this is bbc news, i'm rebecca jones. the headlines at 8pm. it's the end of the line for northern — the troubled rail operator is losing its franchise — and being taken back into public hands at the beginning of march you know, i even don't get on because it's too busy. and i've had to wait for the next train, and even sometimes the train after that. at one point we had a game with the northern rail twitter account which was how many people can be fit into your toilet, which is eight, if you want to know. as the authorities in china fight to contain the spread of the coronavirus — britons being evacuated from wuhan are told they'll have to spend two weeks in quarantine.
a lawyer representing the victims of the grenfell tower fire has criticised a request by companies, involved in the building's revamp, to be guaranteed protection when they give evidence. 999 under pressure, every week — thousands of seriously ill patients are waiting more than an hourfor an ambulance. singing it's farewell — as the european parliament says goodbye to the uk. and coming up — with two defunct satellites in danger of smashing into each other in orbit, we'll speak to an astronomer to find out what the effects of such a collision might be.
very good evening and welcome to bbc news. the railfirm northern is to be nationalised. the transport secretary has announced the troubled rail operator will come under government control from the first march after years of major disruption. grant shapps has ordered bosses of the new public—sector operator to come up with a plan to improve the service for passengers. tom burridge has travelled across the vast network and has been hearing what impact an unreliable train service has had on people's lives. i've had to move house to be closer to uni because the trains are cancelled, or late, and i really struggle to get in in time for lectures and stuff. so, it's been really hard. you've moved house because of an unreliable train service? yeah. i've, like, moved towns completely. quite a lot of people, including myself, will end up spending an extra £100, £150 a week sometimes on taxis
because the train hasn't come, i need to be in work. so, i'm a head chef at the moment. if i don't get in, people don't eat. because i use the train for university. so, like, if there are delays, i get late for lectures. so, ifeel like it's better if you drive. i've lived in the south—east. there, they've fantastic trains, millions and millions of pounds spent. in the north — north—west, particularly — they've never had any investment, and it's an absolute disgrace! it's all over. this franchise has failed. i've not been on time once to work in four months. it can't get worse, so i'm just... any change is good change, in my eyes! but nationalising this vast network — which runs from the humber, in the east, to places like blackburn, further west, linking communities to cities like leeds — won't change things overnight. the branding might change, but old problems will persist. ancient infrastructure, on a crowded network. it's not going to change
immediately because you're going to get the same trains, driven by the same crews, running on the same track. there's no one party that the blame is attributable to. number one, department of transport, successive governments, because they have failed to invest in the railways in the north for the last 30, 40, 50 years. northern‘s parent company said it did what it could. we have been trying to put more services on the network, but the network hasn't kept up, and that has meant that services have become far too unreliable and, rightly, a new plan is now needed. this isn'tjust about northern. this train company, transpennine express, has also been losing money and failing its passengers. in parts of the country, the rail franchising system that we've had since the days of privatisation is on its way out. the government wants performance—based contracts instead. so, rather than this franchise system, which i think has now run its course, have a system of service contracts for passengers, perhaps over a longer period of time.
and most important of all, they get paid when they actually do theirjob, when trains turn up on time. at the moment, that is not the system with our network. whatever the system, whoever‘s in charge, passengers want basic things. i'm late for everything i do. i'm not going to lie, like, one time, ijust cried because my train was cancelled! they laugh but it's horrible, because itjust affects all your plans. and when you just want to get home from work, it's just the little things like that, when you just want to go home and spend time with your family, you can't even do that. it's a massive impact. we can now speak to nigel harris the managing editor of rail magaine, who joins me via webcam. let us pick up with but this passage is one, are they going to see improvements? i'm afraid not. not substantially. tom put his finger nearly on it and some of the passengers did. most of the problems that northern are suffering from,
and northern is not without fault, its managed very badly, 75% of the issues are a direct result of government control and government decisions. that's not going to change. whoever runs that franchise cannot magic infrastructure improvements or new trains or these working issues. once they have actually nationalised today is the blame of. and he's going to find out about it pretty soon. what happens next? if this is not the magic bullet to solve everything surely these decisions will catch up with ministers if what you're saying is true. it is true it's absolutely the case. these decisions will catch up because you cannot magic those solutions out of thin air. and they will continue. there will be some tinkering around the edges and more new trains. they will say it's because of their involvement. but the reality is that most of this is doctor government meddling and interference orjust greedy
franchises with impossible timetables for squeezing too much money out of them and it's all coming home to roost. am i right that they took how nearly £80 million of dividends in the last four years? but the profitability on a train operating company is about 296. a train operating company is about 2%. which is a sliver. it sounds like a lot of money but over four yea rs like a lot of money but over four years that's a pittance. let's put it another way around, if the government had kept the £83 million oi’ government had kept the £83 million or whatever the sum was, could it have run the passenger network for that? the answer is no way. government control will cost more. we hear that the expresses feeling as well. as a matter of time in your view that this is going to happen to another rail franchise in the immediate future? absolutely. there's a number franchises all sharing the bed nearest the door. .
