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tv   BBC News  BBC News  March 28, 2017 4:00pm-5:01pm BST

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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 later this afternoon. a shake up of prescriptions — holiday jabs, gluten—free food and fish oils may no longer be available on the nhs to save money. donald trump is due to sign a new executive order rolling back a raft of barack obama's environmental laws. also this hour: cyclone debbie batters the australian
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state of queensland. people are told to leave their homes as winds of more than 160mph caused damage and power cuts. and the new 12—sided pound coin enters circulation. it's slimmer and lighter, with hidden security features. 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
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immediate and unbridled. marine veterans from a dozen conflicts gave full rein to their relief and delight. it was a euphoria shaped by the dignified reaction —— shared by the dignified reaction of alexander blackman‘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. thatjoy was matched by hundreds of marines, who've campaigned 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'sjust broken me. i'm so relieved that justice has been done and alexander blackman is free. asa
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as a marine sergeant, was a decisive, accomplished leader of his troops. someone who had killed 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 incessantly by the taliban. in this field they found an injured taliban insurgent. he said this: an injured taliban insurgent. 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 military colleagues believed was a moral outrage. earlier this month, that conviction was reduced to manslaughter, on grounds of diminished responsibility. rob driscoll served alongside alexander blackman. he says the decision to release him now is the right one,
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given what they all went through. the answer to your question is, 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 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. let's speak to the author frederick forsyth, who campaigned for the release of sergeant alexander blackman. hejoins me from his home in buckinghamshire. thank you very much for your time this afternoon. you were in court this afternoon. you were in court this morning, so after such a long campaign, perhaps you canjust begin
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by summarising for our viewers just the atmosphere in court and what emotions went through you when you heard this decision. well, i think the emotion going through me was about time too. this has a three—year, at least, campaign. i don't think there's been nearly enough examination, should be much more examination, of the travesty, the grotesque apology for a court martial that condemned him as a murderer. he was never a murderer. there were so many things wrong with the court martial. if ourjudiciary has any integrity, which is a moot point, it ought to order a choirery in —— an inquiry into how it went wrong. this wasn't accidental. there was an agenda here. there was an agenda, that's interesting. we spoke to one of alexander blackman‘s
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agenda, that's interesting. we spoke to one of alexander blackman's qcs earlier this afternoon. he was robust about that point. he said there was lots of psychiatric evidence that should have been put to the court martial and it wasn't. that was a mistake. he said he thought it was a cock—up. i asked him and he used that phrase. what's your assessment of why the court martial wasn't given that psychiatric evidence? martial wasn't given that psychiatric evidence ?|j martial wasn't given that psychiatric evidence? i think when you're a journalist, not necessarily a member of a popular profession, it does teach you some things. one is you can just take so many coincidences and then you say no, that couldn't have been accidental. there were so many things wrock with the court martial. the defence was appalling. thejudge, the court martial. the defence was appalling. the judge, who the court martial. the defence was appalling. thejudge, who appointed himself as trialjudge, never explained to the seven—man jury, board as they call it, who are not tutored in the law, what the law was. they were never told they had an alternative, guilty of manslaughter, they weren't told that. they should have been told it. there are about six or serve weird
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coincidences that all added up to a conviction for murder. one of the weirdest was how quite a number of officers, including his old commanding officer wanted to testify for him and weren't allowed to. now that's odd. and so the agenda was for what? to result in what and put forward by whom? well, i happen to think — forward by whom? well, i happen to think -i forward by whom? well, i happen to think — i have a personal viewpoint — but say that it's our establishment today doesn't worship any known religion any more. the new creed is political correctness. this was all about political correctness. a taliban terrorist had been killed, no question about that. possibly in circumstances that were not justified. even though he was clearly dying at the time and that has been attested to by i think three major medical sources, the man
