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tv   BBC News  BBC News  April 15, 2019 11:00pm-11:31pm BST

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this is bbc news. i'm geeta guru—murthy. the headlines at 11 o'clock. one of the world's most famous landmarks, notre dame cathedral in paris, has been engulfed by fire. firefighters say the building's structure and its two main towers have been saved. but much of the roof has been destroyed and the main spire over the transept has collapsed. president emmanuel macron earlier visited the site and said in the last half hour — "we will rebuild". and these are live pictures of the fire at the 850—year—old gothic building. and at 11.30 we'll be taking an in—depth look at the papers with our reviewers jessica elgot and steven swinford — stay with us for that.
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it is one of the most famous buildings in the world. it has stood on the banks of the river seine for more than 800 years. tonight notre dame cathedral in paris is completely engulfed by fire. the flames appear to have started in the roof where extensive renovation work was being carried out. they quickly took hold. the cathedral‘s spire collapsed into the building. it's feared little has been saved. although we do think that the main structure will now survive. huge crowds gathered in the streets around it — many were in tears. notre dame took 200 years to build — it's one of the greatest treasures of mediaeval architecture. tonight it lies in ruins. our paris correspondent lucy williamson reports. it was, said the president, a part of france that burned today, a part that stood here
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for 800 years, through war, revolution and religious unrest. engulfed within an hour by flames. its ancient towers, beacons for both residents and tourists, crumbling into the blaze. as its current guardian watched through tears. translation: this is a national disaster, i'm very upset, this cathedral is 850 years old and to see the building fall to pieces, the spire to fall down just as we were renovating it, all i can do is pray. 400 firefighters circled the cathedral to tackle the blaze. their crane stretching to reach its soaring roof, a complicated and fragile operation, simply dousing the medieval structure with water was not an option because the building could collapse. to tackle the flames inside the building, firefighters had to
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climb up the towers. nothing else could reach. the flames are slowly beginning to subside but the damage is just beginning to reveal itself. the destruction of this medieval symbol of paris has left the city under a pall of shock and smoke. people packed into the streets around barely spoke. just watched. president macron arriving at the cathedral with france's prime minister had no words to offer, either. his face upturned in disbelief, as in prayer. those who found the words for their impressions, one after the other, all said the same. translation: this is awful, it's terribly sad. it is terrifying. the fire is uncontrollable. i've been here for one hour and there is nothing you can do. the deputy mayor of paris confirmed the fire started on the roof and quickly spread. the cause isn't clear.
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police have begun an investigation but some have questioned whether extensive renovation work currently under way here might have sparked this massive blaze. the task now is to assess the destruction inside the building. its woodwork dating from the 13th century, its statues destroyed once before by revolutionaries two centuries ago. many things are said to be irreplaceable. great art, cultural heritage, symbols of protection and hope. what words should we used when it is all of these? lucy williamson, bbc news, paris. president macron has been speaking in the last half hour pledging to try to rebuild the structure and it is hoped that the stone towers of the cathedral will now survive. is hoped that the stone towers of the cathedral will now survivem did look perilous for a while but thatis did look perilous for a while but that is the current pope. notre dame
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sits in the heart of paris. on the ile de la cite, an island in the middle of the river seine. tonight the city — and the whole of france — is mourning a cultural and historical loss previously thought unimaginable. fergal keane reports now on the damage done to france's cultural fabric. in paris, the most desolate of skies, smoke and ruin and history billowing into the air. fire crews from across paris have come here to save whatever they possibly can, and the striking thing, standing among the crowds on the banks of the seine, isjust the silence, the quiet of people stunned by the destruction of notjust a great french cultural artefact but of one that belonged notre dame de paris offered an image of france that seemed eternal, even if the past was long past.