greater angle you have got issues. this is a common problem because of the way that dft has squeezed to the railway for money and produce deals which have timetables which are impossible to deliver. let's not forget although they are not without fault it was the government that cancelled the infrastructure improvements around manchester which of the heart of most of the problems here. you have this timetable specified by government over a railway but have cancelled the infrastructure investment, that's government. it's impossible to run a railway with those circumstances. forgraham to railway with those circumstances. for graham to stand there and say this is unacceptable and asked for improvements is hypocrisy. they stand behind their responsible for a lot of this. i think you have made your point but i'm interested in
final thoughts. the final decision on whether to proceed with hs two is expected this week. do you think this decision will feed into that one? that you railways fit into each other because you cannot have hst without the improvements in the north. hs two has got to be built. or problems like this will get worse. our existing railways are full and this is the problems you get when you have eight badly set up main line which is not well it becomes full. so they are very much dependent on each other. nigel harris from rail magazine. thanks for your time. and we'll find out how this story — and many others — are covered in tomorrow's front pages at 10:40 and 11:30 this evening in the papers — our guests joining me tonight are the daily mirror's political editor pippa crerar and the spectator‘s deputy political editor katy balls. 200 britons being flown back to the uk from the chinese city worst affected by the coronavirus —
will be put in quarantine for 1h days. it's not yet known where the passengers arriving from wuhan will be housed— the government says they will be put in ‘supported isolation'. a flight is expected to arrive tomorrow. british airways has also suspended all direct flights to and from mainland china because of the outbreak. map)the virus — which was first detected in wuhan — has caused more than 130 deaths, spreading across china and to at least 15 other countries. our china correspondent john sudworth reports. safely out of wuhan. a plane arriving at a california air base, with 200 americans on board. earlier, japan got a flightful of its citizens out, touching down in tokyo. it's the night before the great escape... but the brits are still only preparing to leave. kharn lambert‘s grandmother, vera,
stuck here on holiday, is running low on her medications. how do you feel about going home? delightful! there's frustration with the uk government. i think it's been an absolute shambles, to be honest with you. erm, i don't think the government have really known what they've been doing. i don't think they've had as much contact with the chinese authorities as they say, because if they had, you know, i would assume that they had been getting the same information that the americans had got, that the japanese had got, and they'd have been able to put plans in place sooner. despite the lockdown, infections in wuhan are still rising rapidly and anyone flown home from here faces two weeks in uk quarantine. maeve clarke, a lecturer from birmingham stuck in wuhan, says she understands why. i think it's a good precautionary measure. it's in line with what other governments are doing as well. and i think it gives reassurance
to people back home, back in the uk, that the right steps are being taken. much is still not known about the virus, but across china, few are taking any chances. villagers are putting up roadblocks and shutting out the world with great barriers of earth. "no outsiders are allowed in at all," this man tells me. beyond the human cost, for china, there's another impact to all of this — fear. with countries beginning to advise against travel, with airlines cancelling flights, and with whole villages cutting themselves off from the outside world, the economic cost is likely to be severe. my name is nick... for some uk nationals, escape is not an option. nick house is british, but his wife's from indonesia. she's been told she can't get a place on the plane.
they face more long weeks of uncertainty, in a ghost city. even a few hours ago some brits and wuhan were told they were waiting for phone calls to tell them whether they are on this fight and what time it is leaving. in addition, many of them don't even know how they will get to the airport. this is a city in which all public transport has been suspended. this was once one of china's most dynamic and connected cities. in a stroke this virus has hit one of the hardest places to leave on the planet. in the last hour, we've had some breaking sports news related to the coronavirus outbreak — sarah, what has world athletics announced ? and it's a busy night for football. we've had that news coming through in the last hour. the 2020 world athletics indoor championships have
now been postponed. have been postponed — due to be held from 13—15 march but the governing body world athletics have pushed them back 12 months. world athletics sought advice from the world health organization and turned down offers to host from other cities. nanjing is around 370 miles from wuhan in a statement they said the advice from their medical team was that"the spread other sport also affected — tennis tournament moved, ski event cancelled. formula 1 are monitoring events ahead of the grand prix there in april. today chinese women's national team in quaratine in brisbane australia ahead of olympic qualifiers.
