this is bbc news. i'm lukwesa burak. the headlines at 3. the chancellor insists the government has no red lines in talks over brexit, but labour said it is disappointed no compromise had been offered. the government perhaps has to show more flexibility than it seems to have done so far. there has been no movement from the government on the actual content of the political declaration, and that is key. the conversations with the labour party are continuing, they were continuing last night. we expect to exchange more text with the labour party today, so this is an ongoing process and i am optimistic we will reach some form of agreement. the developer persimmon has announced an independent review into its housing quality after complaints about new builds.
from today, workers will face higher pensions contributions. also this hour... raheem sterling's gift to 500 schoolchildren. it is after the manchester city star got them tickets for this afternoon's fa cup semifinal against brighton. and can tiger roll emulate red rum with repeat success at the grand national at aintree? and click looks at technology that could help to keep ourair looks at technology that could help to keep our air clean. that is coming up in half an hour on bbc news. good afternoon. labour and the conservatives have said they hope brexit talks will continue over the weekend.
the parties have been meeting since wednesday to find a proposal to put to mps, which it is hoped will break the brexit deadlock before an emergency summit next week. the talks appeared to break down yesterday when the shadow brexit secretary sir keir starmer accused the government of refusing to consider changes to the brexit deal‘s political declaration. ina in a moment we will have the latest from our political correspondent but let's remind ourselves what the political declaration is. it is the document which sets out proposals for how the uk's longterm future relationship with the eu will work after brexit.
our political correspondent, matt cole, explained to me earlier why the political decleration is proving so divisive... we were hearing from philip hammond today, who is at a meeting of eu finance ministers that talks would continue this weekend. that is in contrast to what we have heard from labour, who tell me there is nothing scheduled this weekend. despite that, philip hammond seems to be enthusiastic and optimistic that not only can agreement be reached with labour but it can translate into a positive outcome on wednesday's eu emergency summit in brussels. this is him sounding chipper earlier. the conversations with the labour party are continuing. they were continuing last night. we are expecting to exchange more text with the labour party today, so this is an ongoing process and i'm optimistic that we will reach some form of agreement with labour. the chancellor sounding optimistic that things are going well. that in stark contrast to labour who say not only do they have no talks scheduled, they say the lack of progress has been because the government will not shift position.
crucially, labour want a closer economic relationship with the eu than the government does. they want a customs union and closer ties with brussels but, with that, you would not be able to set your own trade deals with other countries, and that is something many who support brexit want. but it seems the government and labour are not shifting on that or anything else and the shadow home secretary said the government has to change its stance. the mess we are in is theresa may's mess. even tory mps accept that. the labour party has stepped up. we want to help. we are engaged in these talks in good faith. but the government perhaps has to show a little more flexibility than it seems to have done so far. there has been no movement from the government on the actual content of the political declaration, and that is key. if there is not agreement, what happens next? there has to be something for theresa may to take to
the eu on wednesday to ask for as a reason for getting a delay. we leave on april the 12th, next friday, unless there is an extension granted by the eu. if theresa may cannot get an agreement with labour, she will have to turn to the commons and there could be votes on a range of options. it could be another referendum, a general election, it could be all sorts of options that could be laid out. a no—deal brexit, a customs union. if mps get a majority, the government said they would take that to brussels. but, if there is nothing, no reason forjustifying an extension, countries like france have questioned why they should give an extension. president macron has said they do notjust want to give an extension to keep
talking, that you need to have a purpose. the irish prime minister has said he does not think it likely that any of the other 27 members would veto an extension. he said it would not be in their interest but, the crucial point he makes is that it only takes one. you know, malta, latvia, a country who decides there are many other things the eu could be getting on with rather than focusing on brexit, and the taoiseach makes that point, that many countries are fed up with this and want to do other things. there could be a way out for theresa may if there is no thing to offer in exchange for an extension, but it is a dicey thing, so going to brussels without anything is a risky proposition. the developer persimmon has announced an independent review into its housing quality after increasing concerns about the standard of its new builds. but the property advice group, the homeowners alliance, has told the bbc that issues with new homes aren't limited to just one developer.
