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tv   BBC News at Five  BBC News  April 9, 2019 5:00pm-6:00pm BST

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minutes away. so, just less than minutes away. so, while i go and so does cover, i will hand you over to huw edwards who has the news at five. it's 5 o'clock. our main story is that with three days to go before the uk is set to leave the european union, theresa may is holding last—minute talks with the leaders of germany and france. the prime minister met chancellor merkel in berlin and is due to meet president macron in paris right now, as she urges both leaders to back her request to delay brexit again, possibly until 30 june. in the next few minutes or so, let me bring in my colleague, christian fraser. he is monitoring events for us. fraser. he is monitoring events for us. we expect the arrival
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imminently. earlier today, theresa may was in berlin to discuss the possibility of an extension to the brexit process with angela merkel. there is some doubt around the dates. the issue is to do with the summit that is taking place in brussels tomorrow. there is an emergency summit taking place where president macron and others will be there. that is where theresa may will be presenting her case for an extension to the brexit process because as we look at these pictures now in paris live, let is just remind ourselves thatjust in three days' time, the uk is set to leave the european union. that is where we are in terms of this timetable. and
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in the forecourt, my colleague, lucy williamson is therefore us, keeping an ion things. how long do you think before theresa may arrives? she is due here any minute now. we arejust watching to see when the big gates open at the entrance to the courtyard and certainly, i think she is going to be expecting a slightly tougher conversation here than she had in berlin. france has long been seen as had in berlin. france has long been seen as the bad cop in the brexit process , seen as the bad cop in the brexit process, the one to lay down stringent content —— conditions for any extension. president macron says he does not want to see the eu held hostage to the uk's practical crisis. sources here today have also said when it comes to the summit, he is going to be pushing for political commitments from the uk to stay out of any votes on the eu's future, thatis of any votes on the eu's future, that is in return for extension. yes, just some of the dynamics
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around the decision—making, lucy. what kind of say do you think president macron will have tomorrow as opposed to chancellor merkel, who may have a different perspective on this? well, that is it. they have been presented as good cop bad cop, something both sides have said is not true. they have pointed to the effective unity of the 27 so far and say it is imperative that continues. president macron has always presented himself as a strong defender of europe's interests. he likes to be seen as someone who has great influence in brussels and that is certainly true but he and angela merkel have so far always managed to come to an agreement on how to approach these negotiations. angela merkel earlier today was saying she thought an extension to the end of the year or be women for the beginning of 2020 was possible. sources here today were saying they thought a year was a bit too long.
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how on earth would that work when we are talking about possible participation or nonparticipation in the european elections? that is the burning issue. i think there have been a number of conditions that have been talked about in return for any possible extension. one is the decision over when and how the uk ta kes decision over when and how the uk takes part in european elections. the length of that extension will determine whether or not the uk will need to take part but as i mentioned, there are also other conditions in france that theresa may is likely to face. one is to have a plan b, that if her negotiations with the opposition party in the uk don't pan out, what else is she going to do? what is this extension for? macron has been clear this extension is not automatic, he wants to see a clear and credible plan. there is also this extra commitment that he is looking for, that the uk's continued
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membership of the eu will not be used as leveraged in this process, that if the eu has a say for example in the next commission president or the budget, that won't be used as a way to leveraging more concessions in the brexit process. that is something france is going to be pushing very hard. what is this meeting that is coming up likely to consist of, in terms of timings? the president obviously has agreed to this request for a meeting on the eve of this summit. how long is she likely to spend inside the palace and we get any sense after the meeting of what has gone on? we have been warned not to expect very much access to this meeting. we have been pointed towards the summit tomorrow. the leaders in berlin and here have said how important it is to coordinate to try and talk to theresa may ahead of that summit and there have been as you would expect
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a lot of contact between berlin and paris recently about this issue. we are not sure exactly how long theresa may will end up staying here but as i say, i think both leaders have emphasised how much they want to try and flush out the bones of this, head of the summit tomorrow. just a point about french domestic politics, president macron of course does face a bit of a challenge in these european elections coming up in france, so how does all of this brexit subject matter play into the french domestic political scene? that is absolutely right. president macron is talking on two issues really when he speaks about this, one is brexit and when is the european parliament reactions. even though he likes to be presented as the of europe, he has absolutely no in making it look easy for any
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country to leave the eu. on the other hand, using his veto to push britain out, to push a no deal at this stage, may also not be in france's interests because of the economic impacts but also because it would be potentially divisive for the eu 27. the idea of a delay is one that obviously is being talked about, and an extension to article 50, but president macron's concern is that is not used in anyway to push back the interests of the eu in the brexit negotiations. on a personal level, what is your reading of the relationship between theresa may and president macron, behind—the—scenes, have they got on well in the past? when theresa may one came to paris, she walked out onto the lawn behind the palace and president macron was very courteous, there was a lot of goodwill. the
