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tv   BBC News  BBC News  August 15, 2017 4:00pm-5:01pm BST

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this is bbc news. the headlines. the brexit secretary, david davis, says he wants to negotiate a temporary customs union with the eu for after britain leaves. rail fares will go up by 3.6% injanuary — the biggest increase for four years. passenger groups say commuters will be worst hit. india's prime minister leads celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the country's independence from britain. the grenfell tower public inquiry will examine issues including the cause of the fire — and the actions of kensington and chelsea council. mudslides and floods in sierra leone have killed more than 300 people. now health experts fear a spread of cholera and typhoid. also in the next hour — the british explorer hoping to reach the north pole, by yacht. the expedition has just departed from alaska — aiming to highlight the impact of climate change. good afternoon and
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welcome to bbc news. the government has confirmed it wants to negotiate a temporary customs relationship with the european union, to be in place after the uk leaves the bloc. the secretary of state for exiting the eu, david davis, says a deal would prevent trade disruption until a permanent settlement could be reached. the eu commission says it will study the proposals, but the european parliament brexit co—ordinator guy verhofstadt says — to be in and out of the customs union and "invisible borders" is a fantasy. this report from our political correspondent laila nathoo, and a warning, her report contains flash photography. keeping goods flowing freely between britain
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and the eu after brexit — one of the key issues in the negotiations. now, the government has given more detail about how it sees trade working after we leave.guy at the moment, while in the eu, we are inside what is called the customs union — that means goods imported from abroad are subject to the same tax or tariff and can then move between eu countries without charges or many checks. ministers say brexit means leaving the customs union but are now proposing that temporarily, for a few years, we stick as close as possible to the current arrangements. in italy, 290 billion, we are selling them 230 billion a year. it's in their interests. bmw do not want to have a customs border that is going to slow down their sales or add administrative costs. siemens do not want to do that. and the port of rotterdam is going to want to have an efficient operation, so they have got an interest as well as us. the interim plans are designed to reassure businesses,
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nervous about sudden changes in rules and extra costs. at the moment, we leave the eu in march, 2019. i think the paper gives a certain degree of clarity to businesses that at least the government is prioritising the transitional deal and they are trying to tie off any potential for customs disruptions by continuing the customs union on an interim basis. striking trade deals with countries around the world as soon as brexit happens and the transitional period begins is a priority for the government — something we can't currently do as members of the eu's customs union. but ministers accept that those deals could not come in to effect until the temporary customs arrangement ends. i wanted brexit to allow us to go global in terms of our trade deals and the decision from the government today is effectively kicking this into the long grass, saying we can't do that for years to come. what will happen, we will find countries around the world like america and australia will simply stop taking us seriously.
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in the longer term, the government has set out two possible options for a future relationship. first, what is described as a highly streamlined customs arrangement where there is minimal red tape and technology smoothing the way. or a new bespoke customs partnership where there would be no customs border at all between the eu and the uk. the key is not the structures, it is the outcome, which is retaining the best possible arrangements of tariff—free access and avoiding avoiding delays at borders. those are the important principles. that is what we think we need to fight for. not whether we are in reality in the customs union or not. these are, for now, just the uk's proposals, they will have to be negotiated with brussels, and the eu says it won't address a possible transition period or what happens after that until divorce talks have made sufficient progress. discussions start again at the end of the month. 0ur correspondent adam fleming
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is in brussels for us. what sort of response has there been to what the uk is proposing? what sort of response has there been to the uk's proposals. it has been moving ahead of the priorities of the rest of the eu. very good way of putting it. the european commission, the boss of michel barnier, the negotiator, say they are grateful that the uk is setting out its position and that there will be further position papers as well as this one about the customs union, because they have been crying out for more information. so, gratefully received. but the eu sticking to its position, that before the negotiations can get round to trade and customs, you have got to make
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sufficient progress on the priority is used for the first set of talks that the eu has identified and they are, the rights of the uses and in the uk after brexit and british citizens living in the rest of the eu. -- the citizens living in the rest of the eu. —— the rights of eu citizens. and also the border in northern ireland. michel barnier says there's had to get towards being solved before we can move to the next phase of talks. regarding the principle that the uk could have a close cousin ‘s relationship for an interim period and a similarly close relationship for the rest of time, thou not so enthusiastic. they say the only way you can get frictionless trade is to stay in the customs union and the single market, in other words, staying as a member of the eu. guy verhofstadt, the mep
