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tv   BBC News at Six  BBC News  March 8, 2018 6:00pm-6:30pm GMT

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tonight at 6... the attempted murder of a former russian spy was brazen says the government, as investigations continue into who was behind it. 38—year—old detective sergeant nick bailey is named as the police officer — taken seriously ill after rushing to help sergei skripal and his daughter. he is well. he has sat up. he is not the neck i know that he is receiving a high level of treatment. the bench where they were found in salisbury remains cordoned off as specialist teams try to establish when they were exposed to the nerve gas. a doctor who found them tells the bbc of the shocking state they were in and says yulia skripal had stopped breathing. we'll have the latest on the investigation. also on the programme... the old bailey hears from passengers who were on board this tube when it partially exploded at
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parsons green. a shortage of beds means tens of thousands of operations were cancelled in england in december and january. and the superagers. how these long distance cyclists — some of them in their 80s — have the immune system of a 20—year—old. i do it for all reasons. for health, because i enjoy it, because it's sociable. it's just a wonderful life. and coming up on sportsday on bbc news: snowboarder owen pick will be great britain's flag bearer at tomorrow's winter paralympics opening ceremony in south korea. pick lost his leg while serving in afghanistan. good evening and welcome to the bbc news at six. the police officer who rushed to the aid of a former russian spy and his daughter, after they'd been poisoned by nerve gas, is still in a serious condition in hospital. but wiltshire police say detective sergeant nick bailey, who's 38, is now able to sit up and talk.
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investigations are continuing in salisbury into how and why sergei skripal and his 33 year old daughter were exposed to nerve gas on sunday afternoon. a doctor who was first on the scene has told the bbc that yulia skripal had stopped breathing and was in a terrible state. our home affairs correspondent, tom symonds, reports. detective sergeant nick bailey is 38 years old, a decorated officer with plenty of experience on the front line of policing. he's still in a serious condition but the good news today is he is awake and talking. here's a great character. he is a huge presence in wiltshire police, well loved and massively dedicated officer. he is clearly receiving high, specialist treatment. he is well, sat up. he not been nick i
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know that he is receiving a high level of treatment. the inquiry‘s not letting up. police began what appeared to be a major search and possible decontamination of sergei skripal‘s house today. for a while, they even taped off the graves of his wife and son. we are committed to doing all we can to bring the perpetrators to justice, whoever they are and wherever they may be. the investigation is moving at pace and this government will act without hesitation as the facts become clearer. the bbc‘s been told the nerve agent used was not sarin or vx, which have been used as weapons in the past, but rarer. decontamination teams were heavily protected on sunday. look at this picture from earlier that day. no respirators or suits. these officers could not have known they were about to deal with the use of a chemical weapon in their city. i guess it really brings home to us and the public again that we run towards danger while others walk away. sometimes we run to something we don't know. the risk they face became obvious today when a bench, on which the skripals were sitting,
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was exposed by gusts of wind. just look at the operation needed to go in and peg it down again, four days on from the incident. and it wasn'tjust police officers who risked being exposed that afternoon. i've spoken to a doctor who was there. she's asked us not to name her but she says she came across yulia skripal slumped over the bench, unconscious, not breathing, vomiting and having a fit. she stepped in. she got yulia onto the floor, she got her breathing and handed her patient over to paramedics. she's concerned about what she's come into contact with, but she feels fine. sergei and yulia skripal, attacked as she came to britain from russia to visit him, are not getting better. they remain in a critical condition, as the race to find their assailant — or assailants — continues. tom symonds, bbc news, salisbury. suggestions that moscow may be involved in the attack have sparked anger in russia.