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it was built more than 800 years ago when kings ruled by divine right, and grand and great cathedrals of stone and stained glass were designed to reach for the sublime. so this is absolutely a cultural disaster, for all of us, notjust the french, but also of european significance. paris had been the hot cauldron of gothic architecture from the 11th and 12th centuries, and it had influenced a whole lot of buildings in england, including westminster abbey, and all our subsequent cathedrals. notre dame survived europe's devastating wars of religion, and the age of revolution. it was a theatre of hubris, napoleon was crowned emperor here by the pope. at the end of world war ii, the bells of notre dame pealed the hour of liberation. its glories are a source of pride for the people of the city. translation: i speak to your english audience to share my immense sorrow, my immense pain in front of this catastrophe that has befallen notre dame. i have lived here for more than 30 years, my three children
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were baptised here. what the germans did not destroy was ruined by stupid fire. higher and higher it goes up... the fear of devastating fire was always present. this was the mid 1930s, when the paris fire service drilled for such an eventuality, but it was a renovation in the modern age that prove catastrophic. these statues were moved for protection just last week. tonight, paris feels like a city that is mourning the loss of an essential part of itself. fergal keane, bbc news, paris. in the last 30 minutes, president macron thanked firefighters for their work and said that notre dame would be rebuilt. translation: what happened tonight in paris, in notre dame isa happened tonight in paris, in notre dame is a terrible event. i want to
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first think the firefighters. 500 of whom have battled the flames for several hours and will keep doing so for several more and maybe for several days. they fought the blaze with extreme courage, professionalism and determination. and i want to convey... president macron there just paying tribute to the firefighters. we understand it is possible that one firefighter has been injured. that work is still continuing. we abi thellusson is a university student on her year abroad in paris. she saw the fire take hold, and left her apartment. she's now been allowed back in, and joins us with her boyfriend jonathan, visiting her in paris. thank you both forjoining us. can you tell us what you saw and where you tell us what you saw and where you were? i was looking out the window of my flat which looks out
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and we saw flames at the back of the roof. didn't think much because it looked rather small but within about ten minutes, i would say, it first out and there was billowing smoke coming out of the building. quite thick smoke and it looked very serious quite suddenly. what were your thoughts when you saw that and how did it and unfold? how quickly was it? we were surprised because we didn't understand what was going on and with the smoke you could see the flames coming up over the roofs, that's when we thought it was serious. and then we all left the flat and went somewhere else because ash started to rain down on the windows and it was all getting a bit dramatic. was there any indication of how this may have started? no
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idea. it looked like the scaffolding was catching on fire. how quickly then did you see the building be involved? we are watching pictures fed live to was here in the newsroom but what could you see while you we re but what could you see while you were there? it all went quickly. there were four of us getting dinner and someone said look there is smoke and someone said look there is smoke and within ten or 15 minutes the flames were really going on the smoke was billowing out and from thenit smoke was billowing out and from then it was spreading across the roof. it was graphic stuff. when you asked to leave or were you allowed to stay in your apartment? we left of our own accord but we had some very emotional neighbours who were clearly toying with the idea of leaving but who wanted to stay and watch this building. i've only been
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here for three months but they have been here for decades and you could see it was an emotional decision. how close are you to notre dame? were looking at it right now. probably 100 metres or so. and what we re probably 100 metres or so. and what were your neighbours saying and doing? they were crying. they were not very happy. there are many emotional people around, a lot of tea rs, emotional people around, a lot of tears, a emotional people around, a lot of tea rs, a lot emotional people around, a lot of tears, a lot of crying. it is pretty charged up. was there a risk to you from falling walls or debris? the river is between us but the road is cordoned off. the police led us through because i had id other than that it through because i had id other than thatitis through because i had id other than that it is eerily quiet. what else can you see right now? there is a lot of streetlights and a lot of people moving around. people it looks like up in the towers with torches and earlier it looked like they were looking for embers that
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we re they were looking for embers that were continuing to burn in the main two towers. at the back you can still see the fire going. doesn't look as if the fire is in the main towers ? look as if the fire is in the main towers? yes. that's what it looks like from where we are. did you see the firefighters? again, it was not clear to us how quickly they managed to get to the building. i think smallerfire engines got to get to the building. i think smaller fire engines got the quite quickly. what took longer was the big stuff and from where we were it looked like no matter how many people there were there was nothing they could really do. and it's pretty impressive what they have managed to do. how flames at the moment? what can you tell us? we can still see the back is smouldering but it has definitely died down significantly. when we left the flat