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french president was keen to point out that britain was welcome to stay, the uk was welcome to stay, if they decided to change its mind and stay in the eu. there was a lot of good humour. ithink stay in the eu. there was a lot of good humour. i think it will be very interesting to see what the body language is like when theresa may arrives now, the stakes are obviously much higher and france has often been painted as the country thatis often been painted as the country that is most stringent about those conditions. just bear with us because we will be back with you in a second. we are still waiting for theresa may to arrive, on the eve of the summit taking place in brussels tomorrow. let's had now to brussels. all of this happening, these talks in germany and france, on the eve of this very important summit. just for the benefit of those viewers joining us, let's underline the significance of these talks today and what they are meant to achieve in terms of
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tomorrow. what they clearly are designed to achieve is theresa may trying to convince these two big players in the eu of her argument that she needs a new extension, a second extension for the uk, keeping it in the eu, delaying that brexit date, and the question she is having to a nswer date, and the question she is having to answer is why? what is the purpose of this extension? what is she going to use this time for? the eu were clear when they granted the extension up until the end of this current week that an extension beyond, a new extension, could only come with a clear plan and president macron is the one she now has to do the most to persuade, so she is lining up before she comes to brussels tomorrow these eu leaders, trying to get across her point and we know that when she comes tomorrow, she is going to have a one—on—one meeting with donald tusk before the summit and at the beginning of the summit, tomorrow
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evening, roughly this sort of time tomorrow evening, she will be addressing the 27 leaders herself to try and convince them why they should be giving her, she has asked forup to should be giving her, she has asked for up to the 30th ofjune, they are discussing various different options longer than that. what is your reading of things at this point? what is your reading of kind of where there is any potential consensus around this extension day among other leaders as well?|j consensus around this extension day among other leaders as well? i think we what —— what we can say is there isa we what —— what we can say is there is a consensus in granting an extension. there has been a preliminary meeting today of ministers from the 27 countries in luxembourg and at that meeting we know that those ministers, none of them were talking about not granting an extension, the discussion was that there was a group of countries talking about the end ofjune, the date theresa may has asked for, but a larger group of countries
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discussing an extension later into the year, the end of this year or into spring of next year. that is where one discussion is about the length, the other is about the purpose and the conditionality. that is how hard to press theresa may on things like a timetable and signposts along the way. we know michel barnier was telling that meeting today that they needed to go for a shorter extension with more signposts along the way, if theresa may can commit to something like a customs union, he was indicating that would be a strong reason to granta that would be a strong reason to grant a longer delay. the other things they are looking at are these sort of conditions around some sort of promises the uk might be asked to make about being a constructive partner, if it stays in the eu, not disrupting business or diverting eve ryo ne disrupting business or diverting everyone else's attention. that is where some of the discussion is around and where the french
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particularly are pushing a harder line. interestingly, we do know that angela merkel after meeting theresa may today was talking to mps from her own party in berlin and she was briefing them that she was talking about an extension later into the year, into next year, but also the possibility that things could be quite unclear to the european elections in late may, the uk could even up to that point, she said, there could be a decision for the uk to participate or not participate very close to those elections. that would imply a continuing process in the uk to try and get an agreement ona the uk to try and get an agreement on a deal getting through parliament before the elections. just to be clear that, it means making a decision possibly on the uk participation in those european elections, within days of the date of the election itself. that appears to be from the reports we are hearing of what angela merkel was discussing with her mps, a
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possibility. she was raising that. it could be unclear right up until quite close to the european elections, whether the uk or the nature of the uk possibly has participation, whether it would be participating or not. but eu countries have been very clear, the uk is having to sign up to the fact it will hold those all will prepare for those elections, and will have had to have held those elections to be able to stay in the eu longer than the 22nd. thank you very much. president macron has just emerged. and ready to greet by minister theresa may. she is arriving in the official british vehicle. with the presidential guard of honour standing by and a brief handshake. some polite smiles and in they go, no words for public consumption at
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this point. lucy, what did it look like in the courtyard? well, as you say, a very businesslike and very swift entry into the building, the prime minister arriving with the ambassador in paris and president macron out on the steps to greet her. but yes, it was a very efficient and very swift entry in for those talks, which as we were saying, are likely to be fairly tough. president macron has very long time said he wants guarantees on those conditions, if an extension is going to be granted. he wants to know that the uk is going to give political assurances it will not interfere in future eu decisions, will not use those as a way to leveraged greater gains in the brexit process and he wants to know that theresa may is coming today with a plan that is clear and credible, that has political backing back home. he does not want an extension for an extension's sake.