addictively devastating for those athletes focusing on these chevy chips. a busy night in football. —— particularly devastating. it's the second leg of the league cup semi final between manchester city and manchester united city take a 3—1 adavantage into this tie from the first leg at old trafford. still goalless with approaching 30 minutes gone there. the winners will play aston villa after they beat leicester last night. premier league leaders liverpool look to go 19 points clear. they're at west ham. and in scotland — olivier ntcham has celtic 1—0 up at stjonstone. rangers and ross co is goalless. rangers are five points behind celtic, but do have a game in hand it's also semi final night in the women's league cup. both manchester teams
in action there too — although not against each other this time. looking good for them. vivianne miedema has arsenal a goal up early on in that tie. manchester united chelsea — goallessthey got under way at 7.30 the wait for a record equalling 20th grand slam title goes on for rafa nadal. the world number one is out of the australian open. he'll have to wait for another chance to tie roger federer‘s record. the spaniard was beaten in the quarterfinals by the austrian dominic thiem in what was a four set thriller in melbourne. with news of that and the rest of the day's play, here'sjohn watson... we have witnessed a huge upset on day ten. the rule number one knocked out by the fifth seed, dominic thiem. it came from a topsy—turvy match. before rafael nadal took back
the third set before dominic thiem had those three match points taking it on the third in that fourth set tie—breaker. means is the earliest exit from buffy nadal since he lost at this stage of the tournament back in 2018. dominic thiem marches on in the semi finals where he will face alex is very rather. after that victory promise to donate the winners tear, around £2 million to the bushfire relief effort if he goes on to win the tournament this year. in the women semi final that's all completed, we saw simona halep progress to the last four and she will play. all then to the women semi finalists will be played tomorrow. rule number one, big australian hope in action against sophia. and simona halep will be in
action two. also see roger federer in the men's singles. the big talking point today that exit of rafael nadal here. that's all the sport for now. you can find more on all those stories on the bbc sport website. in the latest football transfers was just 48 hours to go. thank you so much for that update. more now on the coronavirus outbreak: and the health secretary, matt hancock, is chairing a meeting of the government's emergency committee this evening to discuss the british response to the coronavirus outbreak. the world health organization says the whole world needs to take action to stop the spread of the new virus. here's our medical correspondent, fergus walsh. this was the last british airways flight from mainland china, arriving at heathrow this afternoon from shanghai. another flew in from beijing. it follows the foreign
office advising against all—but—essential travel there. the suspension of ba flights to and from mainland china is until friday, but may be extended. my worry was, i thought, well, if i get it and i go into hospital, i'd rather go into hospital over here than over there, where you'd just be a number, wouldn't you? i couldn't speak the language, or... he laughs. so, here i am. the health secretary, matt hancock, who chaired a meeting of the government's emergency cobra committee, said britons arriving tomorrow — on a repatriation flight from wuhan — would be quarantined for 1h days. one option is housing them at a military base, but the ministry of defence could not confirm this. i think that this is a pretty balanced response, actually, given the circumstances.
on the one hand, you have individuals who are marooned in china at the moment, and there's a responsibility to british subjects to look after their interests. against that, of protecting the british public, and making sure that we don't bring back people and actually cause an outbreak of this coronavirus in the uk. the new virus, which emerged in china, is a variety of coronavirus. they take their name from these surface proteins, which look like the tips of a crown. now, a lot of common colds are caused by coronaviruses, but in the past 20 years, three dangerous new strains have jumped from animals to humans. the sars virus emerged in 2002 in china and killed nearly 800 people worldwide — about one in ten of those infected. mers originated in saudi arabia in 2012. it's since killed around 850 people — one in three of those infected. the new china coronavirus seems
to be far less dangerous. it's unclear what the death rate is because thousands of infected patients are still in hospital, but it does seem much less lethal than sars and mers. now, it's worth pointing out seasonal influenza, flu, causes up to 650,000 deaths globally each year. as with flu, there's mounting evidence that the china coronavirus is contagious before people develop symptoms. it's passed through the air in coughs, or by people touching as with flu, there's mounting evidence that the china coronavirus is contagious before people develop symptoms. it's passed through the air in coughs, or by people touching droplets on surfaces. the virus infects the lungs, causing a fever, cough and, in some cases, breathing difficulties and pneumonia. the incubation period is generally three to seven days, but may be up to 1a days. the next two weeks will be crucial in seeing whether this outbreak peaks in wuhan and how much it spreads in and beyond china.
