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tv   BBC News  BBC News  February 22, 2018 8:00pm-8:45pm GMT

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this is bbc news. i'm martine croxall. the headlines at 8:00: haiti suspends oxfam operations in the country, as it investigates claims of sexual misconduct by charity aid workers in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake. it comes as unicef‘s deputy director justin forsyth resigns — saying he doesn't want coverage of his past to damage his current work. he was accused of sending inappropriate texts whilst working at save the children. hell on earth — the death toll rises again near syria's capital as government forces continue bombing civilians in rebel held areas. police say a letter containing a substance sent to st james‘s palace is being treated as a racist hate crime — it's reported the letter was addressed to prince harry and meghan markle. also this hour — the head of america's all—powerful national rifle association backs the president's call for armed security at schools across the united states. president trump says some teachers
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should be armed following the school shooting in florida in which 17 people were killed. on meet the author this week, my guest is sirjohn tusa, broadcaster and man of the arts, whose own story, making a noise, is also a portrait of modern britain. good evening and welcome to bbc news. the authorities in haiti have tonight suspended oxfam's operations in the country. they said the decision would remain in force while they investigated allegations that the charity's staff sexually exploited haitians after the 2010 earthquake. meanwhile, the deputy executive director of unicef, justin forsyth, has resigned. earlier this week, it was revealed he'd been accused of inappropriate conduct by three women when he worked at save the children. mr forsyth said he was not resigning because of the mistakes he'd made at the charity.
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0ur correspondent nada tawfiq is in new york. first of all, let's look at what is happening in haiti. what are the authority saying? well, the minister of planning and foreign aid said they would be looking into whether any they would be looking into whether a ny staff they would be looking into whether any staff from 0xfam sexually abused minors, there. they said 0xfam made a serious error in not alerting them immediately to the problem and they we re immediately to the problem and they were holding their own internal investigation. they added the alleged crimes were a violation of the dignity of the haitian people. some pretty strong language from the haitian government towards 0xfam. how long is the suspension of operations likely to last? well, they say the suspension will be in effect for two months, until they conduct an internal investigation.
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we know from 0xfam's own probe that seven members of the stuff left the charity in 2011, following, basically, acknowledgement that they had engaged in wrongdoing. what is not clear from the haitian government is whether that suspension will remain in place after their own investigation. for now, it will be two months until they have an internal inquiry. let's look at the resignation ofjustin forsyth. how big a blow is this going to be for unicef‘s credibility? i think we saw with the fa ct credibility? i think we saw with the fact thatjustin forsyth resigned that it was an ongoing issue, a kind of cloud over unicef. i spoke to an employee who said it became a huge distraction for them, carrying out a lot of the plans they had going forward , lot of the plans they had going forward, a lot of the mission. there was concern within unicef about this. so, the statement from the executive director really
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underscored the fact that unicef hopes to put this to one side. she says now that their mission to protect children is more important than ever. with that statement, it showed how worried unicef had been about as putting a cloud over their work and mission. what about the impact it could have had on funding, as we have seen with 0xfam not being able to bid for government grants in this country? yes, i think it is worth pointing out that unicef, about 50% of funding comes from government sources, about 30% from ngos and the private sector. they are expected to be completely transparent and held accountable. we have heard from the un secretary general‘s office and from unicef itself, saying that they were absolutely not aware of these allegations when mr forsyth was recommended to be the deputy executive director of unicef. so, you really have the united nations coming out to try to, again,
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distance unicef from this, give them some kind of protection. of course, it is going to have an impact when you look at the wider scope of sexual allegations affecting the charity sector. a lot of these ngos. we will have to see if unicef, like 0xfam, has any impact in funding, if it has had anything yet, but it is certainly a concern. thank you very much. police say they're investigating a letter sent to st james palace as a racist hate crime. scotland yard say it was delivered along with a package whose contents have been tested and found to be harmless. was reportedly addressed to prince harry and meghan markle. richard lister is here. what more can you tell us? the letter reportedly sent to prince harry and meghan markle was received at st james's palace ten yea rs was received at st james's palace ten years ago. —— ten days ago. police said that it contained white powder, purporting to be anthrax,
