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tv   BBC News at Five  BBC News  April 13, 2017 5:00pm-6:01pm BST

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today at five, syrian president bashar al—assad denies that his regime carried out last week's chemical weapons attack. he dismisses reports that his armed forces were responsible as "100% fabrication". the west, mainly the united states, is hand in glove with the terrorists. they fabricated the whole story in order to have a pretext for the attack. more than 80 people were killed in the rebel—held town of khan sheikhoun. hundreds suffered symptoms consistent with a nerve agent. like the united states, we believe it is highly likely that attack was carried out by the assad regime. we'll have the latest, and we'll be talking to a former uk ambassador to russia. ambassador to syria. the other main stories on bbc news at five. new grammar schools in england should to do more to help ordinary working families, says the education secretary. russia should have done more to prevent the beslan school siege in 2004, in which more than 300 people died, according to a european court of human rights ruling. a bbc investigation finds that some landlords are offering rent—free
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accommodation to young, vulnerable people in exchange for sex. and hold on tight, as we mark 200 years of thrills since the opening of the first roller—coaster. our main story at five. the syrian president bashar al—assad has said claims that his armed forces were behind the chemical weapons attack on the town of khan sheikhoun are "a 100% fabrication". the us launched missile strikes against an airbase in retaliation for the attack, which it blamed on the syrian government. in his first interview since the chemical weapons attack, president assad claimed that that the us worked "hand in glove"
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with terrorist groups to stage the attack as a pretext for the american air strikes. theresa may said the evidence against assad's regime was clear. keith doyle reports. he's been in powerfor 17 years. he says he is fighting terrorists. the us, the uk and their allies say he is responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths and millions of refugees. in his first interview since the chemical attack which the us says was carried out by his forces, president assad denied any responsibility and even questioned if the attack ever took place. we don't know whether those dead children in khan sheikhoun, where they dead at all? who committed the attack if there was an attack? we have no information at all, nothing at all. no one investigated. so you think it is fabrication? ryder
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definitely, 100% trust, it is fabrication. president assad's denials do not correspond with the fa ct denials do not correspond with the fact the us in the west said proved the syrian army was behind the chemical attack. there was no order to make any attack. we don't have any chemical weapons. we gave up our arsenals a few years ago. even if we had them, we would not use them, and we have never used our chemical arsenal in our history. the attack, which killed 87 people, has been the ca ta lyst which killed 87 people, has been the catalyst which has brought the us and russia head—to—head. they are on opposing sides in syria's civil war. their positions on this directly determine the state of relations between them. last night, russia vetoed a un security council ruling which would have compelled syria to cooperate with an investigation into the chemical attack. the syrian leader's denials will do nothing to bridge the diplomatic gulf between the us and russia. the russian president, vladimir putin, said relations have deteriorated and it
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seems he and the us president agree on one thing. it would be wonderful, as we were discussing just a little while ago, if nato and our country could get along with russia. right now, we're not getting along with russia at all. we may be at an all—time low in terms of the relationship with russia. this has built for a long period of time. here, the prime minister set out the uk's position. there can be no future for syria with assad in power. russia is on the wrong side of this argument but we are willing to work with russia to bring an end to work with russia to bring an end to the conflict in syria, to bring about a political situation, a political solution in syria, but that political solution has to be without assad. but in what are now regarded as regular ea rly—morning tweets, president trump was optimistic that the us and russia could work together. "things will work out fine between the usa and russia", he said. "at the right time, everyone will come to their
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senses and there will be lasting peace". keith doyle, bbc news. basil eastwood is a former british ambassador to syria and joins us from our oxford studio. president assad actually went further, didn't he, than the russians, when he says it was 100% fabrication. do you suspect that maybe the russians will be slightly annoyed with that? i think they must be finding its like leah barrow thing to have to veto a resolution that would call for an investigation, presumably because there is something to hide. so looking as russia, as syria a big —— appear to looking as russia, as syria a big —— appearto dig looking as russia, as syria a big —— appear to dig their heels in, will be west's wish of a future in syria without assad, is that ever likely given where we are at the moment? without assad, is that ever likely given where we are at the moment7m is not likely as long as russia remains stalwart in its support for assad. but i'm not sure that they are assad. but i'm not sure that they a re really assad. but i'm not sure that they are really —— they really see assad as being in their interest. their
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interest is to maintain their position in syria, not necessarily through assad. if they can see some other way of maintaining their position without assad, they might be prepared to see him go. because their argument all along has been it is all very well to call for his removal but what replaces him, chances are, it would be worse? not necessarily. i mean, ithink the islamic fundamentalists, or the isis are unlikely to be the replacement. but that would be for negotiation. when president assad goes on television like this, do you think he... who is advising him? where will he have decided that was going to be his defence, that it never happened? a very good question because i mean, he lives in a bit of a bubble. it is a small coterie, who advised him, members of his family, and a few trusted advisers. but they
