tv BBC News at One BBC News April 7, 2017 1:00pm-1:31pm BST
the us launches missile strikes on the syrian airbase believed to have mounted a chemical weapons attack earlier this week. nearly 60 cruise missiles were fired from two american navy ships in the mediterranean in the early hours of this morning. tonight, i call on all civilised nations tojoin us in tonight, i call on all civilised nations to join us in seeking to end the slaughter and bloodshed in syria. as syrian television shows the aftermath of the attack, russia says fewer than half the missiles hit their target, and strongly condemns the action. the governement here gives the attack its full support, butjeremy corbyn says it risks further escalating the war in the country. we'll have the latest from our correspondents in washington and moscow. also this lunchtime... the remaining in tourist injured in the westminster attacks has died. ——
by romain yen tourist. andreea christea was on holiday from romania. she was catapulted into the thames during the attack. ambulances under pressure. there's a sharp rise in the number being turned away by a&e departments in england. and, it's ladies day at aintree on the second day of the grand national festival. and coming up in the sport on bbc news... lee westwood is the leading british player after the opening round of the masters. he is third, five shots off the lead, at augusta. good afternoon, and welcome to the bbc news at one. the us has carried out a missile strike on a syrian air base in response to the chemical weapons attack earlier this week in idlib province. it is the first direct us military action against forces commanded
by syria's president. the kremlin, which backs the assad regime, has condemned the move. the missile strike hit the shayrat airbase in the west of syria, north of the capital, damascus. six people are thought to have been killed, and the pentagon says aircraft and buildings were severely damaged. the strike was a direct response to the chemical attack believed to have been carried out by the syrian regime further north in the town of khan skeikhoun. ourfirst report comes from our correspondent in washington, david willis. it contains flashing images from the start. it was a decisive response from an administration that has often seemed disorganised and at times dysfunctional. a fusillade of tomahawk cruise missiles fired from us navy ships in the mediterranean, aimed at the syrian air base from which america says that deadly chemical weapons attack was launched earlier this week. a line—in—the—sand moment
for the new commander—in—chief. on tuesday, syrian dictator bashar al—assad launched a horrible chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians. using a deadly nerve agent, assad choked out the lives of helpless men, women and children. these are the heart—breaking images that moved the president to action, prompting in the process a remarkable shift in foreign policy on the part of his fledgling administration. a week ago, white house officials professed little interest in regime change in syria, but the use of what they now say was the deadly nerve agent sarin on people in the province of idlib by bashar al—assad's forces has changed everything. at least 86 people are thought to have died in the attack,
many of them children. the president's revised stance on syria is in sharp contrast to the position he took after the chemical weapons attack in 2013. as then president obama contemplated, and subsequently shelved, plans for a retaliatory strike, mr trump fired off a string of tweets calling on the us to stay out of syria. now, less than three months after taking office, the man who campaigned on a platform of selective engagement in the middle east finds himself embroiled in one of the most complex and intractable conflicts the region has ever seen. a conflict barack obama spent years actively attempting to avoid. so, will there now be more us missile strikes to come? this was the first time the us has taken direct military action against the assad regime. the tomahawk missiles caused considerable damage to the airfield in central syria,
and several syrian soldiers are also thought to have died. president trump said he acted in the national interest to prevent the future use of chemical weapons. but news of the missile strike has overshadowed today's summit with china's president xi, a meeting at which the two were expected to discuss the growing threat posed by north korea. president trump has said that, if necessary, he's prepared to go it alone on that front as well. but he could find he has his work cut out in syria, in a quagmire of a conflict which could come to define his presidency one way or the other. david willis, bbc news, washington. russia has strongly condemned the us missile strikes, describing them as an act of aggression against a sovereign state carried out in violation of international law. our moscow correspondent, steve rosenberg, reports on reaction there.
