this is bbc news. i'm ben brown. the headlines at 3pm. the public inquiry into the grenfell tower fire — which killed around 80 people — has begun. the chair, sir martin moore—bick said he understood the enormous pain survivors are still suffering. the inquiry cannot undo any of that. but it can, and will, provide answers to the pressing questions. of how a disaster of this kind could occur in 21st—century london. i think a lot of us are disheartened and don't don't have much faith in the inquiry. we have to recognise there are other ways we can achieve the change we are looking for. a man who's spent more than a decade in prison — despite being sentenced to only 10 months — is finally to be released. president trump travels to florida to assess the damage caused by
hurricane irma. police probe the deaths of eight resident at a nursing home which lost power during the storm. also in the next hour: the transformed tenner. in circulation for the first time — the new plastic tenner — complete with a picture ofjane austen, and raised dots to help the blind. and the singer selena gomez reveals she's had a kidney transplant as a result of the condition lupus. good afternoon and welcome to bbc news. the public inquiry into the grenfell tower fire — which killed at least 80 people injune — has opened with a minute's silence to remember the victims. the man leading the inquiry, sir martin moore—bick, said he acknowledged ‘the great sense of anger and betrayal‘ felt
by survivors, and that he wanted to provide answers about how the disaster could have happened in 21st century london. he added that the inquiry wouldn't shrink from making recommendations that could lead to civil or criminal prosecutions. frankie mccamley reports. it was a catastrophic tragedy that killed at least 80 people. three months on from the fire at grenfell tower, those affected are still looking for answers. launching the public inquiry into the disaster today, the retired judge sir martin moore—bick, beginning with a minute's silence. followed by a strong reassurance for those affected. i'm aware the past few months have turned the world of those who live in north kensington upside down. and former residents of the tower, and other local people, feel a great sense of anger and betrayal. that is entirely natural
and understandable, but if the inquiry is to get to the truth of what happened, it must seek out all the relevant evidence and examine it calmly and rationally. the inquiry process is not adversarial. my task is not to decide which of two or more competing parties has the better case. nor is it to punish anyone or to award anyone compensation. it is simply to get at the truth with the help of all those who have relevant evidence to give. the retired judge explained the inquiry will be carried out in two stages examining issues including the cause and spread of the fire, the cause and spread of the fire, the design, destruction and refurbishment of the tower. how far fire regulations go in relation to high—rise flats, whether they were
followed with relation to grenfell tower. the authorities roll before the tragedy and the response after the tragedy and the response after the fire. after months of speculation and frustration residents gathered here in this church just metres from grenfell tower to watch sir martin moore—bick‘s statement live streamed on television screens. the hope was to get a better understanding of what the public inquiry will cover and, more importantly, find out if they think their questions will be answered. we know there are lots of documents, paper that needs to be studied, needs to be looked at. so i want to be positive and to allow them the time to work out the truth, because at the end of the day this is what we want. i think a lot of us are disheartened and don't have much faith in the inquiry and we also have to recognise there are other ways we can possibly acquire the change, you know, achieve the change that we are looking for. and as far asjustice goes, i think we have to continue scrutinising the processes of this inquiry continually. for some in this community, there is
deep—rooted mistrust already in the process. but for those 196 households who were made homeless, there is a more immediate concern, as only three have been permanently rehoused. for others, today will be another reminder of the pain the fire caused. frankie mccamley, bbc news. earlier i spoke to daniel thornton, programme director at the institute for government — an independent charity that works to improve government effectiveness — and began by asking him what issues the inquiry could face. i think it's the first issue for the inquiry, to establish credibility with the community. as has been said already, it's got off to a rocky start. some of it isn't down to the inquiry but the context under which it was launched, there was a wobble at national and local level. the prime minister visited the site and didn't meet the residents. this makes it
particularly u nfortu nate that thejudge, sir martin, didn't take questions today. given that the original criticism of the prime minister was that she didn't take questions and meet residents originally. before the inquiry was launched. the backdrop for the inquiry, this session today, was gold leaf in the connaught rooms. i think it's not ideal, in terms of establishing credibility with the community. there is also the issue about terms of reference, how wide they should be. there is always difficulty with public inquiries, the wider the terms of reference, the longer, potentially, it takes terms of time. that's right, it's important for inquiries to maintain their focus. that emerges from the research we've done about inquiries. the terms of reference were adjusted in
consultation with the community. it has been widened in the days after the fire. the inquiry can't address every issue around grenfell and many of these issues are in the lap of the government to address. sajiv javid as communities secretary will, i'm sure, continue to announce steps to address the wider issues. i also suspect the chancellor in the budget in november will make announcements on this. there have been calls for something like a royal commission on housing, i'm not sure that's going to happen, but there are clearly issues that sir martin's inquiry won't be able to look at in good time. in more general terms, what is the track record of public inquiries like this one? they are often criticised for taking too long. but on the other hand they can change the whole social fabric of life in the country. yes, they can have a big impact. i think the first thing is they have to establish credibility with the community
