good afternoon. the home secretary, amber rudd, is to chair a second meeting of the government's emergency committee, cobra, as the investigation into the poisoning of a former russian spy continues. specialist soldiers, trained in chemical warfare, have been sent to salisbury in wiltshire, where sergei and yulia skripal were exposed to a nerve agent. both remain in a serious condition in hospital. sarah corker reports. nearly 200 military personnel have been drafted in to help recover and gather evidence in salisbury. some of the soldiers specially trained in chemical warfare. there has been a flurry of activity at the cemetery where sergei skripal‘s wife is buried. full protective suits and gas masks an unnerving sight here. a police car is among the vehicles that have been taken away by the army for decontamination. and we're learning more about the skripal family. this is the voice of irina petrova,
a childhood friend of yulia skripal, who knew her family well. she talked to the bbc. translation: she always had the best grades at school in everything. she was perfect. that's why she so easily adjusted to britain, she speaks brilliant english. better than an english person. i can only say good things about yulia skripal. she hasn't done anything to deserve to die like this. i hope everything will be good with her. i will be praying and will be going to church. the former russian spy and his daughter remains critically ill in intensive care. detective sergeant nick bailey was the first on the scene on sunday and is in a serious but stable condition. this investigation is becoming part of daily life here in salisbury. sites around the city centre remained cordoned off as investigators tried to piece together a timeline of events, the places that sergei skripal and his daughter, yulia, visited, before they were found in this park on sunday unresponsive. after her visit to the city yesterday, the home secretary,
amber rudd, will chair an emergency cobra meeting later, the second in a week, to review the progress of the investigation. major questions remain. where the chemical agent came from, who administered it and why. sarah corker, bbc news, in salisbury. our home affairs correspondent dominic casciani is in salisbury. the military was very much a visible presence yesterday and throughout last night. what has the picture being this morning? you may ask, actually, that's a question on everybody‘s lips in salisbury. where is the military but not one joker in the market this morning said they must be in stealth uniform because they couldn't be seen. we had a presence at the hospital last night to re m ove presence at the hospital last night to remove the first police car. we are told they will remove other items such as ambulances that could be potentially contaminated as part of the incident, and other objects
releva nt to of the incident, and other objects relevant to the investigation, perhaps the park bench behind me where the skripals collapsed last sunday. but none of that seems to be going on in public bust up not perhaps surprising when you think about the bigger picture. in an investigation like this you have a lot of public activity early on but very quickly the whole thing moves behind closed doors as the investigative detectives start to use all the electronic tools to try to chase whoever is behind this. dominic casciani, thank you. the education secretary says he wants to resolve a recruitment crisis in england's schools, by cutting teachers‘ workloads. damian hinds told a head teachers‘ conference in birmingham that the government would "strip away" pointless tasks to allow teachers to "focus on what actually matters". elaine dunkley reports. this is passmores academy in essex. and like so many schools, it's struggling to recruit teachers. classrooms around the country are now relying on agency supply teachers to cover permanent vacancies. the government keeps missing targets about recruitment into the profession. we have 4000 less teachers than we need. and especially in the shortage subjects, key subjects in the curriculum, english,
maths, science, all those sorts of things. the issue isn't just about recruiting new staff, but stopping existing teachers from leaving the profession. over the next five years in england, pupil numbers are expected to increase, along with pressures and demands on teachers. jake rusby left the profession after three years. i would work 65 or 70—hour weeks. with planning, marking, the assessments you're doing. the actual teaching part probably took up the least time of everything! so that was one major factor, but for me, i got out of the education system thinking and feeling that the whole thing needed to be turned on its head. today at a conference for headteachers, the government promised to address these issues. for the rest of this parliament, there will be no new additional statutory tests or assessments for primary schools. no further changes to the national curriculum, and no more reform of gcses and a—levels. stability in schools
was the message. the government accepting it needed to work harder to relieve pressures in the classroom. elaine dunkley, bbc news. the nephew of the actress liz hurley has been stabbed repeatedly in a street in south london by a group of men. miles hurley — a 21—year—old model — was one of two men injured in the knife attack on thursday. he remains in hospital, but police say his condition is not life—threatening. talks are going on in brussels between the eu and us trade representatives about president trump's plans to introduce import tariffs on steel and aluminium. president trump has suggested us allies might not be affected by the move and britain has said it will seek an exemption. 0ur europe correspondent adam fleming is in brussels. these meetings are ongoing. what do we expect to hear later? this is described as an meeting rather than the meeting. i think it may not be
described as conclusive. talks between the eu trade commissioner, had japanese counterpart and the us trader sensitive has taken on added significance. the eu wants to know if it will escape potential tariffs like canada and mexico appear to be doing. if they don't escape than the european commission is planning its own levies on iconic american products like harley—davidsons and florida orangejuice. products like harley—davidsons and florida orange juice. if products like harley—davidsons and florida orangejuice. if they products like harley—davidsons and florida orange juice. if they do escape, they will still be pretty worried about what all this means for the future of the global trading system. the national rifle association is suing the state of florida, after it passed a gun control law in the wake of a school shooting last month that left 17 people dead. the bill raises the legal age for buying rifles in the state to 21, and also allows training and arming of some school staff. but the nra says it's a violation of the us constitution. and the right to bear arms.