fergus walsh, bbc news. we can speak now to dr nathalie macdermott who is a clinical researcher at king's college london's school of medicine. how should we view the danger of this virus in your review?” how should we view the danger of this virus in your review? i think that we don't need to be too concerned about this virus. we need to be concerned about the spread, yes but as was said in your report this virus does not seem to be quite as lethal as sars was, certainly no we are not seeing the same fatality rate as we did, it seems to be lower. at the same time still learning a lot about the virus and the most important thing we can do now is trying the spread of it and try and bring this epidemic under control. is this idea of a 14 day
quarantine for britain coming back to this region. that's a sensible proportion in your view, is it? to this region. that's a sensible proportion in your view, is mm certainly sensible that people be isolated from the general public and stay away from people that they could in fact. it's particularly difficult with this virus because we know that it is infectious during the incubation period, so that's the period before people get symptoms but after they have been infected. if you can be infectious at that point but don't know you are unwell it's very difficult for you to isolate yourself on symptoms, so we have to take that precaution and isolate people from the point at which they arrived back in the uk evenif which they arrived back in the uk even if they don't have symptoms. to move one step backwards wing of the chinese authorities are trying to control the spread by locking down cities, do you think they have done all they can to prevent the spread? i think the chinese authorities are doing the absolute best in a very changing circumstance all the time. it's very difficult to contain an
epidemic, and particularly one that is airborne and infectious during the incubation period. we really only learned over the last few days but it's definitively infectious during the incubation period, so they are dealing with the changing situation and the problem with quarantine is it also requires a general public to be on board with that quarantine. and whilst they can do everything within their power to do everything within their power to do that if people choose not to remain within the quarantine area that will continue to spread the virus. so far the population there seems to have been very compliant with this. but obviously it's difficult because you are dealing with a very large number of people. absolutely. how likely is it in your view that it will come to this country? i think is likely you might have a case at some point. having said that given that most airlines are cancelling major flights to china now it becomes less likely that it might spread here, but we
could well have a case with some of the people returning to the country in the next few days. but they will be identified and isolated very properly. we don't need to be concerned about spread of the virus in the uk. how close are we to a vaccine? i think the answer to that is not terribly close. we might be quite close to identifying targets for a vaccine and quite close to actually having something i could be used as a vaccine but the problem is that any product developed has to pass safety standards first and then pass safety standards first and then pass efficacy trials and that will ta ke pass efficacy trials and that will take several months if not sometimes yea rs take several months if not sometimes years to demonstrate efficacy. the priority is making sure that it's at least safe to administer to people that will take several months even when we have a candidate vaccine. should we all be wearing face masks? that's a controversial issue. the type of mask is the key. the type of
mask and how long you wear it for is important, and how it fits the person. some is wearing a very flimsy mask think it's very sweaty very quickly is unlikely to provide them with much protection. the most important thing is that we wash our hands and ensure we have good hand hygiene, and if people are unwell and wearing a face mask might be useful for them because that will prevent the droplets that they cough and sneeze out spreading far but for people who are well wearing a facemask and make sure that they get the right facemask and wear for the appropriate amount of time before discarding it. we are really grateful for your time. discarding it. we are really gratefulfor your time. thank discarding it. we are really grateful for your time. thank you so much for talking to us here at bbc news. some of the firms involved in the refurbishment of grenfell tower have asked for immunity from prosecution — some of the firms involved in the refurbishment of grenfell tower have asked for assurances their evidence will not be used in future
criminal prosecutions — before appearing at the second phase of the public inquiry which began this week. the request was met with disbelief by bereaved families and survivors. today, the hearing also heard an unreserved apology from kensington and chelsea council for "a number of failings". tom symonds reports. anybody who gives evidence that the public enquiry has the right not to incriminate themselves, because a public enquiry that let a series of companies to make requested it at the inquiry.- the chairman asked the government most senior lawyer to confirm that what they say here will not be used to prosecute them. the chairman was not pleased. it's very disappointing, i might even use a stronger word but the application is being made so close to the date for calling witnesses. this is an inquiry another court and and he would witness is legally allowed not
to a nswer would witness is legally allowed not to answer a question which will incriminate them. people living near the tower with friends and lost relatives are furious the question is even being asked. would like to hear the truth or like to prosecute us? which would you prefer? because frankly if you are saying that you will speak but only with immunity, what sort of question is that to ask people who have lost their families? it's a situation which is often the arisen in these things. all cases where there was a potential for criminal prosecution. the grant fell families will hear inquiry decision next week. what they did here today it was this. on behalf of the council it apologises unreservedly for those feelings. a small gay from the inquiry room. —— yay. that's
supposed to be the last check that it is safe. but they failed to recognise some barriers to stop the fire spreading had them installed. failed to identify insulation have been used and failed to even ask what cladding was planned. we have to stop there. at least those are some of the feelings the inquiry will not have to uncover itself. now it's time for a look at the weather with nick miller. milder weather is on the way. it is been such a wet day today in westerns, we have seen a bit more snow in the highlands but it isa bit more snow in the highlands but it is a rain rather than snow now as a growth of the rest of the week and into the weekend. at times blustery, cloudy as well but temperatures on the up and overnight still operates a rant running north over scotland and heavy rain. could see a bit of
drizzle here and churches going into the morning. no phosphorus thursday morning but a lot of cloud around. for the rent at times in scotland may be just fringing on the north of northern england and relate rent running across southern england withheld fog poor visibility. maybe later toward southern scotland and a blustery day wherever you are. very windy with the rain. and gus may be in excess of 50 mph. as for those temperatures well above where we started the week and as high as 14 celsius in some parts of england. hello this is bbc news with me, rebecca jones. the headlines. it's the end of the line for northern. the troubled rail operator is losing its franchise and being taken back into public hands at the beginning of march.
