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tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 17, 2017 7:00pm-7:31pm GMT

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this is bbc news. the headlines at 7. a british woman, rebecca dykes, has been killed in beirut, the foreign office says. she worked for the department for international development. police investigate what they call a harrowing car crash in birmingham. plans are revealed to lower the age at which young people are automatically a row —— involved in pension schemes. information from the cia helped russian security services stop a terror attack on a cathedral in st petersburg, the kremlin says. also in the next hour. prince harry takes on a new role as a journalist — interviewing the former us president barack obama. if there are long pauses between the answers, you will probably get the
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face. let me see the face. the interview was recorded as part of the today programme's guest editor series to be broadcast later this year. in half an hour here on bbc news — bbc sport will have a round—up of all the day's sports events with sportsday. good evening and welcome to bbc news. a british embassy worker has been killed in beirut. the body of rebecca dykes was found by the side of a road in the city yesterday. what we know? lebanese police believe rebecca dykes was murdered on friday night. her body was found on friday night. her body was found on saturday. they believe she was
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strangled. they carried out a postmortem but due to do a second. rebecca dykes worked at the embassy in beirutand rebecca dykes worked at the embassy in beirut and had done so since the beginning of the year. she worked for the department for international development. we have spoken to the foreign office, who issued a statement saying they are liaising with the lebanese authorities and looking after rebecca's family. they issued a statement through the foreign office, the family, and said, we are devastated by the loss of our beloved rebecca. the police have launched an investigation and will carry out a second postmortem in the coming days. and we'll find out how this story — and many others — are covered in tomorrow's front pages at 10:30 and 11:30pm this evening in the papers — our guests joining me tonight are the author
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and journalist yasmin alibhai—brown and ruth lea, economic adviser at arbuthnot banking group. police investigators are trying to find out what caused a car crash in an underpass in birmingham this morning. six people were killed and several others suffered serious injuries. firefighters have described the scene as "challenging" and "horrific". phil mackie is in birmingham. the immediate aftermath of the crash. debris strewn across four lanes. medics were desperately trying to save lives, but five people were already dead, and a sixth was dying. the rest of the footage is too graphic to show. in daylight, the scale of what happened became clearer. three of the people who died were in this taxi. astonishingly, the man and the woman in the small car crushed between it and the wall walked away with minor injuries. the sound of the crash woke many of the people who live nearby. got out of bed, looked out the window and just saw
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loads of people running towards where the crash was. and then the police officers telling everyone to get back, get back, so i guess people were trying to help people. they pulled two people out of the taxi. i didn't realise it was a taxi until today, but they pulled two people out of the taxi, resuscitating them straightaway for about 25 minutes. they took one in the ambulance. i didn't see them take the second one away, so i don't know if they didn't make it, but yes it was havoc. the crash happened on a section of the belgrave middleway, a busy road in the heart of birmingham. the vehicles collided at an entrance to an underpass at the junction of bristol road. police say the dual carriageway will probably stay closed for the rest of the day. investigators will be looking at a number of factors. the road was gritted, but eight hours before the accident. there is no central barrier — did
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one of thecars cross carriageways? residents say especially when it is late at night and the road is quiet, people will come along here at excess speeds. it will take some time to unpick the scene and just understand exactly what has happened, and it would be unfairfor me to speculate at this time. what i can say is that we are looking to all sorts of conditions, the road conditions, we are aware of the road was gritted 5pm last night but that is just one factor of many we need to consider. a0 firefighters helped free survivors. ambulance crews treated the injured at what was described as a complex scene. it quickly became apparent there could not be a lot done to save the lives of some of those patients unfortunately. again, very difficult circumstances, as you have already alluded to, very close to christmas, so our thoughts are with the families and friends of those patients involved. there were a total of 13 casualties, including the six who died, with six vehicles damaged. police described the
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accident as harrowing. investigations into what caused it are likely to take some time. news correspondent phil mackie is in birmingham and a little earlier updated us with the latest. specialist teams are continuing to carry out investigations. we think the next of hours they will begin the next of hours they will begin the difficult operation of removing all of the debris from the scene so they can clear this busy and important main road in time for tomorrow morning's rush hour. as we say, we do not know what caused the accident. there are a lot of theories but it will take time to get to the bottom of what happened in the early hours of this morning in central birmingham. police say they do know the identities of the six people who died, but they are making contact with all of their families. the probability is that a lot of these people, they are local
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people, and it has had an enormous effect on local people who have expressed their condolences on social media. two police officers have been seriously injured in a road traffic collision on the north circular road in london. the two officers were returning to a marked police vehicle parked near brent park in neasden when a car collided with them early this morning. the car sustained serious damage and stopped at the scene. both police officers are constables in their 30s — one is male and one is female. the government is considering extending automatic enrolment into a workplace pension, to 18—year—olds, from 2020. currently the starting age is 22, for anyone earning more than £10,000. workers can opt out, but the change could affect around 900,000 people. joe lynam reports. ollie and nate are both 21. ollie on the left has not yet started saving for his retirement. it has not really crossed my mind yet. i movejobs quite frequently, tend
