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tv   BBC News  BBC News  March 31, 2018 5:00pm-5:31pm BST

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this is bbc news, the headlines: moscow tells britain to withdraw more diplomats in the continuing row over the use of a nerve agent in salisbury. two men accused of carrying out beheadings for the so—called islamic state complain that they won't get a fair trial after losing their british citizenship. the daughter of one of their victims — david haines — says they should be left to rot in guantanamo bay. the british soldier killed while on operations syria has been named as sergeant matt tonroe from the parachute regiment. as funerals are held for 16 palestinians killed on the gaza—israeli border, the un calls for an independent investigation. also in the next hour, the funeral for stephen hawking is held in cambridge. mourners at the service heard that the physicist‘s legacy will live on after him. the actor eddie redmayne was among the speakers. the stage is set in cardiff, where anthonyjoshua hopes to cement his heavyweight world
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title againstjoseph parker. and coming up at 5:30 — a look at a policy on trial in finland, where 2000 people have been given a basic income for doing nothing. good afternoon, and welcome to bbc news. in the last few minutes, the ministry of defence have named the soldier killed in syria on thursday as sergeant matt tonroe. he served with the 3rd battalion, parachute regiment. he was killed along with an american solider by an improvised explosive device near the syrian town of manbij. his commanding officer paid tribute to him and said, "his bravery and talent as a soldier was matched by his compassion as a human being." russia is expelling more
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than twice as many british diplomats as it had previously announced as a consequence of the nerve—agent attack in salisbury. the british mission in moscow must be reduced by more than 50 staff. the foreign office here says it is considering the implications of the russian decision. the government's also weighing up a russian demand to be given access to yulia skripal in hospital. 0ur correspondent simonjones is in salisbury for us. and, simon, let's talk first about the diplomats, the new expulsions — was this expected? well, i think the government here was waiting to see what happens next, because of course last week, you had the british government throwing out 23 diplomats from moscow, then an surprisingly,
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ina from moscow, then an surprisingly, in a tit—for—tat move, russia said that 23 british diplomats would have to leave moscow. then it was a bit ofa to leave moscow. then it was a bit of a waiting game, and to leave moscow. then it was a bit ofa waiting game, and itappears that russia has now taken the next move. we learned yesterday that more diplomats would have to leave the country, and we now know it is likely to be about another 27 people who will have to go, probably mostly diplomats, but it could also include some of the administration staff in the offices in moscow. now, though, it is back to the british gunmen to see if there will be any retaliation for that. —— british government. we are being told by the foreign office that they are aware of russia's latest move, they say it is reg retta ble, latest move, they say it is regrettable, they were expecting it, but they say the only evidence points to the fact that the attack carried out here in salisbury was sponsored by the russian state. turning to the other issue, consular
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access to yulia skripal, somewhat improved ina access to yulia skripal, somewhat improved in a medical condition, this raises difficult questions, the victim of a poisoning and the government alleged to have poisoned her say they have to have consular access, quite a complex dilemma for the british government. yeah, it might seem extraordinary, given the fa ct might seem extraordinary, given the fact that from a very early stage, the government here are saying that russia was responsible for this but now the government is considering allowing the russian authorities to visit yulia skripal in hospital, as her condition is recovering. i think the key thing in all of this, though, despite the russian demands and the fact that the british government has to follow this request under international law, the key thing will be yulia skripal herself, what is she going to want to do? issue likely to want any sort of support from the russian
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government? —— is she likely. is she likely to be well enough to request that? russia says it has a lot of questions it wants to ask her and also the british authorities, such as what treatment she is getting, why is it apparently more effective on her than it has been on her father. they have also even asked the british government for photos of yulia skripal and sergei skripal in hospital to prove they are indeed here in salisbury and are indeed still alive. the british government has not responded to that, but what the foreign office has told us about this is that they will consider the russian request in line with international and domestic law, but it is stressing, as i said, that the wishes of yulia skripal are paramount in all of this. simon, thanks for that. let's look at some of the diplomatic issues in more detail. earlier, i spoke to sir tony brenton — the former uk ambassador to russia — he told me that that demand
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by moscow for consular access is a right that russian citizens, such as yulia skripal, are entitled to. the geneva convention is pretty clear that we have to grant access. so the foreign office will be very cautious about not finally going along with that, because they know very well, and we all do, that the russians operate on a basis of strict reciprocity. if we interpret it strictly, they will do the same in a future case, and some unfortunate briton in trouble in russia will have trouble getting consular access himself. and this issue about a russian plane, which is a sidebar story, but an aeroflot flight that was searched, russians are raising questions about that. as an experienced diplomat, what is your view on these searches, and given what we've said about reciprocity? that is the point. i don't know the story about the search. we are saying it was a perfectly routine operation, and i'm sure that is the case.