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don't have a particularly well—developed sense of the international views on things. well, that sort of leads me to the trump tweet, because there he is, saying there will be world peace, in effect, quite soon, don't worry. that is not going to calm many people's nerves, given the position we are in at the moment. no, i think thatis we are in at the moment. no, i think that is whistling to keep his... his spirits up! and in terms of those relations between moscow and washington, with or without president assad, where do they go? with president assad, they stay in the freezer. if some sort of a deal can be concocted, which leads to his departure, then the ensuing situation will basically be designed
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by the russians and the americans. what will be going on behind the scenes in terms of the link between moscow and syria ? scenes in terms of the link between moscow and syria? will they be having daily phone calls? will there be friendly chats during the day, or will vladimir putin be beginning to say, "we need to start distancing ourselves of it? " good question and i'm afraid as an outsider, i don't know, is the answer. if you were still in syria, and i know you left just as the current president took power, what would your approach be if you were trying to broker between the west and syria? do you think all lines of communication have now gone, lines of communication have now o lines of communication have now gone, 01’ are lines of communication have now gone, or are still things perhaps going on behind the scenes?” gone, or are still things perhaps going on behind the scenes? i think there's very little going on behind there's very little going on behind the scenes if anything at all. one would probably have do operate through a third party rather than
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have a direct line of communication. finally, how safe do you think president assad is, given there will be some people saying they will get rid of him one way or another? i... i think there is no prospect of him going in the nearfuture but in the medium term, i would have thought it is quite likely. you wouldn't be buying shares in him? no. thank you for joining buying shares in him? no. thank you forjoining us. not at all. we can now speak to our washington correspondent gary o'donoghue. gary, i want to come onto the tweet ina gary, i want to come onto the tweet in a moment but first, given what president assad has said, is their anger in the white house that he has said it is all made up? —— is their angen said it is all made up? —— is their anger. i don't think it is a surprise. we will hear later what their reaction is to it, i'm sure. but this is pretty much what the russians have been saying for the last week or so about what happened
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in idlib and the subsequent air strikes. they won't be entirely surprised. they will brush off, i'm sure, this idea that somehow they are hand in glove with islamic state. i think they will try to reiterate their view that bashar al assad has no future in terms of syria. that is something they have struggled to articulate in the last couple of weeks here in washington. but they now seem to be taking a much harder line on his position at the time, of course, when he feels a lot stronger, and backed by the russians, of course, he has less, sort of, obligation, and less pushing him towards the negotiating table. let's talk about the tweet because donald trump says at the right time for everyone will come to their senses and there will be lasting peace. i've been looking for a response from vladimir putin and there has not been one yet. but these tweets, what is the sense, there? well, it's very difficult,
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isn't it? because the rhetoric less than 2a hours ago was the polar opposite of that. it is very difficult to know whether this is a grand strategy, or whether this is a certain amount of floundering about. imean, certain amount of floundering about. i mean, there's clearly a huge difficulty between washington and moscow at the moment. there were high hopes on both sides, i think, before the election, that things would improve. they have rapidly, rapidly deteriorated. i mean, the rhetoric about it being, you know, the worst ever situation, i think is a bit over the top. i mean, there was the cu ban a bit over the top. i mean, there was the cuban missile crisis, wasn't there? but there are clearly huge problems and syria is the nub of the problem. they ought to be gone in a sense, on the same side in syria, at least as far as defeating the jack rabbits goes but they disagree about the future —— the jihadis goes but
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they disagree about the future of assad and they disagree on donald trump's emphasis on nato, for example, now, which is no longer obsolete, which will irritate moscow as well. and still, there is the question of ukraine. there are so many issues that they have to sort out and they are miles apart on them. gary o'donoghue, in washington, thank you. the education secretary justine greening has defended plans to push ahead with new grammar schools in england, saying she wants to create schools that are "truly open to all". in a speech this morning, she said she wanted grammar schools to serve more children from disadvantaged backgrounds. labour argues that poorer pupils won't be helped by new grammars. our education correspondent gillian hargreaves reports. it's big business coaching children to pass the test for grammar school. there are only 163 such schools in england at the moment, but the government plans to open more. some parents, like these at a tuition centre in kent, find such an education immensely appealing.
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my daughter has been in a grammar school for the past five years and i have found that she is really progressing. the girls of the grammar school, they are really behaving themselves, and it's notjust the academics. they do extracurricular activities, which can kind of polish their personality, and they are much more focused. it's about having more options for what schools my son can go to at the age of 11. there's a variety of schools open to him, but there's no guarantee, so it wasjust about us giving him more choices, more options. critics say grammars only benefit wealthier families, which is why the government says they must do more to appeal to what they describe as ordinary working families. this morning, they defined such families as those with a household income of around £33,000 per year. 36% of grammar school places are taken up by these families. but grammars are dominated by the most well—off families. more than half, 53% of places, are taken up by them.
