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tv   BBC News  BBC News  August 17, 2018 11:00pm-11:31pm BST

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this is bbc news, i'm martine croxall. the headlines at 11:00: devastating monsoon floods in the southern indian state of kerala have killed 170 people. 200,000 more have been left homeless. helicopters are being used to airlift children to safety, with roads and even the local airport submerged. officials say it's the worst flooding for decades, and more rain is predicted to fall. translation: after 36 years, it's the first time that such flooding is happening here. it's a disaster for the whole population. in other news, mps call for ministers to promote vaping as a safe alternative to cigarettes. the science and technology committee says e—cigarettes help tens of thousands of smokers quit every year. the prisons minister, rory stewart, promises to resign if he fails to reduce the level of drug use and violence in jails within a year. and at 11:30 we will be taking another in—depth look at the papers with our reviewers tim stanley from the telegraph and mirror columnist susie boniface.
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devastating monsoon floods in india have killed nearly 1,000 people. the state of kerala has been the worst—hit region, where the the death toll stands at 171. local authorities say in total more than 320 people have died as a result of the summer's heavy rain. rescuers in helicopters and boats are struggling to reach the thousands of people in the southern state, who are still believed to be marooned by floodwaters, which are the worst to hit the region in nearly a century.
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more heavy rain is expected. yogita limaye reports. forced out of their homes by the floods, people are walking miles to safety. escaping surging water that has swallowed everything in its path. for many, this is the only way out. this pregnant woman was among several airlifted in kerala. she delivered just a short while later. dozens of helicopters are pulling out as many as they can. but tens of thousands are still stuck. the monsoon always brings heavy rainfall to kerala, but this year is different. translation: after 36 years, it is the first time that such flooding is happening here. it is a disaster for the whole population. shelters have been set up wherever possible.
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locals are volunteering, cooking food and distributing supplies to people who have been left homeless. this is a public school which has been converted into a shelter. there are about 200 people here. the men are asleep in this room behind me. and the women are across on the other side. butjust behind this school is a river that is already quite close to breaching its banks. so, if it continues raining here, no—one quite knows for how long even this place will remain safe. cochin airport, the busiest in kerala, is unrecognisable. its runway resembles a river. the government has been forced to open dam gates. and people are bracing themselves for worse. there is more rainfall expected.
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there are lots of teams which have been sent to kerala from new delhi to aid in the response. lots of troops are already here, about 300 boats across parts of kerala. speaking to people here there is a real sense of fear because of the vision they are seeing is circulating on messaging apps like whatsapp. the chief minister of the state has been holding cover lies as conferences state has been holding cover lies as c0 nfe re nces every state has been holding cover lies as conferences every morning and every evening to try to reach out to people here. —— holding televised press c0 nfe re nces . people here. —— holding televised press conferences. he has said this is the worst flooding kerala has seenin is the worst flooding kerala has seen in its history. there is a red alert for the next few days so people are really bracing themselves, trying to be in safe places, stocking up on food and seeing how they can go through the next few days. earlier i spoke to ravi singh, ceo of the charity, khalsa aid,
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who has a team on the ground in kerala. he explained to me the difficult conditions the volunteers are facing. it is so fascinating to see, nature is so powerful, suddenly the water has taken over almost all of the area of kerala, which is known as god's own country. it has devastated the state. it was something which was underreported and now we are seeing the results, we are seeing 300 dead. we are expecting that to rise heavily. 0ur 300 dead. we are expecting that to rise heavily. our team which reached kerala earlier today, they said they had never seen anything like it. some of them are very seasoned aid workers. it is absolute, utter devastation. what has the initial response been from your organisation? the team has reached kerala, they are already working with the local community to provide hot meals. as of now, those meals are being served. we are trying to source fresh water. there is a big
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crisis in trying to get fresh water, the floodwater has taken over everything so everything is polluted. 0ur everything so everything is polluted. our team is working on bringing waterfrom hours drive away, and trying to work on contractors in different states. —— from four or six hours' drive away. something which is more frightening, if authorities do not act fast, the danger of disease in this hot weather with standing water in floodwaters, disease could break out and really take many more lives. so i think the big organisations and the government will be working very, very ha rd to the government will be working very, very hard to prevent that. but for aid organisations like us, it is a huge, it is something that, like i said, we underestimated, and now we are growing, at least in the next three orfour mike weeks, are growing, at least in the next three or four mike weeks, 200 to 500 volu nteers three or four mike weeks, 200 to 500 volunteers just dedicated to kerala. how difficult is it logistically? we
