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tv   BBC News  BBC News  February 18, 2018 12:00pm-12:31pm GMT

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good afternoon. the husband of murdered mpjo cox has resigned from two charities he set up in her memory after allegations of sexual harassment were made public. brendan cox denies assaulting a woman at harvard university in 2015, but admits to "inappropriate" behaviour while working for save the children. this morning jo cox's sister has said that the family will continue to support brendan and that their priority is on caring for the couple's children. charlotte gallagher reports. the murder ofjo cox by far right extremist stunned the nation. the labourmp and extremist stunned the nation. the labour mp and mother of two was shot and stabbed in the week before the eu referendum in 2016. in the months after her death her widower brendan cox vowed to campaign in his wife's memory and setup thejo cox foundation and more in common. now
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following allegations of inappropriate behaviour against women he has stood down from both charities. he was accused of harassing a female colleague at save the children and assaulting a woman during a trip to harvard university in 2015. late last night brendan cox apologised for his actions. while i do not accept the allegations contained in the 2015 complaints to the police in cambridge, massachusetts, i acknowledge and understand that during my time at save the children i made mistakes and behaved in a way that caused some women hurt and offence. the labourmp some women hurt and offence. the labour mp jess phillips, who some women hurt and offence. the labour mpjess phillips, who was friends with jo labour mpjess phillips, who was friends withjo cox, said he was right to stand down. friends withjo cox, said he was right to stand downli friends withjo cox, said he was right to stand down. i am not defending his actions, i am trying to think about this person who i know and my friend who is not here and make sure that there is a change in the future. i do not defend any of this behaviour. a spokesperson
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for thejo cox of this behaviour. a spokesperson for the jo cox foundation of this behaviour. a spokesperson for thejo cox foundation said staff admired mr cox's contribution and dedication to the charity. todayjo cox's sister said the family would support brendan cox as he endeavoured to do the right thing. the education secretary says university tuition fees should reflect the economic benefit graduates will have to the country ahead of a wide ranging review of higher education funding. damian hinds suggested that subsidies could be provided to fund more expensive degree courses such as science and engineering. it comes as the prime minister prepares to outline details of a wide—ranging review into education funding. wide—ranging review into education funding. but labour say another review isn't going to solve basic funding problems. tom barton reports. what is this worth? that is the question facing ministers as they tried to address concerns over the cost of university both to students and taxpayers. a review launching
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tomorrow to look at how degrees are funded and whether it is right that expensive science and engineering courses cost students at the same as cheaper arts and humanities degrees. when the system was brought it was not anticipated that so many universities and courses would all have the fee for their course. there is much variety that has come into the system as we would expect and wa nt the system as we would expect and want and the system as we would expect and wantandi the system as we would expect and want and i think it is right to ask questions about that and see what can be done to stimulate that diversity and variety. the review comes as mps from the commons treasury committee say interest—rate as high as 6.1% on student loans are questionable with many undergraduates in england accumulating £5,000 in interest whilst those studying and leaving university with average debt of £50,000. many are seeing today's announcement as a response to
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labour's success with younger voters at last year's general election after promising to end fees and reintroduce maintenance grants. we have had three announcements of reviews in the last 12 months and eight years of the conservatives that have damaged higher education and totally decimated our further education infrastructure. another review will not solve the problem of the hike in interest rates which this government has done. tuition fees remain a divisive subject, something ministers hope this review will help address. something ministers hope this review will help address. tom is here now. is this the start of a shift on government policy on higher education? there is no doubt the conservatives have felt under pressure on this issue since last yea r‘s pressure on this issue since last year's election, but the government remains committed to that key principle that graduates who have benefited from a university education should continue to contribute towards the cost of that education. what could this review
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mean in practice? there is a possibility that those studying arts and humanities courses that are cheaper could find themselves paying less. the government is talking about offering more shorter courses, more part—time study, as well as making it easier for students to live at home whilst at university. but criticism is notjust coming from the labour party, damian hines predecessor, justine greening, warning today that the government needs to stop kicking university finance around like a football. tom barton, our tom barton, our political correspondent. church spires are going to be used to help people in rural areas get better access to mobile networks, broadband and wifi services. a deal between the government and the church of england aims to make it easier to put communication masts in spires and towers, as james waterhouse explains. a church spire can often be the highest point of a village and given that the church of england
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has more than 16,000 buildings of different kinds, government ministers are hoping these will give the perfect infrastructure to help more parts of the uk get better signal. they say this deal will make it better for vicars and bishops to get this technology installed, and there is cash to be made. the rental is typically between £5,000 and £10,000 which can be equivalent, or more, to a normal income for a church for a year. now, conservationists may not like the idea of a mobile phone mast being bolted onto their local church. however, the government argues in many cases, the technology can be hidden within the spire. they will be rolled out over the next five years and both parties will be hoping this signals better mobile phone coverage and internet for more parts of the uk. james waterhouse, bbc news. donald trump has rebuked the fbi for missing signals about the gunman who killed 17 students at a school in florida last week.
