this is bbc news. i'm carrie gracie. the headlines at 6:00. specialist military personnel are moving a number of ambulances in salisbury, as the investigation continues into the poisoning of a former russian spy and his daughter. this investigation is focused on making sure that we keep people safe as a priority. that's what the cobra meeting was about. and also making sure that we collect all the evidence, so when it comes to attribution we will be absolutely clear where it should lead. no more changes to exams, and a reduction in teachers‘ workload. the education secretary promises to make changes, as he attempts to resolve the school recruitment crisis. talks between the eu, japan and us on president trump's tariffs on steel and aluminium have broken up with no exemption agreed. president trump says a deal with north korea is "very much in the making" as he agrees to a meeting with leader kim jong un.
also in the next hour... ireland move a step closer to the grand slam in the six nations title. four tries from the irish side puts all the pressure on england in their match against france. good evening and welcome to bbc news. the home secretary, amber rudd, has chaired a second meeting of the government's emergency committee, cobra, as the investigation into the poisoning of a former russian spy continues. she said more than 250 counterterrorism police have been deployed, identifying more than 200 witnesses and 240 pieces of evidence in the city of salisbury. soldiers trained in chemical warfare helped
to re m ove trained in chemical warfare helped to remove two ambulances for investigation, and kwast they had been contaminated by the nerve agents used in the attack —— in case they had been contaminated. sergiy and his daughter yulia remained in critical condition in hospital. a short while ago the education sector and gave details.” a short while ago the education sector and gave details. ijust shared an emergency meeting of cobra following the dreadful events that took place in salisbury last sunday in order to get an update on the investigation going forward. the two victims remain in hospital, and they are critical but stable. detective sergeant bailey, who was also a victim, also affected, is also seriously ill, but i am pleased to say that he is engaging with his family and he is talking. this is a serious substantial investigation. there are over 250 counterterrorism police for eight out of our 11 counterterrorism units involved.
this over 200 witnesses involved in over 240 pieces of evidence. so we need to give the police and all the investigative part around them the space to get on with that. but i wa nt to space to get on with that. but i want to stress that they are proceeding with speed, with professionalism, and we are putting an enormous resources to ensure that they have all the support that they need to do so. this investigation is focused on making sure that we keep people safe as a priority, that is what the cobra meeting was about. and also making sure that we collect all the evidence so when it comes to attribution, we will be absolutely clear where it leads. the investigation is so substantial. as i say, we have got over 250 people involved in this. and it is a really painstaking detailed investigation, as the police go through over 200 pieces of evidence, huge amounts of cctv, but they are absolutely
committed to making sure that we do that in a completely professional way. i went to salisbury myself yesterday. and i met with all the emergency was bonders and the police who were leading on this case. and i was reassured that they are doing exactly that. and i would just like to pay testament to them if i make, because the first responders, the emergency services, have done such extraordinary good work. approaching this with the sort of professionalism we really want them to do. and also with no fought for their own safety. i am in all of their own safety. i am in all of their commitment. police have the powers to engage military personnel, and additional expertise when they need to do so. and we saw some of that taking ways in salisbury yesterday. with the some of the evidence being removed so that the army can assist in some of those investigations. the key thing is that the government, is that we have made it clear that we will make sure that all the resources are put into this investigation to ensure that it can proceed at speed with all the
resources necessary. this is a substantial investigation. we have over 240 witnesses who have come forward. and the police have said that if anybody else thinks they have any additional information they would welcome them coming forward. there's also substantial amounts of cctv for them to the doctor. this is a painstaking, detailed investigation. and the police need to be given the space and the time to be given the space and the time to get on with that. the purpose of cobra which met today is to look at the incident, the safety, to make sure that there is cross government working to ensure there is full support that is taking place in salisbury. there will come a time for a response, but at the moment we are focused on the investigation itself. so the home secretary and our clinical correspondentjoins us now. quite an interesting and complex challenge for the government to move this will stop it is and i think we were learning some new detail she was
