this is bbc news. the headlines at 3pm: the first of a group of critically ill syrian children are allowed to leave a rebel—held area of damascus. motorists are being warned that snow and ice are causing disruption to motorways in england and wales. stansted airport was closed earlier, after snow caused all flights to be suspended for several hours. and thousands of properties are without electricity, mostly in the midlands. also in the next hour: prince harry tells how he sees his future role as a senior royal. while guest editing radio 4's today programme, he promises to remain above politics, but shine a light on certain issues and causes. i will continue to do... to play my pa rt i will continue to do... to play my part in society and do myjob to the best of my abilities, so i can wake up best of my abilities, so i can wake up in the morning feel energised and go to bed hopefully knowing that i've done the best that i can.
complaints of "rotten" and "rancid" turkeys sees tesco apologise to its customers. and, current and former presenters look back at hardtalk over the last 20 years. that's in half an hour, here on bbc news. good afternoon and welcome to bbc news. aid workers have begun evacuating critically—ill children from a rebel—held suburb near the syrian capital, damascus. four patients were reportedly taken out of ghouta overnight. another 25 are expected to be evacuated in the coming days, although hundreds more are in urgent need of treatment. some 400,000 residents have been under siege by government forces there since 2013. matthew thompson reports. a wave, a smile.
and for eight—year—old imjy a chance, at least, at life. 29 seriously ill civilians are due to be evacuated from this besieged suburb of damascus. many others were not so fortunate. eastern ghouta is one of the last strongholds of rebels fighting the forces of president bashar al—assad. it has been under siege by government troops since 2013 and as peace talks in geneva have faltered, the humanitarian crisis has escalated. food and fuel shortages have led to rampant inflation, starvation, and with medical supplies severely limited, doctors are powerless to help those in need. to escape the constant bombardment, for months families have sheltered in the basements of shattered buildings. but they offer no protection from hunger and disease. these people have been besieged and bombed. and living in the most atrocious conditions. but there is just a little chink
now, and if we can get the ceasefire extended, there are peace negotiations starting up again in sochi, in the next few weeks. russian—sponsored talks may offer a way out, but so far rebel groups have refused to engage. meanwhile the un has identified nearly 500 seriously ill civilians in desperate need of evacuation from eastern ghouta. 29 may be a start, but there is much more to be done. matthew thompson, bbc news. police are warning drivers of hazardous conditions on the roads today, as heavy snow hits parts of the uk, leaving thousands of homes without power. and on the a14, where a jack—knifed lorry caused delays of several hours. thousands of homes have been left without power and there are snow and ice warnings right across the uk. the runway at stansted airport was closed for a while, so snow
and ice there could be cleared. simonjones has this report. as many took to the roads again after the christmas break, heading home or back to work, these were the conditions people were facing in bristol. for the emergency services, the wintry weather meant numerous call—outs, crashes, breakdowns and jackknifed lorries kept the police busy. torrential rain overnight has become snow in many areas and that has led to some pretty grim conditions on the roads. many are slushy, there's ice in a lot of areas and not just the minor roads, but motorways have been affected as well. particularly hard hit was the a14 near kettering, a series of crashes led to some drivers being stuck for hours. i'm on the a14, trying to go eastbound to northampton. i set off from my house in hinckley at 6am this morning. i've been on the a14 for three hours now. as you can see, there's nothing going in the other direction.
a bit cross! those who braved the conditions to get to stansted airport found flights disrupted or cancelled after the runway had to be shut. the snow also brought down power lines, more than 20,000 homes left without electricity, as temperatures plummeted. there were warnings for ice in scotland, northern ireland, and north east england. 0n boxing day, two walkers had to be rescued from a precarious ledge in snowdonia. the coastguard said they were not properly equipped. a reminder, like here in the lake district, that the snow may look beautiful, but it's posing considerable risks. simonjones, bbc news, high wycombe. the former us president, barack 0bama, has warned about the irresponsible use of social media, in his first interview since he left office, at the beginning of the year. mr 0bama said social media was, in some cases, simplifying complex issues, and reinforcing people's biases. he was speaking to prince harry, who was the guest editor of radio 4's today programme.
