tv BBC News at Ten BBC News September 14, 2017 10:00pm-10:31pm BST
tonight at ten: the public inquiry into the grenfell tower fire opens, as the man leading it promises to get the truth. exactly three months after at least 80 people died in west london, the inquiry‘s chairman explained what it would do. it can and will provide answers to the pressing questions of how a disaster of this kind could occur in 21st century london. but already there's some disquiet from survivors about how the inquiry is being handled. naturally myself and members of the community, survivors, are not confident in the inquiry, but we're being optimistic and we're trying to keep an open mind. we'll be looking at the key issues the inquiry will try to tackle. also tonight: a warning from the bank of england interest rates may go up in the coming months for the first time in a decade. we're with russian forces as they bombard so—called islamic state positions in syria. up to 1,000 people are still missing in sierra leone after a mudslide that killed hundreds last month.
remembering the life and work of sir terry pratchett. a new exhibition that shows where he created his fantasy discworld. ed sheeran and stormzy among those battling it out to win this year's prestigious mercury prize, we'll be live at the ceremony coming up in sportsday on bbc news: arsenal's europa league match against cologne at the emirates is delayed with 20,000 german fans in london, but only 3,000 have tickets. good evening. exactly three months after a fire devastated grenfell tower, in west london, killing at least 80 people, the public inquiry has opened with a minute's
silence for those who died. the retired judge heading the inquiry, sir martin moore—bick, described the blaze as a tragedy "unprecedented in modern times", as he promised to get to the truth. he said the inquiry would examine the cause of the fire and how it spread. it will look at whether the design, construction and refurbishment of the tower block complied with building regulations, as well as the response of the emergency services and the local authority. but already there's been criticism from some of the victims‘ families over how the inquiry is being handled. our special correspondent, lucy manning, reports. the tower is still charred, the grief still raw. victims are unidentified and questions still unanswered. for so long those who lived in grenfell warned it wasn't safe and no—one listened. now, they want to hear from the inquiryjust who was responsible. ahmed chellat is on a journey
to the opening of the grenfell inquiry today, but he hopes eventually to justice. i would like him to find out the cause of the fire. he lost his brother—in—law, sister—in—law, two nephews and a niece in the fire. eight—year—old mehdi, just identified yesterday, they are still waiting to find the remains of 15—year—old nur huda. what do you want the inquiry in the end to be able to do for your family? well, we're not going to have them back, that's for sure, but prevent it from happening again. prevent it from happening again. i mean, it will be the hope of the family and everybody. justice for grenfell will take some considerable time and inside the ornate room, a few miles from the fire, the chairman, sir martin moore—bick, opened the inquiry with silence for the victims.
thank you very much. but it certainly isn't silence those who escaped from this tower want, but questions asked and answers given after so many died and so many lost everything. the inquiry cannot undo any of that, but it can and will provide answers to the pressing questions of how a disaster of this kind could occur in 21st century london and thereby, i hope, provide a small measure of solace. i'm well aware that the past few months have turned the world of those who live in north kensington upside down and that former residents of the tower and other local people feel a great sense of anger and betrayal. that is entirely natural and understandable, but if the inquiry is to get to the truth of what happened, it must seek out all the relevant
evidence and examine it calmly and rationally. as he finished, a barrister advising some of the survivors stood and tried to ask a question. the judge didn't stop, the broadcast inside, controlled by the inquiry, did. shouts of frustration from those in the room. well, some of the survivors who were inside are very disappointed with what they heard and particularly with what they didn't hear. some of the survivors saying that they're not sure they can work with the inquiry. six members of nabil choucair‘s family died in the fire. he just walked out. it was very disgusting and disappointing. very disrespectful. you would have liked him to have listened to the victim's questions? of course, he owes it to us. adel chaoui lost four relatives in the fire. we'd also like to reiterate concerns about the absence of a panel, which is the most important issue for bereaved families