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had seconds, maybe minutes maximum to live. and his life was therefore terminated prematurely, but it shouldn't have been. it was terminated by a man who had snapped, was broken. he didn't break because he was a weakling. he broke because he was a weakling. he broke because he was a weakling. he broke because he was on a mission, so badly officered that he and mys men were five—and—a—half months in, living in animaline circumstances which finally broke them, as fighting soldiers. the rules of engagement we re soldiers. the rules of engagement were virtually unfulfilable. to fight for your life one second and bea fight for your life one second and be a bonnie gentleman the next, no, doesn't happen. so there were quite a number of cases coming out of afghanistan of men who actually went into medical care because they were broken. that's what happened, should have happened to most of] company. 42 commando. so there we are. sorry to interrupt. he was captured on that video camera, the helmet camera
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acknowledging that he had broken the geneva convention. he realised he had done that. do you have any concern that that awareness, which he articulated could bring the forces into disrepute? no, i don't think so. he was sat in judgment, again, on oddity, a weird coincidence by men who had never beenin coincidence by men who had never been in combat. when you think how many soldiers that we have in this country today who've been in combat, imean country today who've been in combat, i mean really in combat, in mortal combat, and not one of them was available to take part in that court martial? that's too weird. i don't think that it will have any effect. what i think is likely to damage the moral of our armed forces, just when we need them is that what was done to this sergeant, this judicial crucifixion, produced by an
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establishment, whichjust crucifixion, produced by an establishment, which just sits crucifixion, produced by an establishment, whichjust sits in comfort, thanks to people like him, but always seems to be anti—us, anti—british. i've noticed a strain going through the judiciary, the bureaucracy, and academia, we british are always wrong. our country's always wrong. our fighting soldiers are always monsters. no, they're not. but if you keep telling them they r, you will damage the morale. i've heard it from quite a few marines that they wouldn't sign up few marines that they wouldn't sign up now. very good of you to give us your time this afternoon. thank you very much. the scottish parliament will vote in an hour's time on whether to ask for a second independence referendum before brexit. theresa may has rejected another vote at least until the brexit process has been completed. scotland's first minister, nicola sturgeon, who wants the new referendum by the spring of 2019, set out her case. my argument is simply this: when the nature of the
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change that is made inevitable by brexit becomes clear, that change should not be imposed upon us, we should not be imposed upon us, we should have the right to decide the nature of that change. the people of scotla nd 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 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 then 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 are clear and can bejudged then against the challenges and the opportunities of becoming an independent country. the leader of the scottish conservatives, ruth davidson said the debate underlined how devicive another referendum
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campaign would be. this debate so far has served one purpose, to show why most people 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. theresa may says the uk is facing a significant moment in its history as she prepares to begin the process of leaving the european union. she was officially notify european leaders that the uk wants to pull out of the union ina that the uk wants to pull out of the union in a letter tomorrow. mrs may has been in birmingham today at a business event to highlight links between qatar and the united kingdom. vicki young is there for us now. theresa may came here, liam fox too really to say what an opportunity it's going to be for britain once brexit happens. obviously trying to
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increase ties with countries like qatar. they announced yesterday an investment of £5 billion in this country over the next few years. all eyes and attention are going to be on tomorrow, that moment when theresa may tells the eu that we will be leaving. what does it mean for business? we've been gauging opinion all day here with local companies. i'm joined now opinion all day here with local companies. i'mjoined now by opinion all day here with local companies. i'm joined now by simon topman who runs a famous whistle company. do you see it as a golden opportunity, what's about to happen and brexit? all of life is a golden opportunity. the idea of a business is that you make your own luck, seek out the opportunities. it's going to be very difficult. it's very easy to say that if business goes away a little bit in europe or a lot perhaps in europe, just look for it elsewhere. that is expensive. it is very difficult to do. businesses, like mine, are already doing as much as we can in those more distant, harder to reach markets. long—term, yes, i think it probably won't have too much effect on the uk economy.
