this is bbc news. the headlines at 2pm: two of britain's biggest supermarkets — sainsbury‘s and asda are in merger talks in a deal which could be worth ten billion pounds. alfie evans, the little boy who was at the centre of a legal battle about his hospital treatment, has died. his father said on social media, my gladiator lay down his shield and gained his wings. cabinet backing for amber rudd, who says she didn't see a memo detailing home office deportation targets the home secretary has apologised, saying that of course she should have seen it, but she can't be held accountable or responsible for a document that she didn't see or for decisions that she didn't take. a former policeman accused of being the so—called golden state killer makes his first appearance in a california court. in sport, relegation and promotion battles go down to the wire. and the travel show is in alice springs to see
australia's royal flying doctor service. that's in half an hour here on bbc news. good afternoon and welcome to bbc news. two of britain's biggest supermarket chains are in talks about a possible merger — sainsbury‘s and asda. a combined group would comprise 2800 stores and would represent around 30% of the uk grocery market — similar to that of market leader tesco. our business correspondentjoe lynam is with me now. is itfairto is it fair to say that this is unexpected news? totally unexpected and it is a whopper of a deal. every
now and then we talk about less well—known companies talking about tie—ups, this is a whopper of a deal if it gets the green light. you've already made reference to the fact that every bit as dan sainsbury‘s together they would a leap to school together they would a leap to school to ta ke together they would a leap to school to take on the 31% of the market. we have learned this afternoon that they would retain both brands, which is quite interesting, so as to brand would be attained about always by one big corporate giant. but, this is going to face a major issue from the competition authorities because competition is all about competition. you have to have a choice for the consumer. if you remove that tries by having two brands but owned by the same company, the composition and markets authority might have something to say about that. i would be surprised if they simply waved at this through. i suspect they will ask for dozens through. i suspect they will ask for d oze ns of through. i suspect they will ask for dozens of not hundreds of stores to be sold off to other rivals. when
tesco took over a supplier, they had to get rid of quite a lot of their other business interests to address some of these concerns. how difficult would that be for asda and sainsbury‘s to do? difficult would that be for asda and sainsbury's to do? i'm guessing the company would say, as does pretty strong in the north of england and scotla nd strong in the north of england and scotland and sainsbury's is pretty strong in the south of england. where there are overlaps, and of course there will be in certain bits, they will have to probably say we will have to shut this store, or sell this store where there are overla ps. sell this store where there are overlaps. as it may not be their choice. the competition and markets authority will make that decision. the really interesting stuff is how things are changing in this grocery business. the germans have arrived in the face of lidl and they are growing at exponential rates. and amazon, which is really adjusting, because they have destroyed so many
traditional sectors and are looking seriously at the retail food, fresh food sector. they have done a tie—up with morrisons and have been sniffing around to buy one of the big players, supposedly, perhaps they will sniff more now. it is an intriguing prospect. one thing that struck me is that a lot of people in the retail world have been talking about is the we are shopping habits have changed in stores. fewer people seem to be doing the big weekly shop, more people doing smaller shops, going on were frequently. what does that mean? is it as buoyant or is it a market that is slowly declining? it is true that people's habits average have changed. we still do the big one shop, but a lot of people, their lives are busier and they cannot ta ke lives are busier and they cannot take a couple of hours after do the one big shots of the medco in a couple of times a week to local high street stores or their local shop to
do whatever it is. as well as of the changing in consumption patterns has happened. i think it is the online change that will make a huge difference. if amazon can do for the fresh food sector what it has done for purchasing of nearly every other physical item, then major shake—up is common. the other question that might arise from this is, what it tells us about the international perspective. because alistair is owned by an american company. our walmart effectively saying we are not interested in the british market any more? i think we are saying, we wa nt to any more? i think we are saying, we want to have more control of the british market, because it is potentially very lucrative. we know it is very lucrative. walmart bought asda in 1999, almost 20 years they have owned the brand. when we started seeing the happy to help things, the perception of
americanisation and i retail sector. but asda retained its identity. it serves a certain market. there is a perception that asda caters for a slightly more budget conscious shopper and sainsbury's caters for those who have slightly more spending power and they are bringing them together but retaining their identities so you get the best of both worlds. health warning, this may never happen. thank you very much. alfie evans, the toddler at the centre of a long legal battle, has died, nearly a week after his life support was withdrawn. alfie, who would have been two next month, had a degenerative neurological condition. he'd been in a semi—vegetative state for more than a year. on facebook, alfie's parents said they're absolutely heartbroken. our correspondent judith moritz reports. for the first weeks of alfie evans' life, he seemed healthy, happy and well. but he soon started to develop problems and he was admitted to hospital, where scans showed that his brain was being destroyed.
