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tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 21, 2018 7:00pm-8:00pm GMT

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this is bbc news i'm carole walker. the headlines at seven. more disruption at gatwick — flights have now resumed following an earlier suspension, caused by a suspected drone sighting in the area. we are left to the wolves basically, we're left here. i can't go see my grandma, i can't go to the wedding, it is just not acceptable and it is deplorable. donald trump threatens a "very long" government shutdown if democrats don't fund his long—promised border wall. 30 years on from the explosion of pan am flight 103, people gather in lockerbie to remember the 270 people who died. the two towns separated by thousands of cancellations on the one train line between them. and never mind the turkey — this year's christmas
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number one pays homage to the humble sausage roll. good evening. flights at gatwick airport have resumed again after a temporary stoppage following reports of a drone in the area this evening. earlier hundreds of flights managed to get away though there is still major disruption at the airport, which is unlikely to be fully back on track until tomorrow evening. police have been searching for the person or the group operating the drone that has caused so much chaos and misery for more than a hundred thousand passengers. so far the police say only they have identified persons of interest. duncan kennedy reports.
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first light, and the firstjets finally touch down at gatwick, some 37 hours after this unprecedented shutdown began. inside, fatigue and frustration made hard bedfellows for those who couldn't get to a hotel, or those who couldn't afford one. among them, virginia goncalves from cornwall, who's seriously ill, but who spent the night propped up in an airport chair. it's horrible. it goes against your human rights, isn't it? i have stage—4 cancer, it's spread to the bones. for god's sake. the airport said tonight that flights had again been suspended because of a further suspected sighting of a drone. already, people like lucie howard—philbin from staffordshire say
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that their flights won't be leaving until sunday. how would you summarise this experience? it's horrendous, it's a nightmare. it's just... how about garron stevens and ian tetterfrom london, whose flight was cancelled this morning, meaning they'll now miss a family wedding in ghana? they are throwing us to the wolves, basically. we're left here, i can't see my grandma, i can't go to the wedding. it's not acceptable, it's deplorable, it's not good enough at all. their airline's gesture of apology — this this bag of chocolate. but what about compensation? well, the insurance industry says people should first contact their airline. they say airlines are not obliged to pay compensation, but say any costs incurred and general travel disruption will be covered by most people's travel insurance. my message to our passengers would be my apology for all of the disruption they have seen,
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to expect to see continued disruption into the weekend, to check with airlines to make sure their flight is travelling, to expect some disruption, and i'm going to have to continue to ask for their patience through this period. the squeeze at gatwick today fed the crush at st pancras. this was the queue for the eurostar trains to paris and brussels. but others did head to gatwick, hoping their flight would emerge from the chaos. so, they said just go there and see what happens. i wish! but i don't know. foreign flights into gatwick are also trying to catch up. this family were caught in rome. the fact is, with two children, i wanted to get back to see my family, that's the sad part about it. but we'll get there. one voice of optimism after a testing few days of pandemonium. and duncan gave us this update from gatwick on the resumption of flights this evening. this has been another extraordinary
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development in three days of extraordinary development here at britain's second busiest airport. the latest emergency began just over an hourago the latest emergency began just over an hour ago with gallic announced it was suspending flights yet again at a suspected drone citing, just a pasty of minutes, be said the suspension has now been ended and they are satisfied that flights can be resumed. in a statement, they said it was a cautionary measure and safety remains our main priority and the gatwick statement goes on to say, that the military measures we have in place at the airport have provided us with reassurance necessary that it is safe to reorganise airfields. these are the unspecified military measures that they are put in place of the last 2a hours to try and stop these bones taking off from around the airport
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perimeterfence. it taking off from around the airport perimeter fence. it have taking off from around the airport perimeterfence. it have been nearly 24 perimeterfence. it have been nearly 2a hours since the last fighting until tonight is one and the authorities were hoping that the flights and the airport was getting back to normal and indeed, it had been for something like six or 700 bytes getting away today. —— flights. there were delays and frustrations all day long with many passengers being delayed by hours and hours, some by a couple of days because of the huge backlog in getting back to normal but things have been progressing, lights have been going. around about a dozen flights were cancelled and devoted because of tonight ‘s new emergency and one suspects the other flights will now come in and plains of the ground will start taking off but again, it is going to take them well into the weekend to rectify all these problems and that made the affected little bit more by this latest emergency, but passengers should still continue to phone the airlines before travelling to
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gatwick. we were told the night they should still expect some delays, at least until saturday and possibly into sunday as well. as we've been saying, the police are still searching for those responsible for closing down the uk's second largest airport. the police say it's a difficult job and they're asking the public for help. tom symonds has more. the latest glimpse of what might be the rogue drone. police haven't seen it up close. until tonight's suspected sighting, it hadn't been spotted above gatwick since 10pm last night. the vulnerability of this major international airport airport is now stark. result, the government is under pressure. this is an entirely new kind of threat and we are going to have to move very quickly. one of the things i intend to do very quickly indeed is convene discussions across all of our airports. there are some systems beginning to be introduced in some airports around the world that could have an impact on this,
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but there is no single, simple solution off the shelf, deliverable very quickly. we have had to assemble a variety of different measures around that airport to make sure it is safe. the police won't say what systems they are using to protect gatwick airport, which isjust over there. some are high—tech, others, well, less so. this officer has been placed here as a spotter, looking for incoming drones. he is one of a number dotted all around the airport. we've been told systems capable of bringing them down with nets have been offered to gatwick airport. another system in operation, according to one senior source, is similar to this. it can jam radio frequencies used by the drones within a defined area. but the police admit it took some time to respond. there are always some measures in place. the additions to those took some time to request and to arrive here at gatwick airport. what sort of time?
