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tv   BBC News at Ten  BBC News  March 7, 2018 10:00pm-10:31pm GMT

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tonight at 10, scotland yard reveals that a nerve agent was used to poison a former russian spy and his daughter in salisbury. a police officer is also in a serious condition. these are new images of sergei skripal. he and his daughter yulia are still critically ill after the attack on sunday. having established that a nerve agent is the cause of the symptoms, leading us to treat this as attempted murder, i can also confirm that we believe the two people who originally became unwell were targeted specifically. police are still searching tonight. there are hundreds of officers involved but they are not giving more details of the substance used. we'll have the latest on the investigation, as moscow complains of black propaganda being directed against russia. also tonight... newly—released images of the teenager accused of planting a bomb on a london underground train last september. after the m1 crash in which eight people died, one lorry driver is cleared of causing death by dangerous driving. crown prince mohamed bin salman holding talks on trade
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and security in downing street, as labour protests about the saudis‘ involvement in the war in yemen. and coming up on sportsday on bbc news, can tottenham hotspur hold on against italian giants juventus to make it through to the quarterfinals of the champions league? we'll have the latest report and features from the bbc sports centre. good evening. a nerve agent was used to try to murder a former russian spy and his daughter in salisbury at the weekend. scotland yard said they had identified the substance, but weren't prepared to make that information public at this stage. sergei and yulia skripal were found
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unconscious on sunday afternoon and they remain critically ill, along with a police officer who was the first to attend the scene. police say that mr skripal and his daughter were targeted specifically and the attack is being treated as attempted murder. our home affairs correspondent tom symonds has the latest. sergei skripal is a man with a shadowy past. relatives said he feared it would catch up with him, that he would be targeted. but he was using his own name, living a normal life, popping into a corner shop last month for milk and bacon. tonight, he and his daughter are gravely ill and now, the most senior counterterrorism officer revealed why. in summary, this is being treated as a major incident involved attempting murder by the administration of a nerve agent. as you know, these two people remain critically ill in hospital. sadly, in addition, a police officer
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who was one of the first to attend the scene and respond to the incident is now also in a serious condition in hospital. it wasn't just police it wasn'tjust police officers and ambulance teams who came into contact with the victims. so did people who just tried to help. could they have been affected? as your chief medical officer, my message to the public is that this event poses a low risk to the public on the evidence that we have. now the focus is on the nearly three hours between them arriving in this area and being taken ill. them arriving in this area and being ta ken ill. key locations them arriving in this area and being taken ill. key locations remain cordoned off, including the zizzi restau ra nt, cordoned off, including the zizzi restaurant, where they had lunch around 2pm. an eyewitness who saw them there, and wanted to remain anonymous, told me something appeared to be wrong. what was your view of them? initially i thought he
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had mental problems. it was out of the blue. there was no one around him. he started screaming at the top of his voice. he didn't look right. he looked like he was going to lose his cool. he and other eyewitnesses say that yulia had dark hair, as she appeared in this picture. police have seized this cctv footage from just before lipm, a man with a blonde haired woman entering the shopping area. detectives will need to sort through a mass of eyewitness reports and cctv to establish the truth. the government was briefed on the inquiry today. we need to keep a cool head and make sure that we collect all the evidence we can, and we need to make sure that we respond not to rumour but to all the evidence that they collect. and then, we will need to decide what action to take. but life in salisbury is now dominated by the response to the suspected poisoning. when a woman was taken ill at an office this lunchtime, this was the emergency
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services' reaction. this evening, teams in protective suits and respirators were at a nearby ambulance station. someone has used a chemical weapon among the shoppers of this peaceful city. nobody is taking any chances. as we heard, police are not revealing any more information at this stage about the exact substance they've identified other than categorising it as a nerve agent. here to examine what we know about these nerve agents, and who might have access to them, is our security correspondent gordon corera. today, the police made the dramatic revelation that a nerve agent had been deployed on british soil. the aim to kill. so what does that tell us about who was behind the attack? tests have been going on here at porton down, the ministry of defence's biological and chemical research establishment. its specialists have been analysing samples brought from salisbury. the tests established that a nerve agent had been used to specifically target two of the victims.
