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tv   BBC News  BBC News  November 1, 2017 9:00pm-9:31pm GMT

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this is bbc news. i'm rebecca jones. the headlines at 9pm. sir michael fallon resigns as defence secretary, saying his behaviour may have "fallen short" of the standards expected by the uk military. we expect the very highest standards of the armed forces and i don't think it's right that on occasion in the past where i have fallen below those standards that i should continue to serve as defence secretary. sir michael's resignation follows theresa may's invitation to party leaders to discuss the sexual harassment claims at westminster. police in new york say the man suspected of killing eight people in lower manhattan was inspired by the islamic state group. the suffering of the hillsborough victims families — calls for a cultural change in the way relatives are treated after a public tragedy. the defence secretary sir michael
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fallon has resigned, following allegations about his past behaviour. in a statement this evening, sir michael said his behaviour had ‘fallen short‘ of the standards expected of the armed forces. in recent days, allegations have been made about mps conduct, including my own. many of these allegations have been false but i realise that in the past i may have fallen below the high standards that we require of the armed forces that i have the honour to represent. i have reflected now on my position in government and i am therefore resigning as defence secretary. it has been a privilege to have served
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as defence secretary for the last three and a half years. i have the utmost admiration for the courage, the professionalism and the service of the men and women who keep this country of the men and women who keep this cou ntry safe. of the men and women who keep this country safe. thank you. in response, mrs may accepted his resignation and paid tribute to "a long and impressive ministerial career". part of her letter to sir michael fallon reads "as secretary of state for defence sincejuly 2014, you have championed our brave armed forces and made sure that the government has been able to fulfil its most fundamental responsibility: the defence of the realm." it goes on to say, "on behalf of all those you have helped throughout your time in government, i thank you for your service." let's speak to our political correspondent alex forsyth at westminster. alex, what do you make of the timing of this resignation? i think it's
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fairto of this resignation? i think it's fair to say that this resignation was fairly unexpected. there have been a swirl of allegations in westminster in recent days of claims of inappropriate behaviour from westminster in recent days of claims of inappropriate behaviourfrom mps. so michael fallon was mentioned in one yesterday when 15 years ago he was “— one yesterday when 15 years ago he was —— apologised to a journalist for touching her knee and the journalist in question laughed that off, saying it was an amusing incident. michael fallon has looked back at his past behaviour and said it fell short of the standards expected of the armed forces. he explained a little more of the reason for his resignation. mr fallon, what has made you come to this decision? do you feel forced out because of allegations that have emerged? we expect the very highest
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standards of the armed forces and i don't think it's right that on occasions in the past where i have fallen below those standards that i should continue to serve as defence secretary. what do you mean by fallen short? there were allegations a couple of days ago about what happened between you and a journalist 15 years ago. were you worried that more would come out? the culture has changed over the yea rs. the culture has changed over the years. what might have unacceptable ten or 15 years ago is no longer acceptable. parliament must look at itself in the prime minister has made very clear that conduct needs to be improved and we need to protect the staff at westminster against any particular allegations of harassment. do you feel that you yourself have done anything wrong? of harassment. do you feel that you yourself have done anything wrong ?|j have behaved in the past clearly in a way that has occasionally been below the standards that we require of the armed forces and i don't think it's right for me to go one as defence secretary expecting the very
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highest standards of our service men and women and failed to keep them myself. do you feel you should apologise what —— for what happened? i think we all have to look back at the past now and there are always things you regret and would have done differently. do you think, do you believe there is a widespread problem related to this? clearly, the prime minister has made it clear there are a number of allegations swirling around, and number of which are obviously false, but clearly parliamentary staff need to be better protected and claims of harassment need to be properly investigated. the prime minister has now set that machinery in motion and clearly that must now apply to all of us. so michael fallon speaking to oui’ of us. so michael fallon speaking to our political editor laura kunst berg. i think it is worth remembering, alex, what we actually