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yeah, we're talking hours, rather than days but coordinating that, deploying that, getting that set up at gatwick has taken some time and we have learnt from that. the pilots' union also has concerns about the current rules, which banned drones within a kilometre of an airport. the pilots say that is not enough. well, a kilometre out, you'd be at 200 feet so that is only half the height you are allowed to fly a drone at, officially, under the current government numbers and regulations. so, if you are a drone flyer you actually think you're allowed to fly your drone very near an aeroplane and you are not. police say they have got a lot of information and what they describe as persons of interest. they want to hear from people who might have seemed drones taking off and landing, and they are continuing to watch the skies for incoming threats. i'm joined via webcam by shashankjoshi, who is the defence editor of the economist
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thank you forjoining us this evening. do you think what has happened here at gatwick does expose a vulnerability of a huge airport like this, should it not have had measures in place to stop these drones? i think that is right. i think a huge amount of attention has gone into threats from drones but most of that attention has been in situations where there is a risk of loss of life that has been on big sporting events, the risk of terrorist attacks, the risk of assassinations, of course we saw a attempted assassination a few months ago, and in those scenarios and situations, the options for taking down the drone are jamming or kinetic attack, whether by nets or bullets or some other kind of measure, where there are risks associated with that, are palatable
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or acceptable. it is acceptable to shoot down a drone of the risk is immediate cause of life —— loss of life, but in the case of disruption, many of the choices will have been designed by military purposes or in situations of mass cattle to terrorist attacks, so i think the rabiot is available but using some of those options will be a slightly more difficult political and policy challenge the cause of the context of gatwick, be fact that the downside is disruption to fight rather than loss of life so i think the challenge will be now, focusing on how we protect these big vulnerable sites where the risk is not just terrorism vulnerable sites where the risk is notjust terrorism episodes like this. what about tracking down the people who appear to be deliberately flying a drone or drones and causing this disruption? is there really know way of tracking or treating
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with the drones irving operated from? if they are operated by radio and radio direction finding and locating the source of transmissions isa locating the source of transmissions is a possibility that mac but i think what i would also say is that it is possible for the operators to be moving around, for example in a van or a car, and that can make the job locating them very difficult. many drones, sophisticated or not, can be preprogrammed to fly particular points and in that sense, they do not necessarily need to have continuous direction and signal sent from an operator that would give the location away. that may also be copying thejob of location away. that may also be copying the job of those doing this task but having said that, now the army is involved with what i would imagine is extremely considerable wa rfa re imagine is extremely considerable warfare capability, i would be very
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surprised if the direction finding and locating the origin is not something that can now be done in a more timely way. if that is not the case, there must be some other explanation which i think is even more completed and that sum—mac —— more completed and that sum—mac —— more costly to add that. there are lots of theories about who might be buying this, one theory is owned by mental protest or a russian attempt to stop things or simply a lone wolf. what do you think is the most likely explanation? we simply cannot say until we have more evidence that the device was used, the depressed occasion of the signals —— the sophistication of the signals but they are able to evade the level of they are able to evade the level of the british state, we're talking about a reasonably sophisticated operator. the environment theory is
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only based on past closure of ru nways only based on past closure of runways and targeting airports, i do not think it is anything more than that. i think state is very unlikely, of course states like russia may have in interest in learning about the extent to sophistication of anti—drone capabilities but i do not think they will go in for capabilities but i do not think they will go inforan capabilities but i do not think they will go in for an operation like this with the enormous political risk, particularly after the enormous the dramatic pressure on russia that we would see. so i think this date is a fairly implausible consideration, i think the most likely expedition would be small or article group were looking at disruption over a prolonged period rather than an act of terrorism, violence. there will be pressure on the authorities now to get better systems in place to prevent a repeat of this, with one eyed diaby beside
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your —— would one idea be the idea of increasing zones around the airport. at the moment you are not allowed to fight within one kilometre of an airport, many other countries have various. is that something that the government should be looking at? the case for an exclusion zone and the judgment of the exclusion zone may be strong but it would not necessarily stop people from circumventing that you have to ask the fundamental question of, how do you enforce the exclusion zone. not necessarily what the exclusion zone is. you can have detected technology, monitoring technology but simplyjamming gps signal around a continuously functioning airport is not only legally, dated at operationally, dated giving the number of aircraft systems using gps and other signals around in airport. soi and other signals around in airport. so i was the do not fixate on the