on russian tv, the first pictures from inside the syrian air base hit by us cruise missiles. in the distance, one aircraft that is still intact. russia's military claims the damage he was limited, but moscow is calling the us strike a gross groundless violation of international more. it is definitely an aggressive act against international law, against a sovereign country. and without any true evidence of the assad regime using chemical weapons. up until now in syria, it is russian military power that's been keeping president assad in power. russia's airforce, russia's air force, and the russian navy, helping syria's leader turned
the tide of the country's six—year long civil war. and helping moscow boost its role in the middle east. today, the kremlin accused washington of inventing a pretext for the missile strikes, which moscow claimed had harmed the fight against terrorism. there is a american tomahawks may have been targeting the syrian military, but judging by what the kremlin has been saying, it is us — russia relations that will take a real battering now asa that will take a real battering now as a result of the missile strike. the russians had been hoping that with donald trump in the white house, relationships with america would improve. but so far, there's been no sign of that. today, russia said it was suspending a deal designed to prevent us and russian warplanes from accidentally clashing in the skies over syria. as for political dialogue, that will continue. america's secretary of state rex tillerson is due in moscow next week. up until the us missile
strikes in syria, he could be in for some difficult conversations —— after the missile strikes. steve rosenberg, bbc news, moscow. here, the prime minister has given her full support to the attack. in a moment, we'll speak to our political correspondent, eleanor garnier, in downing street. but first we can talk to our washington correspondent, jane o brien. jane, is it fair to say that the administration is still very much staying at this stage that this is a one—off? staying at this stage that this is a one-off? yes, it is. and there is no signs of any further military action in syria against the assad regime. but don't forget that there or american forces on the ground in syria are already, supporting the push to retake raqqa from islamic state. that has always been the focus of the trump administration, the fight, he says, is against islamic state not against the assad regime. now, there has been a dramatic change in that in that only a few days ago by the administration was saying that assad could stay. now they are saying that he needs to
go. but this strike is being framed asa go. but this strike is being framed as a one—off, purely as a message to assad that america will not tolerate the use of chemical weapons. but i think it is also a message to russia that even were russian interests are involved, america is not afraid to act. fiona o'brien, thank you. -- jayne bryant. our political correspondent, eleanor garnier, is in downing street. there was support to that approach from number ten? i think britain has been at the forefront of the international support for the us strikes in syria. i spoke to the defence secretary earlier, he said that he and the prime minister had been kept informed brought by the white house and that he had spoken to the us defence secretary yesterday to discuss the options available to viewers administration. he said he thought the response by the us was both proportionate, but it was also limited —— to the us
administration. he said it was an appropriate response to what he called the barbaric chemical attack in syria earlier this week. i asked him if the uk support for the us military action was so strong, why was britain not involve itself? they didn't ask us to get involved or choose a particular option. they decided to take this very limited, appropriate action, attacking the airfield, the aeroplanes and the equipment that they believe were involved in the gas attack with the very specific purpose of trying to deter the regime from future gas attacks on their own people, including civilians. that is the view of the defence secretary. it would appear this lunchtime there is not unified response from the opposition? that's right. the strikes have polarised political opinion here, with the labour leader jeremy corbyn criticising the trump ministration, saying the actions could in fact make the situation in
syria even worse —— the trump administration. i think it is the wrong time to do it. i think they should have been in consultation with the un before anything happened, but it just with the un before anything happened, but itjust happened. let's now have a rapid ceasefire and return to the negotiating table in geneva. millions of people have been forced into exile, tens of thousands have died in this conflict, weapons are pouring into the region and it's getting worse. there has to be a political solution. i should doubt thatjeremy corbyn‘s political solution. i should doubt that jeremy corbyn‘s stance political solution. i should doubt thatjeremy corbyn‘s stance is that direct odds with the deputy leader of the labour party —— i should add. tom watson believes the us strikes we re tom watson believes the us strikes were a proportionate response to the chemical attacks. the lib dem leader tim farron has urged the uk government to consider further military action. the defence secretary has said that this stage it doesn't look like that is going to happen. if there were an appetite for it, the government would go to parliament, it would go to the commons to ask mps to vote on
