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tv   BBC News  BBC News  February 19, 2017 3:00pm-3:31pm GMT

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high street store closures. police in malaysia have named four north korean suspects in the killing of the half brother of the north korean leader. donald trump attacks the media again at a rally in florida. but the president also made a robust defence of his first four weeks in office and has insisted that a new spirit of optimism is sweeping the us. and lincoln city await to see who they'll play in the fa cup quarter final. the draw is at 6:30 tonight. and in half an hour, click. this week the team look at the advancement in the technology of big screen, life—like projections. that's at 3:30pm. good afternoon and welcome to bbc news.
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thousands of prison officers atjails in london and south—east england are to get a pay increase of between £3000 and £5000. ministers have made the offer to try to boost recruitment and to retain workers in prisons — which are under pressure from violence and staff shortages. but there'll be no extra pay for senior officers. here's our home affairs correspondent, june kelly. they're the front line in ourjails, but there aren't enough of them. the shortage of staff is seen as one of the key causes of the problems in prisons. in somejails, officers are struggling on a daily basis simply to maintain control. now the government is putting in place a £12 million pay package to try to retain existing staff and recruit new prison officers. this is wandsworth jail, in south london, and staff here will benefit. the offer is limited to prisons in the capital and the south east.
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ministers say they're under the greatest pressure. but this has been condemned as ‘divisive‘ by the prison 0fficers‘ association. they maintain the pay package is tantamount to putting a plaster over a gaping wound. we're welcoming the additional money for our members, of course we are. but we don't think this goes far enough to solving the prison crisis. we believe it needs to be a national issue. we weren't properly consulted on this either, so we believe that if the secretary of state wants to make these arbitrary decisions on pay, then she should consult us fully and we can point out the inconsistencies and problems that will arise as a result of this policy. the offer is for standard grade 3 prison officers, not for more senior supervisors or specialists. each will receive a pay hike of at least £3,000. for new recruits, the pay package will be boosted by 5,000. a sweetener to try to get people into thejob. the justice secretary, liz truss, has already announced plans to recruit 2,500 more prison
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officers, but it will be the end of 2018 before they're all in place. it's not something you can sort out in weeks or months, it takes time to recruit people, it takes time to bring those people on. but i'm absolutely determined to deal with that. thejustice secretary rejects claims that, as a country, we are locking up too many people. prison reform campaigners believe we are, and this is a fundamental part of the problem. she has to get the numbers down, at the same time as improving staff morale, pay, retention and training. she also has a problem with community sentences, which are also in a mess. the justice system has to work for victims, the taxpayers, the staff and for people in it. and at the moment, it's not working for anybody. while today's pay package announcement is about trying to bring new people in, those in the service say the challenge is not just recruiting staff, it is retaining them.
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june kelly, bbc news. i'm joined now via webcam by peter dawson from the prison reform trust. liz truss is trying to boosted the prison system, is she doing it the right way? it is a welcome announcement. those prisons in the south—east are crying out fast after, and it has been very difficult to attract people and difficult to attract people and difficult to attract people and difficult to hang onto them. it is welcome, but of course it is treating the symptoms and not the cause. most of the prison affected would not need so many staff if they weren't grossly overcrowded. the justice secretary has promised a prisons bill, part of it should be a commitment to end overcrowding. we need a timetable. we have to get to the end of this lunacy of constantly filling our prisons with more people than they are designed to take. steady commitment from the government is far more prison
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officers by 2018 rather than to reduce numbers, do you think the government is looking at reducing numbers? the justice secretary said some encouraging things at the start of the week, she taught about diversified and that i'm diverting people from the criminaljustice system who don't need to be part of it, including people who need help. she had to back that up with action, the use of trinity penalties has dropped significantly over the last few years. the core of the problem, and the big numbers are in the length of time that we send people to prison for. it is always easy to put that up if you're a politician and difficult to bring it down. if you look at the countries with the most rehabilitated systems, the ones that she rightly aspires to be like, their sentences are shorter and experience in prison is more intense. from the moment you arrive
