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tv   BBC News at Ten  BBC News  February 22, 2018 10:00pm-10:31pm GMT

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tonight at ten — no agreement in the un security council on establishing a humanitarian ceasefire in syria. for a fifth consecutive day in the rebel enclave of eastern ghouta, the intense bombardment by syrian government forces has continued, as the un warns of a massacre. a number of hospitals and medical centres have been hit, making it almost impossible to treat the many wounded. translation: what we're seeing everyday has caused us to collapse, both humanely and psychologically. we don't have anything more to offer. we're being bled out. we'll have the latest on the diplomatic efforts to establish a ceasefire so that aid supplies can be delivered. also tonight. an away day at chequers for theresa may and senior ministers — as they try to agree a collective position on britain's future relationship with the eu. as american students demand tougher gun laws, the powerful gun lobby backs the president's idea for some teachers to be armed. to stop a bad guy with a gun,
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it takes a good guy with a gun. chanting: no ifs, no buts, no uss pension cuts. thousands of university lecturers have started strike action over planned changes to their pensions. and tracey emin talks to us about art, equality, and her legacy. later in the hour, we'll have sportsday on the bbc news channel, with all the latest reports, results, interviews and features from the bbc sports centre. good evening. the united nations has warned of a massacre in the rebel enclave of eastern ghouta
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on the outskirts of damascus. syrian government forces have been pounding the suburb for a fifth consecutive day amid reports that more than 350 people have been killed since sunday night, including 150 children. russia has said there is no agreement in the un security council on establishing a humanitarian ceasefire in the region. this report by our middle east editorjeremy bowen contains some distressing images. more air strikes, more bombs and more casualties. it is not letting up. across eastern ghouta, rescue workers sprint into broken and burning buildings before the dust of their destruction settles. this was another attack a few miles away. a temporary ceasefire is under negotiation,
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brokered by russia, egypt and turkey. even if it happens, the horror of these days will stay with the survivors for a lifetime. two sisters, alaa, aged eight and moor, eleven, were in their home when it was hit. warplanes bombed our building. now...ghouta. look at home. this was sent to us by their mother. please help us. please save our children here in east ghouta. where is the humanity? i ask you in the name of motherhood, please help us. getting on for 400,000 people, terrified by the sight
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and sound of aircraft, are thought to be in eastern ghouta, which is the size of manchester. the syrian regime insists it's targeting terrorists. but it's clear many children are among the wounded and the dead. improvised hospitals have been set up in cellars and basements during the years of war. now, though, the medics are at full stretch. dr amani ballour wanted to send a message to the people of britain. translation: we never wanted the war and we don't want to live under it. for the sake of our children who've been blown to pieces, for the sake of our children who died of hunger, what we're seeing every day has caused us to collapse, both humanely and psychologically. we don't have anything more to offer, we're being bled out. dr amani was treating 12—year—old
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mohammed, who was dying. his mother had been cooking breakfast for her family when three airstrikes came in. translation: i am here, waiting for my son to die. at least he'll be free of pain. i pray to god to end his suffering. but where are the arabs, where are the muslims? do we have to appeal to israel? when my boy dies, he will go to heaven, where at least he'll be able to eat. i'd like to die with him so i can look after him. syrians have cried so many tears in the seven years of war. the killing is escalating, not ending. and once again, the world is watching from a safe distance. jeremy bowen, bbc news. live to the un in new york and our correspondent, nick bryant. bring us up—to—date on the
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diplomatic efforts saturday. well, the russians are using their military power to help the assad regime in eastern ghouta, and here at the united nations security council in new york they are using their veto power to help the assad regime. today, all it took was the mere threat of a veto to block a d raft mere threat of a veto to block a draft resolution which would have called for a 30 day ceasefire, which would have allowed humanitarian convoys into places like eastern ghouta ran for medical evacuations to ta ke ghouta ran for medical evacuations to take place. the russians are proposing amendments, but these negotiations have been going on for two weeks. the russians have already been granted major concessions and the western powers are saying this is yet another delaying tactic by moscow to grab more time for the assad regime to continue its military offensive and to kill more people. britain and america today, again, as they have for many years, bemoaned russian obstruction but what they've never been prepared to do is back at those words with
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meaningful action in syria to cou ntera ct meaningful action in syria to counteract russia's influence, so they get to call the shots there and increasingly here. i do think there will be another attempt to pass a ceasefire resolution tomorrow, and the french ambassador but its darkest night. he said a failure to get that through would be a devastating loss of credibility for the security council and could sound the security council and could sound the death knell of the united nations itself. nick bryant, many thanks for the latest from new york. theresa may and ii of her senior ministers are at chequers tonight — the prime minister's country home — to try to unite behind a single government strategy on brexit. they've spend several hours there today, ahead of the next phase of the brexit negotiations with the eu. from chequers, our political editor laura kuenssberg reports. birdsong what could break the calm of the country? birdsong twittering across the home counties valley? spring's plucky early buds bravely making their way? the zooming arrival of the cabinet's cars — that's what.
