this is bbc news. i'm martine croxall. the headlines at 8pm. vladimir putin looks set for victory in russia's presidential election. we'll have reaction and analysis from moscow, with my colleague lucy hockings, in a few moments. the foreign secretary accuses russia of stockpiling the nerve agent thought to have been used on a former spy and his daughter in salisbury. ‘s travel disruption and school closures in the south west from the east" brings snow and ice to much of the uk. also coming up... teetering on the brink. residents from clifftop chalets in norfolk are told to evacuate their homes, at risk of coastal erosion due to the high tide. mps demand answers from facebook, after accusations that data from millions of users‘ profiles is being mishandled without consent. and an arts and textiles teacher from north west london becomes the first person from this country to win a million—dollar teaching prize.
live to moscow, where vladimir putin is speaking. translation: to move forward, and we need to work as one team, and we're not going to go with the wind. we're going to think about the future of our great country, about the future of our children, and acting this way, we will definitely achieve success. yes! cheering thank you very much. together, we will start doing a greatjob for
russia. thank you. cheering vladimir putin there addressing the sea of supporters just on the other side of red square. they have been waiting in the cold, a very cold evening in moscow, —16 degrees, hard to believe there are people in the ground without hats on, and vladimir putin doesn't have one either, and he is looking very happy, 35 putin doesn't have one either, and he is looking very happy, as well he should be with the result tonight. he increased his share of the vote from 2012 when he won 64% of the vote, tonight 73.9% of the current exit poll results we are seeing here in russia. but of course those votes are still being counted. and there he was addressing that sea of people, saying it is so important we work together as a team, that we
think about the future of this great country, and if we do that, we will achieve success together. so vladimir putin there winning his fourth term in office, and addressing his jubilant supporters there in moscow, just on the other side of red square. if we look at where we are, there is the kremlin, on the other side of that is where the concert is taking place this evening, the vote taking place on the fourth anniversary of the annexation of crimea. for nationalists here in russia, a very important day. there were a number of voting irregularities reported in towns and cities across the country, but let's just bring you the latest results, i have mentioned them already but it is worth seeing them ona already but it is worth seeing them on a graphic. you can see here now the exit poll showing 73.9% at the moment for president vladimir putin. absolutely eclipsing all of the
other opposition candidates. there we re other opposition candidates. there were eight people standing but he was really the only man in it there, and getting 73.9% of the vote. let's show you the turnout, this is what will be talking about a lot over the next couple of days because vladimir putin and his team were hoping he would get 70% in terms of voter turnout and of the vote. we are looking at a turnout of 60%, so he hasn't achieved that, in this presidential election. that has been an incredibly significant figure and one we would be talking about in a moment. let's bring you up—to—date with what has been happening across the country today with our moscow correspondence, steve rosenberg. it looked more like a show than an election. russian polling stations providing free entertainment to boost the turnout. inside, you could cast a ballot, and cast an eye at the art. pride of place here, reserved for a legendary russian ruler, who had battled the west.
the current leader is facing international pressure after salisbury. still, vladimir putin was relaxed as he voted. i believe in the programme i am offering my country, the president said. and his supporters agreed. he is a genius, he says. putin wants russia to prosper and russians to live in happiness. it is thanks to putin, she says, that russia still exists. but, critics of the kremlin said the election was fixed, that only those candidates who stood no chance of unseating vladimir putin were allowed to run. the problem with russia is that there is no such thing as russian politics. politics has been eliminated in russia altogether. there is only one political institution in russia and that is the physical body of vladimir putin.
