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tv   BBC News  BBC News  June 18, 2017 3:00am-3:31am BST

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hello. lam duncan i am duncan golestani. the british prime minister has acknowledged shortcomings in the response to the devastating grenfell towerfire in london. police say at least 58 people died in the disaster — and that number could rise further. our correspondent, jeremy cooke, reports. in the midsummer heat, grenfell tower casts a long shadow. a new dark reality on the london skyline, with the power to shock, and to move. a sight which stops you in your tracks. too much to take in. it's hard to know what to say, yeah. it's just horrific. we just said that everyone's busy talking, but yet you can just feel a silence. it's really overwhelming. four days on from disaster, and with every official update, more grim news. sadly, at this time, there are 58 people who we were told... we have been told were in grenfell tower on the night that are missing, and therefore sadly i have to assume that they are dead. the investigations into how this
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happened will be complex and lengthy, but the residents‘ association for grenfell tower and the surrounding blocks is already calling for the council and its management agency to be suspended from their landlords‘ responsibility. andrea newton says the community felt ignored before the tragedy, neglected since, with no access to basic information. where is everyone? what are they getting next, where are they going to move, what do they need? who needs what, and where? these are fundamental questions, and we are days after this disaster. i've done the angry. i mean, i've got to get this done. today, the residents brought those frustrations to downing street. it was a robust discussion, there was forceful emotion in the room.
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people were able to say what they wanted to say and we felt that was listened to and listened to carefully. in a statement, the prime minister said: and analysis which chimes with the volunteers who have been working flat out to help victims in the absence of effective official support. they have been completely let down and it is the same people that potentially might have caused this that are now letting them down again and it's tragic. and if it wasn't the community here and the volunteers, i would dread to think what would have happened those people. the prime minister says she accepts there are huge frustrations here and she is promising to send more support into the area. it is the sort of help which is desperately needed but this community could have used it days ago. it's way, way too late.
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but you're reassured by what theresa may has said to you today? not right now, not right now. no, i'm not, not right now. with so much pain and frustration here, there are warnings that the government help must work with the community to avoid frustration and anger. and high in grenfell tower, the operation to recover bodies goes on. a reminder of what's been lost and the scale of the task ahead. jeremy cooke, bbc news, north kensington. 0k, ok, let's look at some other stories, and now. —— now: a forest fire in central portugal has killed at least 2a people and injured several others, including a number of firefighters. 16 of the victims burned to death in their vehicles when they were trapped by flames. three women have been killed in what the authorities in colombia say was a terrorist attack.
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the explosion occurred at a shopping mall in bogota. nine other people were injured. prosecutors in the us have vowed to re—try bill cosby on sexual assault charges, after a judge declared a mistrial in the case. mr cosby denies drugging and sexually assaulting a woman 13 years ago. the jury failed to reach a verdict despite more than 50 hours of deliberations. more on our main story, now. and the prime minister spent two hours in downing street on saturday with some of the people made homeless in the grenfell tower fire, along with several volunteers. here's our political correspondent, alex forysyth. the statement that theresa may issued after that meeting was clearly an attempt to counter some of the claims that her government's response has lacked sympathy and understanding. it was a long statement in which the prime minister said she had heard the concerns of residents, their frustration and their fear that their voices hadn't been listened to and their questions were going unanswered. she announced a series of measures,
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money immediately for things like food and clothes, a promise to rehouse people, extra personal and support down on the ground to offer advice. and the response from some in the community is so far cautiously optimistic. but theresa may has been under significant pressure. notjust in terms of the handling of what happened at grenfell tower but also as a result of the election which left her position weakened. this was clearly an attempt to try to put her government back on the front foot, to show that she understands, that she's offering support and that she's providing action, too. this was her trying to cement her authority. the question remains whether it will be enough, particularly for those in the community which has lost so much. alex forsyth in downing street, there. amid the anger some are still trying to find answers about their relatives who have been missing since the fire at grenfell tower. the first victim to be identified was mohammad al—hajali, a 23—year—old syrian refugee. his family and have now released
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this treatment to him. they say... the home office has confirmed it will assist the family to travel to the uk from syria. mark lowen has more on the search for the victims. this is a tragedy that has shaken faith in safety, equality and justice. singing. it has brought a tight community even closer, waiting, still, for any news of the missing. dozens from grenfell tower are lost. faces from the floors that were engulfed as the fire rose. the anger and demands for accountability are growing. it's always the public that runs to rescue. where's the authorities?