here's colletta smith. this was supposed to be justin's dream home. door bell rings. he'd saved up for a new build... good morning. we've got zero insulation. ..thinking he wouldn't need to do any work to it. we've moved out twice. every ceiling in the entire property has been removed. justin bought his house from one of the biggest developers, taylor wimpey, under the help to buy scheme. it's well below standard, and trying to negotiate with the builders has been an endless trauma from day one. insulation issues, damp issues, cold—bridging issues. a couple of doors up, lynn lives in an identical home with her partner and three daughters. this is not isolated to this particular property or this estate. it's got to be national. the developer taylor wimpey say they sincerely apologise to justin and lynn and have taken action to put things right. more generally, they say...
at this solicitors‘, timothy takes new calls nearly every day from people battling against a host of different developers right across the country. he thinks the problems with new builds are down to lack of skills in the workforce. people are making mistakes, potentially because they don't realise the significance of what they're doing due to a lack of training, a lack of experience and a lack of supervision overall. developers are under pressure to build lots of homes, and quickly. on top of that, every building company i've spoken to in recent years have told me that it's a nightmare trying to get hold of enough staff with the right level of skill. what new—build homeowners are now living with is the consequences of that. taylor wimpey say, last year, they increased the number of workers they hire directly by nearly 30%.
the government say they're trying to tackle the issue by creating a new homes ombudsman and spending more on new construction training hubs. but there are now calls for a new law to let owners hang onto some of their final payment for a couple of years. coletta smith, bbc news, in norwich. a motherfrom kent, who imported medicinal cannabis into the uk from the netherlands for her daughter, knowing it was illegal to do so, has had it confiscated by officials at southend airport. emma appleby paid a pharmacy in the hague four thousand pounds for a three—month supply of the medicine for her daughter teagan, who has a rare form of epilepsy that leads to hundreds of seizures every day. jon hunt reports from southend airport. mrs appleby purchased a three—month supply of medicinal cannabis at a pharmacy in the hague yesterday for her daughter teagan. it cost her the equivalent of £4,000 — money raised through crowdfunding.
as she prepared to board her plane back to the uk, she knew the home office had threatened to confiscate it. nervous, obviously. but ready. see what happens. if they take it i will fight to get it back. mrs appleby says she was forced to make this trip because doctors in the uk, while legally able to prescribe medicinal cannabis, are generally refusing to do so because of a lack of evidence. 0ur general position is we practise evidence—based medicine, so we are interested in other cannabis—based medicines as to whether they may be helpful. but we really have to acquire the evidence that they are effective and safe. so our advice would be, until we get that evidence, that we would not prescribe them. on arrival at southend, mrs appleby and her family were met by border force officers who interviewed them and confiscated the drugs. absolutely gutted. they just took everything. they asked me at border control how long i was away for and i thought they are asking questions
because someone has notified them. they asked if i had anything to declare. there were loads of them waiting so i knew if i said no, i would get myself in deeper, and ijust said yes. the government said new guidance for doctors will be available in the autumn, and it is encouraging further clinical research. human rights compaigners are outside the brunei—owned dorchester hotel in london, calling for a boycott of the five—star establishment. it comes after the sultan of brunei last wednesday introduced laws in the small east asian state that allow for gay men to be stoned and petty thieves to have their limbs cut off. we can go to our reporter who is at the hotel, on park lane, in london. take us through what is happening. it is not unusual at the weekend for
