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tv   BBC News  BBC News  June 17, 2017 3:00pm-3:31pm BST

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this is bbc news. i'm i'm lukwesa burak the headlines at 3pm: theresa may meets victims and residents affected by the grenfell fire at downing street. the queen says it's "difficult to escape a very sombre national mood" following tragedies in london and manchester. she's led a minute's silence at the start of events to mark her official birthday. i'm ben brown near grenfell tower in west london. we are expecting a news conference from the police in a few minutes. they may give us an update on the casualty toll and the death toll. attack in westminster, has been awarded the george medal for his bravery, as the queen's birthday honours are announced. in rugby — the british and irish lions get a confidence boosting win, as they power to victory against the maori all blacks. and the click team try out the latest games, gadgets and consoles at the world's biggest gaming event in los angeles. good afternoon. welcome to bbc news.
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snment we start with the latest events concerning the grenfell tower fire. let's cross to ben brown in london. we are expecting in the next few minutes a - conference with the minutes a news conference with the metropolitan police commander, who we are hoping will update us on the latest investigation into the disaster here at grenfell tower and perhaps update the casualty figures. we know 2a people are in hospital, 12 in critical care. also the death toll, which currently stands officially at 30, although we
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understand from sources that 70 people are either missing or have died. i may get updates on those died. we may get updates on those figures at that news conference in a few minutes. this report now on the latest developments this afternoon from our correspondent here. bringing flowers, lighting candles and leaving messages at one of many churches in the area, a sombre time for people to reflect and come to terms with what's happened here. michael used to live in grenfell tower and has come to pay respects to his friend affectately nicknamed moses. he's still missing. a lot of people are grieving for him, friends and family. he was a very loving man, you know. he always used to make sure that people were cared for and looked after. yesterday the queen met volunteers and residents in the community and today, in her birthday message, that was reflected: her words followed by
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an impromptu minute's silence at buckingham palace. just a few miles away, the government taskforce met this there is now, from today, on the ground a central operation precisely to answer all those perfectly reasonable questions that people have in these desperate circumstances. police have confirmed at least 30 people died in the fire, but that number is expected to rise. that will only happen when firefighters can safely make their way up into this charred building that once used to be home to hundreds of people.
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but the questions surrounding this tragedy remain unanswered. how did it start? why did it spread so quickly? and who, if anyone, is to blame? let's bring you the latest on the visit to downing street to see the prime minister by some of the residents of grenfell tower and some of the volunteers and community organisers who have been working here as well, i think about 15 residents and volume you tiers have gone —— volunteers who gone into number ten to talk to the prime minister, who has been criticised in coming here but not talking to victims. let's go live now to our political correspondent emma va rdy. we saw a group of people arrive here at downing street to meet the prime minister from at downing street to meet the prime ministerfrom the at downing street to meet the prime minister from the grenfell tower site. they were a mixture of ages, mixture of cultural backgrounds. there was a young girl amongst them.
