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tv   BBC News  BBC News  March 24, 2019 9:00am-9:30am GMT

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this is bbc news, i'm martine croxall. the headlines at nine. pressure mounts on theresa may. senior conservatives tell the prime minister her brexit deal is more likely to pass if she stands down. her departure is guaranteed. what is not guaranteed is her legacy and is her legacy going to be that she failed to deliver on the largest mandate that any government has been given to a referendum or has she succeeded in doing that? given to a referendum or has she ministers are reported to be split over whether mrs may's de—facto or brexiteer michael gove. rescuers are airlifting hundreds of passengers and crew from a cruise ship, off the coast of norway. mozambican authorities say half a million people are affected by cyclone idai —
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the raf will fly out aid supplies today. the organ transplant service is at "breaking point", that's the warning from one of the uk s leading transplant surgeons. and our sunday morning edition of the papers is at 9.35 — this mornings reviewers are owen bennett, head of politics at city am, and prashant rao, global editor at the atlantic. senior conservatives say they've told theresa may that her brexit deal is more likely to be approved in a fresh commons vote — if she promises to step down. the prime minister is trying to win support for the agreement, which has twice been rejected. but she's already admitted a third
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vote won't be held if the backing doesn't appear to be there. so with the timeline of events in the house of commons this week uncertain — let's take a look at the dates the uk was due to leave the eu at the end of this week — friday the 29th of march. but at an eu summit in brussels on thursday eu leaders agreed to give the uk an extension. under a new timetable, brexit will be delayed until may the 22nd, but only if theresa may gets her withdrawal agreement passed by mps next week, something that still seems unlikely. if the deal fails again, or the prime minster decides against another vote, then the uk has until the 12th of april to propose another way forward, or risk leaving without a deal. speaking to bbc breakfast this morning — the conservative mp nigel evans says whatever happens, the next few days and weeks will determined theresa may's legacy. it is exactly the same
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as what happened to margaret thatcher, of course. a cabinet, one after one, went in and said, "i'm afraid it's game up." i personally don't want to see that happen by the way. i want to her to be given the opportunity to get her withdrawal agreement through and she is yet to put that for the third meaningful vote. and there is all this talk about having an interim leader, whether it's david liddington or michael gove and all that sort of stuff. i think the prime minister, her departure is guaranteed in the short—term. it is not going to be long now so her departure is guaranteed. what is not guaranteed is her legacy and is her legacy going to be that she failed to deliver on the largest mandate that any government has been given to a referendum? or has she succeeded in doing that? she is either going to fail or succeed and that is going to be her legacy. she at least has got to be given the opportunity over the next few days to deliver that. joining me with more on this is our political
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correspondent, nick eardley. given that theresa may survived a vote of no confidence from her mps last year, she supposed to be safe for 12 months. how could they get rid of her? that mechanism for ousting the prime minister is gone. but the suggestion this morning is there is a growing feeling within there is a growing feeling within the cabinet and within the wider conservative party that the prime minister needs to go to and this log jam. is it inevitable that she goes in the coming days? absolutely not. how many times have we sat here and speculated over at theresa may's future said she has in a lot of trouble, and she has survived. but there is concern in the party and within cabinet and the thing i think is slightly different this time is there are talks at a fairly advanced stage right up to a cabinet level
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about who would replace her in the short—term as a caretaker prime minister. someone like potentially her de facto deputy david lidington, who has been overseeing a lot of talks with the other parties of a help brexited proceed with the environment secretary michael gove. how do you put a caretaker prime minister in place regarding the rules of the conservative party. that is a question i've been asking numerous times this morning. i cannot tell you the answer. it word i have heard so many times over the last couple of days is fluid. this is so fast—moving at the moment the conservative party is figuring out what it is going to do. you heard nigel evans saying in the short—term he thinks the prime minister will go whilst cash, another brexiteers, thinks the imminent resignation of the prime minister is on the cards and a realistic prospect. others are
