tv BBC News at Ten BBC News April 16, 2019 10:00pm-10:30pm BST
saved but onlyjust — notre dame cathedral was 30 minutes from being completely destroyed by the huge fire in paris last night. the french government has praised the speed and bravery of hundreds of firefighters who spent the night tackling the blaze to save the ancient building. the extent of the damage becomes clear as president macron vows to rebuild the cathedral within five years. translation: the fire in notre dame reminds us that our history never stops, never, and that we will always have trials to overcome. singing on the banks of the seine — hundreds gather for a prayer vigil after their cathedral was saved from the flames.
also on the programme tonight: vowing to take the pressure off young children — labour says it would scrap national sats tests in england's primary schools. calling for a stronger voice in afghanistan — we have a special report on the changing role of women in a deeply conservative society. and brilliant barcelona send manchester united out of the champions league. and coming up on sportsday on bbc news... action from the champions league, on a big night for manchester united. but yet again lionel messi has been the difference. we'll tell you how they got on against barcelona. good evening. notre dame cathedral came to within half an hour of being totally destroyed last night, according to a french government minister, who praised the speed and bravery of the firefighters tackling the blaze.
more than 400 worked through the night to bring the flames under control. around 20 entered the stone towers themselves, where fires had broken out, to stop them collapsing. tonight, president macron addressed the nation and vowed to restore the cathedral within five years. more than half a billion euros has already been pledged by individuals and businesses wanting to help. we still don't know the cause of the fire, but smoke emerged from the building — which was being renovated — early yesterday evening. it appears to have started beneath the 315—foot spire, spreading north and south along the timber roof. it then travelled along the eastern section and the other way too, towards the towers. then the 19th century spire itself collapsed. but, incredibly, they not only saved the building but also numerous priceless artefacts from inside the cathedral. our first report is from our paris correspondent, lucy williamson.
words were hard to find last night to describe this loss, to absorb this scene. what burned with notre dame, high above the paris skyline, was 800 years of history. for some, the physical anchor of paris, the cultural soul of france. it took 23 minutes to confirm the fire alert and send emergency crews to the scene. the fire was spreading quickly, oak rafters that had held the roof for centuries turning to ash in the evening sky. the central spire holding out against its own destruction until the very last moment, its bell hanging clear and still in the flames. oh, la la, la la!
to tackle the blaze, fire crews scaled the cathedral‘s main towers. this was the first glimpse of what they faced, footage of the building filmed from above, the flames mapping a cross against the night sky. inside, burning embers were still falling when the first crews made their way in. the pews where people had been waiting for mass that afternoon now covered with smouldering rubble. the empty space lit from above by a blaze of fire where the roof had been. translation: we've saved the crown of thorns and st louis‘ tunic, i think we were able to save some chalices. the fire didn't reach the treasury, and then inside they tried to save some paintings, but, you know, it was impossible to save the big ones. after four hours, firemen confirmed that the structure of the building had been saved — a test of faith for modern—day paris.
"notre—dame resisted the nazis," one resident said, "she's not going to leave us now." if last night was all what about had been lost, by morning the focus was on what survived. translation: we now know since this morning that 15 or 30 minutes‘ delay would have been critical to the cathedral, so we salute the firefighters' courage. the fire burned through most of the roof, but the stone structure tonight, president macron addressed the nation. translation: we found that what we thought was indestructible can be damaged. tonight, president macron addressed the nation. everything that makes france is alive and therefore fragile. and, yes, we will rebuild the notre—dame cathedral, and it will be more beautiful than before, and it will be done in five years. fire burned through most of the roof, but the stone structure and most of its treasures have been
saved, including the crown of thorns, several important paintings, the medieval organ and the famous rose windows. these photos were taken by one of the architects invited in to assess the building. so with the vaults on one side, the walls and the flying buttresses around, so normally it should be stable, but i know they are going to investigate to see if there is some risk or not for the building itself. people came again today, as if for reassurance, counting the damage, weighing their relief. translation: it's such a shock, i am discovering it now. it is a symbolic building for us — it still is, it always will be. you don't understand, you don't get it, how can that... that kind of thing can happen right now. it's impossible to accept that, so you just... for the life of all the parisians and even in europe, and in the world, it's... it exists as a symbol,
