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tv   BBC News  BBC News  June 18, 2017 11:00am-11:31am BST

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this is bbc news. the headlines at 11.00. government staff are being drafted in to manage the response to the grenfell tower fire — following fierce criticism. the chancellor, philip hammond, has told the andrew marr programme that he supports a public inquiry. what i'm hearing from the leading fire safety experts is that it isn't necessarily necessary to retro fit sprinklers to make a building fire safe. i don't want to call that judgment, because i'm not an expert, but i do think we need to look through the public enquiry at all the evidence. church services take place across the country — to remember those affected by the blaze. the queen's speech to parliament next year is to be cancelled, to allow mps more time to scrutinise brexit legislation. at least 43 people are killed in a forest fire in central portugal — —— 57, which continues to spread.
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claims of growing inequality across britain — a new report says the gap between rich and poor is getting wider. and on dateline londonjane hill discusses the fallout from the general election, and the ongoing political turmoil heightened by the grenfell tower tragedy. good morning and welcome to bbc news. government staff have been drafted in to improve the response to the grenfell tower disaster in west london — amid criticism of the local council's performance. at least 58 people are believed to have died in last wednesday's blaze — with the police warning that the total could rise. many residents have complained they received little or no help from kensington and chelsea council. meanwhile, church services will be held today to remember the victims of the blaze. nick quraishi reports. the devastation caused
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by the inferno stops people in their tracks. the dark reality abundantly clear in broad daylight. four days on, the community is still angry about a lack of co—ordination, communication and accountability. it's always the public that runs to the rescue. where's the authorities? where are they? residents, community leaders and volunteers took their frustrations to downing street, spending two hours with the prime minister. it was a robust discussion, there was forceful emotion in the room, people were able to say what they wanted to say and we felt that was listened to and listened to carefully. theresa may, who has come in for widespread personal criticism over her handling of the crisis, said she'd heard the concerns. the prime minister admitted: whitehall officials have been drafted in to help kensington
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and chelsea council cope with the response and the red cross will provide psychological support. as people wait and pray for the missing, church services today will remember those who didn't make it out of grenfell tower. a reminder of the complex and lengthy process of recovering bodies from this charred shell. nick quraishi, bbc news. our correspondent mark lobel is in west london, outside notting hill methodist church where one of the services will be held. before we talk about the church service, just to note that the residents here are now telling us that the volunteers are at breaking point. as we heard in the package, there are expected to be government civil servants down here on the
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ground helping out, whether they are in high vizjackets or whether they are meant to be replacing the volunteers. there has been no sign of them so far. the volunteers here have not noticed a change yet. we are trying to get to the bottom of how the government's efforts that theresa may was talking about yesterday will change things on the ground. a church service is about to start here at notting hill, and in churches across the area. the focus is on remembering the victims. people i've spoken to here say they wa nt to people i've spoken to here say they want to cry and pray. they want a moment to reflect on what has happened. the police say at least 58 people are missing. the first named victim is mohammed alhajali, an engineering student, who was separated from his brother while they were both trying to escape. his grandfather spoke earlier to the bbc
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about him. —— his grandmother. i knew him from the syrian community, and he was loved by all of us. he was loved by people who knew him very well, by people who didn't know him very well, but people from the community, and it is really sad to see what his family must be going through now. they have questions about him himself, how it happened. he didn't manage to escape the building, but his body was not found. how did that happen? questions there from a friend of one of the victims, and questions that date back to why they were put in that position in the first place. the bbc spoke to one of those people who were part of the discussions about seven months ago, when a blog came out, a community campaign,
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looking at concerns from the community about the state of fire precautions within the tower. she spoke to the bbc earlier. she explained her concerns at the time. the mac they all raised fire safety concerns in those first meetings. there was a catalogue going back years, of problems with the building, and consistent failure. what needs to happen right now, immediately, is those families who have survived the fire and who are how have survived the fire and who are now homeless need to be given really good accommodation, cost not being an object, and the government and the local authority have treated them like rubbish, and they continue to do it. soa so a difficult time for the residents here. church services taking place now. afterwards, more questions about the kind of help
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that wasn't here at the beginning of this tragedy, as the prime minister touched on yesterday, and also questions about what went wrong initially. we will be keeping an eye out here about what changes on the ground, and where this government help is. thank you very much. political reaction to the tragic events in west london continue today. and today we've heard from the chancellor of the exchequer, philip hammond, and the labour leader, jeremy corbyn. with me now is our political correspondent, susana mendonca. what has been said? there's been so many questions raised about whether oi’ many questions raised about whether or not the government acted upon recommendations made following a previous fire in camberwell in 2009, the recommendations made in 2013. philip hammond was asked whether the government had acted upon that, and he said it wasn't fair to ask that, because they had got researchers to look into the issue and had a
