the this is bbc news. i'm ben brown. the headlines at 11am. six people have been killed and a seventh is critically injured after a multi—vehicle crash in birmingham. emergency services say they were met with a complex scene, spread over some distance. plans to automatically enrol hundreds of thousands of young people in workplace pensions for the first time, to help them save for retirement. i think especially in london, moved jobs quite frequently, tend not to stay in one place too long, so pensions have always been lower down the list in things i've been conscious of. a new leader of south africa's ruling anc party is expected to be announced today — after years of scandal and corruption. "serious doubts" over military savings — mps warns the ministry of defence will struggle to pay for newjets, warships and armoured vehicles. england's ashes hopes are fading — captainjoe root one of the men out
already with more than a day to bat to save the series. also in the next hour. hailed as a triumph of modern design engineering, the world's steepest funicular railway opens in switzerland, climbing an incline so steep that specially—constructed carriages are used to enable passengers to stay upright. and in half an hour, dateline london reflects on the movement in brexit talks, and asks whether the election of a democrat in alabama really is a blow to donald trump. good morning and welcome to bbc news. six people have died after a multi—vehicle crash on one
of birmingham's main roads — the lee bank middleway at the junction of bristol road. a seventh person is critically injured. officers have described the scene as "very difficult and upsetting". the midlands today reporter bob hockenhall in birmingham gave us the latest. clearly a very difficult scenes are oui’ clearly a very difficult scenes are our staff to deal with, to have so many casualties. clearly the first job is to find out who is most seriously injured. that was established very quickly. bringing the doctors in that we did, we managed to take two people to hospital, sadly one of those died after arrival. the other one is in a critical condition. it is very difficult for our staff. one of the
reasons why we've already debriefed all of them and provided further support for those staff, you know, we deal with a lot of difficult incidents but clearly something as bad as this at this time of year, particularly, we want to make sure oui’ particularly, we want to make sure our staff are particularly, we want to make sure ourstaff are ok. particularly, we want to make sure our staff are ok. the injured were taken and the casualties were taken toa taken and the casualties were taken to a couple of different hospitals in birmingham. yes, the two most seriously injured were taken to the major trauma centre in birmingham. they are world leaders in dealing with traumatic injuries. the less seriously injured patients were taken to a hospital in the east of birmingham. to some extent that gave the queen elizabeth hospital a bit of breathing space to deal with those serious injuries. but clearly it's a difficult situation for the staff to deal with such serious injuries. that was murray mcgregor,
spokesperson for the west midlands ambulance service with an update on the latest situation with the casualties. six people have been killed and a seventh critically injured. our correspondent is at the scene in birmingham. what is the latest? i've just arrived at the scene and there is an extensive police cordoned setup about 200 metres back from the crash site. several cars i can see are still stationary. police and emergency services have set up a number of what looked like forensic tents both in the underpass and just at the base of it when the accident occurred. as you said, we know very little about exactly what happened. we know it happened at around iam this morning. six vehicles were involved. i can see most of those in front of me where i'm standing and
we know that six people have been killed and one man is in a critical condition in hospital. the crash site is extensive. the fire service told us a0 firefighters attended the scene and five ambulances and a hazardous area response team. emergency services and bring to the use of overly dramatic language but when you hear the fire service described it as horrific it maybe gives you a sense of the terrible nature of the incident. if any good news can be taken from a tragedy like this, i suppose that by some miracle to people walked away from one of the most badly damaged vehicles with only minor injuries. but obviously at any time of year a disaster like this is upsetting but it always feels more poignant as we arejust it always feels more poignant as we are just days away from christmas. we were just hearing from the ambulance service spokesman saying when the ambulance crews arrived there were so many casualties, they had to make the choice about who to treat first and so on, also saying
how upsetting it is for trained staff to get to a scene where there is so much carnage. absolutely. you can only imagine what the dailyjob is of these emergency services who have to deal with this all the time. even when these people who deal with some of the most awful incidents are describing it as horrific and the police tweeted earlier this morning that the scene was very difficult and upsetting, even these hardened vetera ns and upsetting, even these hardened veterans of crashes and terrible incidents are finding it difficult, it gives you a sense of how horrific the scene must have been. it is calming down now but the police tell us calming down now but the police tell us the road will remain closed at least for the remainder of the day. thank you. six people are now known to have been killed and a seventh critically injured. there is a police news conference we are hearing a bit later, sometime after