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we could not see anything past the front two towers. it was all smoke and inferno. how are you feeling watching this? i know you say you have not been living there long but it is an iconic welding around the world. i have woken up to it every morning for the last three months and it is a huge part of french culture and history. a huge part of my literature degree. notre dame p°p5 up my literature degree. notre dame pops up in so many cultural references. so it is quite emotional andi references. so it is quite emotional and i am sure parisien ‘s... i have had many messages from my parisien friends who are close to tears. give us friends who are close to tears. give usa friends who are close to tears. give us a flavour of why they are, what are they saying? we've seen a lot of social media but what are people saying to you? it is unsettling. a friend and i were debating going to
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have a look but you are so used to it, it is part of the furniture you just see it. this but to see it gutted by flames are scary. thank you both very much for those thoughts. we can see the night—time shot with the debts still trained on notre dame. the fla mes still trained on notre dame. the flames are still burning but i imagine it would still take quite a few hours. i think the interesting thing about the cultural status of notre dame is that its only rival on the skyline is the eiffel tower and it's been
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there for 100 years, this building, for 1200 and it's also true to say that france is a secular culture and society. in 1905, the french passed a law on the separation of church and state which prohibited the state from recognising or founding and state which prohibited the state from recognising orfounding any religion and led to the barring of religious symbols in schools and institutions and the closure of most church run schools and it's interesting that when president macron expressed his own sadness, he says it's thoughts are with all catholics and all french people, acknowledging at the same time the history of the nation but also the present status. in terms of the catholic church, estimates range between a1% and 88% of the nation describing themselves as catholics. the church is organised into about 98 dioceses and in 2012, these dioceses were being served by 7000
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priests above the age of 75. the church currently ordains about 80 or 90 priests per year and needs about eight times that number to compensate for the amount that pass away but as you say, it's a world heritage site and attracts millions of people every year and of course, this week being holy week, we've just had palm sunday yesterday and we are moving through the week as you know, through stations of the ci’oss you know, through stations of the cross on thursday morning, maundy thursday and catholics would be expected to church —— attend church on good friday to mark the death of christ on easter sunday, his resurrection, that now being imperilled by what's happened to the building. i want to show you some of the latest pictures coming into us from notre dame. those hugejets being trained inside the walls of notre dame. you can see the flames from
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inside the building and the firefighters having to climb up the walls, they couldn't pour water from the top because there was a fear destruction might collapse but earlier, we saw the spire collapse, pa rt earlier, we saw the spire collapse, part of the roof collapse but the main front structure with those towers, as you can see, is still standing. you can see flashing lights were they are moving around, checking for burning embers. at the moment, we have not heard of any huge numbers of casualties, which people were looking out for, given the cathedral had just been opened and it's also not clear as yet how this fire started. we know there was a lot of restoration work going on and it's thought that somehow, the fla mes and it's thought that somehow, the flames started there initially. we've heard repeated people tell us the initial flames were yellow we
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green with an acrid smoke smell passing over that area, lots of people reporting — falling down onto them nearby. we've heard about the fa ct them nearby. we've heard about the fact that them nearby. we've heard about the fa ct that lots them nearby. we've heard about the fact that lots of crowds are standing their emotional and obviously very saddened and in tea rs. obviously very saddened and in tears. they just watched obviously very saddened and in tears. theyjust watched what happened. of course, to look at a slightly more optimistic note, it does seem as though the main structure might survive thanks to the work of those french firefighters who are still fully engaged there and president macron has announced an international fund will be formed to rebuild. they have been messages from around the world, donald trump, theresa may, angela merkel expressing sympathy and
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support for france. the headlines on bbc news: notre dame has been partially in destroyed by fire. fire officials now say that the main stone structure of the 800—year—old building has been saved and preserved but there are fears for the many priceless artworks and artefacts inside. much of the roof has been destroyed and the main spire over the transept has collapsed. president emmanuel macron visited the site and said in the last half hour, "we will rebuild." other news now. shamima begum, the london teenager who joined the islamic state group when she was 15, is expected to be granted legal aid, to fight the decision to strip her of her british citizenship. the 19—year—old, who's in a detention camp in syria, wants to return to the uk.
