this is bbc news. the headlines at 2pm. on the election trail — jeremy corbyn and theresa may meet their supporters and are keen to emphasise their party's stance on tax. they will have a choice between a conservative party which always has been, is and will continue to be a party that believes in lower taxes, in keeping taxes down for ordinary working people. what the tories are doing is handing £70 billion back in taxes to big business and coroporations. we won't do that. we will instead reverse those tax cuts. tight security across france as the country prepares for the first round of the presidential election. more than a hundred afghan soldiers are killed or wounded in an attack on an army base in afghanistan. also in the next hour, phasing out coal by 2025. britain goes for 2h hours without
using coal to generate a trustee for the first time since the late 20th century. and the travel show heads to china ahead of the great wall marathon next month. —— since the late 19th century. good afternoon and welcome to bbc news. conservative and labour politicians are on the general election trail in the first weekend of the campaign. jeremy corbyn is in manchester, where he said the party wanted to make the tax system fairer by getting the very wealthy and what he called ‘corporates' to pay more. theresa may is in dudley in the west midlands. she said the country was facing the most important election in her lifetime — and insisted the conservatives were "a lower tax party".
there's been speculation they may raise taxes if they win the general election. our political correspondent leila nathoojoins me. one of the issues that theresa may has gone with the electorate is that she has already changed her policies ona she has already changed her policies on a few things already and people will be thinking, can we trust you when it comes to taxes? absolutely, and that is what labour will want to get across, that the tories cannot be trusted on taxes. this came about because the chancellor appeared to suggest that he would like to see the end of a previous manifesto commitment which said that the tories would not raise vat or income tax and they would not national insurance. the prime minister today, this morning, conservative sources playing that down, mindful of alienating traditional tory voters. theresa may refuse to be drawn on whether that pledge would be ditched but what she did say was that it would be lower taxes under the conservatives. they will have a choice between a conservative party which always has been, is and will continue to be a party that believes
in lower taxes, continue to be a party that believes in lowertaxes, in continue to be a party that believes in lower taxes, in keeping taxes down for ordinary working people. and we have shown that, for example. we have ta ken and we have shown that, for example. we have taken 4 million people out of paying income tax altogether. 31 million people have seen a tax cut under the conservatives. and all the choices, a labour party whose natural instinct is to raise taxes. theresa may said 4 million people had paid no income tax at all under the conservatives. there we see what the conservatives. there we see what the conservatives. there we see what the conservatives are saying that labour would have done. jeremy corbyn has been campaigning this morning and he said that under labour the tax burden would fall on those with the broadest shoulders. for the tories are doing is handing £70 billion back in tax to big businesses and corporations. we will not do that. we will instead reverse those tax cuts for the corporate and big business in order to fund the social changes that we want to bring into this country.
i know it is early days but it is certainly not an election just focused on brexit. we are hearing about a lot of other policies and mandates from the parties. absolutely. theresa may has been clear from the start when she called this election. she wanted it to be about brexit and that was her pitch to her supporters today. she said only a conservative government would have the strength and stability to get the best from brexit negotiations. she is very clear that she does want brexit to be a central issue. jeremy corbyn, on the other hand, no mention of brexit from him today. he was focusing on schools, the nhs and hospitals. you can see theirjeremy corbyn is very clear that he wants to steer this away from brexit. he wants to focus on party membership, mounting a people's campaign to get his message out about social justice. i think we're seeing the battle lines being drawn and we are getting an indication ofjust how the parties