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darting into chequers, hoping perhaps the rural peace might provide inspiration. for more than a year, this group have been attempting to hammer out a compromise. but for decades, arguably, the tory party has been trying and not always succeeding. so, can they find one today? they were at it for eight hours. the prime minister, surrounded by her close colleagues and advisers — some who were pitted against each other during the referendum. next week she wants to tell the rest of the world more of her brexit plan. but the inner cabinet has struggled to agree how closely we should stick to the eu after brexit. some compromise perhaps today, but not a dramatic breakthrough. if you look at what happened back before the december european summit there was a lot of speculation that the cabinet would not reach agreement.
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we all agreed a position that the prime minster took to brussels, and got a successful outcome. and all of us in the cabinet are determined to get the best possible deal for every part of the united kingdom. every modern tory prime minister who has had the run of this country pile has had to deal with splits over europe. yet government insiders suggest it was only borisjohnson that was likely to dig in furiously. 0ne minister told me the brexiteers would be reminded firmly of the consequences of failing to agree. but there are nerves and suspicion on both sides in the tory party and their outside rivals are sceptical. it won't last and what our problem is, is that in trying to deal with the government and be responsible as an opposition, work with them as necessary, we never know from day to day who is in charge and what the policy is. but theresa may's brexit plans have always emerged gradually, rather than sudden changes. and next she must persuade the eu, too. any negotiation is compromise. the choice for the prime minister is who will take and who must give.
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just in the last few minutes, ministers have been speeding out of the gates here at chequers, after talking for eight hours. about all of this. now, you might wonder why they have to talk still for such a long time when they've been talking about it for more than a year. the a nswer to about it for more than a year. the answer to that is that in the cabinet, as through the tory party, there's a of opinion about how closely we should stick to the eu after brexit, or how much we should make a dramatic break. there has been some optimism at the top levels of government in recent days that a compromise here today, the sort, was looking more, not less likely. but theresa may will still have to get whatever has been agreed through the whole cabinet on tuesday, through her party, where some elements don't wa nt her party, where some elements don't want her to give up anything at all, and then, of course, through 27
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other european countries. this was an important date and she will hope she's made a step forward, but a step, not a leap, not abound, to what happens next. laura kuenssberg with the latest light at chequers. the latest official figures on immigration appear to confirm that the vote to leave the eu has had an impact. more eu citizens left britain in the year to last september than at any time for a decade. but overall nearly 250,000 more people from the eu and the rest of the world arrived here than went abroad. our home affairs correspondent daniel sandford is here to look at the figures. yes, huw, ever since the brexit referendum businesses and politicians have been tracking the number of eu citizens coming to and from the uk with great interest. and in today's release of immigration figures we have reached a bit of a milestone. in the year to last september, an estimated 130,000 eu nationals have left and no longer live in the uk. that is the highest number for ten years, the highest in fact since the financial crash. however, in that same time — despite brexit — around 220,000 eu
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citizens moved here. which means that still, overall, 90,000 more eu citizens moved to the uk than left in the year to september — though that is the lowest figure since 2012. what about migration from outside the eu? well, in the same period, 205,000 more non—eu foreign nationals arrived to live here than left. making their contribution to the growing population more than twice that of the eu citizens. and wrapping all the figures up together, along with the tens of thousands of uk citizens who leave britain each year, overall 244,000 more people arrived in the uk in the year to september than left. so today's immigration figures continue to show what appears to be a brexit effect on the eu population of britain. but the government's manifesto commitment to get net immigration down below 100,000 a year is still out of reach. huw.