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he said the eu cannot be held hostage to a critical crisis in the uk. just a final vote at this point, ifi uk. just a final vote at this point, if i may, picking up again on the theme of the european elections which clearly is a very important theme as part of all that this process of negotiation, just to be clear, what is president macron's view on british participation in those elections and cannot participation —— participation be decided within a matter of days of the date of the elections themselves? i think he is tougher on that than other members of the eu 27, he is more reluctant to leave it till the last minute. these are very important european elections for president macron. he came into power saying he was going to reform the eu and make it work for its citizens aren't yet populist parties across europe are expected to make gains in those elections. macron has made it clear he is diametrically opposed to
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their platforms, their policies and s0 their platforms, their policies and so these are an important test of his commitment, his promise, that the eu can be different, can really work for its citizens and to combat the euroscepticism that he and others have seen in their countries elsewhere in europe. he is determined that nothing should interact out and it is not only in terms of the uk possibly has participation but also in terms of the amount of energy and focus that this has sucked up within the eu, to keep on talking about brexit, to have summits every couple of weeks, is also going to be quite disruptive. as i say, he would be prepared to give an extension but he does want to have some firm guarantees in place. we will be back later when theresa may emerges again. thank you very much for now. president macron is now hosting theresa may for those brexit talks on the eve of the summit. we can now
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head back to westminster. cross— party head back to westminster. cross—party talks between the government and labour have ended for another day. they have been trying to find a way of getting some sort of parliamentary consensus or approvalfor a brexit of parliamentary consensus or approval for a brexit deal, following the rejection of theresa may's deal. with no agreement so far and just three days to go until the uk is set to leave, mps on all sides are openly voicing frustration once again. we are nowjoined by vicki young in westminster. where are we on these talks today? it is interesting because the eu has told theresa may you have to demonstrate you have a plan before we will agree any kind of extension. theresa may does not want a long extension either. in march, she said it would mean hours, days, more of the house of commons contemplating its naval and talking about europe endlessly. she does need some kind of plan to shows she has a way through. plan a is the talks with
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the labour party. we know they have continued today. they were more seniorfigures involved, including the chancellor of the exchequer and his opposite number and they are trying to reach some kind of agreement. we know that on the agenda was the idea of a customs union but that is incredibly unpopular amongst pro—brexit tory mps and actually, other tory mps as well. i just mps and actually, other tory mps as well. ijust think it is a bad idea. they would be no independent trade policy for the uk and those supporting theresa may possibly a steel say her compromises far better. we are not getting much evidence of progress in these talks. this was the environment secretary, michael gove, as he left those talks this afternoon. the talks that we have had with the labour party were openly constructive and both sides engage seriously on a number of issues. we are looking for a way forward , issues. we are looking for a way forward, as you would expect, there are a numberof forward, as you would expect, there are a number of areas where we differ. but we are anxious to ensure that we can carry on with this
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process. labour are saying there are various things they want to talk about. they talk about a single market alignment on employment and environmental laws. that is why michael gove was in there. they are also very concerned about a deal being done with the prime minister theresa may and then her being ousted, a new leader of the tory party coming in and may be starting to tear all of that app. this was labour's position as they left this afternoon. we have been through a numberof afternoon. we have been through a number of issues in great detail. they have not been any fundamental shift, a change of position in the deal itself, but we are hopeful that progress will be made and we are continuing discussions with the government over the coming days. theresa may says she has been left with no choice but to turn to the labour party to try and get the deal through, to get the withdrawal agreement through, but it is incredibly unpopular amongst some of hermps, incredibly unpopular amongst some of her mps, one of them saying it is
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capitulation with collusion. we will have to see what she manages to get from the eu tomorrow but be in no doubt, she is not doing this from a position of authority. she has backbench mps making up laws and getting them through parliament and of course, any idea of an extension or regulate to brexit is not in her hands, it is in the hands of those other european leaders. at half past five, we'll be taker a closer look at the possible ramifications that today's meetings could have on tomorrow's emergency european summit with the former french eu minister, noelle lenor. stay with us for that. the department store group, debenhams, has fallen into the hands of its lenders, as part of an administration process. debenhams has 166 stores, which will initially continue to trade, although about 50 branches had already been earmarked for closure in the future. the department store rejected last—ditch rescue offers from mike ashley's sports direct, which has been locked
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in a battle for control. our business editor, simonjack, is with me. where does this leave us? this is the endgame of an epic boardroom battle. we have seen mike ashley already have a near 30% stake. he was trying to wrest control, he even offered to put into hundred million pounds worth of new shares and he said he would underwrite them. the problem for this company is in his crippling amounts of debt. £625 million, this company last week was only worth £20 million. the board of debenhams took the view of their interests were best served by reverting to its lenders. they have can “— reverting to its lenders. they have can —— taken control and they include a couple of banks and hedge funds who sometimes buy this date in the knowledge that they want to take
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control because they want to take control because they want to take control of the company. sports direct have cried foul and say they could have saved the company. the bbc has been talking to the ft chief financial officer. even though we believe we have given very achievable, very good, solvent solutions for the business, they have not been interested. they have completely wiped out the shareholders and they are planning to shut a lot of stores, thousands of people are going to lose their jobs and it did not need to be that way. mike has personally said he will guarantee at least 90% of the stores will be kept open. he is calling on the regulators or politicians or anyone willing to stick their neck out to reverse this administration. with all of that in mind, why wasn't that accepted? there were a lot of conditions. mike ashley wanted himself storm —— installed as chief executive and the lenders to write off a significant
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portion of debt. he would also be taking on £522 million worth of debt, plus the pension fund obligations and some people in the industry say when mike ashley and his tenants talk about terrible process , his tenants talk about terrible process, the boy doing a bad job for shareholders, they say look at mike ashley, —— the board. he treated like a private company and his form and looking after pensions, so all in all, the board thought the best result for stakeholders, pension schemes, employees, suppliers, would be better served in the long run by going through this route. the chairman today said he was reluctant and sad that the shareholders got wiped out but mike ashley has spent hundred and £50 million cumulative at stake.