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consultation. he was also asked about the key issue of sprinklers, because people have asked whether people would have survived had there been sprinklers in the building. philip hammond said he wasn't clear on whether sprinklers would have made a difference. if the conclusion ofa made a difference. if the conclusion of a proper technical evaluation is that that is the best way to deal with a problem, then, of course. my understanding, andrew, though i am not an expert, is that the best expert advice is that retro fitting sprinklers may not always be the best technical way of ensuring fire safety in a building. if it is, it should be done. let's get the technical advice properly evaluated bya technical advice properly evaluated by a public enquiry, and then let's decide how to go forward. but let's be clear, if something needs to be done to make a building safe, it will be done. i'm not an expert either, but can i put it to you that
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we do not need technical expertise to know that sprinklers put out fires, and a lot of people sitting in blocks like that one who do not have sprinklers in their building, may be thinking why not? there has never been a case of anyone losing their life in a fire in this country where sprinklers have been fitted. these are technical questions. this is not technical. what i am hearing from leading fire safety experts is that it isn't necessarily necessary to fit sprinklers to make a building fire safe. i don't want to call that judgment because i'm not an expert, but we need to look through the public enquiry through all this technical evidence. the commitment the government should make is that when the inquirer reproduces its
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findings, andl when the inquirer reproduces its findings, and i don't mean in years' time, we are going to ask for interim findings, when the inquirer reproduces findings, we will act on them. we also heard from jeremy corbyn about this. he was making the point that he thought the council demonstrated it didn't have the resources needed to deal with this kind of issue, this is kensington and chelsea council, and he could understand why it wasn't the case. he thought that something had gone badly wrong in britain to have this situation. he has mentioned the idea of requisitioning properties. he said he didn't think it was controversial. there are a lot of empty properties, and a place like kensington certainly has some. he said you could engage in compulsory purchase orders. there are a large
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number of deliberately kept vacant flats and properties all over london. it's called land banking. people with a lot of money by a house or a flat and keep it empty. would you just keep it as long as it was needed? occupy it, requisitioning it, compulsory purchase. there's a lot of things we can do. as a society, can we think of all of us? it is all very well putting your arms around people in a crisis, but the housing crisis is rising and homelessness is getting worse. in an emergency you rising and homelessness is getting worse. in an emergency you have to bring all assets to the table to deal with the crisis, and that's what i think we should be doing. the sunday morning political programmes dominated by the grenfell tower tragedy. we are also on the eve of the brexit negotiations. yes, david davis is the chief negotiator —— is
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meeting the chief negotiator of the european union. the chancellor, philip hammond, was saying that he thinks that no deal would be a very, very bad outcome. the prime minister has said that no deal is better than a bad deal, but he made the point that a worse deal that was designed to damage britain on a long—term basis would also be a negative. jeremy corbyn, notjeremy corbyn, keir starmer, was talking about the situation we are in. we are going into these negotiations, and he feels that the prime minister has got us into a situation where we are going in on the back foot. the prime minister has got us into a mess. she has no mandate here and no authority abroad, and negotiations start tomorrow. her approach so far has alienated our allies in europe, weakened our position with the eu,
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and got us into the worst possible starting position. these brexit negotiations were supposed to be happening after what theresa may thought would be a great election victory in the election last week. she now has a minority government. we heard from philip hammond, the chancellor, who we didn't see much of during the election. today, he certainly said that it was not the role he wanted to have. he wanted to be out there talking about britain's economy. he said that if the conservatives had spent the time talking about the positive things they had done for the economy, the outcome might have been different. many thanks. a fall in the number of people who own their own home is fuelling inequality in britain, according to a new report. research from the resolution foundation think—tank suggests that 10% of adults own around half of the nation's wealth. our business correspondent,
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joe lynam, has more. the awful fire at grenfell tower has highlighted for many the issue of inequality in britain. dozens dead in the wealthiest borough in the uk. now an independent think tank has said inequality has worsened since the great recession because fewer people own their own homes. the resolution foundation says property ownership is now spread less evenly than salaries and incomes are. it says the richest 10% of the population own £5 trillion, or half the uk's wealth, while the top 1% own 14% of britain's wealth. by contrast, 15% of adults have no or negative wealth. wealth is arguably the biggest determinant of living standards over people's lives but yet it barely features in today's living standards debates, and that's a big deal because our analysis shows wealth is far more unequally spread across scoiety than incomes are and because of declining property ownership, declining home ownership, for the least wealthy households that inequality has started to go up, and that's a real concern.