will be fighting this election. and we will hear more from jeremy corbyn later, just after three o'clock today. doing another short speech. the snp's national executive has met to decide the selection procedures for the general election. the former snp mp, michelle thomson, has announced that she will be standing down as she would not be eligible for selection as the party's candidate in the edinburgh west seat she currently holds as an independent. our correspondent steven godden is in glasgow for us. apart from those two, it appears that we're going to be seeing the same faces on the campaign trail for the snp? that's right. in many ways it was a straightforward meeting for the snp's national executive this morning. pretty low—key, to be honest. in a glasgow hotel, a couple of hours worth of discussion. to come to the conclusion that they would put forward all their sitting
mps, to fight the seat again in the upcoming general election. of course, that contains within it a dilemma for the party, because it is not 56 mps, it is actually 5a mps, because there are those two mps that you mentioned in your introduction. michelle thompson won the edinburgh west seat in 2015 and natalie mcgarry won the glasgow east seat. in that time, they both resigned the party whip. michelle thompson did so amid an ongoing police investigation into property deals. natalie mcgarry resigned the quip following fraud investigations. since then they have been sitting as independent mps and the decision for the national executive was what to do about that. it has been a difficult issue for the snp and that was reflected in the snp and that was reflected in the statement from the party after words, with no mention of either michelle thompson or natalie mcgarry in that statement, simply mentioning that those 5a sitting mps would go
ahead. we do know that they will not be candidates. subsequently, we heard from both mps. natalie mcgarry said that the decision came as no surprise to her. michelle thompson put out a lengthy statement in which she said she was very disappointed. she said she was proud of what she had achieved as an mp and she also confirmed that she had decided not to stand as an independent candidate in the seat. she also had some criticism for the snp. she said she had always made it clear that she had always made it clear that she had done nothing wrong and that her experience had told her that the snp needed a defined process to ensure what she called the concept of natural justice was what she called the concept of naturaljustice was applied fairly, rigorously and transparently. we now know the fate of those two mps. the snp say that they will select candidates to fight the other five constituencies by the end of the week. what are the snp actually doing on the campaign trail? and
what is the message coming from them? is it about brexit, independence, local politics and local issues? what are the messages coming out? it is quite an interesting time here in scotland. when you mention campaigning, i think all the parties have a real dilemma on their hands, in that a week on thursday we have local council elections, and up until theresa may stood up on tuesday and announced this snap general election, it was always felt that that would be very much the focus of everyone's attention. i think the party has this balancing act between being conscious that there is no time to waste as far as campaigning goes, but equally they do not want to overshadow the local council elections coming up. at the moment they are in the process of putting together the list of candidates. we are seeing that happening over the weekend. labour holding a meeting just down the road from the snp this morning at which they discussed
selection and those decisions will be made by the end of the week as well. also the tories and the lib dems, we are expecting more announcements from them on candidate selection. however, the campaigning, such as it is, has been primarily focus on local government elections. nicola sturgeon, for example, out on the campaign trail this morning, but that was to do with the local elections. two things running in parallel, very much bleeding into each other as it were. really busy in scotland today. now let me just bring you a little bit of election news regarding two senior mps. two senior mps have announced they won't be standing at next month's election. labour's graham allen, and the former conservative cabinet minister sir eric pickles, say they're stepping down from front line politics. mr allen, who has represented nottingham north since 1987 says he's standing down because of ill—health. sir eric, who's been the mp for brentwood and ongar in essex since 1992, says he'll miss the commons "dreadfully".