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but it was tested and found to be not suspicious. the incident is being investigated by the counterterrorism command, and those inquiries are continuing. today, the met released a statement saying that officers are also investigating an allegation of malicious communications, which relates to the same package and is being treated as a racist hate crime. clearly, that seems to refer to something written on this letter. the couple themselves have not made any comment. in fact, themselves have not made any comment. infact, it themselves have not made any comment. in fact, it has not been formally acknowledge that the letter was sent to them. of course, meghan markle is of mixed race, prince harry spoke out last november about the racist abuse he said she had received on social media. so, this would clearly take this to another level if, indeed, they were the target. 0ne level if, indeed, they were the target. one interesting thing that the police will be looking at, the following day, on february the 13th, another letter containing a suspicious powder was received at the palace of westminster, addressed
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to amber rudd. clearly, the police are going to be looking at whether 01’ are going to be looking at whether or not the letters are linked. thank you very much. and we'll find out how this story — and many others — are covered in tomorrow's front pages at 10:40 this evening in the papers — our guestsjoining me tonight are chris hope, chief political correspondent of the telegraph and jessica elgot, political correspondent of the guardian. around 400 people — many of them children — are thought to have died since sunday on the outskirts of syria's capital as government forces continue their bombardment of the rebel held area. hell on earth is how eastern ghouta was described today russia has said there is no agreement on a humanitarian ceasefire. just a warning, our middle east editorjeremy bowen's report contains some very distressing images. more air strikes, more bombs and more casualties. it is not letting up. armed rebels in eastern ghouta have shelled damascus, but enormous damage is being done by the syrian armed forces and their russian allies, deploying much more firepower in places where
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civilians live and die. two sisters, lur and ala were in their home when it was hit. warplanes bombed our building. now... ghouta. look at home. getting on for 400,000 people, terrified by the sight and sound of aircraft, are thought to be in eastern ghouta, which is the size of manchester. the syrians insist they are targeting terrorists but it's clear many children are among the wounded and the dead. improvised hospitals have been set
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up in cellars and basements during the years of war. now, though, the medics are at full stretch. dr amani ballur wanted to send a message to the people of britain. translation: we never wanted the war and we don't want to live under it. for the sake of our children who have been blown to pieces, for the sake of our children who died of hunger, what we are seeing every day has caused us to collapse, both humanely affected psychologically. we don't have anything more to offer, we are being bled out. dr amani was treating 12—year—old mohammed, who was dying. his mother had been cooking breakfast for her family when three air strikes came in. translation: i am here
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waiting for my son to die. at least he will be free of pain, i pray to god to end his suffering. but where are the arabs, where are the muslims? do we have had to appeal to israel? when my boy dies, he will go to heaven, where at least he will be able to eat. i'd like to die with him so i can look after him. syrians have cried so many tears in the seven years of war. the killing is escalating, not ending. and once again the world is watching from a safe distance. senior ministers are meeting at the prime minister's country residence to try to reconcile their differences over brexit. they're trying to reach agreement on their vision of the uk's future relationship with the eu after brexit. from chequers, here's our political editor laura kuenssberg. what could break the calm of the country? birdsong twittering across the home counties valley. spring's plucky early buds
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bravely making their way. the zooming arrival of the cabinets cars. that's what. darting into chequers, hoping perhaps the rural piece might provide inspiration. for more than a year, this group have been attempting to hammer out a compromise. but for decades, arguably, the tory party has been trying and not always succeeding. so, can they find one today? they are notjust here to enjoy the outdoors. but for vital talks. in a week the prime minister wants to tell the rest of the world more of her plan for brexit. the committee inside disagrees over how closely we should stick to the eu once we have left. some compromise, not a dramatic breakthrough, is what to expect. if you look at what happened back before the december european summit there was lots of speculation that the cabinet would not reach agreement.
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we all agreed a position, the prime minster took to brussels, and got a successful outcome and all of us in the cabinet are determined to get the best possible deal for every part of the united kingdom. every modern tory who has had the keys to this place has had to deal with splits over europe. government insiders suggest, though, it's only borisjohnson who is really likely furiously to dig in. one minister told me the brexiteers today will be reminded firmly of the consequences of failing to agree. but there are nerves and suspicion on both sides in the tory party and their outside rivals don't expect much. it won't last and what our problem is is that in trying to deal with the government and being responsible as an opposition, we never know from day to day who is in charge and what the policy is. the fact the committee has hidden away for hours tells you how sensitive this is and how hard it might be to find a deal. one former minister told me if everyone's happy at the end it's a fudge.