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the president says the agency has spent "too much time trying to prove russian collusion" during his election win and is failing to do the basics of law enforcement. the fbi has admitted it failed to act on a tip—off about the gunmen. nearly 200 british stars of film, tv and stage have signed an open letter calling for an end to sexual harassment at work, ahead of tonight's bafta awards in london. actors emma watson, keira knightley and emma thompson are among the list of women named in the letter, published in the observer. the stars are expected to wear black ina show the stars are expected to wear black in a show of solidarity with the hollywood movement. no more medals overnight for team gb in pyeongchang, but the competitors continue to celebrate the most successful day in winter olympics history yesterday where lizzie yarnold won gold in the women's skeleton, retaining her title and the first briton to ever do so at the games. our sports correspondent andy swiss has been speaking to her.
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from a dry ski slope in sheffield to an olympic final, james woods has long made the extraordinary seem effortless. and once again how he rose to the occasion as he tricked, flipped and let his way right into contention. what has he got for us? you can hear what the crowd think of that. what are run by james woods. he came here with such high hopes for a medal, will that be enough?m seemed it might be. second place. and with just a few left to go he was still in bronze before america's nick webb hurst snatched away a medal. so close. it is a game of perfection and it is notjust that. you have got to go above and beyond technical difficulty. that was insane. meanwhile elise christie suffered soft tissue damage in her crowd yesterday. her boyfriend posted this, and with the next event on tuesday it is a race against
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time. for others it is celebration. lizzie yarnold was achieving her historic gold medal. it was still sinking in. it was big four years ago to try to be the first british 0lympian to retain my title, and it is scary to say it, but now it is rolling of my tongue a bit more and iamso rolling of my tongue a bit more and i am so proud it all came together. with team—mate laura d is collecting her bronze, a picture perfect podium for british sport. andy swiss, bbc news, pyeongchang. andy swiss, bbc news, pyeongchang. you can see more on all of today's stories on the bbc news channel. bye for now. hello. you're watching the bbc news channel with ben brown. a committee of mps has warned that
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a hard brexit could mean higherfood prices for consumers. a report by the commons environment, food and rural affairs committee also said failure to get a free—trade deal with the eu could be devastating for farmers. our business correspondent joe lynam reports. the peace and bucolic splendour of uk farmlands could be dramatically upset if britain fails to get a comprehensive free—trade deal post brexit. a key group of mps says consumers might also end up paying more forfood if the uk reverts to world trade organization rules. the environment, food and rural affairs committee of mps says a so—called hard brexit would have a devastating effect on rural communities. that's because 60% of uk food exports go to the eu and they could face much higher tariffs. the committee also said that britain should not dilute its own high food standards in order to sign new global trade deals, such as one with the us.
