this is bbc news. the headlines at 2pm. ministers are urged not to bail out the troubled construction company, carillion, as the bbc understands high level government meetings are to take place this weekend. it can't possiblyjust bail out the company because then you have a position where the private sector is allowed to privatise profits by then the government nationalises the losses, a problem we had with the banks —— but then the government. the african union demands an apology from president trump — for derogatory remarks he reportedly made about the continent. warnings of a tooth decay crisis amongst children in england. a record 43,000 operations to remove rotting teeth were carried out last year. also in the next hour. tributes are paid to bella emberg, who has died at the age of 80. frazier self! —— brace yourself!
the comedy actor who became a household name on the russ abbot show is described as "a huge comedy talent", les dennis said she was a "funny, lovely friend". and the woman who can smell parkinson's disease. that's a bbc scotland investigation in half an hour, here on bbc news. good afternoon and welcome to bbc news. the leader of the liberal democrats, sir vince cable, has warned the government not to agree to bailout the construction company carillion with tax payers money. there are fears the firm, which has debts of £1.5 billion, could collapse after creditors rejected a possible rescue plan. carillion employs about 20,000 people in the uk and is one of the government's main contractors. our business correspondent
joe lynam reports. this is liverpool's newest hospital under construction, it will be the biggest single—bed hospital in the uk and it's being built by carillion. now there's concern that projects like this could be affected if the company collapses. from prisons to hospitals, to schools and rail, carillion is responsible for some of the uk's largest infrastructure projects. should the government bail out the debt—laden company? i think what needs to happen in this case, the contracts have to be kept going, and supporting the supply chain and the tens of thousands of workers. that can be done by the government taking much of this in—house or re—tendering in other cases. the government can'tjust do a financial bailout. the shareholders and creditors, the big banks, have to take a hit, they can't just off—load all the losses onto the taxpayer. carillion is a major british company with hundreds
of contracts running prisons, maintaining hospitals and mod facilities. with almost 20,000 employees here and tens of thousands more dependent on the company. but it has run up debts of £1.5 billion including almost £1 billion to its banks, whose patience has run out. britain's biggest ever rail infrastructure project, hsz, begins major construction this year, and here at euston station. carillion is supposed to build it. but given its mountain of debts, there is a very real chance the government might step in and have to give those contracts to other companies or simply bail the company out. with all the moral hazard that comes with that. so what would happen to other companies that carillion had passed on some work to? companies like carillion outsource most of their work. so pretty much all their supply chains are dependent on them for payment. and you have so many tiers of contracting, people lower down the chain who are equally concerned.
but that's the kind of model we have in the construction industry where these large firms outsource everything. if carillion cannot be saved or restructured, the consultants ey have been put on notice to take over as administrators. it's a precautionary measure which the government and thousands of staff hope will not be needed. early comedy gd executive of a trading body representing —— earlier, rudi klein who's chief representing —— earlier, rudi klein who's chief representing executive of a trade industry body representing specialist contractors across the uk told us the problems facing carillion can be seen elsewhere in the construction industry. it isa it is a problem that affects all the
firms that are in this supply chain, and that is a problem we have and with carillion i'm concerned about the supply chains and how they are going to get paid, because at the moment carillion is operating a 120 day payment period and so we are obviously concerned as to whether they will get paid. the other factor i'm concerned about is retention because carillion will have millions of pounds of pretension is held from these firms and these monies are held ostensibly to make sure that firms come back if they have any defective work but in practice they are used to bolster the working capital of the company, so i'm risk the very concerned as to what is going to happen. —— i'm obviously very concerned. the african union has demanded an apology from president trump after he reportedly used a crude term to describe nations on the continent. it was apparently made during an oval office meeting on immigration with members of congress. the union, which represents 55 african countries, expressed its "shock, dismay and outrage" and said the trump administration misunderstood africans. all presidents undergo and word
from mr trump's doctor that the commander in chief is in excellent health. but the past two days have seen the president mired in controversy, as the african union we were quite appalled and infuriated, outraged, by the comments. and for a country like the united states, which is a valued partner for the africans, this is quite a shock. from the united nations in geneva came the stiffest of rebukes. these are shocking and shameful comments from the president
of the united states. i'm sorry but there's no other word one can use but racist. he had an opportunity at this ceremony in celebration of martin luther king. but it was awkward. the president left without responding. peter bowes, bbc news. iran has said the us has crossed a "red line" by imposing sanctions on the head of itsjudiciary and has vowed to retaliate. ayatollah sadeq amoli—larijani is among 1a individuals and bodies targeted. and bodies targeted. and the pressure over thejudiciary, and the pressure over iran's nuclear programme? thejudiciary, and the pressure over iran's nuclear programme ?|j
thejudiciary, and the pressure over iran's nuclear programme? i don't think they are that much linked, and these new sanctions are a consequence of the recent protests we have seen in iran. and the fact that the white house wanted to show a reaction. donald trump and the white house were very vocal, trying to offer support to the protesters, while they were in the streets. however, i think the reaction of the white house was muted because it did manage to get the europeans involved for the nuclear sanctions and in the latest meetings, foreign ministers and european and russian cou nterpa rts and european and russian counterparts this week, we saw the rest really coalescing around the nuclear sanctions that are working.