and we need it. investigators are working on the basis this was an accident. the fire is thought to have started on the roof. many have questioned whether restoration being carried out on the building might have played a role. that restoration is now a much bigger project, and donations have poured in overnight — hundreds of millions of euros so far. this is where france kept not just its relics but its stories, a place to mark both heroism and loss. those two things were felt here again last night — a new chapter in the tale of notre—dame. lucy williamson, bbc news, paris. well, let's just give you an idea of how quickly the blaze took hold last night. the first reports of smoke came just before 7pm local time, after the cathedral had closed to the public. in a little over an hour, the i9th—century spire had collapsed. by 10pm, officials were saying
they may not be able the save the cathedral. but, in that crucial window of time, just 15 to 30 minutes, firefighters finally managed to contain the fire so that, by "pm, the city's fire chief was able to declare that the cathedral‘s stone structure was safe. saved too were a large number of priceless artefacts, carried out of the cathedral as the fires burned above. 0ur arts correspondent, david sillito, reports on what's been saved and how much can be restored. there was a moment when you wondered if anything could survive this. however, the great rose window, tonight, it's rather battered and charred, still largely intact. as pieces of roof crashed to the ground, a human chain helped remove more than 1,000 years of religious history. amongst the objects saved, the crown of thorns, the tunic of st louis and dozens of other artworks. but that fire. the organ may have escaped
the flames, but it's endured an ordeal of smoke and debris. it's like a part of my life which is destroyed. i think it will be hard to see, so i'm a bit afraid about seeing it over the next few days, probably. paintings have been lost. some 5% to 10% of the artworks appear to be damaged or destroyed. and the building? translation: there is an enormous amount of damage inside. some of the stones are damaged. the vaulted roof has disappeared, so we have a big job in front of us. the giant gaps in the stone vaulted ceiling tell their own story, but all this stonework has also helped protect parts of the interior, and great cathedrals have a history of recovering from fire. this was york minster in 1984. fire had turned the south transept into a gaping, sooty ruin. we're going on the high level on the scaffolding to look across at the south transept, where the fire was. 35 years later, master mason john david took me to the top,
a chance to see the restoration and remember the moment he stood beneath the collapsing roof of melted lead roof of melted lead and burning timber. flames were shooting out the actual peak of the roof there, and gradually the lead was melting and, as the roof began to fall, some of the big bosses from the vault started thumping on the ground. you were inside? yes. everything you're looking at, tonnes of lead, oak, all went crashing to the ground that night, and what's amazing is that, and what's amazing is that, 35 years on, you'd have absolutely no idea there was a fire here. but, while there are many similarities, there is one big difference. it's a hugejob. notre dame has lost its choir, nave and two transepts, so it's a huge thing. four or five times the size, we are talking about. yes. but masterjoinerjeff brayshaw, another veteran of that day 35 years ago, feels optimistic. to a visitor, could they tell the difference? no, not at all.
it looks like a medieval roof we are looking at. we are looking at your handiwork, aren't we? many of us. today, the only visible memory in the minster are two small scorch marks. thejob may be huge, but the message to notre dame is one of hope. last night, thousands of people stood in the streets around notre dame, watching in shock as the cathedral went up in flames. but this morning paris woke up to find that its skyline hadn't been completely changed after all. notre dame was still standing, albeit badly damaged. fergal keane has been talking to parisians about the impact of seeing their much—loved cathedral on the brink of destruction. "to everything there is a season, a time to break down, a time to build up." the biblical text so resonant when that that has stood for centuries is broken by fire. in the lives of paris, this has been a day of solemn reflection.
father philippe filmed the flames as the fire took hold. he was ordained in the cathedral and has worked there for decades. "notre—dame is my mother," he told me. "i came into the spiritual life because of her." "31 years ago, i was ordained here." "today, my mother has been burned." "she cries, but she still stands." yet to see what's happened as only a french loss is to misunderstand the meaning of this city, the universality of its treasures. francesca harter is a german who lives in paris because, as a teenager, she visited notre—dame and was enchanted. today, she could feel hope and renewal. it reminds me somehow that the church is not stones, it's not only culture. for me, it's a living community, actually. it's the people who go to the church who are the very core of our faith. so we are believing in hope being stronger than destruction and in life being stronger
than death, and life that will eventually win. for generations, artists have sketched and painted on the banks of the seine. laurent was here this morning to sketch the old spire from memory. he's not a religious man, but he is a proud parisian and through his art wants to give shape to what might rise once more. "i am sad, but we are going to fight back," he says. "we will find wood in the french forests, and we will build again." "i can see the stained glass is still there, it is magnificent." "it will be all right." there is no doubting the loss, but neither the determination to raise again the glory of notre—dame. fergal keane, bbc news, paris. lucy williamsonjoins us live from paris. it could all have ended so differently. what's the mood in the city tonight?
