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tv   BBC News  BBC News  October 21, 2017 4:00pm-4:31pm BST

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this is bbc news. the headlines: a huge demonstration in barcelona after spanish prime minister mariano rajoy announced steps to remove the current administration in catalonia. i'm in barcelona where tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in defiance of madrid's decision. explosives experts were called to the sellafield nuclear plant in cumbria after an audit of chemicals stored in a laboratory. drivers could soon be allowed to pass through sections of motorway roadworks at higher speeds. storm brian hits the uk. there are gale—force winds and high seas — but less fierce than predicted. and at 430 foreign correspondents currently posted to london look at events in the uk through outsiders‘ eyes in dateline good afternoon and
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welcome to bbc news. the spanish prime minister mariano rajoy has announced steps to remove the current administration in catalonia and to hold fresh elections there as soon as possible. he warned of economic disaster if the region's separatists succeeded in splitting from spain. let's cross to my colleague tim willcox in madrid. iam high i am high above in central barcelona, tens of thousands of people already on the streets. i can show you some pictures. the people are chanting and whistling. they are doing a
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police helicopter. —— they are booing. it stretches for about a could limit the won this has been organised by 90 different organisations who are here in the region, in protest at the decision by mariano rajoy and the government in central madrid to invoke article 155 and to take direct role back over this region —— rule. it has got to go through the senate, but the indication is clear, it was the only way forward, given the impasse between the catalan region and the authorities in madrid following the referendum on the 1st of october which madrid deemed illegal. the separatists claimed
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that 90% of the people voted in favour of leaving spain on a turnout of 43%. so this is a situation just a few hours ago, the spanish prime minister held the crisis cabinet meeting to decide what was going to happen. looking relaxed, in a cabinet meeting like no other. because no spanish government has done this before. but with the authorities in catalonia pushing to break away, spain's prime minister is moving, to exert direct control and limit catalan autonomy. translation: we apply article 155 because no government of any democratic country can accept disregard for the law. last night, spain's king, firmly behind the spanish government. translation: spain of the 21st century is a country in which catalonia is and always
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will be a central part. we should root ourselves in loyalty and solidarity. catalonia is split over the question of independence and there is anxiety over what the future will hold. but those who want independence say madrid's tactics could backfire. there will be peaceful protest. likely work to rule from civil servants, for example. the catalans are not going to lie down and take it easily. there's no solution going this route. but the measures announced by the spanish government won't come thick and fast. expect a careful and slow running strategy to minimise the risk of making a tense situation in catalonia even worse. tom burridge reporting. we can speak to a political activist
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here in barcelona. people are angry, but is this as far as it goes? well, this is because the cheerleaders which are very big and widespread associations of cultural independence, they have been placed under arrest by the national government. two separatist leaders are being held in prison at the moment facing possible sedition charges, just to explain. the people out on the streets, now, because direct role is going to happen and spain says that is because you have flouted the constitution —— direct
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route. —— rule. flouted the constitution —— direct route. -- rule. this is the first time article 155 has ever been applied to a spanish region even though it was part of the 1978 constitution. the point is, madrid says that is flouting the constitution, and there is this way of taking away and imposing direct power because what was held here was illegal. there doesn't seem to be any movement on any party about that. well, we consider people down there... —— we can see. in catalonia there... —— we can see. in catalonia there are all sorts of parties, ce ntre—left, there are all sorts of parties, centre—left, centre—right, centrist, and there is a strong leftist independence movement. what we are
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seeing here is the civil society of catalonia. you are not seeing the millions of catalans who don't want to leave spain. yes. well, in that case... some critics were so you will —— some critics would say you are good at organising things like this, be silent pr. if we are talking rats silent majorities and minorities, let's have a look at the number of demonstrations —— if we are talking about silent. the biggest one was one tenth of the people who voted on october the 1st. dissolve catalan parliament, elections, will separatist parties ta ke elections, will separatist parties take part? if they are called by madrid. if there are new elections
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ina madrid. if there are new elections in a short time, probably independent parties will win and in that case there will be the leftist independent parties. francesca, thanks forjoining us. tens of thousands of people, maybe more than 100,000, organisers were predicting up 100,000, organisers were predicting up to in people, and i don't think there is that number here, but this road goes for a kilometre. the cata la n road goes for a kilometre. the catalan president carles puigdemont, i think we can see pictures of him. he is going to make an address at nine o'clock local time. it could be that he and his government decide maybe to declare full independence before the article 155 is invoked and passed by the senate. that is the situation here in barcelona at the situation here in barcelona at the moment. studio: thanks for