and residents alike. finally, the conduct of the chair at the end of the meeting, not addressing our concerns, is deeply distressing and disappointing. karim mussilhy‘s uncle died at grenfell. no naturally, myself and members of the community, survivors, are not confident in the inquiry, but we're being optimistic and we're trying to keep an open mind, but we're here to make sure that the right questions are being asked. for ahmed, his optimism from this morning has gone. i am disappointed because we went to the inquiry hoping that it's going to ease us a bit, but in fact itjust makes us angry. but you're not going to withdraw your support for the inquiry? no, no, no. we're not. we're not going to withdraw it, we're going to carry on. the inquiry promises answers, but there's so much those who lost relatives and homes at grenfell still want and need to know. lucy manning bbc news. the inquiry has released a list of more than 100 questions
that need answering — from cladding on the tower block, to why residents were told to stay in their flats once the fire had broken out. our home affairs correspondent, tom symonds, has been looking at some of the key issues that will be investigated. from the ashes of the worst tower block fire in british history come 100 or more questions — how, why did it happen, who was responsible? well, i'm not getting personal. sir martin moore—bick‘s been embroiled in a clash of cultures with people from the tower and surrounding areas. you don't respect me because you say the government will do a hatchetjob. yet he's promising to dig deep, name names, explain what happened, bring them solace. the questions he wants to answer fill 11 pages. they cover the direct cause of the fire, the history of the building, its management and fire safety procedures. but the key ones focus on modifications to the building, the now infamous cladding. questions — what factors motivated
decisions about the refurbishment? we've seen evidence of cost—cutting. did the refurbishment breach building regulations and, if so, was it was responsible? as the tower burnt, residents were told to stay in their flats for two hours. why? was this safety advice appropriate, given the latest fire safety thinking? and when it came to the emergency services‘ response, were firefighters hampered in their strategy for dealing with the flames? but the focus is on the tower and the fire, not on wider social housing issues. often people who have suffered a tragedy will want every issue looked at, but they also want issues addressed quickly and those two things are in tension. so you need to focus on the key issues and, you know, some of the wider issues are really for the government to deal with not
for the inquiry. but many of those affected believe a wider social failing is actually at the heart of this disaster. some want a panel to run the inquiry, not one man. some want local people among his advisors. listen to us, communicate with us, engage with us and you'll be fine. if you don't do that, then there will be issues which people will raise and they'll have no trust in you. sir martin has to keep faith with the community, but also keep it at arm's length, he says, to ensure impartiality. he's currently gathering thousands of pages of documents and deciding who the key players will be, the so—called core participants. he's promising a report by easter. tonight, the grenfell survivors and their supporters walked silently through their community. only three families out of nearly 200 have so far been permanently rehoused. they want action and answers. they face a long road ahead. tom symonds, bbc news. interest rates may rise in the coming months for the first
time in more than a decade, that's the warning from the bank of england. it voted to keep rates on hold at 0.25%. but the suggestion that interest rates may rise sooner than expected led to a sharp rise in the pound. 0ur economics correspondent, andy verity, reports. a new banknote with a famous writer on it. the hands of time are frozen as big ben gets a wash. not this year, but 2007, the last time interest rates rose. today, exactly 10 years after worried northern rock savers queued to take their money out of the failing bank, we heard hints that interest rates may at last be about to rise. in order to keep inflation, or return inflation to that 2% target, in a sustainabable manner there may need to be some adjustment of interest rates in the coming months. now, we'll take that decision based
on the data but, yes, that possibility has definitely increased. after the banking crisis struck, the bank of england slashed the official interest rate to 0.5%, the lowest it had got in 300 years, an emergency measure. since then, interest rate setters have met 97 times each time the question — when will rates rise? but each time they've done nothing, until last august, when they decided, in the wake of the brexit vote, to cut interest rates to a 0.25%. now the city thinks they'll go back up to 0.5% by december. a rise in the interest rate would help us greatly, thank you very much, because we don't have mortgages. if you've got savings, you want to seem maximise out and give you a good return, but for years obviously that's not happened. well, in some cases you want it to go up because of your savings, but then in other cases you don't because we've still got a mortgage. so we don't want it to go up for that. after the bank of england's warning, the pound jumped to more than $1.34, the highest it's been for a year. if the bank of england is signalling that it could be raising interest rates in the autumn of this year, thatjust makes the pound a more attractive currency for investors to invest in.
