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tv   BBC News at Ten  BBC News  March 2, 2017 10:00pm-10:31pm GMT

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tonight at ten: the pressure mounts on the us attorney general, who stands accused of lying under oath. following calls to stand down over claims that he lied about contacts with russian officials during the election campaign, jeff sessions made this statement. i never had meetings with russian operatives or russian intermediaries about the trump campaign. president trump has declared his total confidence in mr sessions, but his political opponents have been piling on the pressure. the fact that the attorney general — the top cop in our country — lied under oath to the american people is grounds for him to resign. we'll have the latest. mr sessions also promised not to have any involvement in the official investigation into russian interference in the presidential election. also tonight. police chiefs in england and wales have blamed budget cuts for a series of failings identified by inspectors. the value of the parent company of snapchat has risen
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sharply, after its launch on the new york stock exchange. in china, we witness the official efforts to silence popular criticism ahead of the national people's congress. and jackie's life afterjfk — the lost letters which reveal a love affair with a senior british diplomat. and coming up in sportsday later in the hour on bbc news — high drama in dubai for andy murray. after an epic tie—break, the world number one is into the the semifinals. good evening. one of president trump's most trusted colleagues, the us attorney generaljeff sessions, is under intense pressure tonight. he's facing allegations that he lied under oath about his contacts
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with russian officials during the election campaign. but mr sessions, speaking within the past hour, has denied any improper contact and he's announced that he'll not be involved in the official investigation into claims of russian influence in the presidential election. our north america editor jon sopel reports. marine one touching down on the navy's newest aircraft carrier, and the president feeling the full downdraught of the latest setback to buffet his administration. his attorney general, jeff sessions, facing charges that he lied under oath during his confirmation hearings over his contacts with the russians. but the president is standing by him. mr president, do you still have confidence in the attorney general? total. when were you aware that he spoke to the russian ambassador? i wasn't aware at all. what's emerged is that then senator sessions met the russian
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ambassador at the republican convention injuly. he met him again in september. but at his confirmation hearing this january, he denied any contact with the russians. if there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the trump campaign communicated with the russian government in the course of this campaign, what will you do? senator franken, i'm not aware of any of those activities. i have been called a surrogate a time or two in that campaign and i did not have communications with the russians. i'm unable to comment on it. we've now had the national security adviser fired over his legs to russia, the attorney general accused of perjuring himself because of his contacts and the white house is absolutely insistent there is nothing untoward, there is nothing to see, and the crowd should move on. but the questions keep piling up. senior democrats are demanding
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jeff sessions‘ resignation and for the appointment of a special prosecutor. the fact that the attorney general, the top cop in our country, lied under oath to the american people is grounds for him to resign. it is grounds for him to resign. he has proved that he‘s underqualified and unfit to serve in position. of trust. republicans aren‘t going that far, but a growing number have said that you can‘t have an attorney general overseeing an investigation into russian activities, if he himself is comprised. they are demanding him recuse himself. based on what we have read on the information is not complete, the attorney general should further clarify and i think you will need to recuse himself at this point. at a news conference a short time agojeff sessions insisted he‘d done nothing wrong, but he did bow to pressure from within his own party. i've decided to recuse myself from any existing
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oi’ to recuse myself from any existing or future investigations of any matter relating in any way to the campaigns for president of the united states. # goblin webb bless the usa -- united states. # goblin webb bless the usa —— god bless the usa. there‘s no disguising the warmth of the reception the us president received. his hope is the rest of the american personnel are more interested in what he‘s doing in national security and jobs than they are in latest washington brouhaha. that report just in are in latest washington brouhaha. that reportjust in from our north american editor, john sobel. policing in england and wales is in a "potentially perilous" state, with some forces putting the public at risk, according to the police watchdog, the inspectorate of constabulary. the report did say most of the 43 forces were providing a good service, but that others were letting victims down. police leaders say forces are having to "prioritise more" because of a sharp fall in their budgets, as our home editor mark easton reports. the arrest of a suspected drug dealer in bedfordshire this morning. this is the traditional