in these tragic circumstances. they've got to maintain focus or the inquiry takes too long. chilcott covered so many years, so much material. they need follow—up as well. if they make recommendations, they need to make sure, others need to make sure, recommendations are implemented. it's easy to forget about an inquiry once it has happened. there needs to be that follow—up. daniel thornton. a man who's spent more than 11 years in prison — despite being originally sentenced to servejust ten months behind bars — is to be released. james ward, who was convicted of arson, is now serving a sentence known as an ipp — an imprisonment for public protection, which meant he wouldn't be released until a parole board decided he wasn't a danger to the public. 0ur correspondent zoe conway has
been following james ward's case, and has this report. for the last 11 years, james ward has been in prison without ever knowing when he would get out. until now. in just a few weeks' time, james is expected to be moved to a hostel. ijust can't believe it. i'll believe it when he walks through the door. and give him the biggest hug he can have. whenjames was 19, he went to prison for a yearfor assault. near the end of his sentence, he set fire to the mattress in his cell. for doing this, a judge gave him an ipp, or imprisonment for public protection, and said he should serve a minimum of ten months. he's been in prison for more than 11 years. james has been writing to us from prison. this letter was written last month when he'd lost hope of ever being released. on a visit to see him last month,
his family were shocked by how ill he looked. because he is on constant watch because of the self harm, he's literally sat behind a cage like an animal, they walk past and point and laugh at him. how is that humane? how is that human rights? the ipp sentence was abolished in 2012, but there remain more than 3300 ipp prisoners in england and wales. 85% of them have served more than the minimum term they were given. 278 were given sentences of two years or less but they have served eight years more than that. what needs to happen is the government needs to work closely with the parole board to make sure that these cases are processed as quickly as they can be and that when it is safe to release people,
they are released. james has had the news this morning. he told his family he is excited for the future. his sister knows exactly how he shall be greeting him. i will hug him so tight, i think there will be a lot of crying. bill and christine will have to wait a few weeks to see the son who hasn't been home for 11 years. at least 50 people had been killed and more than 80 wounded in a series of suicide bombings in iraq. a police checkpoint was the target of the second bombing. so—called islamic state says it carried out the attacks. the value of the pound has
risen on the currency market after hints from the bank of england that interest rates could go up in the coming months. the bank's monetary committee voted today to keep its rate at its historic low of a quarter of one percent — but said that if the economy continues to grow, a future rate rise would become more likely. the culture secretary, karen bradley, has confirmed that rupert murdoch's bid to take full control of sky through 21st century fox will be referred to the competition authorities. she said the competition and markets authority would investigate the impact of the proposed merger on broadcasting standards and media plurality. 0ur media editor amol rajan is at the royal television society's convention in cambridge — and he sent this update. this is the second time the murdoch family has tried to take full ownership of sky. back in 2011, sky was known as bskyb, they try to get ownership of the 61% of the broadcaster they don't already own.
that was derailed by the phone hacking scandal which led to the closure of the news of the world and the leveson inquiry and the rest of it. the political heat as you mentioned but too much. the mood was toxic so they cancelled it. since then a lot has changed. the murdochs have split their company into, it's 110w have split their company into, it's now and entertainment division and news division. and the media landscape has also changed. facebook and amazon and netflix have entered it in and amazon and netflix have entered itina and amazon and netflix have entered it in a big way, there is huge new competition and huge new choice for consumers. that is the argument james murdoch said when he spoke with some gusto earlier this morning. his argument was not that it needs a landscape change but that he should bejudged on his record. the reality here is that the record should matter. as the founder of sky news we owned 100% of it for many, many years. there were no issues. when i was chief executive, no issues. when i was chairman, and i'm
chairman again, no issues. the re cord chairman again, no issues. the record has to count for something. whether or not 30 years ago someone has a grievance about a political position a newspaper took that is no longer part of the business is irrelevant to a process that should be transparent, that should be fact —based, that should be evidence —based, that should be evidence —based and get to an answer that makes sense for the uk economy, for the creative economy, and for the thousands and thousands of people who work at sky and 21st—century fox who work at sky and 21st—century fox whojust want who work at sky and 21st—century fox who just want to go and build something great. that was james murdoch. you are there with the great and the good of the television industry, what is the word you're hearing? do they think ultimately this deal will go through? they will be flattered to be called the great and good, there are lots of anxious people here because the tv industry is going through such a people. this merger bid is a sign of it. i think things have changed, when this bid was launched initially people said it will probably get through.