it raises its value relative to other currencies. the higher pound won't help exporters because foreign customers may have to pay more for their goods, but it should also mean imports are a little cheaper, slowing down price rises in the shops. andy verity, bbc news. executives at the security firm gas say they are "ashamed" by footage showing staff abusing detainees at one of their immigration detention centres. they were giving evidence to mps following an undercover investigation by the bbc‘s panorama programme at a centre near gatwick airport. 0ur social affairs correspondent, alison holt, reports. it took an undercover panorama investigation to expose the realities of life at brook house immigration removal centre, near gatwick airport. run by gas, it's plagued by drugs and self—harm. with some officers reacting to detainees with bullying,
abuse, even violence. failings which today jerry petherick, who runs the company's detention services, and gas uk boss, peter neden, had to account for to mp5. i was ashamed of what i saw and i'm very sorry for what we saw. i can assure you that if we were in any way aware of any of that behaviour, we would have taken action. but former gas senior manager, nathan ward, now a priest, told the committee how he raised issues about bullying before leaving. he also described the intimidation he'd faced since speaking out. i've had my car tyres slashed four times, i've had four anonymous letters and, in the last week, received 12 anonymous phone calls. it's the home office that pays for services at brook house and next door tinsley house immigration removal centre. nathan ward told mps that financial and other information supplied to government officials about the places was not always complete.
i'm also aware of inaccurate staffing reported to the home office, and that's part of the concern that i raised tojerry petherick on my resignation, and other financial matters like that. so do you think it's plausible then that gas has been or people working at gas have deliberately been giving false information to the home office? categorically, yes. following documents shown by bbc news last night, which suggests significant profits of arund 20% or more on the two immigration centres in 2013, mps pressed gas bosses on the money they were making. we don't make profit of over 20%, that is overstated. do you make profits between 10% and 20%? i'm afraid, i'm just not at liberty to disclose the profits that we make. there's now been very serious evidence around abuse and mismanagement taking place. it means that i think, actually, it's not acceptable for you to simply provide no information about the profitability
on these contracts. well, we do provide that information and we provide it to the home office, who is our client. gas says 11 staff and former staff have been suspended after the panorama. it also insists the information it provides the home office with is accurate. but inevitably, this session will raise questions for the government about the monitoring of immigration detention services. alison holt, bbc news. at least 60 people have been killed by suicide bombers and gunmen near the iraqi city of nassiriya. more than 90 others were wounded in the attacks on a restaurant and police checkpoint. the islamic state group says it carried out the attacks. the government has confirmed that an attempt by rupert murdoch's 21st centry fox to take full control of sky will be referred to the competition authorities. fox already owns 39% of the broadcaster. the government said the deal should be examined on grounds of "media plurality" and "broadcasting standards."
