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tv   BBC News at Six  BBC News  June 21, 2019 6:00pm-6:31pm BST

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the parents of a teenager from oxford who travelled to syria to join the islamic state group are found guilty of funding terrorism. jack letts, dubbed jihadi jack, was 18 when he left home his parents sent him money despite police warnings not to. todayjohn letts and sally lane said they'd been convicted for doing what any parent would do if they thought their child was in danger. their son, who's been held in syria for two years now, admits he betrayed britain and regrets joining is. i did what i did, i made a big mistake and that's what happened, yeah. i regret what i did. also on the programme tonight... president trump says he called off military strikes on iran last night with just minutes to spare.
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the foreign office minister mark field is suspended from government after manhandling a climate change protestor at the mansion house dinner. commerations to mark 100 years since germany sunk more than 50 of its own vessels off the coast of scotland to stop allied forces seizing them after the war. and coming up on bbc news, mercedes dominate the first day of practice ahead of formula i's french grand prix, with valtteri bottas and lewis hamilton taking a session each. good evening and welcome to the bbc news at six. the parents of the oxford teenagerjack letts, who travelled to syria to join the islamic state group in 2014, have been spared jail after being found guilty of funding terrorism.
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john letts and sally lane sent their son, dubbed jidhadi jack, money despite concerns he had joined is and warnings from police that they would face prosecution. his parents said they believed their son's life was in imminent danger and they were just trying to help him. from the old bailey, chi chi izundu reports. they say they are loving parents put in an impossible position, but sally lane and john letts have been convicted today of funding terrorism after sending money to their son in the middle east. the heavy price we paid today is an indication of the love we have for our children stop. we are committed to helping jack return home. we will continue our campaign to help those that the government has turned its back on. thank you. jack letts with his parents, a picture perfect childhood, but just a few years later at the oxfordshire schoolboy was inside islamic state group held territory in syria.
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the jury was told this one—fingered salute was associated with is. butjack‘s parents, his dad an organic farmer and his mum a fundraiser for oxfam, had told the old bailey their son had converted to islam at 16 and said he was travelling to the middle east to study arabic. sally lane told the court she was horrified when he called her in september 2014 to tell her where he was. she said she screamed at him, how could he be so stupid. nearly a year after being in syria, jack letts had begun asking for money, first to help out a poor friend with a large family, then he said it was to get out of syria. i've run out of money completely. didn't you say if it was to get out, you would send? the pair had argued in court that they just wanted to get their son out of syria safely. in a police interview, john letts tried to explain. i've got to get him out, somehow. and how am i going to do that? he is in danger and i feel i have to do something but on the other hand, i don't want to get put away and i don't want sally to get put away. i've got another son to worry about.
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so, what am i supposed to do? despite warnings from police, ms lane was captured on cctv at her local western union sending £233. speaking to the bbc back in 2017, they said they believed him when he said he wasn't involved with any banned groups. we've always been in contact with him from the beginning. i think that is unusual for anybody who was some sort of fighter. they tend to drop all connection with their parents. he has always been in touch with us and he has always come from the beginning, denied that he was ever a member of isis or involved with isis or a fighter or anything like that and i believe that. it's not for individuals to decide when it applies to them and when it doesn't. the really strong message is, despite whatever you might think you're doing, ultimately you are breaking the law and that's not ok. a jury at the old bailey agreed. they found sally lane and john letts were both guilty of sending money to their son jack, knowing or having reasonable grounds to suspect the funds would be used for terrorism.
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chi chi izundu, bbc news. jack letts was 18 when left for syria in 2014. his parents refused to believe he'd become a dangerous extremist. he married and had a child with an iraqi woman before being captured and imprisoned in syria by kurdish forces in 2017. 0ur middle east correspondent quentin sommerville met him last year. we had to wait until his parents‘ trial was over before we could broadcast this interview. one of the islamic state group's most notorious recruits was former 0xford schoolboy jack letts. he agreed to speak to us in october last year. only now that his parents‘ trial is over can the interview be broadcast. he said he wasn't speaking under duress and he wanted to come clean about his membership of is. i asked him if he had betrayed his country. what were you? were are you a traitor or were you are a collaborator? that's the question i'm asking you. a traitor to britain? you mean a traitor to britain?