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we re how difficult is it logistically? we were reporting, even the airport is submerged. logistically it is a nightmare. 0ur volunteers are working in the camps and some of the towns and cities where colleges, universities and stadiums have been taken over universities and stadiums have been ta ken over by universities and stadiums have been taken over by those who are displaced. reports are that there are people who are stranded and cut—off, and we are getting reports of certain towns further afield that need help. so it looks like we will be working with the army and the local authorities and maybe taking a longer route around the floods to reach those people. it is a huge nightmare for the government, the local government and the state government, and i think we need all hands on deck. i hope every organisation globally who are known to doing this sort of disaster work will react to kerala. they need all the help they can get. i am hoping disease doesn't spread. that is the biggest fear at the moment, that could be devastating. yeah, a real game changing situation when that happens. in this era of social
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media, of course, people are no doubt contacting you, are they, not just saying, what are you doing to help, but other kinds of support as well? there are individual pleas on my twitter and on the facebook page for khalsa aid. they are pleading, my family for khalsa aid. they are pleading, i y for khalsa aid. they are pleading, my family my friends are stuck, they are putting down addresses and phone numbers. the last message came at this time, because the battery ran out. it is personal struggles. there are people who have no news of their loved ones. the last thing they knew, they were on the rooftop awaiting aid. we don't know if that aid reached them. we can't reach many places. so it is very difficult. that was ruddy singh, ceo of the charity khalsa aid. —— ravi singh. the debate over the safety of e—cigarettes has been brought into sharp focus, by the recommenation of a group of mps, that the rules governing vaping should be relaxed. the commons science and technology committee, says the government should make it
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easier for people to use e—cigarettes, in public places. around 2.9 million people use them in the uk, with almost half a million who are trying stop smoking. the report suggests tens of thousands of people, have already quit normal cigarettes, because of vaping. it's estimated they're 95% less harmful than conventional tobacco but some say it still isn't clear that they're completely safe, and more research is needed. the government says it will consider the mps' recommendations. here's our health editor hugh pym. the debate on e—cigarettes is heating up. a committee of mps has come down strongly in favour of vaping and the benefits that can bring, and it wants official backing for that view. vaping is one route to help problem smokers give up and we should be doing far more to encourage it. the mps want to see more of this, nhs endorsement of vaping. e—cigarettes are on sale at this mental health unit in leicester. smoking is not allowed on trust property, but vaping is. it is helpful when they bring the vapes in the flavours because you can buy different flavours.
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two users of the service told me how it helps them. since my mental health deteriorated, i smoked more, but as soon as i was getting the help, i went on my vape again. like, ijust started vaping and i don't really touch fags much any more. it helped me cut down quite a lot. i used to smoke about 20—30 a day and now i'm probably on about four or five. there is evidence that those with mental health conditions tend to smoke more than others, so the trust says there is every reason to offer help. vaping has less harmful effects, as far as we know, from the data and research we know. therefore, the trust is of the view that we should be exploring that option for our patients and also promoting it for our staff as well. and you stopped with an e—cigarette, using an e—cigarette, didn't you? yes. elsewhere in leicester, a stop smoking clinic is run by the city council and e—cigarettes are recommended for those who would like to try them.
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another example of official backing for vaping. so you're reading now is zero. the mps' report calls for moves to allow e—cigs in more public places like bus and train stations and to encourage nhs use of e—cigarettes. it also want the authorities to loosen regulation of devices and liquids. the mps argue that e—cigarettes bring clear public health benefits in terms of helping smokers quit the habit. but can we be certain that there are no side effects? the answer is, not yet. we know that they do help people stop smoking but we also have to be careful about their long—term use. so they are safer than cigarettes but we can't absolutely say that they are safe. so do people mind the vapour? 0pinions we heard were divided. we wear contact lenses and that smoke comes into your eyes and it feels uncomfortable. it's not like cigarettes.