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i want these new schools to work for everyone. this will be a new model of grammars, truly open to all. we will insist on that. and it will reflect the choices of local parents and communities. labour changed the law in 1998 to prevent any new grammar schools being built, saying they only helped the privileged few. unfortunately, grammar schools are not open to everyone and they are selective in their nature, and all the evidence suggests that people from working—class backgrounds don't get into grammar schools. you have to pay for private tuition to get into them. and they are a closed shop for most children, and actually a comprehensive system is the best way forward. a new generation of grammar schools would be controversial, but the education secretary says she wants them open to all children, whatever their backgrounds. she is, in effect, rebranding grammar schools in the hope that she can see off the critics. plans for new grammar schools are still being drawn up,
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but are expected to be published before the summer. gillian hargreaves, bbc news. 13 years ago, more than 1,000 people were taken hostage by chechen rebels at a school in beslan in russia. more than 330 people were killed when russian forces eventually stormed the building. half of those who died were children. today, the european court of human rights ruled that the russian government should have done more to prevent the bloodshed, and it awarded compensation of around £2.5 million to relatives. sophie long reports, and you may find some of the images upsetting. when rebels stormed school number one in beslan and forced more than 1100 children, parents and teachers into the gym, more than 330 people died. 186 of them were children. the terror inside and around the school lasted for 52 hours. there were bombs taped to the walls and hanging from the ceiling. women and children
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were forced to stand by the windows as human shields. translation: they made women stand in the windows, tanks were firing, the women were given curtains and they were waving and shouting, "don't shoot, there are people here". some women fell from the windows and died. some, like this little girl, managed to escape. for them, and for those forced to wait for three days, terrified, listening to gunshots, this ruling is the result they had hoped for. translation: the court said that russia failed to take reasonable steps to protect the lives of the hostages, that critical intelligence was not acted on adequately to prevent the attack, and that once the siege had begun, russian officials failed to minimise the loss of life. russian security forces had surrounded the school. when they stormed the building,
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they used tanks and flame—throwers, when hundreds of people were still inside. translation: they did not even get water to us. for the sake of the chaume, they could have done more, they could have negotiated so that more children were freed. the doctor took demands out to officials but they did not agree to them and then they did not agree to them and then they started firing. i saw it. and they started firing. i saw it. and they did nothing to save the children. the kremlin have said the ruling is absolutely unacceptable. but the court awarded $3 million in compensation and underlined that there should now be a new, objective investigation. the survivors group, mothers of beslan, say they will now push for that. they argue they owe it to their children to make sure the people responsible for their deaths are held to account. sophie long, bbc news.
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later in the programme, i'll be speaking to the author of a book on the tragedy, and a lawyer from the firm working to secure compensation for families of the victims. this is bbc news at five — the headlines. syria's president assad says reports of a chemical attack in the country are "100% fabrication" and that the syrian army has given up all chemical weapons. the education secretary says she will create a new wave of grammar schools in england — which are open to ordinary working families — and not the privileged few. the european court of human rights rules that russia should have done more to prevent the beslan school siege in 200a. in sport, great britain has won a second medal at the world track cycling championships in hong kong, chris latham taking bronze in the scratch race to eto'o elinor barker's silver in the women's yesterday. chelsea's n'golo kante favourite for this year's pfa player of the year award, the short list also includes eden hazard, zlatan
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ibrahimovic, romelu lukaku, hurricane and alexis sanchez. the draw has been made for the first round of the world snooker championship. last year's when a work —— winner mark selby will face fergal o'brien on saturday morning at the crucible. more on those stories after 5:30pm. the families of two more babies who died under the care of shrewsbury and telford hospital trust want their deaths to be part of the investigation announced yesterday by the health secretary. it follows the avoidable deaths of seven babies injust over 18 months, five of whom died after failures to monitor their heart rate properly during labour. the trust says its mortality levels are in line with the national average. our social affairs correspondent michael buchanan reports. this is the nhs trust whose mistakes keep causing the deaths of healthy infants. yesterday, bbc news revealed that seven babies died unnecessarily at the shrewsbury and telford trust in little over 18 months. the scale of the problems has prompted the health secretary
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to order a review of maternity services. jeremy hunt wants to ensure no more families suffer like this one. tamsin morris lost her daughter, ivy, last may, aged just four months, following mistakes at her birth. we all think that something like this won't ever happen, it won't happen to me. and it has. and i can only take it day—by—day, sometimes. if i'm lucky, week—by—week. how old would he be there, roughly? probably five hours old. other families are still pushing forjustice. hayley matthews' son, jack, died within hours of his birth in 2015. she says the trust never properly investigated the death. following our investigations, however, the local coroner is now considering holding an inquest. i was expecting a healthy baby. two years, i've been fighting. it's not going to bring my boy back, but hopefully it'll save other babies and parents going
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through what we've gone through, and other people. the trust say they have investigated all maternity deaths, and say they will contact hayley about her case. they also say they are learning lessons from incidents, and are improving services. michael buchanan, bbc news. we have just had a statement from shrewsbury and telford nhs hospital trust, their chief executive, simon wright says, "the death of a baby is the most tragic event imaginable and we again apologise unreservedly to the families involved. we are working with our patients. we have already taken a number of steps to make improvements. our midwives are supported to have special training in friedel heartrate monitoring. we have also drained our staff to improve friedel heart rate analysis and purchased specific monitoring the sheens which use specially developed software. we are not complacent and discussed our learning in women and children's
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services at every board meeting". that has come through in the last few minutes. the latest nhs figures, for february, show a small improvement in performance in a&e units and waiting times in england, compared with january. but over the three months of winter, the figures show a big increase in the number of a&e patients waiting at least four hours, against the same period a year ago. our health correspondent jane dreaper reports. unprecedented pressure in the nhs means nurses have never worked harder, and for so little, according to their union. the royal college of nursing says due to pay freezes, and then a pay cap, nurses have seen the money they take home cut in real terms by 14% since 2010. it says that's why it has decided to ask staff whether they would be prepared to strike. 270,000 nhs nurses will be able to vote in the online survey over the next few weeks. everybody‘s unhappy. so, most nurses are unhappy with their income. so they're working harder than ever, but there's been years now of absolutely no pay increase.