further military action. and i think it would only do that if it knew that it could win the vote. eleanor garnier, thank you. our security correspondent, frank gardner, is with me is now. do you think there is any sense in which the assad regime. to consider that chemical attack and on goal, essentially? i think it will certainly think twice before doing it again. it got away, according to chemical experts, with three chlorine strikes on civilian areas last year with no action. and remember that there was no action, punitive action, after the 2013 chemical strike, the sarin gas attack on the outskirts of damascus. so clearly president assad is determined to reclaim the hall of syria. and he wants to punish those areas outside his control, and basically drive them back into the syrian government or by —— the whole of syria. this was an extraordinary on goal really. there is a similarity here with the so—called
islamic state. back in 2014 they we re islamic state. back in 2014 they were carrying out atrocities and nobody was really paying any attention. then they went and ca ptu red attention. then they went and captured that yazidi people, the sex slaves and western hostages and beheaded them on camera, that brought the west into the war, it was an own goal. now they are using... abusing mosul and they will lose raqqa. there is a similarity —— 110w lose raqqa. there is a similarity —— now they are losing mosul. assuming president assad did this chemical strike, he will think very carefully before doing any more. it is a deterrent. thank you, frank gardner. and we'll have more on this story later in the programme. but you can also get more online at bbc.co.uk/news. now we will take a look at the rest of the day's news. the romanian tourist who was knocked into the river thames during the westminster attack two weeks ago has died. andreea cristea, who was 31, had been visiting london with her boyfriend. her death brings the number of people killed to five. sangita myska reports.
andreea cristea was much loved. she had come to london with her boyfriend, andrei burnaz, when they became victims of the terrorist attack on parliament. on a spring day two weeks ago, the couple had been strolling along westminster bridge when khalid masood deliberately drove his car at pedestrians. ms cristea fell into the river thames, sustaining massive injuries. despite intense efforts by medical teams, yesterday it was decided her life—support machine should be switched off. today, herfamily made this statement. last week, hundreds walked across westminster bridge to pay
tribute to those who were murdered. among them was miss cristea's partner, andrei bernaz, whose foot was broken during the assault. it'a emerged he had intended to propose to her that evening. they were coming to london to celebrate their birthday. he intended to ask her for marriage. the floral tributes at westminster bridge to the four people who lost their lives there continue to grow. ms cristea's family say the thousands of pounds raised by the public for her care will now be donated to charity. sangita myska, bbc news. hospitals in england were forced to turn away ambulances almost twice as often this winter than in the previous three years. the nuffield trust says its analysis shows ambulance services are facing even more pressure than nhs hospitals. our health correspondent,
jane dreaper, has the details. a grieving brother. sam has suffered from an ambulance service under strange. his brother died in december after a six—hour wait and he feels he's had to battle to get a nswe rs. he feels he's had to battle to get answers. we believe the ambulance arriving late, very late, had a direct result, so it's absolutely devastating and i'm not sure that myself and other members of the family really quite believe what's happened. it's like a really bad dream. emergency services are under increasing pressure, with ambulances sometimes being sent to hospitals further away as a temporary measure. today's report shows hospitals are diverging ambulances more often. during the three winters beginning in 2013, this happened on average
249 times. but in the most recent winter, the number of diverts jumped, to almost 500. you may say that's not a big numberfor stopping the tip of the iceberg. they have doubled. they reveal a service under tremendous pressure. there will be 500 diverts, but many more a&e departments working right at the limit that they could have diverted. ambulance trusts in england are missing their expected response times and paramedics say being found elsewhere doesn't help anyone. —— being sent elsewhere. the report says morale is low amongst ambulance staff. nhs england believes too many ambulances are being dispatched to simply try to hit targets and it's reviewing the system. jane dreaper, bbc news. lloyds banking group is to set aside £100 million to compensate customers who were victims of a large fraud at its subsidiary, hbos. six people, including two former hbos employees,