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exclusion zone or the rules but ask how we will enforce the rules that will inevitably be tightened up in the months ahead. thank you for joining us this evening. we will find out how the story and many others will be covered on the front pages. 0ur guestsjoining me tonight are michael booker, who's the deputy editor at the daily express, and the daily mirror columnist, susie boniface. essex police say they are dealing with a "complex" incident in the thames estuary after a group of stowaways were found on a container ship. the italian vessel was seen circling in the estuary off the coast of essex and kent — it had left nigeria ten days ago the owners of the vessel said four stowaways had threatened the ship's staff. but police say they're not treating the incident as either a hostage, piracy or terror—related situation, and there are no reports of anyone being harmed. the headlines on bbc news:
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flights in and out of gatwick airport have resumed after they were suspended briefly this evening when a drone was sighted over the airfield. president trump has threatened the us government will shut down, if the senate doesn't approve funding for his border wall. a remembrance service has taken place in lockerbie to remember the 270 people who were killed when pan am flight 103 was destroyed by a bomb over the town in 1988. donald trump has lost another key member of staff — the defence secretary james mattis has resigned following the president's sudden announcement that he will withdraw us troops from syria. it's a decision that has caused concern among nato allies and dismayed many republicans. general mattis is understood to oppose the move. there are also reports that the number of american troops in afghanistan is about to be halved. 0ur north america editor
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jon sopel has the latest. generaljames mattis is going, but not quietly. the president announced last night he was retiring. but make no mistake, this is a resignation. the defence secretary, making clear that he disagrees with donald trump's isolationism, his attacks on nato, his failure to criticise china and russia sufficiently. and his searing letter concludes, because you have the right to have a defence secretary whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, i believe it is right for me to step down from my position. the last straw was the president unilaterally announcing the withdrawal of us troops from syria, with no consultation or coordination, against the advice of all of his national security staff. it's also emerged that america is to pull 7,000 troops out of afghanistan, to the horror of america's allies.
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and concern has been expressed across the board. secretary mattis was one of the few symbols, the few items of strength and stability in this administration. everything that indicates stability, everything that indicates strength, everything that indicates knowledge is leaving this administration. and even the ultra—loyal senate majority leader, the republican mitch mcconnell, broke ranks. but at the white house, they are playing down the impact of his departure. they agree to disagree at times, but that doesn't mean you can't have a good relationship with somebody. he was laying out the reasons he was stepping down from his post, and beyond that, think it is absurd to try to question the fact that they worked together for two full years. for an administration well used to disruption, the year is ending with maximum turmoil.
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in the past couple of months, the chief of staff has gone, the attorney general, the interior secretary and the un ambassador. the stock market is plunging, and today, barring a miracle, the government will shut down in a row over border funding. today is the shortest day. in the white house, it probably feels like one of the longest. jon sopel, bbc news, washington. general mattis' resignation comes amid wider impending chaos in washington — donald trump has threatened a "very long" government shutdown if democrats do not vote through funding in the senate for his long—promised us—mexico border wall. the government will begin a partial shutdown at midnight if no budget deal is reached. this is what president trump had to say earlier. it is totally up to the democrats, totally up to the democrats as to whether or not we have a shutdown. it is possible we will have
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a shutdown, i would say the chances are probably very good because i don't think democrats care as much about maybe this issue, but this is a very big issue. it is an issue of pride, it is an issue of safety, it is an issue of, least importantly, dollars. 0ur correspondent gary 0'donoghue is in washington. just bring us up to date first of all. what is the latest in this effort to try and get an agreement on the budget? it is running into the sand, to be honest. at the moment of the senate is going through the process of trying to decide whether to vote on a bill that went through the house yesterday and this bill contains 5 billion dollars for the war. another 8 billion for disaster relief which was hoped by republicans with the ——
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would sweeten the bill for democrats. in the senate, they would need to get 60 votes which me getting a whole bunch of democrats on their site to get that process and measure through. it is not going to happen. a lot of people have left town and the going through the motions quite frankly. i think the is that there will be a partial shutdown tonight and you are looking at 800,000 federal employees who will be affected, just over half of those are in emergency rules so they will have to go to work. there are people like security at airports, border control, that kind of thing. they will have to go to work without being paid, the rest of those 380,000 people will be sent home on leave and not get paid as well, at least not get paid now. so, that is quite a nice quiz is present role bunch of federal and for use. ——
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nice christmas present. at the centre of this, is president trump insisting that democrats and others must approve of budget that includes money for the war? —— wall. must approve of budget that includes money for the war? -- wall. that is at various times the right. at various times the president said the democrats will be blamed for the shutdown. these shutdowns, and this rather than a complete one, so one rather than a complete one, so people and the wider country would necessarily be live very much. those who are getting paid will below. this is something that can only be resolved if he agrees to sign something. if he signs a clean, what they call continuing resolution, which is an extension of funding for these few departments that don't have budgets at the moment. if he signs that that would involve a massive u—turn on his part, that is
