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tv   BBC News  BBC News  June 18, 2017 1:00pm-1:31pm BST

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good afternoon. the government says it is drafting in a team of civil servants to help improve the official response to the grenfell tower fire, amid mounting anger over the lack of help being provided to victims. many residents have said they've received little or no assistance from kensington and chelsea borough council, although the authority has insisted it's committed to supporting anyone affected. church services are being held today to remember the victims of the blaze, as simon jones reports. after the shock and the grief, today, a moment of reflection, church services to mark the lives lost and the many missing, presumed dead. that anger remains palpable. the difficulty is people are now finding out who has died and that will be enormous grief as well as enormous anger. i will be enormous grief as well as enormous anger. i think you will see a whole different kind of atmosphere because people... the deaths are now real. many churches opened their
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doors in the hours after the tragedy, offering shelter and collecting donations, but people are asking, why did they need to step m, asking, why did they need to step in, where was the government, the local council? why didn't they do more? one conservative councillor from kensington and chelsea admits things have gone badly wrong. from what i can see, we have been caught off—guard. underground, people were quick to organise themselves. it has been kind of a disgraceful slow, limp, ifi been kind of a disgraceful slow, limp, if i can put it like that. been kind of a disgraceful slow, limp, ifi can put it like that. the prime minister accepts that in the hours after the disaster, the support for families was not good enough. now extra government staff are being drafted in to work with the council. it follows a meeting between the local people and the reason may in which they were keen to have their voices heard. things are finally moving forward and the government and the council are being proactive. i think sadly it took a
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long time to get them up and running and if it wasn't for other centres, none of this would have been done. we are lucky we have so many bright, important, smart people in the area. the home office is making arrangements for the family of one of those who died to travel from syria to the uk for the funeral. he was killed when he was separated from his brother. his life, one of many remembered today.” from his brother. his life, one of many remembered today. i think there will be a special sense of grieving, sadness, in the churches today, as people remember what has happened and people are still homeless as well, but i think also there will be a note of hope. the painstaking investigation is continuing but the warning from police is there will be no quick answers. we canjoin simon in west london now. how is the increased government support showing itself to people on the ground? the
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church service here has just finished and people have been taking a moment to look at the flowers, bring more, look at the posters of the faces of people missing who are sadly now presumed dead. the government says extra staff are coming in and some will be wearing high visibility clothing to be easily identified by people who need them. a lot of residents say they have seen no sign of them at all so far today. we have asked the government where they are but they have not given us an answer. this is a community that needs trust rebuilding with the government. the tributes are here, butjust over there, you can see the police operation is continuing, along with the fire service, and what remains of the tower block, still a shocking sight. the warning is this investigation is not going to be quick and it is likely going to be painful. simon jones there, thank you. the chancellor, philip hammond, says brexit negotiations that end with no deal would be an extremely
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bad outcome for britain. it comes as formal talks with the eu are set to get under way in brussels tomorrow. labour say the government's approach so far has left the uk in the worst possible starting position. our political correspondent, susana mendonca, is in wesminster. philip hammond is taking a slightly different position on no deal than theresa may? yes, we have heard theresa may say so many times have no deal would be better than a bad deal. here we have philip hammond, the chancellor saying no deal would be a very, very bad outcome for britain and he talks about how he wants a transitional structure which means we have a slope rather than the cliff edge people have spoken about. this is contrary to what other members of the cabinet think. philip hammond has been critical also of the government's approach and the conservatives' campaign in the general election and his role which he felt was not as it should have been. it's true that my role
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in the election campaign was not the one i would have liked it to be. i did a lot of travelling around the country... why was that, do you think? i met lots of very interesting people and i heard lots of interesting stories. look, i would have liked to have made much more of our economic record, which i think is an excellent one, creating 2.9 million newjobs, getting the deficit down by three quarters. there you have for it, the chancellor who was not have happy at being sidelines, talking about how the conservatives should have focused on the positive economic message. we have got brexit negotiations coming up, tomorrow, and labour have said theresa may has effectively put the country into a very difficult position, put the starting point back in terms of the negotiations. all eyes will be on what happens between the eu and britain of course. thank you. a murder investigation is under way after an 18—year—old woman's body was found in a country
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park in wigan. she's been named by police as ellen higginbottom. the discovery was made in orrell water park yesterday, after ellen had been reported missing by family members on friday. police say she had suffered a brutal attack and are appealing for anyone with information to come forward. france is voting in the second and final round of the country's parliamentary elections today. president emmanuel macron's party, la republique en marche, which was formed just over a year ago, is predicted to win up to three—quarters of the seats in the national assembly. the bodies of a number of sailors missing after a us naval destroyer collided with a container vessel have been found. an investigation is under way to establish how the collision occurred with the philippine vessel in the middle of the night. a forest fire in central portugal is believed to have killed 57 people. the blaze is spreading though the centre of the country during an intense heatwave.
