this is bbc news. the headlines at 3pm. three cheers for alexander blackman! supporters of a royal marine, who killed an injured taliban fighter in affection, celebrate and they learn he will be freed in a couple of weeks. alexander blackman was jailed for murder in 2013, but his conviction was reduced to manslaughter earlier this month. this is the moment we have all been fighting hard for. it's hard to believe that this day is finally here. the scottish parliament is expected to back nicola sturgeon‘s call for a second independence referendum, in a vote later this afternoon. a shake up of prescriptions — holidayjabs, gluten—free food and fish oils may no longer be available on the nhs to save money. a rape victim says she agrees
with thejudge in her case, who was criticised for warning that drunk women put themselves in danger. i think she was absolutely right in what she said, but it was taken out of context. she put the blame massively on rapists, not the victims. she just simply said to be careful, basically, which is smart advice. also this hour — cyclone debbie batters the australian state of queensland. people are told to leave their homes as winds of more than 160mph caused damage and power cuts. and the daily mail defends a caption about theresa may and nicola sturgeon‘s legs. telling critics who accused them of sexism to "get a life". good afternoon and
welcome to bbc news. a royal marine, who was sent to prison for killing an injured taliban fighter in afghanistan, has been told he will be freed in two weeks. sergeant alexander blackman had his murder conviction reduced to manslaughter earlier this month, on the grounds of diminished responsibility. he's now been sentenced to seven years, but has already served three years, which means he will walk free next month. our correspondent duncan kennedy reports. cheering. thejubilation was immediate and unrivalled. —— unbridled. marine veterans from a dozen conflicts gave full rain to their reloaf and delight. it was a euphoria shaped by the dignified reaction of black black country black's wife we are overjoyed at the
judge's decision to significantly reduce the sentence such that he can be released imminently. this is the moment we've all been fighting hard for. it's hard to believe that this day is finally here. that joy was matched by hundreds of marines, who've cam baned for four years to make this day a reality. i'm just overwhelmed. reduced to tears, if i'm honest. supposed to be a hard man and all that, but it's just broken me. i'm so relieved that justice has been done and black black country black is free. and alexander blackman is free. alexander blackman is free. alexander blackman is free. alexander blackman was an accomplished, decisive leader of troops, someone who had killed 20 #30 times for his country —— killed 30 times for his country. on this tourin 30 times for his country. on this tour in afghanistan in 2011, he and his friends went through what was called a tour from hell. they were provoked and targeted inassociatantly by the taliban. in
this field they found an injured taliban insurgent. he said this: he then pointed his gun at the insurgent. he then added: in 2013, sergeant blackman was found guilty of murder, a decision that thousands of murder, a decision that thousands of military colleagues believed was a moral outrage. earlier this month that conviction was reduced to manslaughter, on grounds of diminished responsibility. rob driscoll serve add longside alexander blackman. he says the decision to release him now is the right one, given what they all went through. was it right for me what he did? and my answer would be absolutely. when you're surrounded by absolute lunacy, then a little bit of lunacy kind of doesn't seem so bit of lunacy kind of doesn't seem so bad. prosecutors argued that
alexander blackman broke the rules of war. but his supporters saw a man tormented by the horrors of combat. for his wife and for him, he is the last casualty of the afghanistan conflict. we can now speak to colonel richard kemp, former head of the british army, who commanded british troops in afghanistan. hejoins us from our studio injerusalem. good afternoon. your thoughts first of all about this case broadly, at the end of a long campaign. broadly speaking, i think what sergeant blackman did was horrific. it was clearly against the laws of armed conflict. as has now been recognised, finally, he did it under severe mental stress. the crime that he committed was outside of his control because of the battlefield horrors that he was subjected to.