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some of our nurses are telling us they absolutely love being a nurse, it's a fantasticjob, but they just don't think they can afford to do it anymore. last year, junior doctors in england staged six one—day strikes in a bitter dispute over their new contract. those were the first all—out stoppages in the history of the nhs. if nurses are balloted, they might consider stopping overtime or other industrial action. a health think tank says it's another sign of pressure building amongst nhs staff. we are seeing this in growing vacancies, in people switching to part—time work and working for agencies, and it's becoming increasingly difficult to recruit from overseas because of brexit. the result of all of this i think is that we should be as concerned about the workforce problems the nhs faces as we are about the money, if not more so. there's never been an all—out nurses' strike, but new figures have today confirmed how difficult the winter was. almost 200,000 a&e patients
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in england who needed a hospital bed had to wait at least four hours — a record number. the department of health says front line services are being protected, with more nurses on the ward since 2010. jane dreaper, bbc news. some breaking news from wiltshire police, two people arrested by detectives investigating child abuse allegations against the late former prime minister sir edward heath have been released and told they faced no further action, according to the police statement. this was operation conifer which had examined the claims since appealing for alleged victims to come forward in the summer of 2015. they were the only two suspects who had been arrested. the former conservative prime minister died at his home injuly 2005 at the age of 89. prosecutors in germany say the suspect being questioned about the borussia dortmund football bus attack led an islamic state
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command unit in iraq. they believe the 26—year—old iraqi man, who was detained yesterday, was involved in planning abductions and murders in his own country. two people were injured after three explosions hit the team bus ahead of the game against monaco in the german city. a soldier who ran over and killed two teenage athletes after he'd been drinking with colleagues has been jailed for six years. michael casey, who's 2a, went through a red light at a crossing in aldershot in hampshire. he killed stacey burrows, who was 16, and 17—year—old lucy pygott, as they were out on a run. the daughter of the man who was forcibly removed off a united airlines flight has said she was "horrified, shocked and sickened" when she learned what happened to him. dr david dao was hospitalized after chicago aviation police dragged him from the plane, as the airline tried to make space on the flight. in the last hour, his daughter has been holding a news conference. it has been a very difficult time for our entire family, especially my dad. and we are truly grateful
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for your support. what happened to my dad should never happen to any human being, regardless of the circumstance. we were horrified and shocked and sickened to learn what had happened to him and to see what had happened to him. we hope that in the future, nothing like this happens again. thank you so much again for your support. young, vulnerable people are being targeted by online adverts which offer accommodation in exchange for sex, according to a bbc investigation. the deals, which are legal, are on classified ad sites. charities have called them exploitative. lauren moss reports. i had no idea what i was getting into. he took me into his living room and got me drinks, and then after that, it was straight
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upstairs and go for it. vulnerable and desperate for a roof over her head. gemma answered a sex—for—rent online advert. he would do what he wanted to do, forcefully. and ijust sort of, yeah, went along with it. and, after the third time, i started feeling physically unwell. these are some of the offers we found openly placed on a classified ad site. free accommodation, but with strings attached. i was thinking once a week, something like that. i'm happy as long as there's sex involved. i spoke with several men posting adverts. all wanted photos of me beforehand. all were clear how the arrangement would work. these are real conversations, voiced by actors. well, you know, you agree sort of a couple of times a week, pop into my room sort of thing?
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there's a girl staying here now who's done the same. two or three times a week, basically. it's a very easy—going house. some say those agreeing to those deals could be getting into a very dangerous situation. but, disturbingly, this is all perfectly legal. i think these adverts go as close to the edge of the law as they possibly can without breaking the law. they would argue that they have chosen voluntarily to enter that situation. the trouble is, when you have a vulnerable person that then becomes exploited, the concept of choice soon disappears. i contacted craigslist for comment, but they didn't get back to me. i'm really grateful to the bbc for uncovering some of this, because i've been unaware of it. there is an onus on the owners of these platforms to root this out and to deal with it, and i'm being very explicit because, if they don't stand up to this, and accept their responsibility, i will be pushing for legislation to do it for them. more adverts are appearing every day.