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nearly 600 firefighters and 160 vehicles have been dispatched to tackle the blaze. many of those who died were trapped in their cars. our correspondent, alison roberts, reports. people flee as the flames moving. the fires that have swept across this mountainous part of portugal have devastated everything in their way. dozens of fire started yesterday amid hot, dry conditions, but it is this fire here that has claimed so many lives. translation: we were inside the house, the fire was all around us. the firefighters came to get us out because we could hardly breathe anymore. as for whether the house burned or not, it must have burned, for sure. 700 firefighters battling this blaze, hundreds more fighting elsewhere. at least 30 of the deaths came as people tried to flee in
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their cars. other deaths and injuries occurred along or near the highway in this heavily forested area. officials were visibly shaken by the deaths. portugal's prime minister said it was the worst ever such tragedy in terms of lives lost. the victim is all died in the same fire at the same place. the criminal investigation department and the forensic teams are at work to try to identify the victims. several firefighters are among those seriously injured or missing. france and spain sent aircraft to back up portugal's own efforts, but with temperatures expected to remain high, firefighters face another difficult day. alison roberts, bbc news, lisbon. you can see more on all of today's stories on the bbc news channel. the next news on bbc one is at 6.30pm. bye for now. hello.
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you're watching the bbc news channel. the time isi:10pm. the time is 1:10pm. now, we are going to bring you a little bit more on the tragedy that has happened in g re nfell tower on the tragedy that has happened in grenfell tower in west london. i think we are going to be able to bring you some words that were given earlier today by the chancellor, philip hammond, who was asked about the sprinklers in tower blocks. if the conclusion of a proper technical evaluation is that that is the best way to deal with a problem, then, of course. my understanding, andrew, though i am not an expert, is that the best expert advice is that retro—fitting sprinklers may not always be the best technical way of ensuring fire safety ina building.
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if it is, it should be done. let's get the technical advice properly evaluated by a public enquiry, and then let's decide how to go forward. but let's be clear, if something needs to be done to make a building safe, it will be done. i'm not an expert either, but can i put it to you that we do not need technical expertise to know that sprinklers put out fires, and a lot of people sitting in blocks like that one who do not have sprinklers in their building, may be thinking, why not? there has never been a case of anyone losing their life in a fire in this country where sprinklers have been fitted. these are technical questions. this is not technical. what i am hearing from leading fire safety experts is that it isn't necessarily necessary
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to retro—fit sprinklers to make a building fire safe. i don't want to call that judgment because i'm not an expert, but we need to look through the public enquiry through all this technical evidence. the commitment the government should make is that when the enquiry produces its findings, and i don't mean in years' time — we are going to ask for interim findings — when the enquiry produces findings, we will act on them. the labour leaderjeremy corbyn has repeated his call for empty properties in london to be used to house those made homeless by the fire. there are a large number of deliberately kept vacant flats and properties all over london. it's called land banking. people with a lot of money buy a house or a flat and keep it empty. would you just keep it as long as it was needed? occupy it, requisition it,
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compulsory purchase. there's a lot of things we can do. as a society, can we think of all of us? it is all very well putting your arms around people in a crisis, but the housing crisis is rising and homelessness is getting worse. in an emergency, you have to bring all assets to the table to deal with the crisis, and that's what i think we should be doing. a little over two weeks ago, —— eight weeks ago, people were killed after attackers drove into people on westminster bridge. one of the victims has been telling about bbc brea kfast victims has been telling about bbc breakfast about the moment he came face—to—face with the attackers.