some of the arguments made by james murdoch about the changing landscape in media, the split in his company, would be persuasive. but this keeps hitting hurdles. 0fcom said there was possibly an issue on media plurality. now karen bradley the culture secretary said there is an issue in terms of the murdochs having too much power and an issue with broadcasting standards. are they committed to upholding the highest standards? i think this deal has changed, it's gone from being likely to go through to facing some pretty big hurdles. it's going to take at least another six months, more uncertainty for the employees of sky, more uncertainty forjames murdoch. and this ambition he's held for years is proving one massive headache he could without. amol rajan, our media editor. mark buckley killed 18—year—old ellen higginbotham in what the judge described as a chilling and sexually
motivated premeditated attack in wigan in june. a look at our latest bbc news headlines: the public inquiry into the causes of the grenfell tower fire has begun. the chair, sir martin moore—bick, says the inquiry must answer pressing questions. a prisoner who is still behind bars in 11 years after being given a ten month sentence for arsenal is finally to be released. james ward was told he wouldn't be freed until a parole board decided he wasn't a danger to the public. president trump is travelling to florida to assess the damage caused by hurricane irma. it comes as the death of eight resident at a nursing home which lost power during the storm are being investigated. in sport, essex close in on the county championship title, they need one more wicket to beat warwickshire then hope lancashire failed to win their match. it's the return of the europa league tonight, everton are in italy to take on atalanta.
arsenal play later this evening. maria sharapova says it is in for her critics to have a say on her return to tennis. she came back to the sport after a 15 month doping ban but hasn't been welcomed back by all. more on those stories around about half—past. president trump is on his way to florida to assess the damage caused by hurricane irma. 10 million people in the state of florida, georgia and north and south carolina are still without power and thousands more have lost their homes. more than 20 people were killed in united states to add to nearly a0 lost their lives in the caribbean during the storm. among those who died were eight resident of a nursing home in florida, which had its air—conditioning cut—off. 115 other residents were evacuated from the home and some are in critical
condition in hospital. 0ur correspondent richard lister has this report. when emergency teams searched this florida nursing home, they made some horrific discoveries. three elderly residents dead, five more dying, and scores of others enduring dangerously high temperatures. we did start getting calls this morning indicating that there were a number of people that needed treatment and as we arrived on the scene with our fire rescue crews, we saw that there were a number of people in respiratory distress. many of those led to safety were dehydrated and suffering heat exhaustion. hurricane irma had cut the electricity and then back—up generators failed. the residents had no air conditioning to combat temperatures pushing into the 30s. a nearby hospital took them in. the scene was chaotic when i arrived. when we were called to help, we mobilised at least 50 to a hundred of our employees that left the hospital, ran down the street and pulled all of these patients out
of the facility and made sure they got to a safe place. staff said when they first rang for help, they got no reply, but the home's safety record has been criticised in the past. right now, the building has been sealed off, we're conducting a criminal investigation inside. that may be related to the loss of power in the storm. we're conducting a criminal investigation, not ruling anything out at this time. one in three florida homes and businesses is still without power. homeowners have begun returning to the florida keys where an estimated 90% of the buildings were damaged or destroyed. the help is arriving. water on its way. but the people here know that this level of damage will take months to put right. i've been through wilma and andrew here. so we know how to survive. hurricane irma claimed more than 80 lives in the us and the caribbean. but the lack of power means many survivors are still at risk. let's ta ke
let's take you live to florida. this is president trump's plane, air force one. —— air force one. the president and his wife, melania, will get a briefing on hurricane recovery efforts. vice president mike pence will also be there. president trump and the vice president will head to nearby naples to visit victims of hurricane irma as well. we'll bring you more on president trump's visit as it gets underway. a prisoner was murdered by three fellow inmates at pentonville prison in london, as part of a violent feud over control of a lucrative smuggling route into the jail, the old bailey has been told. robert butler, basana kimbembi, and joshua ratner deny murdering jamal mahmoud in october last year. our home affairs correspondent daniel sandford reports from the old bailey.