more than 50,000 service personnel and police officers are being deployed across france in preparation for voting in the country's presidential election after the killing of a police officer in paris. terrorism dominated the final day of campaigning after the shooting, and security has been increased before polls in mainland france open tomorrow. watching all the developments is christian fraser. do you get any sense that security concerns are going to put people off going out and voting tomorrow? it remains to be seen but i think most people i have spoken to over the last 2a hours or so are pretty determined that if they were going to vote, they are still going to do that, but it will be tense after what happened on friday. 67,000 polling stations around the country. it is a bit of
frustration on a day like this because we want to talk about the election but we are of course bound by the rules in france. i can tell you about the final poll, which is interesting. it was published last night before the campaign ended at 6:30pm. out in front, about the biggest lead i have seen, emmanuel macron with a two point lead over marine le pen. she wasjust in front of the right—wing candidate, and john luke mellin shan't of the far left. it is perfectly possible that we could have this situation where the hard left and hard right go through to the second round. with that in mind, everyone is focused on the security situation, to see whether that might make the difference. armed police have been a common
sight since the 2015 shootings in paris. security has been stepped up around a famous tourist sites. like montmartre in the capital. the french are also used to the presence of soldiers trolling their cities. when the campaign started, many in france believed it would be defined by terrorism and security. —— soldiers patrolling. voters have so far been more concerned about unemployment and the economy. it remains unclear whether thursday's attack could have a last—minute impact on people's choice. we have had society with all the attacks and so on. had society with all the attacks and so on. wejust had society with all the attacks and so on. we just wanted to ignore had society with all the attacks and so on. wejust wanted to ignore it, personally. maybe it will have an impact but i do not know. translation: i am
impact but i do not know. translation: lam not impact but i do not know. translation: i am not worried about sunday in particular but i am worried in general for all of us. i just don't think that our politicians have a full grasp of the problem. most important, i think, politicians have a full grasp of the problem. most important, ithink, is the economy. we need to make an economic recovery, that is the most important. more security? yes, for me. the champs-elysees has reopened and are bustling again. on the pavement, a reminder of the attack in which a police officer was killed and two others wounded. on friday, the paris prosecutor, francois mulan revealed that the attacker had spent 14 years injailand revealed that the attacker had spent 14 years injail and never showed signs of being radicalised. police questioned him again over suspicions of terrorism this year, but he walked free as there was no proof to charge. on the eve of the most unpredictable presidential election yea rs, unpredictable presidential election years, thursday's shooting will have
repercussions beyond the french capital. across france, people hope for a peaceful result. it is hard to believe that there could be any doom and gloom when you are ina could be any doom and gloom when you are in a setting like paris but there is a general malaise, dissatisfaction with the system, and annoyance that the economy has lagged behind germany and britain. there is dissatisfaction with unemployment, which has been doggedly high as 10% despite francois hollande's promised to bring it down. one interesting thing from that paul was that 73% of french people say they will definitely go out and vote, which leaves 27% of people who are either undecided or might not vote at all. it is the app steamers that could make all of the difference. —— it is
the abstainers. it is marine le pen whose supporters seem to be rock solid and are determined to go to the polls. we will see what happens tomorrow night. we will be back tomorrow night. we will be back tomorrow at 6:30pm muggleton with our results programme. we will go right through the night and we have lots of really good people coming to talk to us. we will bring you the first projections at seven o'clock uk time, an early projection from the first counted votes. but it may well change during the night. it should be an exciting night, and very interesting given who was at the top of the polls. more than a hundred people have been killed in afghanistan after an assault by the taliban on a military base in the north of the country.
militants disguised themselves as soldiers, before carrying out the attack yesterday evening. those targeted were leaving a mosque, after friday prayers. our south asia correspondent justin rowlett reports. it was during afternoon prayers that two suicide bombers blasted open the entrance to this army base in the north of afghanistan yesterday. eight other fighters, dressed in afghan army uniforms, used heavy machine guns to attack the dining areas of the base and the mosque. afghan troops have been pouring into the area. eyewitnesses warned the death toll would almost certainly rise. one man told the bbc he had counted 165 bodies. the battle lasted for five hours, and today dozens of injured soldiers were being treated in a local hospital. translation: when i came out of the mosque after prayers, three people with army uniforms and an army vehicle started shooting at us. the taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack and issued this picture of the men
it claims were behind it. ten are now dead, one was captured alive. the assault on the army base is a shocking reminder ofjust how tough the ongoing battle in afghanistan is. last month, an afghan special forces helicopter landed on top of the military hospital in kabul after it was stormed by gunmen disguised as doctors. about 50 people died in that attack. two and a half years after the international combat mission in afghanistan ended and the taliban now controls more than a third of the country. and with casualties amongst the afghan forces running at almost 7000 a year, there are questions about how long the afghan army can continue to defend the ground it still holds. justin rowlatt, bbc news. clashes have broken out in the german city of cologne