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but short—term, it's going to do damage. it will make life difficult and expensive. do you think it would have an impact on jobs, for example, in your company? i'm sure that it will. if our business in europe, which is 40% of our exports goes down, that has to translate into the number of people we employ. so what do you want theresa may to do? what do you want theresa may to do? what do you want her to aim for? we've had talk from some about dropping out of the eu with no deal at all. what do you think she should be aiming for? best deal we can possibly get and hopefully at least with the ambition to absolutely stay in the single market. so that we have access to it and we don't have to sacrifice that. she has said that we are likely to leave the single market because she says effectively that's staying in the eu and the customs union possibly as well. how will that impact your business? well, if we have to leave completely, we will probably face ta riffs completely, we will probably face tariffs that we don't have at the moment. whilst we're doing very well at the moment because the pound has
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fallen, and probably fallen more than the tariffs will be when they are eventually applied to us, nevertheless, customers won't see that, they'll say why are you applying tariffs, we don't want to pay those. we'll lose that preference share that we have as a member, especially locally in the west midlands, where there's a lot of automotive supply chain companies, for example. not selling a branded product, so it's not a protected product in the way that a branded product would be. they're selling on price and quality. what if they say in the eu, well britain isn't part of us any more, we'll get it from poland, from romania, which they can do. suddenly, we're out. our companies they can do. suddenly, we're out. 0ur companies are they can do. suddenly, we're out. our companies are being damaged. so the potential in the west midlands for short—term shock is quite high. 0k, for short—term shock is quite high. ok, thank you very much. we are going to finishing, especially for asylumon, with a whistle here —— simon, with a whistle here. we've got one. this will liven up his day. somebody‘s got to blow the whistle on brexit. hope that isn't an own goal. that's
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quite loud. did you hear that? we did, vicky. i really pressure you — you woke him up! yeah! thank you. i really appreciate it very much. she can stay. and become my agent. these are our headlines this afternoon: a royal marine, who killed an injured taliban fighter in afghanistan will be released from prison in weeks, after a court reduced his sentence. the scottish parliament will vote on nicola sturgeon‘s call for a second independence referendum. (the nhs is england will review spending on prescriptions for some items, including gluten—free food, sun cream and cold remedies. in sport, andy murray will miss great britain's davis cup quarter final against france next week. the world number one was excluded from today's team announcement as he recovers from an elbow injury.
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the doctor who received a mystery package from sir bradley wiggins in 2011 insists it contained a legal decongestant. richard freeman says he regrets the poor medical record keeping at the time. ronnie o'sullivan is through to the second round of the china open, the final tournament between next month's world championship. more on those stories for you at 4. 30pm. 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. 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
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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. 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
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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
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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. the australian state of queen's land 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 in coastal areas, with warnings of dangerous tidal surges.
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coming to land with a mighty roar. cyclone debbie's 30—mile wide core ripped through everything in its path, tearing into the queen's land coast. australia's biggest evacuation plan in over 40 years meant people here were prepared. but that didn't lessen the impact. we have more than 45,000 homes without power. we have major trees down. we have — we are hearing reports of some quite severe structural damage. this is a dangerous cyclone. people must stay indoors. please do not go outside. normally a picture post ca rd outside. normally a picture post card scene, a bbcjournalist on holiday found herself at the centre of the story. what i can see is trees bending over, debris flying all through the air. trees are
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actually ripped up now. there'sjust actually ripped up now. there'sjust a huge amount of water flying through the air. it's notjust falling as rain now. it's a mass of mist and sea breeze coming over. even when these winds have died down, there'll be another longer lasting problem to deal with, flooding. with two feet of worth expected to fall in 24 hours in some places, it means some communities could be cut off for days. the emergency services have been in lock down, 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. i think the public and the community of queen's land 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. we need to be prepared for that. for those who've sought
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shelter, there'll 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 24 hours now. we're a bit border of it. we're hoping it passes soon so we can go back, get some food and a bed to sleep in. the cyclone is moving slowly inland. downgraded, but still destructive on a vast scale. donald trump will sign a new executive order, in the next couple of hours — rolling back a raft of environmental laws imposed by barack obama. restrictions on coal—fired power stations will be lifted — along with a number of climate change policies, that will be taken off the books. the president says, the order, will create american jobs and boost the economy. the former head of the environmental protection agency described the move as dangerous and embarrassing. following this from washington is our correspondent is
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our correspondent gary o'donoghue. so barack obama, donald trump, very different on the environment. yeah, com pletely different on the environment. yeah, completely different. two ends of the spectrum really. bear in mind donald trump once called climate change a hoax and a plot by the chinese to undercut american business. more recently, there's been some more emollient words on man—made cleaning. but —— climate change. but this will undo things that president obama put in place. the clean power plan, already stalled in the supreme court. that would allow older coal fired power station that's were going to close to stay open. this is part of donald trump's promise to bring back all these coal jobs trump's promise to bring back all these coaljobs that he says have disappeared. it's true that coal jobs have disappeared. about a quarter of the coal industry has lost its job quarter of the coal industry has lost itsjob in quarter of the coal industry has lost its job in the last ten years. but there are actually quite a few, a small number of people in the coal