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—— accumulating that stake. let's go to birmingham now and speak to isabelle szmigin, she's the deputy dean of birmingham business school and author of understanding the consumer. what is your take on this? i think debenhams has had a problem for a long time inasmuch that it did not ta ke long time inasmuch that it did not take the lead in where retail was going. and i think that it is really u nfortu nate and i think that it is really unfortunate what has happened today, depending on which side you are, but in terms of consumers, i think that the writing really was on the wall for debenhams some time ago. they just could not keep up with all the developments, both in the high street and obviously on the internet. what are the main factors for you, and how debenhams has
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reached this position? debenhams started off as a very high—profile department store and within kind of my memory, i can remember it owning harvey nichols. but what i think has really happened is that it has gone into this kind of middle ground that is not really very popular with consumers at the moment. there is a lot of very specialist shops available, not only in fashion but home goods and so on, and then there is the department stores that really get it and evenjohn lewis, they are not doing so well, what we would say is that debenhams is really stuck in the middle and it could not get itself out of that. i don't think that it really invested enough money in the way it presented itself to the consumer, the way the stores looked, and although we did have an internet presence and a lot of people have said to me that they felt that the service experience in debenhams was always very good, the people that work there were very friendly, i guess that in such a
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competitive environment, it is just not going to make it. you mention the internet, i am wondering, if they were wider lessons in this saga for other names on the high street, because we have reported on other big names in trouble in the past few yea rs, big names in trouble in the past few years, but are there wider lessons for big retailers? the first thing is that you have got to be absolutely up—to—date with the technology. you have got to be checking what everybody‘s doing, what are they using on their phones, how do they like to shop, do they wa nt to how do they like to shop, do they want to click and collect, how do you get the goods to them? they have got to be there. they have got to be doing the latest thing that is making things most convenient for consumers and if you are not doing that and also if not kind of right up that and also if not kind of right up in that and also if not kind of right upina that and also if not kind of right up in a google search and all that of thing, you are not in a competitive position. it is really about being fast on your feet and really understanding where the
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consumers are going and where the technology is going. and now we are left in this position where dozens of stores are earmarked for closure. where are we likely to be with the name debenhams? i don't think we will be where at —— anywhere very much. they will be closing a lot of stores. unless something happens, this is a financial procedure that is going on, mike ashley was talking about doing things, what he would have done, we don't know, but i guess at this moment in time, i would sort of say we will probably see the end of debenhams as a department store. nice to talk to you. thank you so much for talking to us today. a doctor who was convicted of gross negligence manslaughter of six—year—old jack adcock has been told she can return to work. jack died after developing sepsis in 2011. the medical practitioners tribunal service has ruled dr
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hadiza bawa—garba can treat patients again, but but only under conditions for 2h months. our correspondent dominc hughes has the details(tx sot) our correspondent dominc hughes has the details. this is a terrifically tragic case relating, as you said, to the death of jack adcock at leicester royal infirmary in february 2011. at that time hadiza bawa—garba was the most senior doctor in charge of the ward. but it was a terrifically dizzy time when jack was admitted. she admitted making mistakes in his treatment that contributed to his death from undiagnosed sepsis. he ended up having a cardiac arrest and she admitted that. but then faced this charge of gross negligence, manslaughter, so there was a trial, she was given a two—year sentence that was suspended for two years. after that, the medical practitioners tribunal service, so the disciplinary body that looks
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after doctors, had a hearing into how she had handled that case. they decided to suspend her. then the general medical council that brings those cases against doctors worked thinks doctors may not have acted correctly, they appealed that in the court, the court agreed, so dr bawa—garba was then struck off the medical register altogether. dr bawa—garba then appealed that decision, and so last summer that decision was overturned and she was suspended from the medical register. so now, here we are, eight years on from the death of jack adcock and she's been told today that she may return to work. straight to the commons. the government motion... the ayes 420, the ayes have it. the speaker confirming the numbers. let mejust
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explain very briefly, as we look at these pictures from the commons what that was, the motion as follows, the prime minister in the name of the prime minister in the name of the prime minister, that this house agrees for the purposes of section one of the european union withdrawal act, the prime minister seeking an extension of the period specified in article 50 in the treaty of leaving the european union in other words, the european union in other words, the house of commons giving permission for the prime minister when she goes to that summit tomorrow in brussels to ask for an extension, no later than the 30th of june 2019, that is the formal request approved by the house of commons, however, as we know, because we were speaking to our collea g u es because we were speaking to our colleagues early on, the other 27 member states might take a different view tomorrow in brussels and they may say you can have an extension, but it is going two —— be much shorter than that, the period ending injune shorter than that, the period ending in june would be shorter than that, the period ending injune would be fine, but they may
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say no, we will only grant you a much longer extension, in which case it is going to be much longer than the 30th of june. it is going to be much longer than the 30th ofjune. we won't know until tomorrow. at that vote is important because it is mps giving the prime minister permission to ask for that extension, up to the 30th ofjune this year but as i said, it all depends on what happens tomorrow in brussels. let's have a look at the weather. it may look similar to the weather. it may look similar to the setup yesterday but with a noticeable difference, in the eastern part it feels noticeably fresher and the trend will continue. we will notice a dip in temperatures through the next few days. this is the earlier radar and satellite image, you can see this band of cloud and outbreaks of rain stretching from south wales down to the south—east of england, gradually clearing to the south—west overnight. elsewhere under clear skies it will be chilly, still got that north—easterly breeze through
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east anglia, lincolnshire and yorkshire, so it's further north of that through northern england and up into scotland that temperatures will drop closer to freezing and so we can expect a patchy frost first thing wednesday morning. temperatures not dropping quite so far underneath the clouds down towards the south and west, drizzling on the tip of cornwall, the isles of scilly and channel isles but away from that lengthy spells of spring sunshine on offer but we still have that keen breeze bringing in more cloud to north sea coasts and here it will feel fresher. the best temperatures in the west but even down on today's values. thanks very much. we will have more weather later on just before six o'clock. the time is 5:32pm. it is a good moment to catch up 5:32pm. it is a good moment to catch up with the sports news today. we have a big evening coming up, the start of the champions league quarterfinals. we will be live at anfield in a couple of minutes.