large demonstrations to gather outside the dorchester hotel but interestingly today, there is a large barricade outside the hotel because this protest is protesting the hotel itself, a boycott of this business and other uk interests owned by the sultan of brunei. i am joined by the organiser, peter tatchell. tell me what is your message today and what do you hope to achieve? our - business there can be no normal business relations. what the sultan has done is introduce punishments the same as isis implemented in iraqi and syria during its so—called caliphate, including brutal stoning to death of people convicted of homosexuality, adultery, and insulting the prophet muhammad. uniquely, stoning is so cruel and barbaric, it is designed
to prolong the agonised death of a person. this has no place in the zist person. this has no place in the 21st century, so we are saying boycott the dorchester and all the businesses worldwide owned by the sultan, including his regime's flagship royal brunei airlines. the dorchester hotel group management has distanced itself from the ownership and said they are about inclusion and diversity. what do you make of that? our beef is not with the dorchester and its staff, the beef is with the sultan. we urge the british government to suspend diplomatic, economic ties with that regime and appealed to the queen to stop her close contact with the sultan. she and the sultan have been very closely allied for many years, even though he has been a dictator since way back. that is quite wrong. if the queen is head of state she
should reflect the human rights values of our country are not consorting with people like the sultan. we are just going to look back at the crowd. in the past moments you can perhaps look yourself. it looks like the protesters have jumped over the railings and crowded around the front of the hotel. i am not sure if it is an attempt to get inside. peter, i will bring you back in. were you aware they were going to try to get inside the hotel? no, the plan was for a peaceful protest and i think it is peaceful but they have gone inside the barriers, which are not normally there. our message is that the whole world, including the commonwealth, of which brunei is a part, must take a stand, and it is reg retta ble part, must take a stand, and it is regrettable brunei has not been suspended yet from the commonwealth, even though it signed to the commonwealth charter which pledges to uphold universal human rights. the foreign office said it had
assurances from brunei that these new laws will work in conjunction with common law and the risk of them being in force is low. is that not good enough for you? the fact the laws have been introduced strikes terror into the hearts of lgbt people in brunei. they will now live infearofa people in brunei. they will now live in fear of a policeman‘s knock on the door in the middle of the night, to be dragged off to a police cell, taken to court and convicted and be at risk of stoning to death, so these assurances are not worth the paper they are written on. thanks, peter. as the crowd continues to try to push inside the hotel, i will give you a separate development, which is 0xford give you a separate development, which is oxford university has joined aberdeen and king's college university in saying they are now considering revoking the honorary degree awarded to the sultan some yea rs degree awarded to the sultan some years ago. thank you. the headlines on bbc news... the chancellor insists
the government has no red lines in talks over brexit, but labour said it is disappointed that no compromise had been offered. the developer persimmon announced an independent review into housing quality after increasing concerns about the standard of its new builds. millions of workers will see more of their wages automatically diverted into a pension from today. minimum contributions are going up from 3% to 5%. in ina in a busy day of sport tiger roll bids to become the first multiple winner of the grand national since red rum 45 years ago. the 9—2 favourite leads the race at aintree that gets under way at 550 bm. norwich move a step closer to automatic promotion, eight points clear at the top of the table after thrashing qpr. hibernian win the
edinburgh derby beating hearts to— one and there was trouble. flares and coconuts were thrown onto the pitch. more sport at 4:15pm. algeria's president abdelaziz bouteflika has stepped down after 20 years in charge, but the protesters who forced his resignation say it's not enough. they continue to fill the streets of algiers, demanding an end to the regime that stood behind him. the mood among demonstrators is positive, but the country's path ahead is still unclear. sally nabil reports. the long—time leader has resigned, but algerians continue to protest. their long—time leader has resigned, but algerians continue to protest. it's the seventh week in they take to the streets. they say abdelaziz bouteflika has gone, but the regime is still in place.