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the only potential game in this town. he will not do it, at least not today. he may do it in a week's time when to see how the politics are working out because the big game in all these things, is who loses out politically, who looks like they are getting the blame from inside the country for the shutdown. in a week's time if there is a lot of stuff with kids not been able to get into national parks or the air and space museum and stuff like that during the summer —— winter holidays, than the dynamics might change. the other thing to remember is that on the 3rd of january, change. the other thing to remember is that on the 3rd ofjanuary, a change. the other thing to remember is that on the 3rd of january, a new congress after the midterms, the democrats control the house at that stage and he definitely will get the funding through at that stage the mac —— you definitely will not get funding at that stage. 20. -- thank
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you. measles cases in europe this year are set to be the highest this century — and more than double those in 2017. 72 people have died of the disease this year and health experts are blaming the anti—vaccine for the increase. we are nowjoined by — dr seth berkley the ceo of the global vaccine alliance gavi. thank you forjoining us this evening. why rbc and this huge increase in measles cases? there are a couple of things. the main thing is that vaccines have been so effective that people have forgotten how bad these diseases really are the mac the aisle —— burstein as diseases of children that would not make people very sick but of course they do. this year we are going to have over 110,000 death from measles around the world so we need to have people understand how important it is to control this disease. are the biggest increases in the number of
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cases in countries where there have been significant moves against the vaccine programme? of course, we had a situation where the disease was well controlled in wealthy countries and not so wealthy control —— not so controlled in the developing world. they are doing better at shockingly, in the developed world we are seeing people what a way from the vaccine and so we have seen outbreaks across europe, across the americas, venezuela is a big example, there is missed a 500% increase in cases in europe right now and this is linked to the ante vaccine movement and news that is not placing the facts in front of the public. for example, we have seen some of the 5—star movement in italy, it came out very strongly against the use of these vaccines. what is their case against this? the initial story was a little
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confused. it was they said it was linked to autism and non—organic and a range of issues like that, since there has been any increased number of cases they have gone ahead and reinstated vaccines and i think we are seeing... it looks as though we might have lost doctor seth arkley. apologies. i do not know whether he is still with us. can you hear me? yes i can. let mejust is still with us. can you hear me? yes i can. let me just ask you, do you need to launch a new campaign to try and counter the arguments against the use of these vaccines? the big challenge is, what do people
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trust from news. they used to be that people trusted... u nfortu nately, we that people trusted... unfortunately, we are having a lot of difficulty with the line to the doctor. many apologies for that. i think we were getting the mean just about a huge increase in measles cases, particularly where there have been some pains against the vaccine programme. let us catch up with the weather. now it's time for a look at the weather with chris fawkes. hello there. many of us will have seen showers or some fairly lengthy outbreaks of rain through the day today but looking at the weather picture to the north and west, you can see, we have still got some shower clouds showing up and they are going to continue to bring some downpours over the night across the north and west of the country. so, it is staying quite wet for a time, particularly for western scotland. rain also with us for northern england, although tending to ease in intensity as we go on through the night. it will be quite a mild and breezy night for most of
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the uk with temperatures in a range of around five to eight celsius but turning cold across the north east of england and northern eastern areas of scotland where there will be a few patches of frost to start saturday morning. now, saturday is a sunshine and showers kind of day but some places will get more than theirfair share. for example, most of the showers affecting the north west of the uk and particularly western scotland, where there will be a line with the direction of wind, some of those showers will be very lengthy. but it will be a mild kind of day, top temperatures on saturday, up to 12 degrees. that is your weather. hello. this is bbc news with carole walker. the headlines... flights in and out of gatwick airport have resumed after they were suspended briefly this evening when a drone was sighted over the airfield. a remembrance service has taken place in lockerbie to remember the 270 people who were killed when pan am flight 103 was destroyed by a bomb over the town in 1988. president trump has threatened the us government will shut down
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if the senate doesn't approve funding for his border wall. and this year's christmas number one is ladbaby‘s we built this city on sausage rolls — a parody of the 1985 starship song. it's 30 years ago today that pan—am flight 103 was blown up in mid—air over the market town of lockerbie. wreaths have been laid and a silence held at a memorial service in honour of the 270 people who lost their lives. 0ur scotland correspondent lorna gordon reports. bagpipes play 0n the shortest day, lockerbie remembered its longest night, remembered the 270 people who lost their lives in the deadliest terror attack the uk has ever suffered. this, a day of dignified
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remembrance of those who died. among the passengers on the pan—am flight, helga mosey. she was 19, and every year her parents travel to lockerbie to remember a life cut short. we miss our daughter, and we wonder how she would have done, what her musical career would have been like. would we have been grandparents to her children? we don't know. we still remember her as she was, lively. and be thankful we had her for so long. 19 years isn't long, but they were happy years. the only person to be convicted of the bombing, the libyan man, abdelbaset al—megrahi died after being released from a scottish prison on compassionate grounds. his family has lodged a new attempt to appeal against his conviction. there is also an ongoing criminal investigation, with two other libyans identified as suspects.