flushing out, but none of the a nswe rs flushing out, but none of the a nswers to flushing out, but none of the answers to what we are all asking. precisely what kind of agent was used here, how did he get into the uk, where was it manufactured, who was responsible, who was responsible on the ground, how far up the political chain in russia if indeed it is russia does the line of response ability go? and into that, or sitting behind that is a conversation now going on at west mr actively within all the political parties about how the uk should configure any sort of response. 0bviously configure any sort of response. obviously there is a pause button pressed on that at the moment because until some of the answers to the questions ijust sent out because until some of the answers to the questions i just sent out and because until some of the answers to the questions ijust sent out and be provided, then the government to be responding particularly decisively. but none the less, that kind of conversation goes on. and you frequently encounter people at west mrat frequently encounter people at west mr at the moment who fear that there isa limit mr at the moment who fear that there is a limit in the diplomatic tool box if you like for the uk. if indeed this is proven that this is russia that is responsible and that he chases up the political spectrum
there. what, in reality? what in practical terms and the british government do? yes, there is the idea that boris johnson government do? yes, there is the idea that borisjohnson and the foreign secretary fleshed the other day about withdrawing people in government who might sit in a stadium during the world cup. and not likely to touch the sides of the kremlin, that kind of stuff. did you insist on a withdrawal of diplomats and ambassadors? well, you could, but again is that going to make much ofa but again is that going to make much of a difference was max some talk from some about the idea of good you do something around the properties that are owned by very rich russians in london? particularly in london, not exclusively. those sort of things are kicked around. but at the heart of it is what many people conclude privately in westminster is a fear that there isn't much they could do that would be really noticed at high levels in russia, if and we should keep saying is, an evidence trail proves that that is something that they might be inclined to do. and yet i suppose it draws attention to the question of state terrorism, which of course
came up with alexander litvinenko's death more than a decade ago. and then we have recently had the question of the molar indictments of many russians over information wa rfa re many russians over information warfare against us democracy. there is kind of a sense does the british public and political class absorbed fully the threat that is out there? yeah, quite. as somebody put it to me the other day, it is very striking when you are watching the dues and you see a presenter in your seat talking to reporters, one is in sauce a picturesque english provincial city, and another is in moscow. in other words, a provincial english city being drawn into international geopolitics. along the same lines as the occasional reports we see of rafjets being scrambled because a russian jet has come into, or very close to riches airspace. —— british airspace. that is where you see the potential for the political dial to change, because if there is
a sufficient feeling amongst the british public that this is getting far too close to home, a restaurant and an ordinary city that ordinary families are eating in and all the rest of it, then does that change the dial? but we still come back to the dial? but we still come back to the essential question that the government will face, how calibrate a response was? a response chris, government will face, how calibrate a response chris, thanks so much. well, sirte and the starter yulia remain in critical condition. let's now go to the city, sir corker is following events today including the careful removal of ambulances for the investigation. there's been a flurry of activity here this afternoon. about ten minutes or so from the city centre and these really are extraordinary things. you see behind me military recovery vehicles moving that ambulance for decontamination. ambulances thought to have transported the victims of this chemical attack to hospital on
sunday. we know there are 180 soldiers have been drafted in to help recover evidence. some of specialist training in chemical warfare. and we saw them moving cards last night. but today you can see soldiers in full protective suits, gas masks and purple gloves, really quite an unnerving sight. but the government have again reiterated that there is no wider risk to public health. and investigators are trying to piece together a timeline of events, that this operation really is going to take some time. and we will be following exactly what happened here and where else this team may be moving throughout this team may be moving throughout this evening. sarah corker. now let's look at other news. the education secretary says he wants to resolve a recruitment crisis in england's schools by cutting the work load for teachers. this morning, damian hinds told a conference of head teachers that the government would "strip
away" pointless tasks so their staff can "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 4,000 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, the 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, 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. elaine dunkley. the headlines now on bbc news. home secretary amber rudd has chaired a meeting of the government's cobra committee, and says police have identified more than 200 witnesses, in the investigation into the poisoning of a former russian spy and his daughter. no more changes to exams and a reduction in teachers‘ workload.