pentonville prison in north london, victorian and close to the road, providing on g wing what the prosecution called a lucrative contra band route into the jail, used for smuggling in knives, mobile phones and drugs with drones and makeshift ropes. jamal mahmoud and his friends had two of the cells on the fifth floor of g wing, especially prized, as they had access to that route. in court today the prosecution said that robert butler, basana kimbembi, and joshua ratner murdered jamal mahmoud to make a point and to get control of the smuggling route, and that even after basana kimbembi stabbed jamal mahmoud with a knife pushed aside prison officers and stamped on him and kicked him several times. the prosecutor said of mahmoud that he was killed with brutality by a group of men armed with weapons that went to find him. the prosecution told the jury
that the officer in charge of g wing had been warned that day there would be trouble but was persuaded to let the alleged killers out of their cells just before 2:00. by a.30 21—year—old jamal mahmoud was dead. all three men on trial deny the charges. daniel sandford, bbc news at the old bailey. we can speak to daniel sandford who's at the old bailey now. what were the jury told about the reaction of the men to the killing? thejury reaction of the men to the killing? the jury have been told in the prosecution opening what evidence they are likely to hear about the moment of the killing and the reaction afterwards. they've been told the way jamal mahmud was most likely killed according to witnesses
was the killer pulled him onto a hunting knife which effectively drove down into his heart. the prosecution said it was, effectively, and execution. according to one of the other prisoners, who will be called to give evidence in this case. there was other evidence the jury were told they were going to hear as this case developed. from one of the inmates in a cell at the moment. when told that jamal had died he said he didn't really care. a prison officer is likely to come before the jury officer is likely to come before the jury and describe how robert butler reacted to the fight that had taken place in the prison. the prison officer will apparently say, we've got him, we've got him, that's what happens when you play with the big boys. the prosecution opening has closed and the process of taking evidence will begin over the next few weeks. the jury has been told they will be visiting the scene of they will be visiting the scene of the murder and that is, of course, g
wing at pentonville prison. a record number of people were detained on suspicion of terrorism—related offences in england, wales and scotland in the year to june. home office figures show there were nearly three—hundred—and—eighty arrests — including dozens in the wake of the terror attacks in london and manchester. we know that the uk threat level remains severe, which means an attack is highly likely. it hasn't changed. since march we've definitely seen a momentum shift. the tempo has increased. basically that means we think there are more people out there who want to do us harm. what i'd like to reassure the public is what these figures tell us and should tell the public is that we will be just as relentless breaking that momentum and making sure we're arresting and disrupting as many terrorist as possible. a senior executive at security firm g —force a senior executive at security firm
g—force has told he is ashamed that allegations of abuse at an immigration detention centre run by his company. the affairs select committee is hearing evidence from managers of g for s after undercover filming by panorama which expose finance, racism and chaos at the brookhouse removal centre near gatwick airport. would you have been aware of any of these things or taken any action on them had there not been a panorama programme?” taken any action on them had there not been a panorama programme? i was ashamed at what i saw and i'm very sorry for what we saw. i can assure you if we were in any way aware of any of that behaviour we would have taken action. of course, since the panorama programme we've taken action, we've immediately suspended ten members of staff, we've dismissed three of those members of staff and there are investigations into the conduct of other people involved. we informed
the police. and provided evidence that we can to assist with their inquiries. we also undertaking an immediate action plan to make sure this can't happen again. we take these events very seriously indeed, there is no place for behaviour like that in our business. well it did happen and you weren't aware of it and you clearly had no systems in place to ensure that if anything like any of those incidents happened they are reported, that senior management is aware of it and to prevent it happening. you clearly have a system failure to allow those things to happen in the first place. that is the home affairs select committee today. for the first time in the uk, the £10 note has raised dots on it, to make it easier for visually impaired people to identify. simon gompertz reports. early this morning, from a few
selected banks and cash machines to start with, the first of the new tenners. immediately you notice the plasticky feel, and the bank of england have persevered with plastic notes despite objections from vegan and some religious groups about the animal fat tallow that is used in making it. but the plastic enables them to have various security features, changing colours, changing shapes, a clear plastic window with winchester cathedral, gold coloured, on it. and that's the last resting place of jane austen there. 0n the back of the note. plastic is now the future for banknotes. if it's anything like the £5, i'm not a big fan of it. why? it's just the way that you fold them, they don't really, i don't know, i'm not a big fan of the £5 note, i'm not a big fan of the whole plastic note. the durability is better. because of the materials that are used making it. for forgery, what do you use?