were jailed earlier this year for their part in the scheme. the financial conduct authority is resuming its investigation into the fraud, which was put on hold because of the criminal trial. a man who was spared prison sentence for domestic violence after telling the court he would lose an offer to play professional cricket has now been jailed, after the play professional cricket has now beenjailed, after thejudge reviewed his sentence. it emerged after the original hearing that mustafa bashir had not been made an offer, as he'd claimed, by leicestershi re offer, as he'd claimed, by leicestershire county cricket club. judith moritz is outside manchester crown court. there was a huge reaction after that original sentence for stuff explain what's happened now. what's happened today is that most bashir was led down to the cells to begin serving his prison sentence immediately. last month, when he was brought before this court, he was given an 18 month suspended sentence. but today, the
judge richard mansell qc told him he was altering that sentence, because he had been fundamentally misled by mustapha bashir. he had pleaded guilty previously to assaulting his wife, to forcing her to drink police bleach and hitting her with a cricket bat but when he was being sentenced his original defence team told the court that if he was allowed to keep his liberty, that he'd be employed as a professional by leicestershire county cricket club. on hearing that, the club denied it, contacted the proud prosecution service and the judge brought the man back in front of the court today to have his sentence reviewed. we were told in court that mustapha bashir had played cricket at local league level but never had the offer of a professional contract. he said there had been a series of misunderstandings but he had not intended to mislead the court. thejudge dismissed had not intended to mislead the court. the judge dismissed that and said he had misled them. thejudge
addressed criticism that had been made about comments he'd previously made about comments he'd previously made to do with the vulnerability of the victor minnis case for stopping been reported as saying siege hadn't been reported as saying siege hadn't been particularly vulnerable. today, he said he'd been sticking to guidelines issued by the court do with victims' vulnerability, and she should be considered a vulnerable victim. our top story this lunchtime. the us launches missile strikes on the syrian airbase believed to have mounted the chemical attack earlier this week. president trump said it was in the interests of national security. and still to come. reaching new heights, the coastal rope bridge that is so popular timed entry has been brought in to deal with the crowds. coming up in sport at 1:30pm: unsafe conditions force second practice to be abandoned ahead of the chinese grand prix — leaving the drivers to find other ways of keeping the crowds entertained in shanghai.
refuges and shelters in england are now turning away more women and their children than they accommodate. that's according to the domestic violence charity, women's aid — which says a lack of funding is putting lives at risk. our home affairs correspondent june kelly has been talking to women who've survived domestic abuse. these children in an art class are the victims of domestic violence. you're good at sticking, aren't you? they may not have been physically hurt, but they have witnessed their mothers being abused. and they fled with their mums to this refuge in surrey. clare arrived here last year with her young son. we left with one carrier bag, literally. i had five minutes to grab what we could. all my belongings, my child's toys, just left behind. i came here and, basically, i broke down and cried and cried. although her partner didn't harm her physically, he subjected her to years of mental
torment, what is known as coercive control. once he threatened me with a hammer. i used to say, "i'll lock you out," and he'd say, "i'll smash your windows." he had total control. the government has a strategy for tackling violence against women and girls. and it says it's earmarked at least £40 million for domestic violence services. but those who work on the frontline say there needs to be a rethink on funding. the government is putting money in at the moment, which we're very grateful for, but it's a very short—term approach. what we need is a longer—term approach, and a longer term investment with a long—term strategy, so that refuges can continue to function. if that doesn't happen, refuges will close and more women will die. how are you feeling about moving? clare is now preparing to move out of the refuge, into a new home. this refuge, run by the charity women's aid, is so short on space that this office will soon be converted into an extra bedroom. staff will then have to work
from a shed in the garden. one in six specialist refuges in england have closed since 2010 because of a shortage of money, according to domestic violence charities. and they're warning that around the country, the future of many more is injeopardy. in response, the government said... at the refuge in surrey, new arrivals are provided with the basics for mums and children, as they start a new life. but for all the women and children they give a home to, there are many more that they have to turn away. june kelly, bbc news. brexit poses an unprecedented threat to the environment —
