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tv   BBC News  BBC News  January 16, 2022 7:00pm-7:31pm GMT

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this is bbc news. the headlines at 7pm: the man who took four people hostage at a synagogue in texas is confirmed to be a british man named malik faisal akram — his family say they are devastated and do not condone his actions. novak djokovic has been deported from australia afterjudges rejected the unvaccinated tennis star's appeal to stay in the country on public health grounds. labour leader sir keir starmer says borisjohnson broke the law and should resign, over a series of parties at downing street during coronavirus restrictions. i think the facts speak for themselves. i think the prime minister broke the law, i think he then lied about what had happened. a british woman is missing in tonga after being washed away in the tsunami which hit the island. the amount of damage it's caused is still unclear.
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and in sportsday at 7:45 — how england lost yet again in the ashes series, and the rest of the day's sport — that's in the next hour here on bbc news. the family of the briton who's been identified as the man who took four people hostage at a synagogue in texas have confirmed that he has died in the incident. malik faisal akram, who's reported to be from blackburn, was named as the hostage—taker by the fbi earlier this evening. according to federal law enforcement officials, he was 44 and arrived in the us about two weeks ago. his family said they were devastated, didn't condone any of his actions and apologised to those involved.
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all four hostages were freed unharmed after a ten—hour stand—off between the assailant and police. this evening, the us president, joe biden, has called the siege "an act of terror". let's hear what he had to say. i spoke this morning with the attorney general to get a rundown and he said there was overwhelming cooperation with local authorities and fbi, and they did one helluva job. this was an act of terror. it was an act of terror. not only was it related to someone who had been arrested, i might add, 15 years ago and been injailforten years, the ideas were something new. they did just a great job. i also told them we wanted to make sure we got the word out to synagogues and places of worship that we are not going to tolerate this. we have this capacity to deal with assaults on particularly the anti—semitism that has grown up
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and so i put a call in to the rabbi. we missed one another on the way up here. but they should rest assured that we are focused, and the attorney general is focused on making sure that we deal with these kinds of acts. we'll get the latest on the situation from our los angeles correspondent peter bowes very shortly. earlier, sophie long sent this report on the unfolding events from colleyville in texas. more than ten hours after their ordeal began, this is the moment you can see the three final hostages running for their lives. the successful, but nonetheless terrifying end to the delicate, daylong operation. the man who claimed to have a gun and a bomb had disrupted a peaceful morning service being streamed from the congregation in dallas. you may be able to hear his british accent.
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i am going to die. initially, four people were taken hostage, including the rabbi. six hours later, one was released unharmed. for the others, the ordeal would continue until the swat team stormed the building. they rescued the three hostages and the subject is deceased. people came here, a place of worship to pray. once again in america, a moment of peace became a moment of profound pain. as the people who were trapped, terrified, try to come to terms with what happened. the now deceased hostage taker was heard ranting about religion and demanding the release of a pakistani neuroscientist with suspected links to al-qaeda in prison in texas, for trying to kill american personnel in afghanistan. sophie long, dallas. let's get the latest now from our correspondent
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in the us, peter bowes. we will hear from him injust a few minutes _ we will hear from him injust a few minutes as — we will hear from him injust a few minutes. as far as we know, according _ minutes. as far as we know, according to details being released by federal law enforcement officials in the _ by federal law enforcement officials in the us, _ by federal law enforcement officials in the us, it seems that malik faisal— in the us, it seems that malik faisal akram arrived in the us approximately two weeks ago into jfk airport _ approximately two weeks ago into jfk airport gf_ approximately two weeks ago into jfk airort. . ., , , , airport. of course they will be t in: to airport. of course they will be trying to piece _ airport. of course they will be trying to piece together - airport. of course they will be trying to piece together howl airport. of course they will be l trying to piece together how he spent his term between then and when this incident started in texas. —— spent his time. so how did he get there, who did he meet along the way? of information to be gathered, some suggestions that officials, law enforcement officials may be travelling to the uk to try to piece together more information about malik faisal akram. there has been, as we mentioned, that statement from his family in blackburn, they say