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who is coordinating the response of the european parliament treated, thatis the european parliament treated, that is just a fantasy that the uk is asking for. let's talk to our political correspondent emma va rdy who is in westminster. is itfairto is it fair to say that the publication of the details of the government is really more for domestic consumption for the business community? it is being seen asa business community? it is being seen as a way for the government to show citizens and business that it has a road map for what it would like to achieve when brexit happens in march 2019. and as adam was saying, it's all very well what we would like to see here in westminster, it all has to be agreed and negotiated with the eu, as well. there has all been —— there has been reaction to this
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because it has been a long time to wait to get a clearer vision of what brexit may look at. so plenty to pore over here today. labour says the proposals are incoherent, the lib dems say it delays the economic pain. it was attacked by the former ukip leader, nigel farage, saying that this was not the kind of brexit he wanted to see. he outlined his disappointment, saying he would have liked to see britain being able to strike international trade deals much sooner, whereas what we have is a slower more pragmatic approach which he will see as ask backsliding on brexit or perhaps betraying the british public in terms of what they voted for. but brexit is happening, we have a much clearer indication of the government's hopes. this is the first of a number of papers which will be coming out over the next few weeks or months which will make it look clearer. tomorrow, we are
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expecting a paper about the border plans between northern ireland and the republic of ireland. lots to talk about and look at, but what we have seen today is just how complex this is and a number of the challenges that lie ahead. thank you very much, emma vardy. chris morris from our reality check team. he has been taking a look at more details of the options the uk is offering brussels. this is the start of another very busy brexit period. this proposal starts with the idea of a temporary customs union that looks as as much like the current union as possible. that would reassure business but it needs to be agreed by the rest of the eu which may be thinking, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. a tricky issue is that during this transition period which could last up to three years, the uk wants to be able to negotiate its own trade deals around the world and there is no sign that the rest of the eu will agree to that.
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then there are the longer—term proposals for what would follow this temporary fix. one suggestion is what they are calling a highly streamlined customs arrangement, using technology to cut paperwork and to allow fewer vehicle checks. it would take years to set up such a scheme so work to prepare for it would have to start straightaway. belgium and ireland. the alternative uk suggestion is for a new customs partnership between the uk and the eu which would dispense with any customs border altogether. outside a customs union, that does not really exist anywhere in the world and it raises many questions, would the uk have to collect customs duties for the eu? and vice versa. so this is just an opening salvo and there will be a full white paper on customs in the autumn.
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but this feels like a paper written to take account of british political sensitivities, rather than anyone else's. all the more reason to get on with the discussion as soon as possible, the uk would argue. the eu says that the outline of the divorce deal has to come first. joining me in the studio is the deputy director—general of the cbi. since the referendum, business has been making representations to politicians about how brexit might work best for it. what do you make of these two options? the first thing is the commitment on interim arrangements, a big step forward. this is the first time it is formal government policy that we will have an interim arrangement that maintains the status quo in terms of
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customs. that is important because businesses are facing investment decisions now which will pay off for jobs in the future. just knowing that the status quo will be maintained, a single step transition, is good news. do you think that is guaranteed a single step transition or could there be business having to get used to one set of arrangements and then having to work out another set of arrangements after that? the aim has to be, and the governments commitment is quite clear, that would make it as smooth as possible. so you maintain the status quo, maintaina so you maintain the status quo, maintain a customs union that enables frictionless trade for a time—limited transition implement the full arrangement. but the response from guy verhofstadt says that britain's proposals are a fa ntasy, that britain's proposals are a fantasy, that must be you worry, surely? there is real mutual
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interest here. we talked to businesses across europe all the time and business groups. there is no question that they want stability and certainty as well. what we need to do is get pragmatic and look at the shared interest, look at the impact onjobs the shared interest, look at the impact on jobs in the shared interest, look at the impact onjobs in europe the shared interest, look at the impact on jobs in europe and the shared interest, look at the impact onjobs in europe and the uk. we can come to an agreement. impact onjobs in europe and the uk. we can come to an agreementm relies on good negotiation. senior eu figures have said again and again that the uk can't have its cake and eat it. the response from the eu is that some people think that is what the uk is asking for with these proposals. do you think there will bea proposals. do you think there will be a greater onus on the uk to compromise? i hope that on the transition, as i said, we can be pragmatic. that is not a case of having your cake and eating it, that is keeping things simple before we get a deal in force. when you look