i'm a vegetarian, and maybe that's a bit gross. you don't like the idea of tallow used in it? not particularly. if you have a severe visual impairment, like fashion blogger emily davison who writes about how these issues affect her life, the new £10 is particularly exciting. it's a lot more smoother now. because in the top left corner are two clusters of bumps to distinguish it from other notes. as someone who works in retail, it's not very good etiquette to start holding a note up to see whether it's a certain note and i could explain to the person i'm working with, i'm not doing it because i don't think your note is legitimate, i'm doing it because i can't see what note you've given me. this will help? yes, definitely, i think this will help like with the new £5 note, feeling it on the edge, it will make it a lot quicker to know what note you're holding. you can carry on using the old paper tens until the spring. then it will be out with the old and in with the new. we're going to check out the weather
forecast. lucy martin has it this afternoon. feeling fairly cool thanks to a brisk north—westerly breeze. those showers getting going as well. as we move through the afternoon. a mixture of sunny spells and showers, many of us miss them this morning but they are starting to get going this afternoon. the odd rumble of thunder as well across parts of england. moving through the rest of the day today and through the night we start to see the showers across much of england becoming confined to western coastal areas. showers making their way south through scotla nd making their way south through scotland and into northern england and parts of wales. temperature is fairly cool overnight, a few degrees cooler in the countryside. we'll see a fairly bright start to the day tomorrow, but it'll be quite cool. showers around to begin with as we get going through the day, though, more showers picking up. again, north—westerly breeze. not quite as strong as today, with temperatures in the mid teens. won't be feeling
particularly warm. into the weekend, still fairly cool temperatures around, especially overnight, we'll see chilly nights. the wind easing as high pressure pushes in from the north—west, a mixture of sunny spells and showers. more in the way of dry weather by sunday. this is bbc news. the headlines: the inquiry into the grenfell tower fire opens in london. its head, retired judge sir martin moore—bick, says his investigation will answer "pressing questions" about the disaster. i'm well aware that the past few months have turned the world of those who live in north kensington upside—down but if the inquiry is to get to the truth of what happened, it must seek out all the relevant evidence and examine it calmly and rationally. evidence and examine it calmly and rationally. a prisoner who is still injail — 11 years after being given
a 10—month sentence for arson — is to be released. james ward had been told he wouldn't be released until a parole board decided he wasn't a danger to the public. president trump has landed in florida. president trump has landed in florida. the culture secretary, karen bradley, confirms that rupert murdoch's bid to take full control of sky through 21st century fox will be referred to the competition authorities — due to concerns over broadcasting standards and media plurality. those are the headlines, now the sports news withjon watson. essex are closing in on their first county championship title since 1992 — in the last few minutes they have just completed victory over warwickshire at edgbaston. now, if lancashire fail to win their match at somerset, essex will be champions. it was a hugely impressive bowling performance from essex today — backed up by some brilliant fielding
— dan lawrence taking this catch to leave warwickshire nine wickets down. the end came when spinner simon harmer took the tenth wicket to fall to give essex victory by an innings and 56 runs. lancashire are in trouble against somerset, three wickets down in their second innings but following on. that match is due to finish tomorrow. it's the return of the europa league tonight — two english sides have made the group stages... arsenal in action later but first up it's everton who came through the qualifying rounds to get this far. ronald koeman's side are in italy to face atalanta who are back in europe after 26 years. ronald koeman's side are in italy to face atlanta who are back in europe after 26 years. they may not be a juventus or milan but the everton manager is urging his players not to take the match lightly. it's not about the name of the italian teams. it's a strong team. they are difficult to beat. for that, i have a lot of respect for
ata la nta. that, i have a lot of respect for atalanta. it's a tough competition. even the clubs out of the champions league will play europa league. of course, if you start a competition, you like to win it. but it's a long way to go. at 8.00pm but it's a long way to go. i at 8.00pm arsenal play their first europa league game after 20 successive seasons in the champions league when they met cologne at the emirates. the germans are expected to be backed by 20,000 fans in north london this evening. maria sharapova has responded to her critics in a uk exclusive interview with the bbc. maria sharapova has responded to her critics in a uk exclusive interview with the bbc. after a 15—month doping ban, she returned to the tennis circuit in april — but she wasn't welcomed by some players. eugenie bouchard branded her a cheat and andy murray said he was surprised that so many top level athletes apparently had heart conditions. he was talking in reference to the banned drugged she took for what she
claimed a heart complaint. they don't have the facts. those are the words that make headlines and are used to make headlines but ultimately this is my career. i faced it head on. i admitted my mistake and i went about it and served my suspension, and now i'm back. eugenie bouchard, the canadian player says you are a cheater, you should not be allowed back into the sport, it sends the wrong message. what do you think about that?” think that they are comments, not fa cts . what is the fact, that you are not a cheater? exactly. exactly. you can see the full interview ‘the unstoppable sharapova' on the bbc news channel, tomorrow at 9.30pm. 17 national anti—doping organisations have demanded that russia is banned from next year's winter olympics. the games start in under five months but the group, including the uk and united states, said the ioc‘s failure to hold russia to account for their doping scandal, endangered the future of the olympic movement. meanwhile, british bobsleigh head coach dominik scherrer has resigned. injune, the bbc revealed athletes had written to british bobsleigh to complain of "bullying,
racism, sexism and discrimination". there's no suggestion of any wrong—doing by scherrer. british time trial champion steve cummings has withdrawn from the squad for next week's world championships. he was initially a reserve for the team time trial event, and switched his attention to road racing. he says he was only told eight days ago he was in the squad and that didn't give him enough time to prepare. he was due to partner chris froome in the time trial in bergen. that's all the sport for now. i'll have more in the next hour. the public inquiry into the fire at grenfell tower, which killed at least 80 people injune, has begun its work today. opening the investigation, the retired court of appealjudge sir martin moore—bick, acknowledged there was a "great sense of anger and betrayal" felt by survivors of the tragedy. the inquiry, which is expected to publish its interim findings
by easter, will look at the cause and spread of the fire. the design, construction and refurbishment of grenfell tower. how far regulations go in terms of high—rise flats. and whether they were followed in the case of grenfell tower. and finally the actions of the relevant authorities before the tragedy — and their response after the fire. in his opening statement, sir martin moore—bick addressed calls from survivors for local residents to be appointed to the inquiry team. i know that many of the survivors would like me to appoint someone from among their own number or perhaps another local resident as one of my assessors. many of them can of course provide valuable evidence and i shall ensure that all evidence is heard and carefully considered. but to appoint as an assessor someone who had had direct
involvement in the fire would risk undermining my impartiality in the eyes of others who are also deeply involved in the enquiry. i have therefore come to the conclusion that i cannot take the course they would wish me to adopt. as a result i have approached a number of people all completely independent of those whose conduct may have to be investigated. who have expertise of a social and administrative nature that enables them to provide me with the assistance i need to provide my task to completion. i shall also need the assistance of people who can give me expert advice in more technical areas in particular the development of fires in high—rise residential buildings, and the intricacies of the building regulations, with particular reference to protection against fire.