that was the warning from the green party, as it launched its local election campaign speaking in worcester, the party's co—leader jonathan bartley said the uk's withdrawalfrom the european union puts 40 years of environmental legislation at risk. timed tickets are being introduced at carrick—a—rede rope bridge, to try to deal with the crowds at the coastal attraction in county antrim. its popularity has been boosted in recent years by its link to the tv series game of thrones. chris buckler is there. yes, there's been a huge growth of visitor numbers here to northern ireland's northern coast and part of thatis ireland's northern coast and part of that is due to game of thrones, which builds around here. there's a tour on now. this bouncy rope bridge is something a lot of people come to see. however, the national trust has taken the decision to put in place a
strict time limit. this lot will have 16 minutes to cross to the island, because of the sheer pressure of numbers. the national trust says that's important to protect both people and the spectacular environment. each year, 100s of thousands of people test their nose by crossing high above the rocks to the tiny island of carrick—a—rede. this rope bridge hangs many metres over the sea but it's only 18 inches wide and just eight people are allowed across it at any one time. but there is such a demand from visitors that the national trust have put in place a strict time limit. it's to ensure people have a safe visit and time to access the site. we welcome 425,000 people here last year. newsreel: isner 90 feet to the land
below. it was built in the 1700s by salmon fisherman. it's long been one of northern ireland's most tour popular tourist attractions. it's gradually been made safer and sturdier over the centuries, although it still sways in the wind and many choose not to look down.“ someone is walking behind you, it feels terrifying. very, very beautiful. magic. the giant's causeway, which sits nearby, also a tt ra cts causeway, which sits nearby, also attracts many visitors. there are some people concerned about protecting the natural beauty along northern ireland's rugged north coast. but they also want to ensure tourists get a chance to see as much as possible, even if here at carrick—a—rede that will now be against the clock. chris buckler, bbc news at the carrick—a—rede rope bridge. it's ladies day at aintree,
on the second day of the grand national festival. and thoughts are also turning to the world's most famous steeplechase which takes place tomorrow. top female jockey katie walsh says she will be fit to ride in tomorrow's race despite injuring her arm in a fall on thursday. our correspondent andy swiss is at aintree. hello, yes, welcome to aintree, where, as you say, ladies day is very much in full swing. around 50,000 fans here already soaking up the atmosphere. if today is the social highlight, tomorrow is very much a sporting highlight. it's the grand national, and as usual, it's wide open. welcome to aintree's annual fashion stakes — ladies day. the glitzy warm up, ahead of tomorrow's main event. and this year it's something of an anniversary national — exactly 40 years since a legend completed a memorable hat—trick. commentator: red rum
wins the national. appropriately enough, this year's favourite is another red — definitely red — trained in yorkshire, aiming to be number one. the pressure is always there, whether you are running the national or any other race. it's great, we've got one of the favourites so all we want to do is get him there and in the race itself have a bit of luck. well, the challenge of the national is like nothing else. these huge fences make it one of sport's most unpredictable events and as history has proved anything can happen. commentator: he's fallen... it's exactly this 50 years from this melee, from which remarkably all emerged unscathed, allowed a 100—1 outsider to romp to victory and half a century on, the national‘s surprise factor is as great as ever. it's the biggest horse race over jumps for sure in the world and the biggest test for any horse,
and for a jockey it's one of the best thrills in the world to have a good ride round there. i've been lucky enough to finish second twice, but there's nothing quite like winning. so while for the fans it might be all for fun, for the riders, racing's sternest test is now within their sights. andy swiss, bbc news, aintree. let's return to the news that the us has carried out a missile strike on a syrian air base, in response to the chemical weapons attack earlier this week in idlib province. our middle east editor, jeremy bowen, is with me now. might thoughts turn to regime change asa might thoughts turn to regime change as a result of this? just before the attack the us secretary of state said assad has no part in the future of syria. that's been said loads of times before. but when it said in
conjunction with an attack on the regime, crossing a self—imposed red line on the us administration, then that i think means that it will be taken much more seriously. but how would they actually make that happen? when he says it has no future, i think they've still been talking about some sort of political deal that excludes him full stop not active saddam hussein style regime change, which is a much bigger event. but i think the big question 110w event. but i think the big question now is will the americans do something else? they've been indicating this isjob done. but if they have any other plans, certainly at the very least is what they've seemed to have been riding high. although the regime in damascus absolutely denies it had anything to do with a chemical attack and blames the rebels. thanks very much, jeremy bowen.