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for something genuinely to be decided someone will have to be unhappy. but there is a sense at the top of government now some political sacrifice is needed in order to make progress with brussels, even though theresa may well knows there are some in her party who don't want to tolerate hergiving any ground. yet whatever is decided here it is then time to persuade the european union. any negotiation needs compromise. the choice for government tonight is who has to give and who will take. laura kuenssberg. emma vardyjoins us laura kuenssberg. emma vardyjoins us from westminster. she got the memo about wearing red as well. where are the areas where there is less unity than they would like? well, we have been hearing rumours and evidence of division within the
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conservative cabinet. we have been hearing this for weeks about brexit. the tricky bit is trade. how closely will re—remain aligned with the eu rules and regulations after we leave, after we brexit, and in what areas might we break away? the sort of trade—off here is what ground might be given in terms of abiding by certain rules and regulations to retain greater access to the single market, or where might we want to go oui’ market, or where might we want to go our own way? broadly speaking, harder or softer brexit. that is what the cabinet has been divided on through these weeks and months. now it is crunch talks where they are looking to form some sort of agreement between the two sides. you will see them trying to bridge that gap between ministers to set out for the eu a clear vision of what britain once going forward. it is just that, it is a vision, and aim
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at this stage. whatever we set out, the eu 27 countries will need to find some agreement with us after this. so, within those four walls of chequers, within the beautiful property in the countryside, that is what will be thrashed out at the moment. they have been at it for some six hours, they are expected to go on until about 10pm. so far, your guess is as good as mine about how much agreement is being reached. we are not expecting to hear huge amounts of detail at ten o'clock tonight, probably just a amounts of detail at ten o'clock tonight, probablyjust a bit more of a broad outline as to the road to brexit, what we may hear from theresa may in her big speech in the coming weeks. it's a series of 13 speeches, they have not really got under way. if they have not decided what the vision looks like, what will they be talking about? jackie! — — exa ctly. will they be talking about? jackie! —— exactly. there has been political ambiguity, because of this nature that division has not been set out
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yet. we still have the speeches from david liddington and theresa may. it is that speech and what will be contained in it that she will be trying to get a broad agreement from around the table at chequers today. whether that is a form of words that keeps various sides of the cabinet happy, or whether it actually is her able to persuade certain ministers to give some ground, who knows? but it will be, particularly the details of what gets agreed today, will be revealed in that speech, rather than in an announcement at 10pm tonight. thank you very much. the headlines on bbc news: haiti suspends oxfam's operations in the country, pending the outcome of an investigation into sexual misconduct by staff after the earthquake in 2010. hell on earth — the death toll rises again near syria's capital as government forces continue bombing civilians in rebel held areas. police say a letter
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containing a substance sent to st james's palace is being treated as a racist hate crime, it's reported the letter was addressed to prince harry and meghan markle. sport now and a full round up, from the bbc sport centre. good evening. we begin with what has been an all too familiar script for celtic away from home in european competition — as brendan rogers side crashed out of the europa league, beaten 3—1 on aggregate by zenit st petersburg. despite leading 1—0 from the first leg, celtic fell behind afterjust eight minutes in russia. former chelsea defender branislav ivanovic giving roberto mancini's side the early advantage to level the tie. but zenit continued to dominate and some unfortunate defending allowed kuzyayev to give the hosts the lead before half
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time. meanwhile arsenal have just kicked off their europa league against osterunds fk — they started their match with a 3—0 lead from the first leg. it is currently 0—0 after 13 minutes. sunderland owner ellis short is prepared to give the club away for free, according to sources close to the club. the london—based american took control of the club 10 years ago and the bbc‘s been told he's open to offers if a buyer can be found to take on the championship side's substantial debt. that could be around £140 million, based on the last published figures for the year to july 2016. the pressure will be on british women's curling team tomorrow as they target that gold medal in pyeongchang during their semi final. a place on the podium for eve muirhead would see team gb meet their five medal target. earlier on the men missed out on their place in the semi final after they lost their play—off
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to switzerland 9—5. it was looking good for the men with just two ends to play, but a five—point stone from the swiss in the penultimate end saw them advance. we came in ourfirst olympics and we gave our best shot. we made the play—offs. we had a good game today, but it wasn't to be, sadly. a couple of things did not go our way, a couple of half shots, that is all it ta kes couple of half shots, that is all it takes against a team as good as them. there is plenty to look forward to going forward. just need to ta ke forward to going forward. just need to take some time and reflect on this experience and what we can take from it. eddiejones has madejust one change to his starting 15 for the six nations clash with scotland at murrayfield on saturday. nathan hughes will make his first appearance in this year's