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the state media has complained of an anti—russian campaign by the west, and amongst the russian people there's little sympathy for the former russian spy, sergei skripal, as our moscow correspondent, steve rosenberg, reports. moscow feels a world away from the drama of salisbury. relaxed russians are out enjoying a public holiday, determined not to allow a spy scandal to spoil their day. people here are short on sympathy for sergei skripal. translation: the fewer secrets you sell, the longer you'll live. translation: don't betray your motherland. then you'll have no problems. translation: when he was in prison in russia, he was healthy. he goes to britain and gets poisoned. he should have stayed here. it's a similar message from russian tv. the kremlin controlled media have been mocking boris johnson and making fun of britain. if you're a professional traitor, he says, my advice,
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don't move to england. something's not right there, the climate, perhaps. but too many bad things go on there, people are hanged, poisoned, helicopter crashes or they fall out of windows. undeeradimir putin, the kremlin has sent a very clear message to the russian people that their country is a besieged fortress, threatened by enemies abroad and traitors at home. that's why there is little sympathy here for sergei skripal. and if moscow did target sergei skripal... most russian people, not me, of course, most russian people would take pride in it because there is a very black and white world, it's us against them. putin has brought us back in a big way. today, the president delivered a special address. no mention of spies. he congratulated russian women on international women's day. moscow knows it's under suspicion
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that the kremlin is acting as if it's business as usual. steve rosenberg, bbc news, moscow. we can join our security correspondent, gordon corera, from outside mi6 headquarters. now, are we any closer to finding out how and why the skripals were poisoned? the identity of the nerve agent described as very rare is crucial. it may point to which country, which laboratory, is involved in the manufacturer. government institutions are being careful about pointing the finger at russia until the facts are clearer. in terms of why, there has been speculation that perhaps after he came here, sergei skripal was still actively involved in intelligence work i had picked up no signs of that from people i have been speaking to. there was speculation
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he might have been involved in the famous dossier on donald trump drawn up famous dossier on donald trump drawn up by famous dossier on donald trump drawn up bya famous dossier on donald trump drawn up by a former mi6 officer, chris steele. sources close to his companies said they had no link whatsoever with sergei skripal. that still leaves the most plausible motive as revenge, revenge for his working for british intelligence, mi6, behind me forthat working for british intelligence, mi6, behind me for that there will have been a lot of meetings that mi6 in the last few days, a lot of concern about the potential perception that it cannot protect the lives of its agents, even when they are in the uk. thank you. tens of thousands of patients in england had their non—urgent operations — like hip and knee replacements — postponed in december and january because of a shortage of hospital beds. new figures also show that a and e performance last month fell to its lowest level since records began.
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our health editor, hugh pym reports. new year brought extraordinary pressure, illustrated in the new bbc hospital series filmed at nottingham university hospitals trust. today we have run out of space. we are being asked to cancel any nonessential activities. so not cancer, not clinically urgent, but pretty much anything else. i can't see the sense in cancelling... word has come through from nhs leaders that all nonurgent surgery should be cancelled for the month to free up beds for emergencies. i'm very sorry, but i don't know if you've heard the recent news, we have a bed crisis in the hospital. we're going to have to cancel operations at this moment. i'm afraid it's bad news. we are going to have to cancel tomorrow. i'm really sorry. sometimes that meant operating theatres remaining empty. we don't know when we can start operating again at the moment. we've never had it as bad as this before. we're just left, largely, at a loose end. we're being paid to work, but just trying to find something constructive to do. there was improvement in february. but patients elsewhere, like scott, are still facing delays. he was told the day before his back
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operation it had been put off, and he doesn't know when it will happen. very, very frustrated. i'm annoyed and i'm hurt, because now i've got to go through this all over again. this isn't something that you think, oh, well, i'm going to go and have a filling done. this is a very invasive operation. figures out today revealed the scale of the consolations. —— cancellations. in december there were many 27,000 fewer routine operations carried out in england and the same month a year earlier. injanuary, there was a drop of nearly 14,500. and for the most recent two—week period, bed occupancy in hospitals, at more than 95%, was the highest this winter. they are going to be suffering pain, discomfort, difficulties with mobility and most of the elective conditions which we are waiting to operate on can deteriorate and develop convocations. —— complications.