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legal aid — which is financial help paid for by taxpayers, to those who can't afford the costs of a lawyer themselves — has been significantly cut back in recent years. here's our home editor, mark easton. should shamima begum, the former british schoolgirl who went to join the islamic state group, be granted legal aid to contest the home secretary's controversial decision to strip her of her citizenship? the legal aid agency looks certain to say yes, but using public funds to support a jihadi bride is equally controversial. it's not the first time that someone who, for national security reasons, has had their citizenship deprived. it's not the first time that someone has received legal aid, but on that issue itself, it should really be an independent decision, not for ministers. senior lawyers argue that whether the state can simply remove the britishness of someone born
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in britain is an example ofjust the kind of case where legal aid is essential. what would you say to those who argue this is not the way that public funds should be used? it is essential to the rights of every single one of us that, if the government makes a decision that affect our lives, or if an individual breaches our rights, that we have a fair process that we can turn to, to ensure that our rights are upheld. legal aid is supposed to ensure the rich and the powerful don't have an advantage in access to justice, both in criminal and civil cases. the money doesn't go to the individuals but to the lawyers representing them. it's only available after a strict means test of a person's financial position and a merits test — an assessment of the chances of success, the cost and, in high—profile cases, public attitudes. the government has made it more difficult to get legal aid, spending almost £1 billion less a year now in real terms than a decade ago. relatives of those killed by the ira in the 1974 birmingham pub bombings were initially denied access to public funds in fighting their cases.
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it is scandalous that there is no automatic legal aid funding for complex inquests like ours. legal aid is regarded as a building block of the rule of law, indeed of our very democracy, but when money's tight, who is and who's not able to access scarce public funds inspires fierce argument. shamima begum had no involvement in requesting legal aid and will, of course, not receive one penny personally, but if the lawyers acting in her name were to win their case, she may yet return to the uk and then perhaps face justice before an english court. mark easton, bbc news. a man has been charged over an online video which appeared to mock the victims of the grenfell tower disaster. paul bussetti who's a6, is accused of distributing grossly offensive material. the footage emerged showing a crude cardboard model of grenfell being burned on a bonfire.
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72 people died in the fire in west london, in 2017. demonstrators have blocked major road junctions in central london and disrupted traffic in a protest over climate change. the campaign group, extinction rebellion parked a boat across oxford circus, and blocked marble arch and piccadilly circus. three men have been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage. the organisers say protests were taking place in more than 80 cities, across 33 countries. let's go back to the story of the former soldier who is to be charged with murdering a teenager, who was shot twice in the head in londonderry in 1972. here's our ireland correspondent emma va rdy. barricaded and controlled by the ira, in the early 1970s, parts of derry had become no—go zones for the police and british soldiers.
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during an army operation to retake areas of the city, 15—year—old daniel hegarty was shot twice in the head by a member of a patrol unit known only as soldier b. the original investigation into what happened has since been heavily criticised by police. an inquest in 2011 found daniel hegarty was unarmed and that soldiers had not given a warning before firing. but repeatedly prosecutors had decided not to press charges. today, the decision was overturned. we have not and do not seek revenge or retribution. we just want the criminal trial process to begin. we have waited long enough for this day ofjustice for daniel. we know from the support of others that it's never too late for justice. soldier b will now face prosecution for murder and for wounding with intent, having also shot this man, daniel hegarty‘s cousin, christopher, who survived.
