tv BBC News at Ten BBC News April 6, 2017 10:00pm-10:31pm BST
tonight at ten, the white house dramatically changes policy on syria, after this week's suspected chemical weapons attack. man cries. as relatives mourn the dead, washington says there's no doubt syrian government forces were responsible. investigators have been at the scene of the bombing. america says syria has no future under president assad. i think what happened in syria is a disgrace to humanity. but he's there and i guess he's running things, so something should happen. and tonight there are reports of detailed discussions between the pentagon and the white house, about military action in syria. we'll have the latest. also on the programme. president trump prepares to meet china's presidnt xi, the first face to face talks between the super power rivals. britain's highest court rules against a father who took his daughter on holiday during the school term. the issue is no longer — if ever it was —
about term time holidays. it's about the state taking the rights of parents away, when it comes to making decisions about their children. not the welcome he was expecting for the french presidential candidate francois fillon — we'll have the latest from the campaign trail. there's a dramatic start to the masters, with the world number one dustinjohnson pulling out. and an inspired work of art, or expensive folly? we have an exclusive on the latest work by damian hirst. and coming up in sportsday on bbc news: dustinjohnson walks off the first tee and out of the masters. the world number one won't play at augusta after injuring his back in a fall at home. good evening.
in an apparent major shift in policy, the trump administration says syria has no future under bashar al—assad, after the deaths of at least 80 people, killed in a suspected chemical weapons attack this week. the authorities in damascus have denied any involvement, but tonight, the us secretary of state rex tillerson said there was no doubt syrian government forces were responsible. it's being reported that detailed discussions are taking place between the pentagon and the white house about possible military action against the syrian government and president assad. and speaking in the last hour, president trump aboard airforce one, said the bombing was "a disgrace to humanity" and "something should happen". our correspondent nick bryant reports from the united nations in new york. yesterday we saw abdul—hamid alyoussef grieving for his twin children, poisoned in the attack.
today, he suffered the further agony of burying them. often the images we see from syria are of helpless victims, caught in a spiral of violence that they have no way of controlling. but today, these syrians became activists. doctors, rescue workers, children, a silent protest, an expression of dignified rage, an act of self preservation. they are demanding punishment for the assad regime and protection from the assad regime and protection from the international community. and growing signs tonight both could come from the trump administration. it top diplomat hinting strongly the us could respond militarily and saying president assad will eventually have to go. we are considering an appropriate response for this chemical weapons attack, which violates all previous un resolutions, violates international norms and long held agreements between parties, including the syrian regime, the russian government, and all other members of
the un security council. it's a serious matter that requires a serious matter that requires a serious response. today, america's commander in wounded warriors from past conflicts. this has been a big stress test of his america first approach, a philosophy predicated on approach, a philosophy predicated on a narrow view of us interests in which exercising moral and humanitarian leadership was not considered central. but the chemical attack has clearly altered that thinking. as he indicated tonight, aboard air force one. what assad did is terrible. i think what happened in syria is one of the truly egregious crimes and it shouldn't have happened. and it shouldn't be allowed to happen. the diplomatic battle ground in this conflict has long been the united nations security council. it's seen a struggle primarily between the united states and russia and they've clashed again over the wording of the draft resolution responding to the draft resolution responding to the attack. the british and the french drafted this resolution and
then the americans inserted much stronger demands. they are insisting that the syrian military hand over all the flight logs for the day of the attack and also give international investigators access to its air bases. the russians say that's unacceptable. the americans are refusing to back down. the syrian government continues to claim it wasn't responsible for the chemical weapons attack. translation: our army has never used chemical weapons and will not use chemical weapons and will not use chemical weapons, not only against our civilians, our people, but also against the terrorists. the international investigation is now under way and victim soft tuesday's mass poisoning is being treated in turkish hospitals provide major clues. samples ta ken turkish hospitals provide major clues. samples taken from them and postmortem is carried out on the dead have left the turkish government in no doubt the assad regime carried out the attack. and
