tv BBC News at Ten BBC News August 31, 2017 10:00pm-10:31pm BST
tonight at ten: a third round of brexit talks and frustration on both sides at the lack of progress. the eu's chief negotiator says there's been "no decisive progress" while the brexit secretary says it's time for the eu to be "more imaginative and flexible". the commission has set out its position — and we have a duty to our taxpayers to interrogate it rigorously. it is clear the uk does not feel legally obliged to honour its obligations after departure. we'll have the latest on the talks and we'll be looking at the main obstacle the so—called brexit bill to paid by the uk. also tonight: the rights of disabled people are not being fully honoured by the british government according to a united nations committee. in the wake of hurricane harvey, 100,000 homes are now affected in texas and louisiana —— the white house says it will ask
congress for emergency funding. a special report from west africa where the religious cult of voodoo is thriving with millions of followers. and an hour before the football transfer window closes, a premier league record already achieved. and we'll have the latest reports, results and interviews from the bbc sports centre in sportsday. good evening. the latest round of brexit talks took place in brussels today, with frustration evident on both sides, and they blamed each other for the lack of progress so far. the biggest obstacle seems to be the financial settlement —
the amount the uk will pay to settle its liabilities when it leaves the eu. michel barnier, the eu's chief negotiator, said there'd been "no decisive progress" made on key issues. his opposite number, david davis, urged the eu to show more "flexibility and imagination". our first report is from our europe editor katya adler in brussels. trust building between the two sides. that's what the eu says this first phase of brexit negotiations is about. so, by today, the end of round 3 of these first talks, how much trust is there? it is clear that the uk does not feel legally obliged to honour these obligations after departure. how can we build trust and start discussing the future relationship? for his part, david davis said the uk couldn't blindly trust a divorce bill presented by the eu.
the commission set out its position and we have a duty to our tax payers to interrogate it rigorously. behind the smart suits, the stiff smiles, it was clear both sides were talking at cross purposes today, about what brexit subjects to tackle in which order and whether and how much progress is actually being made. i will repeat that phrase... david davis pictured a picture of a rigid, inflexible eu while he argued... it's only through flexibility and imagination that we will achieve a deal that works truly for both sides. michel barnier insisted the uk had to be more clear and realistic about a brexit deal. the eu couldn't show flexibility, he said, if the uk didn't show its hand. translation: i'm not frustrated but i am impatient. it's not that i'm angry, i'm determined. so where does that leave all of us?
we know that brexit will have a big impact on our lives butjust how huge will depend on the nature of the transition deal and a future permanent trade deal between the eu and the uk. we're nowhere near that yet and all this deal—making could still fall apart. though, there's no need to panic, just yet. the eu refuses to talk about the eu—uk future until there is substantive progress on the divorce deal. so where are we on the three core issues? both sides agree reassuring eu citizens in the uk and uk citizens in the eu, is a top priority but they disagree, still, whether the european court ofjustice should have a role in guaranteeing the rights of individuals. 0n ireland, progress has been made, especially around protecting the northern ireland—republic of ireland common travel area but the so—called divorce bill is the biggest sticking point right now. the eu wants the uk to pay up to 100 billion euros in what it sees
as financial obligations the uk agreed to while an eu member. the uk says — no, it will pay something, but refuses to specify. these brexit talks have been largely technical. political pressure to push the progress is unlikely to come from the uk or the eu until after the conservative party conference or the formation of a new german government following elections next month. meanwhile, as the eu likes to repeat, the clock to the end of the uk's eu membership is ticking. katya adler, bbc news, brussels. the amount of money britain will pay to leave the eu is likely to dominate future brexit talks. chris morris from the bbc‘s reality check team is here with more details. the biggest fights in the european union are always about money — so there was never any reason to suppose that the brexit negotiations would be different. last year the uk paid about £13 billion to the eu —
roughly £200 per person. some of which then gets spent in the uk. but the commission argues that the uk has also made a series of big financial commitments as part of the eu's current seven—year budget, that need to be paid on exit. the eu also says the uk needs to settle its share of what amounts to the eu credit card. here's the problem for europe — the less the uk agrees to pay, the more other countries will have to fill the gap. that means either net contributors to the eu budget, like germany or the netherlands will have to pay more. 0r net beneficiaries, like poland or greece, will receive less. so, when the uk argues that the eu is being unreasonable in its demands, it has no allies at all. in fact, it was the other member states that pushed european commission negotiators into taking a hard line. so what is the eu looking for? the eu hasn't publicly put a figure on the amount but many estimates come up with a gross figure of about £100 billion