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it's the first time i've heard that term in a long time. i was definitely an enemy of britain. i have no doubt about this. i haven't tried to make myself innocent. i did what i did, i made a big mistake and that's what happened. i regretted what i did and thought, supposedly the british idea is that even if you do make big mistakes, you can sort of go back. not go back to britain, i mean go back from your mistakes. you can set things right. did they ever ask you to put on a suicide vest? they don't ask you but they encourage you. in a sort of indirect way. i used to want to at one point, believe it or not. i now think it's actually haram. that's the first time i say this. i might as well tell the truth. i did at one point want to. not a vest, i wanted to do it in a car. so i said, if there's a chance, i'll do it. i didn't request to do it but at the same time it was obvious that, i made it obvious to him that
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if there is a battle i'm ready. this is one of the places where jack letts lived in syria. he loved raqqa to begin with. he says he fought on the front lines. in iraq, he was badly injured. later he got married and had a child. he says, though, he eventually grew disillusioned and attempted to leave is. but why did he abandon britain in the first place? i had a comfortable home, i had a very good relationship with my mum especially. my dad as well, actually. i thought it was leaving something behind and go into something better. i thought i was never going to see them again. in britain they call youjihadijack. while you've been away, there have been attacks in manchester, the london bridge attacks, there have been attacks in paris. there's very little appetite to give you a second chance because of what you've done. to be honest, i'm not asking any... it's not like i'm appealing to the british public to give me a second chance. it's not something anyone would do.
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if i was a member of the british public, i wouldn't give me a second chance, probably. maybe in the specific situation but i don't expect that from anyone. so what do you expect, jack? that's the problem, i don't know what's going to happen. i've been here two years, every few days i hear any promise. it never gets kept. as for, and it's probably not that important, but in manchester, what happened in london on the bridge, etc, i was in prison at the time. this was a long, long time after i left isis. yeah, but, jack, that's the point. your recruitment as a westerner, as a white middle class boy from oxford, signed up and joined the so—called islamic state, that you were a rallying cry. you gave their insanity more credence for other people to go and join them. that's one of the things i regret. i realised that me coming was a lot more... had more meaning than a syrian coming to isis. the fact that i came from england, i understand that it made a big difference. that's one of the things i regret as well. they used us as well.
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they used us as a sort of, what do we call it in english... like a poster boy. his kurdishjailers say he can't stay in syria. jack letts also has canadian citizenship, although he's never lived there. the british government says it washed its hands of him the day he joined the islamic state group. quentin sommerville, bbc news, northern syria. president trump called off military strikes against iran with just minutes to spare last night. the planes were in the air "cocked and loaded", as he says, and had three targets in their sights. but the president said he decided to halt the airstrikes because too many people would have been killed. the attack was to be in retaliation for the shooting down of an american unmanned surveillance drone yesterday in the volatile region which supplies a third of the world's oil. the last time the us launched a significant military effort against iran was more than 30 years ago. here's our north america
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editor, jon sopel. in iran they are celebrating taking out of the sky a $130 million us drone, the latest escalation in tensions between washington and tehran. today on iranian tv, the results of their handiwork were being shown off. america has no shortage of military assets in the region but the anticipated retaliation never came. it turns out military strikes had been ordered. planes were in the air, ships in position, but at the last moment, donald trump had a change of mind. he confirmed this on twitter this morning...