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people are preparing you for the moment you leave. going back to the announcement, the unions are calling advisers, that the government has decided to concentrate the money on staff who work in london and the south—east. they got a point. staff who work in london and the south-east. they got a point. they do have a point. the more often you go to do well in the treasury, the closer it gets to running dry and at some point in the treasury will say this piecemeal approach to dealing with a crisis is not sustainable. the people who are more junior to prison officers do absolutely vital work and it is often work with prisoners they will be working face—to—face, if they are not in there, if they can't be recruited, it is prison officers who stepped down to do that work. it is part of the solution but it is not the crucial one. iraqi security forces have started a major new offensive
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against the so—called islamic state in mosul. iraq's second—largest city was seized by the extremist group over two years ago as they took control of northern and western iraq. last month the eastern half of mosul was recaptured after a major offensive. but around three quarters of a million civilians remain in the west of the city — which is still controlled by is. shortly after dawn, but without any apparent urgency, iraqi government artillery opened fire. in the distance, several kilometres away, smoke rose into the morning sky. the assault won't be a surprise to the population of mosul. after the capture of the eastern half of the city last month, it was only a matter of time before government forces advanced into the west, and the operation was announced by the iraqi prime minister. translation: i call on our brave
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forces to proceed with courage to liberate the other half of mosul and its peoples from the oppression of the islamic state group forever. it is believed there could be as many as 3,000 is fighters in the west, hidden among more than 600,000 civilians. in the densely packed streets the fighting will be intense. the united nations has called on government forces to ensure the safety of those civilians is of paramount importance. the operation to retake the city began four months ago, and military commanders are warning that it could be just as long again, before it's finished. earlier this morning our middle east correspondent quentin sommerville, who's with the iraqi forces, sent this update from the front line. iraqi special forces police are now moving forward. they've breached their own defences and they‘ re heading towards the so—called islamic state, who lie just beyond that hill
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about two kilometres away. all morning here, coalition aircraft have been overhead, dropping very large bombs on those positions, softening them up so that these troops can then go in. there's no real element of surprise in modern warfare, and last night, the residents of western mosul, who are just over there, were warned in leaflet drops to stay in their homes. these men, let'sjust spin round and we can show you, they're all lining up and getting ready for the battle. look, there's a tank coming in just up there. these men aren't expecting an easy time of it today because they know from drone footage that the islamic state have dug deep tunnels in the villages just south of western mosul and that they're waiting with car bombs and plenty of fighters, a hard—core of fighters remaining in western mosul, which of course is iraq's last city held by the islamic state. but the assault on that last
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redoubt of the islamic state is now under way. save the children say hundreds of thousands of children are trapped in western mosul. aram shakaram is the charity's director in iraq. we believe there are over 800,000 population trapped in western mosul. among them, over 350,000 children who have been suffering since the beginning of the previous operation. also, under the control of isis for the last two years. at the moment there is no escape. we are happy to hear that the government of iraq has prioritised civilian protection in this operation and we hope that will be the case. at the moment, there are no escape routes. since the beginning of the operation this morning, we have not seen anybody that has made it to safety, to nearby places where we are present on the ground for support.
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what we are hearing from people in western mosul is that they have almost run out of supplies in western mosul. water is the most critical need that they have at the moment and there is a lot of fear. children, there is not much in terms of medicine and supplies. the chief executive of sainsbury‘s has intervened in the row about the revaluation of business rates, which takes effect in april. mike coupe says the current system is "archaic" and needs "fundamental reform", because it favours online businesses. it's the latest intervention in the growing row over the changes , which some high street retailers say will see rates rise dramatically. here's our business correspondent joe lynam. the vast majority of companies on this high—street in oxford street will be paying higher business rates from april, that is because business rates are a tax on the value of commercial property. of course, in london and the south—east, property prices have soared in the last seven years since they were last assessed for rates.