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the report is part of a wider study into a growing gap between older and younger people. the foundation says older people have accumulated wealth due to rising house prices as well having gold—plated pensions, which the young won't enjoy. the government says we want to build an economy that works for everyone. income inequality is at its lowest level since the mid—1980s and the lowest paid saw their wages grow faster than for 20 years. joe lynam, bbc news. the headlines on bbc news: government staff have been drafted in to manage the response to the grenfell tower fire after criticism of kensington and chelsea borough council. church services are to take place across the country today, to remember those affected by the blaze. the queen's speech to parliament next year is to be cancelled to allow mps more time to scrutinise brexit legislation. it's being described as an "unusual move". sport now...
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and for a full round up, over to the bbc sport centre. india have won the toss and chosen to field against pakistan in the final of the champions trophy final. these were the scenes outside the oval ahead of the clash between the arch rivals. the game is a complete sell—out with hundreds of millions also watching on tv all around the world. the match is under way. pakistan are currently 56 without loss. india ran out easy winners when the two sides met in the group stages. will it be a repeat this time round? after day three at golf‘s us open, england's tommy fleetwood remains firmly in contention at the top of the leaderboard. he sits just one shot behind the overall leader brian harman going into the final round in wisconsin. adam wild reports.
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for tommy fleetwood there is plenty to smile about. but getting among the leaders is one thing. staying there is quite another. still, he was making his presence felt, progressing steadily in the right direction. for others, that didn't seem direction. for others, that didn't seem to be the case, but here, for justin thomas, even going in the wrong direction can work out perfectly in the end. that is enough to put him ahead of the rest at the moment. whilst he flourished, others floundered. paul casey's hopes of staying in contention lost somewhere in the deep rough. they called day three moving day, and there was plenty of that now on the leaderboard. the american, harman, was heading towards the top. fleetwood close behind, but the us
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open has really been more open. this is my first time in contention in a major, so whatever happens, i'll be doing my best and seeing how well i can finish and that's that really. that's all you can do. but it will be a pleasure to go out on a sunday trying to win a major. warren gatland has named his side to face the chiefs on tuesday, and has included all six controversial call—ups he made yesterday as replacements. ireland hooker rory best captains the side, with the bulk of the squad that beat the maori all blacks yesterday not playing — so they can prepare for the first test against the all blacks next saturday. gatland says those involved on tuesday will be playing for themselves and for the whole squad. we brought you scotland's historic win over australia here on breakfast yesterday morning, and that was just the start of it as england completed a 2—0 series victory over argentina after winning the second test in santa fe. full back mike brown broke clear before producing a brilliant offload to send piers francis over for a great try before half time.
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england went on to win 35—25 but eddiejones's squad was missing 30 of their best players, largely due to the lions tour. very pleased. today we found a way to win, we were outgunned in the first half, second half, we came back in the forwards, particularly, and scrums and our maul defence improved and that got us back in the game and then our ability to score off their mistakes i thought was fantastic. johanna konta could become the first british woman since virginia wade a0 years ago at wimbledon to win a tour event on home soil. she's reached the final of the nottingham 0pen after coming through in straight sets against magdalena rybarikova of slovakia. it's the first time the british number one has reached a grass court final. she'll face croatia's donna vekic, ranked 70th in the world. the draw for queens which starts tomorrow will see defending champion andy murray face fellow brit aljaz bedene in the first round. murray beat him in the second round last year. johanna konta's final in nottingham
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sta rts johanna konta's final in nottingham starts at 3pm. you can follow that across the bbc. more from me in the next hour. french voters go to the polls today for the second round of the country's parliamentary elections. president macron's en marche party is predicted to win up to 80% of seats, as our paris correspondent, hugh schofield, reports. president macron is within 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 notjust 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,
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could mean a total wipe—out. 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 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 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 presidentials then two rounds of legislatives — will finally be over and president macron, it's almost certain, will have pulled off one of the most
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extraordinary democratic coups ever. the tools for reform will be in his hand. the task now is to use them. hugh schofield, bbc news, paris. a forest fire in central portugal is believed to have killed 57 people. 18 of the victims died whilst trying to escape in their cars in an area north of the capital of lisbon. several firefighters are amongst the 59 people reported as injured. the prime minister antonio costa said, that this fire was "the greatest tragedy we have seen in recent years in terms of forest fires". the cause of the fire is currently unknown. very high temperatures in the last
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few days, but not in pedrogao grande, which is where this fire took place, but there were lightning strikes, and the prime minister suggested that this may have been the cause of the fire. this spread rapidly overnight, and that could have been part of the problem. this isa have been part of the problem. this is a thickly forested area, so some roads passing through our vulnerable. this seems to have been a majorfactor. as you mentioned, 18 people were overcome by the fire as they tried to flee in their cars. many of the death seem to have taken place along roads in that forested area. we don't yet know the cause of the fire, but are you hearing what people are saying about how it might have started ? people are saying about how it might have started? yes, this fire could well have been caused by a lightning strike. that hasn't been confirmed, but the prime minister himself suggested that is what he was hearing. there are many and various
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causes of fires in the summer in portugal. sometimes it's arson, but that doesn't seem to be the case in this particular situation. that will be looked at now. at the moment they arejust coping with be looked at now. at the moment they are just coping with this tremendous amount of injured, and some serious injuries. at least four firefighters and one child seriously injured. thank you. now this is a pretty impressive achievement. a traditional polynesian canoe — has just completed it's first ever round—the—world trip , without using modern navigation methods. the boat returned to honolulu in hawaii, after being on the journey for three years. the crew used the stars, wind and ocean swells to guide it. the same techniques — that brought the first polynesian settlers to hawaii hundreds of years ago. kathryn armstrong reports. it was an emotional farewell at the start of an epic voyage around the world. cheering. first ports of call, the islands of tahiti and samoa, where the crew were welcomed ashore by their pacific cousins.