i don't get on because it is too busy. and i have had to wait for the next train and sometimes even the train after that stop with at one point we had a game with the northern rail twitter account where we asked how many could we fit? as the authorities in china fight to contain the spread of the coronavirus, britons being evacuated from wuhan are told they'll have to spend two weeks in quarantine. 0 oa o a lawyer representing victims of the grenfell tower... 999 under pressure. every week, thousands of seriously ill patients are waiting more than an hourfor an ambulance. singing. it's farewell — as the european parliament gives its final approval to the brexit deal,
sealing the uk's exit from the eu. and coming up, with two defunct satellites in danger of smashing into each other in orbit, we'll ask an astronomer what the effects of such a collision might be. more now on the news that northern is to be nationalised. the transport secretary has announced the troubled rail company will come under government control from the 1st of march after years of major disruption. our correspondent spencer stokes has been at leeds station tonight, and gave us the latest. thousands of commuters have been making their way home this evening, many of them travelling on northern rail which is one of the uk's biggest operators and a sense of relief from them that finally something has happened, that the owners of the franchise are being moved on as they were and as of the
first of march, the government will ta ke first of march, the government will take over. that does not mean they will see immediate change but they feel at least something is happening and gives them hope for the future. i was on one of their trains a few days ago and we saw the levels of overcrowded, the frustration amongst the passengers but interestingly also amongst the staff. this is my report. a snapshot of early—morning rail travel across the north, half an hour late and just two carriage between halifax and hall. passengers worn down after 18 months of delays, cancellations, strikes, and overcrowding. cancelled all the time. all the time. we have been waiting for since quarter pack ace this morning,. once on board no seat survey book, so even the train conductor is frustrated stop what we apologise for this overcrowding... conductor is frustrated stop what we apologise for this overcrowding. . i have been talking to them, they are aware of the situation and they will
probably do nothing about it. believe me, i have tried to do my bit. i sympathise with you all, sorry that the train is this busy stop yellow... book it is a continuous thing, it is bad service that needs to be through. today the government true in—line in sand cancelling the franchise. there are bigger and longer term issues as well but this is a clear seven that well but this is a clear seven that we will not put up with the commuters not getting trains arriving on time. what went wrong for northern? the company won a... but it was soon hit by a series of strikes in a row over the rules of guards on transfers up a big timetable change that increased services did not work out because track upgrades hadn't finished. nutrients designed to reduce over crowding was delivered late and that meant old fashion pacers were drawn —— withdrawn as to some —— promised
by december 2019. northern has failed to attract as many pastors as per data, so revenue is down and the government takes over szabo and nash... i am hoping nationalising is at least a start of an improvement for the service definitely. at least a start of an improvement for the service definitelyi at least a start of an improvement for the service definitely. i think if they are taking over, it means they are aware of the problem so they are aware of the problem so they should fix it. today northern blame external factors for the proms and the chairman of the company admitted there could be two years before pastors see big improvements stop it is going to be tough, there is an awful lot to store —— sort out here... i do think from where it is at the moment we should start to see things move on pretty quickly. another couple of years of transit turning up on time. building infrastructure does take time. one solution could be reducing the number of trains to run so they are not fighting for space in crowded
tracks. i think it is almost certain we will see trains removed from the timetable because in major cities like leeds and manchester, the infrastructure cannot handle the number of trains operating. network rail has been clear that the only way to move forward is to thin out the timetable. the government take summer on march one but there's a chance we will see scenes like this for many months to come. the contract will change hands on the first of march, that is when northern rail stops being a private company and becomes a public on one and 6000 staff will transfer over so there will be no jobs lost as conductors, those drivers, those back office staff will all move over. another franchise to walk his trans pen nine express here in the north. its performance is even worse than northern's. only 72% of its trains ever in a time today and has been called in to dft for talks about its future. that is our correspondent spencer stokes. let's speak to someone who is affected everyday by the northern service,
james greenhalgh. who runs flamingos coffee house in leeds and we are grateful that you join us. i know you travel every day on this line. give us a sense of what that expense is like. good evening. it isjust what that expense is like. good evening. it is just utterly awful. every single day we have problems right from open at the start of the day all the way through to close. yesterday for example my train was cancelled in the morning, my shop had to open late. last night i wa nted had to open late. last night i wanted to go home, the train was delayed. this morning the first train was late, we are packed in like sardines, i had to open the shop weight again. i had a evening event, shop weight again. i had a evening eve nt, eve n shop weight again. i had a evening event, even the artist who was supposed be coming tonight, all delayed. delay, delay, delay all the time it is really difficult for us businesses to be able to plan around that. i have been singing to a number of other business owners and managers in the city centre and staff since this morning and they are all in the same situation and it