midday, so we will bring that to you and bbc news. every worker aged 18 or over will begin saving into a workplace pension — unless they opt out. that's under government plans being unveiled today. at the moment, employers must enrol staff aged 22 and over into a pension plan if they earn more than 10,000 pounds a year. ministers say they want to reduce the minimum age to 18 — a move that could affect around 900,000 young people. but the changes won't kick in until the mid 2020s, as our business correspondent joe lynam reports. olly browning is 21 and like many young people, he hasn't started saving for his retirement. if the government has its way, he would soon be automatically enrolled for a pension at his company. it's not really crossed my mind yet. maybe i am a bit relaxed about the whole thing but i have always, especially in london, moved jobs quite frequently, i tend not to stay in one place too long, so pensions have always been low down the list of things
i have been conscious of. at the moment, only those aged over 22 are automatically included in a pension scheme by their employers but this consultation could see that age lowered to 18. that could mean 900,000 additional people will be saving for their pensions. but, is that a good thing? it's important that people are educated about their options because if they don't understand what a pension is, they are far less likely to know what their rights are. to an 18—year—old, retirement must seem a very long way off. especially if they don't earn much and saving for a house is a lot more pressing. if this plan proceeds, it could help younger people financially in decades to come. joe lynam, bbc news. this morning the pensions secretary, david gauke, told the bbc why the government was extending auto—enrolment and trying to get more people saving for their pensions. that, i think, will get more people into the habit of saving. it will mean that younger people will be saving
for those extra years, so that obviously is significant when it comes to their retirement. and so extending the benefit of auto—enrolment, which i think everybody agrees has been a huge success, is a really important next step. a short time ago i spoke to tom mcphail, head of policy at the investment company hargreaves lansdown. i began by asking whether today's announcement would be widely welcomed. yes, i think it will get widespread support. it's a logical continuation of what has been an extremely successful policy programme over the last few years of bringing people into pensions. and where people have alreadyjoined the workforce after the age of 18, getting them started on saving young, in the end, will cost them less money because of the extra money going in earlier, and the effective compound investment growth over the years. so yes, it's a good idea. other changes that have been announced today around the thresholds and the amount that will be paid into their pensions for them will also, in the end,
mean that they get a larger pension pot until they have to spend less money on their retirement savings. i think there is still some unfinished business for the government, but this is a good start. i mean, a good thing you say, but an 18—year—old might say, as we heard in that report, retirement is an awfully long way away, i'm just beginning my working life, why do i need to think about a pension? if you start the pension when you start working, and it becomes just second nature that you automatically saving for retirement, it's actually easier to do it then than to try and address the problem a few years further down the line when you've got used to the amount of money coming in and going out, and then to suddenly have to adjust to making some extra space for pension savings can be harder. but i come back to that point that the earlier you save money, in the end, the less it will cost you. so it may look like a challenge for them now, in the end i suspect they'll be glad it's been done. and is there a wider issue that people in this country really, on the whole, are not saving enough,
not thinking enough about the future? yes, there are still lots of challenges their helping people to engage with their retirement savings. and there are still problems around the question of ownership of these pension pots, the fact that your employer selects it for you, you can't dictate which pension arrangement you want to have your money saved into. i think this is the kind of stuff the government is going to have to address next. finding ways to make it easier for people to really take control of their retirement savings. that's not to say the announcements made today are a bad thing, i think they are a good development, but clearly there is a lot more work to be done yet. theresa may says the last ten days have "marked a watershed" in the uk's departure from the european union. writing in the sunday telegraph and the sunday express, the prime minister says she will "not be derailed" from securing an "ambitious" brexit deal. meanwhile, the foreign secretary borisjohnson has told the sunday times that it's vital the uk doesn't mirror eu laws in the long—term — or the country risks being a "vassal state".
