this is bbc news. i'm annita mcveigh. the headlines at ten: universities must protect free speech and "open minds, not close them", or face the consequences. a warning that prices for many everyday items will rise unless the government focuses on replacing trade agreements after brexit. boxing day sales have begun, but a bbc survey suggests that they won't be as popular as they used to be. here on oxford street there are plenty of shoppers out, hoping to bag a bargain. also in the next hour: monitoring territorial waters. a royal navy frigate spent christmas day escorting a russian warship through the north sea — one of several russian ships to pass close to the uk in recent days. how a mum from norfolk managed to capture the perfect image on her phone ahead of all the official photographers waiting to snap the royal family. and australia's batsmen get the better of england's bowlers yet again as they take command on the opening day of the fourth ashes test.
and coming up, join us for whether world. we are with the people who can make snow, but not as you know it, because none of this is real. and look back at the year's biggest weather and storms. hello. good morning and welcome to bbc news. the universities minister, jojohnson, will use a speech today to give his clearest warning yet that academic institutions must protect free speech. he'll say students must be able to both hear and challenge controversial views during their years of study. some universities and student groups have refused entry to speakers, edward curwen reports. time spent at university must open minds, not close them.
that's the view ofjojohnson, the universities minister, who will today set out a firm defence of free speech on campus. speaking at a jewish cultural festival in birmingham, he will say students must be free to challenge each other‘s views, and groups seeking to stifle those who do not agree with them must be stopped. his defence of open debate comes after speakers on subjects from the state of israel to transgender rights have faced bans, sometimes by student unions, for having views considered inappropriate. others have demanded so—called safe spaces, where they won't hear about issues they may find upsetting. mrjohnson will say this cannot be tolerated, reiterating universities have an obligation to protect free speech and encourage frank and rigorous debate. from next april, a new regulator, the office for students, will have the power to fine universities that fail to uphold free speech. the body representing british universities said it would not allow legitimate debate be stifled. the challenge for university leaders will be deciding where to draw the line between extremist speech and a frank exchange of views. edward curwen, bbc news.
we can speak now to sir anthony seldon, who's the vice chancellor of the university of buckingham, and also to padraig reidy, he's a freedom of speech campaigner and editor of the political website little atoms. good morning to both of you. is this an issue you have had to confront on your campus, an issue you have had to confront on yourcampus, sir an issue you have had to confront on your campus, sir anthony? we are for free speech, and talking as vice chancellor, i think there is a danger we overcomplicate this. we have laws about inciting hatred, and the great danger of suppressing free speech is that you legitimise,
romanticise, sometimes vile views, and sometimesjust romanticise, sometimes vile views, and sometimes just diverging views that the minority doesn't find acceptable. and it is a duty of the university to open up dialogue, so where republican views are probably —— so where republican views are probably —— so where repugnant views are probably argued down. universities themselves autonomously didn't get this in order, so the universities minister is having to tell us what to do, and i think that is quite a shame for us, and degrading that we are in that position. when did this trend for greater censorship on campuses begin? where and how did it begin, do you think?”
