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tv   BBC News  BBC News  March 24, 2019 11:00am-11:31am GMT

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this is bbc news. i'm martine croxall. the headlines at 11. senior conservatives tell theresa may her brexit deal is more likely to pass, if she stands down as prime minister. but a former leader says their behaviour‘s appalling. there will be real disgust at the behaviour of some of our cabinet ministers, who are not fit for their positions if they behave like this. they should be apologising and they should shut up, for god's sake. 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 — the raf is flying 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 coming up in half an hour, our guests discuss theresa may's efforts to put herself on the people's side,
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against parliament, and where that leaves brexit. that's in dateline london. former conservative leader iain duncan smith, who is a prominent brexit supporter, has said that any election to replace theresa may as leader of the conservative party would create "complete chaos" and that the behaviour of cabinet ministers, who have briefed against her, has been "appalling." it comes as senior conservatives say they've told the prime minister that her brexit deal is more likely to be approved in a fresh commons vote, if she promises to step down. mrs may is still trying to win support for the agreement, which has twice been rejected. a short time ago, the brexit secretary explained what was likely to happen in parliament this week. so the process will be
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that we will have an all—day debate on monday ahead of that vote. if that vote goes through, and the house of commons does take control of the order paper, then, under the process, there will then be indicative votes on wednesday. it will be for the government then to decide on the timing as to whether it brings back a meaningful vote, either ahead of that or after that, and obviously that will be shaped by the debate on monday and by the result of that vote. joining me with more on this is our political correspondent nick eardley. we understand that a number of conservatives have been called to the prime minister's country residence, chequers. we are expecting some talks with brexiteers this afternoon. they have been going on for the last few days. boris johnson has been in and out of downing street over the last few days. i expect that is all part of downing street's attempt to try and
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win faye tozer before potentially a vote next week. one thing that has become clear again this morning, listening to the brexit secretary and the chancellor, philip hammond, is that the government is not sure if it will bring the vote back. they we re if it will bring the vote back. they were conceding the numbers were not good and as things stand it looks very unlikely they would win that fateful that this is all leading to a lot of speculation about the future of theresa may. —— that vote. if she was about to stand down it would give her plan more of a chance of passing. those who had been on the airwaves this morning had been batting for the prime minister. let's listen to iain duncan—smith. i think all of these things are nuanced, so the question is really whether or not we think that deal is acceptable given the alternatives and how that is exercised of course is a matter that we will have to decide on separately.
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i am generally not ruling anything out is all i am saying to you. i am simply saying however that the way that these things are discussed is not like this and i think she has at least the right and the dignity, bayeux had that, not to behave like they have behaved today. i think around the country in the conservative party and outside the conservative party, there will be real disgust at the behaviour of some of our cabinet ministers who are not fit for their positions if they behave like this. they should be apologising and they should shut up, for god's sake. because that is the worst thing we want. strong reaction to that idea. philip hammond and stephen barclay have also been backing the prime minister this morning. there is a big question of, if there is no prospect oi’ question of, if there is no prospect or very little prospect of the prime minister's deal passing next week. what happens? we expect there to be indicative votes where parliament will try to seize control of the
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process and look at other options, a series of votes on potential other plans. have a listen to this from the brexit secretary stephen barclay about what would happen if parliament votes for something government will not implement. there isa government will not implement. there is a constitutional collision if parliament is instructing the government to do something which is fundamentally against what it has been elected to do. the legal position is indicative votes, not in themselves binding. the question is whether parliament would seek to legislate to use the order book to give it force. they could do that if they were taking control? potentially. parliament in essence would have been saying we are legislating to take no deal of the table but we are also not voting for the deal. the only consequence of that with the european parliamentary elections. for many in the conservative party and parliament as a whole that would run counter to what people stood in the manifesto.
