this is bbc news. i'm carrie gracie. the headlines at three: tributes for sir roger bannister, the first athlete to run a mile in less tha n the first athlete to run a mile in less than four minutes, who has died at the age of 88. theresa may urges the eu to get on with discussing whart she called an "ambitious but practical" vision for relations after brexit. we've set out what we want. we've set out where we think we could have this ambitious relationship that's good for prosperity on both sides. let's get on with it. also this hour, could eurosceptic parties take control in italy? anti—immigration and populist parties are set to make the biggest gains as millions of italians vote in their general election. we shall fight on the beaches. we shall fight on the landing grounds. oscar hopes for gary oldman for his portrayal of winston churchill in the darkest hour. he could be one of the winners at tonight's 90th academy awards. and stay with us here on bbc news.
in halfan in half an hour, we had to barcelona to check out the latest in mobile phone innovations on our technology show, click. good afternoon and welcome to bbc news. sir roger bannister, the first man to run a mile in underfour minutes, has died at the age of 88. the world of sport has been paying tribute — 25—year—old roger bannister, third from the left... there are some moments of sporting history which become part of the world's history. he's decided this is the right moment. what roger bannister achieved in 1954 was like a lunar landing for 20th—century sport. bannister‘s old friend and rival chris chataway is in third place,
waiting his time to take over as pacer. to run a mile and stop the clock before it reached four minutes. in 1954 this was a magical number, a barrier of human achievement, a feat that would redefine what was humanly possible. and it would fall to a young medical student to achieve it. after two and a half laps, brasher gives way to chataway. bannister, a superb tactician, has suffered criticism in the past for adopting his own rather unorthodox training methods, but they are paying dividends now. at this point it becomes quite painful. i overtake chris chataway and begin the finish. and here he comes. bannister goes streaking forward with about 250 yards to the tapes. every stride counted. the tape broke at 3 minutes 59.1; seconds. and bannister has done it! though he's out on his feet, his coach and team manager tell him he has achieved his ambition. there was certainly a feeling of it being a national event, something of a landmark for the country.
it might have felt like the world stopped when that clock stopped. "four—minute mile" was a sporting catchphrase everyone recognised. all i can say is i am absolutely overwhelmed and delighted. it was a great surprise to me to be able to do it today and i think i was very lucky. sir roger bannister was knighted in 1975. athletics was only a small part of his life. he regarded his work as a neurologist as more significant. when he was diagnosed with parkinson's disease, he described the "gentle irony" that a neurologist should find himself with a neurological condition. training for roger bannister in athletics had been half an hour a day on a cinder track. the world's first four—minute miler was also perhaps sport's last great amateur. earlier, my colleague ben brown spoke to roger black,
the former british 400 metre runner and triple olympic medallist, and began by asking him about sir roger bannister‘s athletics achievements. it is a huge achievement and the big barrier that was broken, and has another barrier been broken subsequently that has had such an impact on the world? i think the answer is no. as a kid i remember doing a project on roger bannister breaking the four—minute mile, and we all knew about it. it was a huge moment. for me personally it was interesting because i actually wrote to him when i was having a dilemma about whether to leave medical school or not and ta ke to leave medical school or not and take athletics seriously. and he was the only person i could think of who had combined the two. he wrote me a lovely letter back saying, it was different in my day, old chap, you will have to take it more seriously than i did.