this report from our royal correspondent, nicholas witchell. prince harry, first of all, you are very welcome to our studio. good morning. joining the today programme for the day had been a big learning curve, harry said. but he had enjoyed being the interviewer, rather than the interviewed. it was quite fun, especially interviewing president 0bama. his principal scoop had been to persuade barack 0bama to give his first interview since standing down as us president. the word trump was never mentioned, but may have been in mr 0bama's mind when he warned about the irresponsible use of social media. how do we harness this technology in a way that allows a multiplicity of voices, allows a diversity of views, but does not lead to a balkanisation of our society but rather continues to promote ways of finding common ground? harry had also interviewed his father. the main focus had been on climate change — the issue prince charles has
championed for decades and for which he was sometimes derided. maybe now, some years later, they're beginning to realise that what i was trying to say may not have been quite as dotty as they thought. but, i mean, the issue really that has to go on being focused on, big time, i think, is this one around the whole issue of climate change, which, you know, now, whether we like it or not, is the biggest threat multiplier we face. and then at the end of the programme, it was time to face questions, rather than to ask them. first about his fiancee meghan markle and her first christmas at sandringham. she really enjoyed it. the family loved having her there. and, you know, there's always that family part of christmas, and always that work element, as well. and i think, together we had an amazing time, we had great fun staying with my brother and sister—in—law. harry's commitment to issues he cares about, like the armed forces and mental health, had come through strongly. so how does he see his future?
part of my role and part of myjob is to shine a spotlight on issues that need that spotlight, whether it is people, whether it's causes, whether it's issues, whatever it is. so i will continue to play my part in society and do myjob to the best of my abilities, so that i can wake up in the morning and feel energised and go to bed, hopefully, knowing that i've done the best that i can. not so long ago, he admits to having doubts about a royal role. clearly, no longer. nicholas witchell, bbc news. more now on the news that critically ill children have been evacuated from a rebel held areas in damascus. 0ur correspondent is in beirut. we can speak to her now. all of the
children out of this war that list? no, not all of them. -- that were on this list. three children left yesterday and one man who was also in need of medical aid. the list included 29 names only. but that is just a small drop of the tens of children who are in need of medical evacuation. we know that open 600 people are in need of medical evacuation and at least 200 of them are children. the government has only approved 29 of them, four leaving yesterday. we are waiting for more to leave. the hope is that the list will increase. so far, the government has only approved a short number of people, most of them are children in dire need to leave. just how significant is this deal? how did it come about? this has been a pattern that the syrian government has used in many
cities and towns. we've seen it in homs... cities and towns. we've seen it in homs. .. interference that's why now it's the return of the eastern ghouta, the outskirts of damascus. people are wary that they will face the same destiny others have faced by being forced out of their homes. that's where the negotiations are ongoing. u nfortu nately, negotiations are ongoing. unfortunately, the prices being paid by civilians who are starved. and children who are facing medical cases and malnutrition and lack of medicines in eastern ghouta. we don't have the best line speaking to you but we will persist with our final question. what are conditions like in eastern ghouta? it's really difficult questions, eastern ghouta has been a siege in the past four yea rs. has been a siege in the past four years. under shelling and
bombardment but in the past few months it was completely sealed off. no food and medicine. many hundreds of children are suffering from malnutrition. as we have seen in this story, many are also suffering from medical support and medical aid because of lack of medicines. this isa because of lack of medicines. this is a tactic used by the regime to force people into submission. it doesn't seem likely are going to have a happy ending at the end. 0nly 29 people were allowed out. many more are waiting to be evacuated. thank you very much. the company that ran grenfell tower is handing back control of its other properties to the local council, saying it can no longer give tenants the service they expect. the kensington and chelsea tenant management organisation has responsibility for 9,000 properties, as andy moore reports. grenfell tower is owned by the local council, but it was run by one of the largest tenant management organisations in the country. this body manages thousands
of properties in the area. it was this management organisation that made the now controversial decision to refurbish grenfell tower in cladding suspected of fuelling the fire. both it and the local council are now under investigation by the police, over possible corporate manslaughter charges. the organisation has now sent out a letter saying it would be in the best interests of all residents that the services which the tenant management organisation currently provides are handed back to the council. the handover, which will start at the end of next month, means the royal borough of kensington and chelsea will take over repairs and day—to—day running. but a resident on the grenfell recovery scrutiny committee says the council isn't up to the job of running a large housing stock, when, he claims, it has failed to deal effectively with the aftermath of the fire. and there's also a fear the tenant management organisation could escape criminal responsibility if it ceases to be a functioning company. the organisation said
