tv BBC News at Ten BBC News August 7, 2018 10:00pm-10:31pm BST
tonight at ten, theresa may has backed calls for boris johnson to apologise for comments about muslim women who wear full—face veils. the former foreign secretary has written that they "look like letter boxes", and that wearing burqas was "ridiculous." i think borisjohnson used language in describing people's appearance that's obviously caused offence. it was the wrong language to use. he should not have used it. nothing to apologise for. it's all been blown out of all proportion by those who wish to cause him political damage. mrjohnson has so far refused to apologise, amid accusations of islamophobia. also tonight... six men are found guilty of attempted people—smuggling on a dangerously overcrowded boat across the channel. firefighters in california battle the biggest blaze ever to hit the state, and it could be burning for weeks. the increase in uk life expectancy has stalled, and the slowdown is one of the worst of any of the world's top economies. it's golden night for
great britain's athletes at the european championships. and, preparations for the 100th anniversary of the battle that helped end the great war at amiens. and coming up on sportsday on bbc news — britain's most decorated diver, jack laugher, clinches gold in the men's 1 metre springboard final at the european championships. team—mate james heatly took bronze. good evening. the prime minister has backed calls for borisjohnson to apologise for comments he's made about muslim women wearing full—face veils. the former foreign secretary wrote in a newspaper article that the women "look like letter
boxes" and that the burqa was "weird" and "ridiculous." theresa may says women should be able to choose how they dress, and that some of mrjohnson‘s words "obviously caused offence." mrjohnson has so far has refused to apologise, amid accusations of islamophobia. here's our chief political correspondent, vicky young. from online abuse to attacks on mosques, crime figures suggest islamophobia is on the rise in britain, and the conservative party's faced accusations it's not done enough to deal with incidents in its own party. now, borisjohnson‘s underfire — the prime minister backing calls for him to apologise for comments he's made about muslim face veils. boris johnson used language in describing people's appearance that has obviously caused offence. it was the wrong language to use, he should not have used it. on the key issue about women's ability to wear the burqa
if they choose to do so, that should be a matter for a woman to choose. it was a column in the telegraph that caused outrage. mrjohnson wrote "a total ban is not the answer", but schools should be able to tell students to remove burqas if they turn up "looking like a bank robber". and he went further, saying "it is absolutely ridiculous that people should choose to go around looking like letter boxes". baroness warsi was britain's first muslim cabinet minister. for years she's been calling for an enquiry into islamophobia in the party. she says mrjohnson‘s using bigotry to further his political career. to use language like "letter boxes" and "armed robbers" and other colourful language to have this debate, is not about having a serious debate on a serious issue. it's about trying to get airtime and attention on an issue which he knows will resonate with a certain part of the tory party. but mrjohnson‘s friends say it's ridiculous that his views are being attacked, and difficult issues had to be debated. it was an erudite column with a bit of humour about a pertinent issue
that denmark has banned the burqa, but boris doesn't think that's the answer to the issue in our country, and he made his comments. nothing to apologise for. it's all been blown out of all proportion by those who wish to cause him political damage. critics say mrjohnson‘s comments will harm community cohesion. some suspect him of being deliberately provocative, ensuring he stays in the limelight after leaving government. senior conservatives have said boris johnson has used them to twitch. tonight a source close to mrjohnson said he was speaking up for liberal values because he was arguing against a values because he was arguing againsta ban values because he was arguing against a ban on the burqa said it was clear he would not be apologising. the question is, what happens then? if he will not
apologise, will the party take disciplinary action against him? that was a question theresa may did not answer this evening. thank you. our home editor, mark easton, is here. by by all accounts, mrjohnson has dismissed the criticism, saying it is ridiculous. given the words he used and the language he used, is that fair? i think there are two separate issues, one whether it is legitimate to have a debate about whether women should be free to wear the burqa in public and i remember jack straw raising this issue over a decade ago after he revealed he refused to seems muslim constituents who wore a burqa to his constituency surgery who wore a burqa to his constituency surgery also i personally attended public debates in which muslim women have argued this issue from both sides of the argument and that debate continues. it seems that the remarks of mrjohnson has remained another and separate issue, whether
it is legitimate for anyone but in particular a senior and influential political figure to use language that demeans and arguably ridicules women who wear the burqa. it is not about the burqa but people who wear them and specifically about devout muslim women. people canjudge. after mrjohnson‘s word islamophobic? are they likely to increase prejudice against muslims? michael bates inspire religious hatred? if they do, were they threatening and intended to stir up religious hatred? threatening and intended to stir up religious hatred ? that threatening and intended to stir up religious hatred? that might be an offence under the crime and disorder act or the even then there is a freedom of expression defence but the real debate is not about the burqa but where our society needs to put the line between saying things that are insulting or offensive and saying things that are specifically is insulting and offensive to a minority group which might increase the chance of prejudice and racism.