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know, and that is that sir michael fallon is said to have repeatedly that his hand on the knee of a journalist 15 years ago but he has apologised for that and she herself has said it didn't matter. that was the allegation that michael fallon was named as having been involved in this week and as you say, that happened some time ago and impact the journalist in question tweeted tonight to say she would be surprised if her knee had been anything to do with michael fallon's resignation. when you listen to what he had to say in the interview and his letter, he says he has looked back on his behaviour and it has in the past fallen short of the conduct that he would expect of the armed forces. take from that what you will but of course the context of all of this is the ongoing allegations in westminster about inappropriate behaviour and the need for the government and the willingness of the government to be seen to be taking this very seriously. sir michael fallon has obviouslyjudged his own behaviour by the standards
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he expects of the armed forces, whatever that may be, and resigned. theresa may has invited other parliamentary leaders to a special meeting next week to discuss such behaviour. can we read anything into the timing? i think many people will be reading things into the timing. it was only yesterday that the allegations against michael fallon came out. there are plenty at westminster across all parties who don't think any of these allegations are finished yet. a lot of what we have had so far has been unnamed and anonymous but theresa may has been very clear in the house of commons today that she treats any allegation with severity which is why she has invited other party leaders to meet to look at the current procedures and processes that take days in parliament to see if they are adequate and to see that any
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allegation is treated with due severity but it is worth saying that whilst there is clear agreement the cross— party whilst there is clear agreement the cross—party that the process at the moment. short, there is also an agreement that the culture at parliament needs to change. michael fallon alluded to that when he said things that were acceptable ten to 15 years ago are not appropriate now. people will be hoping that this marks a sea change in this debate. alex forsyth for now, thank you. on the line now is the labour mp ruth smith who is a member of the defence select committee. thank you for joining us on bbc news. i wonder, what is your reaction to the resignation of michael fallon?|j think resignation of michael fallon?” think we are all very shocked at this evening but we need to look at what happens next. it is about who is going to replace him, how
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quickly? we have got troops deployed across the world right now. we have not finished our battle against daesh. we have got the air force not finished our battle against daesh. we have got the airforce in action. a lot is going on and this is not a time for a mess at the ministry of defence. nonetheless, was he right to go if he says he has fallen below the standards required of the armed forces?” fallen below the standards required of the armed forces? i think given the authority he has over serving personnel, we have to be very careful as politicians that we ourselves keep to a very high standard. my concern is about them going forward, not about him. none of us know what is behind the accusations but i'm very concerned that with all the gossip swirling around westminster that we may well end up having a series of resignations and what i don't want is instability at the top of the mod whilst our server staff are doing
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their job, whilst our server staff are doing theirjob, keeping us safe. you mentioned the allegations swirling around westminster in relation to sexual harassment. how much of a problem is it? i think culturally there is a problem at westminster, there is a problem at westminster, there always has been. i have only been an mp for two and a half years but there has clearly been a problem both currently and historically. that is something we all need to resolve and get out houses in order. going forward, we have to do make it clear that this house, we set the legislation for everyone else, we set the guidance for everyone else, so we need to make sure that we are whiter than white and on this issue, specifically on having a gap at the top of the ministry of defence, that is somewhat concerning and it needs to be resolved immediately with a permanent, not a temporary appointment. have you been harassed in any way or do you know anyone who has? i think we all know people that have. i am has? i think we all know people that have. iam not has? i think we all know people that
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have. i am not on here to talk about myself. we saw some incredibly, incredibly brave statement from some of my colleagues on my side of the aisle yesterday. that isn't what i wa nt to aisle yesterday. that isn't what i want to talk about this evening. what i want to talk about is our national security and what happens next for our armed services personnel. we are very grateful for yourtime, personnel. we are very grateful for your time, thank you. personnel. we are very grateful for yourtime, thank you. we personnel. we are very grateful for your time, thank you. we arejoined now by the editor of the politics home website, kevin schofield. what do you make of this resignation, kevin? it's a massive shock. there was a brief flurry of excitement in the lobby in parliament earlier run. there were rumours going on something big was about to break but i don't think any of us expected this to happen. you could say that the writing was on the wall for michael fallon yesterday morning when the allegations of his apology to the journalist was on the front