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so what is a nerve agent? nerve agents were first created in the 1930s for warfare. they are manufactured rather than naturally occurring. they are fast acting and, unless quickly treated, often deadly. and they work by crippling the nervous system. essentially many of the muscles go into spasm, so imagine that you were just having to hold your breath, and just hold it, keep holding it, keep holding it. and this is one of the effects, and this is why people struggle to breathe. but you also get massive secretion of fluid in the lungs, and people are trying to breathe through that. and the fluid in the lungs is a surfactant, so it's a slightly soapy consistency. so when people are breathing through it you often see them sort of foaming at the mouth. it's not the only time we've seen a nerve agent used to target individuals. a year ago at kuala lumpur airport, two women smeared a nerve agent called vx on the face of the north korean leader's half brother. he was soon dead.
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that's one method of delivery. a nerve agent can also be inhaled or ingested, but it's not easy to make. nerve agents require not an insignificant financial, logistical and technical back—up to actually be manufactured. and so that would lead to a more likelihood of a state manufacturing it. the police have been careful not to reveal precisely which nerve agent was used in salisbury. tests can often trace such agents to a specific country or even laboratory of origin. officials have been careful not to blame russia. but it is the only suspect so far which has the means, the track record and the motive to kill a man whom some in moscow trevor was behind it would have
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known that the nerve agent would almost certainly be identified, a sign ofjust almost certainly be identified, a sign of just how almost certainly be identified, a sign ofjust how brazenly attack is. in moscow, the foreign ministry said the speculation about russia's involvement was "black propaganda" and insisted that its case against sergei skripal had ended when he was part of an exchange of spies in 2010. skripal had beenjailed in russia for passing secrets to mi6. our moscow correspondent steve rosenberg has been speaking to some of those who knew skripal in his previous life. piece by piece, a picture is emerging of sergei skripal, the former russian double agent poisoned in britain. vladimir svyatski knew sergei skripal in the late 1960s. they studied together in a military college. translation: he was very active, with a positive attitude, and creative. a realfriend. many of the students looked up to him. oleg ivanov worked with sergei skripalfor two and a half years in the moscow regional
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government after skripal had retired from russian military intelligence. translation: sergei was the life and soul of the party. he could find a common language with anyone. all his colleagues respected him. so when he was arrested for spying it was a real shock. today russia's foreign ministry responded to claims that moscow had targeted sergei skripal. this was provocation, it said, and an anti—russian campaign. unfortunately we regard this as a piece of disinformation. because what actually the media and all the people need is actual information, official information on this case. as for president putin, he is yet to comment on events in the uk. he was on the campaign trail today, visiting a cake factory. the sweet picture a stark contrast to suspicions of possible russian involvement in the nerve agent attack. russian officials have said
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they are willing to cooperate with the uk investigation if they are asked to. what moscow isn't prepared to do, though, is accept that the russian state was behind this attack. tonight, moscow is waiting to see whether britain will officially declare it the prime suspect. steve rosenberg, bbc news, moscow. let's go live to new scotland yard and daniel stanford. bring us up—to—date on this investigation and tell us something about the scale of it. as you can imagine, after a nerve agent attack on a quintessentially english medieval cathedral city, huge resources are now being thrown at this investigation tonight. counterterrorism detectives at scotla nd counterterrorism detectives at scotland yard thought they would never see anything as extraordinary as the polonium attack on alexander
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litvinenko. if anything, this could be harder, because there would be no trail of radiation to follow. hundreds of police officers, detectives, forensic scientists and a nalysts detectives, forensic scientists and analysts have been involved in this investigation. the best lead they haveis investigation. the best lead they have is in fact that nerve agent. if it is rare enough, that could lead them to the place where it was made, if it was something that could only have been made in a very few number of places. so, what is going on now is that there is a huge trawl of eyewitnesses and cctv from the day of the attack and the days leading up of the attack and the days leading up to it. they need more public help on that. there will be an attempt to identify where the nerve agent came from and also, of course, an attempt to find the needle in a haystack, the personal people that delivered the personal people that delivered the poison. once the evidence has been gathered, if it still points to a foreign power, it will be up to the government to handle the fallout. thanks very much for the latest. a teenager has gone on trial at the old bailey, accused of planting a bomb on a london underground train last september. 30 people were hurt in the incident