which is why the result of this vote was never in doubt. this election is less about choosing a new president, and more about reappointing the old one. the political system vladimir putin has built ensures he doesn't face any challenge. he's set for a fourth term in the kremlin. but these images will embarrass the kremlin. caught on cctv, a woman stuffs the ballot box at a polling box at a polling station in moscow. suddenly there are two of them at it. and in siberia, during the count, someone moves the balloon so they cover over the camera. election officials say they will investigate alleged violations. but that won't change who will be running russia for the next six years. just a fresh figure to bring you, we
have now had 47% of the vote counted, and remember russia is a vast country, 11 different time zones, tens of thousands of polling stations, so lots of work for election officials to do, but 47% of the vote now counted, and 73.9% so far in the exit polls for vladimir putin. so remember the main opposition leader in russia alexei navalny was not able to stand in this election and he called for a boycott amongst his supporters. there are other people, other voices in opposition too. earlier i spoke toa in opposition too. earlier i spoke to a journalist, who was also the daughter of boris nemtsov. the bridge behind me come he was shot dead on that bridge back in 2015, and his daughter join dead on that bridge back in 2015, and his daughterjoin me from brussels and told me she was not surprised by tonight's result because there really was no other alternative. you have to understand that it alternative. you have to understand thatitis alternative. you have to understand that it is a big myth that putin is very popular. of course it happens
in any authoritarian country. if there is no alternative. and we have in russia and alternative, but the alternative, i mean navalny, was not able to participate in the election, and in the environment of no competition, in the environment of i'io competition, in the environment of no real alternatives presented during the campaign, of course putin is popular. it was in the soviet times here when we experienced severe food shortages and deficits, andl severe food shortages and deficits, and i was born in 1984, i am quite old, and when it came to the groceries, there was no choice, and we bought what we were offered. so thatis we bought what we were offered. so that is the same thing. and, of course, if we had had a democratic election, putin would not have won, lam election, putin would not have won, i am pretty sure of this. but in the environment of an authoritarian
state, it is absolutely, and of control over the media what we have right now in russia, and of no real competition of course it is a predictable result, and i am not surprised at all. as i have been mentioning, there are thousands of supporters gathered on the other side of red square, holding a concert this evening, and about to join them is my next guest. you very happy this evening. very happy this eveninglj very happy this evening. i am excited and very happy. being here with a very nice view in mother russia, being with such a great day for my country, with such a good result, i am for my country, with such a good result, lam happy for my country, with such a good result, i am happy tonight. the turnout, though, not as good as vladimir putin had hoped. he said he wa nted vladimir putin had hoped. he said he wanted 70%, it is only 60%.ij vladimir putin had hoped. he said he wanted 70%, it is only 60%. i think it isa wanted 70%, it is only 60%. i think it is a good one, i don't know why you don't think it is good. he
wa nted you don't think it is good. he wanted the result to have legitimacy by having a higher turnout. 6096 is one of the highest we have ever had actually. there have been many people who are speculating there it isa people who are speculating there it is a level of apathy in russia, that because the result was known, that it didn't inspire people to come out, and also there was a call for a boycott from alexei navalny. do you think that kept people at home? boycott from alexei navalny. do you think that kept people at home7|j think that kept people at home?” think that kept people at home?” think that kept people at home?” think that 60% means the ideas of alexei navalny have completely failed, because people went to elections and voted. as i said, it was one of the highest possibilities and the highest way that the people came, the biggest turnout in our history, in the history of presidential elections, citing his ideas and his way to promote the boycott has actually failed. in the last elections, 65% of people turned
out, so it is dropping a bit, and i wonder the young people what it is that they now want to see from vladimir putin, people you know who supported him and voted for him? we wa nt supported him and voted for him? we want to see our country developing, growing, establishing new good international relations. we are expecting that the international law will not break, as it broke before from time to time. we expect that international institutions will work better for a better future of all over the world, not only for my country but also to your country, for everyone watching us right now. so are you worried about the diplomatic stand—off now between russia and the uk? mika miyazato personally, yes. what worries you? i am worried because your side is pushing is that we did it on purpose, that we did it wrong, and i am worried that the diplomatic relation can be broken and that the youth between our country can maybe stop cooperating because of that.
that is what we don't want. what do you say to people around the world to look of this contest and say it wasn't democratic, this was just a piece of well choreographed political theatre? i would say that you have to check the international observers, if you don't trust the russians, trust your people from your country, people from italy, spain, brazil, argentina, america, great britain, from all over the world, there was maybe a thousand people. and to the perception that some evil have around the world that this is not a democracy, that vladimir putin is in some people's diesa vladimir putin is in some people's dies a dictator? you know what i will say, you can come to saudi arabia and say you have to be democratic here. you have to come to russia to be for example international observers to see how it works in russia, and i think that you as the international community should not humiliate our right to vote for putin, which we support as president, even if you don't like his policy, we like his policy.