or £60 billion net. the uk says it won't pay anything like that and british officials spent several hours during this week's negotiations questioning the legal basis of the eu's proposals. but they haven't put forward counter—proposals of their own, which, in turn, is frustrating european officials. "how can we negotiate", they argue, "when we don't know what you want?" so is it deadlock? one possible route out of the impasse is talk of a transition period. if the uk government signals a willingness to pay into the eu budget during the transitional period, two to three years, it will resolve an immediate political challenge the eu is facing in 2019-2020, challenge the eu is facing in 2019—2020, where there will be a hole in the budget given the uk's
exit. so it would help the eu and it could reduce the uk's final exit bill considerably. it's also worth remembering that compared to what's at stake in renegotiating the uk's trade deals with the eu and the rest of the world, even £100 billion isn't a huge amount. but politically, it's explosive. and three months after these negotiations finally began, under pressure of time, it has become the toughest nut to crack. huw. thank you. chris there with thoughts on the figures and the potential for trade deals. let's talk more about the aftermath of the talks in brussels, with katya adler, our europe editor. following today's session, what is your reading then of what is likely in the weeks to come now? well, if you look at previousjoint come now? well, if you look at previous joint press conferences, they were attempts at jovial previous joint press conferences, they were attempts atjovial banter. the mood today was frosty. there we re the mood today was frosty. there were barbed comments on both sides and weary shakes of the head but honestly at this stage of negotiations, you would expect a certain amount of bluster with both david davis and michel barnier largely speaking to their own domestic audience. so they want to stand tall and sound very tough, so
if in the end there are compromises, they can say they were hard—fought. we know, for example, already that eu countries are divided amongst themselves as to how hard and how far they should push the uk as to the size of the divorce bill, but the size of the divorce bill, but the big pick tu, — the two sides are very divided, and what is worrying is the likely success of the talks is the likely success of the talks is each man, michel barnier and david davis think they can simply wear the other one down and win at the end of the day. but the eu is highly likely to indulge in the kind of creative thinking that david davis is demanding if it feels that will break its own rules and regulations and diluting the integrity of the single market. whereas the government will be hard—pushed whereas the government will be ha rd—pushed to say whereas the government will be hard—pushed to say to the people of the uk - hard—pushed to say to the people of the uk — we didn't tell you about this but we're going to pay up to 100 billion euros to leave the eu even though we don't know what sort
of deal we can have in the future. it isa of deal we can have in the future. it is a question of which side will blink fist. —— first. the prime minister, who's on a visit to japan, has again asserted that she's in the post for the long term. it follows comments from some leading conservatives, who say it's too early for mrs may to be talking about leading the conservatives into the next election after losing her majority earlier this year. 0ur political correspondent, ben wright, is travelling with the prime minister. his report does contain flash photography. they're two prime ministers in tune, shinzo abe has rolled out a very warm welcome for theresa may on this three day trip. whether mrs may's reception will be quite so generous when she gets back to westminster is another matter, after the surprised pledge to lead britain and her party into the next general election, a vow repeated today. i said i wasn't a quitter and there's a long—term job to do. there's an importantjob to be done in the united kingdom. we stand at a really critical time in the uk. this fighting talk comes only three months after mrs may called a snap election and lost her party's majority. but with brexit negotiations
under way and no obvious rival in sight, most, but not all, tories seem willing to let her carry on, for now. we've made a decision, we want theresa may to get on with the job. we think it's an importantjob. it's critically important for the country that we get the right outcomes. i don't see any immediate change, but i think it's unrealistic to plan on the assumption that theresa may's going to be fighting the next election as leader of the conservative party. i don't think theresa may will stand down of her own accord, she would need to have a challenger to go forward to her. she is not a quitter. she's very resilient, and she will be there for as long as the conservative party want herto be. given north korea's latest missile test over this island, defence was a focus of talks here, as was brexit, with japan anxious to protect its investments in britain. translation: on brexit, we would like the impact on our companies minimised. we want predictability and transparency ensured during the negotiations.
