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tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 26, 2017 1:00pm-1:31pm GMT

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this is bbc news. the headlines at 1:00pm... a woman from hull is sentenced to three years in an egyptian jail for taking painkillers into the country. her local mp has condemned the ruling. i think it's a damning indictment, to be honest with you, about good sense and fair play. because this is a naive young woman. a decent, honest, hard—working hull woman who was simply naive. universities must protect free speech and "open minds, not close them," orface possible fines. as the boxing day sales get under way, a warning that prices for many everyday items could rise unless the government focuses on replacing trade agreements after brexit. 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. tottenham's harry kane sets a new
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record for the most premier league goals in a calendar year, as he scores against southampton this lunchtime. and in half an hour, we will be taking a look back at an incredible year here in hull, the uk city of culture. from the royal ballet to world—class theatre and the most talked about artists. we will have all the highlights. good afternoon and welcome to bbc news. a british woman accused of smuggling drugs into egypt says she's been sentenced to three years in jail. laura plummer, who's 33 and from hull, was arrested in october with 290 tablets of the painkiller tramadol, which is banned in egypt. our cairo correspondent hanan razek explained
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the latest a short while ago. we know that laura plummer has been sentenced to three years in prison here in egypt for bringing tramadol and naproxen into the country as she entered in october. she has been sentenced for smuggling drugs. what we understand is that this is a first—degree verdict, so we do expect an appeal. what is known about the court hearing at this stage, if anything? when laura plummer came back in october, she came to meet her boyfriend in a resort at the red sea. she brought around 290 tramadol tablets as well as naproxen for his back pain. she was arrested for carrying the tablets in her suitcase. she said she did not know the drug was banned in egypt. she did not know about that, and she had brought it for her boyfriend. however, the court found her guilty
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of bringing and smuggling drugs into the country, and therefore came the verdict of today. her lawyer told us yesterday that there were some lost in translation issues in the court. as she was asked by one of the judges about the accusation, and she pleaded guilty, but she said she didn't understand the question very well. we also understand that the lawyer is willing to appeal that verdict. laura plummer‘s mp, labour's karl turner, has been giving his reaction to the news. terribly disappointing to the family. the family are devastated. i have spoken to neville, laura's dad, already. i spoke with family members yesterday. they were optimistic this might be a happier result. but laura, most of all, will be absolutely devastated. she's not been well lately. she has suffered with
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sleep deprivation. she has been very anxious about the sentencing hearing, and the trial, as it was. and clearly this is devastating to the entire family. but i think it's a damning indictment, to be honest with you, about good sense and fair play. because this is a naive young woman. a decent, honest, hard—working hull woman who was simply naive. going to visit a partner in egypt, taking with her what she thought was pain killers, and no more than that. it clearly is a banned substance, and whilst we must respect the laws and customs of other countries, there must be good sense and fair play as well. so this is a devastating result. why do you think it has come to this? what has happened, give us your legal perspective. well, look, she took drugs which are a banned substance to egypt. but to be fair to laura, it's notjust her own naivete, the british foreign office have only just updated their website to say
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that tramadol is a substance you must not take to egypt without a doctor's note and proof it is prescribed to you. there are lessons to be learned from this. the british government have made representations to their counterparts in egypt. i have spoken with the foreign secretary directly about this case half a dozen times. i have got to be honest, i have been very impressed with the foreign secretary. his interest and knowledge about this case, and the fact that he himself has made representations to the prime minister of egypt directly about what a tragic case this is. this woman doesn't deserve to be incarcerated in an egyptian prison. to be honest with you, as much as i respect the customs of egypt, and the laws and the judiciary, and everything else, this will put people off travelling on holiday to egypt in the future. and i think the egyptian authorities need to be mindful of that.
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what can happen now, karl, anything? the british government will make representations immediately. i am confident that the minister, alistair burt, who is responsible for egypt, will be on the phone pretty swiftly to try to get this sorry saga to a happier ending. it is a tragedy for laura plummer and herfamily, but it's bad for british citizens who want to visit egypt on holiday as well. as i say, the egyptian authorities need to be mindful of that. the universities minister, jojohnson, will use a speech today to warn 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, as 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
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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.