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injury, 65,000 in a country of 325 million. effectively, what he's doing is signing this order, he's rebooting the entire policy, the whole computer. he is. he's saying really that the concerns about federal regulation of the environment should be about clean water and clean air. it does put in question or call into question america's commitments under the paris climate change treaty. that had some huge cuts in carbon and co2 emissions that america effectively signed up to. from memory, about 26% from 2000 levels by the middle —— 2005 levels by the middle of the next decade. a lot of people don't think he could get near those targets. we were told that the executive order won't address the paris climate change agreement directly. it will talk about energy security, which is interesting because in large part, america does
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have energy security. it exports more coal than it imports. it exports more gas than it imports. the only area where it's vulnerable, if you like, is on oil. it gets most of the oil it imports from can da. you mention the paris accord, does this place donald trump against the world ? this place donald trump against the world? when i had a look at the paris climate agreement website earlier on, i think something like 194 different signitaries to it, countries, big organisation etc, etc, and there was a huge number of those who had notjust signed it, but ratified it as well. of course, it came into effect in november last year. because of the level of ratification that had gone through. so, yes, it does pit him against the world. including countries like china, which have also ratified this agreement. gary, thank you very much. the government says it will have to
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consider all options if it can't break the deadlock which has left northern ireland without a power sharing assembly. the northern ireland secretary told the commons that he doesn't want to impose direct rule from westminster or have another set of elections. in the last hour, michelle o'neill the leader of sinn fein at stormont has responded to the comments made by the northern ireland secretary and reiterated her party's willingness to engage. well, we have listened to james brokenshire's statement today in westminster. let me say, sinn fein are always willing to be engaged. we're always wanting to be pa rt engaged. we're always wanting to be part of discussions. we want to see implementation of what has been previously agreed. obviously, one of the biggest stumbling blocks to getting aagreement on previous agreements has been the british government's approach over the last recent weeks, but indeed even longer. so when i listen to james brokenshire today i suppose i'll be concerned in relation to his comments with direct rule. direct
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rule is not an option. there is legislation in place which he must follow, which clearly says that he must call an election if there is no agreement here. we're working to achieve an agreement. we remain focussed on that. we want these institutions to work on the basis of equality, respect and integrity. direct rule is not an option. the new 12—sided pound coin entered circulation today. it marks the first change to the shape of the coin since its introduction in 1983. it's harderfor coin since its introduction in 1983. it's harder for criminals to counterfeit. some vending and ticket machines are not ready yet to accept the new pound. here is the new pound coin. it has special security features ah, part from being —— apart from being 12 sided and two coloured, it has small writing on it. it has a hologram with a pound sign at the bottom and a special feature
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with a pound sign at the bottom and a specialfeature inside with a pound sign at the bottom and a special feature inside which with a pound sign at the bottom and a specialfeature inside which means that coin machines can recognise whether it's genuine or not. that's important because there were so many fa kes important because there were so many fakes of the old pine 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,
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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. simon gompertz in southend. monl we're going to catch up with the weather prospects. most of us are fine right now, but there are already some heavy thundery showers scattered around moving north—east wards and some more prolonged damp weather pushing in from the west country and wales. soa in from the west country and wales. so a rather murky, dreary night out there, but the cloud cover will prevent temperatures falling too low. a milder night. as we start tomorrow, a overcast start. limited
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brightness. dribs and drabs of rain to start with and heavier bursts pushing into many western parts of wales and fringing the south—west and parts of the usual sea and much of scotla nd and parts of the usual sea and much of scotland as well turning wet eventually. dry weather for northern ireland, but the most reliable dry weather will be further south and east across wales. it will be warm across the south east on thursday, probably hitting 20 celsius. in contrast further north and west, it will be cooler and cloudier and there will be raub around. it will turn cooler come the weekend with april showers to look forward to then. that's it. bye for now. hello. this is bbc news with jane hill and simon mccoy. the headlines at 4.31pm: 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
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years for manslaughter. alexander blackman's wife welcomed the decision. we are overjoyed at the judges' decision to reduce al's sentence so he can be released imminently. 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 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. donald trump is due to sign a new executive order rolling back a raft of barack obama's environmental laws. the move will undo the clean power plan which required states
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to slash carbon emissions. more to come including the latest from holyrood. now, we'll catch up with the sports news. will perry has that. andy murray won't be fit to play in great britain's davis cup quarter—final against france which starts a week on friday. he has a tear in his elbow and needs to rest. we can now speak to great britain's davis cup captain leon smith. without the world number one, how big a blow for you? hi there. it is a big loss when you lose number one ranked player in the world to your team, but it is just bad luck for andy. it is an injury that needs a bit more time than just a couple of weeks to get ready for the best of five set matches on clay. he needs more time to rehab. so we will battle on without him.