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daniel sandford, our home affairs correspondent, many thanks. america's all—powerful gun lobby, the national rifle association, has backed the president's call to provide teachers with guns — after they've been trained to carry concealed weapons. the head of the nra, wayne lapierre, also accused politicians of exploiting the school shooting in florida, in which 17 were killed, to try to impose tighter gun restrictions, as our north america editorjon sopel reports. will the florida school shooting come to be seen as a landmark moment, when impotence gave way to rage, and rage led to action? never again! the vociferous students who have taken to the streets are bringing change. but not always in the way they wanted. the president, making clear that he thinks the way to make schools more secure is to train and arm more teachers. tweeting today, "if a potential sicko shooter knows that a school has a large number of very weapon—talented teachers and others who will be instantly shooting, the sicko will never
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attack at school. cowards won't go there. problem solved." he first floated the idea at an emotional white house meeting last night, with victims‘ families. one of those in attendance was a pupil at the parklands school, sam zeif. how is it that easy to buy this type of weapon? afterwards, he was dismissive about the president's plan. arming teachers is just not what we need. you know? this is a problem because guns were brought into our school. why would it make sense to bring more guns into school? and the president has held another white house meeting today to discuss the issue, promising action that will win the support of many of the students. i think we are making a lot of progress, and i can tell you it is a tremendous feeling that we want to get something done. he wants increased background checks on those seeking to purchase weapons
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and to ban bump stocks — this is the device that turns a semiautomatic rifle into a machine gun. and he backs raising the minimum age for buying a rifle to 21. to those arguing for comprehensive gun control measures, what donald trump is proposing might seem like teeny—weeny baby steps. but any measure will have to get congressional approval, and doing that is never achieved without a fight. and no—one fights for gun rights like the national rifle association. today, in a rare public appearance, the leader of the nra spoke out, and he was in no mood for compromise. lean in, listen to me now, and never forget these words. to stop a bad guy with a gun, it takes a good guy with a gun. applause thank you very much. in other words, what america needs is more guns, not fewer.
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the president is being pulled in one direction by the nra, another by the students. if past form is a guide, there will only be one winner — and it won't be the students. jon sopel, bbc news, washington. justin forsyth, a prominent figure in the world of international aid, has resigned as deputy executive director of unicef. mr forsyth, who was appointed two years ago, used to work for save the children, during which time he was accused of inappropriate behaviour towards female staff. my colleague manveen rana, who uncovered the story earlier this week, is here. how did we get to this resignation? when the investigation came out, we revealed that three several women have complained about justin revealed that three several women have complained aboutjustin forsyth while he was running save the children uk. the allegations involved streams of inappropriate text messages, e—mails, all of which the women said had made them feel
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biglia uncomfortable. they were the mostjunior biglia uncomfortable. they were the most junior members of biglia uncomfortable. they were the mostjunior members of staff, he was the ceo. but in a statement today, justin forsyth said he wasn't resigning because of the mistakes he had made at save the children. he said he had apologised unreservedly at the time and he apologised again to the three women involved. he said he was resigning because he didn't wa nt to he was resigning because he didn't want to cause any more damage to unicef, save the children and the charity sector as a whole. questions are being asked about how much unicef knew about these allegations before they appointed mr forsyth to one of the most senior roles in the organisation. they say nothing. they have been conversations in the last few days with the children and mr forsyth. they have been told the allegations were hidden from them because they had been in formal complaint and had gone three confidential process of mediation. manveen rana, thank you. haiti has suspended 0xfam's operations in the country for two months while it investigates allegations of sexual misconduct by some of the charity's staff. seven 0xfam workers in haiti were dismissed or resigned in 2011,
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while working in the country following the earthquake. haiti's government said the charity had made a "serious error" in failing to inform them at the time. thousands of university lecturers have started strike action over planned changes to their pensions, which they say could leave them thousands of pounds a year worse off in retirement. students' studies could be disrupted for up to a month if all the planned strikes go ahead. 0ur education correspondent elaine dunkley reports from leeds. at leeds university, lecturers out on the picket line. thousands of lectures have been cancelled on campuses across the uk, the message — "give us the pensions we paid into, or there will be mass disruption". we're expecting things to grind to a halt, really. forms won't be signed, classes won't be taught, research deadlines won't be met. we're likely to lose about £10,000 a year. now, vice chancellors are earning