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we can speak now to sir anthony seldon, the vice chancellor of the university of buckingham. and rahmaan mohammadi — he's a member of the national union of students executive committee — the governing body of the nus. good afternoon to you both. anthony seldon, a word to you first about the sentiments here thatjojohnson says universities must protect free speech. is he right on that? he is absolutely right. we are in danger of making this so complicated. it's very simple. universities must be about letting dialogue and debate happen, not suppressed. if you suppress people's views, then you are romanticising them, you
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legitimise them and publicise them. what we need to have in universities is the opposite. we need to look at views which are false, evil may be, and put forward superior argument that allows students to understand that allows students to understand that truth emerges from a conflict of different views, not from the suppression of one right point of view. which is the danger if we do try to stop people expressing views. there is also the law that bans people inciting racial hatred and violence. we are not talking about that. we are talking about views that. we are talking about views that people don't like, and we need to let people air. and where do you stand at this the nus have talked about having a no—platform policy. there are calls for a safe space policy. are you comfortable with both of those concepts? inaudible
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defence culture where it is of trendy... i think it can be very dangerous. as students we need to be well rounded. inaudible iam well rounded. inaudible i am really sorry, but the skype line is not enabling us to hear you as well as we would like. we got the gist of what you were saying, but sadly not the full substance. while we try to put that right, anthony seldon, there is now talk of some sort of governing body that might impose fines on universities if they don't enforce the sentiments ofjo johnson. are you happy with that?|j think johnson. are you happy with that?” think it's really sad. yet again we have universities who are being told what to do because we haven't got oui’ what to do because we haven't got our own house in order. i speak as
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vice chancellor and i'm very proud of our wonderful university system in britain, with top world—class universities and many wonderful achievements. but we need to do better. the leadership of universities over vice chancellor pay and free speech, over a whole variety of issues, and because we haven't provided the leadership that we might have been expected to give, we might have been expected to give, we are being told what to do. i think it is necessary, that it happens, but we should have got our house in order. i mentioned safe space policies, intended to protect stu d e nts space policies, intended to protect students from views and language they find offensive, including discrimination. some students might be robust enough to resist that and be robust enough to resist that and be resilient, and all the thingsjo johnson might want them to be. others might not be. where do they stand in this? you can have things like trigger warnings. there is clearly material that people will listen to that they can find
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upsetting. and if they know that is happening, then they have the freedom not to attend that particular offering, or lecture, maybe. but that is different to suppressing views that we don't like. there is a real danger that we have a tyranny of the minority, some kind of thought police, that is deciding what is acceptable and what isn't. and that is not the job of the university. the nus does a great job overall, a great deal of good work, but i think they might be on the wrong place on this. they should be championing free speech and then putting forward better arguments that allows truth to emerge and stop that allows truth to emerge and stop thatis that allows truth to emerge and stop that is how truth happens. we have a thesis, antithesis and then a synthesis. i will leave anthony at this point, but thank you for coming on. we can go back to our nus representative on the phone because
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skypeis representative on the phone because skype is not working as it should be. it is ours, i stress, as it is. we appreciate your patience. i don't know how much of anthony seldon‘s remarks you heard, but what would you like to see the nus do about this? i think we need to be more accommodating to things that offend us. accommodating to things that offend us. i would accommodating to things that offend us. iwould be happy to accommodating to things that offend us. i would be happy to be offended rather than accommodated. we don't know what we know until we know what we don't know. and we don't know what we don't know until we see opposing views and opinions. that's important. we want people to be brought up well rounded and be able to hold a debate instead of running away from it and we need to take action. i don't thinkjojohnson's view will tackle this offence culture, because it is with the students. there has to be a movement within students in the form of free speech societies and so on, that tackles this culture and tries to tackles this culture and tries to tackle this culture. it's not
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necessarily howl tackle this culture. it's not necessarily how i see it, but i think there is a real problem where some of views are being silenced because a few people find it uncomfortable. i think it should be important that we feel uncomfortable at universities so we can become well rounded students and become well rounded students and become well rounded students and become well rounded members of society so well rounded members of society so we can talk things through and argue through dialogue instead of running away and shouting, "no—platform". thank you for moving onto a different vehicle to speak to us. a line of breaking news for you, emerging from sheffield, with reference to a road accident on the a57, where emergency services were called at around 8:15pm yesterday evening. a marked police car was responding to an incident. a silver citroen travelling in the opposite
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direction were involved in a collision. two people have died in that crash, including one police officer. millions of shoppers across the country are hitting the high street today, for the traditional boxing day sales. analysts at barclaycard suggest one in three of us will head to the shops today in search ofa bargain. but with the rise of discount deals for black friday, and more of us shopping online, has the post—christmas shopping spree lost some of its appeal? james waterhouse reports. no camping, no stampedes. but there was a bell at least for the boxing day faithful in london this morning. in selfridge's, one of the oldest store names, you can get your hands on almost anything, perfume, make—up, clothing and, of course, shoes. 50% off make—up, clothing and, of course, shoes. 5096 off prada shoes. that's really good. £250 saving. we do love