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where are they? forgotten corners of this area are becoming shrines to grenfell, to grief, to frustration. as the days since the tragedy wear on, the hope of friends and families is fading. the only comfort now would be answers as to what happened. instead, there's the pain of not knowing. though, as time passes, more are presumed dead. still missing, 57—year—old hesham rahman, originally from egypt. his mother and nephew fear the worst. hesham called her shortly after 3am as the fire neared his top floor flat. the last thing he said to my grandmother was, "i had spoken to the police, i told them the smoke was coming into my house and they told me that they were coming, close your door, put some wet towels on the floor, we're coming to get you, it's going to be all right." so he then said to my grandmother, "once i'm out, i'll let you know that i'm 0k." how are you at the moment?
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you know, we're all angry, we all want the same answers, we're all frustrated. but we really need to do it the right way. we all want to achieve the same thing but not with aggression. it doesn't work, it never did and it never will. my son, he's my son. a mother who watched her son's nearby home turn to horror. one story among so many from the hell of grenfell tower. mark lowen, bbc news, north kensington. the queen observed a minute's silence at the trooping the colour parade in memory of those who died in the grenfell tower tragedy, and also in recent attacks in manchester and london. earlier, she released a statement, in which she said it was "difficult
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to escape the very sombre national mood". our royal correspondent, nicholas witchell, reports. on a day intended for celebration, the queen led the nation in sorrow. before leaving buckingham palace for horse guards, she stood with the duke of edinburgh for a minute's silence. a moment of reflection, joined by the footguards on the parade ground and the cavalry at the palace gates — in remembrance of those lost at grenfell tower, and in the terrorist attacks in london and manchester. in a statement issued at six o'clock this morning, the queen said: yesterday she'd visited the scene of the fire at grenfell tower and met some of those who have lost friends and neighbours. it had clearly made a deep impression. in her statement she said: "i have been profoundly struck by the immediate inclination of people throughout the country to offer comfort and support to those in desperate need."
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she went on: band plays her birthday parade went ahead. it had all the familiar components. the footguards marched and trooped the colour of the irish guards, and the royal family appeared on the palace balcony, where prince george as usual stole the show, gazing down at the crowds, and then as the raf fly—past appeared, up at the sky with his sister. but this was no ordinary trooping. this was a year when the head of state reflected the country's feelings of shock and grief. nicholas witchell, bbc news, at buckingham palace. there've been anti—government demonstrators in westminster against the conservative‘s "confidence and supply" agreement with northern ireland's democratic unionist party. people also raised concerns over the grenfell tower fire and how the situation has been handled.