mrs may says she's listening, so that a smooth brexit transition is realised. it's the long—term issues of trade, the consequences of brexit, defence and security cooperation that have dominated theresa may's talks here, but it's her unplanned, strikingly blunt declaration about her own political future that her trip to japan will be remembered for. ben wright, bbc news, tokyo. britain's record on protecting the rights of disabled people has been criticised by a committee of the united nations. it's raised serious concerns about the number of disabled people living in poverty and the effects of cuts to welfare benefits. the government responded by saying the uk was "still a world leader" when it came to protecting the rights of people with disabilities. 0ur disability affairs correspondent, nikki fox, reports. this day centre in stockport is a place where people with all kinds of disabilities can come to socialise but many face barriers when it comes to living their life. my biggest problem is getting
to work when i want to, where i want to. if i want to go somewhere, i should be able to get there without thinking. i need support to enable me to be independent. these barriers, which are among the many others disabled people face, have been highlighted by today's report from the united nations. it warns the uk is going backwards. it's the result of a widescale investigation looking at the uk's progress in implementing the un convention on disabled people's rights which the government signed up to in 2009. in what was the longest list of recommendations ever given to a member state, the committee said the uk must improve on accessibility to public buildings, transport and housing. provide free or affordable legal aid to improve access to the justice system. and to better support disabled people to live independently. half a million people had reduced benefits,
the social protection entitlements in a way that they were becoming desperate. there were people who committed suicide because of that. we had was evidence in front of us saying people were pushed into work who were not fit for work. this is april, she cannot live independently in her own home. even if i could get in because of the foot plates, you cannot get near. she needs support. it's very hard. to have to wee into a bottle in this day and age because you don't have an accessible toilet. april used to be the chair of a charity and still would be now. changes to her care package have made it impossible for her to do anything other than the very basics. i didn't ask to be like this. i don't want to be
a burden on society. all right, i'm not able to work but i still want to be part of that society and do what i always used to do, and i have been stopped doing that. such a critical report does not paint a good picture of disability rights in the uk, however the government says it doesn't accurately reflect the evidence it gave to the un and says it is disappointed the committee failed to realise the progress it's made. but the uk government will have to be back in geneva in 12 months to report on how the recommendations from the un have been implemented. nikki fox, bbc news. a man has appeared in court after an incident near buckingham palace where three police officers were injured. it's alleged mohiussunnath chowdhury drove his car at police officers, before reaching for a aamurai sword. the 26—year—old, from luton, was remanded in custody until later this month. surrey‘s county championship cricket match against middlesex at the oval had to be abandoned after someone fired a bolt from a crossbow into the ground. the match was eventually declared a draw and spectators were told to leave. police say no one was
hurt and the incident wasn't terror—related. the dup leader arlene foster has called for the immediate restoration of northern ireland's devolved government, alongside a parallel process to deal with outstanding areas of disagreement. speaking to party members tonight, she warned northern ireland could face direct rule from westminster if a new agreement on a power—sharing administration could not be reached. the white house says it will ask congress for emergency funding to help those affected by hurricane harvey, in texas and louisiana. the number of homes affected is now 100,000. in the town of crosby, texas, a chemical plant flooded in the wake of the storm, caught fire. 0ur north america correspondent, james cook, is there with the latest. we have just heard that 1.75 million
people either fled or had to be rescued from their homes as a result of this hurricane. the president is coming here again on saturday to show solidarity with victims. the white house has also announced he plans to spend $1 billion of his own money helping with charity relief efforts. but this in emergency is farfrom over, efforts. but this in emergency is far from over, least efforts. but this in emergency is farfrom over, least of efforts. but this in emergency is far from over, least of all here efforts. but this in emergency is farfrom over, least of all here in crosby. it is an unsettling sight — a fire smoldering in the water. this plant makes organic peroxides which must be kept cool but when the hurricane hit, the powerfailed and now they will explode. they planned for this but not well enough. police have a simple message: get out, now. already 15 officers have been to hospital for checks amid fears of fumes in the air. i know they got all kinds of chemicals, and ijust don't know which ones are in the water and coming down into my house, which means i got water into the house right now. it's going to be pretty nasty. as specialist teams roll in, the messages coming out
are confusing and contradictory. the reports of explosions are now being denied. federal officials say the smoke is incredibly dangerous, the firm tells a different story. this isn't a chemical release, what we have is a fire. and where you have a fire where hydrocarbons, these chemicals are burning, sometimes you have incomplete combustion and you have smoke. the company which operates this plant says there is only one thing to do now, and that is to let this fire burn itself out. in the meantime, people are being warned to stay back as there may be further explosions. i live at the end... in houston, with the floods receding, frank rogers is heading home to count the cost. when he escaped, the water in here was up to his chest and this scene is being repeated today in thousands upon thousands of homes. upset. all the work we got to do to get it back up. it's going to be a long trying time.