as our media editor, amol rajan, reports. six years ago, the murdoch family aborted their first bid for full control of sky because of the phone—hacking scandal. that led to the closure of the news of the world and the leveson inquiry. i would just like to say one sentence. this is the most humble day of my life. since then, they've restructured their company, splitting it into two to put distance between the news division and this latest bid. meanwhile, new digital giants like facebook, amazon and netflix have hugely increased competition across the sector. speaking in front of industry executives at the royal television society, in cambridge today, the culture secretary defended her decision to refer the murdochs‘ latest bid to the competition and markets authority, citing concerns both about a concentration of power and about their commitment to broadcasting standards. it is important for public confidence that that full review takes place by the cma. i want them to look at the concerns that have been raised. you will see, when we publish
all the information on this, exactly why the referral is being made, and let's give them the six months to get on with the job. it comes as a blow to james murdoch, the son of media tycoon rupert, who's been driving the latest bid. caution — you are about to enter the no spin zone. he's been forced to defend his company amid a scandal at fox news where as yet unproven allegations of sexual and racial harassment led to the departure of senior figures last year. today, james murdoch suggested that neither the scandal at fox news nor his family's political leanings ought to be an impediment to this proposed merger. the record should matter. as the founder of sky news, we owned 100% of it for many, many years. there were no issues. whether or not 30 years ago someone has a grievance about a political position that a newspaper took that is no longer a part of the business is irrelevant to a process that should be
transparent, that should be fact based. james murdoch gave a stout defence of 21st century fox here today, arguing that it's producing shows that are loved by millions of people around the world. but his long held ambition to own all of sky is proving a huge regulatory headache. he now faces the prospects of months of uncertainty and the real possibility that, ultimately, he'll be blocked. so much has changed in the media over just the past few years, but two things have remained constant — first, the ambitions of the murdoch family and second the political heat that surrounds their role in public life. amol rajan, bbc news. russian submarines have fired a number of cruise missiles at so—called islamic state targets in syria. the war in syria has been raging now for six years. two years ago russia entered the conflict when it came to the aid of president assad. since then his government forces — shown here in red — meanwhile, kurdish forces, in yellow, backed by american air
power have been making gains against is in the north. 0ur correspondent, steve rosenberg reports from the syrian port of latakia. we're off the coast of syria with the russian navy. this is the admiral essen. the russians will show us something they've never let foreign journalists film before. combat alert. then, emerging from the sea, cruise missiles from a russian submarine. their target is hundreds of miles away. the so—called islamic state. there's a second submarine and another launch. it's two years since russia launched its military campaign in syria and the fact that the russians invited foreign journalists here today, shows just how confident they are that the war in syria is going their way. the submarines surface.
we're told — mission accomplished. translation: the missile strike destroyed command and communication posts, ammunition depots and groups of militants south—east of the syrian town of deir el—zour. this week the russian army took us on a guided tour of syria, presenting its view of what's happening here. it's russian firepower which has kept president assad in power and that's caused criticism in the west but today moscow wants the world to see it as a peace maker in syria, not a problem. near the city of homs we were shown russian soldiers handing out humanitarian aid. there was a crush and chaos. many of these people had made their way here from an area controlled by the syrian opposition. nearby, russian sappers
were training syrians to remove mines, preparations for making post—war syria safe. the russians believe it could take up to 10 years to rid this country of all the explosives that were planted here. for now, russia's military operation continues, in the air and at sea. with is under growing pressure, moscow believes the conflict here could soon end. but don't expect the russians to step away. in this war of many global players, russia is key to deciding syria's future. steve rosenberg bbc news, syria. a brief look at some of the day's other other news stories. a man who murdered a college student at a beauty spot has beenjailed for a minimum of 31 years. 52—year—old mark buckley killed 18—year—old ellen higginbottom in a sexually—motivated attack at 0rrell water park in wigan injune.
a record number of people were detained by police in the past year on suspicion of terrorism—related offences in england, wales and scotland. home office figures show there were 379 arrests, including dozens in the wake of the terror attacks in london and manchester. britain's tax authority says a single operation for carrying out border and tax checks could cost the taxpayer up to £800 million, as it warned that it may need as many as 5,000 extra staff to cope with brexit. the chief executive of hrmc said would he need 5,000 extra staff to manage the changes. a prisoner was murdered by three fellow inmates during a violent feud over control of a smuggling route into the jail, the old bailey has been told. jamal mahmoud was stabbed to death in pentonville prison in october last year. robert butler, basana kimbembi, and joshua ratner deny murder. up to 1,000 people are still missing in sierra leone after the devastating mudslide that