the little boy spent a year in intensive care before doctors said they felt his life support should be stopped. alfie's parents kate and tom strongly disagreed with the medical view that their son could not be helped. he's shown the biggest fight, and that's given us the biggest drive to get him through this. it's heartbreaking now that the doctors, just because they can't find a diagnosis, think it's ok to come to us and say, we can't find an answer, so we think it's time we give up on alfie. if you're going to give up on him, please reassure us and refer him. the couple began a long legal battle. they took their case through all the available courts several times in the uk and twice to europe. release alfie evans! they've had huge support, initially from a group of mums and children, but increasingly from a growing social media campaign. the self—styled alfie's army has hundreds of thousands of followers and in recent weeks crowds have turned up to campaign outside
alder hey. it hasn't always been peaceful. on one evening, protesters tried to force their way inside and the hospital said staff had been intimidated. alfie's plight has made international headlines, especially in italy. alfie's parents wanted to airlift him to a hospital in rome with connections to the vatican. tom evans was granted an audience with the pope, who backed his case, and alfie was granted italian citizenship. there was also support from poland — a tweet from the president and a hospital visit from these polish women. i saw the post yesterday from alfie's father, like, thank you so much, thank you for all the different international communities for being with me. outside the hospital, campaigners kept vigil whilst inside, after his ventilation was switched off, alfie hung on forfour days. but this morning, in a facebook post, alfie's father tom said his son had laid
down his shield and gained his wings. outside alder hey this morning, supporters came to leave flowers. alfie's parents say they are heartbroken. they battled for months. now their fight has given way to grief. pope francis has also tweeted. he said, i am deeply moved by the death of little alfie. today i pray especially for his parents, as god the father receives him in his tender embrace. labour has intensified its calls for the home secretary to resign. amber rudd apologised last night for being unaware that the home office had targets for removing illegal immigrants from the uk. this morning cabinet ministers offered her their support. our political correspondent, jonathan blake, reports. day after day of questions for the home secretary. was her department to blame for the mistreatment of legal migrants? were there targets for removing those here illegally?
and inevitably, would she quit? but it was a question about the broader approach to immigration and her answer that led to even more pressure on amber rudd. targets for removals, when were they set? we don't have targets for removals. an apology in parliament — the targets did exist, but she hadn't been aware. it was announced that they'd be scrapped. and then the guardian reported that a memo was sent to the home secretary lastjune, specifying a target for the number of deportations in the coming year. silence at first on the home office, then a series of tweets from amber rudd. she didn't see the memo, but it had been sent to her office. again, she wasn't aware of targets, she should have been, and she was sorry. she promised a statement in parliament on monday. the home secretary has apologised, saying that of course she should have seen it. but she can't be held accountable or responsible for a document she didn't see and for decisions she didn't take. cabinet colleagues have backed amber rudd and the prime minister
has said she has full confidence in the home secretary, but there is no letup in the pressure for her to go. i think she's in a very difficult position. i think she's hanging by a thread. on the one hand, there may be more to come out, but what we do know is that no—one will take this government seriously on the windrush scandal until amber rudd offers her resignation. amber rudd has faced serious accusations which in different political times might have prompted a resignation. but for her to go with leave theresa may further exposed to criticism of her record as home secretary. and with challenges in parliament ahead for the government's brexit strategy, it could upset the delicate balance of opinion in cabinet. president trump has said he'll continue to apply pressure on north korea to try and rid the peninsula of nuclear weapons. following the summit between north and south korea, mr trump said he would forge a deal with the north if it were possible