i'm pleased he's finally being released after what i think is too long in prison. for you, how did it reach this point then? how did those stresses not get examined, not get discussed earlier in the process, when someone decided there should be a court martial. that's an extremely good question. it is questionable, though i recognise he's been convicted of a crime of manslaughter, it is questionable about whether he should have been tried for this offence in the first place. but let us accept that he was. i think, place. but let us accept that he was. ithink, i've place. but let us accept that he was. i think, i've got a number of very serious questions about why the defence of psychological pressure, psychological disorder was not brought into his case. i think the defence that he had working for him was provided by the ministry of defence. thejudge who presided over his first trial was heavily criticised, when the case was reviewed. i think one has to wonder what was going on there, because any
normal person, i've got a certain amount of experience both of military operations and of military law. i immediately believed that having looked at the case, i believe that the key element of this whole case was his mental condition. it's really very, very puzzling as to why that wasn't brought out. i think pa rt that wasn't brought out. i think part of it is due, this is my assumption rather than fact, it's partly due to his own desire not to admit to being psychologically disturbed. i think he was a proud man, a proud marine. he didn't want to admit he'd got something mentally wrong with him, as turned out to be the case. his defence and the judge should have actually looked at it more carefully. in terms of the images and the comments that were ca ptu red images and the comments that were captured on the camera being worn by one of his colleagues. it is clear, lots and lots of people with no knowledge of military processes have seen that footage where he
acknowledge that's he's broken the geneva convention. do you have concerns that that awareness that he's done that, whatever his mental state, the awareness that he's broken the geneva convention does bring the armed forces potentially into disrepute? well, i think the armed forces have been brought into disrepute wrongly by a very large number of false allegations made against soldiers in afghanistan and iraq. most of which have now been shown to have been flawed. this one also, the fact that he was charged with murder and that he wasn't properly defended, i think. it has added to that disrepute. i think to consider that this reflects the way the armed forces operates would be entirely wrong. the armed forces are, the british armed forces are the best in the world. they're extremely well led. they're very carefully disciplined. this kind of situation that we saw here is very much an exception. people have said, well, will the fact that his case
was downgraded from murder to manslaughter, will that encourage others to do the same? no, british soldiers are not like that. i'm not saying there haven't been other cases of soldiers behaving wrongly. there have. it's part of human nature and the challenges of battle. i don't think very many people who are seeing this will think that's my license to do whatever i want. that's barking up the wrong tree without a doubt. thanks very much for your time this afternoon. a domestic abuse victim, whose attacker was reportedly told by a judge that she was not vulnerable because she was intelligent, has told the bbc she's disappointed with his remarks. the woman's husband, 34—year—old mustafa bashir was given a suspended sentence last week, after he admitting beating his wife. 0ur correspondentjudith moritz is following the story for us. we weren't in court, but on the face of it, the facts are this caused considerable concern. yes. we
weren't in court, though i do have in front of me the sentencing remarks that were made by the judge. the thing which has provoked a lot of criticism and reaction today are the remarks particularly which were made about the vulnerability of the victim. just to give you background first of all, as you've described, it's a case of domestic abuse. the offender, if you like, he had pleaded guilty to offences including actual bodily harm. he was being sentenced for those offences. what he'd done was attacked his then wife, including on one occasion with a cricket bat. another time he forced her to drink bleach. the judge said in terms of her vulnerability, he said, "i'm not convinced that the complainant was particularly vulnerable, through her personal circumstances. she was
plainly an intelligent woman who managed to hold down a job as a hotel receptionist, had friends and went to university." so the judge's comments have caused outrage from doe met abuse charities, including refuge, a range of mps today have said that this is really not appropriate comments from a judge. i have spoke ton the victim in —— spoken to the victim in this case. she says the publicity around this is causing her distress. she was very disappointed at the judge's comments and she said that she considers herself to be a strong and confident woman because of what she's suffered, that that is something she's lived through and suffered through and the judge hadn't believed her effectively. one thing that thejudge hadn't believed her effectively. one thing that the judge did take into
account was the fact that — or the claim that the defendant had a contract waiting with leicestershire cou nty contract waiting with leicestershire county cricket club, a claim which is clear now was wrong. yes, another aspect of this, when the judge was passing sentence, he was weighing up lots of different factors. other than the vulnerability of the victim, one of the other issues was to do with the employment situation of him. he was told, it appears by the defence that bashir was, if he was going to be sent to prison, that he would not be able to sign a contract that was waiting for him as a professional player with leicestershi re a professional player with leicestershire county cricket club. and that his career would suffer enormously if he was jailed. he was given an 18—month prison sentence, but it was suspended. so he was allowed to walk free from court. now leicestershi re allowed to walk free from court. now leicestershire county cricket club, having heard about all of this, say that's completely false. they've never spoken to this man, that he
was not on the books, not about to be signed as a professional player. seems he's an amateur player from the 0ldham area, that plays cricket, but was not about to be signed by that club. 50 that has also been something which today has attracted a lot of questions and criticism and some of the politicians have spoken to, but the crime commissioner here as written to the attorney—general and has now said you should look at this case and bring it in for review. some of what was presented in court may not have been true. thank you very much. the scottish parliament is expected to vote later this afternoon to ask westminster for a second independence referendum before brexit. the debate is continuing at holyrood. let's join our scotland correspondent, lorna gordon. talk us through what we've heard in the debate so far. that debate got