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all of them wore these white ribbons here for their meeting at number ten downing street. this comes as the government has said that it is determined to try to build trust with the community and it follows a difficult few days for the prime minister and for ministers, because they've seen increasing hostility towards them at the grenfell tower site. yesterday evening, theresa may had to be escorted away when things got problematic under police guard. you get the sense that this meeting with people today is an attempt to try to repair that and to try to rectify some of that ill feeling that we've seen building up. of course, there's been a very difficult balance for the government to strike with this. that hostility has increased and people are crying out for answers. the government has had to balance the need for answers with the need to take things step by step, as the picture of this tragedy unfolds. aside from the actual practical response, that the
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government has been able to provide, theresa may has come in with, come infor theresa may has come in with, come in for personal criticism over whether she's properly been able to engage and reach out to people at this very difficult time. the first secretary of state damian green earlier defended theresa may over what he said was unfair criticism about the empathy that she has shown with victims. also in the last couple of hours, theresa may has been chairing a taskforce meeting of ministers looking at the grenfell tower recovery operation. we're expecting to hear more details of the outcome of that shortly. but right now, as i say, forjust over an hour, victims, volunteers and residents of grenfell tower have beenin residents of grenfell tower have been in that meeting with the prime minister theresa may, an attempt to try to diffuse some of the anger we've seen building up over the last few days. yeah, and part of that anger is that people have so many questions and they haven't had enough answers yet. the prime minister has promised this
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full commission of inquiry, but it's going to take a few days before we actually know who is going to chair that inquiry. yes, that's right. damian green provided more reshurns on that inquiry —— reassurance on that inquiry saying it would be started sooner rather than later. he said there would be a better coordinated effort for people on the ground, people searching for loved ones in hospitals, searching for updates, searching for clarity over where they would be rehomed. he has been trying to provide reaslurns for people and diffuse some of that anger too. of course, this has been such an emotionally charged few days. it's been almost impossible really for ministers or for prime minister theresa may to really adequately address people's questions when it has been such heightened emotions, such an outpouring of grove and shock. but we get the sense that the government is today, with this meeting, trying to reach out to people, trying to
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build some bridges with the community, after what has been a rather damaging few days. emma, thank you very much. let's speak to a community organiser, who is working flat out here to help those who have been affected by the disaster. thank you very much for being with us. you're one of the volunteers. the government say they've got a taskforce on the ground here now. have you seen them? have they been helping you? they haven't been helping me personally. i'm only one person on the ground. maybe they have been helping. but i just want to fizzle out a little conversation that's going on. i've checked four sites, all around this area, the church has been covered, people have got storage, so the conversation that is around the help that's not getting to victims, there needs to be a point of call. there needs to be a point of call. there needs to be a point of call. there needs to be a port of call outside westway, just say they aren't accepting donations. the reason i called for storage is that there's nowhere to put this stuff. i understand that people can only wear one pairof
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understand that people can only wear one pair of trousers and one pair of shoes. but the aid must be getting to the victims. someone needs to be a spokesperson and if that person is here, then please make yourself aware. people are asking for that person. are you worried things are not being properly coordinated here by the council, is that who you think should be coordinating things? yes, it would be helpful to have help from the council. if that person isn't there, i'm more than willing to step into that position and say look, tell me where your storage is, where your belongings need to go and we can work that out. you've been donated so much stuff for the victims, but you need to be able to store it all. yes. we just need to move away from this unhelpful discussion that people aren't getting things and they are, but there's too much to get them at the same time. we need to take our time. i would the same time. we need to take our time. iwould personally the same time. we need to take our time. i would personally suggest that we have a rota. again, i do not work for the council. i am only someone work for the council. i am only someone else, the same as these people, but it makes logic to me to think, if we had a rota to off—load and make sure we know what's lacking that would help. do you know if people who have been made homeless,
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do they have somewhere to sleep now? ijust do they have somewhere to sleep now? i just heard you do they have somewhere to sleep now? ijust heard you say that we need a nswe i’s , ijust heard you say that we need answers, can i just ijust heard you say that we need answers, can ijust say ijust heard you say that we need answers, can i just say that the anger and answers, can i just say that the angerand — answers, can i just say that the anger and — it's, answers, can i just say that the angerand — it's, on the ground, people are impatient. i have a few things to say that someone has just lovingly given me a list of all the things people feel unjustified about. though it says unforgiveable at the stop. it has to be say forgivable. this is one building out of 4,000 across london. we have to get to a resolution so other people don't face the same tragedy. we have seen a don't face the same tragedy. we have seen a lot of anger. you were telling me earlier you were trying to calm down some of the anger here. yes it's really difficult to calm down anger when we haven't got a nswe i’s. down anger when we haven't got answers. i make the plea that someone answers. i make the plea that someone needs to stand outside of westway or be a representative to give us the update of what's going on inside so people on the outside know what's going on. you've been here helping out, what are your feelings four days on after this terrible disaster and so many people still don't actually know, for sure, if their loved ones who are still
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missing and unaccounted for are dead. i think three days in, people, the general vibe is we're not stupid, we understand that if this tragedy has happened, pleasejust give us answers. people want to mourn, but you can't mourn if you're telling me my family are missing. i would make the plea if the anger and impatience is borne out of i don't know, give people answers so they do know, give people answers so they do know and we can grieve in peace. as far as the fire brigade and emergency services are concerned, it's very difficult for them to identify bodies inside what is left of that block. yes. can i also make the plea as well that the council was a very the plea as well that the council was a very big word that can be anonymous. people from the council i am sure are on the ground. if you have people on the council in a higher authority to have permission to delegate and lead, please take my permission. i am to delegate and lead, please take my permission. iam not to delegate and lead, please take my permission. i am not in that position to do that. if you have people that can step in, that would be very, very helpful right now. thank you so much. i know you're
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doing a greatjob. carry on. thank you so much. i know you're doing a great job. carry on. thank you. one of the community organisers here and one of the volunteers trying to coordinate this huge relief effort for those who have been affected by the fire. there's been affected by the fire. there's been affected by the fire. there's been a church service down the road from where we are at a catholic church here, a mass for the victims of this. the archbishop of westminster was there cardinal vincent nichols. he was talk too about the level of anger there and saying that he understood that anger in this community but asking that anger should be channelled for good. you know, anger is energy and what i said inside was the thing about anger and its energy is it has to be directed in the right way. it has to get shaped so it becomes a positive source. i think the thing that i find most troubling is those who would wish to use that anger to deepen divisions in society, to create further divisions, because down that road is just a dog—eat—dog road.