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not to stay in one place too long. so pensions have been lower down the list of things i have been conscious of. nate, though, has been saving for his retirement since he was 16. i grew up with a family on welfare, so i was quite aware of the effects of being reliant on government money can have. and how insecure it can be sometimes. if the work and pensions secretary david gauke has his way, young people like ollie and nate could soon be automatically enrolled for a pension at their employers. that, i think, will get more people into the habit of saving. it will mean younger people will be saving for those extra years, so that is significant when it comes to their retirement. at the moment, only those aged over 22 are automatically included in a pension scheme by their employers, but the government wants that age lowered to 18. soon, 8% of our salaries will be going into a pension pot, something that employers
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are worried about. i think what the government needs to bear in mind however is how much of the cost of that is going to be falling on employers in the future, because already the cost for employers is on course to treble by 2019. today's announcement means the cost to employers will be even higher than that. to 18, or even 21—year—olds, retirement must seem a very long way off, especially if they don't earn much, but if this plan proceeds, it could help younger people depending on the state in decades to come. joe lynam, bbc news. the prime minister says developments over last ten days have marked a watershed in the uk's departure from the european union. writing in two newspapers this morning, theresa may said the government is "proving the doubters wrong" after the eu agreed to move on to the next phase of negotiations — but labour say the government's brexit plans are a mess. chris mason is here to discuss this.
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someone else not totally sure of what theresa may is saying is michel barnier. he is the eu chief brexit negotiator, giving an interview to prospect magazine. nothing here that is1 million miles from what prospect magazine. nothing here that is 1 million miles from what we prospect magazine. nothing here that is1 million miles from what we have heard before but striking in its language. we approached michel barnier‘s office to check there was nothing lost in translation because the interview was given in french. they said they, referring to the uk, have to realise there will be no cherry picking, talking about a future deal. he said we won't mix up the various scenarios and accommodate their wishes mixing the advantages of the norwegian model, norway is a member of the single market but not the eu, with the simple requirements of the canadian
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model. there has been discussion, david davis talking about the canadian model plus plus. it has a free trade arrangement with the eu in goods but does not have to accept free movement of people. he says they, the uk, will have to face the consequences of their decision. he is saying things cannot stay the same because you the uk have chosen to leave and that was your decision not ours. and when you talk about the idea of bespoke solution it will not come easy in terms of what the eu is willing to put on the table. theresa may has been writing in the papers today. what has she said today? one in the sunday telegraph and another in the sunday express. it is not often they take to two different newspapers. what was striking about the prime minister's
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words was how defiant she was. understandably to a point because there have been headlines about the aborted attempt to get a deal in brussels and she had to come back and go back. the defeat in the commons and the negative headlines from her perspective. in reality she can point to she has got to where she set out to buy christmas. negotiations will move to phase two after christmas despite the bumps on the road of the past couple of weeks. what we do not have yet might start to get is a sense from the government, privately them publicly, about what they want, what is the end state the british government is seeking? we know the government wa nts to seeking? we know the government wants to leave the single market and customs union, those relationships bound up with current membership, but we do not know specifics and brussels is clamouring for those, along with plenty of people in the
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uk. a brexit super cabinet, the main cabinet ministers involved in brexit, beach tomorrow. a cabinet meeting on tuesday. it will be the first time at the full cabinet meeting they have had a proper discussion about the end state. that might surprise you. if you know you are facing a row about something, arguably it is pragmatic to postpone it as long as possible and that is what she has done. thank you. two senior members of south africa's governing anc have been chosen as candidates to be the next party leader. the process to find a successor to president zuma had been delayed because of divisions amongst delegates. our africa editor, fergal keane spoke to us from johannesburg. given the division in the weeks leading up to the conference and the divisions i have seen on the conference floor in the last
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hour, supporters of cyril ramaphosa. he is the man coming in saying he will clean up corruption and supporters of dr nkosazana dlamini—zuma, the ex—wife of presidentjacob zuma, a significant politician in her own right. i have seen between them polarisation in this party, and who ever emerges victorious, and when the votes are counted, has a huge task for them. first in trying to unite the party which has had much infighting. and then if they managed to unite the anc and lead it to victory in elections of 2019, there is a huge task to persuade the majority of south african voters that the anc has turned its back on the age of corruption, of what is called state capture where cronies of president zuma allegedly in return for kickbacks were given chunks of state enterprise, vast sums of taxpayers' money. it is a big job to persuade south africans.