under way about an hour or so ago. it was opened by scotland's first minister, nicola sturgeon. it's a government motion, they are debating the right to seek a section 30, the right to hold another referendum on scottish independence. she said this was a debate about democracy. she argued that the people of scotland had the right to decide their future. my argument is simply this: when the nature of the change that is made inevitable by brexit becomes clear, that change should not beer impose —— not be imposed upon us, we should have the right to decide the nature of that change. the people of scotland should have the right to choose between brexit possibly a very ha rd choose between brexit possibly a very hard brexit, or becoming an independent country, able to chart out owfi course independent country, able to chart oui’ owfi course and independent country, able to chart oui’ own course and create a independent country, able to chart our own course and create a true partnership of equals across these islands. if we accept, as i hope we all, do that scotland does have the
right to decide our own future, the question becomes one of timing. when is it best to make that choice? we are all agreed that now is not the time. in my view, the time to choose is when the terms of brexit is clear and can be judged then against the challenges and the opportunities of becoming an independent country. the conservatives, the largest of the opposition parties here at holyrood, opening the opposition points of view, the other parties‘ points of view, the other parties‘ point points of view was ruth davidson. she said, just as brexit gets under way, this is a time when people should be coming together, not pushing apart. this debate so far has served one purpose, to show why most people in scotland don't want the government and this parliament to be side tracked by the division and rancour of yet another referendum campaign. despite some honourable speeches
from all sides of the chamber, this parliament last week added precisely nothing to the sum of human knowledge on scottish independence. interesting some of the points made by the other parties already in this debate. labour saying that nicola sturgeon was campaigning for independence at the expense of governing and that instead nicola sturgeon should be fighting for more powers to be coming to scotland as pa rt powers to be coming to scotland as part of the brexit process. the greens, of course, they support this motion today. they said that the greens have a long standing policy for supporting an autonomous scotland. they have been criticised by some of the unionist parties on their position in this debate. interesting though that the key thing that came out of this that was that nicola sturgeon gave more clarity of the process going forward. we know that in all likelihood this vote here today will pass, but it has been unclear thus far about the timing of the letter that the scottish government will
send to the government at westminster. she gave clarity on that. she said that will not happen until after the triggering of article 50. she is seek being what she called sensible discussions with the uk government. she said if the uk rejects those talks, she will come to holyrood after the easter recess, around the middle of april, to outline what steps she will take to outline what steps she will take to progress the will of this parliament. that vote here, a key vote really in recent times, due to ta ke vote really in recent times, due to take place around 5pm this afternoon. these are our headlines this afternoon: a royal marine, joyed for the fatal shooting of an injured taliban fighter in afghanistan — will be freed from prison within weeks after his sentence was reduced. the scottish parliament is expected to back nicola sturgeon‘s called for a second independence referendum. the vote is due to take place about
5 o'clock. the nhs will consider whether gps should stop prescribing a range of treatments, including gluten free food in an effort to save money. andy murray will miss the davis cup quarter final against france next week. he was excluded from today's tea m week. he was excluded from today's team announcement as he recovers from a tear in his elbow. the doctor who received a mystery package for sir bradley wiggins in 2011 insists it contained illegal decongestant. he says he regrets the poor medical record keeping in british cycling and team sky at the time. and ronnie o'sullivan is through to the second round at the china open, the second round at the china open, the final tournament before the world championships in sheffield. he beat gareth allen 5—0. i'll have full update in ten main pits. theresa may has been in birmingham for a major business event,
highlighting links between qatar and britain. live to our chief political correspondent, vicki young. this has been interesting, because it's been a show case, if you like. the prime minister came here, liam fox came here, the international trade secretary and they are saying that brexit means there will be a golden opportunity for britain, they say, to reach out to other countries to forge trade deals, to be closer partners with others. theresa may laying out what she wants to get, which is a close relationship, continue trading as freely as possible with the european union. she's under pressure ahead of tomorrow, when she will formally tell the eu that we are leaving. but she is under pressure to from some in her party to say exactly what kind of brexit britain is heading for. i've been gauging opinion here amongst some business people. this is what they had to tell me. for me, at least we've got a direction now. she's doing, it she's delivered it on time and we've got a way to go. for us, iwant on time and we've got a way to go. for us, i want to make sure that she
does the best for business, that really if it's going to take two yea rs, really if it's going to take two years, that she doesn't take her eye off the ball, that she looks within the country and make sure that we're doing 0k, the country and make sure that we're doing ok, that we're doing what we need with skills, with employment, with actually doing business between each other. really i want positivity and to actually take away the political side of it and just do it asa political side of it and just do it as a business deal. what about you, what is the urn certainty that there has been? do you think now that can come to an end? or will it be two yea rs come to an end? or will it be two years where it continues? when the starting gun is fired tomorrow, that will start even more uncertainty for at least two years. we're calling for the negotiating period to be extended if necessary, it's far better to get a comprehensive free trade agreement in place, rather than rushing to get a deal done in two years that doesn't work. our members are really concerned about being able to have eu people coming to work in the country and the people that are already here being able to stay. so an early one on