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for some, like jim swire who lost his daughter flora in the attack, there are still unanswered questions. 0verwhelmingly, the awful thing about lockerbie was the needless death of 270 innocent people, who could have been protected had the government of the day taken appropriate steps. having said that, the refusal of our government, and the american government, of course, to come out with what they know about the truth, has been a terrible added burden to many. 30 years ago, lockerbie became tied to tragedy and in the decades since, with kindness, humanity and compassion, the people here have offered comfort to the victims' families, remembrance and respect. the government has issued further advice to businesses that trade with the eu on how to prepare for the possibility of a no—deal brexit. 80,000 companies have received the emails this afternoon. 0ur consumer affairs correspondent, colletta smith, has spent the day with a small business in wakefield to see what preparations they're making.
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that finishes another order, and then that's it for christmas. mark is making a list and he's checking it twice. is this for the assemblyjob at the bottom of the shop? just a few final tasks before the 100 staff here in wakefield can clock off. right, i'm going, mate. i'll see you after christmas. have a good one, yeah? they're making parts for high—tech production lines that'll be sent all over the world. once we pick up components that we need to make sure we getjust in time, here in the uk... while the holidays begin for staff, there's a final assignment that the boss has to deal with. the key thing here is alljust about delay to imports. a last—minute e—mail has landed from the government. 119 pages of info about the new rules and costs of importing and exporting if there is no deal reached with the eu. are you feeling any more reassured? as far as i'm concerned, we just need certainty. i mean, there's nothing here that we haven't actually discussed internally or discussed with our stakeholders,
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whether they be key customers or support services. we have to make sure we got a clear vision. we need stability. and if we plan for the worst—case scenario and we can actually cope with that, the downside we can cope with, everything else is up. it's notjust bigger companies who are having to navigate this document. there are all sorts of extra costs, extra customs arrangements that they will have to overcome. many smaller businesses have never dealt with that, and they will have to be doing that for the first time. the advice that has been given far from hmrc is only limited. the government say it's important businesses are taking action. we are now ramping up our preparations for no—deal, which means there are certain things that those businesses that expect to continue to export to or import from the european union after a potential no—deal, as unlikely as that is, the kind of things they'll have to do. is it going to spoil your turkey dinner? hopefully it won't spoil my turkey dinner.
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but it may keep me awake at night, just wondering why orders have not been placed. our customers need certainty, they will not place orders with us until they are certain about their market. off home for christmas, but when businesses gear up after the break, brexit planning remains the biggest issue on many to—do lists. now, as we near the end of 2018, let's look ahead to what we can expect to happen in the run up to the day we are due to leave the european union on march 29th. these are the thoughts of some of our best brexit brains. it's almost the impossible question. what is going to happen here in 2019 with brexit? can it be any madder than last year? er, well, yes, it probably can. the one thing we do know is we are set for the big meaningful vote in the middle of january. at least, we think we are. and that should be a moment of some clarity. we will know whether the prime minister's deal is going
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to go down, or whether mrs may surprises everyone and delivers on her brexit deal. but if it does go down, well then a whole range of options just explode all over the place. 0ption one is we could drift towards no deal. we could simply slip out on the 29th of march without any agreement. the other possibility is momentum really builds up behind a second referendum. although, there are all sorts of questions... how do you set up a second referendum? what would be the questions on the ballot paper? would it really resolve anything? and that leaves option three, which i think might be what possibly happens, and that is we ask for time. we can't make up our minds, so, yes, we better take a bit longer. in other words, someone decides we're going to have to ask for an extension of article 50, or even revoke article 50. the real danger in predicting any of this is
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because brexit has changed all the rules in this place when it comes to politics. all the traditional party loyalties no longer apply. friends are foes, party discipline has broken down, right and left no longer really matters, you just can't predict what's going to happen. what's on the horizon for the eu in 2019? well, brexit, of course. that's due to happen with relatively little fanfare on the 29th of march, and then the negotiations over the future relationship with the uk will begin in earnest, and they are going to be massive. well, that's the theory, anyway. i suspect theresa may will be back in brussels, trying to seek more reassurances to help her sell her brexit deal back home. if that doesn't go through, the eu has some back—up plans. they'd be prepared to extend the article 50 negotiating process, if the uk asks for it.