is there a feeling in around that any benefits that come from the nuclear deal are being undermined by the sanctions being imposed on individuals? yes, iran is furious, on the one side because it it always upholds the various dance and it is opposed to sanctions against any of their officials —— upholds the various stances. and this also affects the business reputation of iran and it creates reputations and risks for companies with interests in america who are looking to invest in iran. the business climate as a whole has not improved by these american sanctions and iran is coming to grips with a lot of informal measures that inhibit western companies from investing in iran and the sanctions could be an
example of that. what is their reaction likely to be? they have spoken about taking some sort of retaliation. it is not very clear. at times in the past iran has stated that it will remain with the current nuclear deal as long as it receives its side of the bargain and iran increasingly is getting frustrated regarding this and the claim that the iranian government is that iran is not getting its side of the deal. iran could start the resumption of some form of nuclear activity which has been mothballed by the deal, this has been stated by the head of the iranian security agency in the last weeks and months. and it could also start to be more emphatic in its patrolling of the persian gulf
borders and its interaction with american vessels. there are a range of options which iran has and it needs to be seen, however, whether any one of these will be chosen. iran has had a verbal rather than practical reaction to the trump administration's progressive distancing from the 0bama nuclear deal. are you suggesting that iran could step up its nuclear programme asa could step up its nuclear programme as a reaction to these fresh sanctions? i don't think it will step up the nuclear programme by going back to what the nuclear programme was around a decade ago, but it could engage in piecemeal resumption of some aspects. for example the enrichment of uranium beyond the cap which was established
by the yen are called 2015. —— vienna accord. it was stated that iran could resume some parts of its activities should the americans or other parties step away from the nuclear deal. we have got to leave it there. thanks forjoining us. the headlines on bbc news: a 25—year—old model has been stabbed ina a 25—year—old model has been stabbed in a street in west london. harry uzoka had recently done a photo shoot with gq magazine. friends and family have described him as an ‘inspiration to young black men'. two men, aged 27 and 28, have been arrested on suspicion of murder. nottingham railway station has partly reopened this morning — following yesterday's major fire, which police say is now being treated as arson. east midlands trains says repairs are likely to take "months" rather than weeks.
historic listed sections of the building have survived. the chief constable of west midlands police says he's going to write to the courts every time one of his officers is attacked — and demand tougher sentences. dave thompson has revealed nearly 700 officers and staff were assaulted in a nine month period last year — a new record. dentists have accused the government of not doing enough to tackle tooth decay in england. new figures indicate there were nearly 43,000 operations to remove children's teeth last year — a 17% increase on four years ago. the british dental association says england now provides a second—class service compared to scotland and wales. 0ur health correspondent dominic hughes has the story. tooth decay in children is distressing, painful and avoidable. dentists say sugary snacks and drinks are the biggest cause. british children drink more soft drinks than anywhere else in europe. and the number of
multiple extractions which have to take place in hospital under a general anaesthetic is continuing to grow. figures compiled by the local government association show there were nearly 43,000 multiple tooth extractions among under—18s in england last year. that's around 170 every day of the working week. 0verall, there's been an increase of 17% injust four years. dentists say children in england are suffering, and are being offered a second—rate service when compared to scotland and wales. we have seen in scotland and in wales that they have got national programmes to try and prevent this. and they have actually got some reasonably good results out of it. the government has not put any money into a national prevention programme for england, and that's the reason why we are seeing so many children being put under general anaesthetic. the department of health in england says
the introduction of a tax on sugary drinks was part of its plan to reduce the number of extractions, and that more than half of all children have seen a dentist in the last year. and, with proper oral hygiene, good brushing and avoiding high sugar snacks and drinks, thousands of children could be saved from experiencing the pain of a rotten tooth. dominic hughes, bbc news. i'm joined now by kawther hashem who is a registered nutritionist and researcher for action on sugar at queen mary university of london. what is your reaction to these figures? partly surprised that there hasn't been a reduction but also expecting it to some extent because of the amount of sugar that there is in children's diets, they consume three times what the recommended maximum of sugar is and so more needs to be done. where is the sugar? mainly in drinks, so the sugar? mainly in drinks, so the sugar tax will help to reduce levels of sugar coming from drinks.