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yesterday, meeting the canadian leader, with his hawkish national security adviser and secretary of state looking on, donald trump gave a rather different impression. iran made a big mistake. this drone was in international waters, clearly, we have it all documented, it's documented scientifically, notjust words. and they made a very bad mistake, 0k? how are you going to respond? you'll find out. today, one of iran's deputy foreign ministers spoke to the bbc. when you violate iranian space, then we defend. this is defence. and to back up their argument, iran's foreign minister produced a sketch to claim the drone was flying over iranian territorial waters. the us put out a more formal looking map to claim it was in international airspace. regardless, the federal aviation authority has issued orders preventing american airlines from flying over the persian gulf
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and the gulf of oman as a result of this incident. british airways is doing the same. at friday prayers today in tehran, there were renewed chants of ‘death to america', and fiery language from the country's spiritual leaders that the strait of hormuz will become a graveyard for trespassers. last night, donald trump pulled back, but this is still a tense and dangerous situation in a highly volatile region. what's clear is that donald trump doesn't want war but equally he doesn't want war but equally he doesn't want war but equally he doesn't want to look weak, so he's framing this as if, i've spared 150 iranian lives by not going ahead. but republicans who are hardline say he is allowing iran to get away with shooting down an american drone, while liberals from the 0bama era are saying, you have no plan b and e pulled out of the iran nuclear deal. this is a crisis of your own
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manufacturing. the foreign office minister mark field has been suspended from the government after he manhanded a climate change protestor out of a dinner in the city of london. mr field said he acted instinctively when the woman approached the stage during a speech by the chancellor philip hammond. the minister has apologised but labour says what he did was "horrific". here's our home affairs correspondent, daniel sandford. in red dresses, suffragette—style sashes and dinnerjackets, the climate emergency protesters had little difficulty getting past security and into a room full of senior politicians and bankers. there they staged a noisy protest as the chancellor, phillip hammond, tried to make his speech. some diners intervened and there was pushing and shoving. among the protesters, janet barker, a long—term greenpeace activist.
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she starts to make her way to the top table and the chancellor and the governor of the bank of england, at which point foreign office minister mark field intervenes and angrily manhandled her out of the room, holding her by the back of the neck. can you get this person out? two months ago he had called on police to take a firmer grip on climate protesters. today, janet barker told the bbc she didn't want to go to the police, but she had concerns about the minister. i would quite like him to go on anger management perhaps, and i hope he doesn't do it again because there was some serious anger there. but for me, the concern is the environment, it is what i've lived for. i've done it for 22 years and i will continue to do it. mark field has apologised, saying it was an instinctive reaction but the prime minister was very concerned and suspended him as a minister. he recognises that what happened was an overreaction but what we need now, in his interests but also in the interests of the lady
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involved, is a proper independent enquiry by the cabinet office. greenpeace said mark field's actions were an assault, but what exactly is the law? the first question is did he honestly believe that it was necessary for him to use force? and then the second question would be, was the force that he used reasonable in the circumstances, as he believed them to be? emergency! this is an emergency! you've made your point. the city of london, which organised the dinner, said it was reviewing security, but it was the minister's actions that caused the greatest shock. daniel sandford, bbc news. our top story this evening. the parents of jack letts, a teenager from oxford who travelled to syria to join the islamic state group, are found guilty of funding terrorism. remembering the day 100 years ago
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when germany sunk 52 of its own warships off orkney. coming up in sportsday on bbc news, the africa cup of nations starts later with mohamed salah starring for the hosts egypt. but after last summer's world cup, will there be burn—out for some players? the northern powerhouse an ambition project to boost economic growth in the north of england. it was launched five years ago by the then chancellor george osborne. so, what impact has it had? for transport, research suggests spending in real terms in the north per person is less than half what's been spent in london. weekly pay increased by 2.4 per cent in the north but 3.5 per cent nationally in real terms. but it's a different story for employment. in the north, it has increased, with more than 311,000 extra professional, scientific and innovation jobs and a further 511,000 jobs in manufacturing. our correpondent, danny
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savage, has this report. we need the northern powerhouse, too. not one city, but a collection of northern cities... remember this? the chancellor of the time setting out a vision of northern england. he called it the northern powerhouse but what has happened since? modern transport links were suggested to cut down on travel times between northern cities. but in 2019, there are still pacer trains and journey times are about the same. those pushing to improve transport are frustrated. we need the spending review to give absolute firm commitment to hs2, to northern powerhouse rail and allowing us, as the local authorities, the local transport authorities, to do the rest of the work, to connect all of our communities, to connect the smaller towns to the cities. at the coincidentally named northern powerhouse gym, they are not short on opinions