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at the options on the table, frictionless trade all trade with as few barriers as possible, that is where there will be discussions, compromise. we need to look at the economic arguments on both sides. but if we focus on the shared interests, what really matters to people and jobs, there is a middle ground. how are the members of the cbi feeling about all this? are you feeling nervous, feeling that there isa feeling nervous, feeling that there is a lot to be worked out. for insta nce is a lot to be worked out. for instance this highly streamlined border and the technology that would need to be in place to make it work, can it even be developed in time for this time frame? any business leader at the moment is looking at their investments and thinking, if i were to build a factory now that opens in ten years, what environment will i be in then? will i be able to access people and get in raw materials? today, what we have heard, gives a lots of security to that. in terms
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of the art of the possible for the future, trading arrangements and future, trading arrangements and future customs arrangement, the government have been clear they are setting out an ambitious plan. we need to work between business and government to look at some of those complexities and make it as simple as possible. business is completely up as possible. business is completely upfor as possible. business is completely up for that. josh, thank you for coming along. deputy general of the cbi. the headlines on bbc news... brexit secretary, david davis, says the government wants to negotiate a temporary customs union with the eu for when the uk leaves. millions of rail passengers will see fares rise by 3.6% when price changes come into force next year. passenger groups say commuters will be worst hit. india's prime minister leads celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the country's independence from britain. and in sport... as the premier league turns 25, top tier clubs will discuss
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the possibility of closing the summer transfer window before the start of the season. it currently runs until august 31, in line with many other european leagues. they‘ re set to vote on the idea next month. liverpool are in germany ahead of tonight's champions league first leg play—off against hoffenheim. jurgen klopp's side are looking to reach europe's elite competition for the first time in three years. and a toxicology report has revealed that tiger woods had five different drugs in his system when he was arrested on suspicion of drink driving in may. the former world number one pleaded not guilty to the charge last week. i'll be back with more on those stories after half—past. millions of people will see their rail fares go up by 3.6% injanuary, because of a rise in the rate of inflation. regulated fares are pegged to the retail prices index, which reached 3.6% last month. it's the biggest rise since 2013, and unions have called it a kick in the teeth for passengers.
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tom burridge reports. from glasgow to cardiff, to leeds, to london, it is a familiar story. railfares going up again. but price increases these days are pegged to inflation, so in the new year, season tickets and other fares will increase by as much as 3.6%. the price is something you have to pay in order to get to work, but the service is awful. it is late, it is crowded. i don't think i'm getting value for money, basically. i have been working in the public sector all my life and my pay rise has nowhere kept up with inflation, so more of my salary isjust paying for me to come to work. stagnant wages is why some say the current system is unfair. around half of all rail fares are capped by the government atjuly‘s retail price index which is a measure of inflation.
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the problem for many passengers is that inflation, the rate at which goods are becoming more expensive, is currently higher than the rate rise in most people's wages. unions say passengers are paying more while services have been trimmed back. it is quite clear in our privatised rail network that passengers are paying more for less and we are seeing cuts in infrastructure projects, electrification projects in the north of england and in south wales, we are seeing cuts to skilled infrastructure workers. there is a big job going on at waterloo at the moment. a lot of those workers there will not have a job after that job is finished because they are cutting back. the organisation representing the companies operating the trains in say higher price rises affect them too. railway companies' costs are going up in line with inflation as well so they have to cover costs to provide the services we want as passengers. in order to be able to do that, fares have to go up in line with it.
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the government says nearly all of the money we pay for a ticket is invested back into the railways, but the simple reality is, next year, travelling to work will be an even bigger slice of most people's wages. tom burridge, bbc news. the parents of charlie garden say that they will use the money raised for him to set of a foundation to help children with rare diseases. he died last month. the actions of kensington and chelsea council are to be considered in the grenfell tower fire inquiry. the government says the inquiry will also examine the cause of the fire — which left at least 80 people dead. but some of the broader social questions provoked by the blaze won't be addressed.
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0ur correspondent frankie mccamley is in west london. the scope of the inquiry is much wider than the leading judge suggested. at first he said it may only look into the cause of the fire and widespread so quickly and what lessons can be learned —— and why it spread so quickly and what lessons can be learnt to protect others in the future. but after analysing 500 and more written statements, he has now broadened those terms of reference to not only look at the cause and spread of the fire, but also to look at the design, construction and refurbishment of g re nfell tower. to look at tower blocks on the whole across the uk and regulations surrounding them, whether those regulations were followed for grenfell tower.