many thanks. six men have been found guilty of trying to smuggle albanian migrants across the english channel. the old bailey heard that one vessel was so overcrowded, it began to sink and those on board had to be rescued. the national crime agency described the plot as "staggeringly reckless," and said the men had been risking lives for profit. two other defendants were found not guilty. frankie mccamley has the story. around a mile and a half off the coast of kent in the pitch black, a boat designed for six people, carrying 20 and taking on water quickly. 18 albanian migrants on board each had paid £5,500 for the crossing. all desperate to be rescued. the only two on board with life jackets were robert stilwell and mark stribling. both pleaded guilty and were convicted of people smuggling two years ago. today these six men from the same gang were found guilty of conspiring to smuggle people across the channel, including the men described
as the ringleaders, father and son leonard and alfie powell, and albanian nationals sabah dulaj and arthur nutaj who acted as the travel agent, finding people who wanted to go to the uk. this is an excellent result for the national crime agency. we are very pleased with the result today. it sends a clear message to other crime groups who are thinking about facilitating people over the english channel by this dangerous method that we will look to identify you and look to prosecute you. it was what officers found next to this slipway in dymchurch in kent that launched the whole investigation. 0ne abandoned boat and, after making initial enquiries, they realised that that was part of a much bigger operation. police covertly film another boat in ramsgate being prepared for a trip to france. francis wade, on the phone, who was cleared of all charges, calls to say the water is too dangerous to travel. it's my life i was worried about, it
was that choppy. the pair then struggle to get the gps system to work. were both crying, we got the book and we still can't do it. the next day, francis wade said he deliberately ran out of fuel after getting suspicious about the operation. yet another failed trip for the gang meant they had to be more creative. three members meet to buy a jet ski to do the job instead. but police arrest them soon after. the gang's plans were so dangerous they had to be stopped. it was a reckless operation, making money out of those whose only hope was for a better life. sentencing will take place next month. frankie mccamley, bbc news. the increase in life expectancy in the uk has stalled in recent years, and the slowdown is one of the worst of any of the world's top economies. the office for national statistics says women have been particularly badly hit. between 2005 and 2010,
the increase in life expectancy per year was 12.9 weeks for women, and 17.3 weeks for men. but the next six years saw the figures fall to 1.2 weeks for women and 11.2 weeks for men. our health editor hugh pym has been looking at the data. we are living longer but the speed at which life spans increase in each generation is slowing. that's the main message of a new report which looks at life expectancy across a range of wealthy nations. medical advances have helped more people to live longer with healthier lives and enjoy their retirement years, but one of the biggest slowdowns in the rate of increase has been in the uk. i think there's too many fast foods that people eat now. we always had just plain meat and veg at meals. obesity, diabetes is a big problem in this country at the moment. possibly lack of exercise. i'm very surprised actually, yes.