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we go into a sort of wto situation where there's tariffs on imported food that will actually drive food prices up. now, for some commodities, that will actually suit farming, but perhaps not the consumer if they have to pay more for theirfood. but the government has sought to soothe those concerns. it said that leaving the eu gave the uk a golden opportunity to secure ambitious free—trade deals while supporting our farmers and producers. it said it would not compromise on the uk's high environmental or welfare standards. joe lynam, bbc news. earlier i spoke to the national farmers union's director of eu exit and international trade, nick von westenholz. i began by asking him what safeguards were needed to protect the farming industry post—brexit. i think the important thing is that the government finds a way that it can maintain tariff free trade with
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the eu when most of our exports and imports are with the eu, and also to reduced to as low as possible those nontariff barriers like border checks. what we hear around friction at the border is the term used, to keep that at a minimum so we can continue to enjoy the high level of free trade we currently have. but there are going to be changes. it will not be like we were in the eu. yes, there will be changes. some of those changes will provide opportunities. we can over a period of time begin to look to extend markets overseas for british produce. we can also look to increase the amount of food we supply within these own shores. at the moment we are only 60% self—sufficient. but we are looking atan self—sufficient. but we are looking at an evolution rather than a revolution. the idea we might crash
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out of the eu in march 2019 or soon after and be trading on the basis of wto ta riffs after and be trading on the basis of wto tariffs would be really quite damaging for uk farming.“ wto tariffs would be really quite damaging for uk farming. if we do seek other markets, are you worried about standards? we are looking in america, australia and new zealand and all those other countries. absolutely. we know uk consumers really value the production standards of uk farmers. they have high welfare, they look after the countryside that people enjoy so much, and throwing the doors opened to world trade outside the auspices ofa to world trade outside the auspices of a close relationship with the eu would mean that products produced two very different standards in terms of welfare and environment would have much freer access into our markets. what we would essentially be doing is reducing the amount of british produce on shop shelves and increasing the amount of imported produce where we have no control over how that is produced
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and what the environmental and welfare impacts of that produce is. the headlines on bbc news: brendan cox, the widower of the murdered mp, jo cox, has resigned from two organisations set up in her memory, after claims of sexual misconduct in the past. the education secretary says university tuition fees should reflect the economic benefit graduates will have to the country, ahead of a wide ranging review of higher education funding in england. an iranian passenger plane with 66 people onboard crashes in the centre of the country, it's not yet clear if there are any survivors. sport now, and for a full round up, from the bbc sport centre, here's richard askham. good afternoon. to the winter olympics in pyeongchang first of all where it's been another day to celebrate great britain's skeleton medallists. lizzy yarnold was presented with her gold medal earlier this morning. lizzy, the defending champion, won the event
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in thrilling style yesterday. the back—to—back olympic champion was joined by british team mate laura deas on the podium. laura took bronze. the british pair were part of what was britain's most successful ever day in a winter games. british short—track speed skater elise christie is in a race to be fit for tuesday's 1,000 metres. she suffered soft tissue damage from her fall in saturday's1500m short—track skating semifinal. christie was taken to hospital after colliding with china's li jinyu as she tried to finish in the top two and reach the final. earlier christie posted on social media giving an insight into her recovery plan. she's up and moving on an exercise bike and says she's working hard to finally secure that medal in what is her favourite event. all the best of luck to her. as for today's action, britain's women's curling team lost their latest match in controversial fashion. gb lost 8—6 to sweden after a decisive 11th end. gb skip eve muirhead was ajudged not to have let go of her final
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stone before the line, meaning the shot was void. that gave the swedes an easy final shot to secure an 8—6 victory. it leaves muirhead's rink with a record of won three, lost three, with switzerland, japan and canada still to play in the round—robin stage. when you see the replays in the stadium it looks like it was let go before and it is hard to take, but it came down to inches and millimetres. the first time i have ever done it in my life and when it comes to a time like that it is horrible, but it makes it worse when you see it and it does not look like it is. we got the stone tested and it is fine. there is nothing we can do, we have to move on. the men are in action now against italy. britain currently lie one place outside the qualification spots in 5th. they are 3—1 up in the sixth end as it stands. james woods just missed out on a medal in the ski slopestyle, finishing fourth
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after a nail—biting finish. the sheffield skier was in the bronze medal position after two of the three runs. but he couldn't better that in his final effort and was eventually overtaken meaning he finished in an agonising fourth place. team gb‘s two—man bobsleigh team have started their campaign at the sliding centre. brad hall and joel fearon went into the lead with this opening run in the early stages of the competition. they now lay in seventh. like the skeleton competition the boblseighers get four runs in total. the controversial video assistant referee system is once again in the spotlight. manchester united beat huddersfield town 2—0 to make it through to the quarter finals. but it was a goal that was ruled out that was the main talking point. juan mata's finish just before half time was chalked off after consultation with the var referee. mata was ruled offside. but there was confusion about how the decision was reached. it all took quite a bit of time as well. united went through thanks to two goals from romelu lukaku. united will play brighton
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in the last eight after they beat coventry city. huddersfield boss david wagner says he isn't a fan of the new system. this video system referee from my point of view, maybe i am too traditional, but this kills the emotion of the game in these situations and this is why i don't like it, but i am not the man who makes the decisions. i have to manage a team with it, but i don't like it. cricket now and england have failed to reach the final of the tri—series. england needed to beat new zealand by 20 runs to make wednesday's final against australia. england did win the match after making 194—7 in their 20 overs. eoin morgan top scoring with 80. but his side needed to restrict new zealand to 174 to get through. the kiwis finished on 192—4, which was enough to see them get through to the final. that's all the sport for now. i'll have more in the next hour.