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about the initiative. i mean, places like todmorden and halifax and towns outside of leeds, outside of manchester, outside of liverpool, i think you would be pushed for people to even know anything had happened. i went to london quite a few times on business. there is no comparison in the services at all. it hasjust got so much opportunity, so much investment that has been lacking for generations, really, in the north. the business editor of the yorkshire post, which has campaigned for investment here, tried to put that north—south argument in the context. london is a great capital city and what we're seeing is that investing into the north of england at this stage, with all that it has going for it, is an absolute winner for the entire country. that there has been a big change in governance, though. there are now directly elected mayors with power over at some spending decisions in their patch. on teesside, they have bought an airport. we have secured something
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that is going to be a real boost to our local economy in achieving that economic growth and job creation. the government says the northern powerhouse initiative is working. there has been change and there is more to come. we are moving now to what i like to call the second phase of the northern powerhouse and i want to see whoever the next prime minister is embrace this and really, you know, invest much more in it, make it a much higher priority for the government. but it will need a massive boost if the power of the north, set out five years ago, is to be realised. danny savage, bbc news. a conservative politician has been kicked out as mp for brecon and radnorshire. chris davies was forced out after more than 10,000 of his constituents signed a petition to remove him, after he was convicted of making false expenses claims in march. sian lloyd reports. the rolling hills of mid wales, but the quiet rural constituency of brecon and radnorshire has been
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shaken by a political tremor. a petition was launched calling for the local mp to be removed. it followed the conviction of conservative chris davies for a false expenses claim. he had submitted fake invoices forframing photographs, costing £700, to decorate his constituency office. the petition has passed the threshold of 10% of the electorate and he faces a by—election. i have let them down because i made a mistake but i'm sorry for that mistake. i've held my hands up to that mistake and now i want to move on. his constituents sealed his fate after six weeks of voting in a secret ballot. i think what our mp did was wrong. he should have resigned and i'm very pleased that we are having a by—election. i think far more mp5 have done far worse than he has done and never anything done about it. so i'm very disappointed. this local market attracts customers who come back every week but voters here have not been so loyal
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in their choices. the seat was once a liberal democrat stronghold and in the recent european elections, the brexit party made waves. so, the impending by—election could be interesting. not least in that what happens here could be a first test for the new conservative leader, 200 miles away in westminster. the outlook for chris davies is farfrom smooth. his local conservative party will meet this weekend to decide whether they want to put him forward as their candidate. sian lloyd, bbc news, builth wells. chris mason it in westminster and it isa chris mason it in westminster and it is a big test for the next pm because numbers matter. the old adage, the first rule in politics is learn how to count. the government majority in that this morning was five after the news today it is four and if the conservatives don't win this by—election, it will be three and that could happen within days of
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the new prime minister taking office and it will certainly happen in the opening weeks or months of their time. we know that one of the key reasons theresa may couldn't get a brexit deal through parliament was there were not enough conservative mps and the new leader could face a number that is even smaller. meanwhile, in brussels, eu leaders have repeated what a long set, that they will not reopen the eu withdrawal agreement. that is the main plank for securing a deal between the uk and the eu after brexit. the key thing that boris johnson and jeremy hunt do want to change. it is a reminder that yes, we will get a new prime minister $0011 we will get a new prime minister soon and a lot will appear to change, but a lot of the fundamentals will stay exactly the same. chris mason, thank you. the bank of scotland has been fined £16 million by the city regulator for failing to disclose information about a huge fraud at the bank's reading branch. the scandal drained the bank and small businesses of £245 million and left hundreds of people
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in severe financial difficulty. it ended with six people being jailed back in 2017. there has been a major upset in the cricket world cup after sri lanka beat england by 20 runs at headingley. andy swiss reports. sunny skies at headingley and english optimism was in the air and with good reason it seemed. the sri lankan batsmen were soon struggling as england grabbed two early wickets. although sri lanka tried to hit back, fernando clobbering it out of the ground at one point, they never really got going full supply that snaffled by english fielders or bamboozled by their bowlers. the target of 233 seemed simple enough but sri lanka have lasith malinga the slinger, as he is known, and he slung sri lanka back into contention. by the timejos buttler became his fourth victim, the match was in the balance. and from there,