sugar tax will help to reduce levels of sugar coming from drinksm sugar tax will help to reduce levels of sugar coming from drinks. it is coming in in april? yes. but there are many products, breakfast cereals, cakes and biscuits, the things you associated with high levels of sugar, children are eating a lot of this and this is contributing to the high levels of sugar. what can be done? at the moment we have a programme led by public health in and to get companies to reduce levels of sugar gradually and we need the programme to go further —— public—health england. at the time governments have refused to look at sugar. they have refused to look at sugar. they have been high levels of sugar in products which are very unhealthy and we need to tell companies that they need to be promoting products which are healthier and maybe stop promoting those products which are less healthy. the british dental association says things are worse in england compared with scotland and wales. probably. in terms of service
they are different, how the service is applied. 0ral they are different, how the service is applied. oral health programme, there isn't one of those in england and maybe that is something that needs to be done as well, but from a nutrition perspective i think across the uk more needs to be done to reduce levels of sugar, the promotion and the amount of advertising and marketing targeting children during family tv time and all the rest of it, it needs to be tackled. in terms of the oral health programme, what difference does that make practically? children need to be guided by their parents, to brush their teeth, but the most important factor, what should reap products they are having and when are they having them —— what sugary products. in between meals? a child needs to introduce a drink during mealtime and not in between, and all these stacks, in the last two weeks we
have had a campaign telling parents to aim for less calories when it comes to stack stash all these snacks —— all these stacks. and we need less sugar in these snacks. so much is targeted at obesity for top yes, we often neglect this is a key contributing factor and this is why children are admitted to hospital. it is preventable and we should not be having these children in hospital for tooth extraction is, we can do better than that. thanks forjoining us. consumers can no longer be charged extra, simply because they're paying by card. from today, it'll be unlawful to charge credit or debit customers more than other customers. it's hoped the ban will benefit shoppers and holiday—makers who buy goods online or in small stores. some retailers have already said they will raise overall prices in response to the change. adina campbell reports they are the small fees
added at the very end of the buying process. in percentage terms it may not be that much, but these card surcharges add up. not any more. under new eu rules, retailers on or offline can no longer charge customers for paying with a credit or debit card. the treasury says these surcharges cost consumers £166 million every year. but some companies such as concert venues can still charge a booking or service fee. no longer will they be penalised just for paying by credit or debit card. now with the end of surcharges you are comparing like for like. the price you see is the price you pay. you don't get a nasty sting at the end. but some small businesses are concerned the new ban could hit profits. nearly 63% of our sales are by credit card and debit card so it will affect us in the long—term if rates and increased rates do go up. for retailers like this
hardware store, today's ban throws up several options. they may decide to suck up the cost of processing a debit or credit card. alternatively, they could simply put up their prices or they may decide to re—brand these fees as a service charge. 0ne business that's already been criticised is the delivery company, just eat, which has said it will impose new charges on customers who pay by card and others may go on to do the same. there are now calls for the new changes to be closely monitored to ensure consumers are not punished for paying by plastic. adina campbell, bbc news. supporters of south africa's governing party the african national congress have gathered to hear cyril ramaphosa give his first major speech since being elected as leader of the party. the south african deputy president, who was voted as leader last month, has called for unity in the party to bring about social change. mr ramaphosa said the party's
new leadership will be dedicated to equality and democracy for south africa. we take this opportunity to reaffirm the anc‘s commitment to the values and the principles to which so many of our legends dedicated their lives. 0ur organisation belongs to you, the people of south africa. the anc is the parliament of the people of south africa and it is our duty as members of the anc to safeguard and nurture this heritage that we were given by our forebears. the core ideal, that is the reason for the existence of the anc, is the creation of a united,
nonracial, nonsexist democratic and prosperous and equitable society in our country. as its newly—elected leadership we commend ourselves to you, that we shall remain faithful and diligent custodians of this glorious vision and heritage of our people. cyril ramaphosa, there. tributes are being paid to the comedian, bella emberg, who's died. i must ask you to leave that lady alone. you should get lost while your head is stuart attached to your body. don't you talk to him like that. what are you going to do about it? where are you going? will you
see me home? of course. the 80—year—old became a household name on the russ abbot show as blunder woman, the hapless sidekick of cooperman. russ abbot himself has described her as "a woman of immense warmth and generosity", and herformer co—star les dennis has called her "a lovely friend" the actor, writer and comedian, barry cryer, was a script editor on the russ abbot show and spoke to my colleague shaun ley, a little earlier — about his memories of bella emberg. she was the most delightful gentle funny soul, a joy to work with, and peter vincent and myself were the script editors and wrote for the russ abbot show and we thought she had become typecast. she was cast as a large, unattractive woman in a situation, and we thought, no, we don't like that, so we started casting her as a character in a sketch that any actress would play.