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authorities in iran say that a passenger plane carrying 66 people has crashed. the flight, which took off from the capital, tehran, came down in the zagros mountains, in the south—west of the country, on its way to the city of yasuj. it was operated by aseman airlines. earlier i spoke to our bbc persian correspondent amir paivar about the crash. we don't quite know exactly what was the reason for the crash. we know the reason for the crash. we know the weather conditions in that area is very severely bad, but also the plane had a history of technical faults. it was grounded for seven yea rs faults. it was grounded for seven years because of technical problems. it was commissioned only recently again, but only 20 days ago on the same route it had to come back to the capital again because of a technical problem. so it does have a history of technical problems, this
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particular plane, which crashed today, but also in that area of the weather is not great. it could be either of those two. they put out a statement, the airline, saying there we re statement, the airline, saying there were no survivors, but they have now retracted that because they are not sure. that statement was put out before anyone had reached the area. no one has reached the area still because of the weather conditions. they thought there might be some survivors and it was a bit too early to put that statement out. you are talking about the plane. we were showing a picture of a plane like the one that was involved, not the actual plane involved in this crash, but is there an issue with airlines in iran generally? the fact they are ageing and not necessarily very well maintained? absolutely. because of international sanctions for a long time iran has not been able to
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purchase new planes until recently when the sanctions were lifted. but still of the 180 planes iran has made contracts to purchase only 11 have been delivered and eight of them are at the same type of planes, atrs. but because of banking problems, because no international banks work with iran, although iran is prepared to pay and buy these planes, it has not been able to do so, so it has an ageing fleet. they are not maintain very well and that is why it is so often that we hear news like this out of iran. 0ur bbc persian correspondent. they describe themselves as britain's forgotten veterans. 60 years ago, thousands of uk service personnel were sent to the south pacific to test nuclear bombs. some claim the radiation caused cancers and birth defects which they passed onto their children and grandchildren. now they hope a new study of their dna will prove it, as sarah corker reports. it was so bright you could see
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the bones in your hand. you just saw, like, another sun hanging in the sky. that's what it was. the south pacific at the height of the cold war. the british military testing the nuclear bomb. i'm bob fleming. i was a nuclear test veteran. he was 2a and in the forces when he watched one of the world's most powerful weapons detonate on christmas island. one of 22,000 british men involved in the testing programme. we had no protection. bush hat, shirt, shorts, flip—flops. most of my children and grandchildren have suffered a range of illnesses, some frightening. three generations of the fleming family believe they have suffered because of his exposure to radiation.