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really what we were thinking about and urging this morning was that yes, people are angry. yes, that's quite understandable and right. but let's use that energy to build something better. cardinal vincent nichols there, the leader of the catholic church in england and wales. he was at the catholic mass here for the victims of the disaster a short time ago. joe reynolds is a former firefighter who knows what it's like to try and fight, maybe not a fire of this scale, but you were the first female firefighter i think back in the early 1980s. that's right. there we re early 1980s. that's right. there were female firefighters involved here, of course, as well as men. just talk us through how hard it will be now for those firefighters trying to come to terms with what they saw, what they experienced that terrible night? i can't imagine
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because i've never been — all i know is that all anyone in the fire service and firefighters want to do is to save lives. if they saved 100, but missed one, that will be what stays with them forever. we know they did rescue 65 people, but clearly there could have been up to 600 people in that block. of course, that will be what haunts them and hopefully, i know they've got danny cotta n hopefully, i know they've got danny cottan the chief commissioner and fire commissioner and she's hoped to make sure that the guys and the girls have the best possible help to, you know — girls have the best possible help to, you know - if they are traumatised in any way. which they must surely be. the training is, we know, it's intense. some of the fire commanders were saying the training really does kick in when you go, even though this was an unprecedented fire for them to tackle, such a tall building. but is that right — you go in, and it's incredibly hot and incredibly smoky, but your training does kick in, is
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that how it works? your training co nsta ntly a ny way. that how it works? your training constantly any way. you're always preparation for something, constantly any way. you're always preparation forsomething, not constantly any way. you're always preparation for something, not this, but preparing to do yourjob. it's a big—scale fire. but each firefighter would do their part, whether it's an hour or two or however long they we re hour or two or however long they were able to go into the building for. those guys were going in, i think, repeatedly, which that is extreme. we saw some of them afterwards lookingcratered and utterly exhausted, not surprisingly. total respect for them. they were way past exhausted. they've gone into a reserve that you don't know is there. and obviously, you do train on tower blocks, but nothing of this scale, not a 24—storey tower block presumably. the assumption is it would never happen, a fire that would engulf the block like that. what happened here is such an unprecedented story. what happened and how it happened, that's a big thing that everyone needs to figure out so that we can avoid the same thing happening again. we train on
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very high grain silos. we go into ships and buildings like this, but you can't prepare for that. how worried are you as a former firefighter by the speed with which this happened? this kind of cladding, if that is what was responsible, there's cladding on plenty of other buildings right around the united kingdom — is that around the united kingdom — is that a real concern for you? i don't think it's my place to judge on the materials or what happened in that fire. all i do hope and pray is that eve ryo ne fire. all i do hope and pray is that everyone gets their heads together to make sure that it doesn't happen again. whatever that is. thank you for being with us. former firefighter. we are expecting that a news co nfe re nce firefighter. we are expecting that a news conference from the metropolitan police, their commander, stuart cundy, has been giving us regular updates since the disaster happened. the press are gathered at lancaster road, and
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we're expecting that in the next few minutes. the death toll is officially standing at 30. we do understand the total number of dead and missing is 70 but we may get revised official death toll when stuart cundy comes to talk to us. we will bring that live on bbc news but for the moment, back to the studio. theresa may has been meeting victims of the grenfell tower fire. she has coordinated the task force to help those. the queen has said it is difficult to escape a very sombre national mood. she led a minute's silence at the start of events to mark her official birthday. pc keith palmer has been awarded the george medalfor his bravery palmer has been awarded the george medal for his bravery as the birthday honours are announced. in