and i think she realised that we we re and i think she realised that we were casting her as the stereotype —— weren't. that was good, that was our little thing for her, and she was delightful to work with. she said in an interview with the daily mirrora said in an interview with the daily mirror a few months ago now, that she still has the costume of blunderwoman and every few days she looks at it and thanks her lucky stars. some people might think that was a stereotype, the fat woman in the glamorous costume, but she took it more seriously. she had the balance in her mind, she thought, 0k, balance in her mind, she thought, ok, i'm built like i am, and if i'm remembered for something like that, ican remembered for something like that, i can live with that, and underneath she probably thought, yes, 0k, blunderwoman, but she was a good old pro. she would say, that's ok, i'm remembered for that, that's ok, but asi remembered for that, that's ok, but as i say, peter and i were obsessed
with casting her not in parts like that. programmes like the russ abbot show and the les dawson show, many of these where you have a lead performer, you also had a small cast, my correct company of actors you went back to again and again —— like a wrap company. you went back to again and again —— like a wrap companylj you went back to again and again —— like a wrap company. i was going to say, it was like a repertory company, the utterly reliable solid people you would get to support your star comedian. she was one of them. 0nce star comedian. she was one of them. once you had but bella you were 0k —— once you had booked. once you had but bella you were 0k -- once you had booked. barry cryer, remembering bella emberg. the first ever baby panda cub born in france — has made his first public appearance. yuan meng — which means "making a dream come true" in chinese, has been introduced to his new enclosure alongside his mother at beauval zoo. the five month old's parents have been on loan to the zoo from china since 2012.
and now time for a look at the weekend weather forecast. very good afternoon. it is quite great out there at the moment and it will be like that tomorrow —— it is quite great. there are changes at the moment, but we do have a weather front producing some rain as you can see. heavy bursts on the hills in the coming hours, the weather front is not moving in any great hurry, so mostly dry either side of it. most remaining cloudy. temperatures should not got too much but a few brea ks should not got too much but a few breaks are possible, so conceivably the chance of frost. the weather front fades away into a zone of cloud and patchy light rain and drizzle in the morning, the far west of england and the south east of scotland, and that will fizzle out
through the day. tomorrow, lots of cloud, maybe some brighter breaks, especially as the breeze picks up, and whilst temperatures are down on what they are today, the winds are up what they are today, the winds are up in as well. the heavy rain will push south and east and bring about a big change as i will show you in half an hour. this is bbc news. our latest headlines: the liberal democrats are warning ministers not to agree to a tax—payer funded bailout of the troubled construction company carillion, which employs 20,000 people. the bbc understands that high—level government meetings are under way. the african union demands an apology from president trump for reportedly using a vulgar and disparaging term to describe nations on the continent. the union accused the trump administration of misunderstanding africans. a ban on credit and debit surcharges has come into force today. it's hoped it will benefit shoppers
and holiday—makers who buy goods online or in small stores. but there are concerns companies could raise their prices in response. dentists are warning of a tooth decay crisis amongst children in england. a record 43,000 operations to remove rotting teeth were carried out last year. tributes are paid to bella emberg, who has died at the age of 80. the comedy actor, who became a household name on the russ abbot show, is described as "a huge comedy talent." les dennis said she was a "funny, lovely friend". now on bbc news, a bbc scotland's elizabeth quigley talks to a woman who discovered she can smell parkinson's disease, this is the woman who can smell parkinson's. that may sound impossible,