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a clatter of wickets gave sri lanka at the shock of the tournament. england can still make the semifinals but theirjourney has just got harder, in the most dramatic fashion. andy swiss, bbc news. one hundred years ago today german forces off the scottish coast scuttled more than 50 of their own warships deliberately sinking them so they wouldn't fall into allied hands months after the armistice. it was the single greatest loss of warships in history. today, a service was held to remember the nine german soldiers soldiers who died that day — the last german deaths of the war. here's our scotland correspondent, lorna gordon. they are on a journey their grandparents took 100 years ago, when, as schoolchildren they witnessed the sinking of a navy. my grandfather was ramsey's great—grandfather. he was the same age as ramsey. he saw, like, sinking and the teachers, like, panicking. my mother burst into tears, and she always remembers that,
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and her brother putting his arm round her, he was a bit older. he put his arm around her and said, never mind, we are witnessing history. 74 ships had been interned here at orkney but on midsummer's day 1919, the german admiral in charge ordered the once mighty fleet to be scuttled. rosetta groundwater was one of the children out on scapa flow that day. the first i noticed was one ship that seemed to be very low in the water. then another ship almost right beside us turned right over and water and steam shot up through the empty stopcocks. bell rings. the order to abandon ship had been a bell ringing out. today, that same bell ringing again. beneath the waves, seven wrecks still remain from this, the greatest loss of warships in history. many in germany viewed the sinking of the fleet has a moment when german honour was restored
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because it denied the allies of the spoils of war. the british viewed it as a hostile act and it led to increased reparations and nine german sailors died as a result of the confusion and actions that day. the last germans to be killed underfire... last post plays. ..far from the more familiar front lines of battle, and just days before the final peace treaty was signed. lorna gordon, bbc news, orkney. time for a look at the weather. here's sarah keith—lucas. one extreme to another, summer is here. the summer solstice and eventually something a bit more summery in the forecast. temperatures on the rise but we are expecting some more u nsettled but we are expecting some more unsettled weather through next week with further heavy rain and thunderstorms possible. before we get there, we have the weekend and
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it is looking decent for many. blue skies today, this was in leeds earlier and plenty more of those blue skies to be enjoyed through the weekend with long spells of sunshine and temperatures on the up as well. that is down to the fact we have an area of high pressure that is building from the south. that will stay in charge at least for the next 24 hours or so. things could change a bit through sunday but for the rest of this evening it is looking to try out there. if you shout in the northern isles but for the rest of us, clear skies, the northern isles but for the rest of us, clearskies, light the northern isles but for the rest of us, clear skies, light winds and quite a fresh night with temperatures in the countryside getting down to mid single figures. saturday starts with plenty of blue sky, a lot of sunshine, a bit more cloud in parts of east anglia and eastern england with the small chance of a shower. a few showers in the north—west of scotland with a bit more cloud coming in from the north—west. in the sunshine, temperatures typically 16—22d so a touch warmer than in recent days. on sunday, still high pressure close by
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but just drifting sunday, still high pressure close by butjust drifting to the north—east which allows a low pressure to move in from the south—west. although many of us will have another dry day on sunday with some sunshine, there will be some rain moving in from the south—west and it could be heavy late in the day with some thunderstorms. the committee is also going up the heat. temperatures of 24 in the south, feeling quite sticky and in the north, 20 degrees. on sunday night, that is when we have heavy rain and thunderstorms moving north—eastwards across the uk. that could lead a fairly u nsettled uk. that could lead a fairly unsettled and soggy start to next week. temperatures rising but the risk of more thunderstorms which could bring some flooding problems and also things are looking fairly humid and uncomfortable overnight. thank you. a reminder of our top story... the parents of jack letts, the oxford teenager who travelled to syria tojoin oxford teenager who travelled to syria to join the islamic state group, are found guilty of funding terrorism. that's all from the bbc news at six, so it's goodbye from me
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and on bbc one we nowjoin the bbc‘s news teams where you are. hello this is bbc news with ben brown. the headlines: the parents of a teenage muslim convert who went to syria to fight for the islamic state group, have been found guilty
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of funding terrorism. president trump says the us military was "cocked and loaded to retaliate" against iran last night, but he changed his mind ten minutes before planned strikes. foreign office minister mark field has been suspended after he was filmed pushing a climate change demonstrator at a dinner in the city of london. a by election will be held in brecon and radnorshire after more than 10,000 people signed a petition to remove the constituency‘s tory mp, chris davies. hale in a moment it will be time for sportsday but first a look at what else is coming up this evening on bbc news: after seven o'clock as tensions rise between the us and iran, we'll be talking toa former us ambassador and special assistant to president obama, on the latest developments in the middle east. we'll also be in brecon and radnorshire, in wales, where a by—election will be held, after more than 10,000 people signed
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a petition to remove the constituency‘s tory mp, chris davies.

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