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a total of six british soldiers are now facing charges for killings during northern ireland's troubles, and more are still being investigated. these cases are deeply controversial, and critics have called for new laws to prevent veterans being prosecuted. last month in derry, families were told of the prosecution of soldier f for the events of bloody sunday in which 13 civilians were killed. and, today, another milestone in northern ireland's journey to try to reconcile its past. emma vardy, bbc news, derry. the city of liverpool has been marking the 30th anniversary of the hillsborough disaster. a minute's silence was observed at 6 minutes past three, the time the match was stopped. ninety six football fans died in a crush on the terraces
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during an fa cup semi—final. housing charities and campaigners have welcomed government plans to end the right of landlords in england to evict tenants without good reason. but the national landlords association says the proposals could cause chaos, increasing the number of indefinite tenancies. sima kotecha reports. yeah, i think it does make me feel a bit more secure, but i'm worried also about the people who don't necessarily know their rights... nick had a bad experience while renting. he was given just four weeks to move out of his flat. it was quite stressful at the time. i had to find a flat at short notice, and i had to settle for somewhere that was probably... i wouldn't have chosen in an ideal world, in terms of the state it was in! if these changes come into force, tenants won't be able to be evicted without good reason. yeah, it is a relief that, at least in principle, what happened to me before couldn't happen again. and in that sense, it's a positive, and it also shows how desperate the situation has become for a lot of private renters.
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i think that the government has been forced to act after pressure. at the moment, landlords can terminate tenancies without a reason using a section 21 notice. some are concerned if these are abolished, it will be harder to get rid of difficult tenants. you're permanently under stress... michael evicted a tenant who he says refused to pay his rent. we've ended up with a situation where we're 5 grand in arrears with rent, which we've got no chance of seeing anymore. if i'd gone down the court route, that would have been another two months he could have strung it out for, and also the court costs, which we're never going to see back. the use of section 21 has risen sharply since 2011, and last year more than 10,000 repossessions were carried out in england. the private rental market has grown significantly over the past two decades.
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ministers say evidence shows that section 21 evictions are one of the causes of homelessness, and that's partly why, they argue, there needs to be a change in legislation. carl says he's been living on the streets for three years. if your landlord evicts you, you can end up on the street no problem. theyjust pack your bags, they're there on the doorstep, you get back, there's nothing you can do about it. a lot of times, you won't even get a chance to speak to the landlord. that's you on the street. nowhere else to go, what can you do? in scotland, similar rules were introduced two years ago. ministers say they hope to begin a consultation on these new proposals before the summer. sima kotecha, bbc news. and we'll be taking an in—depth look at the papers with our reviewersjessica elgot and steven swinford — that's coming up after the headlines at 11:30. now it's time for the weather with chris fawkes. hello there. over the weekend sunday
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was just 12 across the uk. cold, easterly wind bringing chilly air from scandinavia. if we fast forward this week, wind changes direction to south—east over the next few days and we dragon warm airfrom the continent so easter weekend, temperatures in the warmest spots could reach 25, more than warm enough to melt your chocolate easter eggs. temperatures close to normal as we head through tuesday. the weather front with us for 2h hours across western parts of the uk bringing wet weather so expect a bit more rain in northern ireland. damp weather at times. through the day, the rain will slowly nudge a bit further east. the wettest weather, tuesday afternoon. northern ireland, the best of the bright conditions, probably eastern scotland. through
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the evening and overnight, that rain will continue to slow and fizzle across western scotland so the weather should become drier overnight. temperatures, 4— seven and there is a sign of clouds waking up and there is a sign of clouds waking up across and there is a sign of clouds waking up across central and eastern england, a sign of things to come on wednesday. wednesday is when winds fall light and we will see larger brea ks fall light and we will see larger breaks in the cloud so much more in the way of sunshine. it's the sunshine which makes all the difference. up to 18 in the south—east, 1a not too bad in edinburgh, warmer still later in the week. thursday, if you mist and fog patches but for many of us, a decent day. a bit of patchy cloud. not spoiling things too


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