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view of what police do. they nick criminals. but the alleged crime scene offers clues to what 21st century policing now involves. phones and sim cards may reveal victims requiring protection. a laptop might reveal evidence of cybercrime. the presence of a woman‘s possessions could suggest a safeguarding issue to consider. bedfordshire police were today described as "inadequate" in a report by her majesty‘s inspectorate of constabulary, with around a third of chief constables in england and wales told their effectiveness was not good enough. there‘s a rationing of police services in some areas because resources are stretched. deliberately on occasions. the amount of risk associated with a victim is downplayed. bedfordshire police is criticising a report which claims the force is inadequate... in an extraordinary response, bedfordshire police issued their own video rebuttal, complaining the official inspectors had got it
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wrong. later, the chief constable told the bbc the hmic had failed to recognise the force‘s changing priorities, including a cyber unit. only today, the officers and staff from this unit have arrested an individual who is responsible for downloading the most abusive and awful images of children. and that‘s what we‘re doing, we‘re protecting people on a daily basis. and i‘m very frustrated that the good work of the force hasn‘t been shown. police budgets have been cut by over 20% in the last five years, but then crime has fallen by a third in the same period. the government argues if some forces are coping, poor performers should get a grip. theresa may once said the mission of the police was to cut crime. no more and no less. but of the priority and emergency calls they receive, actually less than a quarter are directly crime related. a typical day in a typical force will see 50 arrests, but also 14 incidents relating to
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mental health issues and 12 missing person reports. police work has shifted from catching villains to protecting victims. there was an age where if someone had an obvious injury from an assault, somebody got arrested, how straightforward is that? it has completely changed, it's about safeguarding. it's about assessing what the risk is. have police officers become social workers? they've had to become broader public servants as well as, not forgetting and they still make lots of arrests, they still take people to court. it‘s a long way from z cars or the sweeney. whether forces are getting their 21st—century priorities right is a debate that continues to rage. mark easton, bbc news. british cycling has apologised for failings in the way it looked after its riders, and it‘s promised to improve. an investigation was launched last year, after allegations of sexism and bullying. and the team‘s new chairman, jonathan browning, has set out a plan for improving the welfare of athletes. our sports editor dan roan
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has more details. for years the story was one of success — british cycling defined by medals and glory. but now the image has been tainted amid a damaging tide of bullying and sexism allegations. all have been denied, but today, the man tasked with salvaging the sport‘s reputation told me it was time for cycling to say sorry. do you owe riders and staff an apology today? we‘ve already met with our groups of both riders and staff and we‘ve made it very clear that where there‘s been failings, we apologise for those. we recognise them, but we‘re going to do something about them and move forward. so there was a bullying culture then here at british cycling? i think there have been some well reported instances where behaviour was unacceptable. today, with training here continuing as normal, british cycling unveiled a 39—point action plan, designed to overhaul governance and athlete welfare. it all stems back to last year, when former sprint cyclist jess varnish complained about sexism and bullying amid a culture of fear at the sport‘s high—class
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performance programme. and she‘s not alone. a decade ago, jenny copnall was national mountain biking champion and says she was also a victim of discrimination at british cycling. i‘ve certainly known of staff who have said to me down the years, and particularly when i retired, that they supported and they had felt bad for my situation, but hadn‘t been able to say anything, because they were worried about their job. the idea ofjob preservation was almost a joke amongst riders, in the way that management behaved and decisions were made. british cycling‘s credibility was further damaged yesterday, when mps heard about a failure to keep records of medical treatments for riders. sir bradley, if we could have a quick chat, please? my house! the man at the centre of the storm, sir bradley wiggins, today declined to answer questions about the contents of a now infamous medical package delivered to him in 2011. the controversy refusing to go away.