is really us hard. quickly hitting your business hard, can you also give mea your business hard, can you also give me a quick sense of, do you have a season ticket, how much does that cost you quiz ever i think... have a season ticket, how much does that cost you quiz ever i think..i think it's about 70 or £80,, i think it is about £100 a month. if in my coffee shop if a customer came in and had a coffee and it was not good enough, i would and had a coffee and it was not good enough, iwould have and had a coffee and it was not good enough, i would have to give them their money back. i would be bending over backwards to make sure they come back. with the rail companies, you give best service, they say they give her much, we will take money and see you tomorrow. not the same time, just tomorrow. you have tried to completed told them how you feel? we have complained, everyone has complained for supper i have not complained for supper i have not complained for supper i have not complained for a long time because nothing happens! nothing happens at all. we get a generic, we're looking into this. thank you for your time, and that is about it. how much of a relief is today's announcement?m
isa relief is today's announcement?m is a relief in some senses that governments are taking action but the question is why have we been allowed, why has it been allowed to happen for so many years? it is obviously gotten really bad in the last few weeks but why has this been allowed to happen? it has just been did there and delay. i'm notjust on about the current government ministers, over years and years and yea rs, ministers, over years and years and years, there has been under investment in infrastructure, problems not been solved. we can't get people saying we have a problem with the train that needs fixing, it is in the depot. were they not investing in those depots getting fixed, wiring not getting things sorted out? they're going to be nationalised but let's be honest, it is going to be months and months and months before anything happens. is going to be months and months and months before anything happensi hope you get home on time, james. they can so much for talking to us. thanks. more than four thousand calls a week for ambulances in england involve waits of more than an hour for a crew to arrive.
emergencies that aren't immediately life threatening — but include heart attacks and strokes — should require an ambulance to arrive within 18 minutes. nhs bosses say there's rising demand and delays handing over patients at a&e. our health editor hugh pym reports. on the trolley. well, you were a bit unconscious at the time. dave relives his lengthy ordeal after suffering a heart attack. he was stuck on a trolley in the hospital. but before that, there was a two—hour delay, waiting for an ambulance to arrive. i thought i was going to die. i had massive chest pain, and then i got a dreadful pain right across my left shoulder, right to the spine. this is when she explained to me the difficulties they were having to have ambulances free to send out. my daughter and i were both getting very worried. he could have sat there and just died in the chair. we didn't know. category 2 ambulance calls — classed as emergencies that are not immediately life—threatening
and include strokes and some heart attacks — have a target of arriving within 18 minutes, but the bbc‘s figures reveal that one in 16 people across england were waiting over triple that target, more than an hour. it's certainly not easy to reach everyone as quickly as we would all like, but let's be very clear, all of our staff are working flat out to keep everybody... first and foremost, to keep all of our patients and everybody as safe as possible and to respond to as many patients within the response time targets. categories are slightly different in wales. there are 1,000 calls per week with waits longer than an hour. there are no comparable figures for scotland and northern ireland. he was a genuine, kind person. mark remembers his partner, darren. he died alone, from internal bleeding, waiting for an ambulance. it took nearly an hour and a half, including a delay mark understands was caused by incorrect categorisation of the call.
the fact is they told somebody who was dying that no ambulance was available. i don't think, but i don't know, that darren knew he was dying. but the fact is, that is the result of what they did. dave and ruth think they were let down by an under—resourced system. the situation — for our personal level — was a nightmare, but it wasn't the people's fault, it wasn't the staff's fault. long waits like that are often symptoms of wider problems, when ambulances are delayed handing over patients at crowded hospitals, so crews can't get quickly back on the road. hugh pym, bbc news. the uk's departure from the european union passed another political milestone this afternoon when the eu's parliament voted through the withdrawal agreement, which sets the terms for brexit on friday. it also marked the final time that britain's meps will take part in lawmaking in brussels.
our europe correspondent katya adler watched today's historic proceedings. with a resounding yes from many here with a heavy heart, meps from every eu country gave the green light today to the brexit divorce deal. applause. that's it, it's all over, finished. there's no stopping brexit now, and the uk's most well—known european parliamentarian was never going to go quietly. i know you want to ban our national flags, but we're going to wave you goodbye and we'll look forward to, in the future, to working with you as sovereign... inaudible. a controversial figure to the last, mr farage's mic was cut. could we please remove the flags? it's been an emotional day. mindful of future relations with the uk after brexit, the european commission president held out an olive branch, using the words of british poet george eliot.
only in the agony of parting do we look into the depth of love. we will always love you and we will never be far. long live europe. applause. but every single eu leader agrees, the block will be weaker without the uk. translation: it's a terribly sad day. we're losing some fantastic uk colleagues, but we, of course, respect the uk voters. anyway, it's not a goodbye, it's a see you again. there's something slightly surreal about this day, this week of goodbyes here in brussels, and that's because the day after brexit day, we enter the transition period. so, yes, legally we've left the european union, but while we're sorting out a new trade deal, practically, things stay the same. paying into the eu budget, accepting laws made here inside the european parliament, but we will no longer have a seat here at the decision—making table.