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joining us. speed limits through motorway roadworks in england could be raised from 50 to 60 miles per hour. the proposed changes follow trials which found drivers would feel safer at higher speeds. jon donnison reports. roadworks and mile after mile of little orange cones are the bane of many driver's lives. the current speed limit when passing through motorway roadworks is 50 mph, but highways england says that could be increased to up to 60. it follows trials where drivers were fitted with heartrate monitors to measure stress levels, driving through roadworks at different speeds. 60% of participants recorded a decrease in average heart rates in the 60 mph trial zone. in the 55 mph zone, the decrease was 56%. some drivers said they were more relaxed at higher speeds because it allowed them to accelerate away from large lorries. what you find at 50 miles an hour is many trucks have their speed limited to 56,
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and therefore they try and drive faster, they tailgate cars, a foot off their bumper. that becomes incredibly dangerous. so on those stretches, if you can have 55 or 60 miles an hour, you will get less tailgating, fewer drivers just studying their speedometer, and it really can be safer. but ucatt, the union representing road workers, has described the plans as a deadly version of wacky races, which would make dangerous work areas twice as dangerous. highways england says it is carrying out further tests, but the changes could be phased in by the end of the year. jon donnison, bbc news. earlier i spoke to peter rodger who's head of driving safety at the road safety charity iam roadsmart. he told me what he thought about this proposal. the original reason for having these speed limits is to protect the workers doing the roadworks. highways agency, as was, now highways england, have been successful at reducing the injury rate to their workforce, who are trying to do
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the roadworks on the motorway. and we all want that. but we all know there are times when you drive past the roadworks and you are subject to a speed limit which is very uncomfortable for some people as a driver, when there is no work going on. it's balancing these things together. in some places this is easy because you have variable speed limits, and you could have it reduced when people are working and then raise it for the rest of the day. it's about finding that balance and getting it right. uncomfortable why for road users at 50 mph and less so at 60? the particular reason is to do with the speed that lorries are operating at. lorries have speedlimiters, it is a european requirement, that govern them at 90 kilometres per hour, just over 55 mph. lorries are all running around
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at that, and very many of them take the view that actually that is within10%, 2 mph, so they carry on running at 56, thinking they won't get prosecuted. and you can be in narrower lanes as well. yes, you can be in narrower lanes, and uncomfortably close to something that towers up above people. you mentioned the original plan, to help those who are doing the roadworks, and it would appear from what the union have said, they are worried about this possible change, how do you respond to their concerns? it's understandable. highways england have said where road workers are working close to the traffic, on those roadworks they will retain the 50, at least i think that's what they were saying, when they released the information earlier. so they are clearly trying to manage this both ways. what worries the road workers union
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is the number of people who drive into the closed off areas. that is concerning but maybe there are things we can do to make it more clear and more straightforward which bit that is. that was peter rogers on those possible speed restrictions. police in germany say an attacker with a knife has injured several people in the southern city of munich. the stabbings occurred near the rosenheimer underground station. there were no life—threatening injuries. a man has been detained. two boys have been injured in a serious collision with a van in cleethorpes in lincolnshire this morning. humberside police were called to the incident after a white peugeot van mounted the pavement on st peter's avenue at about 830. one of the boys suffered life threatening injuries, and both have been taken to hospital. storm brian has hit the uk with gale—force winds and high seas. gusts of over 70mph were recorded earlier this morning. yellow strong wind warnings are still in place across much of wales, southern england and the midlands.
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there are seven flood warnings across england, urging "immediate action". clare woodling has been out in storm brian in seaton, cornwall. storm brian is definitely making its mark. all day we have experienced this very strong south—westerly wind forcefully coming onshore and bringing strong waves. we haven't seen any boats out all day, the only person i have seen in the sea is a windsurfer. conditions have felt rather changeable today, sunshine and brightness one moment and then really heavy downpours. the only consistent thing is the very strong wind and we measured it at 50 mph earlier. here in seaton there are two car parks which are out of action because of the floodwater which has come in and the road is completely submerged.
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this is it, when the road and the water has begin to subside, and when i have stood in this, it is up to the top of my boots. it's really still quite deep. people are hoping we have come through the worst of the weather but we are expecting more strong winds for the next two hours. the headlines on bbc news: a huge demonstration in barcelona after spanish prime minister mariano rajoy announced steps to remove the current administration in catalonia. explosives experts were called to the sellafield nuclear plant in cumbria after an audit of chemicals stored in a laboratory. drivers could soon be allowed to pass through sections of motorway roadworks at higher speeds. in sport: sergio aguero has equalled manchester city's goal scoring record after giving them the lead against burnley. while chelsea scored two late goals to come from behind to beat watford 11—2 in the early game at stamford bridge. holders celtic are through to the final of the scottish league cup.