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where is labour in all of this? they had been criticised at times than not having a clear plan and a clear narrative. there has been a lot of ambiguity over the position of the labour party over another referendum. officially it is party policy to support another public vote but hardly something the leadership has been throwing its weight behind. tom watson was at the people's vote rally yesterday, and much which hasi million plus people at. we had this morning from the shadow brexit secretary keir starmer. let's hear what he had to say about where the position of the labour party is right now. we will argue the case that we have been making. this is the beginning of the exercise when at the end of the exercise, but we are the ones having the cross—party talks. been talking to people from all different parties. nowjeremy corbyn has had a whole host of meetings to that end. in a sense, we are leading on this
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initiative to find a way through the deadlock but we must have the assurance that the prime minister is not going to use it just to frustrate the process and then say, here is my deal yet again. you have rejected it twice, try it once more. a really crucial few days ahead. how many times have we said there is a crucial few days ahead. it does feel like it is reaching a crescendo. there will be a lot of speculations about potential alternative policies on potential changes in government positions. i think we're getting to a point where hopefully over the next few days that will become more clear. just a reminder we are keeping and on chequers was that we are expecting several conservative mps to meet the prime minister. we do not have a definitive list some very senior brexiteer figures are likely
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to be on that list. a cruise ship, which got into difficulties off the coast of norway in stormy seas, is sailing to port after around half of its passengers were evacuated. some 200 britons were on board the viking sky ship which sent a mayday call after losing engine power, prompting the start of an operation to airlift 1,300 passengers and crew from the vessel in high winds. a rescue effort above a stricken ship is one thing but the rolling seas below make this quite another. no sooner has the furniture slipped one way, it comes back again. 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 lifejackets. the viking sky set out a distress call after suffering engine failure, with rough conditions off the west coast of norway.
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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 chris o'connor, who is on board the ship with his wife debbie and waiting to be rescued. what are conditions like at the moment? much better than they were on the night from about 2:30am. we are now sailing into a port and we are now sailing into a port and we are sailing in with the wind and the
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waves. up until about an hour ago we have been going into the wind and the ways to keep the ship stable but it was pretty terrible yesterday afternoon. it sounds terrifying. furniture flying all over the place and people injured by that. how have they prioritised he gets rescued when? well, they did not actually announce how they did it that they seemed to take out the injured and infanfirst seemed to take out the injured and in fan first and then, i think it was a in fan first and then, i think it wasa cabin in fan first and then, i think it was a cabin room lottery because they would come into the master areas and read out some cabin numbers and take those people off. it was not that frequent. i am surprised, there might be half an hour between one call and the next. taking them off by helicopter seemed
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to have been very slow process. how inclined i need to go through the rescue process 7 inclined i need to go through the rescue process? it is pretty hairy on its own right, rather than staying on board and trying to reach the port. i am definitely to stay on the port. i am definitely to stay on the vote. i worked out, as long as the vote. i worked out, as long as the vote. i worked out, as long as the vote was stable and and power, we we re the vote was stable and and power, we were safe. the idea of being hoisted up to a helicopter in those winds, idid hoisted up to a helicopter in those winds, i did not like that idea at all. how well looked after have you been on board the ship? the crew have been brilliant. they have been very calm and attentive. we have had volu nteers very calm and attentive. we have had volunteers who were paramedics from the states. there was a family who may be had firemen and paramedic.
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they took charge and made sure the people who were hurt were treated, people who were hurt were treated, people who were hurt were treated, people who needed their meds were told... they told them where their whims were so somebody could go and get their meds for them. we just had an improvised meal of rump steak and adeel s gallop, french fries and prawns. i cannot say how good they were. “— prawns. i cannot say how good they were. —— veal escalopes. i am grateful that captain knew what he was doing because we were minutes away from crashing into rocks. had he not pulled the anchor is down to hold us in that position, i am not sure he would have been there. that isa sure he would have been there. that is a pretty decent improvised meal for that you do not sound too distressed. what happens next with
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your holiday? i do not they know. we managed to get back to our room to get some meds for my wife and it was a mess is that we have been told the cabin crew are going through their rooms, tiding them up, hoping to get us rooms, tiding them up, hoping to get us back into our rooms so we can finish the journey into court which will take about three and a half hours. once we get there, they have not told us because basically i do not told us because basically i do not think they know. as far as i can tell, the port is tiny. i can only imagine they will take stock and wait for the weather to get better and then sail us off to perhaps strip anger, where we were meant to have our last port call in norway. —— stavanger. have our last port call in norway. -- stavanger. thank you for talking to us. no problem. pleasure. a man has died after being stabbed