campuses begin? where and how did it begin, do you think? i don't think we can identify any particular point where it became on campuses. unions have always had a no platform policy, for example for nazi or fascist groups... i'm really sorry to interrupt you. unfortunately the line we have with you and indeed sir anthony, both of those lines are not terribly good, we can't hear everything you are saying. we will try and connect with you again, apologies but we do have to leave those interviews at the moment. we will try to get back to those guests if we can establish a better connection. retailers have warned that prices
for everyday items may rise unless the government focuses on replacing trade agreements which will no longer apply when britain leaves the eu. the british retail consortium says the uk has about 80 trade deals in place and they won't be easy to replicate. the department for exiting the european union said it is committed to continuing current trade and investment deals. but the chief executive of the british retail consortium says about 80 current deals would be lost when britain left the eu, and replacing the would be a big task. thejob in hand is focusing on those trade arrangements and replicating the bits particularly from the point of view of uk consumers, and we are talking here about everyday products that people buy week in, week out. fish from norway, wine from south africa, clothes from turkey. so all of those products that are on our shelves or on websites we are buying from everyday, each of those have lower tariff rates on them that would exist if we didn't have those deals in place. what we are trying to do with the research that we have gathered from our membership, so from many of the retailers
in this country, is to highlight which countries are the ones that are most important for what people in the uk are buying every day, and south africa and turkey are the top two of those. and reallyjust put a little bit of focus on it, given as you say the focus up to now has been all about the relationship with the eu. let's recognise that there is another world out there which is the relationship with all of those other countries, and that has an impact on uk consumers. that was helen dickinson from the british retail consortium. staying with the retail. millions of shoppers are expected to head out to the boxing day sales today. it marks the start of a what has traditionally been a crucial period for retailers across the uk. but the majority of shoppers surveyed by bbc radio 4's you & yours programme believe online shopping and early black friday deals have made the post christmas sales less appealing. mle is on the uk's busiest shopping
street, oxford street in central london. does it feel as busy as it usually is in the post—christmas sales, or is it changing?” usually is in the post—christmas sales, or is it changing? i am told that it sales, or is it changing? i am told thatitis sales, or is it changing? i am told that it is not as busy as it used to be. there are shoppers out in force, they have queued for hours early this morning in the hope of bagging some of the best bargains, but i understand things are changing. jason tyrell is here, he looks after lots of the shops in oxford street and bond street. give me a flavour of how today has felt so far. less panic queueing that we have had in the past, but a lot of shopping already, and a lot of international visitors which is good news for the we st visitors which is good news for the west end. but online, not the same panic is in the past but is some good bargains were shoppers coming
out in the west end. and we have a radio 4 survey suggesting that people are gearing more towards black friday where the discounts are happening, expecting to spend less on boxing day. is that something you are seeing? the sales are spread out i'iow are seeing? the sales are spread out now right from black friday to boxing day, although we still think we'll international visitors, the spend levels are quite high, so we think it will be up about 4% on last year. it is really buoyed by the international visitors who are spending an average over £1000 every shopping trip. and give me a flavour of what people are buying. what bargains are people hoping to grab? it has been a mild winter, so there isa it has been a mild winter, so there is a lot of fashion heavily discounted, good news for shoppers coming in, but of course luxury brands, handbags, jewellery, shoppers on bond street looking for those good bargains and here on oxford street as well so good day all around we hoping across the west end. and the effect of the weakened pound, how is that working out where
are you seeing people coming from abroad to try to get better value? china is our top market, it will reach another one this year, so a really key market for us. they love going to regent street, the flagship stores there, but i think with the pound degreasing more, we are buoyed by the international visitor, and chinese visitors are now 20% of the overall spend the west end. annita, it feels really busy today. there are people out enthusiast it is looking for bargains, but it does seem that more and more people are logging on on christmas day in the hope of getting some even better online discounts. emily, thank you very much. the royal navy says there has been an increase in the number of russian ships travelling through or near the uk's territorial waters over the festive period. on christmas day, hms st albans was sent to escort a russian warship through the north sea as it passed close to uk waters. defence secretary gavin williamson said he will not "tolerate any form of aggression".
a 20—year—old man will appear before magistrates this morning charged with murder, after a fatal stabbing in a restaurant in middlesbrough on christmas eve. efreeqi mohamed siddig is accused of killing 41—year—old mazhar ali from stockton—on—tees who died in hospital yesterday. a british woman being held on suspicion of drug—smuggling will appear in court in egypt later this morning. laura plummer was arrested in october when officials found 290 tramadol tablets in her suitcase, which are legal in the uk, but not in egypt. the shop assistant from hull says she was carrying the pills for her egyptian partner, who suffers from back pain. supporters of vladimir putin will meet in moscow later to begin the formal process of nominating him as their candidate for president in next year's election. mr putin is seeking a fourth term in office, and will run as an independent this time. it comes a day after the electoral commission barred opposition leader, alexei navalny, from standing.