with all the sport, here's mike bushell at the bbc sport centre. with news of the uk's first medal at the winter paralympics. great britain have their first medal of the winter paralympics in pyeongchang, and it's gone to the visually imparied skier millie knight, who only last year wondered, if she'd be fit, in time to make the games. kate grey reports from south korea. the opening run of the paralympics. their moment in the spotlight didn't last long, the unpredictable adhere of the downhill proving too much, and they crashed out on the first bend. luckily, no harm done. 0verto the reigning world champions. millie knight, who only has 5% vision, and her guide brett wild, have had their own experience of crashing on the pyeongchang slopes last year. but those demons were clearly put to rest today as they negotiated the course and safely cross the line to win silver, britain's first medal of these games. we're just so excited
to have a paralympic medal under our belts. it's also our best results this season, so we are peaking at the right time. you have a busy programme, the super g tomorrow. we are back up tomorrow at 4am to go again. so we will be leaving the celebrating until the last evening. the british action wasn'tjust confined to the snow. as we moved into the afternoon, there was a fiercely contested match on the ice on folding with the wheelchair curling team. up against the world champions, norway, it was no easy task. just over an hour of play, and it all came down to the final stone. norway had to score two points to ta ke norway had to score two points to take it to a deciding end. it's not good enough. britain's curling campaign off to a winning start. kate gray, bbc news, pyeongchang. there's a huge day ahead in the six nations championship, with ireland, england and scotland all in with a chance of taking the title. 0ur sports correspondent, joe wilson, is in dublin, where ireland take on scotland.
and joe, both teams have reason to feel confident, don't they? i think so. at this stage on saturday it's tempting to delve into these statistics to see what will happen. ireland have such a strong record in dublin and looking for their 11th consecutive victory. what has been so impressive from them is the way they have brought in new players to the team but have still retained the know—how and ability to get over the line in games. we saw that especially against france. scotland, in contrast, with a dismal record away from home anywhere except italy. but what do they have? the memory of what they did against england, the knowledge they can play their style of rugby and beat a big team. if they do go that fast and loose style of rugby again today, i think it will open up the possibility of ireland scoring tries as well. who knows how crucial a bonus point might be by the end of the day. and whatever goes on in dublin will have a big knock on
effect for england in paris. how would you rate their confidence? effect for england in paris. how would you rate their confidence ?m you look at what eddiejones would you rate their confidence ?m you look at what eddie jones has donein you look at what eddie jones has done in the build—up to this game, making big changes in the team, you would suggest there is a sudden lack of confidence in at him. interestingly, the players he hasn't changed, especially in the back row and forwards, people some wanted changing. 0wen farrell the captain with the injury to dylan hartley. it'll be interesting to see how he goes about that, especially how he reacts to the referee. 0wen farrell likes to play on the edge. eddie jones has said he wants leadership in every kind of position, to change the style of play if the referees officiating in a certain way and if the game is not going to plan. fascinating to see how england get on in paris today. it wouldn't surprise me to be speaking here at around 7pm this evening reflecting on ireland being six nations champions. and there would be some party there, i'm sure if that were the case.