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in north—west london. officers were called to an address on marsh road near pinner station early this morning and the victim was pronounced dead at the scene. a large section of marsh road was cordoned off by police. one resident described pinner as "lovely," but said she was not shocked by the news as such incidents are "happening in all areas." 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." polls have closed in thailand's first election since a military coup
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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. our south east asia correspondent, jonathan head, is in the thai capital, bangkok. a lot of people are eligible to vote for the first time. what difference might that make to the outcome? well, i think they will be very encouraged to see how enthusiastic young people are. it has been interesting listening to the pronounced determination of many people just to exercise their vote, having not had it after five years of military rule. many want change. the system is weighted so heavily in favour of the coup leader who only needs to win a quarter of the seats in the lower house because they can
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use the appointed senate to get him into the seat of the prime minister. everyone wanting change knows they are against the odds but it has not stop people coming out. there has been a lot of enthusiasm. people had queuedin been a lot of enthusiasm. people had queued in the searing heat to do it. many in bangkok are going for a brand—new radical party which has lots of very bold, policy announcements, including getting the match out of politics. the system again is very much weighted against them. it is not clear that all of this enthusiasm we are seeing among young voters here is necessarily going to count. what really matters is whether the military party does better than expected and then i think people will probably accept they will use the system to gain it to stay in power. if they do a lot worse, behind me is the headquarters of the biggest party, backed by the former exiled prime minister. they
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are still likely to do very well. if they do well enough to take a majority of the lower house they will certainly challenge the rules under which the military stays in office. how keenly watched at these elections by thailand's neighbours? i think very keenly. thailand has been stuck in political turmoil for ten to 12 years. distracted by that it has stopped playing its key role in the region. it has been a decision—maker in this group of southeast asian countries. people wa nt to southeast asian countries. people want to see thailand moving forward, becoming a really decisive country in what is a turbulent region. i think they wanted to succeed but, given the way the military has fixed this electoral system, nobody thinks this electoral system, nobody thinks this government that comes out of this government that comes out of this election will last long. still a lot of uncertainty.
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thank you very much. sport, and for a full round—up from the bbc sport centre, here's richard askam. wales get their euro 2020 qualifying campaign under way today, with star player gareth bale saying he is "raring to go". the welsh take on slovakia this afternoon and bale will be looking to put what's been a difficult campaign with real madrid behind him. he is still scoring goals in spain, but hasn't played much and apparently doesn't get on with some of his real team—mates. bale says he excited about being one of the older players in ryan giggs' wales squad. it isa it is a little bit different having a lot of new players in. with the last squad, we had all pretty much been together for ten years or more. obviously a bit of getting used to some of the new players and i suppose the different style of play of the manager. he has been in for a year and we of the manager. he has been in for a yearand we are of the manager. he has been in for a year and we are getting used to it. hopefully we can showcase that we
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can do and get the win. mick mccarthy says he "hated every minute" as the republic of ireland narrowly beat gibraltar 1—0. jeff hendrick scored the only goal of the game early in the second half but it was far from vintage from the irish. mccarthy described it as a horrible game. scotland will be desparate to put their humiliating defeat to kazakhstan behind them today. on paper, it should be simple to do. they play san marino, who are officially the worst side in the world. and manager alex mcleish says it's the perfect opportunity to put things right. the only apology we can give the fans is to go out and when the next game. —— and win. we are all hurting. we are fans as well. you know, i followed the team as a young man and always proud to wear the jersey and these guys are as well. it's been a good morning for england's women, who have beaten sri lanka in the first international twenty20 of a three—match series. henry moeran was
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watching in columbo. this first t20 followed the pattern of the previous one—day internationals. they bowled the hosts out for 94. smith three to 18 with the standout figures. two wickets on debut for davis, he performed in england colours for the first time. england had two more games left in the subcontinent and i are on sam brand. this makes it eight out of eight for england since defeat in the first couple of odis in india last month. it is the best run they had been on since her 2017 world cup campaign. if they can make it ten from ten, it would represent a fine end to the winter and the perfect momentum going into an ashes summer. perfect momentum going into an ashes summer. england on a roll. boxing now. tyson fury‘s getting back
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into the ring this summer to fight german heavyweight tom schwarz. there were rumours of a re—match with deontay wilder, or a super—fight with anthonyjoshua but fury‘s gone with the 24—year—old unbeaten german. they'll fight in las vegas, and it's the first of five bouts as part of a multi—million pound deal that fury signed with an american broadcaster. there was a shock defeat for naomi osaka at the miami open tennis. osaka's won the last two grand slam events and is the world number one, but she was beaten in three sets by taiwan's hsieh su—wei. meanwhile, serena williams has pulled out of the tournament with a knee injury. roger federer is through to the third round but he didn't have it all his own way against radu albot. he had to come back from a set down to beat the world number 46. britain's dan evans though is out. that's all the sport for now. you can find more on all those stories on the bbc sport website.