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they are absolutely devastated as a family, and they say that as a family, and they say that as a family, they do not condone any of malik faisal akram's actions and would like to sincerely apologise wholeheartedly, the statement says, to all the victims involved in the unfortunate incident. that is the wording of the statement from malik faisal akram's family. we go now to the us, to our correspondent peter prowse. i wasjust the us, to our correspondent peter prowse. i was just telling our viewers a few more details from lough horseman officials in the states, the permission they have. —— responded, peter bowes. the key is to try to figure out what has happened, what has gone on in the two weeks before the arrival of malik faisal akram in the us, and this incident in texas? that malik faisal akram in the us, and this incident in texas?— this incident in texas? that is crucial, that _ this incident in texas? that is crucial, that i _ this incident in texas? that is crucial, that i think _ this incident in texas? that is crucial, that i think is - this incident in texas? that is crucial, that i think is the - this incident in texas? that is crucial, that i think is the key| crucial, that i think is the key question on the minds of so many
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people, but this man is a british national and appears to have arrived here in the united states through jfk international airport in new york, clearly than travelled at some point to texas, and if indeed he was on, he managed at some point to get hold of a gun. i'm hearing multiple lines of enquiry looking at his mental health, looking at the possibility that he got access to the synagogue by posing as a homeless man, and a key question for so many was the tight security that we see outside the synagogue because of the rise of anti—semitic attacks over recent months and years, security being extremely tight so how did this apparent stranger managed to get inside? that is one dairy the authorities are looking at, that he was pretending to be a homeless man. and of course, the big question about the gun control in the united states, that is a key issue, how did someone entering this
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country, a british national, manage to get hold of a gun so quickly? and to get hold of a gun so quickly? and ou to get hold of a gun so quickly? and you mentioned the rise in anti—semitic attacks in the us, what other reaction has there been from the jewish other reaction has there been from thejewish community? this other reaction has there been from the jewish community?— the jewish community? this was certainly a _ the jewish community? this was certainly a jewish _ certainly a jewish community that was on edge for many, many hours yesterday, as this was unfolding. we saw increased security outside synagogues, the los angeles police department announced they were stepping up patrols, this is something that was mirrored around the country. many people saying, here we go again. once again, this community is seemingly being targeted. this is clearly a complicated investigation, and the claims that were being made by this man that were heard on a livestream of this service, a stream that many of this service, a stream that many of the congregation were using as opposed to being inside the
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synagogue, but they heard his claims in real—time, and some of those claims, those rantings of his, sometimes incoherent, sometimes apologetic, but they related to a jailed terrorist who is serving some 86 years inside prison in texas. and 86 years inside prison in texas. and i auess 86 years inside prison in texas. and i guess there _ 86 years inside prison in texas. and i guess there will be certainly a focus on any trail that investigators might be able, online trail that investigators might be able to pick up on. we have heard from president biden as we sawjust a few moments ago will stop where do you think this investigation goes next? ~ , ., �* , next? well, you're right, they will be lookin: next? well, you're right, they will be looking at _ next? well, you're right, they will be looking at any _ next? well, you're right, they will be looking at any online _ next? well, you're right, they will be looking at any online trail, - next? well, you're right, they will| be looking at any online trail, they will be looking at any technology that they can get hold of that is related to this man, and others that he is associated with. the early signs are that he was acting alone, but clearly, this is in the early
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stages of investigation, members of the fbi will be travelling to the united kingdom to continue those investigations, they will be looking into his background, perhaps any statements that he has made in the past, perhaps any posts he has made in social media. this will be a very wide—ranging investigation, and quite honestly, at this relatively early stage it is difficult to get to any conclusions about what they could ultimately determine where his main motivations for doing this. peter, thank you very much for that. peter, thank you very much for that. peter bowes in la. novak djokovic has been deported from australia after losing his legal challenge to the cancellation of his visa. a panel ofjudges upheld the australian government's decision — they held that his refusal to be vaccinated against covid made him a threat to public health. the serbian prime minister has accused australia of a witch hunt. from melbourne, shaimaa khalil reports. he is used to winning on court, but today he was defeated in it. the world number one men's tennis
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player lost his last—ditch battle to stay in the country and was forced out of australia. the amended application... three judges upheld the government decision to cancel his visa. the immigration minister had argued that the unvaccinated tennis star's presence here could bolster anti—vaccination sentiment. in his statement, the world number one said... outside the court, many of his fans were still in shock, and emotions were high. it's disgraceful. how was his first visa. . . ? how did the first court ruling rule in his favour, but now it ruled against him? why? he had an exemption to come here and play tennis. he was allowed to come here. that's what he should be doing.