that would be really good. we want to see no tariffs. we would like to see the bureaucracy and red tape removed from transferring goods across borders. how likely is it? people talk about frictionless trade, that's what we've got now. is it likely we will get that again? we can only hope. we hope that the deal welcome back done. the biggest thing and the biggest thing that really took us out of europe is the immigration. with construction, we know that a lot of our skills are brought from europe. so really to make sure that we can get the right skills and also that we're trained inside, within construction, we're 7% of gdp. we can employ very unskilled an a lot of skilled people. we can employ quickly. we need to make sure that we're training, bringing people on and that the skills that we need to carry on construction and every other sector is still there. are these sectors ready for that, the ones reliant on immigration? what we
need to do, as well as having immigration, we need to skill up our workforce as well. we need far more investment in that. something we would encourage are apprenticeships. we need far more work with apprenticesses and school we need far more work with appre nticesses and school leavers. today being here in birmingham, talking at the qatari conference, we've seen lots of examples of businesses working together, talking about how they can extend skills and promote skills and encourage young people. how would you sum up how you feel about the next couple of years? we're doing it. we're on the journey, like any other business, we've made a decision for good or for bad and we're on the journey. let's make it work for us. our members are cautiously optimistic about the future. the increase in optimism has been great throughout the last few months. it took a decline injune, the last few months. it took a decline in june, july, the last few months. it took a decline injune, july, now it's increased. that's great. we want to see that continuing. the sense amongst business people we've been speaking to here is that they are glad tomorrow that theresa may will
be getting on with, that we've had a lot of speculation, a lot of arguments continuing that went back to the referendum itself. but to sum up to the referendum itself. but to sum up the opinion here, it is very much look, we are leaving the eu, we have to get on with it. it's time now for theresa may to get the best deal. her problems will be much more about keeping the expectations of those in her party, who are divided, we've heard some tory mps saying, look lots of promises were made by those who campaigned for brexit, they have to stick to those promises. they will be held to those promises and eve ryo ne will be held to those promises and everyone will look closely once those negotiations start. vicky, thank you very much. the wife of the westminster attacker, khalid masood, has said she is saddened and shocked by the atrocity. in a statement released through the metropolitan police, rohey hydara said she totally condemns his actions. masood killed four people in an 82—second rampage last wednesday. meanwhile, the mp, who tried to save the life of pc keith palmer outside parliament, foregin minister, tobias ellwood, has been speaking
about what happened. he called it a dark day. i make it clear that i was one of many that stepped forward on that dark day. our thoughts and prayers remain with those families and friends of the victims, including our own pc keith palmer. people say in the iraqi city of mosul say many civilians remain buried under rubble, following the air strikes. jermey bowen is on the frontline in western mosul. there is an alternative to this very difficult, costly street fighting, room by room fighting. that is to call in air strikes and just level the neighbourhood. but there's another issue. destroying this city to save it, politically that's a very bad idea. it's a question of
trying to win the political battle, the media battle as well as winning the media battle as well as winning the military battle. it is notjust a question of how many of the enemy that these men can kill. they have to convince the iraqi people that what they're doing here is justified and flattening the city and killing and flattening the city and killing a lot of civilians will not do that job. the nhs in england is to consider whether gps should stop prescribing a range of medicines and treatments, including holiday jabs, gluten—free food, fish oils and painkillers such as paracemotol, that are available over the counter. the proposals, which are intended to save millions of pounds, will form part of a major announcement on the future of the health service, later this week, by the head of nhs england. our health editor, hugh pym, reports. the nhs is under increasing financial pressure. now, service leaders are set to closely scrutinise what's
available on prescription. local health commissioners in england have drawn up a list of items which they say are unnecessary and inappropriate for prescription on the nhs. instead, patients should have to pay for them. decisions are about the total spend and we need to use that effectively. if we are effectively spending money we think on things that are of low or no clinical value, we can redirect that money to things that are more appropriate. the medicines and treatments listed include omega—3 and fish oils, some muscle rubs and ointments, gluten—free food, and travel vaccines still allowed on the nhs. there could be savings of £128 million a year. nhs england has agreed to carry out a review and introduce new guidelines. longer term, the future of cold and cough treatments, indigestion and heartburn medication, and paracetamol on prescription will be considered. they are widely available over—the—counter at chemists.
but pharmacists warn there is a danger of going too far. the nhs is built on a principle of free up a point of use and it is important there was a balance between making sure the medicines are cost—effective, and we support the cost—effective review of those medicines, but at the same time we've got to make sure people are not disadvantaged because of their ability to pay for medicines. and questions are being asked about what this might mean for patients who depend on free prescriptions. we've not had any clarity about what this means for elderly people, pregnant women, people are very low incomes, and i'm concerned about the people who are managing long—term conditions, managing their pain throughout those long—term conditions. nhs england says there won't be a ban and gps will still be free to prescribe the items to those they feel need them. the move is part of an nhs strategy to tackle rising demand. and make the best use of resources, with more details later this week.
shortly will talk about the daily mailfront page. first shortly will talk about the daily mail front page. first a weather update. thank you very much. a bit a mish—mash this afternoon, across the british isles. some of you seeing showers. some of you it's as glorious as this. if you're not a weather watcher picture, sign up on the website. we have low level murk around eastern shores as well. the chance of rain moving into northern ireland towards the north west of england in places, towards the south—western corner through the afternoon and evening. we're all in with a chance really of seeing a wee bit of rain during the night. save perhaps for the very far north of scotland. it won't be a particularly cold night. but wednesday sees this slump in our weather conditions towards something a bit wetter, breezier. but staying on the mild side. the wind is coming along, the isobars from the south and south—west. never a cold direction.