i thought in this generation people had started to live longer. so what do the figures actually show? well, male and female life expectancy at birth rose consistently in the uk from the early 1980s through until 2011 but from then the rate increase slowed right down, in effect stalling atjust over 79 for men and just under 83 for women. so how does that compare with other countries? here is the trend for female life expectancy at birth from 2000 to 2016, first for the uk, which started in the middle of the pack. here is the czech republic which has nearly caught up from a lower start. japan and spain are among those pulling away from the uk. in fact, for women in the uk, there was the biggest slowdown of any of the countries covered in the report so what is behind all this? some academics argue it is partly down to austerity policies including
cuts in social care in england. when you cut services, when you cut adult social workers coming in and checking on old people, when you cut meals on wheels, when you cut rural bus services, when you cut the nhs, then it has an effect on health. 0thers argue more research is needed on people's lifestyles and general health issues. i think it's far too simplistic to blame austerity for these changes in our longevity. i think we have to look more widely. we have to look at the way we live our lives, our lifestyles, the way we have become more obese as a society, the way we eat unhealthy food. we also need to look at wider issues like our housing, our public health, our immunisation. the department of health and social care covering england said action was being taken — for example, a diabetes prevention plan and obesity strategy. but public health officials have been asked to carry out a review, looking for explanations of the changing trends. hugh pym, bbc news. a murder inquiry has
begun following the death of a seven—year—old boy in a house fire in south—east london. joel urhie was found dead after the blaze in deptford. his mother and sister escaped by jumping out of a first floor window. theresa may has been challenged to set out a "plan b" for brexit by the scottish government. she's been meeting scotland's first minister, nicola sturgeon, who said their talks had failed to ease concerns that the uk could leave the european union without a deal. mrs may says the scottish government should get behind her brexit proposals, instead of trying to "sow division". us sanctions against iran, which came into force overnight, have been described by president trump as the "most biting ever imposed". he also repeated his threat that if any company did business with iran, then they wouldn't be allowed to do business with america. the eu says the sanctions are regrettable. our business editor simon jack is here. how much of a problem are these
sanctions for eu firms?|j how much of a problem are these sanctions for eu firms? i think what this will display is a startling example of the unilateral power that the us still has that international trade and the reason they have that is because the issue of dollars. like it or not, most of the world's most important commodities, like oil, are priced in dollars. if, for example, you are an international bank and there is a company doing business in iran or doing business with a business doing business in iran through secondary sanctions, they can probably say, we are so fea rful of they can probably say, we are so fearful of getting stung, as they happen in the past, by flouting us sanctions that we will withdraw banking services from you, a massive problem. ever since the sanctions we re problem. ever since the sanctions were to be reimposed, the eu has been trying to look at measures to block this and say that we will protect them and they have come out with legislation saying that if your bank says it will not provide you
with services because of the sanctions, we will make that illegal and allow you to be able to sue them but a ring around of international banks today that i have made and some companies have made it very clear to me that if the threat is losing access to the us dollar financial system or losing access somewhere else, they will basically follow the us sanctions regime. as i said, a startling example of the extraterritorial power that the us still has. thank you. a court has heard claims that the england cricketer ben stokes mocked two gay man and became abusive to a bouncer shortly before allegedly getting involved in a fight at a nightclub. he and two other men deny a charge of affray in bristol last september. our sports editor, dan roan, reports. he should've been training with his england team—mates today ahead of this week's test match at lord's. instead, ben stokes was back in court. also here — bristol bouncer andrew cunningham, a witness
to the events leading up to the brawl at the centre of the case. stokes is accused of losing control and attacking two local men, ryan hale and ryan ali, in the early hours of september 25th last year. all three denying a charge of affray. head doorman at the mbargo nightclub, cunningham said that earlier ben stokes had been spiteful, angry and a bully, after he refused the cricketer and his england team—mate, alex hales, re—entry to the venue. the court was shown this cctv footage. cunningham claimed ben stokes, who he described as "the ginger one", insulted his teeth and prominent tattoos, and then mocked two gay men, making camp gestures and throwing a cigarette butt at one of them. defence barrister gordon cole qc suggested that cunningham, who said he didn't like cricket, had been aggressive towards ben stokes and alex hales. "definitely not", said the doorman. cole said the cricketers had been laughing with the two gay men about stokes's gold—encrusted shoes, suggesting it was just playful banter.