i'm currently in discussions with several people, who in my view have the expertise necessary to fill those roles and i am pleased to say that those discussions are making progress. i hope to be able to announce the appointment of the first group of assessors within the next week or so. sir martin moore—bick there at the start of the inquiry. joining me now is pete weatherby qc, a barrister who led the legal team representing 22 of the bereaved hillsborough families at the 201a inquests. thank you very much for being with us. some may seem comparisons in
this inquiry and the hillsborough investigation, and the whole level of anger and the distrust in the authorities and the establishment? of course. what are your thoughts on this inquiry into grenfell tower and if it can answer the key questions that the survivors and the residents want answered? it can answer the questions, it is whether it does. the initial approach of the chair, it has been a mixture. some of the questions he is asking are pertinent questions he is asking are pertinent questions but he's ruled out large areas which has angered the local community and the bereaved and the survivors, for example, recent figures show that 2% of social housing tower blocks have sprinkler systems and more than 70% of them only have one escape route. is it a coincidence? 0r only have one escape route. is it a coincidence? or is it to do with austerity? is it to do with legal
aid cuts, that residents could not get complaints about safety issues heard? is get complaints about safety issues heard ? is it get complaints about safety issues heard? is it about social housing policy, that apparently defective building materials were used? is it about privatisation and the management company that managed the block? all of these are questions that have been ruled out and frankly, wrongly so. the argument against that is if there are terms of reference that are too wide, austerity, so on, the whole thing lacks focus and takes too long. that is the argument? absolutely. that's why you have a very experienced chair who can involve all of those questions to a releva nt level involve all of those questions to a relevant level if you don't look at those issues, you will be left with several elephants in the corner, massive issues which are written out of it. that is part of the issues
that have come up in other places, for example, hillsborough. the struggles for the truth and justice, scandals, enquiries, it shows that the enquiries like this have an uphill task and the route one common sense and requirements of the law are to put the bereaved and the survivors centre stage. at the moment there are clear indications that the inquiry has not done that. so, looking more generally, what do you think is the track record of public enquiries in this country? do you think on the whole that they can be effective? that they can answer question questions? absolutely they can be effective. the law, there are problems with certain areas of the law but it is not fundamentally the law but it is not fundamentally the law that is the problem. there are changes to the law that are acquired. the hillsborough families are calling for a hillsborough law
to require public authorities to have a tool box to act properly when there is a lack of candour but the enquiries have the possibility to compell documents. and to get to grips with what is being said, putting it centre stage and notjust giving it a minute's silence but real respect and consultation and asking the questions and pursuing the questions that they are properly, aproto—pre—budget reportly asking. that is really the task that sirmartin asking. that is really the task that sir martin moore—bick, has. thank you very much. thank you. right, now to florida. the us president, donald trump has arrived
in floor tar to see for himself the damage caused in that state and fort myers in particular, which is where he is, the damage caused by hurricane irma, he is visiting fort myer and naples as well. some 10 million people are still without power in florida, georgia, north and south carolina. and of course more than 20 people were killed in the united states including eight residents in a nursing home in florida which had its air conditioning cut off. there is air force one. we are waiting to see the president and the first lady as well. let's speak with our washington correspondent david willis. president trump, very anxious to be in florida, to see for himself the impact of hurricane irma? very much so. it is his second visit. of course, he will be in fort
myers, as you mentioned. also in the city of naples. these are in south—west florida. both areas that have been badly hit by hurricane irma that caused so much damage, especially down there around the florida keys. we talk still of millions of people being without power down there. so the president, due to inspect the damage for himself. to talk to various people down there. residents who are tackling there. residents who are tackling the aftermath of hurricane irma. he will be with the vice—president, mike pence, going from fort myers by #ka07er to the city of naples before flying back to washington wash. i mentioned millions of people without power, ben. a lot of property is damaged. but the president is not visiting a nursing home, where, as you mentioned, eight elderly patients died in the east coast city
of hollywood in florida. it is thought that the ashing system failed. a criminal investigation has been launched into those deaths. but a lot of damage. the cost of that damage following hurricane irma is expected to be very high. the total insured losses is expected to reach, iam told, insured losses is expected to reach, i am told, $25 billion, including $18 billion for the united states alone and in the florida keys, about 90% of the buildings there have been more or less destroyed. and on another issue concerning donald trump, apparently he said he is close to a deal, reaching a deal with democrats, to stop young migrants being deported from the united states. what is the latest on