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i was under quite a bit of pressure to keep him happy. because they could basicallyjust come over to you and say, i want sex now, and you really don't have much of a choice because you know it's their home and you want to just keep that place. with an increasing number of young homeless people, it's feared these adverts will only continue to exploit those most in need. lauren moss, bbc news. the queen has given money to pensioners in leicester to mark maundy thursday, a tradition dating back to the 13th century. she was with the duke of edinburgh as she distributed money to 91 men and 91 women, representing each of her 91 years. hundreds of well—wishers lined the streets outside leicester cathedral to welcome them for the service. time for a look at the weather. bank holiday approaches, but not the
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most exciting forecast. maybe we should leave it at that! let's not! i've got a minute to fill. the weather is in a bit of a grey area, neither particularly bad nor that great. some of us will think it is fairly decent. some sunshine around today. we have had some broken cloud around. nota today. we have had some broken cloud around. not a lot of rain, just a few scattered showers around but it is on the chilly side for some of us caught in the breeze. that is what will happen this evening, a bit of breeze and a few more showers coming in and it is looking pretty cloudy. neither particularly cold or particularly mild to night, 8 degrees in plymouth and newcastle and you have to go to the northern isles for orkney and shetland before it turns really chilly. tomorrow, admittedly, a bit more clout and perhaps some heavy rain for a time across the hills of wales, maybe the north—west of england but for many of us, again, a dryish sort of day, and on friday evening, a few spots of rain spilling across some
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southern and northern parts of the uk. this is the summary for the easter weekend, rather cool, a few sunny spells, and just a bit of rain from time to time. this is bbc news, the headlines: syria's president assad says reports of a chemical attack by his forces last week are "100% fabrication" and there was no order to carry out any attack. the west, mainly the united states, is hand in glove with the terrorists. they have fabricated the story in order to have a pretext for the attack. the education secretary defends her plans for new selective grammar schools in england, saying they'll be truly open to all. labour says grammars do not support social mobility. the european court of human rights has ruled that russia should have done more to prevent the beslan school massacre in which more than 300 people, mostly children, died. a bbc investigation has discovered that landlords are offering
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rent—free accommodation online to young, vulnerable people in exchange for sex. charities have described the adverts as exploitative. now it is time for a look at the sports news. chris latham is great britain's latest medallist at the world track cycling championships in hong kong after elinor barker picked up a silver in the scratch race yesterday. latham has won a bronze in the men's event, but that's been the only success today with gb's cyclists missing out on a bronze in the men's pursuit earlier. iam very i am very happy with that. we were just a little bit unlucky to not get what we deserved in the team pursuit, but i am happy to come away with a medal finally. liverpool managerjurgen klopp has been giving his reaction to the bomb attack on the borussia dortmund team bus on tuesday night. their champions league quarterfinal first leg tie was postponed for 2h hours.
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they lost against monaco last night. uefa have received some criticism for making the germans play without full consultation with the team. klopp was head coach at dortmund for seven years before leaving in 2015. it was a really difficult moment for me because i was, i don't know how often in the team hotel with my team at dortmund. i know exactly the road, i know exactly the place where it is. a lot of my friends were on the bus. of course when they played the bus. of course when they played the game they tried to be at their best and it was after the game and i saw the faces of my former players andi saw the faces of my former players and i saw the shock in their eyes and i saw the shock in their eyes and it was really, really hard. jose mourinho has described the leak as
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one of two open doors to qualification. if they win the competition they will have a place in next season's champions league. they can qualify via a top four finish at home in the premier league, that they are currently fifth. the best thing would be to do both and for sure i think we can do both. we have the quality, we have everything to do it, but it is all about us. we are our own enemy. i think we can do it, we have to be focused and work hard. the six—man shortlist for the pfa player of the year awards has been revealed. and the favourite is a man who just missed out on the trophy last year. but after winning the premier league with leicester in 2016 n'golo kante is likely to do it again with chelsea, proving to be a vital part of their rise to the top of the table. he's only scored twice this season but the last was the winner
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against manchester united in the fa cup quarterfinals to keep them on for a possible double. also on the list is kante's chelsea team—mate eden hazard who won in 2015 and has 1a goals to his name. zlatan ibrahimovic has scored 28 with manchester united. he's scored over 20 goals a season in five differnet european leagues now. tottenham's harry kane is also on the young player of the year list. he looks like being the leading english goal—scorer in the premier league for a third straight season. everton‘s romelu lukaku is also on both lists. he's up to 23 goals for the season. and arsenal's alexis sanchez makes up the six. he's scored 18 this season. the draw has been made for the first round of the world snooker championship which starts this saturday in sheffield. the defending champion mark selby will face fergal o'brien who won a deciding frame of more than two hours to make it through qualifying. and the five—time champion ronnie o'sullivan will play gary wilson. coverage from the crucible is across the bbc. jenson button looks set to replace fernando alonso for next month's monaco grand prix.