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he will also look at how authorities dealt with residents and with the tower before and after the fire. he says he will be looking at all of those. there has been a lot of reaction from the local community. this is a local resident. what do you think of the terms of reference? he has broadened them out. you think of the terms of reference? he has broadened them outlj you think of the terms of reference? he has broadened them out. i think you did that because he didn't have much choice. as a community, we made a massive effort that he was aware that he was not going to be able to keep it very narrow. the amount of responses and the consultations, people telling him this is what we want. so, yes, it is nice that he has listened but i do think there was a lot of pressure on him to do that. when it comes to the social housing, there has been a lot of criticism, a lot of questions as to
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why that has not been included. criticism, a lot of questions as to why that has not been includedm makes the whole inquiry a placebo. because if you look back on why certain actions were taken, certain materials used, they will all go back through being allowed to happen through housing policy. when you don't address housing policy, you cut out the fundamental core of this is you. it is this issue, allowing seven attitudes to social housing and the neglect of social housing. not addressing that, it is like saying we will look at where everybody else but the government has gone wrong, but we will not look at ourselves. it is not policing themselves, which is not really a fair form ofjustice. the prime minister has said that the questions on social housing will be directed to the housing minister. they will be directed to the housing minister which means it will be conducted in
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a review which is not necessarily public and we will end up with a precis of what ever happened. we will not be in there to help make those decisions or to hear. it is the government policing themselves. i don't think that is very effective when you are working with people in a democracy. thank you very much. a local resident, speaking here. there will be an initial report next easter as to how the fire spread and started. at least 11 people have been killed after a 200—year—old oak tree fell and crushed them on the portuguese island of madeira. local media said at least 35 people were injured when the tree toppled into a crowd outside a church in a village in the hills overlooking the island's capital, funchal. 0ne portuguese broadcaster said two children were among the dead at what is the main religious festival in madeira. rail travellers are
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being advised to avoid london waterloo until thursday — after a train derailed early this morning outside the station. no—one on board the train was hurt. three other people were treated at the scene by paramedics, but none taken to hospital. it means 13 platforms are now out of use — ten were already closed for engineering works. india's prime minister, narendra modi, has led his nation in marking the 70th anniversary of his country's independence from britain. in a speech in delhi, he said he wants to transform india into a prosperous and technologically—advanced nation. the creation of india and pakistan in 19117 led to a million deaths, and the displacement of about 12 million people. reeta chakra barti is in amritsar in punjab. i'm in the golden temple in amritsar. this is one of the holiest sites of the sikh religion. there are many people still coming into worship.
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there are hymns played throughout the day and night. this temple is in punjab. punjab was one of the areas worst affected when india and pakistan were created 70 years ago. yesterday i reported from pakistan because it celebrated its anniversary of independence yesterday. today, it is india's turn. the celebrations were led by narendra modi at a special celebration in delhi. 70 years ago it was here, at the historic red fort, that the union jack was lowered one final time, to be replaced by the indian flag. this is where prime minister narendra modi arrived today for independence day celebrations. it is a tradition that has been repeated by every indian prime minister since 19117.
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a testimony to how india has endured as a functioning democracy over the past seven decades. in an address, the prime minister spoke of the problems india faces, some a legacy of the past. translation: in my mind, it is clear that neither bullets nor brickbats will resolve the kashmir issue. it will only be solved by love and embracing all kashmiris. the muslim majority himalayan region of kashmir has been at the centre of a dispute with pakistan since the partition of india in 19117. in recent months, anti—india protests have intensified there. but across india today this was the scene, many people coming out onto the streets to mark the occasion, there's a feeling of pride here in how much the country has achieved. a growing economic power that is now being taken seriously,
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notjust at home, but also abroad. despite the many problems india faces, the overwhelming sentiment here today is one of celebration and optimism. this is a very young country, nearly two thirds of india is under the age of 30, and for them it is not so much about the past, but about what lies ahead. in theirfuture. sanjoy majumder, bbc news, delhi. here in amritsar, many people are still feeling the effects of partition. i have been speaking to two generations on one family about their experience and what they feel about india today. i almost refused the invitation, do you know that? remembering happy times, but this family did live through trauma. dr singh and his wife fled pakistan as children but the events of that time have gone largely undiscussed. my generation, unfortunately, has not talked much to the younger generation, our children, our grandchildren about the partition. it is high time that history did come out with it. we made the mistake
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but history shouldn't. mrs singh feels that modern—day india might not be quite what the country's founding fathers had hoped for. it's a democratic country and so far it has been... it was a secular country, still it is. but then some elements always come and sometimes you feel that things are not the way gandhi and nehru wanted. but for their grandson, india has an exciting future. in the coming decade, india is going to be the place to be because so much innovation and technology coming up, but at the same time i feel culturally it is a bit of a decline. largely due to censorship. pakistani tv programmes which they used to enjoy are now barred, he says. his cousin wants to know more about partition to understand why the two countries remain such suspicious neighbours. i have never felt the tension between an indian and a pakistani. i met pakistanis when i have
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travelled in the us and london and otherwise and we have got along perfectly well. but those meetings happen abroad and he has never been to pakistan, just a few miles away. the effects of partition are still strongly felt today, even for young people for whom it is just history. it is very difficult for indians to go to pakistan and vice versa. there are hardly any transport links and very few people make the journey. there is always an undercurrent of hostility between the governments of india and pakistan. the pupils may feel friendship, but the states themselves, 70 years on, feel as far apart as ever. now the weather.