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you say he needs a bit more time, can you give us anymore detail on the injury? it is a tear in the elbow. any idea when he might be back on the court? not really. i mean, i had a few messages from him yesterday. he has got a positive mindset. he is a very robust guy, we have seen that before from him. he'll get back quickly because he's a healthy and robust guy, but at the same time he knows you can't rush these things. so the next thing in these things. so the next thing in the diary will be monte carlo, that's hopefully one that he'll be back for. monte carlo is three weeks away. are we talking more serious than that, the french open, even wimbledon at risk or is that too far? well, it is not for me to comment on that. i'm not in his direct team. hopefully he will be back sooner rather than later. how much did he want to be involved? that's the thing, it is a shame. it
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isa that's the thing, it is a shame. it is a tie that he was up for. he loves the davis cup. he loves being pa rt loves the davis cup. he loves being part of the team. it is so different from what you get on the tour and each time you play davis cup, the atmosphere is different week to week to what you get on the tour. he was very much up for it. it was good timing because it helps with the preparation for the clay court season, what better way to get ready for monte carlo than playing competitive matches on clay. it is a shame, but we have shown before that our team shame, but we have shown before that ourteam can do shame, but we have shown before that our team can do stuff on occasions without him. it just our team can do stuff on occasions without him. itjust makes it obviously a lot more difficult, but i know the rest of the guys will be there, will be giving it their all. it is not just there, will be giving it their all. it is notjust what he provides on the court, andy murray, it is what he gives you hund the scenes, it is his leadership skills? it certainly is. he has shown that before. last year, is. he has shown that before. last yea r, after is. he has shown that before. last year, after wimbledon, he came out and supported the team in serbia
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away from home and his input there was fantastic on the court, off the court. he certainly helps. this one is not so far away so hopefully he might make an appearance to support the team which he cares about a lot and he will be very much welcome if he does. song ga and monfaels missing? clearly, their best singles players aren't available for one reason or another, but it is not a bad situation where you can call in another top 25 players. with mahut, they're still very strong and they are going to be favourites ranking wise so we're going to have to do
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something special to upset the odds. killer question, a depleted france team, but no andy murray, how confident are you that you can make the semifinals? it is a big challenge. we have got a good group of players. it wasn't like a few yea rs of players. it wasn't like a few years ago, if andy wasn't there we are calling on guys outside the top 100. we have got two guys that are sitting in the world's top 50 for a reason. they are good players. they have got a bag of davis cup experience and the hole team have. we will give it everything we've got and stranger things have happened and stranger things have happened and we'll prepare really well and we'll give ourselves every chance. lyon, thank you very much. thank you very much. that's all the sport for now. see you in the next hour. no, you won't. you'll see someone! we know what you meant, will. deplored the massive lost of
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civilian lives innist and coalition attacks and called for transparent investigations into the deaths of at least 300 people since february. jeremy bowen is on the front line in western mosul. gunfire. there is an alternative to this street fighting. that is to call in airstrikes and just level the neighbourhood. but there is another issue — destroying this city to save it, politically, that is a very bad idea. it is a question of trying to win the political battle, the media battle, as well as winning the military battle. it is notjust a question of how many of the enemy these people can kill. they have to convince the iraqi people that what they are doing is justified, and flattening the city, killing a lot of civilians will not do that.
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a rape victim whose case led a judge to warn that women are more likely to be targeted when drunk has defended the comments, saying the judge was "right". megan clark was raped by a man during a night out in manchester. the trial sparked controversy after the judge said the drunken behaviour of some women was putting them at risk. in an exclusive interview, miss clark, who has waived her right to anonymity, told the victoria derbyshire programme that she didn't believe the judge was "victim—blaming". 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. we need to be careful. but she wasn't at all victim blaming. she said a woman would be less
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likely to report a rape "because she was drunk or could not remember what happened or feels ashamed to deal with it or, if push comes to shove, a girl who is drunk is less likely to be believed than one who was sober at the time". is that how you felt at the time? yeah, that is definitely true. you didn't think you would report something like that because you had had a few drinks? it's not the way it should be. that is the harsh reality. that's the way things are. rape crisis did criticise the judge's comments, they said they were outrageous and misguided. they said, as a judge and a woman, she should know better. the only person who is responsible for rape is the rapist. women are yet again being blamed for rape. that's true. only the rapist is responsible, but that was the point the judge was making, it was just taken out of context. did you everfeel shamed or blamed?