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it's a political stunt. and serbia's president was even more indignant. he came there with a medical exemption proposal, and then you were mistreating him for ten days. why did you do it? and then doing that witches—hunt campaign against him? that is something that no—one can understand. this was a high—stakes court battle for both sides. the government has been publicly embarrassed by its mishandling of the controversy. while the player was desperate to avoid forfeiting the chance to compete for his record—breaking 21st grand slam title. after being accompanied to the airport by federal police officers, novak djokovic boarded a plane to dubai, ending a saga that has bruised the country the player and the australian open. shaimaa khalil, bbc news, melbourne. joining me now is fomer american tennis star pamela shriver.
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very good to have you with us today, thanks for your time. i guess my first question for you is, will the tournament be better off without novak djokovic and all the controversy, or not? i novak djokovic and all the controversy, or not? ithink so, i think everybody _ controversy, or not? ithink so, i think everybody is _ controversy, or not? ithink so, i think everybody isjust _ controversy, or not? ithink so, i think everybody is just ready - controversy, or not? ithink so, i think everybody is just ready to i think everybody is just ready to have major tennis start, it starts in a few hours down in melbourne and there are so many great storylines in tennis, drawers of 128 in the men's and women's side, given what has unfolded the last 11 days, the destruction, the fact that andy murray getting to finals at sydney last week and winning at adelaide in his home city, some of the women's matches were played unbelievably well, yet guess what, the only thing talked about was the whole djokovic situation. so i think tennis is dying to get on with it, and it's really been very unfortunate chapter in professional major tennis
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history. so in professional ma'or tennis histo . . in professional ma'or tennis histo . history. so much has been overshadowed _ history. so much has been overshadowed by - history. so much has been overshadowed by all - history. so much has been overshadowed by all the l history. so much has been _ overshadowed by all the controversy. should it have been allowed to get this far? ., .,, ., ., this far? no. in most of our opinion. — this far? no. in most of our opinion. the _ this far? no. in most of our opinion, the medical- this far? no. in most of our - opinion, the medical exemption was really shady from the start. the deadline was supposed to be september the 10th, and the other way you could get an exemption is pretty clear, and it was not because he tested positive. it's not about any medical panel, that's not who controls the borders. those of us who have been coming to australia for decades now how tough that border crossing is, even in normal times and it was very clear, players needed to be double vaccinated in order to come into the country that had suffered so much, especially during melbourne, they had some of the strictest lockdown rules of the
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pandemic for the last 18, 20 months. still, novak, it was embarrassing for him, he never should have been granted exemption. i think it was perfectly accepting that he would not be able to play because of his stance about not getting vaccinated, so the whole thing is summary miscommunications, twists and turns but should not have happened. if you but should not have happened. if you were advising — but should not have happened. if you were advising him, _ but should not have happened. if you were advising him, what _ but should not have happened. if you were advising him, what would you be saying to him? i were advising him, what would you be saying to him?— saying to him? i would be trying to net the saying to him? i would be trying to get the right _ saying to him? i would be trying to get the right trusted _ saying to him? i would be trying to get the right trusted medical - get the right trusted medical science people to sit him down, he does need to rest and recover, this is an ordeal he did not want, but he has to find some trusted people that can maybe explain to him, go through the science of these vaccines, and the science of these vaccines, and the fact that during a global pandemic, none of us were ready for this, there wasn't a blueprint on how to get through this, so i think somebody that has his ear, that can explain the science and how it's not