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and they have contingencies in place in case there is a no—deal brexit. but what all these countries are really focused on is the european parliament elections, due at the end of may. will the old centre—right, centre—left and liberal parties really be challenged by the eurosceptics, and the populists, who seem to be on the rise, virtually everywhere? there will be some big changes to the eu's top jobs, because jean—claude juncker, the president of the european commission, is retiring. he will have to be replaced. they will also have to find a new foreign policy chief, a new president of the european parliament and a new president of the european central bank. all the eu leaders will meet for a massive summit in the romanian city of sibiu on 9th of may, where they will sit down and plot a future for the eu that doesn't have the uk in it anymore. business is going to start 2019 where it left off in 2018,
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under dark brexit clouds of uncertainty, and you'll see in the first three months, those businesses that haven't got ready for it beginning to think what they thought was unthinkable, that we might leave with no deal. so, a crash course in customs, vat, cash flow, inventory, all that kind of stuff, is going to keep businesses very busy in the first three months of the year. we may have to ask the eu for a bit more time, which will give some breathing space but extend the period of uncertainty, where businesses invest less. businesses also care about what their customers are doing, and we're finishing 2018 with consumer confidence at a five—year low. now, that, in a way, is a bit of a surprise because the good news is that unemployment is very low and wages are going up faster than inflation. so, on paper, we're all getting a bit better off every day and that is good news for business. 2019 is shaping up, perhaps, to be the most challenging and unpredictable year to run a business in living memory and there will be some very tense
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moments in the weeks and months ahead. but if we focus on a bit of good news — the most important economic fact, perhaps, in anyone's life is whether they have a job or not, and record numbers of us do. wages are going up faster than inflation. so, we start from a position of reasonable strength for what promises to be a very interesting year. this year many train passengers have had to endure delays, cancellations and changing timetables. but spare a thought for the inhabitants of 0rmskirk and preston. figures?obtained?by bbc news show that northern rail has cancelled more?than 2,000 services since may on the one line between the two towns. the boss of northern has told us the situation for all? its passengers will improve, after?scores? of services were suspended? in the?autumn. if it doesn't, ?the mayor of greater manchester, andy burnham, says the company should be stripped of its franchise. 0ur transport correspondent, tom burridge, reports. is this the worst
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rail line in britain? it's been for a year now, a year ofjust not knowing when it's going to turn up. people are worried about theirjobs. when you're always late and it's not yourfault. and there are people who had written warnings. in one week last month, not a single train ran. for us passengers, we feel kind of abandoned, forgotten, and generally treated as second—class passengers by this rail company. the fact that i've got to tell work that i'm going to be late for work, or i'm not going to be able to make it that day, and because i get paid hourly, i lose those hours. the line, run by northern, links 0rmskirk to preston, two large towns in the north west of england, with places in between. this is the main way out of the village, the lifeline of the village. 0ur figures show that a third of all services on this line simply didn't run in the last six months.
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it's symptomatic of how rail passengers in the north of england have been badly let down. i know that the service we offered in parts of 2018 has just not been acceptable. myself and the team are fully committed to getting that right, and we are seeing that incremental improvement. the improvement hasn't come in the last few months, has it? it's coming now, and we're starting to see a stabilisation of the timetable. are you fit to run this franchise? northern are absolutely fit, and i'm absolutely committed to delivering the franchise and the commitments we've got. next year, we're starting to see more capacity, new trains being introduced on the system. the mayor of greater manchester isn't so sure. i think they should be given a clear notice. things have to improve, certainly by the very latest at the may timetable change next year. and if they don't, they should be stripped of the franchise. back in 0rmskirk, a familiar story. it's gotten even better — 15 minutes late. for some, this isn't just about trains. if you haven't got a good public
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transport system and a good rail system in the area, people will not bring money in to invest in the area, to expand. they'll move somewhere else. northern rail says trains were damaged by autumn leaves and so services were moved off this line elsewhere. the government says it's reviewing the performance of rail companies in the north of england. if there has been a breach of any franchise agreement, measures will be taken. tom burridge, bbc news, in west lancashire. one person has died following a shooting outside a restaurant popular with tourists in central vienna. another person was injured in the incident and a hunt for the perpetrator is under way. a police spokeswoman said the shooting appears to have been a "targeted criminal act" and ruled out terrorism. borisjohnson has been cleared of breaking the tories' code of conduct with comments he made about women wearing burkas. he had written that they looked liked "letter boxes" or "bank robbers" in a telegraph column in which he argued against a ban on full—face veils.