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half of the uk has had showers. it isa half of the uk has had showers. it is a photo from aberdeenshire. a classic thundercloud. if you thunder storms in northern ireland across the antrim hills and across eastern areas of scotland. 0vernight, showers will clear away as pressure builds overnight. that would clear the skies and the winds will feel light. quite a chilly night in the countryside. plenty of sunshine to start the day, but further north and west, it turns wet and windy. but the rain arise very late in the day in east wales and across the bulk of england. turning wet and windy across western scotla nd
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turning wet and windy across western scotland as the afternoon goes by. hello. this is bbc news. the headlines: the government has published proposals for a temporary customs union with the eu after brexit. the chief eu negotiator says trade discussions should wait until there's agreement on citizens‘ rights, the divorce bill, and future arrangements with ireland. millions of rail passengers will see a 3.6% increase in fare when prices rise in january 2018. the price rise will affect season tickets and some off—peak fares in england and wales. the terms of the public inquiry into the grenfell tower fire have been released — the actions of the local council and the recent refurbishment of the block will be among the issues examined. the search for survivors continues following mudslides and floods in freetown in sierra leone which have claimed the lives of more than 300 people. time for a check on the sport.
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here's leah. premier league clubs are to discuss the possibility of closing the summer transfer window before the season starts. it currently runs until august 31, in line with many other european leagues. but the key stakeholders will vote on the idea next month. 0ur sports reporter simon stone explained why this has come about. the transfer window has caused a bit of a problem for english clubs for a number of years now, mainly because it doesn't close, as you say, until the 31st of august. and that is two or three games into the season. it means that players can move after their teams have started the season, which is not ideal. this summer, it seems to have become an even greater problem. you have three high—profile cases. the southampton defender virgil van dijk is not playing at the moment
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because a lot of clubs want to sign him. the everton midfielder ross barkley is in the same position. swa nsea's gylfi sigurdsson is in the same position. for those clubs, southampton, everton and swansea, they're in a state of flux because they have that can't play because there's so much doubt about their future. the general feeling within english football is that something has to be done to sort this out, because it's just destabilising clubs at a key point of the season. liverpool are in champions league action this evening. they're in germany to face hoffenheim in the first leg of the play—off to decide which of them will qualify for the group stage of the competition. liverpool are without philippe coutinho, daniel sturridge and adam lallana, who are all injured, but captainjordan henderson says they have enough quality in the squad to get a result. it's a big test, but it's a big opportunity as well. that's how we've got to look at it.
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over the two games, if we can win and qualify for the champions league, that was the aim last season. we need to finish it off with these next two games. it will be tough, because hoffenheim are a very good side and will make it difficult for us. but if we perform to the level we know we can, i am confident we can get through to the group stage. after their series win over south africa, england are back in action tomorrow as they take on the west indies at edgbaston in the first day—night test in this country. and mark stoneman will make his debut opening the batting with alastair cook. he becomes the 12th man to open with cook in the last five years, after keatonjennings was dropped for a lack of runs in the south africa series. there's plenty of talk too about the pink ball being used for the first time, and whether it will help the bowlers?
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i haven't experienced it yet, apart from in training last night. it did move around a bit during that twilight period. i suppose that is the time to bowl. you might have to bat in those conditions as well, so the more you can get used to it in these practice sessions, the better for us. it is a bit unknown as to how it reacts. staying with cricket, a bit of a landmark was reached in the women's super league this afternoon. the southern vipers made 180 for 2 from their 20 overs against loughborough lightning. that's a record score for the competition. and the vipers' opener suzie bates became the first player in the super league's short history to hit a century. she carried her bat, making 119 not out. in reply, the lightning are currently 52 for 3. and finally, tiger woods had five different drugs in his system when he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in may.
