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tv   BBC News  BBC News  March 11, 2018 2:00pm-2:30pm GMT

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this is bbc news. i'm lukwesa burak. the headlines at 2pm: up to 500 salisbury diners and pub—goers are told to take precautions by england's chief medical officer after nerve agent traces are found. the people who were in either zizzi restaurant or the mill pub from 1:30pm last sunday until evening closing on monday, should clean the clothes they wore. police have given an update on the condition of the sick officer, nick bailey, and pay tribute to his bravery. nick isa nick is a much loved, dedicated police officer with us in wiltshire. he isa police officer with us in wiltshire. he is a large character and we miss him. also in the next hour — china's congress approves the removal of term limits for its leader. the move effectively allows president xi to remain in powerfor life. the chancellor rejects calls by labour to announce the end of austerity in his spring
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statement on tuesday. and have you ever signed an online petition to parliament? the week in parliament will be discussing if they actually make a difference. that's in half an hour. good afternoon and welcome to bbc news. up to 500 people in salisbury who went to the same pub and restaurant as a poisoned russian spy and his daughter are being advised to wash their clothes and clean any possessions they handled while there. england's chief medical officer, dame sally davies, stressed the risk from the nerve agent was extremely low. the advice is aimed at those who visited zizzi restaurant
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and the mill pub in salisbury, as the investigation into the poisoning of sergei and yulia skripal continues. the pair remain critically ill in hospital. i want to reassure the general public the risks to us all from this incident in salisbury has not changed, and remains low based on the evidence we have, as i said on wednesday. rigorous scientific analysis has been ongoing and continues. but we have now learned there has been some trace contamination by the nerve agent in both the mill pub and zizzi restaurant in salisbury. i am confident that this has not harmed the health of anyone who was in the mill pub or zizzi restaurant. however, some people are concerned that prolonged long—term exposure to these substances may, over weeks and particularly months, give rise to health problems. i am therefore advising, as a belt and braces approach, the people who were in either zizzi restaurant
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or the mill pub from 1:30pm last sunday, until evening closing on monday, should clean the clothes they wore and the possessions they handled while there. the relevant closing times on monday were 9pm for zizzi and ”pm for the mill pub on monday. this means wash clothing you haven't already, ideally in the washing machine. any items which cannot be washed and would normally be dry cleaned should be double bagged in plastic until further information is available. wipe personal items such as phones, handbags and other electronic items with baby wipes and dispose of them in plastic bags in the bin. wash hard items such as jewellery and spectacles with warm water and detergent. more information is now on the website public health england, and will be made available at key sites in salisbury. i want to reiterate
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that this is precautionary advice aimed at only those people who were at the venues between these times, which i believe to be less than 500 people. meanwhile, let me repeat that the risk to us, the general public, remains low. and i am confident that none of these customers or staff will have suffered harm. thank you. meanwhile, the police officer who tried to help sergei skripal and his daughter yulia, after the nerve gas attack, remains in hospital. detective sergeant nick bailey fell seriously ill after he responded to the emergency. in the past half hour, the wiltshire chief constable has been giving this update on his condition. i don't think anything could have prepared me or my force for the news of a member of our staff, a police officer who has been admitted to hospital, not just to the ward but then transferred to the intensive care unit. that personal aspect has sent shock
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waves through my force, a huge level of concern and anxiety, but what i've been touched with this week is the high level of outpouring of support we have seen across the country from members of our staff, the public, from police officers up and down the country but also across the world wishing to pay their respects and their regards to nick and to nick's family. so despite such tragedy, it's been a genuine honour to have had the privilege to have gone to hospital on two occasions this week, one of those with the home secretary, to speak directly to nick and to thank the staff for providing the world—class medical intervention they are providing to nick and his family, and it was a great honour. you will hear about his condition as we go through today. he's talking, he's engaging and still in a serious condition, but of course is stable.