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i have gone around townships listening to people. that is their major concern, it will define whether the anc continues to be the dominant electoral force of this country. we should have a result by around 5am, as dawn comes up in johannesburg. the headlines on bbc news: a british woman, rebecca dykes, has been killed in beirut, the foreign office says. she worked for the department for international development. six people have been killed and a seventh is critically injured after a multi vehicle crash in birmingham. officers described the scene as 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. the russian president vladimir putin
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has thanked donald trump, after russian security services were able to foil a terror attack thanks to information provided by the cia. this is the moment security forces raided a flat allegedly used as a logistical base to plan the attack on st petersburg's kazan cathedral. seven people were detained on charges of being members of so—called islamic state. the officers also seized explosives, weapons and propaganda material. david willis is in washington for us. what has vladimir putin been saying? we have this from the kremlin. no official transcript or briefing on this from the americans so far, just an acknowledgement that this telephone conversation did take
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place. vladimir putin basically thanking the american president for the cia's tip—off that led to the russian security service falling what was planned suicide bomb attack on the popular iconic cathedral in st petersburg, very popular among tourists, and other sites in that historic city. they were able to make arrests as a result of the tip—off and to seize weapons and ammunition apparently. vladimir putin asking donald trump to convey his thanks to the cia leadership to the officers of the cia who ferreted out that information that prevented the attack. we know traditionally sometimes troubled relationships between russia and the united states but why now this warm thanks, assuming as i am that some of these
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tip—off is happening regularly, but there is a security relationship that exists. you are right. it is not surprising two nations like this cooperate on security matters but what is surprising is that there is currently an investigation under way here on the part of a special counsel, robert mueller, into russian meddling in the outcome of last yea r‘s russian meddling in the outcome of last year's presidential election and also the special council is looking into allegations the donald trump campaign may have colluded with the kremlin on that front. we have seen donald trump criticise leaders, traditional allies like britain's theresa may, germany's angela merkel, but as far as vladimir putin is concerned he has not had a bad word to say and the reverse is true as far as putin is
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concerned, these men speaking today for the second time in three days. last week donald trump called vladimir putin to thank him for being so generous in his comments about the state of the us economy. whilst everybody else is doubting russian motives, it seems these two men are each other‘s biggest cheerleaders right now. thank you. at least eight people have been killed and dozens of others injured after a suicide bomb attack on a methodist church in pakistan. it happened in the city of quetta which has been the scene of a number of attacks in the past year. tom burridge has more. a celebration ahead of christmas targeted by extremists. pakistan's police and army firing shots as they surrounded the church. earlier, the attackers' efforts to get in and
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kill as many as they could captured on cctv. watch the man in brown, who suddenly reveals a machine gun and starts to try to access the church compound. his accomplice, behind him, falls over. it takes them a long time to climb the gate, but it is chilling to watch, as the men wearing suicide vests exchange shots with security guards, imagine the panic in the church nearby. officials say one of the attackers was shot dead at the entrance to the compound. a second man detonated his vest near the church door. the bodies of those killed brought to the local mortuary. too much for relatives, their loved ones killed a week before christmas. at local hospitals, those injured spoke of their fear as the attackers did all they could to get inside the church. translation: we were in the church and when we heard gunfire we closed the doors.
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the firing continued. then there was an explosion by the church door. the group that calls itself islamic state claimed responsibility, which pakistan's president described as cowardly. a man has been arrested in sydney for allegedly acting as a black—market agent to sell missile components and coalfor north korea. australian police have charged 59—year old chan han choi with brokering illegal exports from north korea, including coal to groups in vietnam and indonesia — phil mercer reports. australian police say there was evidence that chan han choi had been in contact with high—ranking officials in north korea. investigators believe the 59—year—old suspect, who has lived in australia for more than 30 years, was a loyal agent of pyongyang. he was arrested at his suburban home in sydney. mr chan is accused of trying to sell guidance software for ballistic missiles,
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as well as north korean military expertise, to foreign buyers. authorities say the sales could have been worth tens of millions of dollars to the regime of kim jong—un. they also allege he has breached both united nations and australian sanctions. we think he is acting as an economic agent on behalf of north korea. he is doing it for patriotic purpose. i think he would sell whatever he could to make money back for the north korean government. i think it shows sanctions are biting, the fact we have people involved in these types of activities. the australian prime minister, malcolm turnbull, says more punitive measures to rein in the rogue state are needed. north korea is a dangerous, reckless, criminal regime, threatening the peace of the region.