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saying the issue is not the prime minister, it is how we so expect that and how we get a deal that can get through parliament. —— how we sort brexit. there is a feeling up to cabinet level you might have more chance getting this through without theresa may. let me explain why. the first school of thought is if theresa may said she was going to 90, theresa may said she was going to go, you can get another leader in to negotiate the future relationship. in theory it is the easy bit of this, how we leave. let mejust in theory it is the easy bit of this, how we leave. let me just say, it has not been accepted yet. we do not know how we're going to leave. the thinking is if you have someone else in place for the future relationship, how the future looks it might be palatable to more people in the conservative party to swallow the withdrawal agreement and look at the withdrawal agreement and look at
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the future relationship. there are some others who think there might be more chance of forcing it through as theresa may said she was going to go. we are expecting mps to hold indicative votes and look at other options to look at what might happen if they do not take her deal. there are some who think that if that process led defilement backing it softer brexit option you could bring back the prime minister's deal and bring it through. —— led to parliament backing a softer exit option. rescue helicopters have winched more than 300 people from a cruise ship which ran into trouble off the norwegian coast. a thousand people are still on board the the viking sky, which lost power and was drifting in heavy seas and high winds, but managed to drop anchor. it's believed a number of people are injured. simon clemison reports. a rescue effort above a stricken ship is one thing but the rolling seas below make this quite another. no sooner has the furniture slid one way, it comes back again.
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people are left holding on where they can. some injuries have been reported but they are not said to be life—threatening. in an auditorium some of the 1300 passengers on board wait to be taken off as others are helped to fit life jackets. the viking sky sent out a distress call after suffering engine failure with rough conditions off the west coast of norway. some waves were said to be more than 30 feet high. passengers have been flown to shore in an operation which has been taking place throughout the night. the ship was due to arrive in tilbury in essex on tuesday. local media say lifeboats were forced to turn back because of the conditions. engines are now said to be running and the viking sky may attempt to reach shore this morning, but it will all depend on the weather. simon clemison, bbc news. let's speak to travel journalist odd roar langue, who joins us from bud in western norway. he had been out yesterday taking
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pictures of the coastline when he spotted the vessel in trouble. thank you forjoining us. tell us what you saw. it was really crazy experience, i am a travel reporter, i was out there to take pictures of the huge waves and then i suddenly realised outside the window of the car was a large cruise ship, almost hitting the ground. there was only 100 metres from the shore so it was very, very close. one sign of activity did you see trying to help that ship? at the moment in the start, it was nothing there because it was impossible, it was the height
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of the waves, 10—15 metres. it was impossible to do anything so i think people had to pray their prayers and hope everything goes well. they dropped the anchor and that was the rescue of the ship in the first minutes and after a while there was the rescue helicopters that came and started to bring passengers safely out of the boat. how difficult what the conditions? we are looking at some of the pictures inside the vessel but how difficult were the conditions for a rescue to take place? it was really rough conditions. yeah, ithink place? it was really rough conditions. yeah, i think the people in the helicopters used to this but i realised the passengers are older people from 60—80 years, maybe some younger but the average is older
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people and they were using their saving money to have a life experience to see the northern life and norway, as i nominate this happened. i met some of them this morning, they were tired and wet, some of them were crying when the escape from the helicopter. this is going on for 2h hours soon so i think they were very happy to get out of the ship and the ship is now coming into norway in the equal sign in two or three hours. what are the conditions like now because there are still about 1000 people on board? yes, the waves are about to 5-7 board? yes, the waves are about to 5—7 metres now and still blowing heavy wind although not as much as yesterday. i think 15 metres per second. the ship is now starting