our political correspondent jonathan blake explained the prime minister's comments. the defiant tone from the prime minister, putting down a marker. she calls this a watershed moment for the brexit process. after that deal was reached in brussels to bring to an end phase one of the brexit—lite go she is, she's clearly trying to remind us of her achievements as she puts it, proving the doubters wrong. some other brexit catchphrases are in there, taking back control. she says amid all the noise we are getting on with the job. she also looks ahead to the next stage of negotiations, where the real detail will be worked out, and she says this is the exciting part of the negotiations. exciting is perhaps the word she is choosing. others could say it will potentially be the more difficult of the two. one of the more exciting things about her government is not only her that
talks, it's the rest of her cabinet that also seemed to talk about brexit. what have we been hearing from borisjohnson brexit. what have we been hearing from boris johnson and brexit. what have we been hearing from borisjohnson and others today? is to be a reminder for the from borisjohnson and others today? is to be a reminderfor the prime minister of the potential bumps in the road ahead, the foreign secretary giving an interview to the times. he was cleared to praise the prime ministers are getting us this far as he put it, but he said he would like to see the uk do not mirror european union regulations and rules in the future, and to have the freedom to divert and set its own laws and regulations. that's what you would expect him to say as an enthusiastic advocate of brexit, but it's also a reminder there are differences within the cabinet on how the uk's relationship with the eu should work in future. subtle in some cases, but also quite start in others. this week will see that come toa others. this week will see that come to a head. the prime minister will chaira to a head. the prime minister will chair a meeting on tuesday where they are expected to discuss what they are expected to discuss what the end state should be to get the negotiating ducks in a row as it
were, so that theresa may can go to brussels in the new year and david davis as well, to say this is what we are trying to achieve here. as to some clues as to what that might be, well, if we were looking for them this morning from cabinet ministers, then unfortunately we will be disappointed. david gauke the work and pensions secretary was asked about his position and he said that the uk will need to maximise access to european markets and we are going to european markets and we are going to have a negotiation. his view is we need to get the right result for the uk. the headlines on bbc news. six people have been killed and a seventh is critically injured after a multi—vehicle crash in birmingham, officers have described the scene as "very difficult and upsetting". plans to automatically enrol hundreds of thousands of young people in workplace pensions for the first time, to help them save for retirement. a new leader of south africa's ruling anc party is expected to be announced today — after years of scandal and corruption.
sport now, and a full round up from the bbc sport centre. including the cricket, which has been pretty disastrous the england, i'm afraid. england are on the brink of losing the ashes series in australia as the hosts built a huge score and then took key wickets on the fourth day of the third test, leaving england needing to bat out the final day in perth tomorrow to stand any chance of staying in the series. steve smith reached 239 as australia declared on 662—9, a lead of 259. in reply, england crumbled, losing mark stoneman, alistair cook and joe root. james vince providing some resistance before a brilliant ball from mitchell starc saw him depart. rain forced an early end to play, and may be england's only chance of salvaging a draw, with more showers forecast on the final day in perth. england will resume on 132—a, 2—0 down in the series, their ashes hopes
hanging by a thread. it's a special week and would love to stay there for another hour and maybe get that fifth wicket today. come back tomorrow for the next six. i think we've tried to put it to the back of our minds. today was going to be more of a wash—out than it was. i haven't seen a huge amount of rain in the time i've been in perth. two guys at the crease, spent a lot of time there in the first innings, slightly different conditions. we've got to have believe we can get over the line tomorrow. it's going to be tough, i'm sure there's going to be some good balls flying around out there. these two especially showed in the first innings they cannot do by the crease for a long time. hopefully getting off to a good start in the morning. justin rose has won the indonesian masters — finishing 29—under
over the four rounds. it's the englishman's third win of the year. he was eight clear of the nearest challengers and dominated the tournament from beginning to end, starting and finishing with rounds of ten—under par. after last night's a—1 win against tottenham, manchester city are 1a points clear at the top of the premier league, after extending their winning run to a record 16 matches. the gap could return to 11 points if manchester united beat west brom later. managerjose mourinho matter of fact when assesing where his side stand heading into the busy christmas period. last second, with these points we could be first in other seasons but we are second. this is where we are. not first, not bird, we are second. asi not first, not bird, we are second. as i was saying, match after match, one match at a time. two of the tournament's surprise packages will contest snooker‘s scottish open final this afternoon.