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about £250,000 to £280,000 a year, so i have questions about why the money shouldn't be coming out of their salaries and not out of our pensions. the universities say a £6 billion deficit in the scheme means it's unsustainable, and could only be maintained by making cuts to jobs and research. universities say they have offered a good deal, but lecturers are not convinced. currently, we have what is called a defined benefit scheme, which means we put money in and we will definitely get a certain amount back when we retire. the defined contribution scheme which is being offered means that what we end up with in the pot will depend on the vagaries of the market and other things, and it means we can't be certain of what we'll have. left unresolved, more lectures could be cancelled and exams affected. you pay over £9,000 in fees. do you feel short—changed by all of this? the students support their lecturers, but are also worried
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these students support their lecturers, but are also worried about their future. more than 80,000 students have signed petitions calling for fees to be reimbursed. when we signed up to university, it was specified in the curriculum that we would have a certain number of hours of contact time with our lecturers. anything short of that is essentially a breach of contract. we worked out that it works out at about £1,150 worth of lost contact time. but we fully support our lecturers in going on strike. this dispute is being fought on university campuses across the uk, which included marches in cardiff... belfast, and glasgow. how it's resolved will have a significant impact on the retirement of thousands of lecturers, and the future of millions of students. elaine dunkley, bbc news. in venezuela, hundreds if not thousands of people with transplanted kidneys are at risk of losing the organs
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due to the country's chronic shortage of medicines. the venezuelan federation of pharmacies says 85% of the medicines they need are not available. the un has warned that people are dying of treatable illnesses. venezuela, which has the largest oil reserves in the world, is nonetheless in the grip of an economic crisis. in the second of two exclusive reports from inside the country, vladimir hernandez reports from the capital caracas. her fate is out of her hands. for more than a decade, judith has had a transplanted kidney, but due to the severe shortage of medicines, for four months she's been unable to get the drugs to keep the kidney going. her doctor says he has about 700 more patients in hospital, also facing the imminent loss of a transplanted kidney. for venezuelans, the hunt
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for medicines is desperate. most drugs are out of stock, and even when you find them, there's another problem. this person was looking for several types of medicines here, but she could only find this one. these are two boxes she needs per month, but it costed her 12 million bolivars, which means about a third of what she makes in a whole year. i've met other people around this pharmacy and they are saying there's no chance they could afford something like this. critics say this is an example of the failure of the so—called socialist revolution, but the venezuelan president says
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us—led sanctions prevent him from importing medicines. things are worse away from big cities. this is apure in the south, near the amazon forest, and one of the poorest states in the country. here, i gained very rare access to a public hospital, a place where the government does not allow the media in. this baby is seven months old and malnourished. the scabs on his head and body were caused by an illness related to malnutrition. his mother cannot afford his medicines once she leaves hospital. children like these are having to get, for instance, antibiotics for a price which could be ten times the monthly minimum wage. and the people who live in poor communities like these are unable, absolutely unable to buy these medicines. little 0riana has an uncertain future. she needs surgery to
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treat her lung failure. but her family can't afford the antibiotics to get her ready for it. a simple drug, out of the hands of many venezuela ns. for 0riana, as for many venezuelans, lack of medicine is an almost certain death. vladimir hernandez, bbc news, caracas. let's have a brief look at some of the day's other other news stories. two brothers, aged six and two, have died after a suspected hit—and—run crash in coventry. a black ford focus was found abandoned a short time after the crash, and a man and a woman have been arrested. britain's biggest energy supplier centrica, which owns british gas, says it's cutting 4,000 jobs over