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if you have a large property footprint, like many supermarkets do, including sainsbury‘s, tesco and waitrose, you will want wholesale reform in how rates are assessed. but the reality is that the vast majority of companies will be paying less or more in england where this applies. half the money will stay in the local community, because it goes to local authorities rather than central government. that won't, though, stop the calls for the chancellor, philip hammond, to look at this issue perhaps in next month's budget. greater manchester police has launched a criminal investigation after claims that hundreds of forensic test results issued by a laboratory in manchester were "doctored". two men have been arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice. randox testing services in blackley analyses samples of saliva, blood and hair, looking for traces of drugs and alcohol. let's talk to our reporter philipi norton who's in manchester. tell us more about this case. copy
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might provide frenzied testing facilities for police forces across the uk, that is using their skills to test sa m ples the uk, that is using their skills to test samples in criminal cases such as samples of saliva, blood, hair, testing those samples for any evidence of alcohol or drugs. that evidence of alcohol or drugs. that evidence is then used in criminal proceedings. we know that up to 500 drug proceedings. we know that up to 500 d rug test results proceedings. we know that up to 500 drug test results carried out since november 2015 may have been compromised due to what currie says isa compromised due to what currie says is a manipulation of quality control data which supports test results clearly this could have a impact on many criminal cases. it was but a life by the firm's internal investigations, and police are now carrying out their own investigation into what has been taking place here. it has to be said that wrap
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the company is cooperating fully with the investigation, but all police forces which use the services have now been issued a list of cases which may have been affected. there is no evidence that samples where subject to interference, the company says that these actions were in contravention of their robust practices and procedures. randox are working tirelessly to fully assess the impact and implications for each case and where possible and viable samples will be rerun to provide uncompromised results. the laboratory says there is no? 0ver its quality system or the robustness of its practices. but this has caused concern, the police chief counsel for friends excited as says ina counsel for friends excited as says in a statement that they are working in partnership with the crown prosecution service and have
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provided guidance to forces soledad able to review each case to determine if compromised data has played a part in a prosecution. the cps says it is they will then take action in any case. two men who worked for this firm for the past three years have been arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice and suspicion of perverting the course ofjustice and they had been released on police bail. the headlines on bbc news: goes back thousands of prison officers will be getting an instant pay rise between £3000 and £5,000. the charity save the children say that the hundred 50,000 children are trapped in western mosul as iraqi troops begin their assault to reca ptu re troops begin their assault to recapture the city from islamic statement on. donald trump has defended the achievements of his presidency so far at a rally of his
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supporters in florida. he also made another attack on the media. the first of the day's fa cup ties is underway. full folly championship are hosting portal for a underway. full folly championship are hosting portalfor a place in the quarterfinals. it is spurs who is in the quarterfinals. it is spurs who isina the quarterfinals. it is spurs who is in a place. blackburn rovers play manchester united. aberdeen, scored twice in the last half—hour. they remain second in the scottish premiership. nowjust 2a points behind celtic. judith bingham has a 5-2 behind celtic. judith bingham has a 5—2 lead againstjudd trump in the welsh open snooker. be back at the 40 welsh open snooker. be back at the a0 5pm. —— for15 pm malaysian police say they are seeking four more north korean suspects in connection with the death of kimjong—nam, the half brother of the north korean leader. police identified the four suspects, all men between the ages of 33 and 57, but say they have already left malaysia. police on saturday arrested
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a north korean man over the killing of mrjong—nam. he died shortly after being sprayed with a chemical at kuala lumpur airport last week. 0ur correspondent kevin kim says this is another twist in the murder investigation. according to police, the four suspects all had north korean passports and boarded flights out of malaysia on monday. that was immediately after the killing took place. authorities say they are still waiting for the toxicology report that will confirm whether mr kim was poisoned. kim jong—nam was waiting at the check—in counter of the main airport in malaysia when two women approached him and sprayed him with the chemical. he sought medical help but fell unconscious and died hours later. the two women who were arrested told authorities that they were paid to take part in what they believed was a prank for a tv show. a 46—year—old man from north korea