but he was wonderful, he was always around athletics, he was this iconic figure, and when i chatted to him about it, it was interesting because we remember him for the athletics, but it was medicine that was his true love. and he was true to that. as he said in his day he could play around with the athletics, but he was a huge figure in our sport and will be sorely missed. and why was it such a sought—after achievement to run the mile under four minutes? because it was compared almost to climbing everest, wasn't it, in the 1950s? it was. it was obviously around the same time. it was just that perfect number of four minutes, to break it. it wasn't breaking four—minute ten, it was that elusive figure. and the interesting thing was that once he had done it, everyone else went on to do it. he proved that once something could be done, everyone could do it, and it is used in the corporate world is a great example of that. once you smash through a barrier, you prove to other people it can be
done, and people believe, and of course that's what happened. but he was the first person to do it, and will be remembered forever for being that person. and just talk to us about how he did do it. he said he was lucky, with typical modesty. but he had his pacers, and they were important, in a sense it was a team effort. it definitely was a team effort. they chose the event, the place, the time, and they had a strategy and they stuck to that strategy. and of course he was the one who came through. he always gave credit to chat away and everyone else in the race. he felt he was the person that cross the line, but it was absolutely a team effort, and immortalised in the stadium. when you go back, you get nostalgic, because it really was the amateur days of athletics. you have an image of a waking up
in the morning, getting on the train, turning up, putting on his spikes and giving it a go, and that wouldn't happen now. it is a completely different sport now, a professional sport. and i think we admire that, we love that symbolism of what he did back then. but i think the most important thing of it was breaking that elusive barrier that had been there for so long and so many people thought couldn't be broken. roger black remembering sir roger bannister. ireland's foreign minister has suggested that the eu is likely to reject theresa may's plan to keep a soft border between northern ireland and the republic after brexit. mrs may says the uk will leave the single market and customs union, but insists there will be no return to barriers and checks on the border. here's our political correspondent suzana mendonca. it's 310 miles long, 30,000 people cross it every day, and more than £1 billion a week
is done in trade across the border between the uk and the republic of ireland. when britain leaves the european union, this currently invisible border will become its frontier with the eu and all sides want to keep it invisible. s'z’: : z. a... .—.. z...—. .—. g in northerg gelagg is no hard border. the prime minister says a soft border could be kept intact through the use of technology and no new trade restrictions on smaller businesses, but in its first in—depth response to her plan, the republic of ireland has cast doubt on whether the eu would go for it. i'm not sure that the european union will be able to support a situation whereby 80% of companies that trade north—south and south—north will actually protect the integrity of the eu single market. the irish leader and the prime minister have met to discuss solutions to the irish border question which has been a sticking point in the brexit negotiations.
the eu wants northern ireland in a customs union, while the dup and the uk government do not. mrs may says her speech moves the issue forward. it sets out some ways, particularly on the issue of customs across the border, in which we can resolve that and i am pleased to say that the taoiseach has agreed the uk and irish governments and the commission can look in more detail at the proposals we have put forward. the future of financial services is another crucial area for the uk economy, and the prime minister has made clear the city could lose some access to european markets. she knows the deal britain is after in this area and other sectors is a vast departure from the kinds of trade deals the eu has done before. it's very broad, so it is covering issues like industrial goods, cars, but also financial services, energy, transport, law, science, agriculture, fisheries. tomorrow we will get a clearer idea of what the eu thinks when it
responds to mrs may's plans. susana mendonca, bbc news. and susana has been explaining how theresa may's comments have gone down within her own party. she has managed to placate both sides, so you have the brexiteers saying that she has come up with practical solutions, she has offered a balanced and clear view of what she wants, and they think that she's kind of made the right move in that respect. and then on the other side you have the remainers, so people like nicky morgan, being positive about this and saying that she welcomes it, although with a caveat saying that she'll watch out for any drifting backwards. and also suggesting, hinting that she might withdraw her support for an amendment to the trade bill which was all about basically trying to include the customs union in any future trade bill. so you have got that kind of movement, but then on labour's side, they are critical, we have heard from peter mandelson today, he spoke to the andrew marr show,
saying that this was all based on leaps of faith, so one leap of faith being that the european union would agree to theresa may cherry—picking. the european union has said it would do that. and the other leap of faith being that the european union would agree to this idea of mutual recognition rather than alignment on the issue for example talking about the financial sector. the prime minister has said she wants mutual recognition on that because she is not going to be in a situation where british companies here in the city would be able to have passporting rights, so she wants to create a new relationship within the eu. so certainly she has placated some, but there is still a lot of criticism. and important moves in brussels from tomorrow, really? we need to hear what brussels makes of her plans, but also we have the dup and sinn fein meeting with michel barnier, the chief negotiator for the eu, and also the irish border which we were talking about before, that will be a big issue for them. theresa may is supposed