neil robertson beat the home favouritejohn higgins 6—3 to set up a meeting with the world number 67 china's cao yupeng who stunned judd trump earlier in the day. robertson has fallen outside the world's top 16 recently, but has been in much betterform in glasgow. britain's olympic and world champion adam peaty has won his fair share of medals in his time and it would appear he's got so many, he's happy to give a few away. after winning gold in the 100 metres breaststroke at the european short course championships he took his gold medal over to a very lucky young girl in the crowd. this event's being held in copenhagen and clearly peaty has made one spectator very happy indeed. as will he be having set a new european record. bradley lowery, the six—year—old sunderland fan who died from a rare type of cancer earlier this year, is to be given a special posthumous award at tonight's sports personality of the year ceremony. he became best friends withjermain defoe while the striker was at sunderland last season. bradley's been given
the helen rollason prize, which rewards "outstanding achievement in the face of adversity". tonight ‘s award ceremony is from liverpool this year. that's all the sport for now. i'll have more in the next hour. now to south africa where the ruling anc — at its national conference — is deciding who will succeed president zuma as leader of the party. the two frontrunners are the deputy president, cyril ramaphosa, and the former foreign minister nko—sa—zana our correspondent milton nkosi, who's at the conference, explained the background to today's vote. i'm at the 5ath national conference, anc president zuma standing down after leading the organisation for ten years. his replacement will be the leader of the anc, biggest political party in south africa and potentially the president of south africa. let me show you the newspapers.
look at what's they are saying. a picture of the two frontrunners. look at the tabloid. normally reserving its pages for soapy gossip. look at what they have today. down to the wire for cr17 and ndz... they are going with ndz, nkosaza na dlamini—zuma. they are saying she would be a better leader as far as they are concerned. tell us a bit about the two rivals, the two frontrunners for the job, who are they? there were seven at the beginning, two have fallen away and it looks
like the others definitely won't make the cut when it comes to it. the delegates are meeting, over 5000 of them making the decision. they are supporting a lawyer by background on the one side, deputy president of south africa, cyril ramaphosa. he alongside nelson mandela led negotiations to end white minority rule in the early ‘90s. went into business, became wealthy, and has returned in 2012. leading by about 500 delegates. on the other side is dr nkosazana dlamini—zuma, president zuma's former wife. that is not her only credential — a medical dr graduated from bristol university.
qualifications additionally from liverpool university, nelson mandela's first health minister in a post—apartheid administration. she then went to become the chairperson of african union. currently an ordinary member of parliament. when will we know, milton? we think that voting and perhaps the results will come late into the night, around 9pm local time, about 7pm your time. mps have expressed "serious doubts" that the ministry of defence will be able to afford all the new military equipment it plans to buy. a report by the commons defence select committee says the mod will struggle to make the necessary savings it needs to pay
for newjets, warships and armoured vehicles, as ian palmer reports. police in australia have charged a man in sydney they suspect of acting as an economic agent to broker the sale of missiles and military expertise from north korea. they named him as chan han choi, who is originally from south korea. police said they believed he also tried to facilitate the sale of coal from north korea to vietnam and indonesia to help raise foreign currency for pyongyang. at least five people have been killed and more than 20 injured in an attack on a church in the pakistani city of quetta. the methodist church was full of worshippers when it was stormed by two militants. pakistani media have broadcast footage of a fierce exchange of gunfire between security forces and militants.