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but there's a plum all—english tie, spurs against manchester city our sports correspdondent natalie pirks is at the new tottenham hotspur stadium, natalie, city are favourites but tiottenham will be going all out to put on a perfromance at their new home. it really is rather lovely, isn't it? £1 billion stadium, and this is its second game, its european debut, and marussia pochettino has called this the biggest game of his coaching career. he knows that spurs will have to be extremely aggressive. his use that word several times in his press conference, if they are going to get anything out of this game. city are going for the quadruple. so much talk about them and so much talk about the fact they have already won one of those. pep said yesterday it would be a hugely difficult, almost impossible, the words he used to win those four trophies but pochettino agreed, they were pouring compliments on each other. he said if any team is capable of winning the quadruple it is going to be city
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and this is going to be an absolutely fascinating first leg here tonight. we will see. natalie pirks in north london. we will chat at 6:30pm on bbc news for sportsday. let's head live to anfield now and speak to our correspondent david ornstein, liverpool against porto, they were releived when that draw was made, complacency is probably their biggest enemy. you would say so. this is the drawer everybody would have wanted. but jurgen klopp pointed out yesterday that those who really know football would say nobody wanted to face oporto. they are dangerous. they are doing well in the portuguese league, they sit behind benfica only by virtue of goal difference at the top of that division. their defence has tightened up the season, defence that conceded five goals to liverpool in the first leg of last season's last 16 which set up a routine victory for liverpool. they then came to anfield and drew 0—0 in then came to anfield and drew 0—0 in the second leg so porto have some
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resilience about them but liverpool will be expected to pass this test with the winner going on to face manchester united or barcelona in the quarterfinals. liverpool, of course, having a great time of it domestically, two points clear at the top of the premier league seeking their first premier league, ora seeking their first premier league, or a top division title, in 29 years since 1990. porto on the other hand will look to come here to call something of a surprise. no andy robertson for liverpool, that will bea robertson for liverpool, that will be a loss at left back, but porto have suspensions and injuries of their own, just 16 outfield players available to surge a concert south and the fans come here tonight with the sun shining and hopeful of a rampant anfield liverpool victory. always special on european nights there. thank you, david. we we will chat at 6:30pm as well. england'sjustin rose is hoping to become the first world number one to win the masters in 17 years.
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golf's first major of the year, at augusta national, starts on thursday and rose returned to number one in the world rankings yesterday. tiger woods was the last top ranked player to claim the greenjacket back in 2002. rose's only major victory came at the us open in 2013. he's 38 now and has been runner—up in two of the last four masters tournaments. so can that number one ranking make the difference for him? i have not paid much attention to it. the golf course doesn't know who is the number one ranked player in the world. you've got to come in and prepare hard and i would say rory is the favourite the way he has been playing. there are so many guys who have been playing well and capable of winning this tournament. i don't see the ranking per se, i know i'm one of the guys who can win and has a great opportunity to win, for sure, andi a great opportunity to win, for sure, and i feel confident a great opportunity to win, for sure, and ifeel confident being in that position, but it is certainly not an extra pressure. i'll be back in the sportsday at 6:30pm. also we will hear from in the sportsday at 6:30pm. also we will hearfrom ole gunnar in the sportsday at 6:30pm. also we will hear from ole gunnar solskjaer, manchester united manager, head of
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their champions league tie against barcelona tomorrow. we will have the build—up to tonight's matches as well. thank you, we will see you later. the time is 5:36pm. let's pick up on the brexit process. i can tell you that the bbc has seen a draft of the written conclusions that will be put to eu leaders for agreement at tomorrow's summit in brussels. this is the way the system works, there are is the way the system works, there a re d raft is the way the system works, there are draft conclusions which are agreed by the leaders. the document proposes agreeing to an extension to the brexit process but the end date is left blank to be filled in by the leaders after tomorrow's summit, so thatis leaders after tomorrow's summit, so that is something to be decided. they are interesting conditions on this. it notes that if the withdrawal agreement, mrs may's deal, or a brexit deal, withdrawal agreement, mrs may's deal, ora brexit deal, if withdrawal agreement, mrs may's deal, or a brexit deal, if you like, is ratified by the uk parliament before they eventually the eventually agree a date of the uk could leave the eu sooner than that
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date, so it is a bit flexible in that sense. the draft text underlines that the uk must participate in elections to the european parliament if the withdrawal agreement has not been ratified by the 22nd of may. if there is no deal before the 22nd of may they will have to be elections held in the uk to the european parliament. if the uk doesn't take pa rt parliament. if the uk doesn't take part in those elections, it says, it would have to leave the eu by the 1st ofjune. would have to leave the eu by the 1st of june. that would have to leave the eu by the 1st ofjune. that is quite a clear timetable. the proposals, as we know, will be considered by member states, leaders tomorrow, but before that in brussels this evening by ambassadors. there will be an initial consideration by the member states' ambassadors tonight before the summit tomorrow. the uk would also have to commit to act responsibly, this is what damien was telling us about early on, in other words, not to jeopardise the proper functioning of the eu. because, there is a view in parts of the eu