annie have to respect our right to choose our president, him, and you have to work with him, whether you wa nt have to work with him, whether you want to or not, you have to do it, because his citizens have chosen him. good to have your thoughts, i hope you enjoy the concert this evening. yes, i hope so, we will do right now. continue to enjoy the celebrations. so the very latest we have for you from here in russia, 4796 have for you from here in russia, 47% of the votes counted, the exit polls saying 73.9% for vladimir putin with the turnout we're hearing at the moment of 60%, and that is something that will be talked about more in the coming days. more coverage from russia throughout the evening. back to you in the. lucy hockings, with the latest from moscow. to return to the message president putin was very keen to share with those gathered in red square at that rally. he said it is important to keep unity, success awaits us, we will think of the future of our great country. thank
you, dearfriends, future of our great country. thank you, dear friends, thank future of our great country. thank you, dearfriends, thank you future of our great country. thank you, dear friends, thank you for being here the centre of our capital on this frosty moscow night. thank you for your support. i would like to address those who have gathered here in moscow and our supporters across the huge territory of our whole country. many thanks for the result i see in this, yes, yes. the foreign secretary says the government has evidence that russia has been creating and stockpiling the nerve agents known as novichok. speaking to the bbc, borisjohnson accused the kremlin of ‘smug sarcasm' in its response to the attack in salisbury two weeks ago. a senior russian diplomat has suggested that the substance used in salisbury could have come from the british research laboratory at porton down. here's our home affairs correspondent daniel sandford. today, despite the bad weather, troops and police officers continued the delicate and dangerous work of decontamination and preserving the scenes in salisbury. it is clear now the focus of this investigation is sergei skripal‘s burgundy bmw car, with detectives still seeking more information on its movements on the day of the nerve agent attack. this morning, the russian
ambassador to the eu, chose to hint that britain might have been responsible for the whole thing. porton down, as we now all know, is the largest military facility in the united kingdom that has been dealing with chemical weapons research. and it's actually only eight miles from salisbury. you are not suggesting that porton down is responsible for this nerve agent attack? i don't know. immediately afterwards, on the same programme, this was the foreign secretary's riposte. this is not the response of a country that rarely believes itself to be innocent. their response has been a sort of mixture of smug sarcasm and denial, obfuscation and delay. and with 23 diplomats due to leave the russian embassy this week after being expelled as spies, the foreign secretary made his most direct accusation yet that russia has been doing recent nerve agent research.
we actually have evidence within the last ten years that russia has not only been investigating the delivery of nerve agents for the purposes of assassination, but has also been creating and stockpiling novichok. however, the foreign secretary then had to concede that the wife of a former minister under vladimir putin, had paid £160,000 in a conservative party auction to play tennis with him. did the tennis game actually happen? it did. but the labour leadership's position on the salisbury attack now seems much closer to the government's than it was in the middle of last week. putin has questions to answer, because this is highly likely this could have been a state execution. but, what we don't do in this country is that we don't leap to conclusions without the evidence. tomorrow, international specialists from the organisation for the prohibition of chemical weapons will arrive at porton down to start their own
independent analysis of what left yulia and sergei skripal fighting for their lives. daniel sandford, bbc news. and we'll find out how this story — and many others — are covered in tomorrow's front pages at 10:15 and 11:30pm this evening in the papers — our guests joining me tonight arejournalist and correspondent from the news statesman, stephen bush and rosamund urwin the financial services correspondent from the sunday times. that first edition is a little earlier because our late main news is on at10:30pm. much of the uk has been in the mist of a second significant snowfall of the winter. for many areas its been combined with bitterly cold winds, bringing misery to those travelling this weekend. jane frances kelly reports. as the snow gave no sign of giving
up, neither did those trying to clear it away and keep traffic moving. with strong winds causing blizzard as conditions, here in devon driving became difficult, some struggling to keep control. in newcastle for those just trying to leave the house, it wasn't an easy task. i have been here for a good hour and task. i have been here for a good hourandi task. i have been here for a good hour and i have done about a quarter of this roadside are making headway. we are not equipped for the snow, it is not like when you live abroad and you are use to the snow.” is not like when you live abroad and you are use to the snow. i think some other problem is the drivers, i don't think it has been too bad. railway stations across the country have also seen delays. in newbury, all trains were stopped in their tracks, staff doing what they can to help, and as snow hit the south west, bristol airport stopped flights this morning with exeter cancelling flights for the rest of the day. even for those wanting to brave the weather and support their