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there were minor scuffles in whitehall which had a heavy police presence. our political correspondent mark lobel was there. hundreds of people have been protesting outside downing street today. and the protest organiser is owenjones, a columnist at the guardian. hejoins us now. owen, you have more faith than you did injeremy corbyn a week ago, but if we put that to one side, you are calling for big change at the moment during a precarious time for british politics. is that not a risky strategy? well, the risky strategy is the government at the moment. we have a coalition of chaos in power, barely, with a government which, at the moment, is trying to rely on the support of some homophobic, anti—choice climate change denier extremists. i don't think they are a great choice for this country and i think a lot of people are worried about
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them having us over a barrel. i don't think that will form a stable government for this country. this is one of the reasons that people here. there are many reasons. if you look at the government this week, they are going to start brexit negotiations. they are going to have a queens beach. should you not be backing them and pushing your agenda, rather than asking for change? this government is pushing us over a cliff. there is — we are an international laughing stock. i don't think anybody in europe takes us seriously. she hoped to destroy the opposition with these elections. she failed. she said she needed an election to get strength in mandate, and now has reduced mandate. this is a government that is incapable with dealing with a national crisis, as we have seen in west london. you know, no—one is responsible for the mess this government's in, other than themselves. it is shambolic and embarrassing. they are responsible. we are asking not to have a coalition of chaos leading the country. which is what's on offer at the moment. you mentioned the events in london. how much momentum do you think this provided to people turning up today? working—class people weren't
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listened to for many years when they've warned of what was going to happen. working—class and black people lived in the tower block. with the housing crisis in the country, their failure to build affordable, comfortable, safe housing, that the country needs. and the failure of the government, afterward, to look after those who survived. i think that sums up —— and i think that sums up many of the problems in society. that has focused a lot of anger that you've seen that this protest. because it shows — it exposes many of the injustices that exist today. theresa may is working hard to gain that trust back today. if you were to bottle your message into a very small bottle, what would it be, and what change would you be for now? theresa may should resign. clearly, even conservatives — prominent conservatives are calling for her to resign. she has disgraced herself in office. she cannot provide strong
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and stable leadership for discussion. the sooner we have an election, the better. thank you forjoining us. that was owen jones, who is the organiser of this protest. theresa may has been in meetings, trying to make sure that our resources available to help the victims of the grenfell tower disaster and also meeting some of the local community of the residents of that area, too, hoping to get their trust and confidence in the government's handling of the crisis. you are watching bbc news. the latest headlines. 58 people are presumed to have died in the london tower block fire. police warn that number is expected to rise. relatives and volunteers meet with british prime minster theresa may as she admits the government's response, in the hours after the disaster, was not good enough. since the fire, the government has ordered councils across england to check the safety of their buildings. many have sought to reassure tenants living in tower blocks. but as our correspondent duncan kennedy reports,
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it's notjust residential tower blocks that are coming under scrutiny. in all parts of the country, in all kinds of buildings, the grenfell fire is changing people's lives. how long have you lived here? nearly a0 years. in the same place? yes. like mo simmons‘s, who has lived on the 20th floor of her tower block in south hampton since 1977, without a worry until this week. the block is due to be cladded but after cladding came under suspicion in the west london fire, mo has called the council to an emergency meeting to express residents‘ doubts. because the flats, a lot of flats are very damp and the heating‘s not a very good system and it‘s quite cold, we were all pushing for our cladding to be done to make it warmer and now i want reassurances before i‘ll go as block rep to the council and say yes, ok, we‘ll have it done. seven years ago, this tower block
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fire in south hampton killed two firefighters. there was no connection with cladding but it did bring changes. the blaze here led to a complete rethink about safety and sprinklers were added not only here but to buildings across the city. now in the wake of the grenfell fire, the government has ordered councils to look at all of their buildings, notjust the tower blocks. and notjust old buildings either. this student accommodation in nottingham was built only three years ago and came with cladding designed into it, but it will also be examined by experts just to make sure it is fire resistant. i guess it‘s something they should look at but it shouldn‘t worry residents at all. we have fire alarm tests every week and we had another one today so we keep checking it. wherever you go, public sector buildings are being checked. here at hull‘s royal infirmary, nhs officials have been trying to reassure local people,
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saying that cladding on the building is safe. from cornwall to lincolnshire, meetings are being held and nerves steadied. tower blocks and other buildings once only talked about in terms of their aesthetics and quality are now places for discussions about safety and protection. duncan kennedy, bbc news in southampton. the government of the philippines says more than 300 people are known to have been killed in the battle against islamist militants in marawi. situated on the southern island of mindanao, the city is a centre of islam in the overwhelmingly christian philippines. president duterte says the presence of fighters from the so—called islamic state had made it a brutal conflict. sarah corker reports. despite an intensive bombing campaign by the philippine military, islamist fighters remain holed up in pockets of marawi city. trapped civilians are being used as human shields.