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sport, one week before the first test against the all blacks, the british and irish lions have beaten the maori all blacks. scotland have moved up to fourth in the world rankings after a stunning win against australia, 24—19 in sydney. johanna konta is through to the semifinal in nottingham after winning in straight sets. the annual trooping of the colour has taken place this morning with members of the royal family out in force . but it has a very different mood this year. in a statement released to mark her official birthday, the queen said it was difficult to escape the sombre mood in the country in the wake of recent tragedies. here's our royal correspondent, nicholas witchell. the queen's birthday parade, trooping the colour,
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normally the ceremonial high point of the summer, but this year, an expression of a nation's sadness. that was given expression to both in the minute's silence and in the statement issued by the queen this morning. that minute's silence added to the programme very much at the last minute. at 10.45 as the queen and duke of edinburgh left the palace they stood for a minute in tribute to those lost at grenfell tower and also in the terrorist atrocities in manchester and london. then in that statement, which she issued this morning, referring to the sombre national mood and recalling the fact that she visited grenfell tower yesterday herself and to manchester last month, where she says that she was profoundly truck that she was profoundly struck by the immediate inclination of people throughout the country to offer comfort and support to those in desperate need. although this birthday parade, all the normal components, the marching guardsman, the balcony appearance, the fly by, prince george and princess charlotte, this was rather subdued reflecting on recent tragedies.
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events are taking place across the country this weekend to mark the first anniversary ofjo cox's murder. the great get together, as it's called, has been organised by her family. the idea is forfriends, neighbours and others they don't yet know to spend time with each other. fiona is in west yorkshire, which is injo cox's fiona is in west yorkshire, which is in jo cox's former constituency. hundreds of people have been coming together in this beautiful sunshine. theyjust wanted to come and have a giant picnic here. bands here on the bandstand to play here today, just wanted to come together and be neighbourly and show support for each other, wanting to show support forjo cox's family too. earlier we spoke to her husband, he explained why events like this today are so important. i think for us, it was thinking about how we take forward jo's
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legacy and the things she cared about. the thing that drove jo was about bringing closer communities together. she wanted to build a community. she wanted to bring people together of different types and backgrounds. i think she would be incredibly humbled by the scale of the response there's been. we know of about 120,000 events so far across the country. i think what that shows is just the sense that the country's crying out for these moments of togetherness. we spend so much time talking about the things we disagree on. i think people want that balance. there are really is a balance today of people coming together, showing support. there's been a lot happy faces. how important is it for you that everybody has come here in the local community? very proud and privileged that such an event took place. 0bviously
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privileged that such an event took place. obviously this is very passionate to jo place. obviously this is very passionate tojo cox herself and it gives you an example of how much we have in common. sadly, there has been so much bad publicity which does not give a clear picture of this and this is about individuals coming together and really moving forehead and actually embracing together and this is something many of the areas can take an example of an move towards this in terms of uniting together in this way. to relax in the sunshine and have a good time, it looks like you've had some very good time, it looks like you've had some very nice glitter on your face. have you been enjoying yourself? yes, i have. what have you been doing? going round doing loads of activities. have you got school on monday? you will need to sleep
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carefully so that glitter does not come off. yes, i will. why is it important for you that you're here? for me it isjust community, the community coming together and being united as one rather than being isolated. it is important for us to be together. when we were chatting tojo be together. when we were chatting to jo cox's be together. when we were chatting tojo cox's sister she said people should not just tojo cox's sister she said people should notjust come together following tragedy, it should be all the time. when you see people in this part it makes you realise how easy it is to come together. s this is the starting point, it gets the ball rolling, people start coming together and outside this event people can get together then as well. would you like to see that happen every year? definitely. i'm not from round here, i've lived here two years and there was nothing like this in my hometown and seeing this and seeing everybody come together