they accuse the ruling elite of corruption and repression, and they want to dismantle the entire system. the mood on the street is hopeful, and expectations are high. but underneath, there is a lot of anticipation for how what we need is change, absolute change. translation: we want the entire regime to leave. not just the president. for us, they are all the same. they're all corrupt. the youth have been the driving force behind this protest. they have been emboldened by the success in unseating a president who ruled this country for 20 years. they're sending a clear message here. they want a new phase
with new faces. senate chief abdelkader bensalah, a long—time bouteflika ally, is now acting president. and the constitution has set the path for the conditional period. the current political system should remain in place for 90 days, until new elections are held. but some of the protest leaders here disagree with this plan. 0pposition figures like mr mustafa bouchachi believe the country needs a political solution, not a constitutional one. translation: the transitional period must see a caretaker president of those who haven't been part of the system in the past 20 years. the other thing we need is a national unity government of technocrats, who don't belong to any party. but there are fears algeria might fall into chaos if these masses fail
to agree on who to lead the country during the transition. for now, the streets are full of enthusiasm and positive energy. but there's also a state of uncertainty looming on the horizon. there has been condemnation of a military offensive launched in libya against the capital tripoli. both the un security council and the g7 group of countries have criticised the attempt by the self—described libyan national army to take control of the country's capital from the internationally recognised unity government. un troops in tripoli have been placed on high alert. more evacuations are planned in south—western iran, where further rain is expected to worsen floods that have already killed dozens of people. women and children are being moved from the affected areas. men are being asked to stay behind
to help with rescue efforts. 70 people have died so far, across 15 provinces, and hundreds of towns and cities have been inundated. gkn aerospace has announced it will close its kings norton factory in 2021, which means around 170 people will lose theirjobs. gkn was bought by the melrose group in a hostile takeover last year. a statement from gkn says it has "regrettably" concluded its site in kings norton did not have a sustainable future — but unite union said the closure decision "flew in the face" of assurances given at the time of the takeover. our business correspondent rob young has been following the story. the history is a year ago melrose industry that specialises in buying poor performing companies and turning them around bought gkn, an old british engineering company, for £8 billion against huge opposition.
to try to make this deal go ahead, melrose entered into a series of undertakings with the government to reassure mps and unions and one of those promises made was it would not sell the aerospace part of gkn for five years. the defence secretary gavin williamson is appalled by claims of an alleged attack against a teenage female soldier while she was sleeping. six army soldiers have been arrested and mr williamson has launched a review of behaviour across the military. the minister says that there is no place for these kind of actions in the military and, if true, those involved must face the full force of the law. the chief of the general staff, general sir mark carleton—smith, said inappropriate behaviour was "downright unacceptable". from today, millions of workers will now see more of their wages automatically diverted into a pension. the minimum contribution is going up — from 3 to 5 per cent. employers will also have
to increase their contributions. here's our personal finance correspondent, simon gompertz. this is a tale of two hairdressers. 0ne, chloe — full—time and ready to have 5% clipped off her wage for her work pension after today's increase. i just think that a little bit of money that i don't see, you know, it goes straight out of my wages before i even see it, and ijust think, well, for the future you may need it. because you won't be working. and you'll need to top up for your old age and enjoy doing things as you get older. and this is taneika, who's been blown out of the pension scheme after having a baby and coming back part—time. pensions are tricky for new parents to afford. i think once you've had a baby, you are kind of put to the side and that's how it is. you don't really have much say. it's like you've had a baby, you don't want to do this, you are on a lower wage, and that's it. and then there's a danger
you get a lower pension. yes. it's notjust the cost. employers aren't obliged to sign up people like taneika, who earn less than £10,000 a year. the business has to contribute a top—up, which has gone up to 3% of pay. for the majority of small businesses, it is an onerous burden that's just going to get worse and worse and worse. and i think something like 70% of people work for a small business in this country, so it'll have an impact on the employment of whether people will actually take people on. right now, the challenge for savers like chloe is how to afford today's higher pension payments. the government says it's letting us earn more before income tax kicks in, and raising minimum wages, and that should help. simon gompertz, bbc news. hundreds of pupils from man city star raheem sterling's old school are heading to wembley this afternoon, after he got them tickets to watch the fa cup semi—final. the england forward surprised students from ark elvin academy, by inviting them to watch manchester city's game against brighton. here's natalie pirks.