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during the morning rush hour at parson's green station. 18—year—old ahmed hassan, from sunbury in surrey, denies attempted murder and causing an explosion likely to endanger life, as our home affairs correspondentjune kelly reports. sirens an autumn morning in the rush—hour and a major security operation on the london underground system. today the old bailey heard how an improvised explosive device partially detonated on a train just after it pulled into parsons green station. it created a large fireball in a carriage with around 93 passengers. some were caught by the flames and suffered serious burns. this is the teenager on trial for the attack, 18—year—old ahmed hassan, captured on cctv in the weeks before, when his plans were said to be well under way. on this bus ride, in his plastic bag, he was allegedly carry one of the components, hydrogen peroxide, he needed
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for his homemade bomb. today the jury was told hassan left his device in a bucket on the train. described as loaded with shrapnel to cause maximum harm and damage and containing the volatile explosive tatp. prosecutor alison morgan said of the passengers... "many ran in fear and panic. they were fortunate. had the device fully detonated, it is inevitable that serious injury and significant damage would have been caused within the carriage. those in close—proximity to the device may well have been killed." hassan came to britain as an asylum seeker from iraq and was living with foster parents. ahmed hassan arrived in this country three years ago on a lorry. he told immigration officials that he'd been forcibly taken by the islamic state group and trained to kill by them. but he said he was opposed to is and was in fear of them. it was said to be a matter
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of luck that the device here did not fully go off, it had been fitted with a timer. ahmed hassan had got off the train at the station before, he was arrested 24—hours later. june kelly, bbc news, at the old bailey. the president of the european council donald tusk has warned that trade with the uk will be more complicated and costly after brexit. mr tusk was introducing the eu's draft approach, to talks on the future relationship. mr tusk offered the prospect of what he called an ambitious and advanced free trade agreement, but said it was out of the question for britain to take a pick and mix approach to the single market. the chancellor philip hammond has appealed for financial services to be included in any free trade agreement, as our political editor laura kuenssberg reports. a different mansion house — this time in a luxembourg garden. but there's strife ahead, even in the most tranquil
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continental surroundings. the european union revealed its response to theresa may's plans for brexit. it will make it more complicated and costly than today for all of us. this is the essence of brexit. a pick and mix approach for a non—member state is out of the question. we are not going to sacrifice these principles. it's simply not in our interests. unfortunately, and we have to know, there will be no winners after the brexit. both sides will be losing. the eu has been united with that gloomy message. but it was only on friday the prime minister said she wanted an ambitious trade partnership with the bloc, but accepted compromises would be made. so, how do the two sides compare? well, the eu guidelines of a possible deal say there will be negative economic consequences.
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and while the prime minister said all agreements mean picking and choosing, the eu insists the uk can't cherry—pick the bits of the eu it likes. but the union's accepted the goal of a trade deal where there are no tariffs — taxes on imports or exports. but, controversially, only if the eu keeps access to fish british waters. but, crucially, there is space to budge. the document says if the uk positions were to evolve, the union will be prepared to reconsider its offer. and there is the chance of brokering some kind of limited deal over services, including the giant money machine of the city of london, where the chancellor shrugged off the brussels position. they are very skilled and very disciplined in the way they carry out their negotiation. it does not surprise me remotely that what they have set out this morning
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is a very tough position. 0h, lovely! but labour claims the government's approache is all over the place. we can change the tone into one of mutual interest, mutual respect. we can get the deal that will protect our economy and protect jobs. there are big gaps between what the government wants and what the eu is willing to give. and it's clear it's easier for brussels, not westminster, to call the shots. but in this long, tortured process, today is not a moment of political panic, it is clearfrom both sides, and from these guidelines, there is a real conversation to be had. laura kuenssberg, bbc news, westminster. simonjack, our business editor, is in the city of london. simon, what is your reading of the response from the city of london today to what has been said? well, the chancellor's speech went down pretty well. people thought it was pretty well. people thought it was pretty plausible and pretty detailed attempt to achieve what brussels