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a urine test revealed a mixture of strong painkillers, sleep and anxiety drugs and thc, which is a chemical component of marijuana. the 14—time major winner pleaded not guilty to the dui charge last week. that's all the sport for now. i'll have more in the next hour. more than 300 people are known to have died in the mudslides in sierra leone yesterday according to the red cross, which has a team in the city. whole homes were submerged and thousands of people left homeless. the natural disaster is being scrapped as one of the worst ever to hit the city. 0n the mountainside collapsed in an avalanche of mud,
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burying families as they slept. it was sudden, total devastation, leaving few survivors. those who did escape look on at the place where they used to live, desperate for good news. but it almost never comes. this man lost eight members of his family. translation: i first saw the body of my sister and called on people to help me and we laid her on the floor. then i started hearing other people nearby, crying. i have lost all of my family. the deluge of muddy water surged through gullies and streets, claiming more lives and hampering rescue operations at the worst affected sites. sierra leone is used to some flooding in the rainy season, but nothing like this. it's left a tangled mass of destruction and a slow and difficult recovery operation. houses were built illegally on this fragile mountainside and no one really knows how many bodies will be recovered. as they're found,
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the crowd surge in to see if they recognise a family member orfriend. the authorities are trying to keep people away. we urge everyone to remain calm. and to avoid disaster prone areas while we continue to address this grave emergency. these people had little enough before this disaster. at least 3,000 are now thought to be homeless. fresh water sources have been contaminated and disease is a real threat. aid agencies are trying to prevent this disaster from getting any worse. our main concern now is homelessness in terms of livelihood of families now that are left with absolutely nothing and the children now are more vulnerable. this has been a grim rainy season for sierra leone and it isn't over yet. richard lister, bbc news. north korea's state media says the country's leader, kimjong un, has been briefed by the military on how they could fulfil his threat to fire missiles
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towards the american island of guam in the pacific — and says he will now watch us actions before making a decision. 0ur correspondent robin brant sent us this report from seoul. the plan to attack america, laid out before him. these pictures from north korean state media show kim jong—un studying a map of the pacific. you can clearly see a black line from his country straight to guam, the american territory that north korea's generals have threatened to target. but he's decided to wait. a report said the respected supreme leader wants to "watch a little more the foolish and stupid conduct of the yankees". 0n guam itself, there is relief for now. and respect for their leader. i think a lot of it has to do with the strong statements not only made by our president, but also by the collective statements made by secretary tillerson and secretary mattis. but on the front line in the decades—old stand—off
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with north korea, something he's not helping. this truck has the words, "no war, no trump" on the side. now, america is south korea's most important protector, but some of the people here think that the current president is actually causing more problems than he is helping to solve. trump make many south koreans... angry. angry! yeah. trump's action and policy is not good to many americans. i don't think actual war would break out, this man said. the country's newly elected president has promised to prevent it at all costs. translation: military action on the korean peninsula can only be decided by the republic of korea, and no one may decide to take military action without the consent of the republic of korea. this is an annual event by people who have never liked america's presence here.
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but there are plenty who like the beat of america's drum and want their closest ally to stay very close, even as there are signs that the tension is slightly easing off. robin brant, bbc news, seoul. the bbc world service has called on the iranian authorities to reverse a new order that appears to freeze the assets of its staff in iran. the bbc persian service is banned in iran and working for the bbc is illegal, but the world service has an audience there of about 13 million. baby boxes containing essential items such as clothes, books and blankets are being delivered to new mothers across scotland for the first time today. the cardboard boxes also include a mattress, so can be used as a cot. 0ur scotland correspondent lorna gordon reports. a first look at a scottish baby box for these mums and mums to be. 0h, a blanket as well. from today, all expectant mothers in scotland will receive a box like this.
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it doubles as a crib and contains dozens of items which could help parents in their child's first few months of life. i think it's excellent. as first—time parents, we are a bit like, what do we need, what do we not need? it's good to know that they have covered everything that we're going to need from the start. i really like the idea of it being a safe sleeping space, probably more for use during the day rather than at night—time, but i think i would it in a living space, for putting down for naps during the day. having a baby can be an expensive time for parents, so most mums and dads would say that anything that helps ease their costs is welcome. but at £160 per box, is this money well spent by the scottish government? essentially, what we want to do is make sure that all children in scotland have the very best start in life, and we believe that a baby
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box with essential items will be of benefit to parents and their children is about that, giving children the very best start in life regardless of the circumstances they are born into. support groups say there is as yet no evidence that baby boxes will directly reduce the rate of infant mortality, but welcome any initiatives which encourage parents to think about safe sleeping for their babies. we understand that boxes themselves can't have an impact on infant mortality, and for us, what we are really looking forward to is the evaluation of this whole initiative to see whether families have a greater awareness of safe sleeping messages for their babies. tens of thousands of parents will receive baby boxes every year. the scottish government says it will assess whether the initiative helps reduce the number of cot deaths. lorna gordon, bbc news, edinburgh. an expedition to the north pole by yacht has just set off from alaska. the team, led by the british polar explorer pen hadow, says that the melting of sea ice
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in the region is making the voyage possible by boat for the first time. 0ur science correspondent rebecca morelle has more. setting off into uncharted arctic waters. a pair of yachts attempting a first — sailing all the way to the north pole. a crew of ten — and a dog — have just departed from alaska. led by british explorer pen hadow, they have a 3,500 mile voyage ahead. for the first time in human history, possibly for the first time in130,000 years, it is now possible to sail ships into the sea area. what this means is that the wildlife living in the area are now vulnerable. it is the rapidly warming conditions in the arctic that have made this expedition even possible.