to be giving a statement to parliament tomorrow on brexit, and negotiations continuing later this month, because of course we have the eu summit later on, and what britain needs is to get to a point where it can agree a transition deal so that it can get onto the trade deals, and that is what theresa may really wants. susana mendonca. polls have opened in italy's general election, following a divisive campaign dominated by immigration. the centre—left government is facing a stiff challenge from both a right—wing coalition and the populist five star movement, which could emerge as the largest party. gavin lee reports from rome. this election is seen as a test of the populist movement against the establishment, a choice between the promise of change or the stability of the old guard. and a familiarface is back — silvio berlusconi. this is what happened when he voted in milan this morning. a feminist activist strips and shouts, it is
overfor activist strips and shouts, it is over for you. the 81—year—old ex—prime minister leads a centre—right coalition, although a tax fraud conviction prevents him from personally holding office. he is sharing a platform with the far right anti—immigrant party, the league. matteo renzi leads a centre—left coalition, trying to keep his government in power. but the dynamics here means it is unlikely any single party will maintain a majority. key issues here are the economy, how to cope in a country struggling with a huge debt problem. unemployment is an issue, third of young italians are jobless, but what comes up again and again as the migration crisis, how to deal with 600,000 migrants who arrived here in the last few years. we have to consider immigration that now was a normal part of our world, and they want to go to other countries, they know other countries
are better, so why shouldn't they go here? translation: europe has abandoned us as faras translation: europe has abandoned us as far as immigration is returned. they state you should welcome them but they are all in italy because the rest don't want to take anyone, and this isn't fair. another figure of note is luigi di maio, the 31—year—old former football steward is leading the five star movement. they expect record votes. as polls closed tonight, watching closely will be other european leaders, already hit by brexit and hoping for no major surprises here. gavin lee, bbc news, rome. still in italy, the football world has been stunned by the sudden death of one of the country's top players. the fiorentina captain and italian international davide astori, who was 31, died following what his club described as a "sudden illness". all top—flight matches in italy have been called off. the italian national team captain gianluigi buffon paid tribute to the player, describing him as "one of the best sports figures i came across".
germany has been waiting a long time for this. its new government is in effect now continuation of the last one, so—called grand coalition between angela merkel‘s conservatives and the social democrats or spd. mrs merkel will no doubt be taking a great sigh of relief this morning, but this doesn't feel like too much ofa but this doesn't feel like too much of a victory, and that is the several reasons. first of all, the social democrats who had the final say on whether this government could go ahead have torn themselves apart over that decision. they have really fallen down in the polls as a result, and many members are still
horribly opposed to the idea of working with mrs merkel again. they blame herfor a working with mrs merkel again. they blame her for a terrible election results back in september. they think she overshadowed their party, and they are really worried about another government with her conservatives. secondly, the public here have somewhat lost their appetite. there is limited enthusiasm for another grand coalition, and that's in part because voters are fed up with the established parties and the political wranglings of the last few months. don't forget of course that angela merkel tried and failed to create a different coalition a few months ago. this has been a very long and very painful process for this country. and then third, angela merkel herself has been profoundly damaged over the last few months, first by delivering a terrible election result for her own conservative party, then herfailure to pull together a coalition with the green party and the ftp, and now taking so long to persuade the social democrats to come to the
table and sign an agreement. it has been a very difficult period for the german chancellor. she is now a significantly weakened figure, both here in germany and by default further afield. the headlines on bbc news: sir roger bannister, the first athlete to run a mile in less that four minutes, has died at the age of 88. theresa may urges the eu to get on with what she calls her "ambitious but practical" vision for relations after brexit. and work is continuing to clear snow from roads and rail lines after severe disruption. meanwhile warnings of flooding, with strong winds battering coasts. in sport, more trouble for arsene wenger as brighton are beating them. it is currently 2—1. it is murray's sixth goal in as many games, and it is into injury time now. deontay wilder wants to unify the heavyweight division after another
knockoutin heavyweight division after another knockout in new york. he beat cuba's louise ortiz and says he is ready for anthonyjoshua next. louise ortiz and says he is ready for anthony joshua next. and louise ortiz and says he is ready for anthonyjoshua next. and it is all square in the welsh open final asjohn higgins all square in the welsh open final as john higgins and all square in the welsh open final asjohn higgins and barry hawkins have two frames each after the first session in cardiff. those other sporting headlines, more for you in an hour. more now on our top story, the death of sir roger bannister. in the last few minutes, the president of the international association of athletics federations, lord seb coe, has been paying his tribute. he never really got what he did. and it wasn't a front, he just said, i am quite lucky. i don't think the enormity of what he did came to life for me until i actually had the great privilege, and we both knew