it's pe as usualfor the pupils of ark elvin academy, but this has been no ordinary week. on thursday, ten of them met their school's most famous former student, and then 250 of them discovered that, thanks to raheem sterling's generosity, they were going home with a pair of tickets for today's semi. despite his success and the fact that he's moved out of london and he's playing for manchester now, he still remembers where he's from and he sticks close to his roots. and for our children to have that role model who thinks of them and still has his heart in our community, that means a huge amount to us, it's very special. well, this used to be copeland community school. and every day for a young raheem sterling there was a very visual reminder of his dream to one day play at wembley stadium. his former coach still works here.
he's always has been a very, very nice person. very generous. and always willing to help where he could and look out for people. i think it's great that he's doing that. it gives a lot of people in the area, from the school, the opportunity to go to wembley and see a game. a lot of them haven't been to wembley before. for those with the golden tickets, sterling is a role model. he is our inspiration. he is our everyday reason to keep playing football. he got found here and itjust goes to show that with hard work, determination, passion, and focusing on your studies, anything is possible. the school will now rename its sports hall after the manchester city star and want him back to cut the ribbon — they hope, with the fa cup in tow. natalie pirks, bbc news, wembley. a huge exhibition of rarely seen guitars from the biggest stars of rock and roll is opening in new york next week. instruments from the likes of bob dylan, elvis presley and the beatles will be on show at the city's metropolitan museum of art. 0ur north america reporter
nada tawfik has had a sneak peak. the quiet galleries of the met are filled with precious masterpieces from the world's greatest sculptors and painters. but the volume has been turned up to showcase a very different artistic movement — rock and roll. the exhibition play it loud let's people get up close to the instruments of legends, from bob dylan to chuck berry. to the instruments of legends, from bob dylan tojimi hendrix. this exhibition is dedicated to the stars of rock ‘n' roll, more than 100 pieces and some of them on loand
and some of them on loan from the greats themselves. jimmy page from british rock band led zeppelin lent several of his prized possessions, like this double—necked guitar and stage outfit, used in a performance of the hit stairway to heaven. he said when the met approached him with the idea he loved it. it was said that you come to the gallery and the first thing you see is chuck berry's guitar. i said, the blond guitar? they said yes. and i said what exactly would you like? ijust really wanted to help the thing along as best i could. the electric guitar is synonymous with rock and roll. this one was used by chuck berry to record johnny b goode, and each so—called guitar god had their own style. this piece is called frankenstein, and it was built and decorated by eddie van halen, one of the great ‘70s and ‘80s guitarists. these are cigarette burns. and this decoration, spray paint and tape and cutting it away, creating a visual motif
that was highly copied, certainly in the ‘80s when i was growing up. some of the items you have are from the beatles, right? yes, i think one of the most iconic things in the show is this beautiful black oyster pearl drum set that was used by ringo starr. in fact, this was the first american ludwig drum set that he owned. after people saw him play, everybody wanted a set that looked exactly the same with that exact decoration. each one of these rock relics tells a story, as does the exhibition itself. a movement built on rebellion is now being revered at the heart of the artistic establishment. now it's time for a look at the weather with darren bett.
0utbreaks outbreaks of rain by pushing east to west. it should become drier across scotla nd west. it should become drier across scotland over night. still some pockets of rain and drizzle. there may be spots of rain from the cloud pushing in from the north sea. it should not be as cold as last night in scotland. temperatures typically 6-7. we in scotland. temperatures typically 6—7. we start the second half of the weekend on a cloudy note with drizzle around in scotland, particularly in the morning. we should see brightening and sunshine developing elsewhere. we will also have heavy showers pushing into eastern parts heading towards the midlands and a small risk of a thunderstorm. these are the temperatures. warm across much of england and wales. still colder in much of scotland and north—east england.