so yes, a wet day in prospect for the northern and western parts of the northern and western parts of the british isles. dry one for the south and east. bit of brightness here. it could be 18, 19, something of that order. hello. this is bbc news with jane hill and simon mccoy. the headlines at 3.30pm: a royal marine, jailed for killing an injured taliban fighter in afghanistan, will be freed from prison within weeks. the court martial appeal court sentenced him to seven years for manslaughter. alexander blackman's wife welcomed the decision. we are overjoyed at the judges tea decision to reduce al's sentence so he can be released imminently. this is the moment we have all been fighting hard for. it is hard to believe that this day is finally here. the scottish parliament debates whether to ask for a second referendum.
msps are expected to back nicola sturgeon's call for a second independence referendum in a vote this afternoon. suncream, cold remedies and gluten—free food may no longer be available on the nhs in england. nhs england announces a review after concerns were raised that £400 million of spending might have little or no clinical value. a judge who attracted controversy at a rape trial by saying drunk women were putting themselves in danger is defended by the victim. speaking to the bbc‘s victoria derbyshire programme, megan clark, who has waived her right to anonymity, said the judge was right. more to come. we're going to pause and catch up with the sports news. olly foster has that. andy murray won't be fit to play in great britain's davis cup quarter—final against france that starts a week on friday. he has a tear in his elbow and needs rest and no decision has been made about when he'll be able
to return to action. the davis cup captain leon smith says the world number one's absence will be a "big loss" to the team although they will be facing an understrength french squad. kyle edmund, dan evans, jamie murray and dom inglot will head to rouen next week. johanna konta is into the quarter—finals of the miami open for a second successive year. the british number one beat spain's lara arruabarrena in straight sets. she's got simona halep next. the culture, media and sport select committee investigating doping in sport have heard from the doctor who received the mystery package for sir bradley wiggins in 2011. richard freeman has provided written evidence, maintaining that the parcel contained a legal decongestant. all parties deny any wrongdoing and the allegations that it was a banned steroid. freeman says he regrets the poor medical record—keeping at the time. damian collins, the chair of the committee, wants more answers, uk anti—doping are carrying
out their own investigation. the england and wales cricket board are pushing ahead with their plans for a city based t20 tournament to be launched in the summer of 2020. eight franchises will operate outside the county structure with some of the 36 games to be screened on free to air tv terrestrial tv. the ecb are looking to attract new younger audiences. cricket does need a change. only 2% of children cite cricket as their favourite sport and that's poor in a country where cricket has the access so something needs to be done, but there are a few concerns. theres no doubt counties will be nervous about the future, but i think, you know, some of the exciting prospects coming out of this, looking to attract a new audience will be exciting. india have won their test series 2—1 against australia in dharamsala. the hosts started the fourth
day of the fourth test needing just 87 more runs to win with all their second innings wickets remaining. they managed it for the loss ofjust two, with opener lokesh rahul unbeaten on 51. india are the number one ranked test side after home series wins against new zealand, england, bangladesh and now australia. ronnie o'sullivan is through to the second round of the china open in beijing after a comfortable victory over gareth allen. it's the last tournament before next month's world championship in sheffield and despite not being on top—form, o'sullivan won without dropping a frame against the welshman. you may have missed this over the weekend, we didn't cover it, mainly because it has very little sporting merit, but nonetheless a new record was set in bosnia by the teenager kerim ahmetspahic. here he goes. he broke 111 concrete blocks with his head injust 35 seconds. he picked up a few style marks as well.
he was slightly overcome at the end. he would have needed an aspirin. he thanked his parents, his coach and his friends and probably his barber, not a hair out of place! more than 300 complaints have been made to ipso, the independent press standards organisation, about the front page of this morning's daily mail. over a picture of the prime minister meeting scotland's first minister in glasgow to discuss brexit, the paper ran the caption — "never mind brexit, who won legs—it?" however, the headline didn't appear on the front page of the scottish daily mail. the mail has this afternoon urged those who called the article sexist to "get a life" and questioned whether complainers have lost their sense of humour.