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our home affairs correspondent dominic casciani is in salisbury. do you think the people of salisbury will have heard enough to allay theirfears? will have heard enough to allay their fears? it's difficult to tell what i can say that one man i spoke to today who was in the mill pub on sunday, recalls seeing sergei skripal and is furious because his question and that of many others would be, why weren't we told this sooner? we tried to clarify in that press c0 nfe re nce sooner? we tried to clarify in that press conference exactly when public health england receive the information that led to this new advice today. we didn't get an a nswer advice today. we didn't get an answer on that but we got clarity about what they think, for them it
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is about potential low risk from prolonged exposure over the long term, so for instance, if somebody had a mobile phone in the pub and they put it on the table on the monday after sergei skripal was affected, that phone could have picked up a trace of nerve agent if there was nerve agent on the table and that is what the word about, tiny amounts of residue existing in someone's home for time to come, but it's not clear why it has taken so long for this to come out. it is a week ago that sergei skripal‘s daughter yulia collapsed in salisbury, the pizzeria and the pub they visited were closed off on monday, counter terrorism detectives took over the following day, on wednesday the public were told there was a nerve agent. last night we
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broke the news that we learnt traces of nerve agent had been found in the pizza rear, a lot of people wanted to know why it had taken so long for that to be confirmed by the authorities. thank you, dominic. professor alastair hay is professor of environmental toxicology at the university of leeds. thank you forjoining us. why do you think it has taken them so long to speak to the public?|j think it has taken them so long to speak to the public? i don't know when they first got the information but a mansion at the laboratory, you have many samples to process and they need to be extensively cleaned and prepared before they go into any instrument, so it will take a time for the laboratory to process these things. it's sensitive instrumentation that has to be used and it's a question of how many
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samples that can be processed in any art, soi samples that can be processed in any art, so i imagine it is time for processing. are you confident that they would have identified the nerve agent? that is one question the public are asking, would it have been identified? absolutely. the instrumentation they use essentially brea ks instrumentation they use essentially breaks a compound into fragments and these are unique to individual compounds so they will know what it is. why do you think they would not name it publicly? are there are there that they would not like the public to be our work of?” there that they would not like the public to be our work of? i suspect it is more for trying to trace back to where it may have been made rather than any other reason. that is surmising on my part. in terms of
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tracing ain't nerve agent, we know that porton down has a role to play. what would they be doing and how easyis what would they be doing and how easy is it to trace a nerve agent? is there a register of facilities that make these and in terms of the example of alexander levy manco, substance and there, there is a half life involved, is the same thing possible when identifying and tracing back a nerve agent to its source lab? yes, yes, and yes. what they will try and do from environmental samples which they cannot do from biological samples because they are too small, with environmental samples you can look for chemicals that were used to make the nerve agent and also for any u nwa nted the nerve agent and also for any unwanted by—products in the chemical reaction, so the nerve agent may not
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have been 100% pure and it's the mixture of the unwanted products, maybe some degradation material, that gives a clue as to the manufacture and likely place it was made. in terms of who has stocks of agents, there is a chemical weapons convention that 192 countries have signed and that has been responsible for the destruction of over 97% of the world's declared chemical weapons stockpiles but many countries are allowed to have small stocks of chemical agents which are intensively audited by an international inspectorate. these countries have these stocks and the uk has some of the stocks at porton
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down but every milligram has to be accounted for. in terms of what happens to nerve agents in the environment, two factors determine their rate of disappearance. one is that the agent is volatile, and mansion a glass of brandy or whiskey, the heat from the palm of your frowned enables you to smell it, you are smelling a vapour and the same thing happens with the nerve agent and the hotter the environment, the more quickly it will vaporise. the other thing from the environment is the presence of water, which will degrade these agents, which is why you have to try to get samples as quickly as possible, so these agents will disappear over time through various factors. when they vaporise usually the concentration will be very small. this describes the risk of transparency, so are you happy with the advice that was given?”
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transparency, so are you happy with the advice that was given? i think the advice that was given? i think the advice that was given? i think the advice given by sally davies was oui’ the advice given by sally davies was our belt and braces approach. the government has found these two races, people will say, i was in that pub or restaurant, what about me? if they were ever exposed, it was most likely to tiny amounts and if they had physical symptoms, they would have had them now. the government is trying to prevent repeated contact with these agents because they have a cumulative effect that may bring on symptoms. i think the risk is really tiny. the government isjust think the risk is really tiny. the government is just saying, let's be safe, adopt a precautionary approach andi safe, adopt a precautionary approach and i think that's wise. you talk about that cumulative effect. if you are exposed, can you about that cumulative effect. if you are exposed, can you recover about that cumulative effect. if you are exposed, can you recover fully?