that wouldn't happen. the royal borough of kensington and chelsea said it saw this as a temporary measure and residents would ultimately decide how they wanted their homes managed. for the survivors of grenfell, who recently attended a memorial at st paul's cathedral, this comes as one more complication after the rejection of a special panel to work with the public inquiry and reported delays in special christmas payments. andy moore, bbc news. a man who is serving a 20—yearjail sentence for throwing acid across a packed london nightclub, has pleaded guilty to being in possession of a prohibited item in prison. 25—year—old arthur collins hid a mobile phone, 25—year—old arthur collins hid a mobile phone, two sim cards and two usb sticks in a crutch, while he was on remand in september. he was awaiting his trial over the acid attack, in which 22 people were injured. workers could see another year
without a pay rise, that's according to the resolution foundation think—tank, which looks at living standards in the uk. it said a year—on—year rise in real pay wouldn't be noticeable until december next year. the government says it's cutting taxes for millions and raising pay through the national living wage. the headlines on bbc news: it is 14 minutes past three. the first of a group of critically ill syrian children are allowed to leave a rebel—held area of damascus. motorists are being warned that snow and ice are causing travel disruption in england and wales. prince harry sets out how he views his role as a senior royal. he promises to remain above politics, but shine a light on certain issues and causes. sport. a full round—up.
sport. a full round-up. there finally been a bit of christmas cheer for finally been a bit of christmas cheerfor england finally been a bit of christmas cheer for england as the former captain alastair cook made his first ashes century for almost seven yea rs. cook's knock helping england close on 192—2, after stuart broad had earlier returned his best figures of 2017 taking 4—51 to spark an australia collapse. patrick gearey was in melbourne for us. this wasn't the day we were expecting, we thought we would see steve smith at the mcg, the australian captain, make a huge score on a scorching day. smith not been dismissed at this ground in a te st been dismissed at this ground in a test matches in three years. imagine everyone's surprise test matches in three years. imagine eve ryone's surprise when test matches in three years. imagine everyone's surprise when smith played one onto his stumps after 30 minutes given tom crone his first te st minutes given tom crone his first test wicket and what a wicked. mitchell marsh mind next in the same way to chris woakes. stuart broad andjimmy anderson, england. most successful bowling partnership of all time took charge. broad bowled
with great skill for his four wickets. in answer to those who called for him to be dropped. australia were eventually all that for 327, losing their last seven wickets for 83 runs. in reply, england lost mark stoneman to a superb caught and bowled to nathan lyon. the greatest of all time, he is known as gop tea. the evening session was all about alastair cook. he scored his first 50 of the series at was dropped by steve smith on 66 and ended up scoring his century in the last over of the day. finished alongside the captain, joe root. australia frustrated in the sweltering heat. it may be too little too late for the ashes but england have had their best day of the series so far. they are still fighting. we created quite a lot of pressure yesterday that we were rewarded with wickets. we were very patient, yesterday. when it reversed a bit, things could have gone slightly differently for us. today, we got lucky with a couple of chop ons and
a couple of wickets. australia were disappointed probably but we were delighted with them. it's been a pretty tough couple of weeks, really. but it makes playing and taking wickets very rewarding. vitaly mutko has stepped down from his role as chief organiser for next summer's world cup in russia. to concentrate on work. it's been a turbulent month for russia's deputy prime minister, he temporarily left his post as the russian football union presidentjust two days ago. this comes off the back of his life ban from the olympics at the start of december after having been accused of running a huge "state—directed" doping programme. record breakers, manchester city show no sign of slowing down, they head to newcastle later tonight with an unprecedented 18th successive premier league victory in their sights. pep guardiola's side side looking to extend that domestic record, with the european record of 19, incidentally also held by guardiola when he was in charge of bayern munich, on the horizon. but even though newcastle are just one point outside the relegation
zone and with just one win in ten games, he's approached this match as seriously as any other. we wina we win a lot of games. that is why we are happy. 0ur lives are better when we win. it is simple, like that. but i'm not going to sleep thinking about it, that i am going to break record. it is nothing special. it is newcastle. —— going to break a record. i couldn't see them. now, christmas time, i to break a record. i couldn't see them. now, christmas time, lam going to sit down with my staff's laptops and i will try to discover what they do. and keep our... keep out pace what they do. and keep our... keep our pace and intensity with the ball, that is our target. bath have been fined £60,000 for releasing taulupe faletau to play for wales in their autumn international against south africa. the match fell outside the official
international window allowed by premiership rugby. bath say they understand the position but they're pushing for a resolution to the conflict between club and country schedules. that's all the sport for now. tesco has apologised after people complained turkeys they bought from them for christmas lunch were rotten or gone off. the traditional turkey was the centrepiece of tesco's christmas ad campaign this year, but the supermarket‘s social media feeds featured angry customers complaining their christmas meals had been ruined. the supermarket chain has apologised and promised to investigate. well we can speak now to megan french who is a consumer rights expert. if you were one of these people that was sold a dud turkey, what should you be doing? anything you should buy should be satisfactory quality.