a long trying time, man. and still this storm is not stopping. to the east, the rain and the rescues are continuing on the border between texas and louisiana. saving civilians is now a military operation. trapped by the flooding and running out of food, dozens of residents had to be rescued from this care home in port arthur. tensions were at a very high level when i came into this facilities from the relatives and even from some of the volunteers who have come to try to take these people out. the weakening storm is still capable of inflicting misery, and she wants to know, everyone wants to know, when will this storm end? a brief look at some of the day's other news stories. doctor manish shah has appeared in court charged with more than 100 sexual offences. the 47—year—old from romford in essex is accused of sexually assaulting more than 50 patients
at a medical centre in east london. he denies all the charges. the online gambling firm 888.com has been fined a record £7.8 million, for allowing vulnerable customers to continue betting. the gambling commission found people who though they'd excluded themselves from playing could still access their accounts, because of a fault. in one case, a person ran up debts of over £1 million. daniel kaye has appeared in court, accused of launching one of the largest ever cyber attacks against uk banks, with lloyds and barclays among the targets. the 29—year—old, originally from egham in surrey, was extradited from germany to face 12 charges, including blackmail and computer misuse. in france, president macron's government has published its controversial plans to reform the country's labour laws. the planned changes include limiting the power of the trade unions, and giving companies more flexibility to employ and dismiss workers.
the president's ability to enact the reforms is likely to be seen as a prime test of his presidency, as lucy williamson reports from paris. there's nothing like electing a start—up politician as president to change the economic atmosphere. last month emmanuel macron marked the transformation of an old paris railway station into a vast campus to support start—up entrepreneurs. it's the kind of thing the new president wants france to do more of, and companies here say his election is part of a wider shift in mood. you're allowed to fail. this is something that's changed in the past few years and even more in the past few months. and to find that president macron supports a lot the entrepreneurs shows that you're not alone when you're an entrepreneur. today's labour reforms are meant to help french companies become more flexible. with the election of resident macron seen by his government as a mandate for change.
translation: nobody can seriously say that our labour laws help people get jobs, or help companies grow sustainably. for a boss or a foreign investor, our labour laws are a brake on investment. mr macron is not the first french president to attempt this kind of reform. the last time it was tried, a year ago, this was the response. only the hard—line cgt union has so far called for a strike again, but others say the door is still open if the reforms don't add up. as the economy is improving, it doesn't give real sense to those reforms. if in fact it's only a matter of asking all people to tighten their belts, when at the same time the economy is improving, of course people wouldn't understand what is going on. the gloss is coming off france's
new pro—business president. in the months since his election a sharp fall in approval among voters has exposed the tensions over his reforms. as president, emmanuel macron wanted to remain aloof, above the fray of daily politics. but embodying the wishes of voters from both left and right is becoming harder as his campaign vision gives way to concrete choices between reforms that please business, or protections that pacify his left—wing support. lucy williamson, bbc news, paris. the ancient religious cult of voodoo has more than 30 million followers around the world, and it's a thriving presence in parts of west africa, where it originated. with its many deities and traditions of animal sacrifice, it is, according to followers, one of the most misunderstood religions in the world. in the last of our series on changing africa, pumza fihlani has been investigating how this form of religious belief from the small west african country of benin
continues to thrive. 0uidah, the home of voodoo. rooted in the worship of nature and ancestors, it's celebrated across the world and is an official religion here in benin. the world is changing and old traditions are often pushed out, but voodoo is thriving. this is an annual ritual, a cleansing ceremony. devotees come together to communicate with their gods by singing, dancing and making sacrifices. it's been a long day for the voodoo devotees, who've been performing rituals since this morning. it's now 6pm and this part of the ceremony is all about purification.
