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tv   BBC News  BBC News  April 16, 2019 11:00pm-11:31pm BST

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this is bbc news. the headlines at 11:11: the headlines at 11:00: saved but onlyjust — notre dame cathedral was just 30 minutes from being completely destroyed by the huge fire in paris last night. translation: we are people of builders. we will rebuild. yes, we will rebuild the cathedral of notre dame and make it even better than before. 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. as the extent of the damage becomes clear, president macron vows to rebuild the cathedral within 5 years.
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labour wants to abolish tests and primary schools saying the children should prepare for life notjust exams. and at 11:30 we'll be taking an in—depth look at the papers. 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
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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,
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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.
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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. "notredame 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,
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so we salute the firefighters' courage. tonight president macron addressed the nation. translation: we found what we thought was indestructible can be destroyed. yes, we will rebuild the notre dame cathedral and it will be more beautiful than before and it will be done in five yea rs. the fire burned through most of the roof, but the stone structure and many of its treasures have been saved, including the crown of thorns some believe was worn byjesus on the cross, several important paintings, the cathedral‘s 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
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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
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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 notredame. 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 7 o'clock local time after the cathedral had closed to the public. in a little over an hour, the 19th century spire had gone. by 10 o'clock, 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 flames, so that by 11 o'clock, the city's fire chief was able to declare that the cathedral‘s stone structure was safe afterall. saved too, were a large number
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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, but 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.
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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 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?
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yes. everything you're looking at, tonnes of lead, oak, all went crashing to the ground that night, 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. i've been speaking
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to the architect, john burton, who oversaw conservation work on both westminster abbey and canterbury cathedral, and has visited the roof of notre dame. he was also the 18th surveyor of westminster abbey after sir christopher wren. i asked him what his advice would be for starting the restoration of the project. the first thing, they are doing, getting the artefacts out and into a safe place because of the roof is missing. start with a temporary roof form. so that one can work and study. then one needs to get the experts, engineers particularly, because gothic structure is all about balance. this is what i degraded that something would puncture those strong vaults last night. the vaults stayed in position and the fire burned on top of it.
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here we sadly had the puncture of the vaults and therefore the buttresses are pushing in and that has to be sorted out. a lot of fire water has gone in. it had to. that will change the material point considerably. the smoke damage. all sorts of things. i have rebuilt a lot of church roofs following fire and it is actually the preparation thatis and it is actually the preparation that is so important. i imagine that there will be teams of people studying the elements, from the structure right through to the impact on the glass and the smoke damage. get as many people together to work together to find out what really needs to be done. the president has said it needs to be done quickly, possibly within five yea rs. done quickly, possibly within five years. is that realistic? it is not unrealistic provided the groundwork
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is done beforehand and not rushed in. it is worth spending several months, if not a year or so spending what is needed. a lot of the rest can be prepared off—site while the stone vaults are being put back. yes, one can do it. one of the ha rd est yes, one can do it. one of the hardest things is where this one place a crane, inside or outside. these are logistical things that have got to be worked through. 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 compeltely 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."
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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. "notredame 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 notredame and was enchanted. today, she could feel hope and renewal. it reminds me somehow that the church is not stones,
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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 notredame. fergal keane, bbc news, paris.
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0ur paris correspondent, lucy williamson is in the city tonight and describes the mood 2a hours on. there were many people here who felt they simply had to come down and see notre dame, to comprehend what had happened here. all today, the streets around this cathedral have been packed with people gazing up, registering their grief, trying to find some kind of reassurance and tonight as well we have had a choir singing here along the water. several hundred people have staged a candlelit vigil on the other side of the seine, walking between two churches, singing hymns, saying hello to the people having drinks in the cafe is as they pass. the mood last night was one of shock but that is fading into sadness and tinged also with relief that after everything notre dame has been through, it is still standing and it
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will be rebuilt. the headlines on bbc news: notre dame cathedral was just 30 minutes from being completely destroyed by the huge fire in paris last night, according to french authorities. the french government has praised the speed and bravery of hundreds of firefighters who spent the night tackling the blaze and pledged to rebuild the ancient structure. labour wants to abolish tests in primary schools in england — saying children should prepare for life notjust exams. 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 for grammar, 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.
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a useful check on your child's progress 01’ 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
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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's 11, 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
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the 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. climate change activists have taken to the streets in edinburgh, nottingham and again in 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 2 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.
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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?
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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 3—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.
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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 difference is that we have negotiate with them.
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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 ifelt visible, and ifelt 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.
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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 every where it looks is plastic. when plastic gets into the device,
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it becomes tangled around the instruments inside. and with more than half a century of ships' logs, the scientists now have an exact record of every time and everywhere on the planet that this happens. in 1965, we got a plastic bag ensured 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. yes, 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 since the millenium, though it's not clear if that's linked to campaigns when one of the 50 recorders in the fleet has finished its mission, it's brought back to plymouth.
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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. back now to our main story and 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 5 years saying it would be even more beautiful. here are some of the extraordinary images from the last 24 hours.
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it's devastating, it's overwhelming. woman: notre dam in tel catastrophe. man: paris is crying, notjust me. man: asa as a christian, i want to be full of hope because we build this fantastic cathedral, and we have to rebuild.
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hello, there. in many areas in the uk, the weather is going to get a bit warmer day by day. a reminder that we started a week with temperatures really struggling. eight degrees in belfast and aberdeen. but, as we go through this week and into the weekend, saturday looks like being the peak of the warmth. now for wednesday, we've still got our area of high pressure. those cold scandinavian wins, but otherwise and it's going to feel a bit milder. we will start in pretty
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extensive cloud. the blog and low cloud will break up stop good spells of sunshine. temperature is 15 degrees, 13 degrees for belfast, 19 towards that london and south—east. a bit of cloud blown onto eastern shores. temperatures between five and nine celsius. hi pressure still firmly in charge. bursting onto the scene. temperatures reaching seven degrees in edinburgh. some of our north sea coasts bit cooler.

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