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tv   BBC News  BBC News  March 24, 2019 7:00pm-7:31pm GMT

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this is bbc news. the headlines at seven: senior conservatives are at chequers, for crunch talks on brexit following reports of a cabinet coup to oust theresa may. cabinet ministers touted to take over as prime minister in reports of a cabinet coup say they fully back theresa may. environment secretary michael gove told reporters he had no desire to replace her as leader. it's not the time to change the captain of the ship. i think we need to chart the right course, and the prime minister has charted that right course by making sure we have a deal which honours the referendum mandate. a 54—year—old shop worker has been stabbed to death in north—west london following a robbery early this morning. police say the till was stolen from the newsagents in pinner. the main findings of special counsel robert mueller‘s report into alleged collusion
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between the trump campaign and russia during the 2016 us presidential elections are expected to be published in the coming hours. a cruise liner that ran into trouble off the coast of norway has reached port, after hundreds of passengers were winched to safety. it just itjust hit me, the enormity and the potential disaster. we came so close. i thought, this was it. at that time. the water's going to rush m, that time. the water's going to rush in, and this is it. it was the daring wartime prison breakout that inspired a hit hollywood film — and today marks the 75th anniversary of the great escape. and coming up in sports day here on bbc news, scotland restore some pride after their humiliating defeat in kazakhstan with a 2—0 win over san morino. that's at 7.30 .
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good evening and welcome to bbc news. the prime minister is holding talks with senior conservative mps and members of her government at chequers to discuss the brexit crisis as two ministers denied that they were part of a cabinet coup to oust her. both david lidington and michael gove have insisted they are continuing to back theresa may ahead of a week in which mps in parliament could take control of the brexit process. our political correspondent alex forsyth reports. it was no day of rest for the prime minister, with her brexit plan and her future plagued with uncertainty.
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for now, it seems the answer is no. instead, key brexiteers were summoned to her country retreat. the prime minister, it seems, still trying to win their support for her trouble deal, but all the while talk is swirling about whether she can keep herjob. her de facto deputy today had to deny reports of a plot to replace her which would see him step in, saying he had no such plans. i don't think that i've any wish to take over from the pm, who i think is doing a fantasticjob. i'll tell you this, one thing that working closely with the prime minister does is to cure you completely of any lingering shred of ambition. cabinet ministers were keen to quash rumours of any plan to oust their boss. it is not time to change the captain of the ship. we need to chart the right course, and the prime minister has done that by making sure we have a deal that honours the referendum mandate. one tory said this is a crisis that
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demands new leadership. another said simply, resigned. some mps could reluctantly back the prime minister's brexit deal as long as she does not lead the next stage of negotiations. this former party leader said that was a possibility but warned ministers not to move against theresa may now. i think round the country, in the conservative party and outside, 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. some think parliament should take control of the process, and tomorrow, mps will decide whether they should get a vote on different brexit plans. labour said if that happened, the government must listen.