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eyesores some of my friends —— i saw some of my friends. one of my friends was behind me, and i knew right there and then that unless i acted, the worst could possibly happen. i knewi acted, the worst could possibly happen. i knew i had to delay them because the police were in the area. u nfortu nately, because the police were in the area. unfortunately, i saw what looked like suicide vests on them, so i knew i could notjust charge in an attack them because they could have detonated them, which would have been the worst possible outcome. so i had to somehow keep them at bay. they started yelling, everyone get on the floor. i knew that if they had done that, it would be game over insta ntly, had done that, it would be game over instantly, they would just kill them then and there. the attackers came on me and started barking at eve ryo ne on me and started barking at everyone to get on the floor. i kept telling them, no, and then they
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snapped and charged at me with knives. they attempted to stab me in the throat. unfortunately, they succeeded, but they also attempted to sta b succeeded, but they also attempted to stab me in the stomach, but i managed to jump out of the way and just got a couple of scratches in the stomach. then they got me on the side of my face. they attacked my friend, and he suffered superficial injuries, and then they ran off. and then shortly after, the police arrived. that was one of the victims of the london village attack or —— the london bridge attack a couple of weeks ago. the headlines on bbc news: the queen's speech to parliament next year is to be cancelled in order to allow mps more time to scrutinise brexit legislation. it's been described as an unusual move.
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the bodies of a number of sailors missing after a us navy destroyer collided with a container vessel off the coast of japan have been found. an investigation is under way to establish how the collision occurred with the philippine vessel in the middle of the night. earlier our correspondent in tokyo rupert wingfield—hayes told me that it's unclear how this happened. the question that's come right from the very start is, how did such a sophisticated warship, one of the most sophisticated warships anywhere in the world, collide with a large container ship in a calm, clear weather, albeit at night? the answer to that will come with the investigation, and what we do know is that the philippines registered cargo vessel does appear to have made a number of sharp turns as it approached the coast of japan early on saturday morning. there will be questions as to why. these are very sharp u—turns. you can see it on the gps tracking that the japanese coast guard have, over and over again in a very sort
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of erratic way, so the captain and crew of that vessel will be questioned as to why they made those terms. nevertheless, it is a large, slow moving ship, so there will be spot the ship turning, and turn away themselves in time. it seems they did turn away at the last minute, but it wasn't quickly enough in order to avoid a collision. and the collision inflicted a huge amount of damage. you were not able to see, rupert, but viewers who are watching could see the pictures of the navy ship, which has been severely damaged. it has, and the only damage we can see from those pictures is above the water line, and the commander of the us navy forces here, in that press conference, said there is far more damage below the water line, and there is a large gash, even bigger than the one above, below the water line. it went through several compartments.