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of the sun newspaper. at that morning briefing, the prime minister was asked if she still had full confidence in michael fallon and the statement made said she had confidence in her cabinet as a whole. that really was the kiss of death, as she wouldn't give him have full confidence. it still came as a shock though. nonetheless, he did apologise for the incident and the journalist involved said it didn't bother her. why do you think he has gone now? is there more to it than that, do you think? we are led to believe that he has admitted to the prime minister that there are other occasions with otherjournalists where he may have behaved in an
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inappropriate manner. no formal complaint had been made, as we understand it, buti complaint had been made, as we understand it, but i think he was concerned other allegations may emerge and in that case his position would become untenable and that other journalists would would become untenable and that otherjournalists would not have brush it off in the way that this journalist appears to have done. in that way he seems to have pre—empted any further allegations against him to try to save the prime minister any further embarrassment. the wording of his resignation one letter was interesting, wasn't it? he said his past conduct had fallen below the standard required in his position. well, yes, and i heard in his interview there with laura kongsberg that he said his behaviour, what was acceptable ten or 15 years ago, it's no longer acceptable. i'm not entirely sure that laying your hands on of the ir
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journalist or a female colleague without their wanting you to do so was acceptable ten or 15 years ago, so i'm not entirely sure where he is coming from there, but it does seem there are skeletons in his cupboard, let's just say that, and he was concerned they might come out. in the current atmosphere, clearly there are more women being able to be brave enough to come forward with these allegations of their own experiences and i think michael fallon clearly felt that they would be further stories coming out about himself so he would i guessjump before he was pushed. what impact will this have on the balance of the cabinet and how big a loss is he for theresa may because he was a close ally, wasn't it? he was a close ally and up untilthe ally, wasn't it? he was a close ally and up until the past few days he was seen as a safe pair of hands. he used to be sent out whenever the conservatives or the government were in trouble, they would deploy the fallon as we used to say. he would
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p0p up fallon as we used to say. he would pop up on the today programme or on newsnight to firefight on the half of the government, so clearly they are going to lose someone there with that kind of experience to confront up that kind of experience to confront upfor that kind of experience to confront up for the government in times of trouble. so, he's going to be a big loss. he's got a lot of experience as defence secretary, he's been doing thejob for some as defence secretary, he's been doing the job for some time. it's a headache the prime minister could well do without at the current time. imean, well do without at the current time. i mean, obviously brexit, but for once we are not talking about brexit all the time. clearly that is still ongoing though. there had been a lot of speculation a reshuffle was coming but the last i'd heard that had been put off until closer to christmas or into the new year but clearly this will now be forced onto the prime minister. she will be hoping any reshuffle will be quite small and it might only be a replacement for michael fallon, but who's to say other ministers with allegations against them won't emerge? we know that allegations
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have emerged about damian green, the de facto deputy prime minister and we don't have that will pan out. it isa we don't have that will pan out. it is a major headache that the prime minister could have well done without. kevin schofield, really good to talk to you, thanks. and we will find out how this story and others are covered in tomorrow's front pages at 10:40pm. our guests joining me tonight are christopher hope, chief political correspondent at the daily telegraph, and political commentator ayesha hazarika. let's remind you of the headlines here on bbc news. sir michael fallon resigned as defence secretary, saying his behaviour may have fallen short of the standards expected of the armed forces. his resignation follows theresa may's invitation to party leaders to discuss the sexual harassment claims at westminster. police in new york say the man suspected of killing eight people in