the promise of the education secretary as he attempts to resolve the school recruitment crisis. talks between the eu, japan and us on president trump's tariffs on steel and aluminium have broken up with no exemption agreed. the eu trade commissioner had called for the eu to be excluded from the tariffs. well, let's go back to that story because the european union says those trade talks with the us have ended with no immediate clarity on whether the eu will be exempted from ta riffs whether the eu will be exempted from tariffs on steel and aluminium. the two sides had been trying to reach a deal following president trump's plans to impose tariffs. britain has said it will seek an exemption. our business correspondent joe lynam reports. the meeting between the us trade representative robert lighthizer and his eu counterpart cecilia malmstrom had long been in the diary for saturday, but following the formal imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminium by the us this week, the meeting took on some urgency. the eu is not one of
the biggest steel exporters to america, but it does not want its producers to pay a 25% tariff either. to complicate matters, britain is quitting the eu next year but cannot get an exemption to the tariffs until then. but its international trade minister, liam fox, travels to washington next week to seek exactly that. we will, of course, be looking to see how we can maximise the uk's case for exemption under these particular circumstances, but we will want, over the next few days, to look at them in great detail. if europe gets a carve out from the american tariffs they willjoin an ever—growing list of nations that will not be paying. the australian prime minister, malcolm turnbull, met donald trump on friday and removed his country from the list. canada and mexico have already been exempted. i was very pleased the president was able to confirm that he would not have to impose tariffs on australian steel and aluminium, and of course, now the legal paperwork,
the proclamation process under the executive order, will take its course to put that direction into effect, so that was a very good and productive discussion with the president. america's other key allies, including japan and south korea, will also want to be spared. in the end it might only be russia and china paying the us tariffs. that, though, might be enough to start a trade war between two of the world's biggest exporters. joe lynam, bbc news. well a little earlier today our brussels reporter adam fleming gave us this update. it looks like canada and mexico and australia are still the people who are definitely getting an exception. and the eu cannot be added to that list yet. the meeting between the eu trade commissioner cecilia malmstrom and the us trade representative robert lighthizer,
broke up a short while ago. and the eu has issued a statement that effectively says there is no exception being granted again. and there is still no clarity on how the exception process would even work. so there is going to be more discussions between the eu and the us next week, before we actually get that clarity, or even a decision about whether europe can wash its hands of all of this because they are not going to be involved at all. and what about britain? we saw liam fox injoe's report. but as we are part of the eu, surely we would get the same exception, or are we saying that he is going to press foran exception outside eu umbrella? that's an interesting one because as a member of the eu, the uk has subcontracted its entire trade policy effectively to brussels and the eu. that is eu law. that's what the treaties say. now it could be slightly more complicated than that though because imagine liam fox goes to washington, dc, convinces them that there are certain steel products that should be exempted, and what of those are still products that are a big deal to the uk, but not made elsewhere in europe? i imagine that would try pretty angry response from brussels
because their message to the 28 members of the eu is that you are all in this together. now of course that is just speculation, because we don't know what liam fox is going to say to his friend in washington or what their response might be. i imagine the uk at this point wants to stick with the crowd. and it is worth remembering that the uk won't be able to have its own trade policy until it trade policy until it has left the eu, but notjust that, it probably won't be until after the end of a post brexit transition period in 2021 until it is. i should point out to some good news though, that i am being steered towards by eu sources tonight. this meeting with the japanese and the us here in brussels had been in the diary for quite some time. because they wanted to discuss other measures that they could work together when it comes to tackling problems in the global trade system. eu sources are saying they've agreed quite a lot of things. which points to two things. number one, everyone can still get along. and number two, perhaps us rhetoric is tougher than it actually behaves in practise. adam fleming.