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but there‘s a real warning here for other sports, too. a growing sense that british cycling is symbolic of a win at all costs mentality that comes at too high a price. today, it was warned that unless things improve, it could lose millions of pounds worth of public funding. your best funded and most successful governing body is in crisis, isn‘t it? well, there‘s a lot going on around british cycling. there are a number of fires that seem to be going off in different areas and it‘s difficult for them at this point in time. i was shocked and disturbed by what i heard yesterday, particularly around the area of medical management. do you accept it looks very suspicious? i accept we have many gaps that we need to address in how we run some of the areas of the business. these are dark days for the sport
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and with publication of what‘s thought to be an explosive report into cycling‘s culture now imminent, lifting the gloom won‘t be easy. dan roan, bbc news, manchester. a brief look at some of the day‘s other other news stories. the syrian army says it‘s regained control of the city of palmyra from the islamic state group. is has twice held palmyra — which is famous for its ancient ruins — during the six—year syrian conflict. during that time they‘ve destroyed some of the city‘s greatest monuments. polls have just closed in the second election to the northern ireland assembly in less than a year. the power—sharing executive, led by the democratic unionist party and sinn fein, collapsed injanuary. the votes will be counted tomorrow. three skiers have been killed in an avalanche in the northern italian alps. 18 people were skiing off—piste on fresh snow when they were hit by the avalanche, near courmayeur, this afternoon. three people were seriously injured and were taken to hospital by helicopter. a man has admitted raping a woman just hours before he married his pregnant partner. derry mccann, who‘s 28, attacked the woman in a park in east london injanuary.
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mccann was jailed for a similar attack when he was a teenager. he‘ll be sentenced next month and was told he faced "a very, very long time" in prison. the french presidential candidate, emmanuel macron, has unveiled his policy agenda — promising to boost the economy and fight corruption. mr macron, who‘s running on a centrist manifesto, had been criticised for being too vague. tonight it emerged police have searched the home of one of mr macron‘s rivals, francois fillon. he now finds himself in the unusual position in this election of being the only major candidate not facing possible criminal charges, as our paris correspondent lucy williamson reports. may his stage may not be as glitzy as the oscars but emmanuel macron knows how to play the star.
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never mind that critics describe his campaign as blah blah land — all talk, no real policies. today this 39—year—old first—time candidate came armed with plenty of them. he‘s promised big tax cuts, spending cuts and the sale of government stakes in some companies but he‘s also promised 50 billion euros of investment and help for those on low incomes. mr macron‘s supporters are largely young, urban professionals. so, onejournalist asked — why does a former investment banker deserve the working—class vote? translation: i was born in a provincial town and in a family that had nothing to do with the world of journalists or bankers. i climbed the ranks. it‘s with a lot of pride that i say i am the candidate of the working and the middle classes and frankly when i compare my project with marine le pen‘s, she wants to withdraw
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from the eurozone and destroy 30% of people‘s savings. expanding his vote to blue collar workers is key for mr macron. here in lyon he‘s won over the socialist mayor but the support of the city‘s factory workers is proving much more difficult. translation: if it's between macron and marine le pen in the second round i would vote for macron, but it would be a vote of necessity, not the vote i really want. i think he will better try to get closer to people in general. by "people", i include, of course, older people, more conservative people and workers who work. polls suggest marine le pen has the support of almost half the blue collar vote in france and is gaining among farmers and some public servants, too. but she‘s also battling claims that she misused eu money to pay party staff. emmanuel macron‘s strategy lies in holding together two
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different political tides. the centre—left and the centre—right. critics say the glue in that formula has been mr macron‘s personality and his deliberately vague ideas. this programme tries to offer something to both sides but will it be enough to keep them faithful and get them out to vote? with his centre—right rival francois fillon under investigation for embezzlement, this presidency could come down to a choice between mr macron or marine le pen, between globalisation or protectionism — the new political divide. lucy williamson, bbc news, paris. this weekend china will open its annual parliamentary session, the national people‘s congress. as usual the weeks leading up to the congress have been marked by a nationwide effort to stop some of the most marginalised members of society from reaching beijing. these petitioners are often prevented from airing