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the point is, if we are to do that, we get to a conclusion of that exercise, the prime minister then has to own the outcome, because then we are going down a road that she is using merely to frustrate the process. the brexit secretary said parliament's view would not be binding, and if mps back a strategy that contradicts government policy, there could be an election. at its logical conclusion, you could have a situation where the parliament is instructing the executive to do something counter to what it was elected to do. as the prime minister tries to chart a way through, her brexit plan and future remain in the balance. and our political correspondent alex forsyth joins me now. the meeting has finished not long ago, and we had a very short statement from downing street saying
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there were lengthy discussions focused on a range of issues, but primarily whether the meaningful vote on the brexit deal had a realistic chance of happening and whether or not that should be brought back. there was not any conclusion we are aware of, but it was interesting who was invited to the meeting. downing street said it is part of a regular round of meetings, most of the people there... another headline today was this coup that we were hearing about in the newspapers. is it happening? i think there is frustration at every level of the tory party, so thatis every level of the tory party, so that is why we are seeing publicly fairly seniorfigures that is why we are seeing publicly fairly senior figures saying perhaps it is time for theresa may to go. there is undoubtedly division and frustration in the cabinet, but as you so quickly, seniorfigures put
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to bed any idea quickly that they we re to bed any idea quickly that they were going to move against the prime minister. part of the reasoning is that although there is dissatisfaction out the way she is leading the party, people think it is not the time for her to go because it would only create more uncertainty about what is already an uncertainty about what is already an uncertain situation. we have been hearing about a possible deal for mrs may to promise to quit if a deal is put through. talk us through that. how likely is that to happen? we have to remember where we are. the discussions we've been having about the way we leave the eu, and the deal on the table is about the exit, what is to come will be a difficult and protracted negotiation about our future relationship difficult and protracted negotiation about ourfuture relationship if difficult and protracted negotiation about our future relationship if and when we leave the eu itself, and there are lots of tory mps who say, look, perhaps i could reluctantly back the prime minister's exit deal as long as somebody else was in charge for the second stage of negotiations. theresa may herself has signalled that she is not going to stay in post for ever, so there
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isa to stay in post for ever, so there is a lot of focus on when or if she may choose to step aside, and whether that might encourage enough mps to get behind her now, although thatis mps to get behind her now, although that is looking pretty unlikely. could this imply that the erg are shifting their opinion? the group of brexit backing conservative mps have been very strongly opposed to theresa may's deal. iain duncan smith has said today that he is keeping an open mind, because i think what part of downing street's strategy is is this: they hope that if it comes down to the wire, if parliament seizes control of the process and pushes for a softer brexit, a second referendum or no brexit, a second referendum or no brexit, it may just brexit, a second referendum or no brexit, it mayjust persuade some brexit, it mayjust persuade some brexit supporters that her deal is the most palatable of the range of options they are faced with. as things stand, there has been nothing to indicate that enough of them will do that to get this across the line,
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so we do that to get this across the line, so we still don't know if or when she will put her deal back. the only thing that is certain is that there is still a lot of uncertainty about what will happen. alex, thank you very much indeed. and we'll find out how this story — and many others — are covered in tomorrow's front pages at 10:30 and 11:30pm this evening in the papers. our guests joining me tonight are home affairs editor of the evening standard martin bentham, and playwright & writer bonnie greer. a 54—year—old shop worker has been stabbed to death in north—west london, in a robbery early this morning. police say the till was stolen from the newsagents — in pinner — and a black vauxhall astra driven off at speed shortly afterwards. the victim hasn't been named. katy austin reports. forensic investigators at work outside a newsagent‘s in pinner. police say a man here, who has not
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been identified, was murdered this morning as he opened up the shop, the victim of what detectives have called a violent robbery that escalated. the surrounding area was cordoned off. the response from people who live here is sadness and disbelief. i am sad that it seems to be happening all the time, actually. detectives say that the till was stolen and may have since been discarded and appealed for anyone who may have come across it to get in touch, as well as anyone who saw a black vauxhall astra that sped away down cecil park after the attack. a murder probe is now under way as police try to find out who was behind the attack. no arrests have been made. this is the latest incident in a spate of knife crime that police in london and across the country are desperately trying to curb. a leading us democrat has warned president trump not to block the release of any part of findings by the special