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shopping! we like bargains more than full price stuff. they are normally 480, i got them for 230. it's decent, isn't it? we can actually get these online. different prices but similar scenes in york. retail analysts say they are seeing a shift in shopping behaviours, but only a slight one. the high street is still a significant impact on people's shopping because people like going out for leisure and to meet people rather than just buying the item. that's the feeling in glasgow today as well. i think customers are very savvy, they're looking for depth of markdown. never mind 30%, they are looking for 50% plus. a bbc survey of a thousand shoppers
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suggested that constant sales devalue the brand of the shop, and more people are spending in the black friday sales and can't fork out twice. in selfridge's at least, people in their tens of thousands are walking around trying to find that dream discount. but this is the biggest store on the uk's busiest shopping street. the feeling from some experts and shoppers is that the boxing day sales have lost their appeal. for many, the boxing day sales are as traditional as the turkey itself, so it's going to take a lot more to put them off. james waterhouse, bbc news, oxford street in london. our correspondent fiona trott is in york. what have people been telling you there? a lot of people have been telling us that they have been out since eight o'clock this morning, stocking up on things like clothes for the rest of the year, because clothing and footwear, those prices have increased by about 3% since
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last year. others have been heading to jurors, treating themselves to luxury items that they wouldn't do normally because they cost of living is so high. —— heading tojewellery stores. local people tell us it is not as busy as previous years on the streets, and they are feeling the pinch. we spoke to retail expert in city earlier you said there has also been sales fatigue in the last year oi’ been sales fatigue in the last year or $0. been sales fatigue in the last year or so. we get online deals every single day. there were people here for black friday, and the sales leading up to christmas eve as well. what are you anticipating for the rest of the day? there are predictions, aren't there, that a third of us in the uk will be hitting the streets today, spending a record £4.3 billion. that will be an increase of about i2% since last year. and retailers are really hoping that's the case, aren't they, because the british retail
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consortium will tell you that non—food sales have seen the weakest area of growth since they started collecting information like that in 2011. is it still cold? it's pretty nippy. fiona trott in york, thank you. the royal navy says there's been an increase in the number of russian ships travelling through or near the uk's territorial waters over the christmas period. yesterday, hms st albans was sent to escort a russian warship through the north sea as it passed close to uk waters. "tolerate any form of aggression" and warned "britain will never be intimidated when it comes to protecting our country, our people, and our national interests." supporters of vladimir putin are meeting in moscow. to begin the process of picking him as their candidate in next year's presidential election. mr putin is seeking a fourth term in office and will run as an independent this time round.
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yesterday the electoral commission barred alexei navalny from standing because of his conviction for fraud. our correspondent sarah rainsford is in moscow. the first formal point in the electoral campaign of vladimir putin because this is when he will be nominated as a candidate by a group of his supporters. there needs to be a minimum of 500 people who put forward his name, and then he needs to ta ke forward his name, and then he needs to take those nominations forward to the electoral commission. whilst it might bea the electoral commission. whilst it might be a foregone conclusion for him, it wasn't the case for one of his key potential contenders, alexei navalny, who tried to do exactly the same in the last couple of days and was yesterday rejected by the electoral commission. that is significant because alexei navalny claims he is the only real opponent
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to vladimir putin, the only serious critic, and a man with serious sport across the country who could potentially at least give him a run for his money on the ballot paper. but he will not be allowed to take pa rt but he will not be allowed to take part in the election. he has been barred because of a previous criminal conviction with which she says was politically motivated to deliberately keep them out of the race. he has tried to encourage people to boycott the election come the time. that is his new strategy. he says the race is illegitimate and without him running there is no real choice for people so they should boycott it. his plan is to mobilise the big network of supporters he has built up over the country so they go out to campaign for others to boycott the vote. but i think we have to remember that vladimir putin isa have to remember that vladimir putin is a popular politician here, despite the fact he has been in power for 18 years, despite the fact he has been in powerfor 18 years, or
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despite the fact he has been in power for 18 years, or perhaps because of that, people here see him asa because of that, people here see him as a strong leader. they believe he is the man who has returned to russia to a strong position in the world, on the global stage, and a lot of people here want to see that continue for another six years. i don't think the kremlin is too worried by alexei navalny‘s call for a boycott. they want as higher turnout is possible to give vladimir putin a strong mandate. so alexei navalny is trying to chip away at that with his boycott call. sarah ra i nsfo rd that with his boycott call. sarah rainsford in moscow, thank you. sport now, and for a full round—up from the bbc sport centre, here's holly hamilton. we can start with state's football. the first of today's eight premier league matches is underway. harry kane has broken alan shearer‘s 22 year record four league goals scored ina year record four league goals scored in a calendar year. his 37th put spurs 1—0 in a calendar year. his 37th put spurs1—0 up against in a calendar year. his 37th put spurs 1—0 up against southampton.