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alonso is skipping the race to take part in the indy 500. button retired from formula one at the end of last season but is contracted to mclaren as a reserve driver. that's all sport for now. you can keep up to date with all those stories on the bbc sport website. that's bbc.co.uk/sport. and i'll have more in sportsday at half past six. the education secretary, justine greening, says she wants a new model of grammar schools in england which are open for everyone. she says she particularly wants to make sure there are stronger educational outcomes for what she refers to as ordinary working families and not just the privileged few. but new analysis from the government shows a majority of selective school places go to more affluent families. joining me now from our westminster studio is the chairman of the education select committee, neil carmichael, a conservative who has expressed doubts about the benefits of grammar schools to social mobility. iam i am wondering what you make of her announcement this morning. all the
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evidence when we found when our committee decided to do and evidence check was that actually there is no way in which you can say that grammar schools improve social mobility. any new grammar schools will have to have a new approach to recruitment of pupils. what is this apparent fixation with grammar schools do you think?” apparent fixation with grammar schools do you think? i think it is a distraction from what is most important, which is tackling our skills deficit, looking at the post—16 arena, the post—14 arena and so on. talking about grammar schools right now is the wrong time to do it. probably there is no right time. what the fixation is i really do not know. can the government persuade you? what i have said is we have got to make sure that any new grammar school actually has a new approach to recruiting pupils. the way in which it has gone on in the past
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underpins the point you made in your opening remarks, which is that richer parents are able to get their children to grammar schools. that is not in the direction of travel that the government wishes to go, and quite right as well, because we have to include social mobility and productivity. they go hand in hand. you are talking about parents tutoring for the exam ? you are talking about parents tutoring for the exam? that has been happening, and the exam itself and the way in which some schools promote pupils to consider and work for the exam and so on. these are all ways in which grammar schools are effectively not at the moment dealing with the question of social mobility. only 3% of free school meal pupils get a grammar school plays and that is not enough. that phrase ordinary working families, does a jar? everybody should be given the opportunities they need to
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do as well as they can. i want to see a society where everybody is mobile and where there is genuine fluidity within society and people can contribute to their own economic well—being and thereby the national economic well—being. i do not like parcelling people economic well—being. i do not like pa rcelling people up economic well—being. i do not like parcelling people up to be honest. what is more important is we make sure everybody has a fair chance in our education system and that has got to be by making sure all schools are good schools. supporters of academies, a conservative concept, say on the whole they do exactly that. academies are right. we have increased their numbers because we see their autonomy, their ability to focus on the way things are developed in the classroom, many of them are focusing properly on subjects, this is all good news. we
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can see that the effect of academies by noting that 1.8 million more children are going to a good or outstanding school. we need to improve that further because there are still too many children not going to a good or outstanding school. the academies programme is making a difference. are you against selection per se? in gloucestershire there is a selective system and that is where my constituency is and my children went through it because thatis children went through it because that is the only system there was. so we have to accept that. but we have to focus on making all schools good schools. it cannot be right that there are some schools that i simply inadequate and 10 million children go to them. it is not good for our children, our economy or our society. focusing on one type of school is a distraction from the fundamental question of getting all
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of our schools up to standard. thank you very much for your time. thank you very much for your time. the number of people trespassing on railways across the uk has hit a ten—year high. more than 8,000 incidents were recorded last year, a rise of 11% on the year before. our correspondentjohn maguire has been speaking to paralympian simon munn who lost his leg crossing a train track when he was 22, and is anxious to warn others of the risk. the passing train serves as a timely reminder of the dangers of simon munn‘s fateful decision that night 27 years ago. a decision he regrets to this day. my foot went underneath the rail. i couldn't get my foot out. and i literally waited for the train to come along and take my leg off, as it were, really. it seemed like it was a fortnight, but it was only a few minutes. having lost his leg, simon, always a keen sportsman, took up wheelchair basketball. and it's been a major part of his life ever since. he has represented great britain in seven paralympics, travelled the world, and won a whole host of medals. but still he wishes
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he'd gone nowhere near the rail line. my life since then has been, you know, really good. but it came from a tragedy, really. but right now, yeah, absolutely, i'd have my leg back, 100%. so, he's anxious to warn others. simon realises that night he was both lucky and unlucky. unfortunate to get hit by the train in the first place, but incredibly fortunate to escape with his life. last year, there were 8000 trespass incidents. that's an increase over the year before, and the highest numberfor a decade. so, at bellevue bees in east manchester, in common with sports clubs and 100 schools across britain, there are schemes to remind youngsters of the dangers. hi, guys, ok? the train takes how many football pitches to stop, can you remember? 20.