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at first i did, yeah. a few people i told, they kind of put it down to my behaviour. i thought it was true. i guess everybody blames themselves. i know it is not my fault, but it is hard not to blame yourself, especially when you are in that situation. what is your message to other women when they're out and about with their mates in the summer, having had a few drinks? don't live in fear of rapists and being in danger. look after yourself, of course. know that it is not your fault, whatever happens. i guess i'd still encourage people to report it, because you have a better chance. and you can see that interview in full on the bbc website — at bbc.co.uk/victoria more now on the scottish parliament
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debate on whether to ask westminster for a second independence referendum before brexit. msps are due to vote on the proposals shortly. yesterday he was pictured on the steps of the council headquarters in perth as an snp candidate for the coming elections standing beside a grinning john swinney. the first minister called earlier this afternoon for a respectful debate, but it seems that the use of offensive language in her own party is rewarded with the endorsement from her deputy. if the first minister is serious about taking his advice then she needs to start leading by example in her own party. let me respond if i can... yes, i'll give way. i thank mr frazer for taking my intervention. a young
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family memberof mine taking my intervention. a young family member of mine asked of the scottish tories will you guaranteed that my partner will be able to return to scotland after the brexit negotiations are complete. he happens to be in love with a french national. the response from linda holt was, "how can i guarantee that? there are no guarantees in life. g row there are no guarantees in life. grow up." does mr frazer want to apologise for that or has the tory mask of responsibilityjust slipped? well, there she goes again. if the member thinks there is any comparison with that is right that sort of remarks and talking about quizlings and red coats and occupying forces then she is on a different planet from the rest of us. let me start with the first minister's opening speech. i'd like to start by congratulating the first minister on what is a remarkable success for her. for within the past two weeks she managed to achieve something that no first minister or snp politician has been able to
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deliver because for years members of this party, the scottish conservative and unionist party have deliberated over how do we make a conservative prime minister in london popular? we have faced a situation where despite our best effo rts situation where despite our best efforts it has been difficult for the scottish people to warm to a conservative prime minister. much sweat and tears have been expended and vast sums have been spent on speech writers and focus groups and style consultants to try and turn around the state of affairs to make around the state of affairs to make a conservative prime minister truly popular in scotland. presiding officer all that effort could have been saved if only we knew then what we know now, for all it takes to make a conservative prime minister popular in scotland is for her to say no to nicola sturgeon. for that has been the outcome of the events of the past week. as jackson told us earlier, the first minister had a plan, she would go to theresa may
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and demand the power it call a scottish independence referendum and theresa may would say no and such would be the outrage, would see a surge in support for independence. well, presiding officer, there has been a surge in support, but it is in thea been a surge in support, but it is in the a surge in support for independence, it is a surge in support for theresa may because nicola sturgeon has achieved something remarkable for an snp politician and for the first minister of scotland she has boosted the popularity of a conservative prime minister with the people of scotland. she has created a situation where the first minister is not just less popular than situation where the first minister is notjust less popular than ruth davidson, she is less popular than theresa may with the people of scotland. so can i sincerely on behalf of scottish conservatives and unionist party thank the first minister for unionist party thank the first ministerfor her efforts unionist party thank the first minister for her efforts on unionist party thank the first ministerfor her efforts on her behalf and car keep up the good work on our behalf. much of this debate centred around the question of
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mandates for a second independence referendum. i remember in 2014 the first minister, and her deputy in and the former first minister promised that the 2014 referendum would settle this issue for a generation. alex salmond seems to have forgotten that promise despite the evidence to the contrary. but thatis the evidence to the contrary. but that is what we were told at the time. i do not believe there is any clear mandate in the snp manifesto for a referendum. but in the green ma nifesto, for a referendum. but in the green manifesto, there is what you might call a cast—iron block to a second referendum. at their manifesto launch in april last year, of if press reports are to be believed maggie chapman said it would take 100,000 signatures on a petition to trigger a vote for a second referendum. 100,000? but that wasn't enough because party managers changed that figure to one million. that is the commitment green msps voted on, one million signatures required before they would back an independence referendum. mr harvey will distance himself from his co