fortu nately, regime carried out the attack. and fortunately, it's very clear to us that the assad regime has no hesitation in using chemical weapons. they attacked with chemical weapons. they attacked with chemical weapons. they attacked with chemical weapons. the gruesome images from syria do appear to have stirred a dismal response from donald trump. he often reacts to what he sees on television. there are increasing indications his outrage will be expressed in some kind of military response. we'll hear a bit more from the king but first, let's talk to our america editorjon sopel, who is in palm beach ahead of president trump's meeting with president xi of china. the suggestion we are seeing a shift in policy on syria from the trump administration, how clear is that? well, it's pretty clear, and it's pretty dramatic. i mean, a month ago bashar al—assad, in the eyes of the us administration, was part of the solution, that he could be very useful in the fight against so—called islamic state. yesterday,
we heard president trump say that his position had changed, that the assad regime had crossed many lines. when i was outside the white house this time yesterday, i thought i saidi this time yesterday, i thought i said i thought the implication was that there was going to be military action. i've now changed that. given everything that has been said in the last 2a hours, i think that military action is a betting certainty and could be imminent and we could wake up could be imminent and we could wake up tomorrow morning and find out that the americans have taken action. cast your mind back to what donald trump said about barack obama, when he said a red line had been crossed and he did nothing about it. were donald trump not to act now, he would look weak and he
would not want that. what would the objectives of military action be?m ita objectives of military action be?m it a metaphorical slap on the wrist, or something more profound? i understand general mattis is briefing the president on military options. it could range from cruise missiles launched from the eastern mediterranean, taking out the syrian i forced off from to launch the attack, to attacking syrian air defences, to other options. it goes back to that original question you asked, what is the military objective? that, we don't know. it's easy to start something, much more difficult to stop it. jon sopel, thank you, in palm beach. let's go to nick bryant in un in new york. we seeing real toughening of the language from the white house and we are expecting a vote at the un shortly? in the next couple of hours we are expecting a vote on the resolution demanding access to the air bases for investigators to go in there, and what i've been told,
while we've been on air, i've received a text from somebody who is in those negotiations and their full expectation is that the moment that the russians will veto that draft resolution. that will be the eighth veto of a resolution that was aimed at the assad regime. the americans are saying publicly and privately rex tillerson repeated it today as well, that the russians have to rethink their support for the assad regime. they want that to change. rex tillerson will be in moscow next week, delivering that message personally. what the conversation and the negotiations have been about in new york this past day, have been about getting investigators access to the airbase. that conversation could change dramatically and possibly overnight, and there is this possibility is that we could be talking tomorrow about some kind of us airstrike on talking tomorrow about some kind of us air strike on the basis from which they believe the planes took
off, that launched the chemical attack. nick bryant at the un in new york. donald trump was speaking about syria on his way to florida, to meet president xijinping of china. the two men will discuss a highly contested issues of trade on the growing threat from north korea. they are meeting at mr trump's resort in palm beach in florida and ina resort in palm beach in florida and in a moment we'll get the view of our china editor, carrie gracie, on the meeting. first, jon sopel. president trump and the first lady arrived in florida for what promises to be the most important meeting of his presidency. president xi
arrived, two superpowers with different missions. we are getting ripped by china. we can't allow china to rate our country. travel down the coast from here to the port of miami and you can see what the president is talking about. far more goods are coming in from china than american products going the other way. it's a massive imbalance and the president has threatened to introduce tariffs, which could spark a trade war. but the local mayor said that must be avoided. the president would like to see more of the balancing exports and imports but i don't think we are going to get into a trading war with china. it would not be good for the united states or china. and the picture is more complex than the campaign rhetoric. take apple's iphones, an american company that chooses to manufacture in china. us companies are account for 40% of imports coming in from the asian superpower. in america, there's more chinese investment like this windscreen
facility in ohio, creating tens of thousands of jobs. this facility in ohio, creating tens of thousands ofjobs. this is the number—i foreign policy concern of the trump administration. there is frustration that china hasn't done more and donald trump has threatened to go it alone. a bad idea, says this north korea expert. we will do a lot better at it if we were doing this in conjunction with china and with the republic of korea, than if we are trying to do it separately. these are the most asked vietnamese protesters u nha ppy these are the most asked vietnamese protesters unhappy about chinese expansionism in the south china sea. that issue might be touched upon. but it's not central to the concerns today, where the focus is on trade and north korea. jon sopel, bbc news, palm beach, florida. president xi likes to play the strongman, every appearance choreographed, every meeting scripted. he doesn't do risky blind