if it isn't up to that standard, you should get your money back at the very least. a refund, is that enough in this particular instance? christmas is a pretty special time of year, isn't it? yes and the difficulty is that you can't pop out to another shop and get a replacement. in this instance, there is nothing to stop you asking for further damages as well. it remains to be seen whether tesco will offer goodwill gestures, but there is nothing to stop you from asking. it's worth noting that if you decided to throw the turkey away, you can simply take your receipt back and or proof of purchase and get your money back. you don't necessarily need to have kept hold of this turkey if it's just wasn't up of this turkey if it's just wasn't up to standard. what would be a cce pta ble up to standard. what would be acceptable goodwill gesture in particular case? it's hard to say, isn't it? we have heard people say their entire dinner was ruined because they used part of it to make the gravy, for example. it will be a
case—by—case basis. it comes to being reasonable. adding up what you think it has cost you. at any evidence you can add to prove that... if you happened to take any pictures of your christmas dinner, for example, showing the kind of trimmings you had, that kind of thing could help. any receipts showing the rest of your christmas dinner, but don't be afraid to write it all down and put it in writing to tesco, just exactly what impact this had. if you think that this... ruined your christmas dinner. tesco have come forward with a goodwill gesture of £75. but we did hear from one family today on bbc news, that people had travelled from abroad to be together. they were treated very well when they had actually gone to a tesco store to raise the matter with the manager. what would you do in this instance? if i'm complaining, must admit i prefer to put it in writing. you can go via the online customer services with
tesco. if you find that easier. write it all down. document exactly what happened. if you've got family come in, say how far they have travelled from. some people can find complaining a bit daunting. if you find it easier, sit down and write out that e—mail. write it out on the website, whatever suits you. if you are going into store, don't be afraid to take some notes, just so you remember all of the things you have been affected by. it takes the sparkle off christmas and shopping, doesn't it? thank you very much. let's stay with this and hear what tesco have said. tesco say they will be offering customers a goodwill gesture of £75. they have issued a statement saying: retailers are warning that a sharp rise in shoplifting is being fuelled
partly by police forces, who are not investigating the theft of items worth less than £200. persistent offenders are exploiting a change in the law, which allows for more minor cases to be dealt with by post. the government says it doesn't diminish the seriousness of the crimes, and has been working with police and retail organisations such as the association of convenience stores to find the best ways of tackling retail crime. a little earlier, james lowman from the association of convenience stores told me that ineffective enforcement is leading to an increase in costs for customers. there are many police and crime commissioners and police forces who say we're not going to go out and investigate crimes, at that level of theft. the concern is that sending that
message to criminals could be having this effect where they are very cynically saying, "w will steal up to that amount and we know the police won't come out". "we will steal up to that amount and we know the police won't come out". there's a separate issue which is linked to that which is if someone is caught stealing goods up to that amount, they can be dealt with through a fixed penalty notice. so, you get a ticket for that, essentially and then you can pay that. those shouldn't be used for repeat offenders, they shouldn't be used for people with drug and alcohol problems. they shouldn't be used when there is any exacerbating circumstances like any violence or threats around that incident. but too often they are used and they are used in those circumstances. and too often, they're not paid. these two things together are combining to make our members, retailers, feel very exposed to the threat of shop theft. they are the victims of that incident. it also means we're not intervening with the people committing shop theft early enough. that can mean they graduate onto more crimes. it can also mean, if we're talking about drug addicts and people with alcohol problems, they're not getting
the help that they need at an early enough stage. and so the problem cycles on. have you seen evidence that it is fuelling people to go on to bigger crimes? there is certainly evidence of that. there are different types of people, different examples of different groups behaving in different ways but there is a group that definitely starts with shop theft. 0ften starting with their local shop. and then they graduate through higher—value items, you know, in oxford street and major centres. and then they move onto other crimes. absolutely, we see that. but, day—to—day, the biggest problem is people with drug and alcohol problems who aren't being helped as well as our members not been, as well as our members not being helped by these crimes not being investigated. so what would you like to see? two things on both those levels. the first thing is police have got to work very closely with retailers to try to tackle crime and to establish really good reporting mechanisms. it means retailers who can send good cctv images, who can pass on intelligence about who might have committed the theft. but to do that they need