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towards the cruise port of the city. there is a long journey before they are safe there so they are followed by two passenger ships that will help them if the engine is dropping again. thank you very much for talking to us. voters in thailand are casting their ballots in the first election since a military coup five years ago. after seizing power the army promised to restore order and democracy, but has repeatedly postponed the vote. critics say a new constitution the army introduced will ensure it remains influential whatever the outcome. turnout is expected to be high, with seven million thais eligible to vote for the first time. nick beake is in the thai capital bangkok. how obvious is the army is involvement in these elections? they
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certainly exclude the electoral system in the last couple of years in their favour. they are talking about the youth vote, i think these two photos it a bit young this time around but if you look at the balance, they are full to the brim. if you look at the clock, 45 minutes left and still people are coming. they are queueing up to cast their vote because for the last five years here in thailand there has been a military group in power. the voters register here and make that decision. to help them do that here is the candidates in this constituency, 31 of them but to be honest it boils down to one simple question. do the people of thailand wa nt to question. do the people of thailand want to see it military group remain in power or do they want opposition parties to come together to form an alternative and potentially take the country in a different direction? thank you very much. we will get
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back to you only know what the interim pools are telling us. the main findings of the inquiry into alleged interference in the 2016 us presidential election are expected to be published later today. the special counsel, robert mueller, has not recommended any further indictments, but the attorney general — who was handed his report on friday — is yet to decide how much of it will be made public. barbra streisand has apologised for comments she made about allegations that michaeljackson sexually abused boys. the singer told a newspaper that she believed the allegations against the late superstar but said his actions "didn't kill" the accusers. ms streisand said she was profoundly sorry for any pain she'd caused with words which "did not reflect her true feelings." the headlines on bbc news... pressure mounts on theresa may. senior conservatives tell the prime minister her brexit deal is more likely to pass if she stands down. ministers are reported to be split over whether mrs may's de—facto deputy, david lidington should take
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over — or brexiteer michael gove. rescuers are airlifting hundreds of passengers and crew from a cruise ship, off the coast of norway. the official death toll in mozambique from cyclone idai has risen to more than 400 — but that's expected to rise further as floodwaters recede. the authorities say that more than half a million people have been affected by the disaster — and 100,000 of them are living in camps. our deputy africa editor anne soy is in the mozambique capital maputo. how clear it now is the scale of the damage and deaths that have been caused by this cyclone? aid agencies say they are only beginning to get a sense of this disaster but those who have been there, the international
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federation of the red cross have described it as staggering and are saying it is only when the water recedes and the retrieve more bodies we re recedes and the retrieve more bodies were that no true extent of the damage and the number of deaths it has caused. —— they will know the true extent. bodies have been counted so far, and they are retrieving more bodies. the critical thing to do is to get people still cut off by the floods to safer ground and you get them life—saving supplies like food, shelter and medicine. how difficult is it to deliver that help given the amount of water lying around still? deliver that help given the amount of water lying around still7m deliver that help given the amount of water lying around still? it is very difficult. the water covers a vast area and this was a place that was planned. buildings have been damaged so there are not waterways that would make easier for water vessels to go to people but they have been deploying small boats to
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get people who can be reached and bring them to dry ground. there have been a helicopter rescue is going on for more than a week now, hampered by bad weather in some cases because the area that was affected still experiencing heavy rainfall. how well equipped as a country like mozambique generally speaking to cope with weather of this type? this is the worst disaster to have ever happened in this region. the un says it is the worst natural disaster of this kind in the southern hemisphere. it was not at all prepared to this level of destruction. in the days leading up to the disaster at their forecasts of strong winds and heavy rainfall, people did not expect this of devastation. thank you very much.