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lower manhattan was inspired by the islamic state group. police in new york say the man behind yesterday's attack which left eight people dead and i2 others injured had been planning it for weeks and carried it out in the name of so—called islamic state. sayfullo saipov moved to america from uzbekiztan on a us visa programme seven years ago. president trump has ordered security services to step up vetting procedures. our new york correspondent nick bryant reports. this is a scene that new yorkers have dreaded for years, one that brings back the trauma of 9/11, one that shows how this city is vulnerable to new forms of terror. a rented pick—up truck that became weaponised. a mode of attack that is common in europe. now it has been used to deadly effect on american soil, and just yards from ground zero,
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the site of the september 11 attacks. the antenna on the new world trade center bathed in red, white and blue, to honour the eight people killed. this is the suspected attacker, sayfullo saipov, a 29—year—old who reportedly shouted "allahu akbar", "god is great", as he left his truck. he was brandishing fake weapons, and was shot by the police and taken into custody. moments earlier, he had driven at high speed along a riverside bypass, targeting cyclists and pedestrians. this was an attack on the united states, an attack on new york city, an attack on our people, and it was the definition of terrorism. an effort to take away people's hope and spirit, and to make them change, and what new yorkers showed already is we will not change. saipov is an uzbek immigrant who came to the united states in 2010. he is believed to have been radicalised in america, and told the police he was very pleased with the success of the attack.
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one of the early clues investigators found at the scene were hand—written notes in arabic pledging allegiance to the group calling itself islamic state. but there is no evidence yet of a direct link to that group. you got kids in there? hold on. his attack came to an end when he crashed into a school bus. oh my god. 0k. i need an ambulance right here. that was an accident, the suspect has reportedly told investigators, because he wanted to continue down the road. police found knives if his vehicle. oh my god. based on the investigation overnight, it appears that mr saipov had been planning this for a number of weeks. he did this in the name of isis, and along with the other items, recovered at the scene, was some notes that further indicate that. he appears to have followed, almost exactly to a t, the instructions that isis has put
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out in its social media channels before, with instructions to their followers on how to carry out such an attack. among those killed, five friends from argentina. men in their late 40s, in new york to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their graduation from college. two americans and a belgian were victims. president trump has demanded tough justice and tighter immigration measures. we need quick justice and we need strong justice. much quicker and much stronger than we have right now. because what we have right now is a joke, and it is a laughing stock, and no wonder so much of this stuff takes place. in his home town, this tower was erected in defiance of terror, a symbol of a resurgent city that refused after 9/11 to be cowed, and at the ground level this morning that spirit was very
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much in evidence. joggers following their normal routes. even a cyclist berating a pedestrian for getting in her way, a scene that speaks of new york. the city has experienced much worse dawns than this, and waking up to the threat of terror has become part of daily life. nick bryant, bbc news, manhattan. i have a couple of updates for you on this story now and the first is that federal terrorism charges have now been announced against sayfullo saipov. one is provision of material support and resources to a designated foreign terrorism organisation and violence and destruction of motor vehicle. those are federal terrorism charges that have been released for sayfullo
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saipov. two lines out of reuters to bring you as well. they are saying that he has told law enforcement officers that he had been inspired by islamic state videos that he had watched on his cellphone and, we also understand that a second man originally from uzbekistan is now wa nted originally from uzbekistan is now wanted for questioning by the authorities in connection to that attack. just some new lines coming into us there from the united states. joining me live from new york is anastasia tonello, president of the american immigration lawyers association. we are very grateful for your time and i'm wondering if you can enlighten us in some way. this man came to the united states as part of the green card lottery. can you just explain to us exactly how that works? yes, so the diversity lottery
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isa works? yes, so the diversity lottery is a programme to encourage immigration to the united states from countries of low immigration to the us. so 15,000 visas are available each year, they are selected at random and only those from countries of low immigration are able to apply, so the uk, canada, mexico, the philippines, they are not eligible but uzbekistan is. and how does it work? when you entered this so—called lottery, is very vetting procedure? so, anyone can apply. you have to apply through the department of state website and there are many, many more applications applied than are accepted and there are minimum requirements as well. for example, a high school diploma or equivalent experience. once you are selected, then you need to go through a separate process, so they select