virginia langeberg has the story. he's spent almost 18 years in power. he's a man familiar with the grand entrance. but on this occasion, vladimir putin is expected to not even turn up to his own nomination event. some have read into that decision as a sign of confidence, but the kremlin says the russian president has a prior engagement. today marks the official launch of mr putin's presidential campaign. he's running as an independent, and has until the end of january to collect 300,000 signatures to register his bid. there's little doubt the president will be re—elected. there are no strong rivals now that anti—corru ption campaigner alexei navalny has been formally disqualified. the central electoral commission deemed mr navalny ineligible because of a corruption conviction, which he says is politically motivated. translation: it's not about me. it is about the fact that
a candidate is needed who will finally come to the election and speak openly about everything that happens in our country now, who will describe our reality honestly. absence of prospects, poverty. i did that, and that's why you don't want to let me take part in the election. navalny says he will now launch an appeal in russia's constitutional court. following his ban, he called on his supporters to boycott the election. but polls show president vladimir putin is on course for a comfortable re—election, meaning he'll remain in power for another six years, until 202a. virginia langeberg, bbc news. the nhs has promised to cut back on prescribing gluten—free biscuits, pasta and anti—dandruff shampoo. a study by the taxpayers alliance has found many items, which are prescribed by gps in england, are available in supermarkets — often at a much cheaper price. nick quraishi reports. the taxpayers alliance has
highlighted a number of items it says were prescribed on the nhs last year. they include ambre solaire factor 50 sunscreen. a non—branded version is available for half the price. branded gluten—free biscuits, significantly more expensive than a supermarket equivalent. ibuprofen, 30% cheaper away from the nhs. and colgate total advance toothpaste. over the counter, it's a seventh of the cost. the taxpayers' alliance says... in response, an nhs england spokesman said... the health service says it's already reviewing ten items it claims are ineffective,
unnecessary and inappropriate for prescription. nick quraishi, bbc news. a tropical storm that was threatening southern vietnam has weakened and is expected to dissipate within the next 48 hours. yesterday, hundreds of thousands of people were told they may need to evacuate their homes as forecasters warned that up to 20 centimetres of rain could fall. it's a quarter past ten. the headlines for you now on bbc news. the universities minister, jojohnson, is issuing his clearest warning so far that academic institutions must protect free speech. the head of the british retail consortium says prices for many everyday items will rise unless the government focuses on new post—brexit trade agreements. boxing day sales are getting under way, but a survey for the bbc suggests that they won't be as popular as they used to be. the latest on the ashes and the rest
of the boxing day sport now. good morning. england are trying to avoid a series whitewash in the ashes — and day one of the fourth test hasn't really given us much hope that might be possible. a century from david warner and another great performance from captain steve smith left australia on 2411—3 at the close. patrick gearey was watching. to borrow an australian phrase, england were always going to be in for a lot of hard yakka. the pitch suited the batsmen on a warm day, england lost the toss and were put into bowl. australia had 100 by lunch like to david warner. england got rid of cameron bancroft, who then frustrated warner as he neared his century on 99, and blinked, lobbing a catch up, and it seemed he had given tom curran his first test wicket on debut, but it we've plate
revealed no ball. back came warner, and the mcg brought his 100 on the very next ball. warner did goes into james anderson, caught behind, and after tea , james anderson, caught behind, and after tea, stuart broad got his first wicket for more than 400 deliveries. he nearly got another with his next, shaun marsh given not out lbw, the review went with the umpire's call. a key moment, and from there, marsh and steve smith stabilised things. smith remained unbeaten, and england must worry perhaps unbeatable. people want to see exciting cricket. we did our best. we didn't bowl great first session. we didn't add to that excitement, unless you are a david warner fan. but second session, we did all we could on that pitch, i know it wasn't exciting to watch, it wasn't exciting to play m, watch, it wasn't exciting to play in, to be honest, when it is that attritional, but that is the pitch that we have got for the next five