that is a lot of voices to lose. for some uk meps today, even emptying their post box at the european parliament was a symbolic event. it is a disaster, it's a huge disaster. europe is not going to go away. we are going to have to trade with them, we will come on holiday, we will move around, we want to drive around. the regulations will be made here, in this house, but there will be no british voice standing up for the uk when those regulations are made. but we're not quite there yet. the union flag has two more days to flutter outside eu buildings here before it's lowered on brexit night. # should old acquaintances be forgot...#. after approving the brexit deal this evening, meps marked the end of the uk's eu membership with song. old acquaintances certainly won't be forgotten here, but the eu—uk trade talks ahead promised to be tough. katya adler, bbc news, brussels.
the cabinet office secretary, michael gove, has said that once the uk leaves the eu there won't be a "hiding place for politicians", insisting mps won't be able to blame europe for any government policies. he was speaking to our political editor laura kuenssberg who's been looking into how uk politics could change after brexit. a new era opens. what does it hold? after four decades of membership, we are leaving the eu in two days. what is different now? the conservative party i think has changed, it's rediscovered some of the values and instincts that it's had in the past and it's our mission to ensure that we value everyone. after nearly a decade of austerity, after the tories presiding over a deeply divisive period, tearing each other apart over europe, some people just say it sounds an awful lot like brass neck, doesn't it, michael gove?
you learn from experience. in the uk, i think actually we have been blessed because the brexit referendum allowed people to say, "we want a reset of our political system." we won't be taking our own decisions until by the end of this year because we are in the transition period. we will still be following eu rules... it will end and as a result, there won't be hiding place for politicians like me. i can't blame europe. brexit means that politicians are no longer able to run away from the voters. high in the towers of parliament are held 500 years of records that tell our nation and europe's story. this is the law that took us into the european community. this is the law, the withdrawal act, that will take us out. and here signed by the queen herself just a couple of days ago, confirmation we will leave the eu and a couple of days. i think it might be worth it in the end, but it will take quite a lot of years for that
to be really evident. what will the tory party right about now? laughter. political parties will always find things they differ... it won't be whether to go ahead with brexit. as a former leader of the tory party, i hope they won't be fighting about anything. there won't be that dilemma. we are leaving downing street for the last time. that sore that's pushed out tory leader after tory leader. but the eu won'tjust disappear. brexit has not been done because we are about to embark on this hugely important negotiation about what kind of future relationship we will have with the eu that's going to affect every business, every part of the country. like about half of the country i shall feel sad on friday and the other half will be celebrating but we all have to accept the outcome. acceptance is not the same as accommodation. cheering. remember what this was like, day after day, night after night, cheers and arguments?
they seem faint echoes now. politics is different, already very different, but that does not mean that the tensions and concerns in our country have just melted away. the question of our departure is settled, but a lot is not. our history is written one chapter at a time. laura kuenssberg, bbc news, westminster. in a moment it'll be time for the latest headlines, but first — let me show you some footage that has just emerged from new south wales where firefighters have been tackling wildfires. now — i should say that the footage is mute, but i do want to show you it all — in its entirety. because it shows starkly just how quickly the fire has been spreading.
rhe pictures were released by the dunmore rural fire brigade. and they date back to january 4th. i think we're going to see the firefighters in the foreground they had been dispatched to protect houses that were being threatened in shoalhaven, after record breaking temperatures and months of severe drought fulled a series of massive fires. high winds hit the area a few minutes earlier than forecast, leaving the crews on the road to run back to their trucks to get to safety. you can see there nowjust how quickly the situation changed. gosh,
and just as the firefighters leave the scene as you can see, the fire basically started to spread across the road. and if the firefighters had still been there, that would've been so very dangerous. fire officials in new south wales have released the video in order to remind the population to follow alerts given by the authorities. the headlines on bbc news. it's the end of the line for northern — the troubled rail operator is losing its franchise — and being taken back into public hands at the beginning of march. as the authorities in china fight to contain the spread of the coronavirus, britons being evacuated from wuhan are told they'll have to spend two weeks in quarantine.