thousands of people living in southern california's santa barbara county have been ordered to leave, in the face of the wildfire that's been burning for nearly two weeks. the blaze is the third—largest in the state since records began. meteorologists say fresh northerly winds are likely to drive the flames towards santa barbara county, hillside homes in the montecito area — and the pacific coast. sarah corker has the latest. fierce winds are driving one of the biggest fires in california's history towards the wealthy neighbourhood of montecito. they have already destroyed more than 700 homes. now another 18,000 are at risk, as the flames move towards the coast. strong winds that were north pushing the fire back downhill, so extremely gusty, cold, and relative humidity being low, it's a very hazardous fire. this area north—west of los angeles is home to many celebrities, including oprah winfrey, who tweeted. .. and earlier this week,
talk—show host ellen degeneres, who was forced to leave her home, posted this to thank firefighters. and west wing actor rob lowe shared shocking photos of the fire raging close to his house. "pray for santa barbara," he wrote. tens of thousands of people have fled. this is what they are escaping from. 8000 firefighters are working around the clock to try to contain this mammoth blaze called the thomas fire. two people have been killed. the fire's been burning for nearly two weeks, blackening everything in its path. it's pretty crazy. went to sleep last night about midnight and then woke up to the roar of the fire coming through about 3am. the trees at the base are going to go up pretty soon. that's what they are telling us. and the thick billowing smoke is causing breathing problems
across santa barbara county. the community can come by the station. we have masks sitting out on the patio in front of the station and they are welcome to as many as they would like. the authorities say a0% of the fire is contained, but with winds of up to 60 miles an hour forecast, firefighters are battling to protect coastal cities and towns. sarah corker, bbc news. switzerland is known for its transport challenges, with children regularly using cable cars to get to school. now the world's steepest funicular railway has been unveiled and opens to the public later. virginia langeberg reports. up here, 1300 metres above sea level, is not a view for the faint—hearted. and transporting people up this steep swiss mountainside is not without its challenges. two years behind schedule, it has taken 1a years of building with a price tag of $53 million. but the swiss are convinced
their new funicular on the world's steepest line, is worth it. translation: to construct a tunnel with 110% gradient has rarely been done before. all the workers have to secure themselves. sometimes they have to work hanging in the ropes. we have to be very careful with the material. if you drop something, it falls all the way down. and what is even more dangerous, if you drop something, it could fall on the head of a worker down below. if the breathtaking climb itself doesn't leave you weak at the knees, standing upright in the carriages shouldn't be a problem either. they have been uniquely designed to allow the floors to adjust with the gradient as it travels. each carriage can carry 3a people at a speed of ten metres per second, meaning the climb or descent lasts no longer than four minutes. the line replaces an old funicular that had been operating between the valley town of schwyz to the mountain village of stoos since 1933.
the new space—age—looking carriages have been hailed an engineering success. it remains to be seen whether it will help take the area's tourism to new heights. now the latest weather. it's a bit of a disappointing sunday afternoon for much of england and wales, as this band of rain will be moving southwards and eastwards. behind its guys are brightening up nicely across scotland and northern ireland. here it will turn a bit cooler, one or two showers around but fine. temperatures in single figures england and wales. cloudy skies, outbreaks of rain. some of it and persisting across the south and east. eventually it will clear away. all areas will be dry, clear and chilly with the risk of some frost
and ice. particularly temperatures will fall away where it's been wet. we start off on a cold night on monday. there will be plenty of sunshine around, financed right throughout the afternoon to with light winds. maybe a bit breezy across the far north—west. temperatures a—6dc. then it's milder after monday with south—westerly winds bringing in all this mild air but also a lot of cloud. this is bbc news. i'm ben brown. the headlines. six people have died in a serious crash in birmingham. the fire service said the scene was spread over some distance. the government wants to lower the age for automatic enrolment in
company pension schemes. south africa's governing anc is due to vote for a new leader. in a close contest that has exposed deep divisions. those are the headlines. now, dateline london. hello and a very warm welcome to dateline london, i'mjane hill. this week we reflect on some movement, finally, in the brexit talks and ask whether the election of a democrat in alabama really is a blow to donald trump. my guests this week, the american writer stephanie baker