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it prompted dozens of complaints but it is understood an independent panel established by the party has decided he had been " respectful and tolera nt". at the time, the tory chairman brandon lewis and theresa may called on him to apologise. a fugitive drug trafficker from nottinghamshire has beenjailed for 22 years in france. robert dawes was found guilty of importing more than a tonne of cocaine on a flight to paris, packed in 30 suitcases. the national crime agency say he was a global "big fish" who brokered deals with the italian mafia and colombian cartels. the headlines on bbc news... flights in and out of gatwick airport have resumed after they were suspended briefly this evening when a drone was sighted over the airfield. president trump has threatened the us government will shut down, if the senate doesn't approve funding for his border wall. a remembrance service has taken
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place in lockerbie to remember the 270 people who were killed when pan am flight 103 was destroyed by a bomb over the town in 1988. england's chief medical officer has accused the food industry of failing the public, by not doing enough to cut salt and sugar in its products. professor dame sally davies said companies should face taxes on unhealthy food if they fail to improve. 0ur health correspondent catherine burns reports. the warning is clear — at the moment, society is balanced in a way so it is easier to make unhealthy choices and we need to tip the scales the other way. half of all deaths in england are due to four reasons — bad diet, smoking, drinking too much, and a lack of exercise. the chief medical officer says we can turn this around, but only if food companies take action.
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we know the industry are not doing enough to make our food healthy. there's too much sugar, too much salt, so far they are failing on this. so if they don't get to it and deliver, we will need government to put in place taxes. and then i have a dream that we could use the taxes raised to subsidise fresh fruit and vegetables for all of us. the government has already introduced a tax on sugary drinks, that came in in april and had raised more than £150 million by the end of october. but many companies changed their recipes to cut sugar and so avoid paying the tax. the food and drink federation says its members are making good progress, cutting sugar in the average shopping baskets by 12%. it accepts that there is more work to be done, but argues that taxing
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unhealthy food is not the way to do it. meanwhile, it has been confirmed that the government has allocated £2110 million less to public health in england next year. catherine burns, bbc news. more than 100 new species of plant and fungi were discovered by the royal botanic gardens at kew in the last year. the discoveries include carnivorous pitcher plants, and exotic orchids. scientists say some could lead to new types of medicines or crops, as helen briggs reports. plants have been on the planet for hundreds of millions of years, but we're still discovering more of them, some in the most unlikely of places. this tiny herb was found clinging to the edge of a waterfall in sierra leone. the scientist who found it sent a specimen to kew for identification. it's got unique characteristics that are unlike any other plant in that particular family. and that, straight away, indicated to me that we had come across something very unique.
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the plant now bears his name, but under threat from development, its future looks bleak, and that's the case for many plants which could have hidden potential. it's important that we discover these new species to science, work out their conservation risk and manage them for their survival. if they become extinct, we lose opportunities to discover new medicinal applications, new foods, new fibres that humanity is going to need. scientist here at kew have helped discover more than 100 new plants this year alone. it's only by naming and cataloguing plants that they can understand the richness of the plant world and how to save what's left. this cola plant from cameroon is thought to be a new species, and botanical artist lucy smith is bringing it back to life on the page. by recording the plants of the world in all their incredible shape and form, botanists hope
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to highlight the plight of the species that are vanishing before our eyes. helen briggs, bbc news. thousands of people have been flocking to view the new mural by banksy, which is painted on the side of a garage in port talbot in south wales. it portrays a child playing in the ash from a skip fire. volunteers have been protecting the site and say many more visitors are expected to come to see it. tonight the hollywood actor michael sheen, who's from the south wales town, has offered to pay for a screen to protect the artwork. will fife reports. a few days on, and there is still a huge buzz in the air here. a genuine piece from one of the world's most famous living artists. for the past 72 hours, there has been a constant stream of new arrivals coming to the site to catch a glimpse of this artwork. sometimes arriving as early as 3am. it's a bit bizarre.