i think there were many people here who thought they had to come down and see notre—dame to comprehend what had happened here, all day the streets have been packed with people gazing up, registering their grave, trying to find some kind of reassurance, and tonight as well we've had a choir singing along the quayside here, several hundred people have also staged a candlelit vigiljust on the other side of the seine, singing hymns, saying hello to the people having drinks in the cafe is as they pass. the mood here last night was definitely one of shock, that is fading now into sadness, and tinged also with relief that, after everything notre—dame has been through, it is still standing and it will be rebuilt. lucy williamson in paris, thank you. the rest of the news now. climate—change activists have taken to the streets again in edinburgh, nottingham and london today,
bringing traffic to a halt. in edinburgh, 150 supporters of extinction rebellion targeted north bridge, blocking one of the main roads into the city. in london, 290 activists have been arrested over two days. extinction rebellion are calling on the government to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2025. the number of people working in the uk has reached a new record high. in february, 32.7 million were in work across the uk, with 179,000 jobs created in the last three months. and wages growth continues to outpace inflation, with average earnings growing by 3.4% in the three months to february compared to a year ago. labour says it would scrap national primary school tests in england. the tests, called sats, are taken by children at the end of primary school and are forgrammar, reading and maths. children also currently take them earlier, aged six or seven, although these are due to be phased out in 2023. but the government has defended the tests, as our education editor, branwen jeffreys, reports from liverpool.
a useful check on your child's progress, or a source of stress and tears? for 20 years, tests have been part of primary school. labour brought them in and now wants to scrap them. sats and the regime of extreme pressure testing are giving young children nightmares and leaving them in floods of tears. so, he said, the current tests would go. the next labour government will scrap primary school sats for seven and 11 years old. cheering and applause teachers here are pleased. they've long argued that tests put too much pressure into the school system. but labour says it wouldn't get rid of assessment completely, there still needs to be some way of measuring how children are doing through primary school. so over the next few months, they're going to be consulting with school governors, teachers and parents. so why do primary school teachers dislike tests?
they just don't give a true reflection of a child's overall ability at that one snapshot in time. i think, in their current form, they need to go. i completely agree, they need to go. with schools on holiday, more time for play. i asked parents in liverpool about primary tests. it was very stressful. the kids in their class were emotional, because the teachers were putting pressure on them, and there's no real benefit. i think it's important that there is some standard testing in primary school. my son, who's11, did his last year, and he was really stressed over it. but ministers say tests drive up standards. if they abolish sats, parents will have no way of knowing how well their children's school is teaching reading, writing and maths, and these are the building blocks of a successful education for every child. a new test is due to
be added in england. called baseline, it would be as children start school. similar tests in scotland have been deeply controversial and are now under review. branwen jeffreys, bbc news, liverpool. women from afghanistan are calling for more say in talks that are being held this weekend between the taliban and a delegation from the afghan government. they're taking place in the gulf state of qatar, and afghan women say they want a stronger presence at the negotiating table. but afghanistan is still a deeply conservative society, where women have to fight for their rights. 0ur chief international correspondent, lyse doucet, reports from kabul. building a different afghanistan takes time, it takes effort. even body—building has been taboo — for women. hooria kurbani's family used to say this is no place for a woman. now she has her own gym
but faces threats in this conservative society to shut it. translation: we have fought for our rights up to now. we will never give up. we will continue to fight. do you worry now, now that there's talks with the taliban, that you could lose some of this? i have spent all my life in a society that's full of fear, we are always in danger — i'm used to it now. zan tv, women's tv — trying to change a man's world. not just a channel for women, a place to train them to do all thejobs. 0gai wardak was born in 2001, the year the taliban were ousted from power. last year, during a rare three—day ceasefire, she came face to face with taliban fighters. the taliban that we have in
this time, it's not like the past. the past taliban that i heard your stories, they are really scary. do think the taliban will let you work here at zan tv? they won't, yeah. so what will you do? so i have to fight with them, because it's my dream, and i have to work for my sisters. a deeply conservative society is changing — slowly. this is usually men's work. not the best of work, but it feeds a family. this country has undeniably changed since the years when the taliban were in charge here. women of kabul couldn't even go out on the streets then. but the taliban also say they've changed. the question is, have they changed as much as their society has? that question is being asked by women who have broken through the thickest of glass ceilings. nargis nehan is a senior
government minister. a growing number of women are now in topjobs. they're anxious to preserve this progress in any taliban talks. they're coming as a political group, there is no fear, and we are fully ready to discuss with them and all the differences that we have negotiate with them. but if they're coming for a political capture only, that they will come and capture and arrest people and take us backward, it is of a big concern for us. women insist they must be at the table. former mp fawzia koofi is one of the only women who attended the first round of talks. how did it feel to meet the man who once stopped girls, including her, from going to school? so i felt powerful, and i felt visible, and i felt also, i think they listened. yes, they did not agree to my view perhaps, we did not share many things in common, but they listened, and i think that was the moment that i realised, you know, they cannot take us back. afghanistan is called one of the hardest places to be a woman.