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it supports itself by breaching un sanctions, not simply by selling commodities like coal and other goods, but also by selling weapons, by selling drugs, by engaging in cybercrime. it is vitally important that all nations work relentlessly to enforce those sanctions, because the more economic pressure that can be brought on north korea, the sooner that regime will be brought to its senses. the prime minister has previously argued that north korea should be seen as a criminal entity operating under the guise of a state. the case against chan han choi is the first of its kind in australia. until now, no one has been charged under the country's weapons of mass destruction act. if convicted he faces up to ten years in prison. phil mercer, bbc news, sydney. mps have expressed "serious doubts" that the ministry of defence will be
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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. she is the flagship of the royal navy. hms queen elizabeth, commissioned by her majesty the queen, earlier this month. at 280 metres long, she has space for a0 jet planes. but defence in the 21st—century does not come cheap. the biggest warship the british navy has ever had cost more than £3 billion. another aircraft carrier is being built in scotland. the ministry of defence want to spend £178 billion on more military equipment over the next ten years. it has to make savings to achieve that goal. to do that, it will have to sell buildings, and make efficiencies.
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however, the defence committee is extremely doubtful the mod can make those savings from an already stretched budget. the committee says funding pressures will inevitably lead to a reduction in the number of warships, jets and armoured vehicles the mod can buy. the government is currently carrying out a defence review. it is widely expected to recommend more cuts. with the changing nature of and increase in global threats, it is said britain needs to strengthen its armed forces. but will the government have the cash to pay for it? french sailor francois gabart has smashed the world record for the fastest solo and nonstop circumnavigation of the globe. huge crowds welcomed him home as he sailed into the port of brest, after crossing the finish line in the channel in the early hours
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of sunday morning — beating the previous record by more than six days. richard galpin reports. sailing home to a hero's welcome in northern france. sailing home to a hero's welcome in the port of brest in north—western france. the 34—year—old celebrates smashing the record for circumnavigating the world. he did it six days faster than the previous record—holder, surpassing all his expectations. translation: i only had a little hope i would break the record. i never imagined i would beat it by so much. i was lucky i was successful. the crew of a helicopter tracking his progress towards the french coast earlier asked him how he felt about being on the verge of breaking the record. he said he had been lucky with the weather, but his ultra—high—tech 3—hulled
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yacht was also a major factor. it can reach speeds up to a0 mph. it was all so different in 1969 when the british sailor robin knoxjohnston became the first person to sail single—handed nonstop around the world. i was 312 days, he is 42 days, 16 hours, which is phenomenal. the way we have moved on, the design of boats, material, carbon fibre as opposed to wood. bigger sails. it leads to faster boats. and you have satellite now so you can get instant weather information, which was not available 50 years ago. francois gabart‘s achievement is a moment of great personal pride. even the french president has praised him. but mr gabart believes his record will also be broken soon as the design of yachts evolves even further. tonight the bbc‘s sports
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personality of the year will be announced in liverpool. 12 are on the short list, with the public choosing the winner. our sports correspondentjoe wilson is in liverpool for us tonight. it is not a tree, goodison, or anfield, it is the echo arena tonight. immerse yourself in the voices and memories. 2017 has seen media coverage of a expanding diversity of sport. this evening we will be guided through achievements from grassroots to the top. there are 11,000 seats, but voters at home will decide. at least andy murray had a less successful year, so someone else can have a chance to win. the nominees offer something for everyone. speed skater, runner,
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cyclist, f1 champion, heavyweight boxer, football goal—scorer, paris sprinter, wimbledon semifinalist, superbike, and tae kwon do fighter. there will be special memory of bradley lowery, his parents will collect the ward. his six years filled with devotion to football. and sports personality of the year is taking place right now over on bbc one. but i will bring you the announcement as soon as we have it. we expect the announcementjust before 9pm. prince harry has interviewed barack obama, for bbc radio 4's today programme. if you start using long pauses between the answers, you will probably get the face. it's part of harry's guest editorship of the programme, and features the former us president
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sharing his memories of the day he left office, and his hopes for life away from the white house. let's have a look at the weather. good evening. the weather looking reasonably quiet as we head through the next few days. largely dry with quite a lot of cloud around. things will be turning milder particularly in the west. watch out for some dense fog particularly on monday night and dense fog particularly on monday nightand in dense fog particularly on monday night and in juju dense fog particularly on monday night and injuju ‘s day as dense fog particularly on monday night and in juju ‘s day as well. dense fog particularly on monday night and injuju ‘s day as well. on sunday night clear skies and light winds across many parts. rain clearing off towards the south. those temperatures holding above freezing in our towns and cities. during the early hours of monday they could be subzero in the countryside. we are likely to see a bit of frost

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