that? that is right. following a meeting with the two top democrats in congress, nancy pelosi and chuck schumer, saying that they had agreed to work on a plan to prevent those people being deported. but there is disagreement on whether or not such a plan is linked to a pet project, the construction of a wall along the united states border with mexico. the president is now coming out of the plane. he is in fort myers in florida. he is beginning his second visit to that affected area with the first lady by his side there. he is meeting some of the local officials who have been working, of course, around the clock in recent days, to try to restore power, to
help get people back into their homes. but this is a rebuilding effort that will take weeks, months, possibly years, given the extent of the damage and the devastation down there. to go back to what we were talking about, about the so—called dreamers programme, that is the agreement that president 0bama put into place, basically to allow young immigrants brought to the united states illegally to remain here, well, president trump had disbanded that programme, giving congress six months craft a solution to the situation. now, as i say, he appears to be close to some sort of agreement with top democrats in congress, following that dinner that i was talking about at the white house. they apparently have a agreed to work on a plan to prevent the dreamers from being deported. but
disagreement on whether or not such a plan would be linked to the building of the wall along the border with mexico. that is something that was a cornerstone of president trump's run for office. the democrats oppose any such measure. they don't wish to see the wall. it is difficult to see how president trump could on the one hand renew the programme, as he seems inclined to do, whilst retreating from his promise to build that wall without at the same time alienating may be of the voters who put him in the white house. we will wait to see. conflicting accounts as to whether the two are linked. the president is still greeting people there on the tarmac at fort myers. asi there on the tarmac at fort myers. as i say, he will bejoined in his trip around the affected area by the vice—president mike pence. we see him there beside the president. they
will be looking around fort myers before going by chopper to the city of naples to meet the residents tackling the aftermath of the effects of her cabe irma. david, thank you very much. —— tackling the aftermath of the effects of hurricane irma. david, thank you very much. president trump there, in florida to see some of the devastation caused by hurricane irma. we are back with the president's visit in a few minutes. next a summary of the latest business news. but a quick look at the bbc news headlines. the public inquiry into the causes of the grenfell tower fire has begun. the chair, sir martin moore—bick says the inquiry must answer ‘pressing questions'. a prisoner who is still behind bars, 11 years after being given a 10—month sentence for arson, is to be released. james ward was told he wouldn't be freed until a parole board decide he wasn't a danger to the public.
and president trump has arrived in florida to see the damage caused by hurricane irma. in the business news. the bank of england's monetary policy committee has voted to hold the interest rate at its historic low of 0.25%. they warn that the first rise in more than a decade is likely to be needed if the economy continues to have problems and inflation continues to build. fox's bid to take control of sky will be referred to the regulator. culture secretary karen bradley has confirmed she will seek advice from the competition and markets authority. it now has six months to investigate the merger and its implications for the media market before a final decision is taken on whether or not the merger can proceed. profits atjohn lewis are down more than 50% after the retailer was hit by the cost of restructuring
and paying out to staff made redundant. it's also blamed a sharp fall in the value of the pound since last year's brexit vote, and rising inflation which has forced shoppers to cut back on spending. more on that sharp fall in profits atjohn lewis — down by more than 50% after the firm was hit by extra costs and rising prices. pre—tax profits were down 53% to £26.6m for the six months tojuly. it paid out £56m in restructuring and redundancy costs. at its department stores, profits were up 10%, but at supermarket waitrose profits were down 18% as a result of those higher costs, that the firm blames on brexit. fashion retailer next, though, has upgraded its forecasts for full—year sales and profits after seeing "encouraging" trading over the past three months. it says the retail environment is tough but prospects were brighter. sofie willmott, senior retail analyst, global data explained
the different pictures betweenjohn lewis and next. the figures show the state of the uk high street. john lewis reporting sales up 2.a% on last year, next sales up 2.a% on last year, next sales down 2.3%. both retailers have shown better sales online compared to physical stores, which is what we are seeing across the high street. john lewis invested in restructuring, and made redone dancis, reacting to changing business and customer needs. but they have seen slightly positive sales. next sales were disappointing but the outlook better than expected it is harderfor the retailers, with those selling clothing, home wares, electricals, furniture, it is