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yes you can, as long as you are not poisoned to the extent that the father and daughter were. in the british government and the american government, they did tests on thousands of army volunteers in the 19505 thousands of army volunteers in the 1950s and 1960s and we know a lot about exposure to low amounts. people recover well from small amounts, it's more of a problem when the poisoning is severe and people become unconscious. fascinating discussion, thank you for your time. china's people's congress has voted to approve a constitutional amendment, abolishing two—term limits for the country's president. the move will allow xi jinping to stay in office beyond the end of his second term in 2023 and possibly rule indefinitely. among the nearly 3000 delegates, just two voted against the change and three abstained. our correspondent in beijing,
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stephen mcdonnell, provided more details earlier. this has been nothing short of history in the making. from today, the way that china is governed has com pletely the way that china is governed has completely changed. we had a system under the previous president but now after this vote, xijinping can president but now after this vote, xi jinping can stay on beyond president but now after this vote, xijinping can stay on beyond his second term as president of china and the fact that they have had this vote shows that is what he intends to do, and 2964 ballot papers, to have only two people vote against and three abstaining, it's almost
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embarrassingly over roaming. if the vote is real, you would have to wonder if you were one of those two people, would you be worried that someone people, would you be worried that someone might find out who you are because xijinping has published around 1.5 million members of the communist party in his anti—corruption communist party in his anti—corru ption crackdown and communist party in his anti—corruption crackdown and the feeling was he could not afford to give up power because he had made so many enemies but now this result has come in, anyone who was wondering whether he will stay beyond now, i think there is no question about that and this move to shift from a limit of two terms, this is something which was brought in in the 1980s to stop another chairman mao comment along, that has now been thrown out and you had better get used to seeing xi jinping around
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because we are going to see him possibly for decades to come. the headlines on bbc news: up to 500 salisbury diners and pub—goers are told to take precautions by england's chief medical officer, after nerve agent traces are found. detective sergeant mike bailey, who fell ill attending to sergei skripal and his daughter, is in a serious but stable condition in hospital. police have paid tribute to his bravery. china's congress approves the removal of term limits for its leader — which effectively allows president xi to remain in powerfor life. more now on our top story, the continuing investigation into the poisoning of the russian spy sergei skripal and his daughter. as suspicions continue of russian involvement, the episode is being compared to the killing of alexander litvinenko, who died in london in 2006, after the former russian spy was poisoned with polonium
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inside a restaurant. an inquiry concluded he was probably killed by the kremlin. his widow marina litvinenko has been talking to andrew marr. it was a very difficult moment when i received this news, because i believed it's never, ever happened again after public inquiry provided all evidence of the death of my husband. but unfortunately, it did happen. and now i'm reading every day news from salisbury and try to understand what actually happened and who might be behind of this crime. of course, russia has a very bad reputation now. and everything that's happened in the world — doping in sport, or involvement in an election — immediately, russia in the front of all minds. but in this case, i would like to be very serious and take all the evidence and maybe sometimes to provide the truth. and was it exactly russia,
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or any other country, behind of this crime? for us, it was almost ten years to provide this whole fact and evidence. and it was all proof. and i want the same case to be made in the same way. it would be not politically motivated. and only after proper investigation, we could say exactly who behind of this crime. the chancellor philip hammond has rejected calls to announce the end of austerity. speaking two days before he delivers his spring statement, mr hammond said the government would still need to continue paying down the debt, but that there was "light at the end of the tunnel". labour has accused the government of holding back growth. our political correspondent jonathan blake reports. morning, chancellor! is that a spring in the chancellor's step? philip hammond looked reasonably cheerful this morning as he arrived to deliver his message
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that the economy could be turning a corner. after a gloomy few years of relatively low growth, a hint things could be looking brighter. there is light at the end of the tunnel because what we are about to see is debt starting to fall, after it has been growing for 17 continuous years. that is a very important moment for us. but we are still in the tunnel at the moment. we have to get debt down. we've got all sorts of other things we want to do, we've taken a balanced approach. that debt the chancellor talked about is too high for his liking, but forecasts show the amount the uk owes could have peaked and might fall in the coming years. no cause for celebration according to labour who say other factors tell a different story. we shouldn't be celebrating that. austerity, this isn't me saying it, the head of the obr has said it, austerity is holding growth back and wages are below what they were in 2007, 2008, below the banking crisis. this week a report warned many
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councils in england were at breaking point after cuts in central government funding — one example of the effect that strict limits on spending can have. we will not see the chancellor's red box this week. the budget has been moved to the autumn. his spring statement to parliament on tuesday will be just an update on the economy. and a reminder that whilst his political opponents say people have suffered under austerity for too long, there will be no spending spree any time soon. new evidence has emerged about an attempt by the construction firm carillion to get an emergency government bail—out of £10 million — days before it collapsed. mps say carillion paid out £6.4 million to professional advisers on the same day it sought financial aid. the firm was wound up with debts of almost £1 billion. the liberal democrat leader sir vince cable says britain is now