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about two times as many applicants that will get the visa. then they start —— about 100,000 are selected. that is when they start the visa application process. they would have background checks, interviews, there would be a personal interview at a consulate, fingerprints, criminal checks etc. is president trump right when he now says he wants to ban it? the programme has been criticised for many, many years. it was on the chopping block the last time the senate passed immigration reform which the house did not proceed with. there are repealed bills in congress right now but to end this programme. it is one of the programmes that gets thrown out in most compromises because it's one
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that really doesn't have as many supporters now as it did when it was first started, so it is definitely -- it first started, so it is definitely —— it has definitely been reviewed many, —— it has definitely been reviewed any —— it has definitely been reviewed many, many times and the president can't change the law. congress has design it. he can —— had to change it. he can sign it but so far nothing has been passed. finally, should those who have entered under this lottery be worried about their status? they are green card holders, they have permanent residence. this person could have been eligible to naturalise so in general green card holders who are feeling insecure and are eligible to naturalise as us citizens, now be —— now maybe their time to do that. could there are many residents be rescinded? it shouldn't be unless they commit
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certain serious crimes. we are grateful for your time. certain serious crimes. we are gratefulfor your time. thank certain serious crimes. we are grateful for your time. thank you. in a moment we'll be joining viewers on bbc world news but first here's the weather with alina jenkins. good evening. i would like to start with a look at the weather in america. winter has arrived across the rockies, with some heading up into the north—east of the us and canada as well. there is still based feed of warmth coming of the gulf of mexico as well causing storms with the contrast in temperatures. you can see the arctic area so close to the north and then you have got the warmth of 90 fahrenheit still in dallas. we will see a deeper way generally even into new york by the time we get to the weekend. still that cold air stays put four winnipeg and four edmonton. further west as well, it is all change. last
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week we had temperatures in the 20s and 30s in los angeles but it is much, much cooler. welcome news for the wildfire areas and hopefully by the wildfire areas and hopefully by the end of the weekend, these low— pressure the end of the weekend, these low—pressure areas will bring some welcome reins to california as well. more potential disruptive snowfall to the north—west as well. wet and windy at low levels. talking about rain, we are concerned for parts of southeast asia. we have had one lot of wet weather across vietnam, another potential tropical site in that you can see here moving away from the ill appearance but towards vietnam, cambodia and perhaps laos as well. then we have got monsoon rain to come across the philippines in that north—easterly as well. and this draws your attention in the bay of bengal. let's look closely at that. there are ample warnings out for certain areas and inch rancour as well, where they could be that
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cyclone in the bay of bengal. heavy showers and thunderstorms across new zealand and also working their way through new south wales towards queens land and we have had some really large waves as well on the new south wales coast. most noticeable, the early heatwave across in new zealand which could trigger those nasty showers around. into the 20s in christchurch. look at the dip in temperature when the thunderstorms arrived in sydney. talking about a dip in temperature, we are seeing that take effect in europe. this arctic area is going to gradually think it's way southward over the weekend, in stages, but as that happens saturday into sunday it could cause the first significant snows of the winter across the alps. we have got this first snow across iberia —— we have got the first cooler weather in iberia and we will see the call air combined with the
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low pressure to cause some fairly stormy weather. darren will have more on the uk weather for you later. this is bbc world news america. reporting from washington, i'm jane o'brien. after the worst terror attack in new york city since 9/11 — eight people are dead and president trump is calling for changes to the country's entry rules. what we have right now is a joke. it's a laughing stock and no wonder that so much of this stuff takes place. authorities say sayfullo saipov from uzbekistan, was radicalised in the us and had been planning this attack for weeks in the name of islamic state. and — it's the church where the last tsar of russia met his end. now 100 years after the revolution many are working to to remember the past not recreate it.
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