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the dark plumes of smoke mark the latest battleground. the army says its troops are retaking areas and bridges. translation: it is hard because they have occupied the tallest buildings and you don‘t know where they will hit you from. you can‘t see the snipers. the battle began in may when hundreds of militants waving black barracks of the so—called islamic state group stormed the city. the president then declared martial law across the southern philippines. so far, 329 people have been killed. they have so corrupted the name of god in the form of religion to kill mainly innocent persons and to destroy for nothing. the fighting is going on but, of course it‘s winding up, but at the cost of so many soldiers also. marawi is a predominantly muslim
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city in an overwhelmingly catholic nation. the government says is‘s plan was to declare a caliphate in the region and, as the battle moves into its 27th day, the damage to the city is extensive, while more than 200,000 people have fled, now living in overcrowded evacuation centres. translation: i hope my husband gets out. i can‘t look after our children on my own. i keep fainting becuase i‘m so stressed. the government says it‘s only a matter of time before troops liberate the city, but the militants have stockpiled food and weapons, thought to be preparing for a long siege. sarah corker, bbc news. as we mentioned earlier, the entertainer bill cosby has walked free from a court in the united states after a judge declared a mistrial in his sexual assault case.
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the jury were unable to reach a decision on whether the 79—year—old was guilty of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman at his home 13 years ago. the prosecution says it will seek a retrial. aleem maqbool reports. after so many accused him of being a calculating sexual predator, bill cosby is free now to go home. the jury didn‘t acquit him, but they couldn‘t unanimously agree to convict him either. we came here looking for an acquittal, but like that rolling stones song says, you don‘t always get what you want — sometimes, you get what you need. god bless you all, and happy father‘s day. chanting: we love bill, we love bill. the mistrial was celebrated like a victory by cosby‘s supporters. is justice way overdue? there‘s a waste of tax payers‘ money... what do you say to those people, 60 women came forward and accused him... yes, after 20—25 years? c‘mon, please. back in his heyday bill cosby
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was the most prominent african—american, the highest—paid actor, and undoubtedly a trailblazer... but dozens of women who came forward saying he‘d drugged then sexually assaulted them. most cases couldn‘t go to trial because it was so long since the alleged incidents. one case was heard in court, though, brought by andrea constand, a former university employee who claims that in 2004 he drugged and molested her. bill cosby didn‘t take the stand during his trial. instead, his defence team tried to undermine the credibility of his accuser. women‘s rights lawyers have been appalled but say they still hope for a retrial. if the court allows more accusers to testify next time, it might make a difference. in other words, it‘s too early to celebrate, mr cosby. round two may be just around the corner. for now, bill cosby does walk free, but there is the prospect
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that he‘s going to be retried, and there is no question that in spite of this result his reputation as something of an american father figure has now been tarnished. aleem maqbool, bbc news, in morrisstown, pennsylvania. polls will open in a few hours for round two of the french national assembly elections. new president emmanuel macron‘s centrist party la republique en marche won almost a third of votes in the first round last week. he looks set to change the face of french politics with a diverse group of political novices being elected. macron‘s party is currently ahead in 400 constituencies out of the 577 that make up france‘s national assembly. hugh schofield has the story. president macron, here voting in
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last sunday‘s first round, is with an ace of pulling off the second pa rt an ace of pulling off the second part of his quiet revolution. if all goes as expected he is about to secure the biggest makeover in decades in france‘s parliament, the national assembly. it‘s not just that his en marche! party looks set for a crushing majority, the actual candidates are very different from what went before. half are totally new to politics. half are women, which means the new parliament is likely to be one of the most feminised in the world. the opposition parties, meanwhile, are preparing for the worst, which, in the case of the socialists, could meana the case of the socialists, could mean a total wipeout. so great is the president‘s predicted victory that the big problem may be the lack of opposition. can that, some ask, be good for democracy? emmanuel macron says that he wants french
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democracy to be alive again, that he wa nts democracy to be alive again, that he wants the french parliament to work, to criticise, to propose, can he do that with a majority so big, with such a big abstention rate? but not all such a big abstention rate? but not a ll vote rs such a big abstention rate? but not all voters see the president‘s growing power as a problem. translation: haven't we had too much debate over the last few years? the country hasn‘t moved forward for the last 30 years precisely because there‘s too much talking and not much gets done. after today france's long election season, two rounds of presidential is then two rounds of legislative is, will finally be over and president macron, it‘s almost certain, will have pulled off one of the most extraordinary democratic who‘s ever. the tools for reform will be in his hand. the task now is to use them. hugh schofield, bbc news, paris. time for the weather with chris fawkes. hello again. you did‘t need to catch a 2,000 mile flight to enjoy some hot summer weather.