dates. but in florida he hopes to seize the day and shake president trump's china policy in a way that suits china. —— shape president trump's china policy. last time president xi visited the us he made the point that companies like boeing earn good money in china. but with economic growth slowing at home, he can ill afford a trade war with his biggest market, and he laughed to offer help for us exports and jobs. he can from this investment in deprived areas of the united states and promised trump he is bringing
jobs to the united states. he's using north korea as an excuse to deploy aggressive strategic military assets closed china. he's using assets closed china. he's if deploy aggressive strategic military assets closed china. he's if mr she can then head off a trade war and temper mr trump's tweets on north korea, he'll call this florida summita triumph. korea, he'll call this florida summit a triumph. carrie gracie, bbc news. the highest court in england and wales has ruled that any parent who takes their child out of school during term time could be fined, or even face prosecution. a man from the isle of wight had argued he could take his daughter out of school because she attended regularly. jon platt had originally refused to pay a fine, after taking his daughter for an unauthorised holiday. the supreme court, in overruling a high court judgment, said parents need to act within school rules. here's our education editor, bra nwen jeffreys. jon platt took his case to the highest court and lost, but today, defiant, he said for him this was about his rights as a parent. the issue is no longer — if ever it was — about term time holidays, it's about the state
taking the rights of parents away when it comes to making decisions about their children. later, jon told me he has no regrets. his daughter had attendance of more than 90%. he won't plead guilty when it goes back to the magistrates and could face a fine of up to £1000. not every day missed at school has a negative impact, because if it did we wouldn't have schools taking children to a museums or a library. what do you say to people who argue it's the areas where children are missing lots of school and results are really poor that really need these clear rules? so if they are missing school all the time and they are persistently absent, prosecute them. so where does this leave england's schools? it means they get to decide the rules on attendance. something headteachers have welcomed. we've always stood our line at this school anyway, because we said to parents,
when you chose to send your child to this school you signed our home—school agreement that said i'll send them everyday regardless, but it will make our life a lot easierfrom here on. it's notjust us saying it, we've got the full force of law behind us. families at exmouth today, at the start of their easter break. many annoyed by the high holiday prices, but sympathy too for the judges' view that if too many children miss school, it's disruptive. if everyone took their children out of school because of cheaper holidays, then school wouldn't be the same. i think school is important. i'm a teacher myself. i think children need to be in there, but occasionally i can see why parents do take their children out of school, because the holiday companiesjust ramp up the prices during the school holidays, which is a bit unfair really. i think they should be taken out of school, because they always did in our day and it never did us any harm. a week or two, they don't miss that much and they learn so much
when they're on holiday. elisha works in a cafe at this seaside town. she says it's hard for parents who have seasonal work. we are busiest in the half terms and the summer holidays, so it's hard to get time off work, and it's easier when we're not in season. parents have a legal duty across the uk to get their children to school regularly, but the chances of a fine depend on where you live. wales — the exception, where families can ask for up to ten days extra holiday. no consolation in england, where schools may now be stricter. branwen jeffreys, bbc news. let's take a look at some of the day's other top stories. theresa may has told the president of the european council, donald tusk, that the sovereignty of gibraltar is not up for negotiation, during brexit talks. the two met at downing street for the first time since mrs may triggered the process of leaving the european union. the oil giant, bp, has cut the pay
of its chief executive, bob dudley, by a0%, after facing a shareholder rebellion last year. the company said it had consulted investors, before putting forward the new package worth £95 million, to ensure a clear link between pay and performance. the ukip welsh assembly member, mark reckless, has left the party and will now vote with the conservatives, making them the second—largest party in the devolved assembly,overtaking plaid cymru. it's another blow for ukip, after its only mp, douglas ca rswell, announced he was leaving the party last month. labour says if it wins the next election, every primary school pupil in england will get free school meals, and they'll be paid for by charging vat on private school fees. jeremy corbyn says the health and performance of young children will be improved, but critics say labour's sums don't add up. here's danny savage. school meals.