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one of the uk s leading transplant surgeons says the current system for handling organ donations is at breaking point. professor nizam mamode has told bbc five live investigates that he fears the system may not be able to cope when england moves to an opt out system for donations next year. adrian goldberg reports. the professor paints a bleak picture of a system under stress, with teams working extremely long hours and surgeons regularly working 36—hour shifts without a break. he says patients sometimes face delayed transplant operations because of the lack of availability of intensive care beds or operating theatres, and, in rare cases, this has led donated organs going to waste. there has been a huge success in transplanting patients so the number of transplants has increased by about 50% over the last 8—10 years. that has been fantastic for patients but what it has meant is that the workload has gone up, the pressures are getting increasingly difficult and, in fact,
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people often use phrases like "we are at breaking point", "this is not sustainable", "we can't continue". professor mamode fears that the nhs is struggling to deal with current demand and is concerned about the predicted increases in donations when the law changes next year. under the new system, consent will be presumed unless people have opted out. the department of health say they are investing an extra £34 billion a year into the nhs by 2023—24. and that there will be a 12—month transition period to prepare. they say the new system of consent will save hundreds of lives every year. adrian goldberg, bbc news. and you can hear more on this investigation at 11 o'clock on five live and the bbc sounds app.
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if a former top civil servant at the treasury has said if asury has said the new high speed rail line, hs2, should be scrapped. lord macpherson's comments come at a time of mounting concern about the cost of the project, which is expected to come in at £56—billion pounds. hs2 says it will return double the investment and create hundreds ofjobs. a volcano in mexico has unleashed a powerful explosion, sending a column of ash 4000 feet into the air. the volcano — called popocatepetl — is 40 miles south of the capital mexico city, and at nearly 18—thousand feet is the country's second highest summit. its name — popocatepetl — is the aztec word for smoky mountain. over the past few weeks, the volcano has become more active, prompting the authorities to put a seven mile exclusion zone in place. it was the daring wartime prison break—out that inspired a hit hollywood film — and today marks the 75th anniversary of the great escape. the plan had been for around 200 prisoners of war to escape from the german camp through a network of tunnels but, in the end, only 73 reached freedom.
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robert hall has visited the site of the camp at zagan in western poland and reports on the commemorations for an audacious act of bravery. robert. good morning, i am standing just inside what would have been the prisoner of war camp and about 30 feet below me under this market was a tunnel codenamed harry through which those men crawled. 76 made it out and to do so they on trolleys and were pulled up the tunnel 100 metres up towards the forest, the pines you can see in the distance. the calculations were not quite correct. the tunnel had stopped short of the trees so when they emerged they were in sight of patrolling german sentries and those in the replica sentry box up there, so in the replica sentry box up there,
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so they had to use a system of ropes, tugs and signals to enable them to get out. three men made it home, 50 were murdered on hitler's orders and the ceremony that will ta ke orders and the ceremony that will take place behind me later on are about remembering the bravery of all involved but especially the man who died. prior to those, involved but especially the man who died. priorto those, a involved but especially the man who died. prior to those, a separate event was held last night and that painted a picture of what took place. on the edge of zagan forrest, british airmen prepare to make a dash forfreedom. they're echoing a story that unfolded here during a snowy night when 200 prisoners of war queued up for what they hoped would be the largest ever mass escape. a story brought to us by some of hollywood's biggest stars. working in secret, teams of prisoners had spent months
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tunnelling through the sandy soil, whilst others prepared civilian clothes and forged identity papers. thanks to the efforts of local polish volunteers, it is still possible to get a taste of what the real—life escapers went through. this reconstruction may not contain the hazards of the great escape tunnel but it does give me a real sense of the claustrophobia and the effort that must have been needed to haul those men 100 metres, to the tunnel exit. when you get to the bottom of the shaft, you will be put on or get onto a trolley and you will be hauled up to the other. you also know that there are people going out. steadily or not so steadily, according to what the goons are doing on the other side of the wire. but the tunnel, codenamed "harry", hadn't reached the tree line. just 76 of the 200 got out, before the alarm was sounded.