in a statement, the paper went on to say the story was a side—bar alongside a serious political story. it says the piece, which was flagged as light— hearted was a sidebar alongside a serious political story. we often comment on the appearance of male politicians including cameron's waistline, osborne's hair, corbyn's clothes and even boris's legs . well, the columnist sarah vine wrote the article inside the paper. she's been speaking to martha kearney on radio 4's world at one. i think maybe people have had a slight sense of humour failure, perhaps, i don't know. it was written as part of a, there was a lot of serious stuff about this meeting and then we saw the picture and thought gosh, look at those kitten heels and look at those fabulous legs and let's write some words about it which i did. that's what happened. the paper does cover the talks, but looking at pages six
and seven, a third is about the tax and seven, a third is about the tax and two—thirds is about legs—it and the battle of the blue blazers. this relationship between these two women is incredibly important to all of us. is incredibly important to all of us. i think, is incredibly important to all of us. ithink, you know, there is is incredibly important to all of us. i think, you know, there is a lot going on in that picture. there isa lot going on in that picture. there is a lot of very interesting body language. in the piece i don'tjust talk about the legs. you talk about the jackets as well. yes, but i've talked about how they mirror each other and sitting in the same position. there is a lot going on there. is that as important as the break—up of the united kingdom for example? well, given that they're both pivotal to the break—up of the united kingdom, how they relate to each other is important. as important as the substance of the talks and i suppose that's what got people riled up a bit on twitter, isn't it? the fact that legs—it is on the front page and so much coverage has been given to their pins? their pins, but we're a
tabloid newspaper and that's what we do. i'm sure the intellectual korge is interesting and fascinating, but it is likely to be quite dry, we're creating a slightly more approachable version of this story by commenting on this picture which i still think is worth commenting on. that was sarah vine. let's discuss this with jane martinson, media editor at the guardian. shejoins me from their offices in north london. sarah vine's name only appeared on the later editions. it wasn't on the first edition. what does that say? the word, "light hearted" only appeared once twitter had reacted with understandable outrage that the idea that legs—it could be more important than brexit would be splashed on half of the front page of the daily mail. they say we are losing our sense of humour?” of the daily mail. they say we are losing our sense of humour? i know, i'm averse to being seen as a member
of the po—faced, you see the two most powerful women in the uk discussing what could be the break—up of the united kingdom, and the only thing that, the thing that really matters about them is their legs. i'm looking at the submission sent to the governing, the body that oversees press regulation and it does suggest that there has been a breach of clause 12 of the code which says editors must avoid prejudicial or reference to an individual‘s race, religion or gender and it continues on. do you think there is a case that the mail seriously needs to look at in terms of that sth i think ipso said that they can't act on this until one of they can't act on this until one of the two people involved, when it is a matter of discrimination, either
theresa may or nicola sturgeon has to complain themselves. theresa may has said she won't. nicola sturgeon has said she won't. nicola sturgeon has left herself, she just said it isa has left herself, she just said it is a return to the 1970s which, of course, fits into her political agenda and the coverage that she gets in london, very different to scotland. so they're unlikely to rule on that. is it discrimination? i know sarah vine talked about boris‘ hair and david cameron's waistline, but that's very often separate. they're picture stories which aren't sort of the main point of huge talks on brexit. so, i think there is a difference in the treatment and i think it is discriminatory. the mail has form on this. i remember when esther mcvey was photographed walking up downing street, they described downing street, they described downing street as a catwalk. what makes the newspaper think they can get away with it and seems to be untouched
when it comes to sales? the mail actually have lots of women reading it. the difference is that obviously they have lots of different things. as they said in their unusual statement, you know, we have an 82 page newspaper, it has lots of other things in it. i think the difference here was it was just sort of misjudged. i don't think it is a particularly good front page. i don't think, "legs—it" works as a joke, but it is not very funny and these are really serious talks. it's all very well, you know, sarah saying, oh we had a really serious story, but that was a third of a page and you could hardly see it because most of the double page spread were pictures of these women's legs and they are two of the most powerful people in this country, political leaders in this country, political leaders in this country, it is notjust about their legs. jane, is this a matter of foe outrage. we're talking about a
matter of taste, aren't we? are there more serious things going on? there are lots of women being treated very badly for all sorts of things, of course, there are. this isa things, of course, there are. this is a newspaper. they changed it for second edition. they put out their statement saying this is foe outrage and we should all get a life, but in terms of the message, for me, it is about a message we give out. so, you know, young girls, anybody, looking at what it's like to be a woman in the public eye, you can imagine them thinking, "i better make sure my legs are up to it." is that really the message we want to give to young people? it doesn't matter what you say, what you do, if you're a woman, it's really about your legs. jane, it is good of you to talk to us. thank you very much. potholes — they infuriate motorists and cyclists alike. now a new survey of local councils in england and wales has revealed that potholes mean that one in six smaller roads are at risk of becoming damaged beyond repair
and some have less than five years before they have to be replaced or closed. our transport correspondent, richard westcott, reports. it's impossible to dodge them all these days. our roads, peppered with holes. the surface crumbling away faster than it can be repaired, according to this report. it blames decades of underfunding, coupled with wetter winters and more cars and we're all paying the price. it had burst two of my tyres and also dented the actual alloy wheel as well. the car went into crash mechanism. the doors on the car were disengaged and i had £500 worth of damage to my vehicle. i had an accident on my bike, where i hit a pothole and fell forward off my bike. the research found that one in six roads is so bad it may need to be replaced within five years.