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20 football pitches, ok, that's a mile and a quarter. our electrics are 25,000 vaults. it's never, ever turned off, ok, we all remember that. and that by going on it, it's also illegal, up to a £1000 fine. the numbers almost double in the easter and summer holidays. so, nick, despite your best endeavours, these figures are still going up. why? i think there's more we can do, not only as network rail but as a community. projects like this, if we all get involved and educate each other on railway safety, and make sure we have that conversation with our friends and family, people can stop being hurt on our railways. warnings are consistent, frequent, and, for some, deeply personal. don't mess around with trains, yeah. just stay away from the tracks, because there's only one winner. there's only one winner. the russian government says it will appeal against a ruling that it failed to do enough to prevent so many deaths during the beslan school siege in 200a. the european court of human rights today ruled that russian intelligence agencies could have done more to stop the attack
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by chechen separatists, which led to the deaths of more than 300 people, mostly children. the siege began on the 1st september 2004 when the school was seized by gunmen during a ceremony to celebrate the start of the new academic year. the hostage—takers rounded up over 1,100 hundred people into the school gymnasium. around 800 of those were children. in the hours that passed a number of hostages were killed and negotiations with the hostage—takers went on through the night. on the second day victims were denied even drinking water. at1 o'clock, on the third day, two powerful explosions happened in the gym. some hostages tried to escape but the terrorists fired on them, prompting an exchange of gunfire with security forces who were then ordered to storm the building. the siege came to an end at around 8pm on the third day. 335 were killed and over 700 injured. with me now to talk about today's ruling is timothy phillips, author of a book on the tragedy at the school, and philip leach, director of the european human right‘s advocacy centre.
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they represented 346 of the applicants in the beslan school siege case along with memorial human rights centre in moscow. philip, | philip, i will start by asking for your reaction to today's ruling. philip, i will start by asking for your reaction to today's rulingm is an important judgment your reaction to today's rulingm is an importantjudgment because it is an importantjudgment because it is so strong. at the outset it was an appalling event, in 1100 people taken custody an appalling event, in 1100 people ta ken custody in an appalling event, in 1100 people taken custody in a school, every pa rent taken custody in a school, every parent and teacher's worst nightmare. the court recognises how exceedingly difficult it was for the authorities to respond, and yet it isa authorities to respond, and yet it is a very strong judgment. they find that the russians did not do enough to prevent it, the rescue plan was chaotic and they used excessive force. what do you say to those who say it was the fault of chechen separatists? it seems a bit odd to ta ke separatists? it seems a bit odd to take a ruling against those two, who
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all intents and purposes, were trying to do their best. even in these very difficult circumstances, which the court bends over backwards to acknowledge, the authorities have got strong obligations to do certain things to protect the public and it was the response which was so woeful which is why we have such a strong judgment from the court today. timothy, in your research, what did they get so wrong? one of the things about today is it confirms about what many of the survivors have known since the end of the siege. it is the disproportion of the russian response at the end of the siege thatis response at the end of the siege that is being criticised today. if you think about a small town, a local school, 1200 hostages inside, although the government was alleging there were fewer, and at the moment for reasons still unexplained, two of the bombs that the terrorists had strung up inside went off and
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suddenly tanks, grenade launchers and flame—throwers started attacking the building. it is the disproportionate nature of the response that has been criticised. you have met many of the survivors and the families of those who died. were they angry immediately or was it as the facts came out? people we re it as the facts came out? people were angry immediately. in circumstances that were so traumatic, and number of survivors and victims' families have reached out for conspiracy theories. that is because of the difficulty of getting to the truth in russia. a court process outside of russia has been necessary to unveil some of what is true and that is striking. and are you surprised by the fact that they are angry? no, i am not surprised. they believe that they sincerely like other countries around the
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world a re like other countries around the world are struggling to deal with terrorists. they might think that la st terrorists. they might think that last week's events in saint petersburg undermine this. they might say that since beslan there have been fewer terrorist attack since then and the russians will be angry and they will try to overturn this. can they do that? there is no right of appeal, that they can persuade the grand chamber to look at it, but very few of those cases are at it, but very few of those cases a re successful. at it, but very few of those cases are successful. they will try, but i do not think they will succeed. they might well feel that they do not wa nt to might well feel that they do not want to sign up to this european court of human rights any more.|j hope that is not the reaction. if anything this shows why we need the court more across europe and russia needs it. i hope that will not be the reaction. they are legally bound to comply with it and pay the compensation and investigate things and even change the law in russia.