local team, football and rugby fixtures were called off, including the anglo welsh cup final at gloucester. throughout the day, the snow gates on the a 66 remained closed between county durham and cumbria, keeping one family apart. basically i'm trying to get the brough to pick my daughter up, she has been sucked since last night. it is just has been sucked since last night. it isjust a question is just a question of getting around —— she has been stuck there since last night. with around 11 centimetres of snow already falling on higher ground is like here in west yorkshire, more snow is expected, but the majority tonight and tomorrow morning will be in the south—west finland with amber weather warnings in place until 9am tomorrow. it is not all doom and gloom, though. the so—called mini beast from the east has brought some fun with that too, with allsorts heading out to enjoy the weather. as for when temperatures get back to normal, things should be warming up by tuesday. frankie mccamley, bbc
news in westminster. —— in west yorkshire. the headlines. vladimir the foreign secretary accuses russia of stockpiling the nerve agent thought to have been used on a former spy and his daughter in salisbury. travel disruption and school closures in the south—west of england as wales as the so—called mini beast from the east brings snow and ice to much of the uk. sport now, and for a full round up, from the bbc sport centre, here's james pearce. chelsea are through to the fa cup semi—finals after pedro scored in extra—time to give them a 2—1win against leicester at the king power stadium. chelsea took the lead just before half—time when willian broke free and found alvaro morata, who scored his first goal of the year. leicester's equaliser came a quarter of an hour before the end. jamie vardy bundling the ball home, to take the tie into extra time. but it was chelsea who ended up celebrating. it was pedro who scored the winner
at the end of the first period of extra time. it's chelsea's tenth fa cup semifinal in 18 years. we must be pleased, because also i saw a good performance, great character of my team, and they put their heart to overcome a big hurdle, especially after the game in the champions league, where we spent a lot of energy against barcelona. southampton will be chelsea's opponents in the semi—finals. in mark hughes' first game as manager, southampton beat league one side wigan 2—0. pierre emile hojiberg fired in from a second—half corner for their first, before defender cedric soares scored his first goal for saints to confirm the victory in stoppage time. it was southampton‘s first away victory by more than a goal in over a year. people have questioned this group
lilley before i have arrived and may be questioned my appointment as well. so it is only a start but it isa well. so it is only a start but it is a statement of intent. we have got a lot of work to do in the premier league clearly but we will enjoy this moment, and it is a wembley semifinals, which is a great experience for the fans to look forward to. here's the draw for the semi—finals. manchester united against spurs and chelsea will play southampton. scotland have finished their women's six nations campaign in fifth place, after being well beaten by italy in padova. on a terrible, muddy pitch, italy won 26—12, with beatrice rigoni crossing to secure their bonus point. scotland end the tournament with just one win from five, whilst the italians finish in fourth, having claimed two victories. france clinched their fifth grand slam with friday's thumping of wales. ireland's six nations grand slam winning team have arrived back to their hotel in dublin. the following images do contain flash photography. the irish team were supposed to be attending a a grand slam celebration event at the aviva hotel,
but it was cancelled due to the weather. so it was an plie hotel appearance at them but i'm sure that did not stop the party. naomi osaka has won the final of the women's singles at indian wells. the japanese player beat daria kasatkina of russia, winning in straight sets, 6—3, 6—2. the 20—year—old is ranked 44th in the world, and this is herfirst ever title on the wta tour. cricket, and ireland have kept alive their hopes of playing in next summer's world cup by beating scotland in their super 6s qualifier in harare. batting first, the irish innings was anchored by andy balbirnie, who hit a patient 105 off 146 balls, as ireland finished with 271 from their 50 overs. in response, scotland took wickets at regular intervals, with boyd rankin the chief tormentor. the fast bowler finished with figures of 4—63, as ireland won by 25 runs. qatar hosted the first motogp race