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nhs england said february was the most pressurised month in the history of the service, with high levels of flu — the background to another deterioration in a&e performance. hugh pym, bbc news. and you can see more from that documentary — hospital — on bbc 2 at 9 o'clock on monday 26th march. the latest aid convoy due to take desperately needed supplies into the syrian rebel—held enclave of eastern ghouta has been postponed. the international red cross told the bbc it was simply "too dangerous" to deliver the aid. the syrian army claims it has virtually sliced the rebel—held suburb in two. two 17—year—old boys have died, and seven people have been injured, in an accident involving three cars near thirsk in north yorkshire. police say the vehicles collided on the a61 shortly before 9:30pm last night. five adults and two children were taken to hospital. a jury at the old bailey has seen the moment a bomb partially exploded on a tube in south west london. some of the passengers on board have
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been describing how their hair and clothes caught fire when it went off in a packed carriage last september. 30 people were injured in the incident at parsons green station. 18—year—old ahmed hassan denies attempted murder. from the old bailey, here's june kelly. this was a day of dramatic and distressing evidence as the court heard from those who were on the train under attack. a bomb had been left in a bag. it failed to fully go off but it created a ball of flame which terrified scores of early morning commuters as it rolled down the carriage. one, amy coalville, described to the court how her hair caught fire. she said she'd heard a loud bang and seen a wall of glass. a flame came over her right hand side. earlier the evidence focused on the movements that morning of ahmed hassan, the teenager on trial for the attack.
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here he is setting off on his journey with his bomb in a lidl bag, the court's been told. one passenger, victoria holloway, told the jury there was a whooshing sound as if someone had lit a bunsen burner. she said the flames were touching her legs and wrapping around her skin. in his evidence, an army explosives expert, craig palmer, who was further down the train, went to the scene of the blast. he said... two of the passengers were in tears as they gave their evidence. they testified from behind a screen and could be seen by only the judge, jury and lawyers. one of them, known only as miss s, described how on that morning her coat was burning and her tights were melting. she has been left scarred after burns to her hands, legs and face. june kelly, bbc news, at the old bailey. our top story this evening:
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the government say the attempted murder of a former russian spy was brazen and reckless as investigations continue into who was behind it. and still to come: are you ever too old to start exercising? how this cyclist has amazed researchers. it's exercise were a pill, everybody would be taking an exercise pill. coming up on sportsday on bbc news: owen farrell will captain england for the first time in saturday's six nations match against france, with regular skipper dylan hartley ruled out through injury. cuts to bin collections, local libraries closing down, big cuts to the amount of money spent fixing our roads — those are just some of the consequences of the continuing squeeze on council funding in england. the national audit office says funding for local authorities from central government has fallen by nearly 50% since 2011.