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their grievances and this year our correspondentjohn sudworth has had first—hand experience of the tactics deployed by the authorities to silence criticism. there are some violent images in this report. give us the camera. our interview is not going to plan. we are stopped from meeting the family we‘ve come to see. this woman and her sister claim their father was beaten to death by a policeman in a land dispute. they‘re among the many thousands of people who travel regularly to beijing seeking justice — known as petitioners. so the petitioners hope to use china‘s annual parliamentary gathering to make their case. but here‘s the reality, china‘s communist party doesn‘t want the pomp and pageantry spoilt by... by this country‘s dispossessed and marginalised. the thugs force us out
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and smash our cameras. before the start of the national people‘s congress this weekend, a major security operation is under way. while local officials work to stop petitioners reaching beijing, at the petitions‘ office, where, in theory, their complaints and grievances can be lodged, hundreds of plain clothed security guards now lie in wait to catch people and send them home. we meet two women who show us their petitions. one, claiming that a well—connected company boss stole money from her. the other, trying to overturn an alleged miscarriage ofjustice. "we come here during the congress because there is a chance for to us meet upright officials",
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this woman says, "but instead we‘re treated as troublemakers and threatened." the interview is abruptly stopped, although for now, at least, the women are free to leave. few petitioners ever succeed in getting justice. along with the persecution, it makes their faith in the system all the more remarkable. we are just a few blocks away from the people‘s congress but the reality they play here is very different indeed. for those who need political representation the most, this is a system marked by suspicion, surveillance and control. jon sudworth, bbc news, beijing. shares in the company that owns the messaging app snapchat have jumped nearly 50% on its stock market debut. snapchat, which is best known for its disappearing messages, allows its 158 million users to share photos, often using novelty filters, but it has never made a profit. our technology correspondent
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rory cellanjones is with me, rory, why is the company that doesn‘t make a profit the subject of this attention? . the shares have been massively oversubscribed with big investors terrified of missing out on the next big on the next investors terrified of missing out on the next big thing. the young founders were billionaires on paper before it opened on the new york stock exchange and within a couple of hours the shares were trading at a price of $25, up nearly 50% on the day even at the open price, $17, the company was valued then at an extraordinary $25 billion. all the more extraordinary when you think it has never made any money. in fact last year it made a loss of $515 million. but the investors, they are not betting on what the company is 110w not betting on what the company is now but on what they believe it might become with that very young
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audience, mainly 15—25—year—olds, they don‘t watch tv, this is the a way of reaching them. but the competition has slowed recently. there‘s competition from instagram, which is copying a lot of snap snap‘s capabilities and there is a warning sign from what happened to twitter. on its opening day on the stock market, its shares rose over 90%, today those shares are 40% below the opening price a few years ago. the chief inspector of hospitals in england has given a stark warning about the state of the nhs, saying it‘s standing on a "burning platform", with four out of five trusts needing to improve patient safety. professor sir mike richards says the traditional model of caring for patients is no longer capable of meeting the needs of today‘s population. our health editor hugh pym has the story. i‘ll bring your baby across and let you know about the checks we are going to do on him today.
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a new birth today and a new beginning for this hospital in cambridge. maternity and other services were rated inadequate by the regulator, the care quality commission, in 2015. the trust, which includes addenbrooke‘s, was put into special measures, but now it‘s tackled the problems and is rated "good". it was a very big shock for our patients. the boss who helped steer the hospital from the low point of special measures back to where it should be, told me how they went about it. the wider leadership teams invested a huge amount of their time, you know in some cases well over two days a week, in going out into frontline clinical areas and talking to staff and listening to them and listening to patients about what needed to improve in the organisation. and listening to them and listening to patients about what needed to improve in the organisation. the care quality commission makes clear that while there are successful turnarounds like at this hospital, there are others where there is cause for concern and where care is still falling short.