of the 2018 season, and it ended in thrilling fashion, with a duel between familar foes. the final lap was a close contest between marc marquez and andrea dovizioso. the italian dovizioso held off the challenge of the world champion, finally claiming a win at qatar, having finished second there the last three years. valentino rossi joined them on the podium in third. that's all the sport for now. we'll have more for you on bbc news throughout the evening. james, thank you very much. syria's president bashar al—assad has visited soldiers in eastern ghouta — an area his forces have been trying to retake from the rebels. these images — published on a syrian presidency facebook page — show him surrounded by troops. a monitoring group has confirmed that government forces and their allies now control some eighty percent of eastern ghouta. thousands more civilians fled on sunday. but a pro—rebel website says there's been relative calm for the first time in a month. the turkish president says
the northern syrian city of afrin is now under turkish control after its troops backed by syrian allies, entered the city centre. turkey has been engaged in a two—month battle with kurdish fighters over the city, in northern syria. the kurdish administration of afrin says its forces will now strike turkish and allied militia positions at "every opportunity". mark lowen reports from istanbul. the sound not of battle, but of celebration, syrian rebel fighters backed by turkey, taking the town of afrin after a lightning advance. their flags marked the new order here. the ypg, kurdish militia, had promised to fight to the death in afrin, but in the end, their resistance looked to melt away. afrin fell within hours, the vestiges of the ypg ripped away.
in the name of god the merciful, we are now inside afrin liberated from terrorism, says this fighter, the city has returned to the syrian revolution and we call on all residents to come back. the scars of this two month—long offensive are everywhere, a town in circles and besieged, residents fleeing the turkish advance. over 150,000 people are said to have escaped in recent days. a triumphant president erdogan announced the success. turks from all sides have rallied behind an offensive, targeting a group they say are linked to kurdish militants within turkey, crushing age—old foes is a regular writing force in this otherwise polarised country. translation: most of the terrorists have already fled with their tails between their legs. our special forces and members of the free syrian army are clearing the remaining pockets of resistance. in the centre of afrin, symbols of trust and stability are waving,
instead of the rags of terrorists. as a kurdish statue in central afrin was torn down, a bad omen for the much needed reconciliation. many residents who will return are kurds, hostile to turkey and syrian arab fighters. in some areas of afrin, the rebels were welcomed as liberators, the question now is whether turkey will push on to the ypg held territory, that will be discouraged by the west, which sees the kurds as vital allies. but for now, victory is being savoured, and eight years into syria's war, each side continues to carve it up. mark lowen, bbc news, istanbul. vladimir putin is appearing before supporters at a concert in moscow. we could perhaps call this a victory rally as his election seems to be beyond doubt. translation: to
continue working together. yes, eve ryo ne continue working together. yes, everyone is working in their own organisations and their own ways, but it doesn't matter whether we work together in a formal structure. what is important is for us to understand that we have great challenges in front of us, and we have to overcome those. and i do hope that together with you we will continue this work, and i spoke at the square now, and one of the members of the public said, " we are your team". and i said that i'm a member of your team. and we work for russia and for the benefit of this great country. thank you very much. applause thank you. i thank you and i wish
you all the best. thank you very much. we are the team, yes. chanting so that is the second time in the last half an hour we have heard from vladimir putin, after that win in those elections. he said he would show the confidence of the russian people that polls are predicting him to win with 74% of the vote, higher than the last time he was re—elected, six years ago. he also talked about the next term not being business as usual, and there needs to bea business as usual, and there needs to be a breakthrough, he said. we will bring you more on his victory, his address, and what the next six yea rs his address, and what the next six years might bring with him in power again here later on bbc news. time
for a look at the weather forecast 110w for a look at the weather forecast now with sarah. after another very wintry weekend, some slightly milder weather on the cards in the next few days, but the met office still have an amber weather warning to heavy snow in force across the south—west of england until 3am monday morning, so significant disruption down there. some snow flurries to come through this evening and tonight across many parts of southern england, particularly to the south—west, five centimetres possible here. further north, a lot of dry weather, isolated flurries of snow but temperatures as low as —2 or —3 in towns and cities, as low as —8 across rule parts of scotland first thing. in the far south, down to the channel isles, snow showers, but many other places look largely dry. isolated snow flurries in the north—east. still on the poolside, between four and 7 degrees but there should