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but i suppose that's what he does, he picks locations all over the world. we're from australia and my daughter knows of his work very well. you rarely get a chance to see an artwork of such an artist, it is quite remarkable. always been interested in banksy because i'm from bristol itself and because he's a hometown boy for me. always a lot of interest. i have been well aware that he has never painted in wales before. even with the global attention, so too comes the threat of things like vandalism, of what could almost certainly have become one of the uk's most valuable garages. it will increase the local economy. i think it will increase port talbot football. i think the coffee shops and restaurants had better stock up because as people come to make pilgrimages to see this wonderful, magnificent banksy, they will need to be fed and watered. since the importance of the piece was first realised,
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volunteers from the community have been working around the clock to make sure this artwork stays safe for everyone to enjoy. and now, following an intervention from a local businessmen and hollywood actor michael sheen, it is going to be fitted with a protective screen similar to what you might find in an art gallery, to keep it permanently protected. the young academy players of norwich city have set their sights on scoring on the pitch and in the kitchen this christmas. the boys wanted to thank their parents and host families for all their support this year, so they decided to cook and serve christmas dinner for them, with a little expert help from the club's owner, delia smith. tonight, delia's head chef becomes the head coach as players from norwich city's academy take over. so what's it like working in delia's kitchen, then? it's a different experience
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to normal, cos obviously, we are normally out on the pitch training, so it's like being in a different environment, loads of important people out there that i need to impress. so even if it means doing it in the kitchen, it's all good. what is on the menu tonight? well, i don't actually know! laughter. well, he didn't know, but the boss will. three courses — celery soup to start followed by turkey, and for dessert, black forest roulade. so is this one of your exact recipes? yes, it is. absolutely, except the way the pastry chefs make it here is much more elegant than i would. mine's a sort of big roll, and it doesn't matter if it cracks and all that because its home cooking. how are your sous chefs getting on? they're doing great. a lot of these guys, it's the first time they have been in the kitchen, and as you can see, they look quite comfortable and they're happy and relaxed, and hopefully, they're going to have a bit of fun. the under—18s invited all house parents, local parents and the odd
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special guest to christmas dinner to say thank you for their support. the canaries keen to educate them as football and rounded people. they've got to be used to performing under pressure. that's all part of their development. in an industry where the goal is to get to the top, they've got to be able to perform every day and make progress every day. a little bit nerve—racking, but i feel like i can do it. it's about giving back to our parents and also the people in the club, the bigger people who have put money into us because, at the end of the day, they're the ones making our dreams come true. proud of the boys, no doubt, for doing this? yes, absolutely. it's a good atmosphere and funny. hopefully a nice evening. you should get a pretty good dinner. they've got to look after the head coach, haven't they? yeah, i'm not sure. we will see! did you cook today?
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no, i didn't cook today. i'm just hosting. i'm a good cook! norwich's head coach praying the food tastes as good as it looks. of course it will — it's delia's at christmas. after beating off competition from the likes of stars such as ariana grande, a dad who blogs about his experience of parenthood has made the christmas number one with a homage to the humble sausage roll. ladbaby — real name mark hoyle — together with his wife and two sons #we # we built this city, we built this city sausage rolls... ladbaby — real name mark hoyle — together with his wife and two sons made the single for charity. they're donating all of the profits from their single to the trussell trust, which runs foodbanks across the country. who'd have thought it? a humble
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sausage roll and all for charity. and here's the moment mark hoyle found out his song had reached number one. that means this year's official christmas number one on radio1 is like a baby, built this city. hello. how's it going? you must be having the strangest day. i'm having the strangest year! i don't know what's going on. you've done it. i honestly can't thank people enough of thank you to honestly everybody that's downloaded, that's streamed, that's even bootlegged it, no matter where you listened to this song, thank you so you listened to this song, thank you so much for sharing it in spreading the word and raising so much money for the amazing charity. a heart—warming moment for the christmas number one. now the weather. we've seen quite a bit of rain today, especially in the morning,
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but that's cleared out. showers have followed but, in between, some glimpses of sunshine. this is the scene at the end of the day in newton abbott. 0vernight, we've got a bit of rain left, pushing away from northern england, with showers continuing on and off through the night for west scotland and northern ireland, becoming dry further south. mild for most, but turning chilly with patches of frost in the north—east of the country. saturday, not a bad day, a day of sunshine and showers. the majority of showers will be in the north and west but, because they are aligned with the winds, some of those showers could be lengthy. in the sunshine, not feeling too bad, highs of 9 degrees in edinburgh and 12 in london and plymouth, so on the mild side. for the second half of the weekend, an area of low pressure spreading outbreaks of rain across the uk and bringing some enormous temperature contrasts. cold airflowing in in the north, but the air in the south is coming from a long way south,
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so some enormous contrasts as we go through sunday. wet in england and wales, some rain might get into northern ireland and southern scotland, some uncertainty how far north or south it will be, but for the moment it looks like scotland will have the best dry weather, but the air is getting colder, about 6 degrees in aberdeen in stornoway compared with 13 in london and plymouth. for christmas eve, we will see the rain return across southern counties, but it will tend to ease as pressure builds, but some damp and drizzly weather here for a time on monday. further north and east, some sunshine, the best of it in the north—east, some low cloud in the west with mist with mist and fog patches. quite chilly air getting in across the north of the uk, with temperatures struggling, around 4 degrees in aberdeen, and turning cooler in the south. for christmas day, this warm air
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pushing back northwards across the atlantic and, as that tries to move in to the uk, quite a lot of low cloud developing, especially in western areas, with patches of drizzle. the best of any bright weather with sunshine will be further east. this is bbc news. the headlines at 8pm. more disruption at gatwick, flights have now resumed following an earlier suspension, caused by a suspected drone sighting in the area. we're left here, i can't go and see my grandma, i can't go to the wedding and you know it's not acceptable, it's deplorable. donald trump threatens a "very long" government shutdown if democrats don't fund his long—promised border wall. 30 years on from the explosion of pan am flight 103, people gather in lockerbie to remember the 270 people who died.
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the two towns separated by thousands of cancellations on the one train line between them.
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