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it doesn't have that stinky smell that bothers anyone. for us as nonsmokers and generally, i think the fumes are very bad. it is a sensitive area and health authorities and leaders are likely to continue treading carefully before deciding what to do next. the prisons minister, rory stewart, says he will resign if his campaign to tackle violence and drugs in jails isn't successful within 12 months. some of england's toughest prisons are to get £10 million to bolster security, improve living conditions, and raise standards of leadership. labour says the government needs to do much more. our home affairs correspondent danny shaw reports. how to stop drugs getting into prisons. here's one way. hmp leeds is one of ten prisons where sniffer dogs are being brought in and new technology is being used to detect synthetic substances, like the former legal high spice. it's led to record levels of violence in prisons — volatile places, say inmates, even at the best of times.
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it's good here. but like anything and everything, things can change. the dynamics of a jail, the dynamics of a wing can change overnight. security around cell windows and perimeter walls will be strengthened to stop drugs being flown in by drones or thrown over fencing, and the government minister overseeing the improvement plan has promised that, if it doesn't work, he'll walk. i will quit if i haven't succeeded in 12 months in reducing the level of drugs and violence in those prisons. i want to make a measurable distance. that's what this investment is around. but prison conditions have been severely affected by a programme of cutbacks. that's the view of campaigners, who question if the new funding will make much difference. we have record levels of violence and self—harm in our prisons at the moment.
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too many prisons are failing to deliver even the basics for prisoners, and while this £10 million across ten prisons is welcome, it will only go so far. but, at britain's biggest prison, holding 2,000 offenders, they‘ re bringing stability to the wings by giving inmates more say. 0akwood prison has its own approach to dealing with conflict and violence. it involves prisoners themselves taking the lead and providing support and mentoring. a lot of it has to be empathy, shared experiences, reliving your own experiences to the individual. it's about connecting with the individual and not making any judgement. ben is showing there can be hope behind bars. the political career of a government minister rests on prisoners like him steering clear of drugs and violence. danny shaw, bbc news, at 0akwood prison. the department store chain house of fraser is cancelling all online orders and refunding customers.
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it follows a payment dispute with the firm that handles its warehouse operations. xpo logistics is owed £30 million by house of fraser, which was taken over by sports direct last week and hundreds of suppliers say they're owed money too. our business correspondent emma simpson reports. it is the last thing this business needs — a stream of angry customers. the website is down and orders cancelled, thousands of them. house of fraser says it is sorry, and refunds will be given. nearly a fifth of its sales are now online. business this chain can ill afford to lose. one of house of fraser's failings over the last few years has been that its online offer has not been good enough. and that's something that mike ashley's team will be wanting
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to remedy pretty quickly. but it demonstrates how suddenly, if your online offer can't be delivered, how it impacts your customers and their ability to spend money with you straightaway. here is the problem. its warehouse operator, xpo logistics, has stopped processing orders, including at this site in milton keynes, in a dispute over payment. this time last week, mike ashley came riding to the rescue. he did so by buying this chain through what is known as a prepack administration, a much—used process that is controversial. because it means mr ashley's sports direct has no legal obligation to pay any of house of fraser's debts owed to suppliers. the fallout was laid bare today. some £1184 million is owed to unsecured creditors like landlords and suppliers. xpo logistics alone is out of pocket by more than £30 million. jigsaw, the fashion retailer, is owed much less. but it has now removed stock from 20 house of fraser stores. this small nottingham business does
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clothing alterations — one of hundreds who will get next to nothing back. house of fraser at the moment owe us about £270. that was just one month's invoice. but a lot of companies have gone in the past, austin reed, to mentionjust one, and owed in the past ten years probably £12,000, £15,000. we may not know mike ashley's plans for these big stores. but one thing is for sure — he will need plenty of good will to turn things around for customers and suppliers. emma simpson, bbc news. tomorrow sees the first state funerals for victims of the genoa bridge disaster in northern italy. but the majority of victims' families have opted for private ceremonies, amid growing anger towards the authorities. there have been numerous claims that successive italian governments have neglected to ensure proper maintenance of much of the country's transport network. james reynolds reports from genoa. amid the heavy machinery
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and the tons of rubble, the search for survivors sometimes comes down to a single voice. "anybody there?" shouts a rescuer. there is no reply. but they will keep going for a while longer. it's difficult to say we will finish tomorrow, but i can tell you that probably in a couple of days we should finish. but it is really depending on how we can remove all the debris. parts of the operation are extremely delicate. here, firefighters reversed a truck abandoned right next to the edge of the collapse. professor antonio brencic is on the official investigation commission. before he was appointed, he told me that the original engineer's bridge design was flawed. he made some decisions
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that produced a bridge, a new bridge, different from the others. the attempt to find a new way, a new structure orform, failed. it failed? it failed, si. this is the result of that collapse. this afternoon, the families of the dead gathered around their coffins. in the morning, the victims will be given a state funeral. some families have chosen not to take part in the official ceremonies. instead, they are holding private burials elsewhere in italy. and, once all the ceremonies are over, the bitter arguments about the collapse of this bridge may re—intensify. james reynolds, bbc news, genoa. the former cricketer imran khan will be sworn in as pakistan's new prime minister tomorrow after a vote today in the national assembly, electing him as leader. his party won the most seats in last month's elections, and he will form a coalition government.