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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. it was the daring wartime prison breakout 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, although 76 escaped, most were recaptured with the majority of those caught being shot, on hitler's orders. just three made it home. 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. yes, indeed. good morning. had i
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been standing here in 19441 would have been standing inside this hat from where the escape was launched. this lab is marked with the name harry and that was the code for the tunnel. today we havejust harry and that was the code for the tunnel. today we have just talked about the prisoners who escaped. the three names on green he had seen other men who actually got home. those in blue were recaptured but the vast majority you can see in black whether prisoners who were later murdered on the orders of hitler by the gestapo. the commemorations today of course remember the courage and tenacity of those who escaped but perhaps more the sacrifice made by the 50 who are buried a couple of hours from here. just going to tell you about the geography. this soil is very sandy. it took months to dig out and they boarded it up with wood from the
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huts. everything was taken down and com plete huts. everything was taken down and complete secrecy. at the end of the talk of the tunnel ran short. it did not reach the woods. we will go up there in a moment. that is where the commemorations will take place in a couple of hours' time but there was one commemoration last night and it brought together what happened here in march of 1944. on the edge of zagan forest, 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 tunnelling through the sandy soil, whilst others prepared civilian clothes and forged identity papers.
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thanks to the efforts of local polish volunteers, it's 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 end. 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. sunrise the next day brought a massive search. 73 men were eventually re—captured.
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on hitler's orders, 50 of them were murdered by the gestapo. marshall, nelson churchill, cameron, armstrong and shand. 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 was the driving factor. nature is slowly reclaiming what's
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left of stalag luft 3 and the last escaper has left us, but their story is still being told, under the tall pines of zagan. i mentioned this is where the tunnel came short. you can see how close we are to the guard tower which is on the same spot. in front of me is the exit from the tunnel. just short of the trees they set up a system of ropes and warnings to enable prisoners to time leaving the tunnel with mother centuries worth. a tricky operation but very much the heart of the commemorations. this is where charles clarke, representing those in prison, he will lay a
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wreath in their memory. a large raf contingent will also be here. although the number of eyewitnesses is falling, there are very few laughed. there is a determination here in poland and in the uk to keep this extraordinary story alive. —— very few left. one of the names sugegsted as a caretaker prime minister if theresa may were to step down is her de facto deputy david lidington. in the last few minutes he's been speaking from near his aylesbury constituency. let's listen to what he had to say. a lot of far—fetched speculation around this morning. i want to make it clear that i am 100% behind the prime minister. i am working flat—out to try and get support for her deal. i think it is a balanced package the national interest. both sides should get behind it and then
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we can deliver an orderly departure from the european union in line with the referendum and get on with negotiating an ambitious trade and security partnership with neighbours and friends in the european union, which is really important forjobs and living standards and investment in this country. my map with are members of the cabinet he would like to see the prime minister gone. what cabinet members are wanting is to find a way to get it prime minister's deal delivered. whichever side of the argument we are on in the referendum, every member around the referendum, every member around the cabinet table supports the deal from the prime minister and we are all behind her and trying to get it through parliament. that is in the national interest and must come first. would you be prepared to step in and take the reins should it come to that? i do not have any wish to ta ke to that? i do not have any wish to take over from the pm. to that? i do not have any wish to take overfrom the pm. she is doing a fantasticjob. take overfrom the pm. she is doing a fantastic job. one take overfrom the pm. she is doing a fantasticjob. one thing working closely with the prime minister does is cure you of any lingering shred
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of ambition to want to do that task. i have absolute aberration for the way she is going about it. with the deal have more of a chance if she stepped down? the deal needs to be looked at on its merits. —— would the deal? people need to recognise the deal? people need to recognise the enormous amount of work the prime minister has put into this. i have seen a woman motivated by the national interests, getting the best dealfor this country, national interests, getting the best deal for this country, nothing national interests, getting the best dealfor this country, nothing else. will there be indicative votes next week? there will be a nation on monday. a number of amendments have been tabled and we will have to see which amendments the speaker selects and what the house come to our nose. time for the weather. —— on those. lots of spring sunshine around today but further north and west is

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