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said was impossible. including financial services all—importa nt to the uk economy in a final trade deal. the chancellor said, look, it is possible because brussels tried to include it in a deal they tried to include it in a deal they tried to do with the eu — the us sorry. not only is it possible it's desirable. physical you split up the expertise, the capital, the people that you find here in this one stop stop shop of london and spreaded it around europe it will cause european union businesses and customers a lot more money. that was all pretty good. however, as one person put it to me in the city today, this was really the end of the beginning. this was one side in the argument fleshing out its own position. that is very different from actually making substantial progress in the negotiation itself. you heard yourself what donald tusk had to say about that. now, the one thing i was told that nothing that was said today or indeed last week will make businesses, banks, insurance companies hit the halt or even the
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pause button on the post—brexit contingency plans. all the rules and regulations will stay the same until december 2020. that is what they are waiting for. if they do that, that will calm nerves. a good effort today by the chancellor, but still a great deal of work still to do. simon many thanks again. simonjack there for us in the city of london. a lorry driver, involved in a collision on the mi last august, has been cleared of eight charges of causing death by dangerous driving. 54—year—old david wagstaff from stoke—on trent was on a hands—free phone call at the time of the collision and had already admitted to careless driving. yesterday another driver, 31—year—old rysza rd masierak, who was driving the other lorry involved, was convicted of causing death by dangerous driving. our correspondent, helena lee, reports. the sheer force of the impact of the crash is clear to see. a crash that was entirely avoidable, the trial heard, with the most catastrophic and tragic of consequences. ryszard masierak stopped his
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lorry in the slow lane of the mi for 12 minutes. the jury was shown this dash—cam footage from another lorry driver on the road before the collision. he passed masiera k‘s lorry, here on the left, stationary in the slow lane. the court heard masierak was twice over the legal limit and he'd been driving erratically in the hours before. soon after, cyriacjoseph, the minibus driver, tried to go round masiera k‘s lorry. he missed his chance, stopped behind it and put his hazards on. moments later, david wagstaff‘s lorry ploughed into the back of the minibus. during the trial, the court heard how wagstaff had been on a hands—free call for nearly an hour at the time of the crash, and his lorry on cruise control. cyriac joseph and seven of his passengers died in the crash, he'd been taking them to london, where they were going on to disneyland in paris.
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four others in the minibus were seriously injured. six months on from the crash, and mrjoseph‘s family feel his loss deeply. i miss him a lot. i mean, my life has completely changed, like completely changed so much. yeah, it's hard, and i'm trying to get through it, like we all are. today, outside court, tributes were paid to those who helped at the scene. all of the emergency services, together with staff and highways england and members of the public, worked extremely hard to bring comfort to those involved in exceptionally difficult circumstances. everyone who attended will not forget the scene they faced that day. the crown prosecution service says this case serves as a stark warning to other drivers. it's a clear reminder to all drivers that holding a drivers licence brings with it a high degree of responsibility that should be at the forefront of every driver's mind. today, thejudge praised the families of those who
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lost loved ones for their constant dignity in what he said was a dreadful case. helena lee, bbc news, reading crown court. crown prince mohammed bin salman of saudi arabia has started a three—day visit to britain by having lunch with the queen and holding talks with the prime minister in downing street about trade and security. but the visit is not appropriate, according to human rights campaigners, who point to saudi arabia's role in the conflict in yemen, where the un says there's a humanitarian crisis. our security correspondent, frank gardner, has more details. a downing street welcome for the man who is shaking up saudi arabia with radical reforms. crown prince mohammed bin salman and his delegation have come to britain looking for new deals and new partnerships. this meeting concluded with an agreed target of £65 billion of future trade deals, spread across
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education, healthcare, energy and defence. today, the crown prince was given an audience and lunch with the queen. tonight he is dining with prince charles and prince william. the lunch that crown prince mohammed bin salman had with the queen is a mark ofjust how highly the government values its relations with saudi arabia. he's not a head of state and four years ago almost no—one had heard of him. not eve ryo ne no—one had heard of him. not everyone in britain though welcomes this visit. a small, but noisy demonstration outside downing street, protesting saudi arabia's air strikes on yemen and its poor human rights record. britain is a major supplier of arms to saudi arabia, contracts are worth billions of pounds and employ thousands of britons. in neighbouring yemen, saudi led air strikes on houthi rebels are blamed for the majority of civilian casualties. in parliament today a question over whether saudi arabia is a suitable ally. there has been a sharp
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increase in the arrest and detention of dissidents, torture of prisoners is common, human rights defenders routinely sentenced to lengthy prison terms. but the government places huge value on saudi co—operation in counter terrorism. the link we have with saudi arabia is historic it, it hes a an important one and it has saved the lives of potentially hundreds of people in this country. crown prince mohammed is pushing a sweeping economic and social reform programme, reintroducing cinemas and public entertainment. he's also gig saudi women much more freedom to enjoy public life. from june they can drive. we spoke to a prominent women's rights campaigner. when it comes to human rights i think there's no reform yet. i think everything is going to happen because people nowadays are like,