this group are boiling rings of the type you wear on your finger, in the fresh blood of goats and chickens. they believe this process will bring protection to whoever wears the rings. voodoo is often misunderstood because of what people have seen in horror movies. the high priest insists it's not harmful. translation: voodoo is not evil, it's not the devil. if you're a believer and someone thinks badly of you, voodoo defends you. some say it is the devil. no. even if the devil exists, he's not here. there are no figures for the number of devotees but everyone in benin is connected to voodoo. even those who follow other faiths often rely on it in their hour of need. this is the door of no return. it is from this point that thousands of african slaves were sold off
to work in the americas. they left with nothing except their belief in voodoo, which they clung to as a reminder of home. and that's why it is as popular in new orleans as it is here in 0uidah. for many from the diaspora of west africa, voodoo has become a connection to a neglected identity. there's a shift in vibration. the younger generation want to loudly proclaim, be a part of the tradition, in a way that previous generations were more intimidated and more afraid. and in the sacred forest on the edge of town, an ancient place of worship, the government has made a monument to remind the locals of their voodoo heritage. it's seen as a sign of their commitment to upholding the practice. the flaming pots are the climax of the ritual.
the fire is believed to give followers a surge of power to face the year ahead. with the government supporting it at home, and the descendants of slaves embracing it abroad, the ancient voodoo tradition has found a place in the modern world, where old beliefs often struggle for relevance. pumza fihlani, bbc news, benin. in football, the premier league's wave of summer spending is coming to an end, with the closure of the transfer window this evening. so far, clubs have spent £1.2 billion, a new record, with the possibility of more major deals before tonight's deadline of 11pm. andy swiss has the latest. his report contains flash photography. it has been a summer spending spree like no other.
big names, with even bigger price tags, as from manchester to chelsea, from arsenal to everton, across the premier league clubs have been splashing the cash in record quantities. and today has been their last chance. among the movers, alex 0xlade—chamberlain swapping his arsenal shirt for a liverpool one, for a mere 35 million. it has been a window of such staggering numbers, but fans of its biggest spenders, manchester city, say it's worth it. it's crazy but that's football. that's why we pay the money, basically. we come here every match, we want to see success, we want to win trophies. don't get me wrong, some of the fees are ridiculous. but apart from that, it's great. five summers ago, premier league clubs spent just under £500 million on new players. last summer, the figure had more than doubled. but that record has already been broken. by this morning clubs had spent more than 1.2 billion, and by tonight's deadline, it'll be far more.
so why has it happened? well, a 50% increase in tv money, which brought last year's title winners, chelsea, some £150 million. and some say that buying power could rise even further. i think we've talked for the last 20 years about the bubble potentially bursting, and it hasn't burst yet. what will happen to football rights if an amazon, a netflix or a google decides that they wish to acquire the rights, we can't really predict that at the moment. but you'd expect that the value would go up even further. the summer's most jaw—dropping transfer was in france. neymar‘s £200 million move to paris st germain. but collectively, it's the premier league that leads the pricing, or as some see it, the overpricing. it is mind—boggling, the figures that are about for players now. especially for the average players. if ever it was time to be a professionalfootballer, it's now. and deadline day has seen yet more striking numbers.
sanchez has scored an absolute beauty! manchester city offering 60 million for arsenal's alexi sanchez. whether he goes or not, it seems the trend to spend is here to stay. yes, here at manchester city they we re very yes, here at manchester city they were very keen to sign sanchez. in fa ct, were very keen to sign sanchez. in fact, they have made two offers over the last few days. at the moment, it seems as if the player is staying at arsenal. we have not perhaps seen the megamoney moves we expected today but there is still half an hour until the transfer window closes, so is still time for last—minute drama. today was the 20th anniversary of the death of diana, princess of wales, the event that prompted a remarkable