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is really good. thank you for chatting to us. it is notjust the great get—together following on from jo cox's death one year ago but that memorialfund was jo cox's death one year ago but that memorial fund was set up following her death and has raised almost £2 million for charities that were close to her heart. we are just bringing you some breaking news coming to us, events taking place in the united states concerning bill cos by. the united states concerning bill cosby. we are hearing that a judge in that bill cosby assault trial has been cleared —— has declared a mistrial. -- has declared a mistrial. this is because of a deadlocked jury, they cannot agree a verdict. you will remember he was accused of sexual
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assault, of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman. the event took place at his mansion. that is the background to that. we are hearing thejudge has the background to that. we are hearing the judge has the cleared our mistrial —— has said it is a mistrial. it is a hung jury. we have this report. 0nce once one of the biggest global names in wholesome family comedy, now coming to hear if the court would brand him a calculating sexual predator. in his heyday he was the most prominent african—american, the highest—paid actor and a trailblazer. but more than 50 women
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have come forward saying he sexually assaulted them. most could not go to trial because it was so long since the alleged incidents took place. 0ne the alleged incidents took place. one case was heard in court, brought by andrea constant, a former university employee who claims in 2040 he drugged her then molested her. one of his old interviews joking about drugging women, maybe something he regretted. on the head ofa pin, something he regretted. on the head of a pin, the girl would something he regretted. on the head ofa pin, the girl would drink something he regretted. on the head of a pin, the girl would drink it and, hollow america. former guest star lily burn card had regarded him asa star lily burn card had regarded him as a mentor but claimed he sexually assaulted her three times in the early 90s. she says the real bill cosby early 90s. she says the real bill cos by ha d early 90s. she says the real bill cosby had been on display. early 90s. she says the real bill cosby had been on displaylj early 90s. she says the real bill cosby had been on display. i hope this trial will reveal to the world that bill cosby is a lying coward,
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that bill cosby is a lying coward, that he is a master manipulator who has methodically, over the course of five decades, inflicted sexual violence on women. lets go and listen to commander stuart cundy, bringing us an update on the g re nfell tower bringing us an update on the grenfell tower tragedy. i will do questions at the end, i promise you. i would like to give you an update on the ongoing investigation and the ongoing work here at grenfell tower. as i've said before, the fire was truly horrific and for me, this is just a human tragedy. sadly, we can now formally identified the first victim who lost their life. that is mohammed alhajali. as the
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days ago on we will, with the agreement of the coroner, go on to identify the others who have died. yesterday we spoke about the work to recover those that are still in g re nfell tower. recover those that are still in grenfell tower. yesterday afternoon, following expert advice, for the safety of our officers, the london fire brigade and the london ambulance service, we had to pause that search and recovery. i'm now pleased to see that as of this afternoon we are back in grenfell tower and our priority is to bring out those that are still in there. we've worked tirelessly over the
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last four days to deal with the huge number of calls we've received. 0ver 6000 calls have been received by the police. that is calls into centres up police. that is calls into centres up and down the united kingdom. we've worked tirelessly to establish how many people we reveal wherein g re nfell tower how many people we reveal wherein grenfell tower on the night, and at this point in time whether we are able to say whether they are safe or well. sadly, at this time, there are 58 people who we were told were in g re nfell tower 58 people who we were told were in grenfell tower on the night that are missing and therefore sadly, i have to assume they are dead. we have
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family liaison officers supporting and working with a number of families. that is 52 families. that includes those we believe have died here at grenfell tower and those that are in critical care in hospital. that number 58 may change. i really hope it won't. but it may increase. 0ur hope it won't. but it may increase. our focus has been hope it won't. but it may increase. 0urfocus has been on hope it won't. but it may increase. our focus has been on those that we know were in there, that we've been told were in grenfell tower. however, there may be other people who were in there on the night that others were not aware were there. that is also an absolute priority for the investigation to

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