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competition, while propjoe marler comes in on the bench having missed the opening two wins with suspension. here's our rugby union reporter chrisjones. well, nathan hughes was always going to come back in at number eight, given his return to fitness and the injury to sam simmonds. apart from that, the boss eddiejones has gone with the same 15 that grafted past wales last time out, a sign that england are settled and confident as they look to make it three wins from three this six nations. but how england go about things at murrayfield, a fortnight agojones and the players piled the pressure on the young wales fly—half rhys patchell. this time in their sights as the scotland playmaker finn russell, who has had a shaky start of the campaign. he is a world-class player, you know? he went on a lions tour. he did some fantastic things in the france game and we have two defend him very closely. it is a small country, batting above its weight. i small country, batting above its weight. lam small country, batting above its weight. i am sure we will feel that on saturday and we got to be up for it. this morning i spoke to them
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about the honour of being able to play in the calcutta cup. it is one of the most historic games in the rugby calendar. they feel honoured to play in this game and i want them to play in this game and i want them to be excited about playing in this game. at the same time, they have to know they have a job to do. this fixture is the oldest in rugby, laced with history. the england camp has been focused, almost clinical this week. for them, has been focused, almost clinical this week. forthem, murrayfield holds no fear. england have not lost their ina holds no fear. england have not lost their in a decade. meanwhile ireland will have to defend their record against wales on saturday without four players who toured new zealand with the lions last summer. andrew porter, who came on for tadgh furlong against italy last time out, will make his first six nations start in the front row while james ryan also replaces iain henderson in the pack. with robbie henshaw ruled out, bundee aki finds himself the more experienced test centre this time around. and chris farrell will also make his six nations debut. it will be an exciting weekend in
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the six nations! that's all the sport for now. i'll have more for you in sportsday at 10.30. president trump says he will consider a proposal to allow some school teachers in america to carry guns in the wake of the school shooting in florida last week which left 17 people dead. the idea is being backed by the head of america's national rifle association. wayne lapierre also accused those calling for tougher gun laws of exploiting last week's shooting for political gain. what they want are more restrictions on the law—abiding. think about that. their solution is to make you, all of you, less free. they want to sweep a right under the carpet the failure of school security, the failure of school security, the failure of school security, the failure of family, the failure of america's mental—health system. and even the unbelievable failure of the fbi. president trump has been meeting
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with state and local officials, and had this to say. i think we're making a lot of progress and i can tell you there's a tremendous feeling that we're that we're going to get something done. and we're leading that feeling i hope, but there's a great feeling, including at the nra, including republican senators and hopefully democrat senators and congressmen. our correspondent gary o'donghue is in maryland where the head of the national rifle association has been speaking. gary, how much support is there amongst the teaching profession for there to be security of this type in schools, with some teachers even being armed themselves? the support, if there is, is not particularly evident at the moment. one of the big teaching unions has come out against it. some of the teachers that went to the white house yesterday were not very keen on the idea either. donald trump says... i
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mean come he produces some statistics to say that most school shootings are over in three minutes, but it takes five to eight minutes for law enforcement to get there. that is his logic for saying some teachers, the ones he says are adept at it, should carry concealed weapons, so they can immediately fire back at the savage sickos, as he put it, and get paid a bonus on top of their salaries. that is the idea. as you say, it is backed by the nra, but it is not one of those things that the students from the parklands school have been talking about and calling for. they have been much more focused on things like assault rifles, the ease of which you can buy these pretty deadly, very deadly weapons. it looks as if there will be very little movement on that. donald trump has potentially mentioned raising the age limit for buying those. but the nra would be against us. how much room for manoeuvre will
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he have, when you think how many millions the nra give in political donations? i am sure there are some things that will get done, the tightening up or enforcement of the register, if you like, this register that most people agree is not very complete. it is the thing against which future people to see whether or not they have been convicted of a felony. in a sense, that is making the law, as it exists, work properly. the nra backs that. there is the question of these devices that can be fitted to semiautomatic weapons to turn them into automatic weapons. there are some possibilities of movement on that. i am sure there will be some sort of movement on the mental health issue. although, don't forget, donald trump did strike out an executive order passed by president obama which put restrictions on gun ownership for people with mental health problems. so, there will be a certain amount
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of turnaround on that. the availability of certain classes of weapons, the white house has said they are not considering banning whole classes of weapons. thank you very much. the number of eu citizens leaving the uk reached its highest level for a decade last year. net eu migration into the uk now stands at 90,000. but official figures also estimate that overall, there are still more people coming to britain than leaving. earlier our correspondent daniel sandford gave me more details. ever since the brexit vote, businesses and politicians have been keeping a close eye on the numbers of eu citizens coming to britain and leaving britain. today, we did reach something of a milestone. in the year to september last year, the number of eu citizens leaving britain for good reached 130,000 people. that is the highest figure that we have seen for a decade, the highest figure, in fact, since the financial crash. however, the number of people moving to britain to work was 220,000.