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in new zealand, the crew of hokule'a were welcomed with a traditional maori greeting before learning about their shared cultural history. 0nto australia, where the boat sailed around the coast from sydney, visiting several different cultural and environmental sites, including the great barrier reef. the trip from australia to bali was a difficult one for the crew, due to poor conditions, but also marked the first time the canoe had ventured further than the pacific ocean. sailing into south africa after a brief stay on the island of mauritius meant the hokule'a had successfully sailed 10,000 nautical miles. applause. the leg between south africa and brazil proved tricky for the navigators, who had to use tiny islands as markers to keep them on track. in cuba, crew membersjoined a meeting about us relations and discussions on cultural connections between cuba and hawaii, before heading
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to the virgin islands and on to america. aloha! after reaching florida in may of 2016, the hokule'a spent the next several months travelling the east coast, connecting with local schools, native american and maritime communities. singing. from there, she travelled to new york and new england. the boat then began its journey back to the pacific ocean via a trip through the panama canal. arriving on rapa nui, also known as easter island, was a significant accomplishment on the journey, as the tiny island is considered extremely hard to find using natural navigation skills. the last part of the journey included brief stops at the pitcairn and marquesas islands before the crew steered the canoe back to hawaii. 19 countries and 40,000 nautical miles later and the hokule'a's work is farfrom done — the boat will now embark on an eight—month trip around the hawaiian islands in a bid to reconnect with local
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communities and schools. according to us media, it's a happy day for the king and queen of the music industry. the american pop star beyonce has given birth to twins. entertainment weekly, us weekly and people magazines have confirmed the news, but the date of birth and gender of the babies are not yet known. beyonce, who is married to rapper jay—z, announced her pregnancy in an instagram photo in february — it became the most—liked post in history. nothing yet from the couple themselves on social media. let's ta ke let's take a look at the weather now. thank you. temperatures are shooting up. we already have temperatures of 28 degrees across the south and east
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of the country, and temperatures a bit higher than that could may well trigger a few storms. uv levels are very high, so don't be fooled when you head to the coast and it feels fresh, because the sun is just as strong. it will not be exclusively cloudy and damp in the north west of scotland, but we do have a weather front meandering about. for much of central and eastern scotland, a fine, warm day. at the oval in london, take some sun protection with you, because it will be hot and sunny there. a very small chance of a shower to come, but then tomorrow, the same story after a very uncomfortable night with the potential again for some thunderstorms to develop. similar temperatures. the headlines: government staff are
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being drafted in to manage the response to the grenfell tower fire, following fierce criticism. a team of civil servants has been embedded in the council office after residents complained they have received little help. church services are taking place across the country today, to remember those affected by the blaze. the queen's speech to parliament next year is to be cancelled — to allow mps more time to scrutinise brexit legislation. it's been described as an unusual move. 57 people are killed in a forest fire in central portugal which continues to spread. many of the victims burned to death in their vehicles when they were trapped by the flames. a new report has highlighted the uk's growing wealth inequality, estimating that 1% of the population owns 14% of its total assets, worth
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about £11 trillion. now on bbc news it's time for dateline london. hello, and welcome to dateline london. i'm jane hill. this week we discuss the fall—out from the british general election, political turmoil heightened by a man—made tragedy that hit london this week, and, of course, with brexit talks about to begin. we'll also be looking at the protests in russia, which have put hundreds of people in prison.

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