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tv   BBC News  BBC News  April 8, 2018 10:00am-10:31am BST

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this is bbc news. i'm ben brown. the headlines at ten: at least 70 people are feared dead after a suspected chemical attack on a rebel—held area of syria. we have received many patients who have suffered from symptoms compatible with exposure to chlorine gas. america describes the reports as "horrifying". the foreign office says if it is confirmed there should be an urgent investigation. the home secretary amber rudd denies that falling police numbers are to blame for the recent surge in violent crime in london. the foreign secretary borisjohnson describes jeremy corbyn as "the kremlin‘s useful idiot". the labour leader hits back saying mrjohnson has "made a fool of himself" over russia. the authorities in germany say there's no indication of an islamist links to an attack that left two dead and 20 injured. also in the next hour northern ireland win their first medal of the commonwealth games. 18—year—old rhys mcclenaghan
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claimed pommel horse gold. olivia breen produced a commonwealth record to claims wales‘ third gold medal. and... witness speaks to a de—mining expert who accompanied princess diana. that's in half an hour, here on bbc news. good morning and welcome to bbc news. the syrian government and its russian allies have denied allegations that they used chemical weapons to attack the rebel—held town of douma in eastern ghouta. reports suggest that up to 70 people
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have been killed in what appears to be a chemical attack. unverified footage from rescue workers shows a number of bodies, many of them women and children, in the town of douma. the us state department has described the reports as "horrifying" and said that, if confirmed, it would demand an immediate international response. here the foreign office said the reports are very concerning and if correct then there there should be an urgent investigation. lebo diseko‘s report does contain disturbing images from the start. the victims of an alleged chemical attack, according to volunteer rescue workers in douma. this footage, supplied to the reuters news agency, and not independently verified by the bbc, apparently shows medics desperately trying to help children and families. syria's government says the allegations are a fabrication, and staff from a medical relief organisation on the front line
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say they are worried about what could have been used. we have received many patients who suffered from symptoms compatible with the exposure to high concentration chlorine gas. also, their symptoms were deteriorating in a fashion that is not compatible with pure chlorine gas exposure. and that is why our physicians are concerned about exposure to nerve gas in low concentration. what is not disputed is the ongoing bombardment of douma, the last remaining rebel stronghold on the outskirts of damascus. weeks of assaults from the air and the ground as the president's troops, backed by russia, try and reclaim control of the town, and that is perhaps why the us has been quick to blame both, saying the regime of president assad and its backers must be held accountable, and any further attacks prevented immediately. it said... it is civilians who suffer most
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is this conflict continues, with the end of this conflict seemingly nowhere in sight. a bit more what the foreign office has been saying about this suspected attack on syria. the foreign office spokeswoman saying it is worrying reports of a chemical attack with a significant number of casualties. if correct, they are further proof of president assad's brutality against innocent civilians and colour states regard for international mums. the foreign office goes on to say that in an urgent investigation is needed and the international community must respond. we call on the regime and russia and iran to stop the violence
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against innocent civilians. but in from the foreign office. let's talk... let's talk to lina sinjab, who has the latest from beirut. lebanon is neighbouring syria. what are you hearing about this attack and how many casualties there may have been? the casualties, the number is rising, but so far we can only confirm that 70 were confirmed dead and there are hundreds of casualties and there are hundreds of casualties and hundreds of people suffering from symptoms of suffocating and they are being treated at the moment but medics and rescuers on the ground say the number is likely to rise because of the attack and because of the lack of possibilities of treating the victims. the information is coming through, the images that were circulated yesterday by medics and rescuers show women and children and families with foam coming out of their mouth
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which is a proof of some sort of chemical or gas. we are still not sure what type of gas is used in this recent attack. and this area, eastern ghouta, close to damascus. we know it has been a ha rd to damascus. we know it has been a hard fought over over the last few weeks between the syrian government and the rebels? this area has been under severe bombardment after five years of besiege meant, but there has been some deals where people work evacuated from different pockets apart from douma where there was a deadlock in agreements made between the islamic army in control of the town and russia and the government. there is more many civilian instructor there. they are now willing to resume talks where rebel fighters should be evacuated to northern syria, but this attack is