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so that is still higher, though that is the lowest figure forfour years. so, overall, the number of eu citizens coming to britain, minus the number of people leaving, is now around 90,000. that is the lowest figure since september 2012. why? well, statisticians at the office of national statistics warn that you need to be careful. there's all sorts of reasons why people move around the world. but it does look as if brexit is likely to have been a factor in all of this. certainly people that we have spoken to, who are talking about leaving britain or who have left britain, said they have done so partly because the pound that they have been earning is worth less on the international markets, and partly because this to feel less here. they feel less welcome here.
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britain's biggest energy supplier, centrica, says it's cutting 4,000 jobs over the next two years. the company — which owns british gas — saw a big drop in profits last year. it says political interference in the energy market was partly to blame. our business correspondent emma simpson reports. it's been a difficult year for centrica. today, the hard numbers. group profits down 70% to £1.25 billion. british gas has lost 1.4 million customer accounts and another round of cost—cutting, or thousand jobs to go, which the boss told me is partly down to the government's looming price cap on bills. it is about competition and what customers want but there is a third reason, there is a link between our cost efficiency programme and preparing for any price cap in the uk. we have got to be competitive and this measure means that we have got to drive more efficiency. and that's on top of 5500 job cuts they have already made. we need to have a long and serious look at this because we can't carry on losing these sorts ofjobs, often in economically deprived areas
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at this rate of knots. the government says britain's energy market isn't working. customers are being overcharged. that's why it wants to cap the most expensive energy bills. millions of british gas customers are still sat on so—called standard tariffs and paying through the nose for their energy bills as a result, and so whilst today's results have been bad overall, i think those customers will be surprised that british gas made a profit on their domestic supply business. it may not feel like it when you are paying the bills, but the energy industry is in the midst of change from government intervention, to new suppliers offering cheaper deals. savvy consumers have been switching, all putting pressure on the traditional big players. british gas has already reduced the number of customers on its most expensive default deals. but will that be enough
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to keep its core customers happy? emma simpson, bbc news. now the weather forecast. good evening. it is a quiet weather story at the moment, but the talking point will be the feel of things as we head towards the weekend and beyond. this evening, and overnight, we keep some clear skies. the exception as northern ireland and western fringes of scotland. here, that blanket of cloud will prevent temperatures from falling too low. elsewhere, the blue tones denoting temperatures falling below freezing. so, a cold start to friday morning. there will be some frost around as well. we will see a little bit of clouds filling in off north sea coasts and we keep some cloud across western scotland and northern ireland. but, sandwiched in between the two, blue skies and sunshine. but still not particularly warm out there, 5 or 7 degrees. a greater chance, perhaps, of seeing more sunshine. on the exposed north sea coasts from the start of the weekend, it will be breezy. that is just going to exacerbate that cold feel and keep some cloud across western scotland and northern ireland. colder still as we move out of the weekend into
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the early half of next week. the air comes all the way from siberia. this is bbc news. our latest headlines: haiti suspends 0xfam operations, as it investigates claims of sexual misconduct by charity aid workers in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake. it comes as unicef‘s deputy director justin forsyth resigns — saying he doesn't want coverage of his past to damage his current work. he was accused of sending inappropriate texts whilst working at save the children. russia says there is no agreement in the un ghouta, are appalling. the prime minister's meeting with senior colleagues at her country retreat of chequers is continuing tonight. they are trying to agree on britain's future relationship with the eu after brexit. and police say a letter containing a substance sent
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to st james's palace is being treated as. a racist, hater” , ,, ., . ., . crime, it's reported the letter was addressed to prince harry and meghan markle. more than a million students at dozens of universities across the uk face massive disruption for the next month after their lecturers walked out in a dispute over pensions. the university lecturers say changes to their pensions could leave them £10,000 a year worse off when they retire. but thousands of students, who pay more than £9,000 a year, say they will demand compensation if their studies are disrupted. {43g iig’fféflfil'fl h,f—wx} if, . 7 we are expecting things to grind to a halt really. deadlines won't be met. we are likely to lose about
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£10,000 a year. vice chancellors earn up to £280,000 a year so i have questions about why the money shouldn't be coming out of their salaries and not out of our pensions. the universities say a £6 billion deficit in the scheme means it is not sustainable and can only be maintained by making cuts tojobs and research. universities say they have offered a good deal but lecturers are not convinced.