women have lost so much in war — they are determined to win when there is peace. lyse doucet, bbc news, kabul. scientists in plymouth have found the earliest evidence of plastic litter in the ocean. it's a plastic bag that became tangled in a piece of research equipment in 1965. the finding is part of a study that has tracked the entire history of plastic in the ocean, revealing just how much more of it has accumulated in the sea in recent decades. 0ur science correspondent victoria gill reports. a mission beneath the waves. for decades, scientists have been measuring the health of the ocean by collecting plankton, the most important link in the marine food chain. along the way, though, almost by accident, they've produced a historical record of our impact on the seas, using a very old fashioned device.
the design of this plankton recorder hasn't changed for a century. it's been towed millions of miles around the ocean. but in recent decades, what it's finding everywhere it looks is plastic. the scientists have a record of every time and everywhere in 1965, we got a plastic bag ensnared on the plankton recorder. that must be one of the earliest pieces of plastic litter then to be found floating in the ocean, rubbish from the land. yeah, the other records we have are from ingestion studies, where they look at sea turtles and sea birds, and the earliest records for those are again in the early ‘60s and some of the late ‘60s, so it matches up with those exactly. this project has documented ocean plastic from 1957 to 2016. since 1990, though, the amount of plastic litter in the sea increased significantly.
the number of plastic bags found has decreased imn recent years, though it's not clear if that's linked to campaigns to phase them out. when one of the 50 recorders in the fleet has finished its mission, it's brought back to plymouth. here, researchers continue to add to a library of samples they've gathered from all over the world. it's a mission that first dove beneath the surface around the time plastic was invented. now it will continue to provide vital information to help reduce the impact of our litter on the oceans. victoria gill, bbc news. football, and barcelona have beaten manchester united 3—0 in the second leg of their champions league quarterfinal, giving them a 4—0 win on aggregate. and lionel messi was once more their inspiration. 0ur sports correspondent natalie pirks reports. they said they were here for the love, not the glory. but 5,000 united fans would just love to pull off another european surprise. improbable, yes. but not impossible.
the past is the past and the future is the future. the future is red and we will win the game tonight. mountains are there to be climbed. so hopefully, tonight, we will climb a mountain. there was confidence bordering on arrogance at camp nou. wouldn't it be rude of united to crash the party? but united's flame was soon extinguished. ashley young turned into trouble and things were about to get messy. that was lionel‘s 23rd goal against english teams. his 24th came courtesy of a collector's item. david de gea, so often united's saviour, could only look on in horror as the tame shot eluded him and ended united's semifinal dreams. remarkably, it was to get worse. ex—liverpool player philippe coutinho with the pick of the bunch. alexi sanchez almost pulled off a consolation in his old hunting ground, but the night belonged to one man,
as it so often does. well, united's like a well and truly run out tonight, messi was simply mesmerising, and united were outclassed. they have quite the rebuilding job to do at old trafford this summer. ronaldo is out, ajax beatjuve 2—1 in turin tonight, so manchester united obviously out, we will find out who barcelona will face in the semis, it could well be liverpool. natalie, thank you. back now to our main story, the fire at notre—dame cathedral. it emerged todayjust how close paris was to losing one of its most famous landmarks. the government said it was saved within a crucial 30 minutes. more than 400 firefighters worked through the night and risked their lives to ensure it didn't fall. tonight, president macron has vowed to rebuild it within five years, saying it would be even more beautiful. we'll leave you tonight with some of the extraordinary images from the last 2a hours. good night.
thank you for being with us tonight. lots to come this evening. it's a messi masterclass — as barcelona run riot to knock manchester united out of the champions league. ajax upset the odds, to beatjuventus, and advance to the semi—finals for the first time since 1997. and cardiff strike a crucial blow, in the battle to avoid the drop from the premier league — with victory over relegation rivals brighton. hello and welcome to sportsday. we start with a frenetic night in the champions league — and a masterclass at the nou camp, where lionel messi and barcelona comprehensively outplayed and the dominated manchester united. 3—0 the score on the night — 4—0 on aggregate.
so barca are through to the semi—finals. let's cross now to our sports correspondent natalie pirks, who's been watching the action for us. barcelona just had too much for united this evening. absolute footballing lesson, fans came with so much help in their hearts and all they got yesterday when they have to take a deep breath and take their chances, and they simply did not do that. united in the preceding minutes had a chance to ta ke the preceding minutes had a chance to take the game by the scruff of the neck, and the 40th second smashing crossfire. but really that's where it all ended for united despite the fact that in the ten minute there a penalty given the challenge on and it went to the ar and it look like likely said but that of course it was down to nessie. and he was simply mesmerizing. they could not deal with him at all. his first goal was