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definitely an escalation and it is going to probably change the course of talks and the situation on the ground. the government is denying, but we know for sure that all bombardment and attack on this area is mainly coming from the government and its backers, russia, so the question is how investigations will ta ke question is how investigations will take place and if they will take place. and sadly, if this is confirmed to bea and sadly, if this is confirmed to be a chemical attack, it would not be a chemical attack, it would not be the first. chemical attacks have been a gruesome hallmark of the whole syrian conflict, haven't they? they have. in this area, if we go to 2013 which was the first large—scale chemical attack that took place in eastern ghouta and douma over 1000 people, civilians died. the government also denied any involvement. they gave up their chemical stock all after pressure
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from the americans and russians and the deal was made. still there was many incidents after that where we have seen sometimes gas being used. today there is suspicion of chlorine being used, but the government is denying, as usual. for the moment, thank you very much. the foreign secretary, borisjohnson, has described jeremy corbyn as the "kremlin‘s useful idiot" over his response to the nerve agent attack onsergei skripal, the former russian spy living in the uk, and his daughter yulia. writing in the sunday times, he said the labour leader is giving moscow "propaganda" false credibility by refusing to "unequivocally" back the government's view that russia was responsible for the attack in salisbury. labour said mrjohnson had "made a fool of himself" by misrepresenting what he had been told by chemical weapons experts. the home secretary amber rudd says rising violence on britain's streets is not caused by falling police numbers. writing in the daily telegraph,
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she said evidence did not back up claims that cuts to resources were the cause of increased crime. the government has outlined a new strategy to tackle serious violence, including a new task force, and tougher controls on the purchase of knives and corrosive substances in england and wales. andy moore reports. amber rudd said the spate of recent attacks in london reflected a wider pattern of violence in major cities across the uk. she said she'd be launching what she called a serious violence strategy tomorrow, and chair a task force that would bring together key representatives to tackle the problem. she also rejected claims there were not enough police officers on the streets. she said in the early 2000s, when serious violent crimes were at their highest, police numbers were also rising. the government has announced that a new offensive weapons bill will be introduced next week. further restrictions will be placed on the sale of knives online,
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preventing them from being posted to residential addresses. while certain other weapons, like zombie knives and knuckledusters, will become illegal to possess in private. the planned legislation also includes a ban on the sale of corrosive substances to under 18s. carrying acid in a public place will be a criminal offence. this is a really essential piece of legislation for the policing and for the public and communities. it will allow us to control the purchase by people under the age of 18 and it will allow us to have much more control as to who carries it in a public place and whether they have good reason to or not. labour said tough talking by the government was not enough. it needed to give the police the resources they needed to keep people safe. andy moore, bbc news. earlier i spoke to our political correspondent susana mendonca who gave us detail about the home secretary's remark on the rising crime level in britain. she is basically saying it is not
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down to police numbers. there is the political debate in london about whether or not falling numbers of police officers has an impact on this rise we have seen in knife crime, shootings, violent crime. what the home secretary has said is if you look at the statistics, looking back at the early 2000, at that time, we saw lowering crime levels —— rising crime levels and police levels. the mayor of london has talked about this comedy is talked about it consistently, the reduction in police funding has meant they have had to roll back on the number of police officers working in the community and that their point of view is that if you have more police working in the community they would be able to deal with low—level crime, have the relationship with people that
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perhaps would lead to less of the violent crime going forward. the government's point of view is there are other factors, not government's point of view is there are otherfactors, notjust government's point of view is there are other factors, notjust about police numbers, it is about social media, the impact of that, glorifying images of violence and also other issues like what is happening in local communities and the home secretary is talking about working with education providers, local authorities to try and deal with the root causes, drugs as well, the drug trade, another issue that the drug trade, another issue that the home secretary says has a direct effect on the amount of violent crime we are seeing. so new legislation, what can we expect? the offensive weapons built. we understand it will be rolled out within weeks, we will hear about it this week. it will talk about the sale of knives, reducing the sale of knives online, people can't have it delivered directly to their homes. banning corrosive substances like acid. that is a big issue in london,