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and he has added another. it's currently half—time at wembley with spurs leading 2—0. 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. 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 against a brighton side who played very well. but that's the mark of a good side. if it's not quite their day or the other team are playing well, they still come out with the result. i don't think we will go there expecting it to be anything other than a tough game. tony pulis has been appointed manager of championship side middlesbrough three days after they parted company with garry monk. tony pulis had said he wanted to spend christmas with his family before returning to football.
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he was sacked by west bromwich albion just over a month ago. boro are ninth in the table, three points outside the play—offs and they play bolton next, where he will be in the stands. celtic currently 2—0 ahead against dundee, bidding to move 11 points clear at the top of the table. the second goal scored by leigh griffiths. this is the only scottish premiership game on today. five more tomorrow. 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 244—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, from the moment they lost the toss and had to field on a pitch that suited the batsmen on a warm day in melbourne.
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david warner made it look like any total was possible for australia. thanks to him they had 100 by lunch. england changed tack after the interval, getting rid of the out—of—sorts cameron bancroft, then frustrated warner as he neared his century. on 99, he blinked, and it seemed he had given tom curran his first test wicket on debut. but the replay revealed no ball. back came warner, and the mcg roared his hundred on the next ball. warner went soon to james anderson, caught behind. after tea, stuart broad got his first wicket for more than 400 deliveries, usman khawaja. he nearly got another with his next, shaun marsh given not out lbw. the review went with the umpire's call, a key moment. from there, marsh and steve smith — who else — stabilised things. smith unbeaten. and england worry he might perhaps be unbeatable. i don't think we started very well, didn't adjust to the conditions of the pitch quick enough. when you bowl at somebody like warner, one of
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the best players in the world on a pitch like that, and you don't bowl to your best, he will hurt you. in the second session at 40—2, i thought we dragged it back really well. we stuck to our plan better and i thought we deserved the two wickets we got. that's all the sport for now. you can find more on all those stories on the bbc sport website. and follow all the action from today's premier league games on there as well. plenty more on the bbc news channel throughout the day. 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.
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she spoke to bbc breakfast this morning and explained what it's been like since she took 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?
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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. time to look at the weather prospects. the weather is looking pretty mild at the moment across much of the uk. some sunshine around but rain, sleet and snow is expected across the country, across some southern areas during the course of this evening and overnight. when i said mild, i
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meant sunny earlier, because it is pretty cold out there, i think we will agree. the snow moving across southern parts of the uk and wales. this will mostly be across the hills. in the valleys, the cotswolds and possibly the chilterns and south downs. to the north of that it will be clear. temperatures in some areas dipping down to minus eight degrees. by dipping down to minus eight degrees. by the morning, you can see how grotty the weather is across the south—east portion of the country. wintry flavour to the weather across the hills. for many of us, wednesday afternoon will be bright and cold with temperatures barely above freezing in the north, perhaps 5—7 in the south. this is bbc news, our latest headlines: a british woman accused of smuggling drugs into egypt has been sentenced to three years in jail. laura plummer, who's 33 and from hull, was arrested in october with 290 tablets of the painkiller, tramadol, which is banned in egypt.
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her local mp condemned the ruling. i think it's a damning indictment, to be honest with you, about good sense and fair play, because this is a naive young woman. a decent, honest, hard—working hull woman who was simply naive. 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 boxing day sales are under way with millions of shoppers expected to be on the hunt for bargains. a bbc survey has suggested that online shopping and early black friday deals have made the post—christmas sales less appealing. the royal navy says there's been an increase in the number of russian ships travelling through or near the uk's territorial

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