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and they say the increasing demands of social care — for the elderly, children and disabled people — means that many councils face running out of cash. alison holt reports. do you want to do something different? an afternoon art class is a chance for people with learning disabilities and other conditions to develop their skills and socialise. for most here, the support is paid for by the county council. but today's report says with local authorities facing such major cuts from central government, they're struggling to cope. you like its legs? sue, who has multiple sclerosis, describes this centre as a lifeline. i come here only twice a week. i would come more if there was the funding for it. councils like
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surrey have a statutory duty to support people who are older and disabled as well as providing children's services and across the board demand is increasing. today's report calculates that on average councils in england pay 54% of their budgets on social care for children and adults. many other services have been cut. since 2010, more than 33% fewer homes get weekly bin collections and 10% of libraries have closed. the report warns with council also using savings to balance the books, one in ten will have exhausted their reserves within three years. in surrey, one of the wealthiest parts of the country, they're dipping into their savings again. it has been really difficult to make sure we could come in this year with a budget that had the
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minimum tax level increases. we have had to use £24 of our reserves and 15 million of our capital receipts. the report says there needs to be a long—term central government plan for the bins, roads and other services that people need. what we wa nt services that people need. what we want local government do and make funding available. alongside that, social care needs a funding solution as well. the government says a new funding settlement has been approved for council and that will mean a real terms increase in the money they get. two 18—years—old have been arrested after a video was posted on social media appearing to show a group of people chanting racist abuse outside the room of a black female student. it happened in an accommodation block at nottingham trent university earlier this week. from nottingham, elaine dunkley reports. # we hate the blacks # we hate the blacks # we hate the blacks # we hate the blacks # we are the blacks haters! recorded on a mobile phone
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by student rufaro chisango. we hate blacks! what appears to be racist chanting outside her door in halls of residence at nottingham trent university. i heard shouting from outside my door. i was shocked. i was really shocked. i felt isolated and uncomfortable. the incident took place on monday evening. her friends say it has left her traumatised and tarnished their experience of university life. i know these things do happen, but to think it was so close to home, being in my university, i was appalled. we know that people might not like who we are, might not like where we come from, our race, our religion, our creed. but it's something that we just kind of power through. just knowing that maybe they like us, that we do our best tojust be ourselves. rufaro chisango has now been offered a new accommodation and two
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18—year—old men have been arrested in connection with racially aggravated offences. the university says it accepts that it did not act quickly enough. there was a delay, a significant delay, we acknowledge that. it's vile behaviour, absolutely abhorrent. we are really, shocked. this is not the ntu positive culture for students and staff that we all recognise. the footage was posted on twitter and has gone viral. nottingham trent university says it has learned lessons from the incident, but this has prompted wider questions about how allegations of racism are dealt with on campuses across the uk. nottingham trent university is reassuring students this was an isolated incident. but the national stu d e nts isolated incident. but the national students union say they receive phone calls from students who have been racially abused and this will only end when there is zero
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tolerance on university campuses. the irish cabinet has approved plans to hold a referendum in may on whether the country's abortion laws should be changed. currently, terminations are only allowed when the life of the mother is at risk and the maximum penalty for accessing an illegal abortion is 14 years in prison. chris page reports from dublin. this is a nation which was once seen as the most socially conservative western europe, but it feels like change has been swift. in the next few months, ireland will make a defining decision. tens of thousands of irish women have travelled to other countries to have abortions. gaye edward's baby, who she and her husband named joshua, had a fatal condition called anencephaly. she says having to go away to end her pregnancy magnified her grief. while i knew that i had come to the right decision for me, it made me feel that society viewed my decision as being somehow wrong.
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when you really need to be taken care of you feel like you'rejust... pushed aside and into a corner. stories like gaye's have helped to bring about the referendum. voters will decide whether to remove the eighth amendment of the irish constitution, which gives an unborn child and a pregnant woman an equal right—to—life. these canvassers are campaigning to repeal the eighth. abortions are happening in ireland, they're happening dangerously and they're happening illegally. we are on the shoulders of generations of women who have been organising and working for this shift forward. if the change to the constitution is approved in the referendum, the parliament in dublin will determine how available terminations will be. ministers want to allow abortions up to 12 weeks into a pregnancy and some limited ci rcu msta nces afterwards. but the government does haven't a majority. the two main parties
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are divided on the issue. the catholic church's strongly defending the eighth amendment. its power has iminished, but it certainly hasn't disappeared. life begins at conception and ends and death and we have to protect all life. if it's repealed, all the rights are gone from the baby. women who support the current law are speaking about their experiences too. vicky's daughter, liandan, was still—born at 32 weeks. she recalls what happened when a doctor told her he didn't expect her baby to live. he said that my only option was to pop to england — insinuating an abortion. that was never going to be an option. we spent the summer just being with her. the eighth amendment showed to me that not only did we value her, but our country valued her like that. for people on both sides, the referendum's about what sort of society they want to live in.