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mired in a "civil war" as a result of the vote to leave the european union. speaking at the party's spring conference, mr cable says brexit has created a "toxic brew" which is "fuelling the populist right". we fight ourcampaigns we fight our campaigns at a time when normal politics has disappeared. we have a brexit obsessed government, a single issue government in a single issue parliament and brexit is sucking the life out of westminster and whitehall, and we all know that urgent attention is needed for the nhs and social care, the housing crisis, homelessness, schools and policing, national defence and much else, and the political appetite to grapple with these issues is simply not there. the greedy brexit machine
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is devouring all the political energy needed to get the country moving forward. now, people were told that brexit would be simple and cheap and good—natu red. told that brexit would be simple and cheap and good—natured. but, like real—world divorce, it's proving complicated, expensive and very bad natured. there is a temptation to blame everything on to reason me, but i don't, actually. i have almost rather admired her dog a determination but that determination means she thinks that when you're in a hole, you keep on digging, you might eventually get to australia and when you get there there will be and when you get there there will be a tiny —— a shiny new trade deal and a tiny —— a shiny new trade deal and a cold beer waiting for you. the water regulator will investigate why thousands of homes in england and wales suffered shortages, or a total loss of water supply
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after the recent cold weather. ofwat says its review will determine whether companies had proper contingency plans in place. homes and businesses faced days without running water, after pipes burst during the thaw. president trump has told crowds at an election rally in the state of pennsylvania that he believes north korea wants to make peace. he said of a proposed meeting with the north korean leader kim jong—un that it could lead to the "greatest dealfor the world". from washington, chris buckler reports. # and i'm proud to be an american where at least i know i'm free #. president trump went to pittsburgh to campaign ahead of an election for a single seat in congress, but the packed—out rally looked and sounded much more like the start of a presidential campaign. he even unveiled the slogan for his 2020 run for the white house. but our new slogan when we start running in — can you believe it — two years from now,
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is going to be keep america great! keep america great! but another country was very clearly on donald trump's mind. he has now accepted the invitation to meet the north korean leader kimjong—un, and while in recent days it has appeared that the white house has been dampening down some of the expectations for that encounter, the president seemed to talk up the potential of some kind of peace deal. hey, who knows? if it happens, if it doesn't happen. i may leave fast or we may sit down and make the greatest deal for the world and for all of these countries, including, frankly, north korea — and that's what i hope happens. this was a speech intended for his core base. trump raised the possibility of the death penalty for drug dealers and talked tough on trade, describing tariffs as his baby, and he again threatened to tax cars imported from the eu. open up the barriers and get rid
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of your tariffs and if you don't do that, we're going to tax mercedes—benz, we're going to tax bmw. the president's words will again raise concern and potentially even anger overseas, but these are the people he want to hear them. donald trump is the master of the art of the deal, so we can look at it from a variety of perspectives — this is getting the conversation going. for years, the united states has been dumped on. buy a hat, get a free button. these supporters may have a new slogan but with his protectionist policies, this was a president determined to show that he is not changing. i've been looking forward to this. rare footage of a baby western lowland gorilla has been filmed in a national park in congo. the baby is thought to be a week old.
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it will now spend two to three years clinging to its mother. western lowland gorillas are critically endangered with only an estimated 100,000 left in the wild. 0h, oh, so cute! talking of cute, how's the weather looking, nick? i'm blushing! that so awkward ifeel now. i cannot wait until later. let's look at what's happening this afternoon. a bit of sunshine and showers out there, a milder day across the northern half of the uk, some spots in scotland getting temperatures into double figures, but we have some rain in shetland, longer spells of rain feeding into south west england and wales and the
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range of temperatures not as wide as yesterday. the rain comes northward through england and wales through the night, some of that reaching parts of northern ireland and scotla nd parts of northern ireland and scotland by the end of the night. mainly dry for most of us, a few degrees above freezing. low pressure weather rain were showers for england and wales, the eastern side of northern ireland, windy into the channel islands but the central belt will stay dry. a little cooler for many of us tomorrow. detective sergeant nick bailey who fell ill attending the scene is currently conscious and in a serious but stable condition. china approves the removal of term limits for its leader — it effectively allows president xi to remain in power indefinitely. the chancellor, philip hammond, says there's cause
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for economic optimism — ahead of his spring statement on tuesday. now on bbc news, the week in parliament. the government promises "robust" action after the poisoning of a former russian spy. the investigation is moving at pace and we will move without hesitation and we will move without hesitation and the fact become clearer.
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as the crown prince of saudi arabia arrives for a three day visit — the prime minister hails the historic links between the two nations. butjeremy corbyn condemns the country's record on human rights, and argues the uk shouldn't be selling arms there. they cannot be right that her government is colluding in what the united nations says is evidence of war crimes.
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