when he hold talks with kimjong—un, in the coming weeks. media outlets in north korea have called yesterday's meeting historic. our correspondent rupert wingfield—hayes, who's in seoul said the event has been also welcomed by the south korean media. given those extraordinary scenes at the summit yesterday, it is no surprise there are some excitable headlines today. here is one from the herald, the end of the korean war. this is one paper with a big picture of kim jong—un and moonjae—in. they are embracing. it is interesting also to note that we now know that people in north korea are getting to see these pictures for the first time. the biggest official paper showing every scene from yesterday's summit
and publishing in full the declaration that the two leaders signed at the end of the summit yesterday, in which it includes the words, commitment to seek complete denuclearisation of the peninsula. that is in there without any comment. as far as interpretation of this is going, here in the south i think one would describe it as optimism but cautious optimism. and in some of the papers, scepticism as well. in a popular paper here, there is commentary saying it was never made public what kim's idea of denuclearisation is and how and when denuclearisation will be accomplished. that sums up a lot of the mood here. a real sense that an opportunity has opened up a dialogue to go forward and for peace to be achieved, but scepticism about what the north korean leader ‘s
intentions are in particular regarding his nuclear weapons. in the united states, a former police officer has appeared in court charged with 13 murders and 51 rapes. prosecutors allege joseph james deangelo was the so—called golden state killer, whose crimes terrorised california in the 1970s and 1980s. james cook reports. this frail old man is accused of terrorising california in the 1970s and ‘80s. is joseph james deangelo your true and correct legal name? i'm yes. handcuffed to a wheelchair, joseph james deangelo appeared confused at times as thejudge explained he was initially facing two counts of murder. the accused made no plea and was refused bail. in total, he's suspected of at least 13 killings,
51 rapes and scores of burglaries, many dating to the time when he was a police officer. his lawyer says he's entitled to a fair trial. we have the law that suggests that he is innocent until they prove him guilty and that's what i was going to ask everybody to remember, because i feel like he's been tried in the press here already. mr deangelo, a father of grown—up children, was said to be extremely surprised when he was arrested at home in a quiet suburb of sacramento last week. the crime spree had begun more than a0 years ago, just half an hour's drive away, before spreading to the san francisco area and then on to central and southern california. detectives have revealed that they used a genealogy website to narrow down their search for the suspect, who was arrested after officers obtained dna from an item he'd discarded. relatives of some of josephjames deangelo's alleged victims were in court for the hearing. if convicted, he could be sentenced to death. the headlines on bbc news:
sainsbury's and asda any merger deal which could be worth £10 billion. alfie evans, the toddler at the centre of a legal battle over his treatment, has died. cabinet colleagues rally round home secretary amber rudd. she says she didn't see a memo copied to her office which detailed home office targets for deporting illegal immigrants. parole board decisions in england and wales could be challenged more easily, under new proposals. a review was set up after after the parole board approved the release of the serial sex offender, john worboys — a decision that was later overturned. here's our home affairs correspondent, danny shaw. still behind bars, john worboys, the man known as the black cab rapist. his victims had to go to court to appeal against the parole board decision to let him out ofjail.