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counsel robert mueller, who's completed his investigation into alleged collusion between the trump campaign and russia. jerrold nadler — the chairman of the us house judiciary committee — said transparency was critical and the white house should not hide behind executive privilege. congressional leaders are expecting to receive mr mueller‘s long—awaited findings later today. 0ur correspondent, chris buckler is in washington. where are we with this? there is a suggestion that that is not far away. reporters have gathered that the department ofjustice command that might come up, and we are waiting for the summary of the findings of the report, what has been described as the principal conclusions of robert mueller and that 22 month investigation. at the moment, we simply do not know what is in it, and we are not alone in that. the only people who seem to
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know our robert mueller, the us attorney general and his deputy. the latter two have been going through this report compiling this summary while everybody has been holding their breath waiting to see exactly what is contained inside it. including, of course, president trump himself. it is worth reminding people what exactly robert mueller is looking at. he is looking at claims of interference by russia in the 2016 election, claims of collusion involving the trump campaign, and also asking the question, did the question at any stage try to obstructjustice? although we have seen all of these convictions and prosecutions during the campaign, including some inside donald trump's's inner circle, they have not touched that key question of these convictions and prosecutions during the campaign, including some inside donald trump's inner r circle, they have not touched that key question of whether throughout the last two years collusion or not. and you will remember of course that donald trump
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throughout the last of a witch hunt. you may have been furious in the past, but every indication over the last 24—hour days that donald trump has been in a very good mood. in fa ct, has been in a very good mood. in fact, he was golfing again today in florida. he seemed to be in good spirits according to those around him. democrats are saying that means nothing. even the fact that robert mueller at this stage is seeing there should be no further indictments, which is something we have learned about what he has concluded, they are still saying that they want to see this full has been repeating the words no collusion in saying that this enquiry is nothing short of a witchhunt. he may have been furious in the past, but every indication over the last 24—hour days that donald trump has been in a very good mood. in fact, donald trump has been in a very good mood. infact, he donald trump has been in a very good mood. in fact, he was golfing again today in florida. he seemed to be in good spirits according to those around him. democrats are saying that means nothing. even the fact that means nothing. even the fact that robert mueller at this stage is seeing there should be no further indictments, which is something we have learned about what he has concluded, they are still saying that they want to see this, to see all the information that has been gathered. we won't get that today,
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but i think it is increasingly likely that we will see these main findings in the hours to come. 0k, chris, we believe it there the headlines on bbc news: senior conservatives are at chequers for crunch talks on brexit following reports of a cabinet coup to oust theresa may. a 5a year old shop worker has been stabbed to death in north—west london following a robbery early this morning. police say the till was stolen from the newsagents in pinner the main findings of special counsel robert mueller‘s report into alleged collusion between the trump campaign and russia during the 2016 us presidential elections are expected to be published in the coming hours. let's go back to brexit now, and take a look at what's actually happening this week — and what could happen. tomorrow, mps will debate the brexit next steps and a number of amendments — possible alternatives — to the government plan will be put to a vote. one that could well succeed calls for a series of "indicative votes" in the commons, run by parliament, to see
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if a majority can be found for a different brexit model. on tuesday, theresa may could bring her withdrawal deal back for the so—called third meaningful vote. but the government says it won't do that unless it's sure it has enough to support to win. wednesday is when indicative votes would be held — we don't know yet whether mps will be free to vote how they want or be directed along party lines. the chances of any genuine cross—party consensus being achieved are not high. thursday is a second possible opportunity for meaningful vote three. the prime minister may hope that brexiteers will finally decide to throw their weight behind her deal because indicative votes have shown that otherwise the uk could be heading for the sort of softer brexit they would hate. and friday was the day the uk
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was meant to leave the eu. the earliest that will now happen is 12 april. with me now is drjoelle grogan, senior lecturer in uk and european union law, middlesex university london. thank you forjoining us. first off, what do this week's events mean for a hard brexit and the 29th of march? where are we with that? so, what a week ahead. as one commentator said, this is the most exciting week in constitutional law since the 1640s. right now, hard brexit seems to be off the table for this week. the 29th of march is no longer a deadline, although it is a deadline for my students, and i need to remind them of that. we have currently an agreement with the european council, the 27 heads of government of the other eu states,