him well, of sitting in his sitting room, and we were comparing training diaries. and i think it's fair to say, you know, we were probably doing ina say, you know, we were probably doing in a day and a half, two days, what these guys were doing in a week and a half, maybe two weeks. and when you look at the times he achieved off the back of what was really quite thin training. he had got friends, they were beginning to use the science of the sport and exploring, and of course he had a medical background, but when you look at the time, and people sort of dismiss the four—minute barrier. more people have individually climbed everest that have run a four—minute mile. and it is an extraordinary achievement. lord seb coe. an independent report that was given to the board of the construction giant, carillion, four months before it collapsed has now been published. it said the firm had been "aggressively managed" to make its balance sheet look better than it was. the document has been published by two commons committees, which are examining why carillion went out of business
in january with debts of almost a billion pounds. for more on this i'm joined by our business correspondent joe lynam. tell us more about this report. when you are looking for large financing or loans from the bank and you were a big company, you often get an independent assessment on the health of the business which then can be given to the bank, so the bank can say, an independent group of people, in this case fti consulting has looked at these issues, and so the report was commissioned in september of last year, and as you have been referring to, it makes for unpalatable reading. in hindsight, now that the company has collapsed. it basically said it was bringing forward receivables, or income that it was due to receive, and postponing making payments, so its obligations. and it was also
quadruple in the payment terms for its suppliers from 30 days to four months. we subsequently know that a lot of those suppliers and smaller contractors have gone out of business because there was so much money outstanding from the company. it basically shows that the company was ina it basically shows that the company was in a really bad way in the final six months of life. the board deemed to this independent report to harsh. guess who's looking clever now? there is nothing illegal about what they did, though? about this aggressive management of this reporting? it is all in the perception. there is nothing written down in law saying you must do this, you must obey an independent business report, remember it was never published, it is being published now for the first. you can bring forward income if the auditor will sign off on it, but it must be within reason. seve can't bring in income from two or three years' time to this year. nor can you delay
making payments and say that we don't really a money even though you absolutely do, within reason. it is all based on judgment. absolutely do, within reason. it is all based onjudgment. we also know from the analysis given published today by the work and pensions committee that criticism of the orders has been pretty intense. a lot of the suppliers did not get paid. joe, thank work is continuing to clear snow from road and rail lines. andy gill is at scotch corner on the ai in north yorkshire. this is the a66, a vital transport links for businesses, freight and passengers, too, and it has been close for five days. this morning passengers, too, and it has been close forfive days. this morning it finally opened, the highways agency
saying its crews worked hard to clear the snow. driving conditions still very poor, and notjust because of the snow, but because of fog as well. the weather is continuing to affect trans—pennine rail routes, the newcastle to carlisle rail service is off, there isa carlisle rail service is off, there is a replacement bus service and the leeds to lancaster route also affected. so as far as the main east coast line goes, they did get some trains running last night, no trains on the main west coast rail line between england and scotland, there isa between england and scotland, there is a replacement bus service there. in fact, rail companies across the uk are saying that the weather has been so severe, there are still cancellations and delays, and that will continue to be the case tomorrow. you should check about your railjourney tomorrow. you should check about your rail journey before tomorrow. you should check about your railjourney before you set out. there are a number of flood alert and warnings in place, especially around the coasts, because of high winds and spring tides. there is a gradual thaw on the way, it could get up to 9
degrees in the south of england today, but in rural areas tonight, the temperature could be back down to minus four. thousands of homes across the country still without power, and some of the power companies have been trying to get to more remote and cut—off homes and have not been able to do that. yesterday one firm tried to use a helicopter to reach those houses, but was unable to travel because of freezing fog. so a change on the way for some, we are told, but tomorrow's rush—hour on likely to be anything like a normal one. andy gill. the metropolitan police a bit emergency services had been responding to a report of an explosion in north—east london. it is unclear whether anyone is injured, but police have confirmed they are not treating the incident as terror related. large numbers of people are reporting to be fleeing
the syrian enclave of ghouta. government forces continue a ground assault against the last remaining rebels there. there are suggestions rebels in some areas may be negotiating a surrender. the un has cancelled plans to deliver aid to civilians in the area today— around a0 trucks had been due to go in. preparations are under way for the 90th academy awards tonight after a tumultuous year for the film industry which saw the downfall of the producer harvey weinstein. gary oldman, who played winston churchill in darkest hour, is among the nominees to win the oscar for best actor. the fantasy the shape of water leads the field with 13 nominations. from the red carpet, here's rebecca jones. it is the most famous carpet since aladdin's, and now it is being rolled out before the stars roll up. not long to go now, but operations continue to hollywood's big night. this star wars actor will be making an appearance for the first time since 1977. all these years of watching it in my pyjamas, saying, look at her hair!