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they held off a second—half fightback from hibernian at hampden to win 4—2. and aidan 0'brien has equalled the record for top—level wins in a flat racing year — hydrangea won the fillies and mares stake on british champions day at ascot. i'll be back with more on those stores later. human rights groups and zimbawe's political opposition have condemned a decision by the world health 0rganisation to appoint president robert mugabe as a ‘goodwill ambassador‘ for the un agency to help tackle non—communicable diseases. human rights watch said that, given mr mugabe's record on human rights, it was an embarrassment to give him such a role. a spokesperson for the uk government said the apppointment was surprising and disappointing. earlier i spoke to doug coltart, a human rights lawyer and activist, who lives in zimbabwe. he told me the decision has left many zimba bwa ns in the country worried. we have a doctor to patient
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ratio of one two 250,000, many rural patients have to walk over ten kilometres to get to health clinics and there's almost no medicine in many hospitals, and even medical students are treated horrendously and many of them were kicked out of their residences recently. this is the daily experience. if there are levies put on certain things to try and raise funds, whether that will ever get to people, orjust get sucked up in the patronage system like many other taxes, remains to be seen. but the experience on the ground for most people here is one of a completely broken health system, that they also have virtually no access to. 0ne argument is that this is an international organisation which might agree with some other
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points you have made, but wants to extend an olive branch to the country. and perhaps the country when robert mugabe is no longer here. there are two things i would like to say to that. well, if they are now extending the olive branch to mugabe himself, the question we have to ask, what has changed that all of a sudden he should be a goodwill ambassador? and be given the honour when really nothing has changed in zimbabwe? if anything, things are deteriorating every day in the last few months. the second thing, the wto and other un agencies need to consider the damage to their own reputation, both globally and in countries like zimbabwe, where people who are suffering under the oppression and the mismanagement of a leader like robert mugabe,
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now see him being honoured on the world stage for something which clearly seems totally ironic for the majority of them. it totally undermines the reputation of these un agencies and they need to consider that, the problematic aspect that that has, the repercussions that can have for the long—term. explosives experts have been called to the sellafield nuclear plant in cumbria and a partial cordon is in place. army bomb squad specialists have been called to the nuclear reprocessing plant at sellafield in cumbria to deal with hazardous chemicals found in a lab.
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the chemicals, contained within a number of canisters, were discovered during a routine audit at a laboratory at the site in cumbria. they are industrial solvents which are potentially flammable in liquid states and can crystallise and become unstable when exposed to air. sellafield limited, which runs the plant, said there's no reason for people living locally to be concerned. alan reporter is outside the complex. —— our reporter. we heard a small explosion and that was the bomb disposal experts carrying out a controlled explosion of those bottles of old chemicals. 25 years old, they had been found in a laboratory last night which was evacuated, and a 100 metre cordon was set up around it. earlier i spoke to the head of security here at sellafield. as to how long they've been there and should they have been dealt with sooner, it's just a question of exploration — as we uncover these things then we deal with them as quickly and as efficiently as possible. it sounds like they had been there too long, because the decision was made to remove them as soon as you saw them. i think so. as soon as we become aware, then we take proactive steps to get rid of the problem as quickly and safely as we can.
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once we had determined the properties of these chemicals, we are fiow properties of these chemicals, we are now getting on with the process. a person who is a member of staff said they had crystallised, have they? i can't honestly answer that question, but the reccie that was conducted yesterday determined there was no immediate threat from these solvents. the issue around crystallisation is important, because they can become dangerous. but sellafield said they had not crystallised. investigation is now underway, crucial to this is looking through the laboratory at any other old chemicals which might be unsafe and need removing. sellafield have stressed that the site here is safe. the majority of households have
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experienced problems with their broadband over the last year, with slow speeds the most common complaint. a survey by which? suggested customers of virgin media, talktalk, sky and bt were the worst affected. our personal finance correspondent simon gompertz reports. frustration with broadband is boiling over in some households. we've become so dependent on it for shopping, banking and entertainment that the internet not working can drive people mad. it cuts out more than it should. i live in the countryside and it's terrible there, like 5 megabytes per second is the maximum you'll ever get. the speed in my area doesn't actually work as well as it should. it depends on where you live. i live in a newbuild apartment, so the speed is pretty good. i get what i pay for. which?‘s survey shows 21% of customers had problems with speed. 17% experienced frequent dropouts in the connection. 12% had a wireless router fault, and 8% had no connection at all for hours or days. with talktalk, 33% said
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their speed was very slow. 22% in the case of bt. while 38% of virgin customers complained about price increases. talktalk says it's disappointed and its extensive investment programme has already led to fewer faults and quicker repair times. virgin says its service is faster and the majority of its customers get their advertised speed or above at peak times. there is a regulator, 0fcom, with the job of making sure companies provide what they promise. it says they must up their game. simon gompertz, bbc news. the us and south korea are conducting joint military exercises off the korean peninsula, amid heightened tensions with north korea. the us says the drills are designed to be a show of sea and air power, to deter north korea from any military action. pyongyang has described the exercises as a "rehearsal for war".