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future. forfees to be reimbursed. when we signed up to university it was specified in the curriculum we would have a certain number of hours of contact time with our lecturers. anything short of that is a breach of the contract, of the £9,000 repaid. i think we should be compensated for that. i think it works out at over £1000 lost in contact time. this dispute is being fought over campuses across the uk. how this is resolved will have a significant impact on the retirement of thousands of lecturers and the future of millions of students. a six—year—old boy and his two—year—old brother have both died after a hit—and—run incident in the west midlands. the crash happened on thursday
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afternoon in coventry. a 22—year—old man and a 41—year—old woman have been arrested by police on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. new research shows anti—depressants are effective, and that many more people could benefit from taking them. the study, in the medicaljournal, the lancet, found 21 common anti—depressants were more effective than placebos at reducing symptoms of acute depression. here's our health correspondent james gallagher. why did the chicken cross the road? comedian christian talbot makes a career out of making people laugh. ..to feel safe. but off the stage he takes antidepressants in order to get from one day to the next. it did feel literally like a weight off my shoulders. i was less anxious. and i sort of feltjust more even, you know, not happy, but even. antidepressants are some of our most commonly—used drugs. 64 million prescriptions were handed out in england in 2016 and, yet, they are the source of huge debate. so many people take antidepressants that it seems remarkable there could be serious questions about whether they work, but some trials have hinted
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they have no affect, and for the fiercest critics, antidepressants are snake oil. but scientists think they have finally answered the question in a huge study. they analysed more than 500 clinical trials, including previously unpublished data held by drug companies. we found that all the most commonly prescribed antidepressants work for major depression and for people with moderate to severe depression and also we found that some of them are more effective than others, or better tolerated than others. the study assessed whether these drugs are effective in the short term. more work is underway to see how long any benefits last. however, there are still patients that don't respond to any form of treatment. the patient can be reassured that
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if they need antidepressants and they take antidepressants they are doing the right thing, but we can move on to the new most important questions, which is what we do with patients who don't respond to all available antidepressants. the study included 21 drugs, yet some to patients do not respond to any of them. how can we help them? another concern is too few people with depression get treatment. researchers estimate at least one million more people in the uk would benefit from therapies including antidepressants. james gallagher, bbc news. plans to increase the number of passengers using stansted airport have been submitted to the local council. managers want to raise the cap from 35 million passengers a year to 43 million. it's part of a five—year expansion project which will cost the airport £600 million. richard smith reports. any heart of the terminal at sta nsted any heart of the terminal at stansted today, any heart of the terminal at sta nsted today, builders any heart of the terminal at stansted today, builders are making space for new check in desks.