the players were laughing at them, not with them, said cunningham. the court heard from then local resident, max wilson, who filmed the fight on his mobile phone. the men, he said, were clearly drunk and sounded like football hooligans. one of the investigating police officers then told the court the footage showed both hale and ali holding bottles and cricketer hales, who was interviewed under caution but not arrested, deliberately stamping on ali, before kicking him in the head. stokes is one of world cricket's highest—profile talents, helping england beat india last week. but his team will have to make do without him in the second test. the trial continues. dan roan, bbc news, bristol. more than 100 people have now died, and more than 80 thousand are in need of shelter, following sunday's powerful earthquake, that hit an indonesian island. the 6.9—magnitude quake was the second to hit the area injust over a week.
mehulika sitepu reports from lombok. it's 48 hours after the earthquake hit lombok. a man is pulled out of a collapsed mosque, and a search for survivors continues. nearby, a 23—year—old woman is rescued after being trapped beneath a flattened convenience store. translation: they thought they smelt dead bodies, but when we opened up an access point, it was just rotten eggs. then we heard a voice. the ones that survived have been taken to the nearest hospital which has also been damaged by the earthquake. patients are being treated in tents outdoors, mostly suffering from broken bones. translation: there are too many patients. we have to prioritise who among
them need the most help. so, for patients that can bear the pain, we put them on hold. we handle those who are in emergencies first. on the gili islands, many continue to wait to be ta ken to safety, but now thousands have been able to leave. it was really scary. there were so many people injured, but nobody came to the island. so maybe we were there for, like, 12 hours before a boat came or anybody came. since sunday's earthquake, hundreds of after—shocks have been felt in the area, with more expected. for the rescue crews it means treacherous conditions, as they continue their search for survivors. mehulika sitepu, bbc news, lombok. the murder and kidnapping ofjournalists and western aid workers by the islamic state group, graphically highlighted their brutality, and ricardo vilanova
who's a spanish photographer, was one of their captives. he says his tormentors were a group of four british jihadists, dubbed "the beatles" by their hostages, a gang who are thought to have tortured and murdered as many as 27 people. in this exclusive report, mr vilanova returns to syria, with our middle east correspondent, quentin sommerville, to find the former prisons he was held in, and the men he claims, who locked him up. on the river euphrates, photojournalist ricardo vilanova is on a personal assignment. war, he says, brings out the best of us — and the worst. in raqqa, he experienced both. under kurdish escort, he's come to find his formerjail. and his formerjailers. an is gang of britishjihadists, known to their prisoners as "the beatles".
this is the right place but we don't know exactly, because maybe the house is there... ricardo was held captive for eight months. he and his british, french and american cell—mates were moved regularly to prevent any western rescue attempts. once an is stronghold, this ground now belongs to the kurds. the house was destroyed by a coalition air strike. this is the place. this was the view that ricardo saw, a rare glimpse of sunlight from underneath his blindfold. we are here in the room, and we used to sleep there, and we had the toilet there, on the second floor. now, ricardo is free to go where he wants. the cells under raqqa's stadium are a reminder that is brutalised a population. a new sadism was born here in this is prison.
he was held nearby. ricardo heard the screams of the tortured and the dying on a daily basis. yeah, we spent three months here in a cell like that, three people. eventually, his government secured his freedom. ransoms were paid. then, he went back to work. but his task here is not complete. here are the men suspected of imprisoning him. alexanda kotey and el shafee elsheikh are accused of torturing and killing 27 hostages. ricardo wants to confront them. he says they're cowards who fled the battlefield. they refused to answer his questions and quickly bring the interview to a halt.
before he leaves, he takes a final picture. but they want to shut him out. afterwards, he gave me his reaction to the meeting. translation: i wanted to see the suspects and look them in the face, that's it. the first thing i thought when i saw them was gaddafi or saddam. they were able to torture and murder, but when the moment arrived, they handed themselves in order to survive. i think that's despicable. should they face the death penalty? no, i don't believe in the death penalty. but i think they should spend the rest of their lives in prison, and in the same conditions they kept their hostages. his tormentors are
now dead or injail. ricardo vilanova had the strength and the opportunity to survive. but more than that, he's had the courage to return here so that these dark horrors won't be forgotten. quentin somerville, bbc news, raqqa. officials in california say they're now dealing with the largest ever wildfire to hit the state, and they're warning it could burn for the rest of the month. it's the result of two fires that have joined together, with the mega blaze already destroying more than 280,000 acres of land. nine people have died since the fires broke out last month. from california, here's peter bowes. california's new normal. raging wildfires eclipsing previous records in their size and ferocity. about 150 miles north of san francisco, two fires have merged to create this monster.