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. but 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 from the south korean capital, seoul. he gave us his assessment of the mixed messages coming from the trump administration. first we had that startling revelation the president was willing to accept the meeting with kim jong—un with no conditions,
with no preparatory talks, we know. and that we had sara sanders the press secretary talking about the need for concrete steps. it looked like they were rowing back. but i think is also some reporting from the wall street journal and washington, dc overnight saying that the white house is clear, the meeting is going to happen. there are no preconditions. it will happen before the end of may. we don't know where or when, but it is on. and in terms of the reaction here in seoul to any possibility that perhaps things are being toned down, perhaps this might not happen. well, we haven't heard anything today, butjust look to the words of president moonjae—in yesterday, south korea's leader, the man who has managed to engineer this meeting. he was euphoric frankly. he described the prospect of kim jong—un and donald trump sitting down opposite each other as a miracle. and he described that meeting, even before it's happened, even before we know when and where it's going to 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 kind of substantive agreement between these two men. earlier i spoke tojoel wit, a senior fellow at washington's us—korea institute, who worked as a senior adviser on korea under president bill clinton. he gave me his initial reaction to news of the summit. well, like everyone else, i was quite surprised. and i think it was a pleasant surprise, at least for me. i know the risks that are involved. having been in the state department and having been in preparations for other senior—level meetings. but, you know, the opportunity is a great one. and i think we need to take advantage of it. and so what do you feel can be achieved? earlier this afternoon we heard from a north korean refugee defector who said really this is going to play into kim jong—un's hand. he has no intention of giving up his nuclear weapons. what is your assessment on that? my assessment is that we need to give this a shot. where we've been for the past
few years is not a good place, as you all know. we've had a lot of talk about military options, and so this and so this is an alternative to that and we need to see if it will work. it's not enough to just speculate about whether it will work or not. we really need to give this a chance. and so we've also heard in the last few minutes that the american president has had a telephone conversation with the chinese president. is there a role in setting this up or helping with the choreography for the chinese? or do you think this is the americans and the north koreans going it alone? well, i think we of course have to consult with the chinese because they are a big player in the region. but something most people miss is that the chinese—north korean relationship is not nearly as close as it used to be. and in fact, relations between the president xi and kimjong—un have been very bad.
so it may not be a good thing to involve the chinese too closely. and i think we, the united states, and north korea will really be the main players here. it's really fascinating. not only is there a nuclear weapons crisis in play, but obviously there are huge strategic stakes for the us, china, both of the koreas and russia. if you step back and look at all the big strategic players here, the implications are enormous at this summit, aren't they? they are enormous. because what we are looking at, if this works, is a gradual reshaping of northeast asia. and remember the korean war really isn't over. there is only a temporary armistice ending the korean war. and so we have been locked in this cold war confrontation with north korea for 60 years. if that changes, then the landscape of northeast asia will also change. and that has implications
for all the countries you have just mentioned. yeah, huge game in play. joel wit, thank you so much forjoining us. fascinating to talk to you. joel wit there. the row over america's gun laws has resurfaced, after the state of florida signed new gun control measures into law. it raised the age limit for buying a gun from 18 to 21, following the school shooting at parkland, in which seventeen 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 was just 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. be strong. be kind.
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 want just sympathy — they want change. chris buckler, bbc news, washington. here it 15 euros 0i and... the man in his 20s was stabbed multiple times ina in his 20s was stabbed multiple times in a jeweller on waterloo street just after 3pm yesterday. times in a jeweller on waterloo streetjust after 3pm yesterday. the teenager and freeman have been arrested on suspicion of murder. police been doing extra patrols appealing for witnesses. 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. police say his condition is not life—threatening. 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 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 unique 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. and from the brain and paris to our own weather. more of us tomorrow
will see broken cloud and sunshine. a better, brighter picture for much of the uk tomorrow. here's how it looks going through this evening and tonight. we still got brain and he'll snow and skull in edging it was way northwards. many of us will turn drier into tonight. scotland, northern ireland, northern england close to freezing. a few fog patches, parts of wales, the midlands, east anglia into morning. some poor visibility around. into tomorrow, wednesday and some rain at times. much of scotland, northern ireland and northern england. broken cloud, sunny spells. the rest of england and for wales, with low— pressure england and for wales, with low—pressure close by, will have some showers from time to time. would be quite heavy with the freshening southeasterly wind as well. today we have had quite a big range of temperatures. tomorrow we are alla range of temperatures. tomorrow we are all a bit closer together. and now their day in scotland. the little bit cooler though, the further south you are.