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however, the russians, in the present state, would interpret what happened as affected by the state of our relations. they will certainly want to act on the basis of reciprocity, and there is a danger they will start inconveniencing british flights into moscow in a similar way. in terms of the alliances, so crucial here, how do you think that picture is shaping up? there have been so many countries that have come to back the uk. will that give the british government confidence about going forward? can ijust say, and this isn't just patriotism, i think our government and diplomats have performed brilliantly, getting the level of international support they've done, which nobody expected them to achieve at the beginning. this has come as a real shock to the russians, which is one reason they are picking us out in particular. it is reasonable to hope it will be enough of a shock that the next time someone suggest a brutal and nasty operation like the attack
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on mr skripal, someone else in the kremlin will say, "look at the price we paid last time, we can't do this again." two british men held captive in syria accused of being members of an islamic state gang that murdered dozens of hostages have said they regret the killings. they've complained that they won't get a fair trial. alexanda kotey and el shafee elsheikh, who were captured by kurdish fighters injanuary, say they've been stripped of their uk citizenship. jessica parker reports. they became the most infamous gang of foreign fighters in the self—styled islamic state. jihadijohn, his real name mohammed emwazi, now dead, aine davis, in prison in turkey, and alexanda kotey and el shafee elsheikh, captured in january by syrian kurdish fighters who are now holding them in northern syria while their fate is decided. among many others, the gang is accused of beheading
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alan henning, a driver and aid workerfrom eccles, and david haines, an aid workerfrom perth. now, speaking for the first time since their capture, alexanda kotey described the murder of is hostages as "regrettable". the pair complain that they will not get a fair trial. they say the uk has illegally withdrawn their citizenship, putting them at risk of rendition and torture. us officials believe the gang beheaded at least 27 hostages, among them the american journalist james foley, who went missing in syria in 2012. his mother says the men must be held to account. i really am not that interested in their opinion on anything. i am interested in them being held accountable for their horrific crimes. and right now they look like they're on vacation. that is the part that is very concerning to me and upsetting. diane foley has said she fears
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that while the two men remain in northern syria, they could still evade justice. the government have not commented on whether the pair have been stripped off their citizenship, but britain and the united states have been holding talks on the fate of the two men, and where — how — they might face trial. jessica parker, bbc news. the daughter of the aid worker david haines, who was killed by the cell, said alexanda kotey and el shafee elsheikh had showed no remorse. the funeral of professor stephen hawking has taken place in cambridge this afternoon. hundreds of people lined the streets
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and applauded as his coffin was carried into the church. actor eddie redmayne, who played the physicist in the theory of everything, was one of several speakers at the service. 0ur correspondentjo black is in cambridge. jo, jo, tell us more about the service. yes, professor stephen hawking had worldwide acclaim, this international icon, but of course cambridge was always home, the city and the university, so is family thought it was fitting that his funeral service should take place here in the city, and that is what happened at around 230 this afternoon. —— 2:30pm this afternoon. the family and 500 mourners came to great st mary's church, where the funeral took place, and people also lined the route around here as the