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that if britain is in on some kind of extension but is due to leave, the incentive not to make trouble, as they see it, is not there. so they want there to be a condition there about acting responsibly. those are the draft conclusions, as we know, at this moment at 5:40pm, 6:40pm in paris, theresa may is meeting emmanuel macron at the elysee paris, trying to convince him, chancellor merkel and others, to agree to some kind of extension. we have seen that the date is to be fixed. earlier, the prime minister was in berlin meeting angela merkel for last—minute talks, ahead of that eu summit. that is where leaders will be voting on whether to delay brexit again until the end ofjune, according to the motion passed by the house of commons within the last 15 or 20 minutes. the house of commons within the last 15 or20 minutes. i'd the house of commons within the last 15 or 20 minutes. i'd like to talk to someone who knows the system inside out but certainly in detail
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from a french perspective. the former french minister for european affairs. noelle lenoir. shejoins me from paris. thank you forjoining us. what can we expect from this meeting between emanuel macron and theresa may today? you have read what was expected from this meeting but also the meeting with angela merkel. i think that you cannot deny from the very beginning, first of all, the europeans are well aware that it is very difficult to govern nowadays, and it is very difficult to do it in the uk, as elsewhere in europe, and second, the europeans want at the maximum that mrs may gets an agreement with the parliament. because, otherwise, the only solution is to go back to the electorate, that is to say, to launch a new referendum or to organise advanced elections. so, i think that what is written in this
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d raft, think that what is written in this draft, which is extremely credible, is the viewpoint of the 27 member states, that is to say, brexit is there and now it is up to the british parliament to decide what is going to be done. the europeans cannot decide. there has been negotiation, extensive discussions, and agreement, which is written, and now it is up to the parliament or the electorate to decide. and as you know, may be an extension, which is much longer than expected. the issue is the instability is very harmful to the people, to the uk, to europe as well and also to companies. mrs may has a great responsibility and the uk parliament as well. but as you know we are not criticising the fa ct you know we are not criticising the fact that it's very difficult to decide because we know where parliament is today but we say that
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it is up to the british, and especially to the parliament, westminster, which is by definition the parliament as such as a role model to finally and eventually decide. that is what will be decided tomorrow. the date is not so important. what is in ported that —— what is important is the europeans help mrs may get a parliamentary vote which is credible, which is not the case nowadays. when you save the date is not that important, there have been plenty of suggestions that president macron and chancellor merkel have a different perspective on the pros and cons, if you like, ofa on the pros and cons, if you like, of a longer or shorter extension. what is your reading of that? my reading of that is, first of all, there are two conditions on which they agree. the first one is if, let's assume there is an extension,
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a long one, if mrs may obtains a vote from the british parliament, the uk can withdraw before the elections, before the 22nd of may, in fact. this is the first condition. the second condition is that, and mr macron insisted very much on this, that the british act responsibly, that is to say, that they don't try to divide europe. and there is no division at all, at present, especially on brexit, but on other subjects as well, even though we have a very populist government in many countries. but division is not the main issue of europe, it is much more than a migration crisis and to tackle it, but to act responsibly is something mr macron wanted very much. then i think it is very much business orientated and he is saying that instability and uncertainty is very detrimental to business and he is
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trying to help france recover a stronger economy because it is still too weak and he is very concerned about that. but i think he would agree with whatever the eu council agrees regarding the date but insists on the necessity to try and limit the period of uncertainty. insists on the necessity to try and limit the period of uncertaintylj limit the period of uncertainty.” think, from what you say, just in terms of the fact we are three days away theoretically from the time when the uk is meant to leave the eu, are we discounting that possibility altogether simply because we are assuming they will be an extension of some kind? no. i think that there will be an extension and i think that we don't need neither the europeans, i mean,
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the uk, nor the british parliament, nobody needs a political crisis in the uk, it would be very detrimental indeed. so what will be decided will be decided according to the talks which have been happening between not only mrs merkel and mr macron and mrs may, but the other european countries. i mean especially the iris -- countries. i mean especially the iris —— the irish and the dutch who are iris —— the irish and the dutch who a re close iris —— the irish and the dutch who are close to the british. the extension as such is almost decided now. it's a pity that with this extension the british will be obliged to spend almost 100 million euros, and also obliged to organise elections when they have decided to withdraw from europe. i think that the extension, as such, shows that the extension, as such, shows that the europeans are willing to help mrs may if they can, but also its
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only an extension, nothing else, and no one wants to discuss again any future agreement. thank you forjoining us. the time is 5:46pm. the headlines on bbc news. the prime minister visits president macron in paris — to prepare the ground for tomorrow's emergency eu brexit summit. and following earlier talks in berlin, the german chancellor angela merkel, has said a delay to brexit until the end of the year is a possibility. and married couples will be able to divorce faster — and with less difficulty — after landmark changes to the law — but critics say the current system allows calm reflection.