jonny bairstow hit a century as england beat new zealand by seven wickets in christchurch, to win the series 3—2. there were three wickets apiece for chris woa kes and adil rashid as new zealand, were bowled out for 223, before england cruised to their target. and back in form marcus rashford has scored twice for manchester united in their premier league match against liverpool. it's approaching half time at old trafford — 2—0 still the score. 41 minutes played. marcus rashford with both goals. all over liverpool like a rash! you can see more on all of today's stories on the bbc news channel. hello, you're watching the bbc news channel with me, shaun ley. president trump has posted a message on twitter
saying a deal with north korea is very much in the making and, if completed, would be very good for the world. mr trump said the time and place of the deal were still to be determined. earlier, his white house press secretary said the summit with kim jong—un would not happen unless washington saw concrete steps or actions by pyongyang. 0ur correspondent robin brant is following the story for us in the south korean capital, seoul. he gave me his assessment of the mixed messages coming from the trump administration. first, we had that startling revelation that the president was ready to accept the meeting with kim jong—un with no conditions, with no preparatory talks that we know of. and then sarah sanders, the press secretary, said there was the need for concrete steps, and it looked like they were rowing back. also some reporting from the wall streetjournal in washington overnight saying the white house is clear the meeting will happen, there are no preconditions, it will happen before
the end of may. we don't know where or when, but it is on. in terms of the reaction in seoul to any possibility that perhaps things were being toned down, perhaps it might not happen, we haven't heard anything today, but looking to the words of president moonjae—in yesterday, the south korean leader who has managed to engineer the meeting, he was frankly euphoric and described the prospect of kimjong—un and donald trump sitting down opposite each other as a miracle. he described the meeting, even before it has happened, even before we know when and where it will happen, he described it as a milestone on the road to realising a peace. so he is hugely optimistic — just about the meeting itself, let alone the prospect of some substantive agreement between the two men. we've always thought of china as being the key player in terms of the prospect of getting north korea to change tack. the chinese state media today saying that they had played a role,
and it's all down to both whether there is denuclearisation and the americans stop military exercises with the south koreans. is any of that seriously on the table, do you think? i think the chinese role in getting to where we are now, there is no doubt their willingness after much reticence to finally ensure those un sanctions were properly enforced and restricting severely the flow of coal and also particularly oil to north korea in the last few months, there is no doubt that has put even more pressure on north korea and its economy, and there is a widespread feeling that may be one of the things that has brought the north koreans to the table. one problem i think i have with the chinese claim is what is known as their suspension for suspension strategy has brought about this meeting, is that we're told kim jong—un
is willing to accept that south korea, the united states, and the military exercises they have planned for the coming months, is that he has said that can go ahead. so that is not suspension for suspension. these events are the most incendiary in the eyes of the north koreans, presumably. they fear a us—led south korean invasion of the north, so they don't like to see these military exercises, so the chinese say suspension for suspension has worked, but apparently kim jong—un has accepted there will not be a suspension of the next due military exercise. i find that a little confusing. robin brant talking to me earlier from seoul in south korea. as we've been hearing, the row over america's gun laws has resurfaced, after the state of florida signed new gun—control measures into law. after the state of florida signed it raised the age limit for buying a gun from 18 to 21,
following the school shooting at parkland in which 17 students and staff were killed. but the lobby group the national rifle association has mounted a legal challenge, saying the new law goes against the constitutional right to bear arms. 0ur washington correspondent chris buckler reports. standing side by side with the families of some of those killed inside a school, florida's governor signed new laws, legislation designed to try to prevent such shootings by restricting access to guns. the common—sense things as a father, as a grandfather, as a governor, is we need to have law enforcement in our schools, we need to harden our schools. we need more mental health counselling, we need to make sure people that are going to do harm... think about it — we know these people are talking. the legislation is named after the marjory stoneman douglas high school in parkland. last month, 17 people, both staff and students, were shot dead here, as others fled from classrooms in search of safety. former pupil nikolas cruz is accused
of carrying out the killings with an assault rifle he had bought when he wasjust 18. the new law raises the age at which somebody can buy a firearm in florida from 18 to 21 and imposes a three—day waiting period for all sales. it allows some staff to be armed, subject to training and school district approval, but it doesn't ban the type of semiautomatic weapons that were used in the parkland shooting. in florida, grief has been coupled with anger, and the pupils who lost friends and teachers have led a campaign for tighter laws. chanting: what do we want? gun control! when do we want it? now! notjust in this state but across america. there are some signs that president trump is listening, but many americans believe in their right to bear arms, and the gun lobby has huge political sway in the us. we are done with your agenda