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compensation is one thing, but most of the family is just wanted the truth. absolutely, they wanted some measure of truth, they wanted to know what had happened. they wanted some measure of accountability and today'sjudgment some measure of accountability and today's judgment gives them that. why do you think the russians felt that they could get away with what they got away with for so long in terms of the cover—up and the difficulty for getting information? it was difficult for you. the court process has been a long and difficult one, it has been years since the incident in 2004. the court had to go through hundreds and hundreds of pages of cases and the european court has an objective view about what has happened and it is important for us to learn the lessons about what happened. also russia's desire to control the
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narrative of events like this has increased in recent years. it is striking that this story is leading on many british news outlets across the world and this afternoon only about half the russian news outlets have this story prominently on the front page of their website. all these years on what effect has it had on beslan? it will be synonymous with this for ever. that is right, it becomes synonymous with a tragic event. all of the pupils who survived have now become adults. some of them have rebuilt their lives by moving on and forgetting about it. a number of the people who came to the court case have needed to pursue this for the truth. but the place remains scarred by what happened. what is the message for governments in future about an event like this and how they go about responding to bed ? like this and how they go about responding to bed? it is very clear, human rights standards say that even
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in such difficult situations like this there are steps that government should take to prevent things like this going on and also to respond to it. there are clear lessons about the use of force. you have got hostages, children, teachers, parents, at risk of anything that the state might do to respond. they have got to be very careful and they have got to be very careful and they have to carry out a thorough investigation. thank you both for coming in. we are getting news the us military is telling reuters that it has dropped the biggest non—nuclear bomb available in afghanistan. this is the gb u 43. it has been dropped in afghanistan, targeting a series of islamic state caves. it is saying this is the first time this bomb, the mother of all bombs, has been used in combat. we are waiting for news of the
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effect that has had. that has come in in the last couple of minutes. more than 70 schools in scotland are suffering from similar defects to those that were shut down because they were deemed not safe. it is feared other public buildings could also be at risk. 200 years ago in paris a wooden cart with wheels was fixed to a track and sent down a steep slope. the roller—coaster was born. since then, they have made countless stomachs churn and millions of heads spin. tim muffet reports. the roller—coaster story began in paris in 1817. the french put a wooden cart onto a track that they built specifically to ride on. roller—coasters generally, and this is a great feature of roller—coasters, haven't changed all that much really. in the 1920s and 30s roller—coasters bloomed in popularity, but in america it became clear their appeal could go down as well as up. many theme parks closed during the great depression. after the war roller—coasters recaptured people's imagination,
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becoming quicker and bigger. if we are thinking about subjecting the body to different physical sensations, and the extremes of 3gs or 4gs that you get on roller—coasters, there is nowhere else in life that we can do that, other than riding giant machines like this. an accident at alton towers in 2015, which left four seriously injured, was a reminder that riding a roller—coaster is not risk—free, although generally the safety record is very good. stand clear of the doors. in many theme parks virtual reality is the latest big thing. this is darren brown's ghost train at thorpe park. thanks to a special headset what you see is not what you get. aargh! brendan walker advises attractions on what gets punters' blood pumping. it is one of the drawbacks that they are so experimental that you don't know what people
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are going to respond to. when this attraction opened last year there were complaints it wasn't thrilling or scary enough. it had to be redesigned and relaunched. generation upon generation were constantly seeking novelty and what was novel to my parents or their grandparents now is like a walk in the park for me, so we need new things and this is new. at blackpool pleasure beach the european coaster club are doing what they love best, convinced thrill—seeking is most effective when it's a physicalfeeling. 200 years of twisting, turning, spinning and spiralling, the appeal of the roller—coaster shows no sign of falling away. theresa may stepped in to represent the queen today at the sovereign's parade at the royal military academy. as she inspected the troops at sandhurst, the military band played the sounds of star wars.
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just have a look at the reaction to it. just have a look at the reaction to it. needless to say, it's gone viral across social media. iam not i am not sure she looked that impressed. anyway, let's have a look at the weather. we were talking about how the weather is not going to be necessarily wet nor a gloriously sunny through the easter weekend, sort of stuck somewhere in between in the grey area, may be slightly more mediocre, because it will not
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be great tomorrow. there will be a fair bit of cloud around, but there isa fair bit of cloud around, but there is a bit of sunshine out there and some of us have had some decent sunshine. over the next few hours what you have got right now will not really change an awful lot. a fair bit of cloud and fairly fresh out there and a few spots of rain. whether you are in the south of the country or in scotland, temperatures will be about eight. only 4 degrees for our friends will be about eight. only 4 degrees for ourfriends in lerwick in strickland. this is probably the worst day of the easter weekend. you can see very patchy rain, on and off, you do not know whether it is coming or going. from devon in the west cou ntry coming or going. from devon in the west country all the way towards the kent coast you might have some sunshine. the further north you go, the grey it gets. bits of rain in manchester and in scotland like
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today we have got on and off showers, but maybe around aberdeen you might get some sunshine, so it is not all bad. we have got two weather fronts moving across the uk. look what happens by the time we get to the evening on good friday. it is in the south. then on saturday cold aircoming infrom in the south. then on saturday cold air coming in from the norwegian sea reaches our shores. it is a cool day on saturday. the better day of the easter weekend, 14 degrees in london and 9 degrees in glasgow. and then on easter day itself, high pressure is closer to the south—west, so whether he should be better. in plymouth and carded the weather should be decent, perhaps more rain in liverpool and northern ireland. in the north east of scotland and the southern counties get a bit of sunshine. on monday some of us will
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have sunshine and some of us will have sunshine and some of us will have cloud. the weather forecast is really blurry as we head into monday. but at least it is not pouring all we have not got any raging gales. so it is decent enough. syria's president says the recent chemical attack on a rebel town was completely made up — and he blames the americans. president assad claimed the attack had been fabricated by the west so that america could justify an air strike on his forces. there was no order to make any attack. we don't have any chemical weapons. we gave up our arsenal three years ago. even if we had them, we wouldn't use them and we have never used our chemical arsenal in our history. it's his first interview since the chemical attack which left almost 90 people dead. we'll be talking to our middle east editor, jeremy bowen. also on the programme:
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a new generation of grammars in england — the education secretary justine greening sets out her plans for schools for "ordinary working families". more families who lost babies at birth at an nhs trust in shropshire come forward to speak out about the way they've been treated. a rare glimpse inside north korea, amid speculation that the secretive
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