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is also under custody. there is a search for a two—year—old child in perthshire. emergency services have been called to an area lord of blairgowrie this morning. the police, firefighters and error handling service have all reportedly been searching for the missing child. that is a two—year—old child who has gone missing. the chief executive of sainsbury‘s has intervened in the row thank you forjoining us, mark
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davis. what you think of the government's plans to revamp in business rates? this is an exercise initially put back by two years by the government. but as as a major owner of assets in the regions outside of london, this is good news and our tenants because the rate of value in our assets are coming down by 20%, and we have always said as an investor of businesses in the region, affordability and sustainability are linked and more affordability you have any more sustainability you have in the locations we have invested in. this is good news for you and other businesses in your area, but bad news for people in london and the south—east. news for people in london and the south-east. there has been re—balancing going on here, we argued for some time that the regions have been subsidising london. london has benefited from
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the economy and the growth in the economy. as a the economy and the growth in the economy. as a consequence, we the economy and the growth in the economy. as a consequence, we have felt that the regions had been subsidising london, because this exercise was last done by the government seven years ago and therefore the current rate of values do not reflect current assets. some businesses have been reporting potentially huge hikes in the amount of rate they're going to have to pay that could put them out of business. this is a complex area, we have to look at each individual case and isolation. we have a number of independent retailers in our portfolio, another of butchers and ba kers portfolio, another of butchers and bakers for example, we've achieved a good result for them. for our butchers, the average value is going down by 26%. the cases we are investing places like wakefield and other places in the north—east. you have to look at this in isolation
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and it is too complex to look at it in general. what you say to those who say the system needs reformed? what you have is businesses that are based in buildings, bricks and mortar, evaluated this way where as online businesses which is done digitally and not affected. the government get a lot of money every yearfor government get a lot of money every year for business rates. government get a lot of money every yearfor business rates. it's supposed to pay for local services. 0nline retailers have been successful and growing their business is and there are major users of services, particularly roads and highways and it is a good question for governments. they should be looking at that more carefully, she gives businesses be paying more to the government by way of business rates? how would you feel if the chancellor listened to some of the complaints in his budget, because that is what they hope he will do that he will offer some sort of compensation to those
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businesses that say they're going to suffer. is that the? there is transition being applied. at the same time, we feel that commercially and politically it doesn't make sense for the regions to be subsidising london and that is probably happen for too long. this exercise is long overdue. business rates, on the whole, the government should be looking at it. it is a complex area that needs review. you wa nt to complex area that needs review. you want to stick to his guns in the meantime. allen we don't want the change implemented quickly, so they need to be proper consultation. a big economy out there to support. lord mandelson, a former labour cabinet minister, has urged peers to not "throw in the towel early" when they debate the process of triggering brexit. the government has warned lords not to block the legislation which will start the uk's withdrawal from the eu. the house of lords will begin debating the article
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50 bill tomorrow. a political correspondent tony the would—be data base easily. a political correspondent tony the would-be database easily. they will be approaching record numbers in the debate. that gives you a sense of the way in which many of the peers wa nt to the way in which many of the peers want to influence this process, as this bill passes for the first time to the house of lords. the government's intention is for it to go through parliament completely unaltered, a clean bill, says the government has the right to begin the brexit process. but many labour and liberal democrat peers are slapping an amendment the books as fast as they can and there will be pages of these that potentially will be debated in the laws of the next couple of weeks. areas where lord mandelson and others are hoping for success mandelson and others are hoping for su ccess a re mandelson and others are hoping for success are in trying to get the government on the statute book, in
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law to have to come to parliament to give mps and peers a vote on any deal before it aside off by theresa may. the government has already made a verbal agreement to that, they wa nt a verbal agreement to that, they want this in law. the secretary is the right of eu citizens in the uk. lord mandelson was pretty confident that they could get somewhere with these issues. i think there is a strong body of opinion across party and most independent peers as well that both these issues are very serious, but when it comes to eu citizens, the british government is not negotiating with itself, there will be people among the member states who say no, we don't want to ta ke states who say no, we don't want to take this issue now, we will take it later on during the course of the negotiation, as it is as much negotiating gambit for them as it is for britain. the government doesn't have a majority in house of lords, and it was interesting after the house of commons vote, some of the