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sunrise the next day brought a massive search. 73 men were eventually re—captured. on hitler's orders, 50 of them were murdered by the gestapo. nelson churchill, cameron... and all these other names... these are the people who were taken away and murdered. they were taken away in groups of three or four and were executed by the side of a road. after the war, members of the raf police, whose successors willjoin today's commemorations, tracked down 38 of the killers. most of them were tried and sentenced to death. the man in charge at the time, he went through the old fashioned door—to—door inquiries. he chased down every lead, no matter how trivial and i think that dogged determination
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was the driving factor. nature is slowly reclaiming what is left of stalag luft iii and the last escaper has left us but their story is still being told, under the tall pines of zagan. and this forest has always been a special place for poland and to the raf and tim and chris, are going to be taking place in the ceremony. you have a personal connection? my uncle was lieutenant charles alexander wright, a royal navy observer was downed in the channel. he was part here and remained until 1945 and was here and remained until 1945 and was here during the great escape. when you first came a couple of years ago, what was your first impression of the site? quite emotional. it is
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a poignant connection being a recruit myself and seeing where he would have been during that time, and thanks to my cousins who brought me up to speed on the history behind it. tim, you and a lot of others have worked hard to recreate the guard tower and a reproduction. why is this a special place? there is a legacy issue after the escapees died suddenly. it is my privilege to work with some of the veterans, it was their idea to build the hut so i took on the management of that and it has been brilliant to leave a legacy for the families and those who have been involved in it for many nations, and also to be able to bring back young raf people to come and learn from the site. it is a crucial piece of our british history. a lot of the contingent from the raf lease were heavily
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involved in the investigation. absently, it was a key part of their history to investigate the murder of the 50 afterwards. that led to the future and their being in the raf. thank you very much for talking to me. that is one ceremony taking place a couple of hours from here where the 50 were laid to rest but there will be another ceremony here early afternoon your time so please follow it on bbc news. we certainly well, thank you so much. rescue helicopters have winched more than 300 people from a cruise ship which ran into trouble off the norwegian coast. let's speak to george davies, who is from manchester and was on the ship with his wife barbara. iam i am pleased to say you are now safe and of the vessel. tell us when we realised there were problems. and of the vessel. tell us when we realised there were problemsm and of the vessel. tell us when we realised there were problems. it was about 20 minutes past two yesterday afternoon and i was in the spout when the big wave hit. everything
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went over, everything got broken and it was just chaos really. there was lots of water about and i thought the ship was going down but it was the ship was going down but it was the water coming out of the hot tubs in the spa. it was very scary at the time. it sounds terrifying, we have pictures of furniture at sliding around in one of the public areas. when did you actually manage to get off the vessel and how?|j when did you actually manage to get off the vessel and how? i was winched off by helicopter, about 12 o'clock i would think. we were sat on the coach after the helicopter dropped me down and it said midnight so dropped me down and it said midnight so it took us about ten hours from when the wave hit to get off the vessel. what was the rescue like for you? the staff were excellent, and
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the norwegians have been really great. all the emergency services and people volunteering, and the helicopter was fantastic. those people do eat really good job, marvellous. but to be winched of the vessel on heavy seas like that, the rescue itself must have been terrifying? one of the most frightening moments because you couldn't work out where the ship was going. the wind was terrible. these are big ships, these cruise liners, and to be tossed around tells you how bad the conditions were out at sea. yeah, there are nine floors on the ship so yeah, i am not sure why they were going the way they were going because one or two people on
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land, emergency services, said they we re land, emergency services, said they were surprised we were travelling up the coast in a bad storm. there was a norwegian liner which do not sale that day because of the storm but then again, i am not an expert in that. i am pleased we are able to talk to you and you are safe. thank you very much. it is a pleasure, thank you. now it's time for a look at the weather with louise. gusts of wind at the moment in the far north of scotland but for most of us this is what we have got, you can see for miles because of blue skies and sunshine. there is a weather front producing sharp showers and stronger winds but for most of the country high pressure is building and that will be the theme of our weather over the next week. those showers continue for the next couple of hours, a frequent rash of showers falling


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