a lawyer representing the victims of the grenfell tower fire has criticised a request by companies, involved in the building's revamp, to be guaranteed protection when they give evidence. bbc news is cutting around 450 jobs under plans to save 80 million pounds by 2022. bbc two's newsnight, radio 5 live are among the outlets that will be hit by the job losses —— are among the outlets that will be hit by the job losses and, as previously announced, the victoria derbyshire programme will be taken off—air. the corporation is also carrying out a major restructuring of its news operation. in fewer than three hours from now at around 11.30, two defunct satellites are in danger of smashing
into each other high above the united states — potentially creating thousands of pieces of space junk. leolabs, a company which tracks satellites, says an old nasa telescope will come extremely close to a decommissioned us military satellite. in fact, they are expected to pass between as close as just 13 metres from each other, and at over 30,000 miles per hour. let's speak to jonathan mcdowell, an astronomer at the harvard—smithsonian centre for astrophysics. he joins us from massachusetts in the united states. we are so grateful for your time and ido we are so grateful for your time and i do feel i need to start by asking you how can we be sure that these two things won't smash into each other? we are not sure at all. it is entirely possible that we could get a coalition. the real problem is you don't know exactly how to predict with perfect accuracy where that satellite will be an hour from now, and the uncertainty of that makes it within the past that we may get a horrible cushion like we did in 2009
between two major satellites that created thousands of pieces of space junk. i want to come back to what the effect would to be. but first of all, what sort of size are we talking about with decent satellites because i did read somewhere that one of them might be the size of a truck, can that be right? the astronomy satellite that i used data from back in the day in the 1980s is about one tonne. it's a serious piece of kit. the other satellite which is a spy satellite that the us navy put up in the 1960s is much smaller, but it has long sticking out booms that are about 30 feet long. so they are both quite sizeable objects and will create quite a mess if they hit each other at 30,000 mph. tell us more about that mess, what would happen?“ at 30,000 mph. tell us more about that mess, what would happen? if you have a coalition like that, a hypersonic shock wave would go through both satellites reducing
them to small fragments which would then make thousands of passes through each other and then you would get all this debris, metallic debris from the satellite feeling the orbit that they use to orbit in and those will spread out over a period of months and years to make a sheu period of months and years to make a shell around the earth of shrapnel flying at tens of thousands of miles an hour that is a threat to other satellites. this is a particularly valuable orbit where a lot of weather satellites operate so we don't want to mess it up. how unusual is this or are these near misses or potential smash is quite common? they are getting more common as we put more and more satellites in space. one of the things about collisions is it can have ten times as many satellites, you have 100 times as many near misses. we had this one big collision ten years ago. there have been quite a few
near misses, some smaller objects, but it is quite rare to get to halos going to full hitting one another. it isa going to full hitting one another. it is a bit scary. on that note we must leave it unfortunately jonathan mcdowell but thank you. thank you. last night, we brought you a report about a glacier the size of great britain in western antarctica, which scientists fear could collapse. the melting of the thwaites glacier would cause a dramatic rise in sea levels, threatening to swamp many of the world's major cities. our chief environment correspondent, justin rowlatt travelled with the team of scientists on the biggest and most complex field survey in antarctic history. today, he looks at the challenges they faced. antarctica is the stormiest continent on earth, and west antarctica is the most remote and stormy part of it all, which makes it an exceptionally tough place to do scientific research.
so we've been filming out here for, like, i don't know, an hour and a half, and this is the result, and it gives you an idea of why it's so hard to operate here. all the planes are grounded. they're saying we won't fly anywhere for three days. it has taken years of preparation to get the scientists out here. ships brought hundreds of tonnes of fuel and cargo to a remote ice shelf. then specialist snow vehicles dragged it 1000 miles over land, across some of the toughest terrain and toughest weather imaginable. six people can do a huge amount, but we just truck along day from day. nobody really knows where we are, and then we just suddenly turn up! delivering bounty! the us provided air muscle, flying in the scientists and their equipment and ferrying everything down to the camps at the front of the glacier. then, the really hard work began. digging snow, and lots of it. the scientists need ten tonnes
of the stuff to fill what they call the "flubber" — a water container the size of a small swimming pool. this will be the most southerly jacuzzi in the world, i think! a bank of boilers heat the water to just below boiling and then it's sprayed down onto the ice, to melt a hole almost half a mile down to where the ocean water meets the glacier. only now can the scientists deploy their instruments. only by taking measurements here can we hope to get accurate predictions of how sea—level is going to rise in the future. even if it means arousing the curiosity of some of the creatures that live here. in terms of the answers that we can produce over the next six years, and the savings that that represents to people who are trying to predict sea level and build sea defences, this is a drop in the ocean and a really good investment. this year's work has confirmed that warm sea water is melting the ice here increasingly rapidly,
raising sea levels worldwide. the challenge now is for the rest of us, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preparing for the rising oceans we will face in the decades to come. justin rowlatt, bbc news, west antarctica. coming up at the top of the hour is outside source. i will be back at half past ten with a look at tomorrow's headlines after the news at ten. so don't go away.
hello, i'm ros atkins, this is outside source. the coronavirus continues to spread in china — with 6,000 confirmed cases. china's neighbours tighten their borders. airlines suspend services. and governments bring their citizens home. the world health organization urges all countries to take action. we are at an importantjuncture in this event. we as who believe these chains of transmission can still be interrupted. it's official. the european parliament votes to approve the brexit withdrawal deal — before the uk leaves the eu on friday. the uk is bid farewell with this musical sendoff.