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cortege made its way, thousands saying that they wanted to pay their respects, people who had never even met professor stephen hawking. this is what they have to say. professor hawking was such an inspiring person, and it's a very sad day.‘s just brilliant, having lived in the same lifetime as someone like this. history is being made today, because stephen hawking is going to be interred in westminster abbey next to sir isaac newton, how famous can you get, you know? very important, i think it's great respect to a very special mind. like he discovered a lot of things, just showing appreciation. so as well as the family, friends and colleagues that game, celebrities came, including eddie redmayne, who played the professor in the film the theory of
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everything. let me tell you who else was here, brian may, the musician and astrophysicist, with his wife, anita dobson, and dara 0 and astrophysicist, with his wife, anita dobson, and dara o briain, the comedian and science presenter. lord rees, the astronomer royal, was interviewed on the radio this morning, and he came up with this quote, talking about professor hawking and his disability and his wonderful mind. he said, he was an imprisoned mind roaming the cosmos, which grabbed the public imagination, thinking about the largest things while completely trapped. we know the body of professor hawking will now be cremated, and his ashes will be interred at westminster abbey in june. eu, thank you so much for bringing us eu, thank you so much for bringing us that update on the funeral of stephen hawking. —— jo. thousands of palestinians have been attending funerals in gaza for some of the 16 people shot dead by israeli troops yesterday. tens of thousands of protestors had gathered along the border fence between gaza and israel at the start of a planned six—week demonstration. the united nations is calling
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for an independent inquiry. yolande knell has this report from jerusalem. israeli drones dropped tear gas as huge palestinian crowds massed on the israel—gaza border after friday's prayers. 0rganisers had called for a peaceful march, but israel's military says demonstrators threw stones and tried to breach the perimeter fence entering israeli territory. that's when its soldiers opened fire. and the result was deadly. last night, emergency talks took place at the un security council. israel must uphold its responsibilities under international human rights and humanitarian law. lethal force should only be used as a last resort. palestinians here are demanding the right to return to land they lost 70 years ago when the state of israel was created. israel says gaza's hamas leaders
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just want to stir up unrest on the border. over the last few weeks, you have had numerous attempts by hamas to cross into israel through the border with squads of terrorists to kill our people. we can't allow our border to be porous. we can't allow the hamas activists to tear down the border fence and enter israel. we would be putting our people in danger. but now palestinians plan to stay in these camps near the israel border for the next six weeks, and the fear is that with further protests, there will be further unrest. yolande knell, bbc news, jerusalem. earlier, i spoke to our middle east analyst alan johnston about the violence in gaza. a really extraordinary day of tension yesterday and the violence, confrontation on the border line that marks the edge of gaza and the start of israel. as you say, something like 15 or 16 people killed... their funerals taking place today. scenes of rage and anger in the streets of gaza
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as these people were buried, the health ministry saying that there are something like moo in hospital as well, and of course very different interpretations of what happened from the two sides, as you would expect. one of the questions that it raises, given the scale of the woundings and deaths, is there a less, you know, risky, dangerous way of the israelis stopping the border incursions that they are so worried about? well, the israelis would say that what they are facing was not a demonstration or protest as you would normally think of it. they describe the palestinian militant movement hamas as using the mass of people as human shields, saying this was basically a terrorist effort, hoping that they would allow them to infiltrate israel, send what the israelis regard as terrorists to kill israelis, an entirely different narrative from the palestinians who say this was simply unarmed people being shot at.