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that will be two dates for an extension. the first, will be the 22nd of may. that is to make sure all the necessary legislation is passed and any other details are made. i need to immediately say, thatis made. i need to immediately say, that is only the end of the beginning. we then go into the next stage of the negotiations. the second date, also a key one, in april. the 12th of april. it is only two weeks away. that's if theresa may is unable to get her withdrawal agreement through the commons, through parliament, and we need to find an alternative. we need to find consensus, and this is the indicative votes to try to bring an alternative to the table. hard brexit is gone for this week, so anyone who has weekend plans no longer has to make them hard brexit plans, but it is still a possibility, it is still possible in
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the future. is there a timeframe for all of this to take place? this week coming up, there are so many possibilities, you know, legally, does that work? so, legally, i've had to say over the last two years, anything is possible and nothing is possible. we are sitting right now ona possible. we are sitting right now on a ruling from the speaker of the house of commons that said you cannot substantively present the same question to the commons that has already been voted upon. you can get around that. you can ask the commons to set it aside. what we could see, and this is what is most likely to happen, is the commons being asked to directly confront it and vote on whether to vote on a third vote, or tojust and vote on whether to vote on a third vote, or to just present it directly. it is possible in time to present that third meaningful vote again and to avoid this ruling from the speaker. in terms of time, you are right, it comes down to time in
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everything. from an eu perspective and a future perspective, we have the european parliamentary elections, and they are not moving, so we elections, and they are not moving, so we need to know what kind of relationship the uk will have with the eu before the european parliamentary elections, that is, whether we need to be involved in those or not at all. so, we saw possibly an historic turnout at the march yesterday, calling for a people's vote. should that happen, can that happen and yet still uphold the democracy of the country? very different questions. politically and legal. i will answer first legally, because that is where i am most co mforta ble because that is where i am most comfortable is a legal academic. any kind of referendum must be brought by parliament. they must have an act of parliament saying, we are
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bringing a referendum. a colleague did a work on this, and she said that the minimum amount of time is about 22 weeks between calling for a referendum and running it. timewise, that goes into the european parliamentary elections, which i have talked about, but there is a harder question, which links to the indicative votes which are going on next week, which is what question do we ask? which question is most appropriate and most democratic to be voted upon if there should be another referendum ? as be voted upon if there should be another referendum? as a constitutional lawyer, i should another referendum? as a constitutional lawyer, ishould put this in right now, referendums are an incredibly important political statement, the most important political statement you can make, but they are not necessarily a legal one. we have parliamentary sovereignty here, the idea that parliament is the core, parliament determines outcome and is sovereign. those are very tough questions to a nswer those are very tough questions to answer in the weeks ahead. white make more questions to be answered!
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thank you very much indeed. —— mike more questions to be answered! a cruise ship which suffered engine failure in a storm off the coast of norway has been helped into port. hundreds of passengers, most of whom were from the united states and britain, were airlifted to safety from the viking sky. around 20 people were taken to hospital. caroline davies reports. caught in crashing waves off the coast of norway, when the viking sky suffered engine failure yesterday afternoon, the luxury liner began to roll. on board, parts of the ceiling fell on passengers, who dodged sliding tables, chairs and plants. passengers have said that some of the ship's windows smashed and others filmed water rushing past their feet. some queued to be evacuated, wearing orange life jackets. helicopters winched over 400 people to safety, including injured and elderly passengers, air lifted in strong winds. george davies and his
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wife were among them. one of the most frightening moments i've had, because the waves were just... we just sort of lost it really. we couldn't work out which way the ship was going. it was going everywhere and the wind was terrible. it was freezing cold. back on land passengers began to think about what they had witnessed. itjust hit me, the enormity, and the potential disaster. we came so close. i thought this was it. the water was going to rush in and this is it. the ships operator viking cruises has said that 20 people were injured. some have been taken to hospital. the company said that arrangements have been made to fly passengers home with some leaving today. nearly 900 people remained on board the liner, including chris 0'connor. the idea of actually being hoisted up to a helicopter in those winds, i didn't like that idea at all. today the liner was able to restart