as tens of thousands of demonstrators picket a hall where the anti—immigration afd party is holding a conference. a huge police operation is being mounted, with up to 50 , 000 protesters expected in cologne. our correspondent jenny hill is there. well, she is not there. so we will get more from later. let's look at the headlines. jeremy corbyn and theresa may clash over attacks on the campaign trail, amid speculation that it could rise after the election. tight security across france as the country prepares for the first round of the presidential election. and as we have been reporting, more than 100 afghan soldiers are killed or wounded in an attack on an army base. for the first time since the industrial revolution britain
has gone an entire 2a hours without using coal to generate electricity. national grid said the news was a "watershed moment" in attempts to phase out coal by 2025. taxes on co2 emissions and the falling cost of renewable energy have made coal plants less economical in recent years. let's talk to duncan burt, head of operate the system at national grid. good afternoon. what are we replacing coal with? is it about money or is it about the environment? as we said, it is a watershed moment. that call has been replaced by a mixture of gas and a lot of renewables coming on, particularly solar and wind power. so how many coal free days are we likely to see in britain? will this be an annual thing or are we on course for 2025? we are on course for 2025. i think this will be the first of many that we see this
summer first of many that we see this summerand we first of many that we see this summer and we will see more and more over the next few years. coal still forms an important part of our day—to—day supply and we use it regularly. we had one running regularly. we had one running regularly two earlier this morning. but as you say, more and more over the next few years we will see coal free days, when we are outside more during the summer, and amanda is less. speaking of that, i am no expert but i presume that demand on electricity continues to grow year—on—year. are we able to cope with renewable energy meeting that kind of demands? as you know, at the moment we are installing more energy efficient appliances at home and generally we are living our lives more carefully and in an environmentally conscious way. you're going to tell me i am wrong, are you? there are so many new buildings and so much more reliance on these things, i thought we would be growing. electricity as an
important part of our lives and we see that every day at national grid. but our favourite gadgets are getting more and more energy efficient so we see the demand for electricity either flat or declining over the next few years. and with that background of flats demand, we can supply more and more of it with low carbon energy from sources like solar and wind. it is great to see. how much of our power right now relies on coal? how difficult was it to get through that 24—hour period? we knew it was going to happen. actually this week we have seen six or seven occasions where we have had no coal on the grid. we have never put all of britain to work for a whole day since the beginning of the industrial revolution, really, without coal being a big part of that. looking at it today, it is a lovely, bright, sunny day with a breeze in the north. we will see a lot of renewables on all day today. and actually, as we go through the summer, if you want to be environmentally friendly, planning your big energy activities like
doing the washing, on a bright, sunny, breezy, weekend day, that is just perfect in terms of reducing your carbon footprint. thank you very much, duncan. fascinating. the sun newspaper has printed a formal apology to everton footballer ross barkley. in an article last week, the former editor kelvin mckenzie had compared him to a gorilla. ross barkley‘s grandfather is from nigeria. the newspaper says it didn't know and that a racial slur was never intended. kelvin mckenzie remains suspended from the sun. an italian professional cyclist has been killed after being hit by a van, while out training. 37 year—old michele scarponi rode for the astana team and won the giro d'italia in 2011. the crash happened on a crossroads, near his home, in central italy. the american vice—president has confirmed that the us will honour a promise by former president obama
to accept more than 1,200 refugees from australian detention camps. after meeting the australian prime minister, malcolm turnbull, he also spoke about north korea's nuclear ambitions. mr pence said the uss carl vinson carrier group would be in the sea of japan "before the end of this month". from sydney, the bbc‘s hywel griffith reports. in australia, they call it the mateship, a special relationship which has seen it fight side—by—side with the us for nearly a century. and with tensions rising on the korean peninsula america wants to reaffirm those old alliances. after false claims and confusion of the whereabouts of its aircraft carrier, the vice president today said the uss carl vinson was now on the way to the sea of japan, building up its capabilities in the region. the one thing that nations, most especially the regime in north korea, should make no mistake about, is that
the united states has the resources, the personnel and the presence in this region of the world to see to our interests and to see to the security of those interests and our allies. military might was backed up with some diplomatic pressure, a joint call on china to impose economic sanctions. it is self—evident that china has the opportunity and we say the responsibility to bring pressure to bear on north korea, to stop this reckless and dangerous trajectory upon which they are embarked. the fate of hundreds of refugees was also on the agenda. the agreement for america to resettle those at australia's offshore detention centres has been questioned by president trump. a ‘dumb deal‘ in his words, but one he will honour.