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among the ships taking part is the uss ronald reagan, the biggest of the us navy's fleet in the asia region. our correspondent mark lowen was on the ship. we have come down here to busan, south korea's second city, where the uss ronald reagan docked earlier today. if ijust step back and we can zoom in, we can't shoot directly at the port, so we have come up to the hill and you can see there the enormous aircraft carrier, the uss ronald reagan, leading the us‘s seventh fleet stationed in japan. it has a crew of 5,500. on board we went up to the deck, had a short time on deck and saw some of the 70 or so fighterjets and bombers that are stationed up there on the deck. this is one of the vessels that has been taking part in ten days ofjoint military exercises between the us and south korea. the commander of the vessel spoke to us. he talked about an ironclad alliance between the us and south korea. clearly the us very keen to reinforce its military support for the republic of korea at a time when the escalation of nuclear
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tension, military tension, with north korea, the nuclear crisis from pyongyang and also with that escalation of bellicose rhetoric putting a real strain on international relations. and it has caused some fear here in south korea. the church of england is to debate holding services of blessing for same—sex couples for the first time. if it's agreed by the church's ruling general synod, the services could be held after a couple has married in a secular ceremony, or formed a civil partnership. callum may reports. i, david, take you, peter, to be my lawfully wedded husband. since 2014, same—sex couples have been able to marry outside the church, but the church of england does not allow their relationships to be blessed. it says there is real and profound disagreement about sexuality. bishops set up a group to spend three years discussing what to do next, but their hand may now have been forced by some members in hereford,
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who voted in favour of an order of prayer and dedication following a marriage or civil partnership. now it will be debated by the church's ruling synod. the proposed service is described as neither contrary to or a departure from the current doctrine and priests will be able to opt out. they haven't yet gone as far as anglicans in the scottish episcopal church, which began holding same—sex weddings this year, and conservative campaigners called the move a fundamental departure from church teaching. the synod which meets twice a year is yet to fix a date for the debate to take place. how we have the weather forecast. it is a blustery day thanks to storm brian which has been working its way east,
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the strongest winds on the southern flank of the area of low pressure, plenty of showers, as well. we are likely to have gales in scotland and wales, and heavy downpours piling in from the west with the risk of localised surface water flooding. it will feel quite cool through the first part of sunday morning. it will be a blustery start, cloudy with outbreaks of rain, but slowly but surely things will improve through the day. still a scattering of showers out west, and quite chilly, 11—14 is below par for this time of year. through the week ahead pretty mixed, spells of rain, but by the end of the week in the south things will start to warm up. hello. this is bbc news. the headlines: a huge demonstration is taking place in barcelona after spanish prime minister mariano rajoy announced steps to remove the current administration in catalonia. army bomb disposal experts have been
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called to sellafield to detonate potentially flammable chemicals discovered at britain's largest nuclear site. speed limits for motorway roadworks could be raised in england under plans aimed at reducing congestion. storm brian has hit the uk with gale—force winds and high seas — though the weather is not as bad as predicted. next on bbc news, dateline. hello and welcome to dateline london. i'm jane hill.
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this week we discuss spain's constitutional crisis in catalonia. the continuing brexit negotiations. has there been perhaps some movement this week? and with one of the leading middle east analysts around our table, could we be witnessing the beginning of the end of the war in syria? my guests are the times columnist david aaronovitch. the north american writer and broadcaster, jeffrey kofman, mina al—oraibi, the new editor—in—chief of abu dhabi's the national. and from spain's la razon, celia maza de pablo. a warm welcome to all of you. let's start in spain.
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