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expressions, and, on a night of that vote, if the laws try to meddle with this or block it they could face an existential threat, that the public might be calling for the lords to be abolished. downing street road back on that and said it was no such threat. but i think it is interesting that the government knows it still could face some opposition, this could be a time where some peers may try to delay things, so i think they are taking no chances. thejustice secretary said this this morning. it was 34 conclusively the in the house of commons. the leader of the lords said last week that they wouldn't be holding it up and wear looking at scrutinising. it is a simple bill, do we trigger article 50, the british people voted for that, clearly a ny british people voted for that, clearly any referendum, and house of lords needs to get on with that. that is what i understand they will do. it is possible there could be
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some parliamentary ping—pong over this, having the government will try to avoid that, but that is probably a worst—case scenario to avoid that, but that is probably a worst—case scenario for them. ministers remain confident they will get this to and it will be in a position to trigger article 50 processed doing the course of march. president trump has made a strong defence of his first four weeks in office, and said a new spirit of optimism is sweeping the united states. addressing thousands of his supporters at a rally in florida, the president repeated his campaign pledges to create jobs and improve the nation's security. and he had further criticism of the media. here's our washington correspondent, laura bicker. if you thought the presidential campaign was over, then you would be wrong. afterjust four weeks in office, president trump is bidding forfour more years. but there is more to this rally in the swing state of florida. donald trump is trying to change the subject of the headlines of chaos and controversy in his administration, he is back where he appears
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to be more comfortable — behind a campaign podium, rather than a desk in the oval office. i am here because i want to be among my friends and among the people. this was a great movement, a movement like has never been seen before in our country or probably anywhere else. he enjoys an audience and he takes heart from his fans. 0ne even made it on stage after waiting since the early morning. when president trump during the election promised all these things that he was going to do for us, i knew he was going to do this for us! he also had tough words for some of his alleged enemies, the media. he has a new term for them, "the enemy". these supporters are his people and this is his message. a chance to appraise his first month in office,
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which he sees as a success. but what do his voters think? make america great again and that is what it is! that is what it is, just make america great, he will do, it is going to be great. he has kind of been up and down, i kind of feel like he is not 100% doing good but i want to give him more time, it has only been a month, i think he could turn things around. so a bumpy start? yes, a lot of executive orders, he is not really talking to people like you should. there are a lot of differences nowadays and i believe that this man can bring more people together. you think donald trump is the man to unite america? yes, ma'am. on january 20, 2017, our presidency died. but unity seems a long way off. in new york, protesters held a fake funeral for the presidency. the political ideals of america seem further apart than ever. this rally will be hugely popular with his voting base but it will not
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help him in washington. if president trump is to push through his campaign promises, he may need to take his message to capitol hill, rather than an adoring crowd. we have just received a statement from police scotland about a two—year—old boy who had gone missing in perthshire. the police say that ran about 12:30pm, the child was located in the river close to the property from which he had gone missing. he was removed from the water and treated by paramedics, but tragically, the boy did not survive. his family are being supported by officers at this time, so supported by officers at this time, so very sad news there about a missing two—year—old boy. let's get the weather. it has become increasingly cloudy
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throughout the afternoon. it started clear but the cloudy skies have been working in. there is not a great deal of sunshine left for the rest of the day, just a few cheeky glimpses in the east of england and scotland. this sheet of cloud will be with us through the night, thickest in the north and west. a band of rain moving across scotland into the north of england and wales through the night, and some spots of rain crossing the midlands and into east anglia. misty and murky conditions for many, but very mild temperatures between nine and 11 celsius. tomorrow, a band of rain pushing to the south, so wet weather for scotland and northern ireland. along with his weather front, there will be strong gusts of wind, especially for east scotland and east of the pennines. watch out for that on the way to work tomorrow
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