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so, at 5:46pm. a student who blackmailed users of pornography websites with cyber attacks — and made hundreds of thousands of pounds in the process — has been jailed for almost six and a half years. the court was told that zain qaiserfrom barking, in essex, is the most prolific cyber criminal to be sentenced in britain, as our correspondent dominic casciani reports. zain qaiser, a university drop out who made hundreds of thousands of pounds before he was 19—years—old. he hit upon what he thought was the perfect cyber crime that would never be reported. qaiser placed fake adverts on popular porn websites, and users who clicked on them saw their machines locked up. they were tricked into believing they were being investigated by british police, the fbi and others. users could pay a small fine to get their computer back,
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and thousands did so, out of fear their habit would be exposed. the national crime agency says a russian organised crime gang assisted the scam. i would certainly regard zain qaiser as probably the most significant cyber crime offender that the national crime agency has investigated. why is that? the sheer volume and complexity of the actions that he's undertaken, the number of people he's connected with worldwide, the complexity of the malware that he deployed, and the success of his operations as well. he made significant amounts of money, as did his associates. judge timothy lamb qc said there was no equivalent case anywhere in the uk. qaiser had styled himself the king of the internet, and caused untold levels of harm around the world. his sentence of almost six—and—a—half years had to reflect the lack of genuine remorse. qaiser‘s control panel revealed how much he was making every month, £700,000 traced so far. the total profits could be more than four million, and he could face longer in jail if he doesn't disclose where it's hidden. dominic casciani, bbc news. divorce laws in england and wales are to be reformed — to make it easierfor couples to split up — without having to apportion blame. the legal right for a husband or wife to contest a divorce
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will also be scrapped. critics of the current system say it often makes reconciliation harder — and can be damaging to children. but others say the changes will trivialise marriage. here's our legal correspondent clive coleman. currently, when a marriage has irretrievably broken down, divorcing couples are forced to blame each other on the grounds of adultery, desertion, or behaviour which is intolerable to live with, or prove they've been separated for a minimum of two years, or five if one spouse doesn't agree. for decades, campaigners have been pressing the government to change the law, because they argue that when you're getting divorced, you're being torn apart emotionally and financially, trying to sort out living arrangements for your children, and so to throw fault and blame into the mix at that point is to make a bad situation a whole lot worse. amelia jacob is currently going through divorce and believes a no—fault system would have avoided unnecessary stress.
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there were elements of the process that just felt quite stressful and unnecessarily antagonistic, through no fault of either of ours, but more the process that we had to operate within. in 2018, 118,000 people petitioned for divorce in england and wales, with blame a factor in a large percentage of all cases. now the government has decided to act. the laws currently have been in place for 50 years, they do need modernising, there's been a long—standing campaign, if you like, to bring our divorce laws into the 215t century, and it's right that we take that opportunity to do that now. following a consultation, new legislation's to be introduced that will replace the need to provide evidence around fault or separation with a requirement to provide a statement of irretrievable breakdown, create an option for a joint application for divorce, while continuing to allow one party to apply, and remove the ability of one spouse
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to contest a divorce. there'll be a minimum six—month period from petition to final divorce to allow couples time for reflection and turning back. campaigners have welcomed this major change to the 50—year—old divorce law. that blame element can really cause incredible animosity between separating parents, and i think that's what can cause difficulty for the children, but it also can cause difficulty for the couple themselves. so whatever we can do to reduce that is, i think, incredibly important. the government says the new legislation will be introduced as soon as parliamentary time allows. clive coleman, bbc news. that was clive coleman reporting.