now this year i have to put on a tuxedo and be part of it, because i'm presenting. as big an honour as it is to be part of it, it's more fun to watch it at home. you cannot reason with a tiger when your head is in its mouth! playing a starring role this year will be gary oldman, who is favourite to win best actor for his portrayal of winston churchill in darkest hour. do they know i'm black? british hopes also rests with daniel kaluuya for get out. i've got a few text messages from people saying, good luck. i'm just trying to relax and enjoy it. you may think that thing looks human. stands on two legs, right? the shape of water has 13 nominations. its british star, sally hawkins, is up for best actress. francis mcdormand is tipped to win
for three billboards outside ebbing, missouri. while it may look much the same as usual, this is not a typical oscars year. the issues of sexual harassment and gender equality are being talked about as much as the likely winners, which is threatening to overshadow the ceremony. is it going to be about the prizes or the protests this year? i think you decide, that person decides. for us, it's about the fun. your life should be a protest. your voice, every day, should be the protest. notjust one night. i know that if i get up on the stage i will be so nervous... this woman is competing against herself, with nominations for best costume design for beauty and the beast and darkest hour. how did this happen, i don't know! you have been in this position before, you won an oscar in 2013 for anna karenina. what is that moment like, when your name is read out? totally and utterly overwhelming.
it's everything mixed up together. it's a kind of... absolute shock. and then a kind of dread, of standing up and going up onto the stage. but also the most wonderful feeling that you can't believe that you've actually won. the stars have been out and about in hollywood this weekend. but it is just a taster before the main event. skaters have been making the most of the freezing temperatures on the fens at welney. the flooded fields have frozen over, allowing them to be used as an ice rink for the first time in almost a decade. but as you can see, it isn't always as easy as it looks. experts advise never to skate alone, and to make sure you understand the conditions. and then have fun. now he is susan
with the weather report. good afternoon. the four has now begun and will continue in the days ahead, chebet is returning to average values. our weather will be driven by low pressure that will keep things on subtle, rain in the forecast on also some further snow for scotland, although overnight tonight, much of the snow becoming increasingly confined to higher levels as milder weather does start to work its way north around our area of low pressure. still clear skies across the northern half of the uk, ice could be an issuejust the northern half of the uk, ice could be an issue just about anywhere. then this weather front will continue to feed some quite wintry weather, and this area of low pressure in the south—west will bring some heavy rain into devon and cornwall through the morning and pushed out into wales for the afternoon. scotland keeps quite a
chilly easterly wind, further south, 11 degrees in london, a good deal milder than anything we have seen in the past week. this is bbc news. our latest headlines... tributes have been paid to sir roger bannister, the first athlete to run a mile in underfour minutes, who has died at the age of 88. he had been suffering from parkinson's disease. theresa may urges the eu to get on with agreeing what she calls her "ambitious but practical" vision for relations after brexit. work continues to clear snow from roads and railways lines after severe disruption. meanwhile, warnings of flooding as strong winds batter the coasts. and, in italy, millions go to the polls in the general election with the anti—establishment five star movement expected to become the biggest party. now on bbc news... click heads to the mobile world congress