let me make it clear, the united states intends to honour the agreement. subject to the results of the vetting processes that now apply to all refugees considered for admission to the united states of america. the vice president will leave australia knowing he is likely to retain its support whatever the next few months may bring. the mateship unlikely to waver. scientists have been taking part in a march for science past some of the science world's most important institutions. they say that it is crucial to highlight the vital role that science plays in our life, and there is a need to encourage research that gives insight into the world. peter capaldi research that gives insight into the world. peter ca paldi was research that gives insight into the world. peter capaldi was at the event, lending his support. marches are taking place in more than 500 cities across the world on all continents. as the alpine ski season comes to an end, one of the problems
facing resorts is the effect of rising temperatures causing glacial melt. it's a lesser known side effect of climate change, but some glaciers have diminished by a quarter over the past forty years. sara thornton travelled to the austrian alps to a resort built on a glacier that's melting fast, where authorities are going to great lengths to halt its decline. for tens of millennia this tiralian glacier has carved its way slowly through the alps. a century and a half ago it covered almost six square miles. now it's less than a third of that. i'm at the top of the stubai glacier in the austrian alps at around 3000 metres high. it's an area that is very popular for skiing. and, actually, there are about 80 separate glaciers in this area. but there's a problem because in the last few years scientists have realised there's been unprecedented glacier melt. so the questions now are, how serious is that melt, and what can they do to stop it? dr andrea fischer is
a world—renowned glaciologist, who's made it her life's work to halt the decline of this glacier. and she's hit upon a surprising answer. a blanket, covering the glacier and preventing ice melt. on a very small, very local scale, we could prevent some very tiny glacial areas by covering the glacier with geotextiles during summer. but only about 1% of a glacier area in ski resorts can be preserved by this method. and, of course, it's very cost intensive and it needs much labour. to save 1% of the glacier seems almost futile, but with the local economy relying on skiing and tourism here, officials say it's worth it. it is expensive, but it is more expensive to do it not. so i think the costs of this protection is about 300,000 euros. the result is very good. on average, the melting
is about one metre, 1.5 metre. with this we protect more than 50%. there are 5000 alpine glaciers in the world, and some scientists predict that at the current rate of melting in 20 years half will be gone and those that are left will be much smaller. but it's far from clear if this expensive local solution can work on a global scale. sarah thornton, bbc news. as orkney celebrates the 900th anniversary of its patron saint, st magnus, a welsh stonemason artist is marking it in her own way by carrying a 30kg self—carved inauguration stone 1,300 miles from the isles to norway, and back again. in medieval times, these stones were of significant spiritual value, with kings proving their connection with the landscape and their leadership by standing in them.
our correspondent tomos morgan reports. a 1300 milejourney from scotland to scandinavia carrying a 30 kilogram rock. artist beatrice searle carved this inauguration stone after being inspired by orkney‘s beauty and will be travelling with it as part of an artistic project to norway and back in the year that these scottish islands celebrate the 900th anniversary of their patron saint, st magnus. they occur in pictish history and medieval history. for the picts, stones like these were associated with kingship, so the chosen king would stand in the stone in order to signify his connection with the land that he ruled. it is a 390 million—year—old ripple—marked siltstone selected from marwick bay on orkney and its voyage has onlyjust begun. we are seeing a huge mass
migration and those people moving on are not always doing so by choice so i think being able to carry part of a beloved landscape takes on another kind of important resonance. as i do so, i'll repeatedly stand in the orkney boat and i will invite those people i encounter to stand in it and to draw strength from their connection to it and add to its story. on day one of this lengthy project, what do orcadians make of the stone? i think anything to do with st magnus' history or story, the better. i feel a warmth coming up through the stone. and that does kind of gives you a good feeling, yes. at the moment, just clean and refreshing. very refreshed by it. the trip has been funded by arts grant and crowdfunding and the stone