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convener. i'm sure he is capable of reading what is in our manifesto rather than misrepresenting what isn't in our manifesto, but can he answer as several of his colleagues have been given the chance and none of them have yet done it, can he answer where on earth the uk government takes a mandate for leaving the single market on the basis of a manifesto that promised to commit to it on the very same page as committing to an eu referendum? mr harvie is trying to rewrite history. they pledged they would get one million signatures and there is not a million signatures to be seen. they didn't need one million signature. it was only one signature and it was nicola sturgeon's signature instructing them to vote with the snp. the people i feel sorry for are those well—meaning green party voters of scotlandment all those earnest folk
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we know them with their home spun woolle ns we know them with their home spun woollens and recycled bicycles and vegan diets coming out to vote for the green party because they are worried about climate change and about the birds and the bees and about the birds and the bees and about the birds and the bees and about the beavers. all of them voting green for a myriad of reasons, but not once thinking they we re reasons, but not once thinking they were handing a blank cheque to their group of msps to do the snp's bidding, it is beyond doubt that the greens have departed from the position they set out at the election last year and no wonder so many of their voters feel be troud by the current shower of green msps. the first minister argues if parliament votes this afternoon for the section 30 powers to be transferred from westminster, it will be a democratic outrage if this is refused by the uk government. we have heard time and time again in this debate from members across the parliament that this is not followed
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by the snp when it comes to votes in this parliament. when this parliament voted against nhs closures, did the snp government act? when they voted against the abolition of the board of hie, did the government act? when the parliament voted against the scrapping of the scottish funding board? did the scottish government act? when the parliament voted to get rid of the offensive football act, sn they ignored this parliament and treated members with contempt. what hypocrisy that the uk government must listen to the snp. presiding officer, let us be clear what happened if the snp get their way. it means campaign teams on the street by the weekend, unionist and nationalist camps back out knocking doors and demanding your vote. a vote to support the snp motion is a
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vote to support the snp motion is a vote to support the snp motion is a vote to put your school and hospital to the back of the queue because the scottish government would begin work beginning an unnecessary and divisive campaign. nicola sturgeon would be going into the office tomorrow with a campaign for independence at the top of her to do list. the countdown would begin tomorrow. which is utterly unfair to voters given we don't know how our new relationship with europe will play out and we still have no idea whether after independence we keep the pound or we go back into the eu. presiding officer i expect tonight's vote will be narrowly in favour of the government's motion. with the green party msps betraying their own ma nifesto green party msps betraying their own manifesto and their own voters, but let us be clear, if that is the vote of this parliament tonight, on this issue, the parliament, the snp, and the first minister, do not speak for scotland. presiding officer the snp might be turning their backs on the people of scotland, but we will not.
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we will continue to speak up for them and say boldly and clearly to them and say boldly and clearly to the snp, just as we as a country did in 2014, no, thanks. i call onjohn swinney in 2014, no, thanks. i call on john swinney to wind in 2014, no, thanks. i call onjohn swinney to wind up the debate. the first minister opened this afternoon's part of the debit by recalling the horror of last wednesday's events in westminster and i opened the conclusion of this debate with those same sentiments and they are a reminder of the significance of the democratic possess that beats at heart of our community. and that's what this debate has been about. it has been about a democratic discussion and difference of opinion and democracy cannot thrive unless there is difference of opinion. there must be contending propositions that people put forward. and that difference is at the heart of the democratic choice
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that every citizen has to make and every politician has to consider and wrestle with and of course, those sentiments were anchored in the debate by three very strong contributions from bruce crawford and murdoch frazer paid tribute to bruce crawford's speech. on the speech by ruth maguire which i thought was a really considered reflection on the need for there to be respectful debate about issues of significance to the future of our countriment on the beautiful speech that kate forbes made that expressed it so powerfully to parliament about the importance of fair and open discourse within our country and that's the debate we've got to have andi that's the debate we've got to have and i appreciate and i am on the receiving end, frequently, of social media comments and political comments that are hostile and
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aggressive and i know that other people are too. but we have a duty in this parliament to try to lead by example about the quality and the depth of the debate that we take forward and to wrestle with the genuine choice that faces us all. that brings me on to the crux of the starting point of this debate which is about whether or not there is any mandate for the scottish government to ta ke mandate for the scottish government to take forward the proposition that we're putting before parliament this afternoon for there could be a second referendum on the question of independence. and i go back to the wording of our manifesto in 2016 which i would remind parliament was supported in the constituency ballot by 46.5% of the electorate in scotland. the largest share of the vote that any government has been elected in the united kingdom with since the mid—1960s, a huge mandate, larger than the mandate that returned us in 2011. and that ma nifesto returned us in 2011. and that manifesto said the scottish