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it's melting at an unprecedented rate. in 35 years, more than a third of the area of sea ice has gone. 0nce inaccessible waters are opening up. at reading university, scientists are studying how this could change these commercial shipping routes. instead of having to sail around the frozen pole, they will have a new short cut. at the moment, we are seeing a few experimental voyages through the arctic. in the future, as the ice continues to melt, the possibility of having more commercial ships travelling through the region will only increase. an ice—strengthened ship will be able to go right over the pole by the middle of the century. pen hadow has already experienced the dramatic changes in the arctic first—hand. his last trip north in 2009 was on foot, but he spent much of his time in the water. this time, he has six weeks of sailing ahead.
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the team do not know how far north they will get, but this expedition into the unknown may be the start of a new era of arctic voyages. rebecca morelle, bbc news. in a moment, a look at how the financial markets in europe closed the day, but first, the headlines on bbc news: brexit secretary, david davis, says the government wants to negotiate a temporary customs union with the eu for when the uk leaves. india's prime minister leads celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the country's independence from britain. mudslides and floods in sierra leone have killed more than 300 people — now health experts fear a spread of cholera and typhoid. now a look at how the markets in europe have ended the trading session... they are generally up. not by a huge
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amount. the main story on the uk markets are the inflation figures released this morning. the cpi measure of inflation held steady, matching last months 2.6%. that caused a bit of a slide for sterling, which fell against both the euro and the dollar. other big numbers out today were the slightly slower than expected rate of growth in germany. gdp came in at 0.6% for the second quarter of the year, according to the country's federal statistics office, helped by consumer spending, but imports grew faster than exports. and a "temporary customs union" part of the proposals being put forward by the uk's brexit negotiators — the uk has already said it will leave the customs union, the eu's tariff—free trading area, after brexit, and businesses have been calling for clarity on what the replacement system will involve.
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we had a bit more detail on what the uk would like to happen today, but what do the markets think? let's ask mike bell, global market strategist atjpmorgan asset management. we now have a more clear idea of what the uk negotiators would like to see after brexit but no guarantee that the eu will agree to that. what have the market is made of the proposals? the markets have broadly shrugged it off. as you say, the key determinant for the transitional arrangement is what the eu are willing to allow. what the uk want and what the eu will permit our two very different things and the eu holds most of the cards in the negotiation, so i think the uk will end up with what the eu are willing to allow us to have, rather than what we would like. but they have been coming out with statements
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about what they would like. has that given the charity that businesses have been asking for? not particularly. it is relatively short on detail and long on aspiration. they want the best bits of maintaining free trade, but while still being able to negotiate trade deals with other countries. it is not clear at all that the eu will allow them to negotiate free—trade deals with other countries whilst maintaining relatively frictionless trade. it is also focused on goods. the key question for markets is, what about services? that is where the uk exports a lot more to the eu thanit the uk exports a lot more to the eu than it does in goods. and what about the inflation figure, cpi 2.6%. the monkeys were expecting more. how significant is this figure —— the markets were expecting more. it is not a big myth. 2.7% was what was expected. it shows that the bank of england had been expecting
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inflation to pick up to 3% by 0ctober. that may now seem a bit too high and it takes away some of the idea that the bank of england may have to put interest rates up. that is why we have seen sterling fall and uk it is doing well as a result. what about that german growth? 0.6% gdp. put that into context compared with the uk. it is interesting, bar because german growth is weaker than expected, yet it is still twice as fast as the uk is growing. the ukraine grew by only zero point —— the uk grew by only 0.3%, and you have double that amount in germany, which they saw as disappointing. and what is driving that german economy? is it consumer spending or imports and exports? it is predominantly driven by domestic demand. you are seeing strong retail sales and consumption. and yet net trade was a
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bit of a drag. mike bell, thank you. let's have a look at the global markets. all of them are up slightly. in the us, markets haven't done a lot — strong us retail sales figures forjuly should have given them a boost, but traders were unnerved by mixed earnings from leading shopping chains. and tomorrow, we will have uk monthly unemployment figures, including average earnings for the three months tojune. last month's figures showed that unemployment fell by 64,000 in the three months to may with the unemployment rate at 4.5%, down from 4.7%, which is the lowest since 1975. but it's wage growth, or lack of, that most will be watching. that's all from me. there is a roundup of all the other top business stories on our website, bbc.co.uk/business. the "fat but fit" theory that
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overweight people can still be healthy is nothing but a myth, according to researchers from two top uk universities. scientists found that carrying extra weight can increase the risk of heart disease by more than a quarter — even in people who are otherwise healthy. our health correspondent sophie hutchinson has more. british sumo wrestlers in training for their next competition. medically, they are classified as obese. but try telling them they are not fit. i am happy and comfortable at around 18 stone. i basically have no reason to lose weight. i'm fit, healthy, i've been down this gym every day for the last 20 years. i've never had a day off. i'm full of fitness. excess body fat is linked to high blood sugar and cholesterol.