difficult to capture customer spend when there is a more need for grocery prices and this are going up. grocery prices and this are going up. responding to uncertainties raised by japanese car maker toyota over the direction and timetable of brexit negotiations that it may be forced to shift some uk production elsewhere if they are not addressed, the transport secretary chris grayling has told bbc london's tim donovan that automakers are still continuing to invest into the uk. what we are seeing and have seen and continue to see is big international auto makers investing and committing to invest in the uk. recently bmw with the electric mini in oxford. it will be a lively process. but i am confident that there can be a sensible agreement reached for the future and providing reassurance to the two businesses. why are the two manufactures
expressing doubts about it and concerns? are concerns by nissan and bmw but there are commitments to invest in the united kingdom. that sends a clear signal, that this will bea sends a clear signal, that this will be a great place to do business in the future. have you had the assurances to carry on investing? the clear evidence is the decision to invest. in 0xford, we have a commitment to build the electric mini. and that is big step forward. and we have other cars being built in the united kingdom, the automative industry is moving forward and will do so after brexit. in other news... exactly ten years ago today the bbc broke the news that high street lender northern rock had been forced to ask the bank of england for help. what happened next was an early sign of the global financial crisis to come. it had huge implications for the industry and led to major changes —
but some say not nearly enough. changes to the rules on letting property could force more landlords to quit the market altogether. the royal institution of chartered surveyors says nearly two—thirds of landlords would exit the market than join it in the coming year. investors have been hit by changes to stamp duty and tax relief. and volkswagen and its chinese partners will recall a.86 million vehicles due to safety issues with airbags supplied by takata. the recall, which begins in march next year, related to cars from vw china, volkswagen and saic volkswagen. airbags made by the bankrupt auto parts maker have been linked to at least 16 deaths, and 180 injuries worldwide. and tesla is likely to unveil its electric articulated lorry in october, according to boss elon musk. last year, mr musk said the company wanted to branch out beyond cars. the move would be significant in an industry dominated by heavy duty diesel vehicles that critics say can't be replicated with electric. thank you very much, now a quick
look at the weather. there is high pressure pushing in from the west. that will settle things down over the next few days. today, a brisk north—westerly breeze, taking the edge off the temperatures. here is a beautiful picture sent in by our weather watcher. good spells of sunshine in the south of england. this photo from twickenham in london. there have been showers in the mix. they are getting going this afternoon. some of them heavy. a rumble of thunder in the central parts of england. through the rest of the day. we see the showers easing over southern parts. becoming
confined to the warned coastal areas. this area is pushing to the south, bringing more in the way of showers through scotland and into parts of northern england and wales. a coal and parts of northern england and wales. a coaland a parts of northern england and wales. a coal and a breezy night, temperatures a couple of degrees cooler than this. so a fresh start tomorrow. lots of brightness around first thing. showers across wales and the south—west in particular. and here at 9.00am tomorrow morning. lots of brightness around. temperatures just pushing into the double figures. showers to look out for in the west. showers in south—west england wales. the temperatures pushing into the double figures, a brisk north—westerly breeze. in the north, brightness and good spells of sunshine for the north and southern parts of scotland. showers in the far north—east of scotland and ireland. and the further north, the brisk westerly breeze over the north
of scotland. through the day, the showers are bubbling up. the odd rumble of thunder but not all seeing one. in between there are good spells of sunshine. temperatures up to 17 celsius. into the weekend, there is high pressure tomorrowing in over northern ireland and scotland. fewer showers here. over england and wales, showers to look out for but they should ease as we move into sunday. lots of dry and bright weather around. coal with temperatures in the mid—teens. we are looking at highs of 152016 celsius. perhaps a little warmer in the south—east. through the next few days, things becoming settled. a mixture of sunny spells and showers. the showers easing through the next few days with the high pressure pushing in from the north—west.
this is bbc news. the headlines at a.00pm. the public inquiry into the grenfell tower fire — which killed around 80 people — has begun. the chair, sir martin moore—bick said he understood the enormous pain survivors are still suffering. the inquiry cannot undo any of that — but it can answers of how this could occur in 21st century london. i think ithinka i think a lot of us are disheartened
and don't have faith in the enquiry and don't have faith in the enquiry and we have to recognise there are other ways that we can possibly acquire the change that we are looking for. a man who's spent more than a decade in prison — despite being sentenced to only 10 months — is finally to be released. the value of the pound has rises following hints from the bank