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he was elected on a pledge to fight corruption and to lift millions out of poverty. but, as our correspondent secunder kermani reports, some doubt whether the country has the money to deliver on his promises. imran... cheers for pakistan's next prime minister. but alongside them, angry chants from his rivals. they continued as he gave a fiery speech promising action against corrupt politicians. translation: those who stole the future of our children while in power, those who stole money and took it abroad, i will hold them all accountable. imran khan has promised to create a new pakistan, improving education and healthcare for ordinary people. the country faces real challenges,
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amongst them the highest rate of newborn infant mortality in the world. a lack of facilities and trained staff are amongst the main causes. this government hospital in islamabad is better resourced the most, but they struggle to keep up with demand, with patients travelling from more remote regions. many a time, we are short of beds. in neonatal intensive care, we are short of beds in the paediatric intensive care. at the level of intensive care facilities, we need a lot of additional resources. does that mean sometimes you have to turn people away? yes, obviously. healthcare spending in pakistan has been below international guidelines. if imran khan's new government wants to give these children a better chance in life, it will take both investment and reform. but the country's poor economic situation means he will only have limited funds available.
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manufacturing has been one of pakistan's main sources of income. this company produces 600 million pairs of socks every year for some of the world's best—known brands. but, at the moment, imports are vastly outstripping exports and the country needs a loan of around $12 billion, making plans to increase spending difficult. for mr khan to sort of expand his budget for social protection or social safety nets, at least — it'll be difficult to do it in the first two years, at least. there has to be some belt—tightening, some fiscal discipline that has to go there. outside parliament, even the policemen ate the celebratory sweets. imran khan's supporters have high expectations of what he can deliver. with only a slim majority in parliament, he will have to do his best to live up to them. secunder kermani, bbc news, islamabad. a teenage boy is in a critical condition in hospital afterfour people were stabbed in south london.
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the victims, all aged between 15 and 16, were attacked on the elmington estate in camberwell yesterday evening. six boys of the same age have been arrested on suspicion of violent disorder and grievous bodily harm. a council is to start offering free sanitary products in all its public buildings as part of efforts to tackle so—called period poverty. north ayrshire council in scotland says it is the first local authority in the uk to provide free sanitary towels and tampons in libraries, community centres and other public offices. katie hunter reports. people have always been able to access free books at this library. now, women and girls can access free sanitary products. it is always good that it's there, you know that it is there. these teenagers already get free tampons and towels in their schools. they support extending the scheme. a lot of people can't afford to have the money to go out and
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spend on, like thomas sanitary products, which has led to instances of lots of young people that use newspapers, socks, things you shouldn't really use. really unhealthy and bad for your body. shouldn't really use. really unhealthy and bad for your bodym is breaking down the taboo, so it is not something that is an issue to talk about. because it shouldn't be. it is something that all women go through, so why should we talk about a? this is the women's toilet in the library, and this is the vending machine, with a difference. all women and girls will have to do is press one of these two blue buttons and a free sanitary product will be dispensed. research by charity plan international says around one in ten girls in the uk has been unable to afford sanitary items. but it isn't just teenagers who can struggle to pay for the products. some women are unable to afford what is essentially a basic need. it is not something that they choose. it certainly doesn't wear long to see. i think it isa doesn't wear long to see. i think it is a bit normalise, and they are making sure that these essential items are available. i think in
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these last couple of years the conversation has really developed. the —— this mp is behind a bill to make senator products free for all women in scotland, and says it is about more than just money. women in scotland, and says it is about more thanjust moneym women in scotland, and says it is about more than just money. it is also about trying to end the taboo around periods, because of course it is completely normal. because this shows that period are normal, and we are getting the point where access to period is as normal as accessing toilet paper when you go into a public bathroom. the scottish government is already providing free sanitary products to some low income women. campaigners want that extended to all women. the funeral of aretha franklin will take place on 31 august in her hometown of detroit. hundreds of mourners have been paying their respects to the queen of soul by signing a book of condolence at detroit's motown museum. the singer died yesterday at the age of 76. and we will be taking