hit the city of freetown last month. more than 500 people are known to have died in the disaster. thousands more have had to leave their homes. 0ur correspondent umaru fofana has been to freetown, to meet some of the survivors and find out how they're coping. the scale of this disaster is immense. no warnings, no time to escape. they all died. the whole family, they all died. one month on, a steady stream of grieving people still return to thing site, with photographs of those who were killed. the country had never seen anything like it. it's rained for days. the mudslide was accompanied by flash flooding in several areas. with no proper emergency service, volunteers took the lead. chaos ensued. in a matter of minutes on 1ath august, thomas lost eight
members of his family. he takes me back to the pile of mud and rubble that was once his family home. i headed south and called for my youngest sister. marion, marion, marion. i heard it in voice, calling... in pain? yes, she was in deep pain. i was so depressed. i started to remove the sticks aggressively. i ran into this place to get a pickaxe, shovel and hammer also bar, to remove the nails from things around and then i started to use my bare hands on the ground to remove the mud. then i found the full hand of my younger sister. dozens of families in this middle class neighbourhood
have their own harrowing stories to tell, following what happened here and in what is now sierra leone's ground zero. it's believed about 1,000 bodies still lie beneath the mud and rubble, in the wake of what is the latest tragedy to befall sierra leone. unlike most of the teams, whose bodies were mangled by mud and rocks, thomas can give his sister, nephew and niece a proper burial. even time has not consoled the bereaved families. sierra leone is still burying its dead. god be with you... umaru fofana, bbc news, freetown. football, and kick—off in arsenal's europa league match against cologne was delayed this evening after thousands of german fans arrived at the emirates stadium, apparently without tickets. outside the ground before the match
police formed a line to hold back crowds of fans trying to gain entry. inside there were scuffles with stewards, as the cologne fans made their way into the home end and then tried to force their way to the away section. four people have been arrested on suspicion of public order offences. the match eventually kicked off an hour late. cologne went 1—0 up early on through strikerjhon cordoba's superb lob from a0 yards out. the match is still being played: arsenal equalised. elsewhere, everton lost their europa league opener in italy against atalanta 3—0. two years after the death of the author sir terry pratchett, some of his personal possessions are going on display at his local museum in salisbury. sir terry, who created the discworld series of fantasy novels, sold more than 80 million books around the world. now his fans will get a unique insight into his life, as well as his struggle with alzheimer's.
jon kay has had an exclusive preview of the exhibition before it opens this weekend. it feels like he could walk back in at any moment. sir terry pratchett‘s office recreated just the way he left it. i have over the past 25 years hallucinated gently for a living. this is where the magic happened. the fantasy author called it his chapel in the wiltshire countryside, a work space every bit as eccentric as you'd expect. we were at salisbury museum as his most personal possessions arrived, loaned by his family. there we go, terry's 0lympia typewriter. every item put in place by sir terry's assistant and close friend rob wilkins. terry's golden death ring that he would never be without. he had a few black hats but this one he was particularly fond of. he had a cat flap cut
into the back of his desk. it really is like walking into the office where he wrote the books. probably the most important thing in the pratchett collection. the sword the writer made for himself when he was knighted. he actually put a piece of meteorite iron into the sword so he felt it was magical and i can't deny that it is. it's magical to me. from his first piece of teenage science—fiction, to the illustrations he painted for his very first novel, the exhibition gives an insight as to how the discworld series evolved right through to his last work. there were ten unfinished novels on this hard drive. but it was crushed by a steam roller just as sir terry wanted. there will be fans out there who just say, "for goodness sake, mend it, fix it, i want to read it." i know, i know, but
he didn't want that. he was very, very specific about his wishes about having the unfinished work destroyed. it makes you want to scream. sir terry was always open about his struggle with alzheimer's. the most poignant display includes these sketches, which reveal how the disease ravaged his brain. that's terry's attempt at a clock face. but in terms of his ideas and in terms of the words, he was still writing every single day. this is his world, bizarre, brilliant and as never seen before. john kay, bbc news, salisbury museum. the prestigious mercury prize — it's awarded ever year for the best album from the uk and ireland. a short list of 12 was drawn up for this year's entries, including ed sheeran and stormzy. and in the last few minutes, the winner has been announced. 0ur entertainment correspondent chi chi izundu is on the red carpet. indeed. the winner has been
announced for the mercury prize 2017. he goes by sampha, this was the announcement made a few minutes ago. the winner of the 2017 hyundai mercury prize is... sampha. in case you don't know anything about their music, he is actually quite a soulful artist who has worked with a number of big—name artists such as beyonce and kanye west. this is a flavour of what his music is like. #no music is like. # no one knows me like the piano