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the next two years. the company saw a sharp fall in profits last year. it says political interference in the energy market was partly to blame. a letter reportedly addressed to prince harry and his fiancee meghan markle is being treated by police as a racist hate crime. scotland yard say it was delivered along with a package containing a substance, which they tested and found not to be harmful. the big tech companies, such as google, amazon and facebook, could face much higher tax bills in the uk if ministers go ahead with some new policy options. they've told the bbc that they're considering proposals to tax those companies on their sales revenue, rather than their profits. but the government has been warned against taking action that isn't co—ordinated globally, as our economics editor kamal ahmed explains. they are some of the biggest companies in the world, and many of them count their profits in the billions of pounds, if not their tax bills. that could be about to change, as the government signals it
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will launch a new attempt at raising more tax from these global tech giants. the minister driving the move told me that these successful companies, used by millions of people, would pay higher bills. we recognise that there are businesses generating substantial value within the uk, who we don't believe are currently paying a fair rate of tax. but that is quite different from saying they're not paying the taxation that they should be paying. and fair tax means, in your mind, higher tax? it will in the case of a number of those businesses, absolutely. the companies make clear that they play by the rules, but the fact is that the treasury wants to change them. let's take google as one example. it has sales or revenues in the uk of over £1 billion. it makes profits in the uk of £149 million, and pays tax on those profits of £38 million. but if it paid tax on its sales, a much larger number, its tax bill would rise.
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the government has certainly opened the door to new taxes for those big global technology companies, but this is notjust a debate raging in britain. here in france, the government wants to increase taxes on those global digital giants. there's a similar argument in germany. it's a race, but it's a race with risks. if every country follows their own path on taxes, might there be the start of a tax war? and the organisation charged with stopping that is based right here in paris. the 0ecd is concerned about britain's and other countries' proposals. a tax on turnover is not a great idea. it may be the last resort, a political measure or stopgap measure, but it's not a great idea. apple's hq in america, and here's the point. most of these companies are american, and that is where they pay the bulk of their taxes. this would be a fundamental change. they're certainly willing
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to pay theirfair share or their responsible share of tax. the risk of the uk behaving or acting in a unilateralfashion would be that there could be the risk of double taxation for some of these companies, and then i think you would see a lot of money spent on lobbying to protest against that. it has been a tortuous battle. what does fair tax look like? this is the latest government attempt to answer that controversial question. kamal ahmed, bbc news. the artist tracey emin, famous for her autobiographical installations, including an embroidered tent naming previous lovers, and her own unmade bed, is being honoured by mtv‘s staying alive foundation for her long—standing support of hiv and aids charities. the former turner prize nominee has been discussing art, gender equality and her legacy with our arts editor will gompertz. your subject is you. you, your life, your experiences. has that over the years become something which you feel
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is an endless seam which you can mine, or something that you think, "god, it's become a bit of a cage, i want to get out of it and explore something else"? well, if i was to think like that, i'd be dead, wouldn't i? i don't know, would you? yeah, or i'd just stop making art. i don't have to make art. no one made me make art, but i do have a physical compulsion to do it. it's within me. i've done nothing else all my life. looking at the subjects you've explored about yourself, there's the rapes and the abortion and the sexual abuse. do you feel, looking at what's going on now and all the me too and time's up and harvey weinstein and all the rest of it, do you feel that you were incredibly prescient and that in fact, you were trying to say something but no one was listening to you 20 or 30 years ago? yeah, but no one was listening to anyone, was they? so i wasn't the only woman that wasn't being listened to. it takes women en masse to be able to say something. but this was something you were speaking out
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about and getting criticised for. yeah, i was, a lot. yeah. but i was also being criticised for being vivacious, precocious, quite sexual. but at the same time, i was saying "i'm allowed to be like this and i'm also allowed to say it's not on to rape someone, it's not on to abuse someone. listen to what women are saying". but no one did. but now what is good is that lots of people are listening. what's changed ? i think, being the most optimistic i possibly can, i think a lot of men have changed. there's a younger generation of men out there that would find it, like, unbelievable to be abusive or sexually prevalent towards a woman, especially someone in their place of employment. they'd find it horrific. if you could pick one work, and you've made thousands, if you could pick one work, which is the most important work


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