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it is a personal, passionate emotive debate. chris page, bbc news, dublin. running a marathon or long distance cycling — how often do you hear older people saying such sports are just for the young? well, it seems that's not the case. researchers have been following a big group of older cyclists — some in their 80s — who've all remained highly active. and the results are very surprising as our medical correspondent fergus walsh has been finding out. i've arranged a 60—mile ride through the surrey hills. this is what healthy ageing looks like. these cyclists — aged 64 to 82 — think nothing of spending five hours or more in the saddle. room for one more? yeah, welcome. i do it all for reasons — for health, because i enjoy it, because it's sociable. it's just a wonderful life. they have all been examined as part of a trial which is challenging
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perceptions of ageing. one of the first results i got from the medical study, i was told my body fat was comparable to that of a 19—year—old. leading the peleton is professor norman lazarus — at 82, a prime example of healthy ageing. if exercise was a pill, everybody in the world would be taking an exercise pill. really good, norman. he not only took part in the study, but helped lead the research. this test shows his excellent lung function. last little bit now, keep pushing. an mri scan gives another indication of how well norman is ageing. these are his thighs. now compare norman's muscly leg on the the right with that of a sedentary 50—year—old on left — which is mostly fat. ready, push! if more of us could do the recommended 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each
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week, it would pay huge dividends. across a whole gamut of different levels, what exercise is doing in older individuals is giving them higher levels of function and better quality of life. the most remarkable findings came when scientists in birmingham examined blood samples from a cyclist. they found their immune system, which normally declines with age, was still as strong as a young person's. the immune system is really key in the body, it has several roles — it protects us from infections, but it also helps us to find things like cancer. so the fact these cyclists have the immune system of a 20—year—old and not a 70 or 80—year—old, means they're protected from infections and from cancer potentially. the advantages then of exercise in later life are profound. so if cycling's not your thing, try another sport, or what about dancing, gardening,
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even brisk walking. most of the health benefits of these sup—agers are easily achievable if we just did a bit more physical activity. fergus walsh, bbc news, surrey. time for a look at the weather. here's stav da naos. thanks are warming up. perfect weather for cycling? yes, in thanks are warming up. perfect weatherfor cycling? yes, in fact thanks are warming up. perfect weather for cycling? yes, in fact it has been a nice day in many parts after the snow we had this morning in northern areas. as we head into this evening it is set to turn chilly and there could be some frost, fog and ice where you have had the morning snow and rain and any showers which continue across scotla nd any showers which continue across scotland for example. in the far south—west of england, the clouds building there. so it won't be as cold, four or five degrees building there. so it won't be as cold, four orfive degrees in plymouth. elsewhere, sub zero
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values. this area of low pressure will introduce wind and rain, but also very mild air. particularly to england and wales. to the north we will continue to see some showers, they will fall as snow over the scottish mountains. but a glorious day with sunshine, before cloud pushes into england and wales. temperatures around 10 degrees. still cool in the north. as which head into the weekend, things are set to turn milder, particularly saturday afternoon, given some sunshine. some rain spilling northwards and we could see some snow on its leading edge. this is the picture for saturday, a messy one, with that front moving north. some snow on the higher grouped of scotland. but —— ground of scotland. behind it skies brightening and when the sunshine comes out it will be very mild. we could see a top
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temperature of 16 degrees. so much milder. into sunday, another mild day. maybe not as mild as saturday and it will be sunny too. our main story. detective sergeant nick bailey is named as the police officer taken ill after heaping the former russian spy in salisbury. this is bbc news — our latest headlines: the police pfficer seriously ill in hospital after being exposed the police officer seriously ill in hospital after being exposed to the nerve agent when trying to help a russian spy and his daughter in salisbury has been named as detective sergeant nick bailey. he is conscious and talking. they remain unconscious and in a critical condition. figures show that the waiting time performance in accident & emergency departments in england last month was the worst since
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