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but my question still stands, you know, if there is a question of huge numbers of civilians, you know, coming across the border like that, is there a less costly in human life way of stopping that? well, we know that the israelis reinforce their defences along the border there, there are reports in the israeli media that they brought in something like 100 extra snipers, and there are many people around the world who will be saying that when it comes to crowd control, snipers are a disaster, that you will have the sort of casualty figures that you have just talked about in the hospitals of gaza at the moment. the israelis would say that you weren't dealing with any normal crowd, that in the middle of that crowd
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was elements of the hamas movement which is dedicated to killing israeli troops and civilians and so on, that you couldn't police this crowd in a normal way, that it simply wouldn't was elements of the hamas movement which is dedicated to killing israeli troops and civilians and so on, that you couldn't police this crowd in a normal way, that it simply wouldn't have been safe. we did see them using tear gas, rubber bullets, but the figures speak for themselves, and some would say the israelis have played into hamas's trap, they have created a very large number of casualties, and there is all the difficulty of explaining that to the world, which is what we are talking about here. the headlines on bbc news: russia has more than doubled the number of british diplomats it plans to expel in the continuing row over the salisbury poisoning. two men, believed to have been from the islamic state cell known as the beatles, complain they can't get
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a fair trial after losing their british citizenship. the british soldier killed while on operations syria has been named as sergeant matt tonroe from the parachute regiment. a debate on fair pay for teachers has been taking place at the annual national education union conference in brighton. teachers have not had a pay rise above i% in the last seven years due to the government's austerity measures. 0ur correspondent marc ashdown is there. marc, a vote on strike action? yes, and in the last half an hour it has been passed, this motion, so teachers have now backed a possible ballot on strike action over their pgy- ballot on strike action over their pay. the conference was told that it has fallen by 20% in real terms over the past seven years. we heard all
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sorts of delegates and the whole sharing horror stories, really, about how tough conditions have got for teachers, overworked, long hours, stressful, lots of teachers teaching subjects they are not qualified as specialists in. one teacher saying that after paying all the bills, she only had £60 a month to live in, and a lot of them said you can forget about buying property. up the road, the nasuwt, in birmingham, also voted to back a possible rolling strike, so what now? well, they go away, the executive committees, they will put a pay deal to the government, we understand they will demand a 5% pay rise this september. if that is not forthcoming, they have the option forthcoming, they have the option for a ballot on strikes. the last time that happened was 2016, we saw thousands of schools closed. it is a difficult one for the government, schools have been saying they have got the money, head teachers say their budgets are under intense pressure, so they are saying they could not fund a pay rise. theoretically, the government would
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have to find extra money. the nhs has just had have to find extra money. the nhs hasjust had a have to find extra money. the nhs has just had a 2% pay rise, 6% over three years, so it will be interesting to see what now happens. we area interesting to see what now happens. we are a long way from strikes, i think this can best be described as salting the battlefield, giving the executive the ammunition, really, to apply for the pay rise. we are a long way from seeing picket lines and placards, but teachers have taken a step towards possible industrial action. thanks for that, marc. britain's most senior police officer, the metropolitan commissioner cressida dick, has suggested that social media is partly to blame for some violent crime, including a rising number of knife attacks. in an interview with the times, ms dick said the websites were being used by gangs to glamorise violence and allowed trivial disputes to escalate quickly. the trump administration has said it wants to start collecting the social media history of nearly everyone seeking a visa to enter the us. the proposal would require most visa applicants to give details
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of their facebook and twitter accounts and disclose all social media identities used in the past five years. it follows a promise by president trump to introduce "extreme vetting" of those entering the united states to help improve security. malala yousafzai has returned to her hometown in the swat valley for the first time since she was shot there by islamist militants. a helicopter carrying ms yousafzai landed not far from herfamily home in mingora amid a tight security operation. the nobel peace prize winner was attacked by the taliban in 2012, for campaigning on behalf of girls' education. from tomorrow, some specially trained paramedics will be able to prescribe medicines to patients who don't need to go to hospital. the change in the law aims to improve care and allow treatment to start more quickly. 0ur health correspondent catherine burns reports. gemma walsh is already