they didn't even know why the 60—year—old prisoner had been approved for release until the legal action began. the case exposed flaws in the parole system and ministers are now trying to address them. they're planning a series of reforms to the parole board to make it more transparent. a summary of the reasons for parole decisions will be sent to victims and in some cases to other people who request it. a scheme to keep victims informed about their cases and offenders' licence conditions will be extended. and a parole board judge will review decisions that are contested and could even hold hearings in public. nick hardwick lost his job at the parole board because of thejohn worboys case. he told the bbc extra resources would be needed for the government's reforms to work. but ministers want to go further. they are reviewing the composition of parole panels and the evidence that's needed to make decisions about the release of prisoners likejohn worboys. thejustice secretary david gauke said the changes would prevent
a situation like thejohn worboys case in the future. i think if we went through the worboys circumstances again, with these new rules in place, victims would have greater transparency and there would be an opportunity for the parole board panel to look at it again to ensure that all the information that should have been in front of the panel was in front of the panel. so these are necessary changes that would mean, ithink, that if we had the worboys circumstances again, we would have a much, much better process and, i would hope, a much better result. thousands of people have been escaping an upsurge in violence in northern myanmar. the military is reported to be attacking ethnic kachin rebels with air strikes and artillery. the un says four thousand people have been driven from their homes in the north since early april. meanwhile, refugees at a rohingya camp in bangladesh say
they are eagerly awaiting the visit of a united nations security council delegation. nearly 700,000 rohingya muslims have fled myanmar‘s rakhine state since last august during a military crackdown. a woman police officer has been sexually assaulted whilst detaining a man in sheffield in the early hours of yesterday morning. officers were responding to a report of an attempted rape on scotland street, when it's alleged a man struck the officers with a wooden signboard and sexually assaulted one of them. the man was arrested on suspicion of attempted rape, assault, sexual assault and criminal damage and remains in police custody. a pilot scheme designed to make people prove their identity at polling stations before they vote is deeply flawed — that's according to the the electoral reform society. the campaign group expressed concern that some legitimate voters could be put off. the measures, which are intended to reduce voterfraud, are being tested in five council areas in next week's local elections. a senior world food programme official has warned that the number
of venezuelans fleeing the country may reach the levels seen in syria if nothing is done. according to the wfp's latin america director, around 35,000 people are crossing the border into colombia each day and even more are leaving for brazil and elsewhere. he called for a regional summit to discuss how to deal with the crisis. bill hayton reports. the stream of people leaving venezuelan has become a flood. a tiny village in the far north of colombia is overwhelmed. and this is just one of many ways out. colombia's government says around i million people have crossed the border since the start of venezuelan‘s economic crisis. all these monthly feeding and the world food programme is asking for $46 million to do it. back in venezuelan‘s capital, caracas,
others are making plans to leave. this is a qualified dentist but he is about to get on a plane to spain. translation: it makes me sad because i believe part of myself here. although plans i had that won't come true, the family and friends i'll leave behind. but i'm also hopeful because maybe things will go well for me over there. some are trying to learn new skills in preparation for their departure. even taking classes in bartending. transition transition macro most of my friends love first, my boyfriend has left, andi love first, my boyfriend has left, and i think how lucky they are to be overseas. but then i think about how happy i would be in those situations and despite all the benefits, it can't be easy. as venezuelans flee, this is what's left behind. in the city, some schools are only half full. the other children have gone
with theirfamilies. full. the other children have gone with their families. wherever they end up, those schoolchildren will need educating, straining the resources of their hosts. and the un has warned the exodus may be helping to spread a new malaria epidemic to neighbouring countries. venezuelan‘s problems are becoming the region's problems. pregnant women in wales are to become the first in the uk to receive a new noninvasive test for down‘s syndrome. the blood test, available from monday on the nhs is said to be more accurate, safer and less stressful than existing screenings. but there are concerns it could lead to more terminations. tomos morgan reports. the evanses from maesteg near port talbot are expecting another child to go along with ffion, who is nine, and eight—year—old morgan. morgan has down syndrome, an unexpected result of pregnancy, so this time around, rachel and gavin paid to have a noninvasive prenatal test to find out whether their third child would also have the condition. regardless of whatever