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people using acid as a weapon instead of knives. that is another thing they are going to be focusing on. also extending stop and search powers to police. that is a controversial issue. if you look back, people have tried to move away from this. what we have seen is both the male of london and the home secretary talking about the need for the speed targeted stop and search. just a brief word on borisjohnson and jeremy corbyn. a spat between those two and mr corbyn being called a useful idiot. borisjohnson a useful idiot. boris johnson game and a useful idiot. borisjohnson game and it a lot of fla k last borisjohnson game and it a lot of flak last week because he said there was no doubt that the substance used in salisbury in the attack had been produced in russia. then we heard from porton down experts saying that they could not prove that. we have got the foreign secretary saying an article where he is putting the blame back in russia's court and focusing blame on jeremy blame back in russia's court and focusing blame onjeremy corbyn saying thatjeremy corbyn has not
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been clear enough in his criticism of russia and needs to be more focused on that and talking about him being "russia's useful idiot". we have heard from the labour party and they say it is borisjohnson who has been the full because he is the one that came out with misleading information and so batting it back at him. our political correspondent of. german authorities say a man who drove a van into people outside a restaurant in the city of munster, was a german citizen with no apparent links to terrorism. two people were killed and the driver shot himself dead at the scene. our europe correspondent bethany bell reports from munster. the van drove into a crowd in a popular area of the old town of munster. it was a sunny afternoon and people were out sitting at cafes and restaurants. the driver of the vehicle, a german citizen, died after shooting himself in his car at the scene. he hasn't yet been officially identified.
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the authorities say there's no indication that this was an islamist attack. translation: the perpetrator who recklessly sped into a crowd of people is, according to our investigations, a german citizen, not a refugee, as has previously been reported. german media reports say the driver had a history of mental health problems. police have searched his apartment. well, this part of town would normally be full of people out enjoying themselves on a saturday night but now, police have cordoned off the entire area. people who live here have been evacuated and a number of them are spending the night in a theatre just down the road. the incident comes at a time of heightened concern afterjihadist attacks in britain, france and spain. the local police urged people not to speculate and wait for official information.
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germany's chancellor angela merkel says she was deeply shaken by the incident. she said everything was being done to help the victims and their relatives. bethany bell, bbc news, munster. our europe correspondent bethany bell is in munster. what is the scene there this morning? this is the square wire the incident happened. this is a popular part of the old town of munster and normally at this square would be full of ta bles at this square would be full of tables and chairs and when the incident happened yesterday, when the van drove into the square, there we re the van drove into the square, there were people out here in joy and the van drove into the square, there were people out here injoy and in the spring sunshine. now it has been cordoned off, people have been coming to lay flowers, light candles for the victims and really there is a sense of bafflement and disbelief that something could have happened
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like this in this normally peaceful quiet place. at first, there were fears this was another terror attack on germany. yes, the authorities have so far said that there is nothing to indicate that there were islamist links to this attack. but the police are continuing their investigations at the moment, we hope to hear a bit more about the state of the investigations in about one hour when germany's interior minister is expected here. german media reports have suggested that this man, a 48—year—old german from munster may have had mental health problems. we hope to hear more details about that shortly. in the meantime, the police are continuing their investigations, they have, say they are looking into many different aspects of this. the whole area was cordoned off last night, people were sent out of this
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area, they could not sleep here overnight. they have been returning this morning back to their homes and we understand more shops and restau ra nts we understand more shops and restaurants will start opening over the coming hours. bethany, thank you very much. life for us in munster. the headlines on bbc news... at least 70 people are feared dead in syria in what appears to be a chemical attack. the foreign office says if the figures are correct, it is further proof of president assad's brutality and his backer‘s paulista ‘s regard for international norms. the home secretary, amber rudd, denies that falling police numbers are to blame for the recent surge in violent crime in london. the foreign secretary borisjohnson describes jeremy corbyn as "the kremlin‘s useful idiot". the labour leader hits back saying mrjohnson has "made a fool of himself" over russia. let's get more on the chemical