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outside, the first of 20 new aircraft stands are taking place. the study £600 million transformation, including a new arrivals terminal. although told to prepare a sta nsted arrivals terminal. although told to prepare a stansted airport for future growth. what you're doing is matching the timing or development with demand, and we think now is the right time to start planning for that demand, the right time to give airlines and our stakeholders the confidence and clarity as to what sta nsted is going confidence and clarity as to what stansted is going to be for the next ten or 15 years. the airports now handles around 26 million passengers a year. it is allowed to handle up to 35 million. it is applying to lift that 243 million passengers a year, lift that 243 million passengers a yea r, close to lift that 243 million passengers a year, close to the capacity of its current single runway. —— to 43 million. the campaign group opposing
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the last expansion is considering the last expansion is considering the airport's new request to grow. it is bad enough now. there are a lot of complaints about the noise, and the number of flights would go up, as! and the number of flights would go up, as i say, by 45%. you can imagine the impact of that.“ up, as i say, by 45%. you can imagine the impact of that. if its application is approved, stansted could operate more flights, although no more than currently allowed. the airport believes the impact would be minimal. emirates will begin flying from sta nsted in minimal. emirates will begin flying from stansted in june, minimal. emirates will begin flying from stansted injune, transatlantic flights resume in weeks thanks to a danish carrier. london's airport, only sta nsted danish carrier. london's airport, only stansted has current significant capacity for growth. bosses believe lifting the capacity to 43 million a year would benefit the uk economy and create up to 5000 jobs at the airport. the district council will now consider the application. ethiopia, sudan and egypt have got just six days to meet a self imposed
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deadline to resolve a dispute over the blue nile. it's all about what's going on in the north of ethiopia where a huge new dam is being built on the river. ethiopia says the dam is essential for its mission to produce hydroelectric power. but egypt is worried it'll threaten its water supply. in the second of his special series, alastair leithead reports from sudan on the potential impact there. the grand ethiopian renaissance dam is almost finished. africa's biggest hydro—electric power station has already bridged the nile. and sudan is waiting expectantly for the cheap power that will soon fizz across its border. but that is not all. the waters of the nile transform the sudanese desert into a land of plenty. first it grew cotton, a century ago, for british textile mills, and now there are vast circles of high quality cattle feed, mostly for export to the gulf. for sudan, the great advantage of this new dam is to regulate the flow of the blue nile. this, at the moment,
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is a dry season. they're having to dredge just so the pumping station can receive water to take to the fields. in the wet season, the level is as high as that platform — eight metres higher. that's what the dam is going to change. these are turbulent times. sudan's had a decade—long deal with egypt, but is now at odds with its northern neighbour over how much water the country can use. this is sudan's richest man. he owns a golf course as well as the cattle feed farms. for sudan, it's wonderful. i mean, it's really the best thing that has happened for a long time. and i think the combination of energy and regular water levels is a great blessing. cheap power to keep his cows cool and to bring faster
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development to eight sudan emerging from decades of crippling us sanctions. but egypt is firmly against the dam. the regional rivalries go back as far as the pyramids... ..the sudanese pyramids. egypt was once ruled from here, 2000 years ago. powers on the nile rise and fall, and ethiopia's influence is growing. water in general is becoming highly politicised, not only in this region but elsewhere, but i think if there is always, as in our case, between the three countries, if the political will is around involving the high—up authorities in three countries, i think it will work out. but the diplomatic row is far from settled. where the river's two great tributaries meet in khartoum, the blue nile from ethiopia supplies 85% of the water. and so the dam, and its ability to control the flow, is making downstream egypt nervous. in china, celebrations for the lunar
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new year are taking place. it's an opportunity for families to spend time together, and enjoy themselves. but in the province of hebei, not farfrom beijing, that enjoyment was for hardier souls only — as the bbc‘s tim allman reports. snaking through the mountains of northern china, for some people, this is their idea of fun. the world's longest glass suspension bridge has only been open a matter of weeks. this is the first time it welcomed guests for the lunar new year. a vertical drop of more than 200 metres. it is supposed to represent a dragon flying through the valley. translation: it is like an adventure to me. you look down and you see such a beautiful landscape.
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translation: it is scary, very scary. it is four metres wide and made of 1,077 glass panels. each one is only four centimetres thick. the whole thing weighs 70 tonnes. it is designed to take up to 2,000 people at a time, but they only let 500 on, just to be safe. thousands turn up every day, even if the climb up can be a little arduous. fun for all of the family, but only the bravest dare look down. tim allman, bbc news. goonhilly earth station in cornwall, set up almost 60 years ago — it's the oldest commercial satellite station in the world. and now plans have been announced to put it firmly on the space map, by turning it into a space communication base to track missions to the moon and mars. jon kay reports from the lizard peninsular. newsreel: upon the fantastic dish aerial of cornwall‘s
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goonhilly downs... since the 1960s, goonhilly has been making history, like receiving the first pictures from the telstar satellite. ..goonhilly marks an impressive step forward in international communication. and now this earth station will be the first place in britain which can direct missions into deep space. this is goonhilly dish number six. this antenna is 32 metres in diameter... also known as merlin. it rotates 360 degrees...
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