a political hot potato which labour is reheating. have you met the prime minister? the labour leader was in lancashire to promote the idea of free school meals forallstate—educated, primary age children in england, with the aim of improving their health, paid for by adding vat to independent school fees. what can be more important than making sure our children are properly fed? what can be more important than making sure our children grow up with a balanced diet and a reliable lunch every day they're in school? it's the families of these private school pupils who would be paying for the initiative, a prospect which doesn't impress head teachers in the sector. i think it's unworkable. i doubt it would happen. but the thing is it wouldn't be just taxing the rich, these are the very people who are struggling to send their children into private education. paying twice with their taxes, and making the choice of wanting excellence. it cost £9,000 a year to send a child to this school. if labour gets their way, a tax
of 20% would be added to the bill, pushing up fees by £1800. these two women send their children to independent boarding schools. they are dismayed at labour's plans. oh, it will make a huge difference for most people who are just about affording to send their children to private school. i honestly think that's the majority of people who do without holidays, they do without new cars. my own daughter is now sending her child to the same prep school she went to. and i know full well that the majority of her friends will not be able to continue if they have to pay another 20%. but there are those who support a tax on school fees. i had children in private school, also had them in mainstream. when we could afford it, yes — i wouldn't have minded paying for the people who couldn't. i definitely think it's a good idea.
they've got the money. let them help people who are less fortunate than themselves. labour has pointed to research it claims shows that providing free school meals at primary level raises children's grades. but the actual researchers clarified their position today. our research showed there was a positive, academic benefit, to having universalfree school meals in deprived areas. it said nothing about whether it would have the same impact if you rolled it out nationally. labour says the tax could raise £i.5 billion a year. danny savage from the bbc news, west yorkshire. with little more than two weeks to go before the first round of the french presidential elections, the candidates have been attending campaign rallies across the country. but there was a setback for the republican candidate, francois fillon, when a protester threw a bag of flour over him in strasbourg. he's under investigation, accused of paying hundreds of thousands of pounds to family members for work they didn't do, and he denies the allegations.
behind the centrist candidate emanuel macron, and marine le pen of the far right front nationale. our europe editor, katya adler, has travelled to the town of bandol in the south of france, where she found voters, willing to bypass the established political parties. sun, song and provencal charm cascades through the streets of bandol market. like much of france, so appealing on the outside, but bubbling with resentment on the in. "we need a radical change," alain told me. "our politicians line their pockets while we struggle to make ends meet." while mimi said her country was beautiful, but governed by crooks. this strong antiestablishment feeling plays into the hands of far right presidential hopeful marine le pen, traditional outsider in french politics. le pen activists were campaigning hard in the market today. translation: ours is a patriotic programme, a complete change for france, and the people say they are with this. the le pen campaign casts a wide net. marine targets angry low—income workers in the north,
prominent niece marion woos struggling businesses in the south. both are anti—immigration and anti—globalisation. but now there's a rival antiestablishment kid in town. liberal rebel emmanuel macron. back in the market, team macron was on a charm offensive. with emmanuel macron we have the choice to vote against the professionalisation of politics and someone who is defending our convictions. we're not against free trade or globalisation or immigration. the macron appeal is he's an insider—outsider. traditional political background, but youthful, unconventional. he's chatting here to schoolchildren about his vision for a new france, neither right nor left wing. but it's not only the future
of france riding on these elections. france is an eu heavyweight, historically, politically and economically, but the leading presidential candidates here want to pull the country in different directions. in deep with emmanuel macron, who even campaigns with eu balloons. marine le pen wants out of the euro and possibly the union altogether. but could the eu survive a frexit? hardly, say even brussels insiders. translation: it would be a disaster for europe if le pen won. after brexit, if france goes, the eu would have no military power anymore, no nuclear power. compared to china, russia or america, the eu would be nothing anymore. but many are unmoved by the drama.