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with temperatures in teddington hitting 30 degrees yesterday, teddington was actually hotter than teneriffe. the hottest weather the uk‘s had so far this year with the heat widespread across england and wales. parts of scotland and northern ireland not too bad either. we had beautiful skies, too, this was a weather watcher picture showing the sunshine but it was not sunny everywhere. to the north—west of the uk we have a weather front bringing damp weather today into the western side of scotland, particularly the north—west, mind you. it‘s a very mild start to the day, if you‘ve not been out already. 20 degrees to begin across norwich and london as well. it will rise quickly in thejune strong sunshine. across scotland and northern ireland, with the weather front close by, cloudier skies to start the day, but that cloud should break up across parts of northern ireland and eastern and southern parts of scotland. the damp weather is restricted to the far north west of scotland. for england and wales it will be another beautiful start to the day. clear blue skies for the vast
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majority of us and those temperatures quick to rise in thejune sunshine. barely a breath of wind outside, temperatures 2a degrees at 9:00 in the morning and it will be another hot day. if anything, hotter than it was yesterday. the heat could trigger an isolated shower or storm across east anglia and south—east england but you would be unlucky to see that. the vast majority having a fine, dry and hot day. temperatures, 31 or so for london and the south—east, 26 for newcastle and into the mid—20s again in edinburgh. high levels of pollen so for some of us it could be quite a sneezy day and it‘s notjust pollen that‘s high, you also have high to very high levels of uv. it may be worth thinking about using sun cream. for the next few days, we will keep the hot air across southern parts of the uk. high pressure still in charge further north but it‘s dragging in cooler air so things will cool down across the north and north—east over the next few days.
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in scotland on monday, a weather front brings damp weather once again, probably cloudier weather working through the central belt so not quite as warm here but still plenty of hot sun shines the england and wales. again, temperatures peak at 31 degrees. the cooler air in the north of the uk will continue to move southwards so in sheffield the temperatures into the low 20s through tuesday and wednesday but stay on the warm side across southern parts of the uk for much of the week ahead. this is bbc news. the headlines: police say 58 people are now presumed to have died in wednesday‘s tower block fire in london. they warn it could take weeks to recover the dead and the number could rise. the british prime minister, theresa may has admitted initial support for victims "was not good enough". officials say a forest fire in central portugal has killed at least 2a people and injured several others, including a number of firefighters. the secretary of the interior told reporters that most of the victims had burned to death in their vehicles. prosecutors in the united states say they will seek a retrial
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in the sexual assault case against the entertainer bill cosby. a judge declared a mistrial after the jury was unable to reach a verdict after more than 50 hours of deliberations. as we‘ve been hearing a group of residents, volunteers and survivors of grenfell tower met theresa may at downing street on saturday afternoon. the bishop of kensington, the right reverend dr graham tomlinson, was also there. mark lobel spoke to him afterwards. i think it was a good meeting. i think it was a good meeting that enabled residents in the local area here to really express their frustrations and their hopes, their anger, their desires, and to put before the prime minister the things they really want to say. i think was a good thing to do and i think residents came away feeling that they had
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been heard and could say what they wanted to say. how did the meeting come about, and who was able to talk first? can you talk us through how the meeting went?
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