the test comes back, we would be having the baby anyway. it was just more for peace of mind, so we could just prepare and give us time to get prepared. from monday, nipt will be offered on the nhs in wales to women who have a higher chance of downs, edwards or patau syndrome in their first trimester. but there are concerns this could lead to more terminations. james lives in barry with his family. he is 12 years old and also has down‘s syndrome. his father has reservations about offering the new test. i think it's a very dangerous direction of travel, because obviously, that is one of a number of similar types of illness that you could start applying the same sort of idea to. i mean, they have, certainly from my experience with james, he has something to offer society. the welsh government say the test is about giving parents a safer test
and plays an important role in providing parents with information and support needed for their pregnancy. planning is also under way for nipt to be available in england later this year, with scotland also looking at the possibility of introducing the test in the future. when the football coach caroline hulme was 12, she was told she could no longer play football with the boys at her local club. but she took on the system and won. 18 years later, caroline still has a passion for the sport. she now works for the english fa, where she encourages young girls to try out football. described as a natural ballplayer, caroline hulme was a linchpin in the defensive line—up of denbigh town under—13s, but the teenager was devastated when the football association of wales banned herfrom playing. welsh football bosses argue that girls aged 12 and over
were forbidden from playing in mixed gender sports. the faw today relented. it means girls can compete against boys until they are 16. i wouldn't want any girl to go through that feeling of being told by an manager that you can't play at the weekend. being so young, you just don't have an understanding of way. you basically think i love football, why can't i play? why are the boys getting to play, but i'm not? yeah, because i've played ever since i was in primary school, and i play every week and everything. it was pretty incredible, actually, to have the spotlight on girls' football and showing that football should be for all and that girls should be playing football too. so, yeah, it's brilliant. i was just so driven, by doing this, hopefully i'll get to start playing football again. this was the petition, we managed to get well over 1000
signatures on this which was pretty incredible at the time. it's really about getting, you know, brand—new girls that have never kicked a ball or even thought about playing football to come along to a really fun, positive environment and try football for the first time. it's from that ban, i think that's really been where my passion has developed for doing the role that i do now. that's certainly where i get my drive from. if i'm ever contacted by parents or anybody, i just think, try and respond to absolutely everybody, because my mum e—mailing in about me. throughout this week as part of the bbc‘s crossing divides season,
we've been looking at ways people are creating connections in a polarised world. in the yorkshire dales, during lambing, a sheep farmer is getting help from an unusual workforce. rodney beresford, who has 500 sheep on the hills at ribblehead is welcoming groups of asylum seekers who help him look after ewes and newly born lambs. spencer stokes reports. it's been one of the toughest winters sheep farmer rodney beresford can remember. looking after his flock spread across steep sided hills in the dales is tiring and time—consuming. but help is at hand. singing iranian folk songs, a group of 12 asylum seekers have arrived at ribblehead. some have been in the uk a few weeks, others several years. all waiting to hear if they are allowed to stay. within minutes, they are passing newborn lambs to rodney and learning about sheep farming in yorkshire. why are you putting that on the tail?
it shortens the tail to keep the lamp cleaner. so they don't get... keep the flies off them. oh, right. hopefully! you are a boy. the visitors come from all over the world, many from rural villages so they are familiar with livestock. i feel very well because when i see lambs like this, i remember my home, i remember in somalia, i remember every single home. i remember my family, i remember everything. well, it is beautiful today, it has been a brutal winter, particularly difficult for rodney and having the asylum seekers here really does help him out. for every group that arrives, rodney receives a small payment, a boost to his income after he spends an extra £14,000 feeding his sheep through the cold weather. this is one way of diversifying. i don't make a lot of money out of it at all but it's a big help.
it's 100 people a year and at least that come out for lambing. it generally makes a difference. it's one of the best things i've done, really i think over the years. there is more singing on the slopes below ingleborough over lunch. they all look very jovial but this man is a burmese asylum seeker. his family victims of ethnic cleansing. their lives are at risk. they flee. nobody would leave their home unless they were forced to do so. so many of these people have fled from their homes, they have suffered from severe trauma. the journey here, many people want talk about the journey because it has been too traumatic and too difficult. ingle borough. three peaks. after a quick geography lesson, the day on rodney‘s farm ends. some will come back, others faced the prospect of a return to less
friendly surroundings. despite the burst of midsummer a few weeks ago it feels as though spring has been delayed but hopefully not. will it be good for the hill farmers? it isa farmers? it is a very mixed picture but it feels as though we have fast forwarded into autumn with cloud and rain but also some sunshine as well. this picture was taken in the western isles of scotland. a band of cloud and rain across the midlands and east anglia is quite slow to clear and temperatures will struggle into double figures. in the