to have the faith that the police are then going to investigate. and then the other side of the coin is that the criminaljustice system will take those events as seriously and will pursue people through the courts. we don't expect that everyone, every shop thief, is going to necessarily end up in prison but there needs to be intervention, which might mean that some people go to prison. it might mean other community—based sentences. or it might mean help and support, for some of those people because of the problems they're facing. and this, sort of, stepping back and simply not intervening is just letting all of those problems cycle potentially out of control. why aren't the police following through? why, when it gets to the courts, are there not these convictions? what are you hearing as to why this isn't taking place in the first place? it is a resource decision for the police. and i sympathise with the police, they are faced with a diminishing resource, they are faced with a whole range of priorities, and they do generally investigate, where there are instances of violence and so on. we obviously want even more of that
support on those sort of incidents. but it has basically been de—prioritised away from being something that the police are likely to deal with and put up their priority list. so, we need them to readdress that, and see what impact that is having on crime more generally, and whether that is leading to people cycling into different types of crime, by not tackling it at that stage. and the other part of it, as i say, the courts have to take this seriously when it gets to them. what protection do your members have against these crimes at the moment? at the moment, their protection is mainly coming from themselves, it's mainly coming from cctv, and other crime—prevention measures they have in store. some retailers tag high—value products, so the tag cannot be removed, or it sounds an alarm when that product leaves the store... i'm thinking more in terms of reimbursement, because £200 will add up. you know, we hear about this value of £200. are they insured? how can they get that value reimbursed? well, this is one of the great myths that retailers are now insured, and it's somehow a victimless crime, and it alljust
feeds into the system. it absolutely doesn't. retailers are not insured against shop theft. that is coming directly out of those retailers‘ pockets, so the actual cost of that, to put it in context, every single transaction in a convenience store, and there are 50,000 convenience stores in the country, every transaction across the course of the year, the cost of crime adds 7p to each single transaction. the measures they have to invest in trying to prevent it, and the cost to their bottom line, so actually everyone's suffering. ultimately, retailers have to make that back through what they charge to customers, so ultimately the customers are paying for this. 7p for every single transaction in convenience stores. some breaking news. does my people have died following a crash in sheffield. the crash was on christmas day. the two people have been named. pc dave fields and lorraine stevenson. we don't know if they win the same car 01’
we don't know if they win the same car or the exact details but south yorkshire police are saying the two people who were involved in two different ca rs people who were involved in two different cars following a crash in sheffield on christmas day have died and has been named as pc dave fields and has been named as pc dave fields and lorraine stephenson. more on that as and when we get to this. that return to this terrible weather. the runway at stansted airport was closed twice and we have had ﬂight airport was closed twice and we have had flight cancellations. simon jones is at stansted airport. where are we at the moment? closed, opened? it is open and operational. the snow has stopped falling. unfortunately it doesn't mean an end to the problems. the airport had... interference just after 9am this morning. and then the airport reopened. they had to shut the
airport, the runway, temporarily, for around 15... airport, the runway, temporarily, for around 15. .. interference since thenit for around 15. .. interference since then it has been open but it has meant a big backlog of flights. lots of the airport strip again for about 20 minutes. interference people on twitter are complaining that they we re twitter are complaining that they were boarded, went on flights and lots of delays. 16 ryanair flights have been cancelled. interference check your flight is taking off before you go to the airport. interference back to this airport, they are also finding their flights into sta nsted also they are also finding their flights into stansted also delayed. before you had to the airport... interference people in other parts... interference we are going to leave it there, simonjones at