days, and we have to got to put up with it. football's festive fixtures continue with eight games today — leaders manchester city play newcastle tomorrow but in this afternoon's early kick—off, tottenham meet southampton with harry kane looking to break a record held by alan shearer. kane's hat—trick in saturday's win over burnley put him level with shearer on 36 goals in the calendar year. manchester united's task is to narrow the huge 14—point gap between themselves and manchester city at the top of the table. they're at home to burnley today. united slipped up at the weekend, allowing leicester to equalise in injury time — but burnley manager sean dyche knows that doesn't mean his side will get an easy ride. they still look a high—quality group of players to me. i was there recently, when they had to dig in and get a win, actually, against a brighton side that played very well. but that's the mark of a good side. you know, if it's not quite their day or the other team are playing well, they still come out of it with a result. so i don't think we're going there expecting it to be
anything other than a tough game. everton‘s fortunes have been on the up since sam allardyce took over — they're aiming to extend their unbeaten premier league run to six games when they face west bromwich albion away later. in contrast, west brom are still without a win in the league since august. definitely in that dressing room, for me, there's enough quality. they've just got to believe in it. and a little bit of good fortune, get a win somewhere along the line, and suddenly one or two of these players will blossom. but there's one or two still playing a little bit hampered. and there'sjust one game in the scottish premiership this afternoon, with champions celtic away to dundee. serena williams said she'd get back on the tennis circuit pretty quickly, after giving birth to herfirst child — and she's announced her return. she'll play an exhibition match against jelena ostapenko in abu dhabi next week — it'll be four months since her daughter alexis arrived. williams hasn't played since she won the australian open injanuary and although she hasn't yet decided whether she'll be defending her
title, the tournament organisers have said it's very likely. that's all the sport for now. you can find more on all those stories on the bbc sport website. that's bbc.co.uk/sport. and i'll have more for you in the next hour. thank you, holly. out of all the photographers waiting to snap a picture of the royal family at the christmas day service in sandringham, it was a mum from norfolk who managed to capture the perfect image on her phone. this photograph taken by karen murdoch has now been used by journalists from all over the world. she says she hopes its sale will help with her daughter's university costs. she spoke to bbc breakfast this morning, and explained what reaction she's received from the image. in one word, overwhelming. i've had five likes, maybe, on a tweet before! i just... it is a nice photo, though. i do like it. it's a great photo! yeah, it's lovely. but it's bonkers. now, there's another word for you — bonkers! laughter.
so, karen, tell us how you managed to get that shot. because you were down there with your daughter. paint the picture for us, how did you get that perfect picture? yes, well, i was with my daughter, rachel, and my friend sara. and i literally, and i hate to sound like a bit of a geek here, but i was fangirling! i was literally, we were all like, "merry christmas!" as you can probably tell, i can get a bit excitable. and that's it, it was just lucky. it was pure luck. i took it on my iphone. yeah, a great picture, yeah. and i'm glad everybody liked it. so you shouted merry christmas, they turned round and gave you a smile, and then what happened? you put the picture on twitter and facebook and the like? well, what i did... oh, this is embarrassing! but i couldn't remember if meghan had an h in her name or not. so i put her name in and ijust... i think it was the bbc website just saying, the royals are attending.
so i put my picture in the comments. and the rest, as they say, is history. karen murdoch. south korea's defence ministry is creating a special team on north korea. it's an attempt at responding more effectively to increased threats from the country's communist neighbour. north korea has made big strides in its nuclear and missile programme — and is expected to continue on the same path in the new year. paul adams has been to seoul to take a look at how the locals have been reacting to this new reality. changing the guard in seoul. ancient rituals in the heart of this modern city. in the past, the threats came from imperial, rapacious japan. but today, the danger is just over the hills, and this year, it seemed to grow and grow. month after month, north korea tested ever more fearsome missiles.
the biggest thought to be capable of reaching almost anywhere in america. rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself. the new man in the white house responded with insults and threats. we will have no choice but to totally destroy north korea. and there were bigger and bigger displays of american military might. a great armada of ships. air exercises involving the most advanced jets in the world. but nothing so far seems to work. the world failed to prevent north korea from becoming a nuclear state. at the border, curious visitors capped distant glimpses of life on the other side.