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parliament should have the right to hold another referendum if there is a significant and material change in the circumstance that prevailed in 2014 such as scotland being taken out of the eu against our will. and the reason why that is significant is because we all know, whatever side of the argument we we re whatever side of the argument we were on in 2014, we all know that the question of eu membership was a fundamental question in the debate in 2014. and the no campaign made the point, clearly and firmly in my own hearing, around the country, that the way to guarantee scotland's membership of the european union was to vote no. scotland voted no and our membership of the european union has been taken away interest us against our will. of course, i will give way. based on that logic then, there has been material breach and you have a mandate, but surely then the question that you would want to put to the scottish people then is an
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independent scotland within the eu andl independent scotland within the eu and i don't hear you saying that. that's the position of the government and that's my position and it is the position of my party. soi and it is the position of my party. so i hope that clarifies the matter for pauline mcneill. ifjohann lamont would allow me to make some progress. i think in a sense they wrestled with the same question. andy whiteman said that the outcome of the 2014 referendum and the outcome of the 2016 referendum are incompatible without a further choice being exercised and there is the rational that supports that. jackson carlo made a contribution, i think it was in response to intervention from my colleague in 2014 his qunts voted no, in 2016, they voted remain, but
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they'd somehow lost. they were not to get the outcome in 2016 that they actually voted for. studio: we're going to leave that debate, john swinney, the deputy first minister there, the debate scheduled to last a few more minutes. full coverage with huw in the 5pm programme and including that crucial vote. we will pause and catch up with the weather prospects. john hammond has those. it is beautifully sunny across some parts of the uk. here in gravesend temperatures have been soaring into the high teens, but for others, we have got thunderstorms developing a cross parts of the midlands. that's a theme that will continuement for some of us, it will be very warm for spring, 20 celsius good. for others though, wet and a lot cooler as well. we've got the weather beginning to turn more unsettled for
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sure with big areas of cloud starting to spiral their way off the atla ntic starting to spiral their way off the atlantic and this cloud now is producing showers across the midlandsment one or two thunderstorm. they will continue to move north—east wards and then another clutch of damp weather pushing through the west country and wales. so a damp and dreary night for many of us, but no great amount of rain. we won't see a frost tonight. the price we pay is a lot of cloud first thing. not a lot of rain to start proceedings. some brightness across scotland. elsewhere, cloud crisis, drear crisis weather and proper wet weather will push in across the irish sea into western parts of wales and fringing north wales and scotla nd wales and fringing north wales and scotland later on in the day. it doesn't look clever here through the afternoon. this is 4pm and cool as well under the rain clouds. 11, 12, 13 celsius, it might brighten up across northern ireland, but don't hold your breath. west wales seeing a lot of rain and dampness fringing
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into cornwall, but points east of that will hold on to a fair bit of dry weather. temperatures mid—teens. a muggy feel. on thursday, there will be southerly winds. in contrast further north and west across the uk, on thursday, it will bea across the uk, on thursday, it will be a lot cooler and the reason for that, of course, is more cloud and more rain and more wind again and wet weather up through the irish sea, west wales and north—west england could see rain and something brighter across northern ireland and scotland, but cool and blustery. now, by friday, some more wet weather will be pushing in from the south—west and this is a cold front. it will be important it will do what it says on the tin. so turning cooler for all of us and we're going to see further showers revolving around this troth of low pressure. we have got a ridge of high pressure building infor we have got a ridge of high pressure building in for later on in the weekend. so the weekend split into
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two. i think saturday will be a dave isn't shine and april showers. we're into april at the weekend. finer on sunday. that's the better of the two days. you will notice some chilly nights. that it. back in half an hour's time. today at 5: the scottish parliament votes on whether to call for a second independence referendum. msps have been listening to voices on both sides, including the first minister's, calling for a vote once the terms of the brexit deal become clear. the next two years will determine what kind of country we are going to be. european parliament and 28 national governments will all have their say, the people of scotland must have their say. the people of scotland have the right to see the brexit process play out, they need to see it working in practice, at this moment we should be pulling together, not hanging apart. this is the scene live in the scottish parliament, as members prepare to cast
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their votes after many hours of debate. we'll bring you the main vote as it happens, and we'll have reaction

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