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he said water rushed in extremely quickly. there was a large volume of water rushing in, and only because of the rapid action of the crew was the ship saved. it was in danger of sinking at the beginning. a fall in the number of people who own their own home is fuelling inequality in britain, according to a new report. research from the resolution foundation think—tank suggests that 10% of adults own around half of the nation's wealth. our business correspondent, joe lynam, has more. the awful fire at grenfell tower has highlighted for many the issue of inequality in britain. dozens dead in the wealthiest borough in the uk. now an independent think tank has said inequality has worsened since the great recession because fewer people own their own homes. the resolution foundation says property ownership is now spread less evenly than salaries and incomes are. it says the richest 10% of the population own £5 trillion, or half the uk's wealth, while the top 1% own 14% of britain's wealth. by contrast, 15% of adults have
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no or negative wealth. wealth is arguably the biggest determinant of living standards over people's lives, but yet it barely features in today's living standards debates, and that's a big deal because our analysis shows wealth is far more unequally spread across scoiety than incomes are. because of declining property ownership, declining home ownership, for the least wealthy households, that inequality has started to go up, and that's a real concern. the report is part of a wider study into a growing gap between older and younger people. the foundation says older people have accumulated wealth due to rising house prices as well having gold—plated pensions, which the young will not enjoy. the government says that they want to build an economy that works for everyone. income inequality is at its lowest level since the mid—1980s and the lowest paid saw their wages grow faster than for 20 years. joe lynam, bbc news. the crew used the stars and the
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ocean the crew used the stars and the ocea n swells the crew used the stars and the ocean swells to guide it, the same techniques as were used hundreds of yea rs techniques as were used hundreds of years ago. it was an emotional farewell at the start of an epic voyage around the world. cheering. first ports of call, the islands of tahiti and samoa, where the crew were welcomed ashore by their pacific cousins. in new zealand, the crew of hokule'a were welcomed with a traditional maori greeting before learning about their shared cultural history. onto australia, where the boat sailed around the coast from sydney, visiting several different cultural and environmental sites,
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including the great barrier reef. the trip from australia to bali was a difficult one for the crew, due to poor conditions, but also marked the first time the canoe had ventured further than the pacific ocean. sailing into south africa after a brief stay on the island of mauritius meant the hokule'a had successfully sailed 10,000 nautical miles. the leg between south africa and brazil proved tricky for the navigators, who had to use tiny islands as markers to keep them on track. in cuba, crew membersjoined a meeting about us relations and discussions on cultural connections between cuba and hawaii, before heading to the virgin islands and on to america. after reaching florida in may of 2016, the hokule'a spent the next several months travelling the east coast, connecting with local schools, native american and maritime communities. singing. from there, she travelled to new york and new england. the boat then began its journey back
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to the pacific ocean via a trip through the panama canal. arriving on rapa nui, also known as easter island, was a significant accomplishment on the journey, as the tiny island is considered extremely hard to find using natural navigation skills. the last part of the journey included brief stops at the pitcairn and marquesas islands before the crew steered the canoe back to hawaii. 19 countries and 40,000 nautical miles later and the hokule'a's work is farfrom done — the boat will now embark on an eight—month trip around the hawaiian islands in a bid to reconnect with local communities and schools. with humble beginnings in a shropshire garden,
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it has bloomed into one of the bbc‘s most iconic programmes — with an audience of up to two—and—a—half—million people a week. so, as gardeners' world turns 50, kay alexander has been digging through the decades to investigate how a show, rooted in plants and personalities, has experienced such enduring success. 50 years ago, the advent of colour television enabled the bbc to make a new horticultural programme and gardeners' world was born. it was presented by the legendary percy thrower from his garden near shrewsbury, the magnolias. good evening. september. the sun still shining. in my family, everything stopped dead for gardeners' world. my mother was a keen gardener and so was this little girl. i am still a big fan of the programme. peter seabrook was one of the presenters in the 1970s and is still a big influence in gardening today. percy thrower was god, and everybody watched every friday without question. and if percy showed a plant on his programme, then by 10am the next day, they would be sold out
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across the country. the effect was remarkable. in 50 years, there are a number of personalities who have made their name on gardeners' world, including geoff hamilton, whose garden, barnsdale, was one of the eight gardens used over the years. after he died in 1996, alan titchmarsh became the next main presenter. if this doesn't make you drool, nothing will. i think i am proud of having had a hand in gardeners' world and having been a part of its colourful history. my mission in life is to impress upon people the pleasure to be gained from growing things and the importance of keeping our planet green. it is the sharp end of looking after the planet, gardening. since the programme debuted in 1967, it has gone through all sorts of fashions and trends and styles. is there a magic ingredient that keeps it fresh and exciting? one of the magical things about gardeners' world is the fact you canjoin the head gardener in their garden every friday.