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attack in russia, what appears to be attack in russia, what appears to be a chemical attack which has left 70 people dead in the town of douma. that is in eastern ghouta near damascus. it has been hard fought overin damascus. it has been hard fought over in the last few weeks. what are you hearing about the casualties from this apparent chemical attack? what we can't be clear about is exactly what has happened but we have seen at the same pictures, the same videos that you have been hearing back in the uk, seeing and hearing back in the uk, seeing and hearing back in the uk, seeing and hearing back in the uk. we are extremely concerned and distressed about these reports. what we can be crystal clear about is there is no time and place for any kind of attack with chemical weapons, the use of chemical weapons is prohibited under international
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humanitarian law. and there have been many alleged chemical attacks on syria during the horrific conflict. it has been one of the most gruesome parts of the conflict in a sense. and depressingly it has been a core we have had to renew, what i have just been saying is this kind of attack is completely unacceptable and illegal. there is no time and place forehead and we have been reminding on all sides fighting across syria, across the different front lines, across communities that the use of this kind of the tack is —— of this kind of attack is not good. —— we have seen there has been an increase in fighting since friday afternoon, more violence in and around the area of eastern ghouta, but more landing within damascus city itself, so another surge in violence and another increase in
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fear amongst civilian populations who are not taking part in the fight. and this area, eastern ghouta and douma in particular have been so ha rd douma in particular have been so hard fought over in recent weeks and we have seen some really horrific violence there. yes and i myself arrived in damascus on thursday and there have been perhaps ten days, two weeks of calm, relative calm because of the discussions that were clearly going on between the sides fighting and what that might lead to. quite clearly what happened on friday was that this all broke down, the talks clearly broke down and there was this increase in fighting. we could hear the sounds of explosions and aircraft overhead and mortars coming in to the city. the conflict is now in the eighth year and there is no end inside. thank you very much indeed for
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joining us from jim masses. thank you very much indeed for joining us fromjim masses. —— thank you very much indeed for joining us from jim masses. —— from damascus. you're watching bbc news. we are going to get all the latest sports news for you from the bbc sports centre and... let's start with another day of medal success for our home teams on the gold coast, where northern ireland have claimed theirfirst gold of these commonwealth games. 18—year—old rhys mcclenaghan claimed pommel horse victory ahead of england's olympic gold medallist max whitlock. two finished with identical scores. he took the gold due to better execution. i honestly have no words. i know it is cliche to say, but the sensation of feeling i have at the moment is unbelievable. have you ever performed like that in your life? in training, yes, not in competition. but it goes to show
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that all of the hours and dedication i have put in, it paid off 100%. also in gymnastics, there was gold and silver for england's courtney tulloch and nile wilson in the men's rings. tulloch, who also won gold in the team event finished ahead of wilson, who took gold in yesterday's all around event. sprinter adam gemili is through to the 100 metres final afterfinishing second in his semi final behind jamaica's yohan blake. but the 2014 commonwealth silver medallist left the track holding his groin, so just a little concern there. action is, of course, still ongoing on the gold coast, action is, of course, still ongoing on the gold coast, but as you can see its already been a very special day. alex gulrajani rounds up the rest of the action from day four. sunday morning down under does not get much better. a packed house and gold medals on the line. scotland
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against australia. and an epic lawn bowls final was building up nicely. commentator: has he got it? scotla nd commentator: has he got it? scotland taking charge of proceedings but with home pride and top prize at stake, the aussies came fighting back. an enthralling encounter continued, both sides moving in front of each other until scotla nd moving in front of each other until scotland skipped out of the net and put distance between the two. he thinks he has got it, he has! what they ball expect tremendous stuff. with one more and go, could australia fight back? it is all over. a fourth gold medal of this game is for team scotland. tom bosworth was looking to add to england's impressive haul of medals. the first athletics event of the games and it was a tussle between england and australia. dean byrd smith would have enough to hold off his friend and rival.