the number of abstentions and last—minute voters is predicted to be high here. the disillusioned could decide the direction of france and beyond. katya adler, bbc news, south of france. it's day one of the first golfing major of the year, the masters in augusta. but, as the players teed off, there was a dramatic late withdrawal, with the world number one, dustinjohnson, pulling out. here's our sports correspondent, katie gornall. it was a guessing game right up until the last minute. after a bad fall at his rental home, world number one dustin johnson arrived fall at his rental home, world number one dustinjohnson arrived in should —— injured and unsure. would his back hold—up? following practice he had his answer. the red—hot favourite walking away without taking a shot. his absences are boosting his rivals. the masters is
the one major title missing from the cv of rory mcilroy. he is expected to face competition from jordan spieth. the american is looking to bounce back from last year's final day collapse which allowed danny willett to become the surprise winner in 2015. this time it was matt fitzpatrick who set the early pace. leading up to 15 holes he finished his first round one under par. for many the conditions at augusta were proving a challenge. jordan spieth may be former champion but he struggled with the twins. rory mcilroy ensured a difficult start. his trademark roar all too often replaced with the sight of frustration. consistency has been a problem for danny willett. after an early wobble, he covered with some pinpoint accuracy. you can always rely on watson to add colour to the course. he played his round with a pink ball. as the first day's draws
toa pink ball. as the first day's draws to a close, much is in contention. preserving sharks in formaldehyde, or encrusting a skull with more than 8000 flawless diamonds. there's no question damien hirst‘s art is eye—catching, earning him notoriety and wealth in equal measure. well, now, the former turner prize winner is hoping a fable about a shipwreck will help relaunch a career that some critics believe has hit the rocks. called treasures from the wreck of the unbelievable, the new artwork has been nearly a decade in the making, and costs millions. in his only broadcast interview about the piece, damien hirst has been speaking to our arts editor, will gompertz. what quickly becomes apparent from damien hirst‘s new show is that he still loves spectacle. the bigger, the brasher, the better. even in genteel venice, where he's filled two enormous palazzos with mythical figures. the idea is that there is a collector from 2000 years ago, who was a freed slave from antioch in turkey. and he begged, borrowed, stole, commissioned a massive collection. he built the biggest ship of its day called the unbelievable, or the apistos. he packed the treasures into it and the ship sank. it was a mythical story. then, ten years ago, we looked into the discovery of the wreck and we found the wreck and excavated the treasures. the exhibition is the exhibition of the treasures from the wreck of the unbelievable. so the story goes but, hang on a minute. what's this?
an ancient sword, bearing the legend, "seaworld." a marble sculpture with barbie branding. doesn't matter tattooed figure looks a lot like rhianna? is damien hirst taking the mickey mouse? for me, the show is totally about belief. you can believe whatever you want to believe. fantastical story aside, this collection of bronze, solid gold and marble artworks must have cost a fortune to make. er... what did we say? more than 20? less than 100? we can do better than that, damien. more than 50 or less than 50 million? i'm not sure. probably more. a lot of money. yours? yeah, mine. why do you want people to believe in this story? i want you to be searching for the truth, and i want you to have to be peeling back the layers to find the truth. i don't know what that truth is for you but i know what it is for me. what is it for you? for me, it is that this guy lived 2000 years
ago, he amassed this collection and he tried to do something for posterity and it sank to the bottom of the sea. it's like, i'm really shocked that i say that to you now. there is something sort of barmy about believing a story you actually invented yourself. you know, people believe in santa claus.