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an advanced paramedic, but she wants this extra responsibility. first, though, duty calls. there you go, on the move. so we are on our way to a 62—year—old who has queried food poisoning. gemma mainly does urgent care cases like this. in other words, not emergencies, but still genuine illnesses. two thirds of her patients do not need taking to hospital. but she says she has to call gps every day to organise prescriptions. after training, she will be able to do that herself. the patient did not want us filming, so we're waiting outside to see if this is one of those situations where in the future, paramedics like gemma might be able to give extra help, not life or death situations, but less serious cases where the patient may need drugs but could avoid a trip to hospital or the gp. gemma decided this patient did not require extra treatment. eventually, she will be able to prescribe everything
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from antibiotics for infections to steroids for asthma and a whole lot more. that will obviously then mean the patient doesn't have to leave their home. it's a nicer experience for the patient. it's quicker. i feel it would complete the care i'm able to give that patient and provide realjob satisfaction. the aim is to train up 700 prescribing paramedics across the uk. it is thought the first ones will be doing the job by the autumn. nhs england is calling it win—win—win. this is one of the many steps to helping improve the nhs cope with the pressures it is under. this will reduce some of the demand on general practice because paramedics being able to write prescriptions will help them. it will also reduce the number of patients, we hope, that we need to convey to hospital just to get a prescription. patients groups say this could save lives, and the new law
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has been widely welcomed. just one proviso — some medics point out that although this will help, it will not deal with all the funding and staffing problems the nhs is dealing with. catherine burns, bbc news. worboys philip avery has the weather now. ijust want to bring you up to date on what we will see in the next 2a hours developing across the british isles, low pressure to the south—eastern quarter, still a front wrapped around the northern and western flanks, so generally speaking the further north and west you are, the better your prospects towards the end of the day. further east, the raft of cloud just easing its way further to the east, still a few odd showers. quite a frosty night across northern and western parts of scotland, minus six or seven here, but at least that ends into a really decent start to the new day, a lot of cloud across the east of england. that will eventually fill in, rain getting in west of the tamar by tea—time.
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top temperature of the day, 10 degrees or so, watch out on monday when the weather moves further north, a distinct risk of snow across northern part of the british isles. this is bbc news. our latest headlines: russia has more than doubled the number of british diplomats it plans to expel because of the blame being placed on moscow over the salisbury nerve agent attack. two men believed to have been members of the islamic state cell known as the beatles complain they can't have a fair trial because the government has stripped them of their british citizenship. a private funeral service has taken place in cambridge the british soldier killed on operations in syria has been named as sergeant matt tonroe from the parachute regiment. a private funeral service has taken place in cambridge for stephen hawking. the astronomer royal, lord rees, and actor eddie redmayne gave readings at the service. a big night of sport, all the
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details with karthi gnanasegaram. thank you very much, boxing in a moment, but the premier league has returned after the international break with much of this afternoon's attention on the relegation battle. crystal palace have a chance to put some distance between themselves and the bottom three, but they were beaten by a late goal at home to liverpool. the focus before this contest was on liverpool's mo salah, the league's top scorer, more goals this season and crystal palace. but the spotlight didn't take long to change direction. just 12 minutes into his return from injury, wilfried zaha won a penalty. luka milivojevic stepped up to put crystal palace ahead. liverpool created chances, but managerjurgen klopp couldn't hide his this artist back. but the half—time team talk brought rewards.
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james milner found sadio half—time team talk brought rewards. james milnerfound sadio mane, a man who enjoyed scoring against palace, this was the fifth time he had struck against them. with the scores level, christian benteke, the former liverpool striker, fluffed his lines. and when the winner came, it was from a familiar source, mo salah with his 37th of the season, expertly taken. so liverpool, in jurgen klopp's 100 expertly taken. so liverpool, in jurgen klopp's100 premier league game in charge, take the points, and mo salah the plaudits. the day's other results so far, plenty of afternoon kick—offs in the premier league. to the scottish premiership we are
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rangers face motherwell and a match that had four goals, two penalties and the return of the familiar face. rangers got back into the game through a penalty, but it was jamie murphy who returned to halt —— on to his former side, live on the match for rangers at 2—2. celtic moved within nine points of securing a successive sick —— a second successive sick —— a second successive title.
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