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bosworth delighted with silver. there was a lot of emotion in the last lap so i wanted a medal but little is that i did not think i would be in it until the end. it is my first major championships medal and really, really good day! not such a good day for claire talent, leading the race, she was disqualified with just two kilometres to go. her chance of a medal of any colour has gone and she is concerned about — — inconsolable has gone and she is concerned about —— inconsolable now. mark dry of scotland won in the hammer throw, but england and nick miller went even better. that looks insanely big! the games record as he took gold. amazing. the highlight for me is the commonwealth record and beating my coach's personal best. and another gold in the long jump, world para champion winning the t 38
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competition for wales. it was almost a perfect sunday as the home team went looking for more prizes and sarah davies was eyeing up prizes and sarah davies was eyeing up the goal. sarah davies! aw! agonisingly close. silva will have to do, and honour she can share with her boyfriend, jack oliver, two weightlifting medals in that household, a very strong relationship. to football, and manchester city's title celebrations are going have to wait. first—half goals from vincent kompany and this from talakai go to gun had given the side a comfortable lead, but then came the comeback, two from paul pogba before chris smalling completed a dramatic turnaround. we make a good performance in the
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second half, ok, always you can stay ten minutes when it is good, but in that situation but at... we go, we tried and we could not win, ok. so hopefully we did not do too much damage and told next tuesday, but we have to stand up and heads up and move forward. golf's first major of the year, the masters, is all set up for a dramatic final day. patrick reed remains the man to catch, he has a three shot lead, but rory mcilroy is really giving him a run for his money at augusta. this eagle at the eighth one of the highlights of his third round — he's 11 under. but the american, reed, responded in some style — two eagles on the back nine keeps him at the top of the leaderboard going into todays final round. patrick is got a three shot lead and
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i feel the pressure is patrick is got a three shot lead and ifeel the pressure is on him. he has got to go out and protect that and he has some guys chasing him that are pretty big—time players and he has got that to deal with and sleep on tonight, so i feel like i can go out there and play like i have got nothing to lose. now, sebastian vettel will start today's bahrain grand prix on pole. after winning the opening race of the season in australia, the ferrari driver topped qualifying by three tenths of a second from his team mate kimi raikkonen. lewis hamilton was fourth fastest but he'll start from ninth, due to a penalty for changing the gear box on his mercedes. that is all your sport the novels dubuque and keep up—to—date with all the latest action from the commonwealth games on the bbc sport website and you can also see details of how james degale regained website and you can also see details of howjames degale regained his ibf super middleweight title with a
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unanimous points decision in a las vegas. that is all at the website. i will be back with more in the next hour. thank you. hungary will elect a new parliament today, with the prime minister, viktor orban, hoping to win another term in office. he's been in power since 2003. in his campaign, he presented himself as the defender of europe and hungary from muslim migrants — but critics say he is a racist and an authoritarian. our correspondent nick thorpe's in the hungarian capital budapest. is it going to be good news for victor orban in the elections? too early to say, but certainly we can say at this point is the turnout is very high. as you can see behind, people queueing outside this particular voting station in the 13th district of budapest and similar pictures, similar information from across the country. we know that at nine o'clock this
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morning, already 13% of the hungarian population had voted, that is well upon 9% from four years ago. why it is important is that while victor orban and his party have been appealing to their core supporters, the opposition are hoping that a big turnout would help them in this election to score what would be quite a big upset. victor orban has gone into the election as the firm favourite. how big an issue has migration been in this? it's been a big issue for the prime minister and the governing side. they have been stressing that a vote for them is a vote to keep migrants out of hungary and europe. opposition party stressing emigration. the hundreds of thousands of hungarians who have left to set a better


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