councils filled 1.7 million potholes in england and wales last year, which is one every 19 seconds. well, this survey is hardly going to come as a surprise to most drivers. we've been looking forjust two minutes just outside bristol. look, a whole row of potholes on an ordinary road. according to this report, if you really wanted to fix up all the local roads across england and wales, it would cost £12 billion and take more than a decade. bus companies say their customers and drivers face being jolted around by poor roads. steve's been driving a bus around bristol for nearly four decades. i'm just upset because when they do repair them, it doesn't last very long. we talk about it all the time in the canteen, amongst drivers, our concerns about the safety for our customers and obviously how we have to behave on the road. we actually position the bus to avoid the potholes because some
of them really give a big bash. the government says it's chipped in an extra £1 billion recently to help fill the holes but campaigners aren't impressed. every so often the government gives out a pothole fund. it's kind of reacting to a crisis, but i think we need to actually plan longer—term funding and have a greater proportion of what drivers actually pay in motoring taxes ringfenced just for maintenance. because if you ask drivers, it is their number one concern. as councils feel the financial squeeze, many fear our local roads are only going to get worse. the australian state of queensland is being lashed by torrential rain and very high winds. a cyclone has flooded streets and toppled trees on the whitsunday coast. tens of thousands of people have been told to leave their homes along coastal areas with warnings of dangerous tidal surges. hywell griffith reports. coming to land with a mighty roar.
cyclone debbie's 30—mile—wide core ripped through everything in its path, tearing into the queensland coast. australia's biggest evacuation plan in over a0 years meant people here were prepared but that didn't lessen the impact. we have more than 115,000 homes without power, we have major trees down, we are hearing reports of some quite severe structural damage. this is a dangerous cyclone. people must stay indoors. please do not go outside. at airlie beach, normally a picture postcard scene, a bbcjournalist on holiday found herself at the centre of the story. what i can see is trees bending over. there's debris flying all through the air. trees are starting to be ripped up now and there's a huge amount of water flying through the air.
it's notjust falling as rain now, it's a big mass of mist and sea, kind of, breeze coming over. even when these winds have died down, there will be another, longer lasting, problem to deal with — flooding. with two—feet worth of rain expected to fall in 2a hours in some places, it means some communities could be cut off for days. the emergency services have been in lockdown, unable to respond to calls until the cyclone passes. they know the hardest days are ahead. this is a very destructive storm and storm system and i think the public and the community of queensland need to understand that we are going to get lots of reports of damage and, sadly, i think that we will also receive more reports of injuries, if not deaths, and we need to be prepared for that. for those who've sought shelter, there will be uncomfortable nights ahead, too.
sarah bromley from essex has managed to let her family know she's safe. having to wait out the weather hasn't been much fun. we've been here for almost 2a hours now, so we're a bit bored of it and hoping it passes soon, so we can go back, get some food and a bed to sleep in. the cyclone is still moving slowly inland, downgraded but still destructive on a vast scale. hywell griffith, bbc news, queensland. some breaking news from the united states. us secret service says it is investigating a suspicious package on the grounds of the white house. those are the only details so far. we'll keep an eye on that. that's just out of washington in the last few moments. we'll bring you more as soon as we few moments. we'll bring you more as soon as we get it. more must be done to address a sharp rise in the number of suicides among
women prisoners in england, according to the prisons watchdog. the number of female inmates who killed themselves has almost doubled in the last year. the prisons and probation ombudsman says reforms recommended a decade ago hadn't happened, as marc ashdown reports. for many years, the number of women who took their own life in prisons in england was one or two a year. in 2015, that figure rose to seven, and last year, 12 women. this stark rise prompted the prisons and probation ombudsman, nigel newcomen, to examine 19 cases of suicide over a 4—year period. he has identified crucial areas of practice where he says that the service could be improved: better assessment and management of risk, improving suicide and self—harm procedures, and addressing how mental health issues and bullying are dealt with. a second report out today identifies similar issues. well, the huge rise in deaths, it is complicated, but there are two main reasons. there are fewer staff in prisons, fewer people
to learn and listen, and the other thing is unmet mental health needs. so women who are vulnerable and who need mental healthcare, need treatment for drug or alcohol addictions are not getting it. ten years ago, the prisons ombudsman published a landmark report, making a series of 43 recommendations aimed at improving the care of women in custody. the current ombudsman said it was disheartening that the sweeping reforms had yet to be implemented, and blamed a lack of concerted and sustained action. the ministry ofjustice said the safety of prisoners is a priority, and a range of measures has been introduced to increase the support available. let's talk more about the news that nhs england is considering scrapping prescriptions for items such as fish oils and gluten—free foods. health managers believe that cutting funding for ten products could save the health service £100 million a year.
