects of it. bt, they went for the we can roll it out very fast if we go for the partial fibre solution, that uses fibre to the green street cabinets, and then copper from there to your home. that allows them to sort of do 50,000—70,000 homes per month. rivalfirms, including sky
and talktalk, are now promising they can deliver faster fibre connections than bt, and without needing public money. the queen and the jig the queen and thejig of edinburgh have made the trip to sandringham for christmas after delaying it because they both had heavy calls. —— the duke of edinburgh. both had been scheduled to travel by train yesterday but plans were changed at the last minute. king palace confirmed the departure but would not comment on their health. prince charles has warned against religious intolerance saying it was reminiscent of what he called the dark days of the 1930s. he was speaking on the fourth of the day on bbc radio foyle. he warned about aggression towards minorities from populist groups across the globe. here's nicholas whittle. a coptic 0rthodox church
blown up in cairo. christians in iraq and syria kidnapped or driven from their homes. attacks on yazidis and jewish people and others. tolerance between the faiths and freedom of worship are important to the prince of wales. he recently attended the consecration of the new 0rthodox catheral in west london. he is troubled by the growing evidence of religious intolerance. normally at christmas we think of the birth... his starkest warning yet in a pre—recorded broadcast for thought for the day on bbc radio 4he likened the persecution of christians in iraq to what happened to thejews in nazi germany. we have seen the rise of populist groups across the world who are increasingly aggressive towards