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21 odd members in our family, and 16 of us have health problems. muscular, skeletal, tumour problems, kidney stone problems. they have spent decades searching for answers. it was back in 2012 when the test veterans took their case to the supreme court and lost. the court said they had faced great difficulty proving a link between their illnesses and taking part in their illnesses and taking part in the test. their illnesses and taking part in the test. now, here at brunel university in london, they are carrying out scientific research to see if there dna has been if their dna has been irreparably damaged. the chief scientist told me blood cells will be taken from 100 veterans and their families. we are sampling a group of veterans that we know were present at nuclear tests back
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in the 50s and 60s, and we are comparing samples of their blood with a control sample of veterans who we know were not present at the nuclear test sites. and the scientists will work closely with veteran charities. they are the forgotten generation of people who saw these very, very powerful weapons exploded in their faces, and it is almost like they have been wiped from the history books. the ministry of defence says it is grateful to the servicemen, but says three previous studies of the veterans found no valid evidence to link the test to ill health. they set up the aged veteran fund in 2015 to help fund this new research. the flemings want to take part in this study and are waiting to hear if they have been selected. we want recognition. that is what we are fighting for. so, 60 years on, nuclearfamilies are still living in the aftermath of these bomb tests.
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sarah corker, bbc news. a new swedish fitness craze has reached british shores. "plogging", or picking up litter while jogging, is gaining momentum in the uk. greg dawson explains. in many ways, it looks like any other weekend fitness routine. you'll need a pair of these. a warm—up will help — it is february. but don't forget to pick up one of these. and maybe this will come in handy too. plogging, or plucking and jogging, first gained popularity in sweden but it's quickly caught on around the world, from the beaches of australia to the pavements of india, and here in the parks of south—east london. ilike running. i like doing stuff in the community. i like finding places that i didn't know existed — like, i didn't know this park
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was here, even though i live in the area, i've never been here before — so i think it does two things. it helps me to get fit and helps me to find out more about where i live and that, i enjoy. ivo gormley is the founder of good gym which runs plogging sessions and other community activities across the uk. we have been getting hundreds of new people signing up. every time you go for a run, you're likely to pass by somewhere where there is some fly tipping going on. you're not likely to pass by the house of someone who is isolated and lonely. every time you are running through your community, there are things that need doing and actually, you can combine that with your exercise. this is about far more than just running, though. as we know, a lot of our litter ends up in the waterways which means that the ploggers end up in waders. and it's notjust helping the environment but also potentially the public purse. clearing litter costs local authorities more than £700 million a year in england alone.
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this local—level volunteering coincides with a growing momentum nationally to cut waste. the scottish parliament announced plans to ban plastic straws. and the royal family has even backed efforts to reduce single—use plastic on britain's royal estates. does it ever frustrate you when you're litter picking, you see the state of some of the parks and some of the waterways? i suppose it is a bit frustrating but especially because this is my local park — i live just around the corner — but it is good that so many people are willing to give up their saturday mornings to clean up parks and rivers and... to get involved. get involved in the community. with that sense of making a small difference to a bigger problem, plogging offers much more thanjust a strenuous work—out. greg dawson, bbc news, south—east london. time for a look at the weather. it was quite a serena started the day, we have had some beautiful sunrises sent in, including this one
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showing the clear skies. we have also had some frost, mist and fog patches, but they are lifting and clearing. a lot of dry weather on the cards and cloud increasing from the cards and cloud increasing from the west and that will bring some rain later on in the day, all courtesy of the system in the atlantic. in the east a lot of high pressure in charge, bringing dry weather. sunshine for kent and norfolk and off east of scotland as well. some brightness breaking through the cloud in england and the midlands. temperatures will hit 10-11 in midlands. temperatures will hit 10—11 in the south, high single figures further north. rain in northern ireland in the afternoon will push its way into west and wales, and the south—east of england. 0vernight as that patchy, light rain continues we will all see some cloud and frost free conditions on monday morning. a different feel to the weather. mild and murky on
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monday all down to the fact that this front is lingering to the east. it is also bringing fairly mild conditions. the blue colours indicate colder air which is not far away. through the day quite misty and murky and grey. a little bit more brightness breaking through in northern ireland and south—western scotland. eastern scotland and eastern scotland likely to see a few outbreaks of rain through the day. still quite mild, 12—13 in the west. we will still have the remnants of this frontal system bringing some rain on tuesday, in east anglia, kent and sussex. elsewhere the skies clear and there is sunshine in scotland, northern ireland and wales. temperatures just about in double figures, but things will turn colder in the east because we see a change in wind direction. from
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tuesday onwards we will bring in this cold, easterly wind from scandinavia northern europe. in the week ahead it will be a mild start, but things will turn colder with more sunshine later on.

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