to undermine voters' will and individual liberty in america. alongside their adverts arguing that their members' voices are not being heard, the national rifle association is now bringing legal action to try to overturn the new legislation in florida. the nra claims that raising the age at which someone can buy a gun breaches both the second and 14th amendments of the us constitution. it's an argument that may end up being fought out in florida's courts, but it's only one part of a wider debate, and before the end of the month students will march in washington to demand new countrywide restrictions on gun sales. the campaigners say they no longer wantjust sympathy — they want change. chris buckler, bbc news, washington. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news this afternoon. syrian government forces
are stepping up their offensive in the rebel—held enclave of eastern ghouta. reports suggest forces loyal to president assad have now managed cut off the towns of douma and harasta, effectively splitting the enclave into two areas. continued bombardments from land and air were reported overnight. around 400,000 people remain trapped in ghouta despite un efforts to implement a ceasefire. in humanitarian assistance to the hundreds of thousands of rohingyas the united nations says nearly $1 billion is needed in humanitarian assistance to the hundreds of thousands of rohingyas who have fled the violence in myanmar to neighbouring bangladesh. officials say they want more money to relocate some 100,000 refugees who face the danger of landslides and flooding during the monsoon season. president macron has called on india to make france its entry point to europe, despite the uk's strong ties there. he set out his goal at the start of a visit to india where he's being warmly welcomed by the country's prime minister, narendra modi. an eight—hour siege
at a military veterans‘ home in northern california has ended with four people being found dead. police said the bodies of three women and a man, believed to be the 36—year—old gunman, were discovered in a room in the complex at yountville. tim allman reports. in the sprawling hills of the napa valley, a stand—off that ultimately ended in tragedy. holed away in a single room in this veterans‘ home, a man armed with a rifle and three women being held hostage. for hour after hour, police officers, investigators from the fbi and specialised hostage negotiators all tried in vain to talk to the suspect and convince him to let the women go free. but there was to be no peaceful resolution to this story, the siege ending in the saddest way imaginable. i come before the public with some tragic news. shortly before 6pm this evening,
law enforcement personnel made entry into the room where we felt the hostages were being held by the suspect, and unfortunately made the discovery of three deceased females and one deceased male suspect. it is believed that suspect had until recently been a resident at the home, the biggest of its kind in the united states, which provides mental health services for veterans. he was reportedly a 36—year—old former soldier who had been suffering from post—traumatic stress. his hostages were thought to be a clinical worker, a psychiatrist, and an executive director at the centre. an investigation is under way as to how and why this tragedy happened, and how a veteran was driven to kill the people who were trying to help him. tim allman, bbc news. more often than not, after a baby‘s born, the umbilical cord is thrown away,
and along with it a vital source of blood stem cells. this blood can be a lifeline for people with genetic disorders and cancers like leukaemia, but there‘s been a steady decline in donations since 2014. steph mcgovern has been finding out more. now, when it comes to having a baby, donating the placenta is probably not something you‘ll have given much thought. but it is exactly what actress and my mate kellie shirley did. so, kel, why did you decide to donate the cord blood? i found out that lots of places just end up chucking the cord blood away. and anthony nolan actually keep the cord blood, and they can use it to harvest it for cells for people with blood cancer. so with my twins — i had a boy and a girl, so two placentas — and we think that louie, who had the bigger placenta, was a match for somebody, which was really, really amazing. he‘s a little legend, louie, and pearl is. 0nly ten hospitals in the uk, like this one, have a dedicated team of cord collectors, like zoe,
who is on hand to help mothers willing to donate. so, zoe, this is where you collect the cord blood, isn't it? yep. it is a bit much to show on morning telly, but explain what happens. so once we have got the placenta, we bring the placenta up here and carry out a collection. we insert the needle into the cord and drain as much blood from the placenta. the placenta is rich in stem cells, so the blood that we do collect from it can be used as transplant. so if you don‘t collect these placentas, theyjust get chucked away. it does, it only gets thrown in the bin. so we have a cord collection from what we have just collected. oh, wow. that is the blood what we have just collected, and that is the cord we take from the placenta. so this has literallyjust come out of a woman‘s body, who hasjust given birth. it has. so what happens now? it gets tested to see if there's enough stem cells in, and once that is done, we can store it, and it's good enough to be used for transplant. of course, it is a decision every family has to make for themselves. we popped in to see sophie
just before her caesarean to ask why she is going to donate. hello! so with my first, i didn't even know about it. i didn't see any posters and wasn't told about it. and then with the second, the midwife mentioned it at one of my community midwife chats. and then a lot of my friends who were pregnant in sunderland were like, "oh, that is amazing, how have you done that?" "and we want to do it," but then they couldn't, because they don't do it in newcastle or sunderland. it is a no—brainer for me. that‘s something i keep saying, as well. it‘s become my catchphrase. "it‘s a no—brainer." yes, totally. but having dedicated collectors on call 24/7 is costly. nhs blood and transplant say they deliberately target hospitals in communities that often struggle to find a stem cell match. ah, look, just a couple of hours after we left, sonny arrived, and before he had even opened his little eyes, he had helped to do something good in the world. now, that‘s worth screaming about.