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the cqc report said across major hospital trusts in england, 68% were rated as inadequate or needing improvement. 81% was said to need to improve safety but 93% were praised for the caring attitude of staff. but those ratings were done before this winter‘s extreme pressure in hospitals and the coc says the whole system needs a complete overhaul. of course i have concerns about what has been happening and i think we need to take a long look at that to see what more can be done in terms of improving the acute care model, from emergency admissions, through the hospital, through to discharge. so we need to look across the country at all of those things. but some hospitals are managing it better than others. the system as a whole is under strain but for some hospitals the mood is more relaxed — those who having had a bad inspection have turned things around and got high marks for patient care. hugh pym bbc news. the former prime minister, gordon brown, has called on the government to implement the next stage of the leveson
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inquiry into allegations about press intrusion. mr brown says there are "unanswered questions" about the way newspaperjournalists have behaved which need to be investigated. the leveson inquiry was intended to be in two parts but five years on, the second phase still hasn‘t happened. our media editor amol rajan has the story. remember this? the leveson inquiry allowed victims of phone hacking and press intrusion to explain in harrowing detail how their lives had been ruined by britain‘s tabloid press. "never again!" said the government at the time. but that inquiry was only part one. and former prime minister gordon brown, whose bank and mortgage accounts were broken into, says it‘s now time for part two. leveson one could only deal with part of the problem. the whole of the problem has got to be dealt with, including the way murdoch newspapers impersonated people. including the way that there were breaches of the law. including also how e—mail interception might have happened, as well as
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telephone interception. these are very serious issues. the remit of the first inquiry was broad. to look at the culture, practice and ethics of britain‘s press. a second, more specific, inquiry would look at claims of police corruption and allegations of corporate wrongdoing at news international. but five years on, it still hasn‘t happened. it was almost certainly the worst experience of my life. one man splashed across tabloid front pages was the teacher, christopherjefferies. he was wrongly accused of killing his
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tenant, joanna yates, and hounded for weeks. he‘s now patron of the press reform group hacked off. one sees the same kind of treatment of innocent people in the press that i had to go through. one finds the same extraordinary disregard for truth and for accuracy. victims of press abuse believe britain‘s newspapers got away with it. but many journalists have already appeared in the dock, according here at the old bailey. and some of fleet street‘s loudest voices believe this is all part of a vendetta against a free press. one of rupert murdoch‘s most controversial former editors says a second inquiry would be a waste of time. what would this achieved? you‘d get some clapped—out old judge out of retirement to discuss the "relationship" between the police and the press. there is no relationship. the police and the government want to control what
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appears in your papers. many of gordon brown‘s criticisms focus on mr murdoch, who is currently trying to buy the remainder of sky, with a formal bid expected imminently. five years after david cameron promised part two, victims of press abuse believe the leveson inquiry is unfinished business. amol rajan, bbc news. a series of lost love letters detailing the relationship between jackie kennedy and a british aristocrat and senior diplomat are to be auctioned this month. the letters were written after the assassination of president kennedy but ended whenjackie kennedy married the greek tycoon aristotle onassis. our correspondent david sillito has been studying the letters. dear david, your last letter was such a cri de coeur of loneliness. i would do anything to take that anguish from you. it doesn‘t seem that we can ever help the people we would wish to help. david is the man here in the middle. david ormsby gore, britain‘s ambassador in washington.
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the person writing to him was a woman he wanted to marry, jacqueline kennedy. this is a love story in letters that was, for the last 30 years, locked in this box. a few weeks ago, the lock was forced, and it all came spilling out. david ormsby gore had known jack kennedy for many years. he was more than just an ambassador, he was a friend. the story of this glamorous golden couple and the tragedy of the assassination shook the world. these letters reveal the private story. how when david ormsby gore lost his wife romance blossomed. but his heart was broken, and jackie left him for aristotle onassis.
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one letter from 1968 says it all. he writes about their plans for a marriage, a possible secret marriage. all that, he says, has become irrelevant trash. "as for your photograph", he says, "i weep when i look at it. why do such agonising things have to happen?" we also have jackie kennedy‘s response to that letter. she writes back to him, painfully, one aristotle onassis‘s own stationery from his yacht, and with a greek stamp on the envelope, and says, no, it‘s not that bad, really, i‘ll always love you and we‘ll always have something special together. but i don‘t know how much that placated him. david ormsby gore died 32 years ago. no one knew what was in the box, there wasn‘t even a key. these letters are a fascinating glimpse into the world of the white house, the kennedys, and a romance bound by grief. ...have shared so many lives and deaths and hopes and pain. we will share them forever, and be forever bound together by them. david sillito, bbc news. an update on our main story, the pressure on us attorney—generaljeff session who has been accused of lying and his announcement today that he will not be involved in the
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official investigation into claims by russian interference in the us presidential election. let‘s go has mr sessions done enough to under his critics? on the republican side they sincerely hope so, this is what they sincerely hope so, this is what they wanted. they wanted him to say, i‘m not going to have any part in any investigation overseeing it, into whether the russians interfered in the election. the republicans have got back. the democrats, though, are not going to let it go. they believe he lied under oath when he said, i had no contact with the russians. he has explained by saying, i was asked whether i had contact as a trump campaign manager. the answer was, no. contact as a trump campaign manager. the answerwas, no. did i contact as a trump campaign manager. the answer was, no. did i have contact with him as a member of the armed services committee, yes i did. he may have been better served to have given a more honest answer at


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