its sheer size is overwhelming — about the same area as the city of los angeles. fuelled by intensely hot weather, strong winds, low humidity and tinder dry brush, the flames are consuming everything in their path. what can you say? it makes you sick to your stomach. everything they've worked for all their life gone in a heartbeat. the firefighting effort is intense. we're heading out with the aircraft, cooling it down, and that's letting the ground crews get in there and put out the fire. throughout california, more than 111,000 firefighters, some from overseas, and hundreds of us army personnel are battling at least 16 major wildfires. weather forecasters are warning of no letup in the searing temperatures.
it could take weeks to bring the current fires under control — and the long hot summer is far from over. peter bowes, bbc news, los angeles. there's been double gold for britain tonight, at the european championships in berlin. dina asher—smith won the 100 metres, while zharnel hughes took gold in the men's race. with all the action from berlin and glasgow, here's natalie pirks. the world—famous olympic stadium is the scene for many a record and britain's sprinters were about to do something special. dina asher—smith said she knew her legs felt good. in the balmy heat of berlin they seemed to contain rocket fuel. dina asher—smith is clear and gone. it is gold for dina asher—smith! notjust gold but a british record to boot. the nation's fastest woman is a history graduate. she is now writing her own. there are so many talented women alongside me and when you're in that kind of field,
you have just got to go out and put together your race and you've got to ignore what they are doing because they can run fast in their own right. so, i'm really happy. britain had never won both the women and men's100 metres at the european championships. they had three chances in this race. it is zharnel hughes for the line! just! with a perfectly timed dip, zharnel hughes stormed hold for gold. reece prescod took silver to claim a british 1—2. hughes is training to become a pilot. two years from tokyo, britain's sprinters are taking flight. well, a fast and furious night in berlin was matched by a equally busy day here in scotland and two british teenagers in particular stole the show. nerves of steel are needed for the ten metre platform but eden cheng is just 15, lois toulson just three years older. remember their names. they've done it. britain's first diving gold of these championships was firstly followed by another. this one more expected, though.
jack laugher is britain's most successful diver but, remarkably, this one metre springboard win was his first individual european title. remember their names. james heatly claimed the bronze. and a flurry of british medals in the swimming pool ended with two golds for britain. the home crowd saved their biggest roar for duncan scott who powered through from lane 8 to take the 200 metres freestyle. natalie pirks, bbc news, glasgow. commemorations will take place in the french city of amiens tomorrow, marking the 100th anniversary, of the battle there that proved so decisive in ending the first world war. prince william and theresa may will both travel to france, to take part in a cathedral service. robert hall has been looking at why the battle of amiens was so important to the outcome of the war. on a hilltop north of amiens stands a white tower of portland stone, a memorial to australian forces, some of whom advanced across a landscape which has changed little as a century rolled by. it's the perfect spot to view
the start line of a surprise attack which changed the course of a war. if you had stood here on the morning of august 8th 1918, you would have seen the smoke and flames as allied artillery systematically destroyed german guns, and you would have heard the rumble of engines as 500 tanks and more than 50,000 troops advanced through the fog towards enemy lines. with every step, the men left the stalemate of trench warfare further behind. in front of them and protecting them, the tanks were able to move unhindered across open country. the preparation was absolutely enormous, right down to the last piece of sticking plaster in moving forward a casualty clearing station. they had everything to the nth degree. stories of that day will be told at tomorrow's commemoration
which reflects the range of countries brought together for the attack. we travelled at night and stayed in the woods in the daytime. it was supposed to be a surprise. the canadians captured 27,000 prisoners and the whole thing 45,000 prisoners, besides all the ones who were killed. an awful lot were killed besides that. the german high command called it the black day of the german army. we called it the beginning of the last 100 days. exhausted german defenders did what they could to slow the attacks but the allies, nowjoined by the americans, were growing stronger.