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you know, 70% of the population are youth, youngsters, and they all want change. the saudi crown prince is no democrat. he locked up citizens in this hotel until they handed over their assets. young saudis admire him. if he can deliver on his economic promises, with britain's help, he will go down in history as the man who modernised saudi arabia. frank gardner, bbc news. a brief look at some of the day's other news stories. syrian government forces have reportedly taken half of eastern ghouta, the last rebel—held enclave close to the capital damascus. more aerial bombing has killed at least 20 people. troops and tanks have advanced, with many local residents trying to flee the violence. the leader and deputy leader of the far—right group, britain first, have beenjailed after being found guilty of religiously—aggravated harassment. paul golding and jayda fransen have been sentenced to four—and—a—half months and nine months respectively after targeting muslims they believed were part of a rape trial taking place last may. almost 1,000 jobs are to be
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lost at the high street fashion chain new look. the retailer says it's planning to close 60 stores and reduce rent on 400 shops as part of rescue plans. the company says the cuts are tough but necessary to restore profitability. the government is to pay £50 million in cold weather benefits because of last week's freezing temperatures. around two million households are receiving a top—up to their benefits, worth £25 pounds, because their area stayed below zero degrees for seven days. the head of world cycling's governing body, the uci, is calling for an investigation into team sky following a parliamentary report. david lappartient has told the bbc that the findings of the inquiry into doping in sport were "u na cce pta ble" and "could affect the global credibility" of cycling. the report accused team sky and sir bradley wiggins of having
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"crossed an ethical line" by using drugs allowed under anti—doping rules to enhance performance instead of just for medical purposes. from switzerland our sports editor, dan roan, reports. they may be the dominant force in cycling, but the pressure is on team sky. today, they tried to focus on their latest race in italy, but it's the way they've won in the past that's under scrutiny. team sky have admitted mistakes following this week's damning report by a parliamentary committee, but today the most powerful figure in the sport told me that wasn't good enough. mistake is something you've done with the intention to be wrong. the report, its a little bit different. it seems that it was a little bit organised, so it's maybe not a mistake but a fault, which is different, because that could affect the credibility globally of our sport, and that's why i'm concerned about this. the mps alleged sir bradley wiggins used asthma drugs to boost performance, and not
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just for medical need, when he rode for team sky. a claim that both they and he deny, but lappartient seems unconvinced. do you feel an ethical line was crossed, as the mps suggest? it's what in the report and what i read. when you can see that substances were used, not for health problems, but to increase your performances, then, yes, that's something unacceptable for me and the philosophy we have. so if it's not breaking the rules, can it be cheating? if you are using, you know, substances to increase your performances, i think this is exactly what is cheating. despite the controversy, sir dave brailsford remains in charge of team sky,
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but lappartient told me he now wants the world federation's anti—doping division to launch their own inquiry. i want them to investigate and to see if there is some violation of anti—doping rules. britain's top rider, chris froome, continues to compete despite an adverse drugs test last year, and the team sky star could defend his title in this summer's tour de france with the case still unresolved. what would the effect of that be? that would be a disaster for the image of cycling. even if... on the legal point of view he has a right to ride, but for the image of our sport, that could be a disaster. the uci president now wants chris froome to withdraw from racing until either he clears his name or is banned. the road to reputational recovery could be a long one. dan roan, bbc news. in tonight's champions league football it's been a hugely disappointing night for tottenham, who needed to avoid a home defeat byjuventus to book a place in the quarter—finals. spurs went ahead early in the tie,
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but the italians fought back in the second half. from wembley, natalie pirks reports. the saying goes that football is more important than life or death. tonight began with a reminder that simply isn't true. emotion etched on the face of giorgio chiellini. in honour of theirformer international team—mate, the italians were up for it. spurs, too. son had been threatening the goal all match. there's the chance, oh, its gone in! this was just reward. yes, the strike wasn't exactly vintage, but it was huge unimportance. how quickly things can change, though. first, higuain levelled forjuve. and there's the goal, the flag stays down! and, mere moments later, dybala sent travelling fans into raptures. the old lady had awoken.


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