the idea will go to consultation next month. that is what is being proposed. we hope to speak to a gp and get their reaction to that suggestion. a lot of comment about that proposal today so of comment about that proposal today so we'll talk to a gp later this afternoon. the new 12—sided pound coin has entered circulation this morning. it's the first change to the shape of the coin since it was introduced in 1983. the new coins are thinner and lighter. but watch out because some vending and ticket machines may not accept the new money straight away. simon gompertz has been taking a closer look. here is the new pound coin and it does have some special security features apart from being 12—sided and two coloured, it's got very small writing on it and it has a sort of hologram with a £ sign at the bottom and a special feature inside which means coin machines can
recognise whether it's genuine or not and that's important because there are so many fakes of the old pound coin. but there is a problem for some businesses actually getting ready for this and here's one of them, an amusement arcade in southend. john, what's your problem with converting the machines to take the new pound? for us, the biggest issue is obviously all of our coin mix in all of the machines needs to take the pound coin. how much does it cost? well, at the minute we've got 800 coin mix so upwards of £12,000 just on reprogramming alone. it doesn't take into account machines that we can't do, obviously some machines are too old to have the new coin mix in, we have to get rid of, but not only that but the man hours to reprogram...
but at the moment you are putting it off, are you? well, we don't really have a choice, we have to try and get it done as soon as we can, easter coming up for us is a seasonal business, a big factor. so you have to get it done? but for everyone else, although this is coming in today, you can still use the old pound coins until 15th october, then they stop becoming legal tender in the shops but you'll be able to hand them into a bank. just to reiterate that breaking news. reuters are saying that the united states secret service is currently investigating a suspicious package on the grounds of the white house. that's all we have at the moment. any more news on that, we'll bring it straight to you. in terms of stories back here, news through about the nhs in the last little while. we are hearing about the pay rise that is going to be forthcoming later this year for health workers and we are hearing the pay rise will be 1%. so 1% for
health workers and that's across—the—board. so health workers and that's across—the—boa rd. so doctors, nurses, midwives, but also, of course, hotel porters, cleaners, it is an across—the—boa rd course, hotel porters, cleaners, it is an across—the—board pay offer of 1%. we have one comment from a union which is using the word "derisory" that's all we have at this stage. one imagines there will be more reaction. there will be a 1% pay rise for all those health, involved in working in the health sectormed more reaction to that as we get it. the headlines are coming up. first, let's catch up with the weather. is it going to be wonderful and bright and cheerful? there isjohn. much like yourself, simon! so for example, in gravesend we have been nudging 18, 19 celsius this afternoon and somebody somewhere over the next couple of days could reach the dizzy heights of 20
celsius. for others though, it will bea celsius. for others though, it will be a very different story and there will be some places which have a lot of rain and some disappointing temperatures as well. the trouble is looming. out in the atlantic a whole big area of high pressure churning towards us and flinging bands of cloud in our direction and already some cloud in our direction and already some of that cloud is thick enough to give the odd shower. the odd thundery showerfor a to give the odd shower. the odd thundery shower for a time and then damp drizzly weather tonight. it will be one of those cloudy, murky, and occasionally damp nights, but not as cold as it has been in recent nights. no problems with frost. temperatures staying above freezing, but it will be another cloudy start to the day for many of us tomorrow. limited brightness. for some of us, it will stay damp and grey all day, particularly out west. so, coastal areas around the irish sea could see areas around the irish sea could see a lot of rain up into western scotla nd a lot of rain up into western scotland for this part of the world, it's going to be a disappointing afternoon with temperatures held back. just seven celsius in aberdeen for example. patchy rain across
northern england. most of the rain to the west of the pennines. a lot of rain across the hills of wales. northern ireland may dry up for a time, but the chance of showers. further south and east, not a lot of rain, afair further south and east, not a lot of rain, a fair bit of cloud, mild and muqqy rain, a fair bit of cloud, mild and muggy and 1a to 16 celsius. that's nothing with compared how warm it could get on thursday. some really warm airand could get on thursday. some really warm air and somebody could reach 20 celsius across parts of south—east england, maybe east anglia, but in contrast further north and west across the uk, thursday will be much cooler. and that's because it will be much wetter in some places. some spots could see a lot of rain. in a narrow zone, up spots could see a lot of rain. in a narrow zone, up through the irish sea, parts of scotland seeing brightness, but blustery showers too. on friday, more rain. it will start to move west to east across the country after a bright start. the rain will arrive later on in the day. it's a cold front in actual fa ct day. it's a cold front in actual fact and it will do what it suggests and introduce fresher conditions,
not desperately cold, but fresher conditions for the weekend with a cluster of showers on saturday. this ridge of high pressure building in and that promises better weather on sunday. this weekend, we head into april with april showers, but it does turn drier on sunday, although the nights will be turning chillier as well. that's it. i'm back in half an hour's time. this is bbc news. the headlines at apm. a royal marine, who killed a taliban fighter in afghanistan, will be released in two weeks. this is the moment we have all been fighting hard for. it's hard to believe that this day is finally here. the scottish parliament is expected to back nicola sturgeon's call for a second independence referendum, in a vote