thanks to a steady trickle of defectors, south koreans have a rough idea of what goes on in the north, but there is much that is unknown, too. translation: looking through the telescope is very heartbreaking. it made me think about the recent soldier who defected and how he must have felt. we found out a lot in 2017 about north korea's ballistic missile and nuclear capabilities. it's likely that in 2018, we will find out even more. that what we still don't really know is what is kim jong un want all this technology for? does he just want to be treated with respect, or does he have some more aggressive intentions? south koreans are less afraid of kimjong un than you might imagine. when kim min yong takes his impersonation of the north korean dictator to the streets of the capital, the reaction is hardly one of horror. some guys say he is dangerous, but we are not afraid. we are not afraid of chairman kim. but it is talk like that
which infuriates park hwee rhak, university professor and self—decla red ha rdliner. i think that saying good words, or saying, don't worry, be happy, is a very easy. but in order to protect our sons and daughters and our grandchildren, we need to take the hard course, which is to prepare for the worst—case scenario. if you are genuinely worried about the prospect of a nuclear attack from the north, you might want to invest in one of these. this a nuclear—proof bunker, which, for about $50,000, you can have installed in your garden. inside, everything you might need for an extended period of living underground. but how likely is this doomsday scenario? most people expect the provocations to continue, but to stop well short of armageddon.
the good news is that the north korean leadership is rational, they are secular and they wish to survive. it's manageable. i mean, it's sub—optimal, deterrents can fail, but the bluster and rhetoric, it's not helpful, the fear mongering, there's nothing to panic about. for all the theoretical danger, most south koreans seem to agree. they know the north is on the verge of realising its nuclear ambitions. they wish it weren't so. but like the eye of a hurricane in, the city seems unnaturally calm. pauladams, bbc news, seoul. it is 26 minutes past ten. it has officially been a white christmas in the uk for some, with areas of cumbria and the south of scotland recording light snowfall. the last time we had an official
white christmas was three years ago, when parts of the northern isles in scotland saw some snow. more wintry showers are expected — we'll get the latest from phil in the weather centre in ten minutes. the queen has come top of the christmas day tv ratings. her majesty's broadcast had combined figures of 7 million, followed by mrs browns boys with 6.8 million and strict come dancing with 6.5 million, then call the midwife. and it is time for the weather now. hello once again. it has started on a fresh note through the central belt of scotland, and the top end of the pennines, as this feature dragged quite a bit of snow fall down through those parts, now showing signs of wanting to get off
into the north sea, leaving behind a day with a good deal more sunshine on offer than we have seen of late, a peppering of showers across the northern half of britain, but already we have seen a transition from a decent start to the day across the south—west into one of quite a bit of wind and cloud and rain as well. and that will gather all the while across this western quarter, wanting to push further north and eastwards, through the rest of the afternoon. further north than that, after a shower start to the day, the showers just tending to fade somewhat, so there will be a little more sunshine, doing nothing for your temperatures, and then across the far north of scotland, temperatures turning increasingly wintry as the air gets called on the sun goes down, and the cold air begins to interact with all of this moisture. and look at this, southern and central parts of the pennines coming down into the peak district, then increasingly through the
midlands as we get through the night, there will be a change of that rain into a snowfall to really quite low levels, and it will lie, so quite low levels, and it will lie, so don't be at all surprised in the midlands parts of wales if you wake up midlands parts of wales if you wake up to midlands parts of wales if you wake uptoa midlands parts of wales if you wake up to a white start for wednesday. that will move off into sussex and the chilterns before eventually moving away. if you stick with the rain, there is quite a bit of rain, and once that is away, a chilly day, bright, and even though showers in the west could be wintry, also the moors of the south—west and the welsh hills. thursday could see a widespread problem with ice cube and that the skies will have cleared and it will be that cold to start the day on thursday. but thursday itself a decent day, a breeze coming in from the north—west, so not warm despite the sunshine, then later on we bring the weather front into the west to see more in the way of mild weather, but more cloud and rain come friday.
good morning. this is bbc news. our latest headlines: the universities minister, jojohnson, has given his clearest warning yet that academic institutions must protect free speech. he says universities must "open minds, not close them" and students should have the resilience to take part in frank discussions. the british retail consortium has warned that consumers face rising prices after brexit unless britain can replicate trade deals negotiated by the eu with dozens of other countries.