baby cries. steph mcgovern, bbc news. the cathedral of notre dame in paris attracts around 13 million visitors every year and is one of paris‘s leading landmarks. but for how much longer? parts of the 850—year—old gothic masterpiece are starting to crumble, because of air pollution eating away at the stone. hugh schofield reports from paris. because actually the pinnacle has fallen down... 0utside on the roof above the back of the cathedral, this is the part of notre dame that visitors do not get to see — fallen chunks of stoneware, a flying buttress held together with metal staples. this jewel of gothic architecture is becoming unstable. i think if there is no repairs, the risk is that the stone begins to fall down, and the risk is also that the structure itself of the walls, of the nave of the cathedral, for instance,
will be in danger. part of the cathedral could fall, and this is a big risk, yes. you get a real sense of the dilapidation of notre dame cathedral when you come here, a private garden just behind the cathedral, off limits to the public, and this section is what they call the cemetery. these pieces are all bits of gothic masonry which are in such bad repair they simply fell off. examples of stones that have been recently damaged... the problem is pollution, combined with cold and rain, together eating into the limestone — eventually it crumbles away. the only solution is to replace the masonry block by block, but that is a massive job, and the french state can‘t afford it. that is why the cathedral has launched an international plea for private funds aimed principally at the us. on this very roof, after all,
once cavorted the hunchback of disney fame — oh, yes, and the book. it is a jewel at the worldwide levels, so not begging, but asking for help is the best thing to do, because it is not a french monument, it is not a paris monument, it is a worldwide monument. time, the elements and the petrol engine have exacted a heavy toll on notre dame cathedral. today, the imaginative genius of its medieval craftsmen is being eroded into annihilation. without urgent help, much more will be lost. hugh schofield, bbc news, paris. louise lear has the weather. talk of this being, dare i say it, the warmest day of the year so far? 15.1 is the number to beat, and we
have got close to that in a couple of spots, was advertised as being a milder day, i have to say, it has also been advertised as a day offering outbreaks of rain to many, and that is certainly the case, not just rain, cold enough for hill snow in scotland as well, so the milder air not here yet, but a messy picture across the uk this afternoon. this is the rain and hill snow in scotland, outbreaks of rain throughout in northern ireland, showery rain through england and wales through the afternoon, brightening up for wales in the south—west, temperatures in double figures for england and wales, as high as 15 degrees. not all of us getting that, but rain until snow further north across scotland, becoming mainly dry elsewhere, chilly overnight, close to freezing in southern scotland, northern ireland, northern england, a touch of frost around, fog badger through east wales, the midlands and east anglia as sunday begins. a quieter
day tomorrow, still raining in the north, but much of the mainland will be mainly dry, sunny spells, milder than today, showery rain affecting parts of england and wales, where temperatures are lower. more for you just before the top of the hour. this is bbc news. our latest headlines... home secretary amber rudd chairs a second meeting of the government‘s emergency cobra committee this afternoon, as the investigation into the attempted murder of the ex russian spy sergei skripal and his daughter yulia continues. one of her close friends told the bbc she hasn‘t done anything