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israelis are voting in the country's most closely fought general election for many years. the prime minister, benjamin netanyahu, is seeking a record fifth term in office. but his campaign has been dogged by claims of corruption. his opponent says he is standing for honesty in politics. our correspondent tom bateman reports. election day is a public holiday for israelis. patriotic moment for some. but one that would shape the region's future. after a turbulent campaign. the israeli leader has made a last—minute appeal to get the vote out, telling his right—wing supporters not to be complacent and his opponents could still win. this has in effect become a referendum on mr netanyahu's decade in office. the situation is very good,
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economy growing, situation good. i think the welfare of the citizens of israeli is good and this is because of him. we used to be netanyahu people but it's really getting too much. you know? in what way? there is an atmosphere of corruption. mr netanyahu has pledged himself to voters as the only one who can guarantee the security of israel but he's been dogged by looming corruption charges. if he is worried about forming another government he wasn't showing it. translation: this is a sacred act, the essence of democracy and we shall be thankful for that. you need to choose well but i cannot tell you for whom. or i can. but i'm not going to. the current leader is facing his toughest challenge yet, a former army chief benny gantz who has positioned himself
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firmly in the political centre ground. you choose whoever you believe in, respect each other and let us all wake up to a new dawn, a new history, a new beginning. the election has been dominated by the issue of security. a flare—up between israel and palestinian militants in gaza saw mr neta nyahu's opponents brand him ineffective. the israeli leader made a controversial pledge to annex jewish settlements in the israeli—occupied west bank if he is re—elected, a move that could furtherjeopardise the chances of a palestinian state. the polls suggest mr netanyahu is on course to edge to victory but after an unpredictable campaign, they may be unpredictable campaign, there may be surprises in store. tom bateman, bbc news, jerusalem. concorde — arguably the most famous passenger plane ever built — was a marvel of british and french engineering — able to reach speeds
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of 1,350 miles an hour. the supersonicjet made its first british test flight 50 years ago today — as john maguire reports. this was the moment, the 9th of april 1969, that concorde made its first british test flight. it was a relatively short hop from filton airfield, where she was built, on the outskirts of bristol to raf fairford in gloucestershire. this was 002. as the project was an anglo—french venture, the very first flight of 001, built in toulouse, had been made a few weeks earlier. from concept to reality, engineers had spent the past 15 years getting concorde ready for the skies. incident free, apart from the fact that test pilot brian trubshaw had to complete the first landing by sight after a problem with instruments. his subsequent interview post flight personified british stoicism. very pleased we got it here, we had a splendid flight.
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i think all the crew liked it. they'd never been in a concorde before, i was the only one who had been. i think we are pretty bucked, to be frank. it took seven years before the aircraft entered commercial service in 1976, flying for almost four decades before her rolls—royce olympus engines fell silent for the last time. the british testjet was retired here to the fleet air arm museum in somerset. anyone who has ever been onboard concorde will tell you it is very small inside, but the difference with this test aircraft, the 002, is there are none of the seats, the champagne or the canapes, just all of the equipment that enabled the flight engineers to establish concorde's supersonic capabilities. this picture was taken of us all having a break. this picture, taken in north africa in 1974, features three engineers who returned to celebrate
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concorde today. i think it was a one off experience, never see it again in my lifetime and never experience it again, but what i did was fantastic. i was chuffed to be able to work on it, and if you had three laptops onboard today you wouldn't have all the instrumentation that's up there now. this aircraft set the standard for the fleet. it was such a quality aircraft, the fleet of concorde that came along later were superbly built, and it lasted 27 years in service, which is a wonderful feat as well. a controversial, yet inspirational and unique chapter in the history of aviation. john maguire, bbc news, somerset. the time is 5:57 p m. bbc news coming up with riether. but first let's have a look at the weather.
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the weather may look similar to the weather from yesterday but there has been a significant difference, particularly in eastern areas like lincolnshire. we have had blue sky but it has felt noticeably fresher and heading for the next few days we will notice those temperatures take a tumble but there will be lots of fine and dry weather in the forecast because high pressure is starting to establish itself from scandinavia and that will exert its influence over the uk. but around that area of high pressure we are drawing in much cooler air that is feeding in from the north sea and it will gradually filter across the uk so we will notice a dip in the temperatures over the next few days. through the day today we have had this cloudy zone with patchy outbreaks of rain from wales towards the far south—east of england, some heavy bursts in that and it becomes more confined to the south—west heading into the overnight period. elsewhere, lengthy clear skies, still that nagging easterly breeze through east anglia, lincolnshire and yorkshire so it is further north through northern england and up into
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scotla nd through northern england and up into scotland where temperatures will drop closer to freezing. so we can expect a patchy thrust here first thing tomorrow morning. temperatures hold up towards the south—west of england underneath that cloud. that will still be around first thing tomorrow morning. but here is our area of high pressure gradually pushing it away. it may be a bit of a grey start and cloudy and drizzle in places like the tip of cornwall and into the isles of scilly, and the channel islands and the but improving story is the day goes on. elsewhere, plenty of spring sunshine on offer but still that keen north—easterly breeze dragging in a bit more cloud perhaps to some areas down the north sea coast. in some spots temperatures will be in single figures, the best of the temperatures will be in the west but even here a bit of a come—down on today's values, not only cold by day but also a chilly night to come, in fa ct, but also a chilly night to come, in fact, the coldest night this week, possibly temperatures widely close to freezing if not a touch below. so a cold start thursday morning, but
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we will gradually start seeing more cloud working its way in. the winds will be that bit lighter and temperatures will be down a notch or two on today's values. first stop — berlin with the german chancellor. this evening, she's in paris, meeting president macron, pushing to move brexit to the end ofjune. it was never what the prime minister wanted, but right now, theresa may is in the president'spalace, pleading for a brexit delay. with the final decision on a delay due at an emergency summit of all the eu leaders tomorrow, we'll be asking whether theresa may is likely to get her extension, and on what terms. also tonight: debenhams' lenders take control of the struggling high street chain — after rejecting rescue efforts from the founder of sports direct. divorce laws in england and wales are to be overhauled so that couples can split faster and with less bitterness. why should someone get totally landlocked in an unhappy marriage,


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