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it is a value of being able to look over the garden gate to see what they are doing, but at the same time, gardeners' world has always been about plants, passionate plants people and the places in which those plants grow. lumbering outside broadcast vehicles of the past have been replaced by the latest technology. but what about the future of the programme? every gardener knows that every season is different and new and exciting, and if you can just capture that excitement, you will not have to worry about the future. just go with it. no worries there, then. so happy golden birthday, gardeners' world. and here's to the next 50 years! all: happy birthday! you are watching bbc news. let's
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return to the grenfell tower disaster. our correspondent was outside notting hill methodist church, where one of the services has been held. the service here ended around an hour ago. the congregation exited at the door with quite emotional scenes, hugging each other, and then reading these tributes, the flower is continuing to be placed. two of the people who we re to be placed. two of the people who were in that service join us now, paul and jennifer, who are also people who were affected by the fire itself. paula, what difference did that service make to people? itself. paula, what difference did that service make to people ?m itself. paula, what difference did that service make to people? it was uplifting. it brought people closer together. we are with people with our prayers and thoughts. it was very uplifting. the sermon was fantastic. it was very good. it's been very hard on everybody in the
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past few days, but the sermon was fantastic. it brought us closer together. that was a sermon, jennifer, given by reverend mackie. what was the message? it was about hope, coming together, and trying to find what is good. the volunteers who have come out have tried to stay peaceful during this process, and not get so frustrated that we cannot see the bigger picture. was there also a message for the local community about possible divisions people might feel, about how different people will be treated? people might feel, about how different people will be treated ?m was mentioned, but it was all about being together. people are still angry. people are still angry and upset. people are very upset. a lot of people still don't have any
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accommodation. with the logistics, it seems to me like nothing much is happening here at the moment. people are still upset. jennifer, you have been walking around. has there been any noticeable extra help from the government, the local council or from neighbouring councils, because a lot has been pledged in the last 24 a lot has been pledged in the last 2a hours? a lot has been pledged in the last 24 hours? i've been here since wednesday morning, and i haven't seen wednesday morning, and i haven't seena wednesday morning, and i haven't seen a single person from the council here apart from our mp, emma, who stopped here a few days ago. what about people being housed? from what we are hearing from the families, i don't think that's happening yet. what do you think those delays are down to, if that is going on? lack of communication. from the government, there is nothing. people are walking about with no idea. they don't have any money. people are staying in bed and
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breakfast. they don't have any cash at all. they cannot go to the bank. it's terrible, and nothing is being done. jennifer, when we talked earlier, there were fears of people may be losing interest in focusing on some of the issues here. what are thoseissues on some of the issues here. what are those issues that still need to be addressed? the big issue is the government needs to come together and start helping all of us here on the ground. the volunteers have been working tirelessly, and we have organised ourselves with zero help from the council. there should be a task force, a hub of some sort, to help communicate and liaise between the various churches and community centres. that is theirjob, and they are leaving it to us. particularly at the beginning of this week, people appear to me to be more grieving, or coming to terms with the losses. is that what you think is happening? people are angry
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because of what happened, obviously. this shouldn't have happened. people will be angry for a very long time. theresa may is not doing anything. nothing at all. we have been here for three or four days. all of the volunteers have been working tirelessly from morning until night. where are the people from the council and the government? where is the extra help? people in the community have come out of their homes are bringing clothing and food. people are offering rooms in their houses. these are the people who are coming together. can i ask either of you how children are feeling right now? feeling right now? children are feeling sad, children are very upset. my daughter goes to the schooljust behind you, children are feeling very upset
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