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three of its four engines and made its way to the nearest port, pulling in this afternoon. those on board were grateful for calm waters and to be back on dry land. caroline davies, bbc news. jote toftaker is a reporter with nrk and updated us from the norwegian port of molde. there was cheering from the ship. 1300 people were on board. it was a drama, very dangerous. they were approximately 100 metres from running ashore in a really rough pa rt running ashore in a really rough part of norway which is notorious. look over here, the people, you see flags, people greeting the tourists. ruth and david mcintire are from the us. washington state, yes. the drama
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last night? it was an experience which i think very few people go through and survive. we are just realising today how close we came to an amazing catastrophe, and we think an amazing catastrophe, and we think a gold medal should be given to the captain of that ship. he saved our lives, i'm convinced of it. the crew was outstanding. and then we got off the ship to all the rescue people, and met an army of loving people to ta ke and met an army of loving people to take care of us. and you didn't mention you were rescued by helicopter in rough seas. yes, we were. we were wrapped up in the gear and lifted with the winch rapidly through a very small cable, up into the air, into the helicopter, where the air, into the helicopter, where the man grabbed us and said, welcome aboard. you have to pay for that at
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disneyland! but we had it for free. 0n disneyland! but we had it for free. on board, things were thrown around? things were incredibly thrown around. it was an incredibly violent storm and it seemed to increase in intensity quickly. it was stormy, and then all of a sudden, in an hour, it wasjust and then all of a sudden, in an hour, it was just a ferocious storm, and things were flying. i don't know how to describe it enough, because glass was crashing, the plants were all over the place, our furniture glass was crashing, the plants were all overthe place, ourfurniture in out all overthe place, ourfurniture in our state room was throbbing as against the wall. things were everywhere. inside that ship, it is a mess. but the crew was incredible. they were so well trained. they helped us. everything was organised, people were calm. they really were very calm. on 24 hours ago, this ship was in real distress. it was
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very dangerous. and now it was towed here, and people were uploading. what does it feel like? very excited to be on board. here we are, the ground is solid again. we are not moving. well, we might feel like we are. we were so happy to welcome the ship and all the people that could not get off, because the weather was so not get off, because the weather was so bad and it was dark. we were very fortunate. we seemed to be on the first few helicopters. but people we re first few helicopters. but people were shaken by it, but people remained calm. thank you very much. good travels, safe travels, back to the us, hopefully with less drama. we are very grateful to the people of norway. exceedingly grateful. the ship is in harbour in norway. this was a very dangerous situation. a special service has taken place
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in poland to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the prison break which inspired the film, the great escape. 200 allied prisoners of war spent months digging a network of tunnels to escape the stalag luft three camp. 0ur correspondent robert hall was at the service and sent this report. they had hoped to frustrate the war effort with the largest ever escape. 50 of those who tunnelled out of captivity would never be reunited with friends and families. the gestapo, acting on orders from hitler, murdered most of the 76 great escapers. today, there was a tribute to the airmen. the forest is steadily reclaiming stalag luft three, but this is a story that endures, in part, through hollywood. cavendish...
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working in secret, teams of prisoners had spent months 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 gives 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. you would 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. richard churchill
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died a few weeks ago, the last survivor of the break—out, but the escapers' stories are still being passed on. today, britain and poland renewed their promise to honour the memory of all those imprisoned here. robert hall, bbc news, zagan. now, it's time for a look at the weather. hello there. it was a glorious sunday across much of england and wales, plenty of sunshine and light winds too but a different story across scotland and parts of northern ireland. stronger winds here, particularly across the north of scotland with lots of showers. but high pressure will be building in so the winds will be gradually getting lighter across northern and north—eastern areas as the night wears on, taking the showers away as well so most places will be dry with lengthy clear spells. it will feel quite chilly by the end of the night through central and northern areas, temperatures no lower than four to six degrees across the south. we start monday off on a cool note but dry and bright, plenty of sunshine around. lighter winds too. we will have this warm front moving into scotland and that will bring thicker cloud at times,
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a few showery bursts of rain, but it will be a slightly milder day across scotland, 10 or 11 degrees. across the south and south—east, 13 celsius and a glorious afternoon. throughout much of next week, high pressure dominates the scene. we will be tapping into some drier air off the near continent so we should see quite a bit of sunshine through next week and temperatures will respond, turning very mild in places by the end of the week.

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