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an in—depth look at the papers with our reviewers tim stanley, leader writer of the telegraph, and susie boniface, columnist for the the daily mirror. that is coming up after the headlines at 11:30pm. now it is time for the weather. hello there. a bit of a weather cliche, i know, but we close out hour working week with a bit of a west east divide. the best of any brea ks west east divide. the best of any breaks in the cloud, sunshine and warmth is across much of eastern england. the further west you went, it was rather cloudy. it was grey and a little misty and murky in places as well. as you can see in cheshire. now, we did see a little bit of drizzly rain with it as well, and that is going to be the story as we go through the start of the weekend. a lot of cloud paling in, and a lot of humidity. and one of the reasons for this humidity is the re m na nts of the reasons for this humidity is the remnants of subtropical storm ernesto, which is heading towards the shores of the uk. what it will introduce is this moisture and humidity. it will eventually bring
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some rain for the second half of the weekend. not for all of us but some of it could be quite heavy for a time. it certainly behind those were the front we have got the south—westerly flow and its moist airso it will south—westerly flow and its moist air so it will be quite a humid feel to the story over the next couple of days. high—pressure always the feature further south, but this weather front will produce some rain at times over the weekend. so we start off than on saturday with cloud and outbreaks of drizzly rain across the scottish borders into northern ireland and north—west england. further south, where we get some breaks, the temperatures are really going to respond. it will be a breezy day, warm air coming from a south—westerly direction but we could see gales for a time in the far north west of scotland. here in the far north, again, we will see some dry and brighter weather. 15 to 20 degrees here. down in the south some sunshine coming through, 2a degrees, that is the mid— 70s in terms of fahrenheit. the weather front not moving very far at all and by sunday they will be pushing
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across northern ireland, central and southern scotland. there is a level of uncertainty just where southern scotland. there is a level of uncertaintyjust where this rain will be sitting and for a time some of it will be heavy. it looks as though the driest weather will be in the of scotland, and also into the south—east corner. again, if we get some sunshine, a warm and humid day. 24 some sunshine, a warm and humid day. 2a or 25 degrees. we keep that south—westerly flow into the early half of next week for a time, the warmest and the sunniest of the weather further south at 25 or 26 degrees. we will start to see a su btle degrees. we will start to see a subtle change as we move through our week ahead. so out of tuesday we will start to see the introduction into wednesday of a weather front pushing into the north—west. this will be fairly significant, because it is the dividing line between this warm and humid air down in the south and a change of wind direction up into the north—west. something just a little bit fresher starts to kick in. 15 to 18 degrees here, to the south of that weather front we are looking at highs of 2a to 26
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degrees. later in the week it looks likely that the wind erection, a north—westerly, will start to push its way down across the country. so we could see temperatures around average or slightly below in the far north as we move towards the latter stages of the week. all the time, the area of high pressure since its way across central and southern england, but that does allow these weather fronts to topple across the top of the high and bring some showery outbreaks of rain. not too much on the way of significant rainfall. looking further ahead it looks likely that that north—westerly wind will turn fresher. a good deal of dry weather in the forecasts, the most likely place for rain will be up into the far north—west. that's it, take care. they might have seen that. sorry. we are having trouble tonight. hello. this is bbc news with martine croxall. we'll be taking a look at tomorrow morning's papers in a moment.
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first, the headlines. devastating monsoon floods in the southern indian state of kerala have killed 170 people — 200,000 more have been left homeless. mps call for the rules around e—cigarettes to be relaxed. they say they help people to stop smoking. the prisons minister, rory stewart, promises to resign if he fails to reduce the level of drug use and violence in jails within a year. the department store chain house of fraser has cancelled all its online orders and refunding customers. it's because of a dispute with the retailer's warehouse operator. it never hurts to remember,


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