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but some claim overweight people can still be healthy. new research from cambridge university suggests that even if blood tests are within the normal range, excess weight is still a health risk. it linked people with bmis of over 25 to an estimated increased risk of heart disease of 26%—28%, compared to those with a healthy body weight. at the beginning of the study, they were classified as healthy. then they became unhealthy, and eventually some of them developed heart disease and heart attack. the researchers believe excess fat may store up health problems for the future, and getting down to a healthy weight, whatever your sport, is vitally important. sophie hutchinson, bbc news. the pop star taylor swift has won a sexual assault case against ex—radio dj david mueller, who she said had groped her at a 2013 concert.
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his claim for damages, on the grounds that his reputation had been destroyed by false allegations, was thrown out. just to warn you, peter bowes' report from los angeles does contain flash photography. a high—profile trial pitting one of the world's most recognisable pop stars against a local dj. when david muellerfrom denver lost his job, he blamed taylor swift for ruining his career. the singer's mother and manager had contacted his radio station bosses to report that he'd groped the singer at a photo shoot. he sued swift for $3 million. she countersued for the assault, describing it in court as a very long grab under her skirt. it was a shocking thing she had never experienced before, she said. last week, the judge threw out mr mueller‘s lawsuit, saying the dj had not shown that swift personally set out to have him fired, but her case against him continued, and the jury sided with the pop star. she had been assaulted,
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and in keeping with her wishes, mr mueller was ordered to pay $1 in damages. in a statement, she thanked the judge and legal team for fighting for her and anyone who felt silenced by a sexual assault. she said she wanted to help those whose voices should be heard. it gives courage and inspiration to all people, notjust women, but all people, to have the courage to draw lines and to know where those lines are, the lines of mutual respect between people. taylor swift, who's one of america's top—selling singers, says in the future, she would be making donations to multiple organisations that help sexual assault victims defend themselves. peter bowes, bbc news, los angeles. time for a look at the weather. we have seen some decent sunshine
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today. i have a weather watcher picture to show you of the sunny skies in cornwall earlier this morning. beautiful reflections. but it has not been sunny everywhere. this was the scene sent in an hour ago, showing a thunder cloud working across the skyline of aberdeenshire. and in the last hour, we have seen some lightning being picked up by our lightning detectors from these big showers heading into eastern scotland. so there are thunderstorms. if you are out and about in the next couple of hours, there is a chance of catching the odd heavy downpour across both scotla nd odd heavy downpour across both scotland and northern ireland. in northern england, most of this showers are fading away, so the weather is largely dry in the evening. plenty of sunshine still left in the day across the midlands and south—east england. further south and west, temperatures are still in the high teens to low 20s. 0vernight, pressure tends to build.
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the clouds will fade away, the showers easing off across scotland and northern ireland. with clearing skies and light winds, it will turn chilly, particularly in the countryside. high pressure to start the day in the east on wednesday. in the day in the east on wednesday. in the west, another area of low pressure spending of the atlantic, bringing more unsettled weather. scotland, england and wales start the day with some sunshine. things cloud over as the day goes by, but it is in northern ireland that we see the winds gather. very gusty, gale force across northern coasts and hills. feeling cool on account of those strong winds, but the rain will be let to reach england and wales —— the rain will be late. thursday's weather is very similar to today. we have heavy showers across the north—west of the uk,
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warm sunshine across eastern parts of england whatsapp rain is out of the way. what about friday and we can? i'm afraid no pressure is never far. —— low pressure is neverfar away. plenty of showers, grouping together for lengthy spells of rape. some of it could be thundery too. —— lengthy spells of rain. temperatures are in the high teens to low 20s. not bad in the sunshine, but there will be plenty of showers around to friday and the weekend. tonight at 5: the proposals from the government for life after brexit — a temporary customs union and ‘invisible borders‘. labour says the plans are incoherent, but the brexit secretary is adamant the ideas will minimise
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disruption to business. it‘s in their interests. i mean, bmw do not want to have to have a customs border that‘s going to slow down their sales or add admin separative costs. we‘ll have the latest from westminster and brussels — and will talk to someone representing business and the city for their reaction. the other main stories on bbc news at 5: india‘s prime minister leads commemorations marking 70 years since partition and the establishment of modern india.
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