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going to hurt his body, it's only going to hurt his body, it's only going to hurt his body, it's only going to protect his body and also, more importantly, because he is a fit athlete, he would probably be fine if a court covered macro but protect others if he expects to travel the world, going to other countries, other people poz mccombes, he needs to be as safe can be and i think the science is obvious, we need to be vaccinated in order to travel in international sport. so i hope tennis history isn't derailed by one of its great champions who feels the vaccines are not safe when you have 97% of the players vaccinated and continuing with tennis. find players vaccinated and continuing with tennis-— with tennis. and is the pandemic continues. _ with tennis. and is the pandemic continues, wonder _ with tennis. and is the pandemic continues, wonder what - with tennis. and is the pandemic continues, wonder what your - with tennis. and is the pandemic - continues, wonder what your thoughts are on the possible ramifications of all the issues raised with this episode for the rest of the tour, the tour and other parts of the world. i the tour and other parts of the world. ~ . ~ ~ the tour and other parts of the world. ,, . .. ., ., , ., world. i think vaccine mandates are only guessing _ world. i think vaccine mandates are only guessing more _ world. i think vaccine mandates are only guessing more in _ world. i think vaccine mandates are only guessing more in place. - world. i think vaccine mandates are only guessing more in place. i - world. i think vaccine mandates are only guessing more in place. i also| only guessing more in place. i also think exemptions are going to be
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looked at more carefully. the exemptions have to be true exemptions, not kind of loopholes and back door exemptions, they have to be really honest, serious medical exemptions that mean that my particular body cannot handle a vaccine in a healthy way. that's not the case with novak. i think it's going to be difficult for him. the us is getting tougher and tougher, you get to the major part of the tour with indian wells and miami, what's going to happen at the french open? i believe your country the uk, it's going to be really difficult, you won't be able to enter unvaccinated for wimbledon. then you have the us open. so this year, unless novak wants to consider giving up an entire year until the pandemic is over, he really needs to come to grips with how the vaccine will not hurt him. it will not take away his superhero status on the court. he will still be the great champion able to win his 21st, 22nd
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major. champion able to win his 21st, 22nd ma'or. ., ,, ., ., champion able to win his 21st, 22nd ma'or. ., ,, ., ., ,, ma'or. 0k, pam shriver, good to talk to major. 0k, pam shriver, good to talk to ou, major. 0k, pam shriver, good to talk to you. thank — major. 0k, pam shriver, good to talk to you. thank you _ major. 0k, pam shriver, good to talk to you, thank you for _ major. 0k, pam shriver, good to talk to you, thank you for your _ major. 0k, pam shriver, good to talk to you, thank you for your time. - to you, thank you for your time. some details coming in on the last few months, in relation to the incident in texas. a british man identified as the hostage—takers, malik faisal akram from blackburn, we just had malik faisal akram from blackburn, wejust had a malik faisal akram from blackburn, we just had a statement from the north west counterterror police unit, the assistant chief comfortable saying —— but she —— chief constable singh, but are infected by the terrible events that took place in texas. four people were taken hostage, they were released unhurt, we can confirm that the suspect who is deceased is 44—year—old malik faisal akram, originally from the blackburn area of lancashire. i can also confirm, the statement goes on, the counterterror police in the north west is assisting with the investigation being led by the us
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authorities. police forces will continue to liaise with their local communities including thejewish communities including the jewish community communities including thejewish community and will put in place any necessary measures to provide reassurance to them. the assistant chief constable goes on, we continue to urge the public to report anything that might be linked to terrorism to police. that statement just in to us. the labour leader says borisjohnson has presided over "industrial scale partying" in downing street — and renewed his call for the prime minister to resign. sir keir starmer said there was no need to wait for the report into a series of alleged rule—breaking events. the conservative party chairman said today that the culture in number ten should be addressed. here's our political correspondent nick eardley. a prime minister under pressure over what went on in here. were covid rules broken in downing street? how often did staff drink late into the night while the country was locked down, and can boris johnson survive? labour's leader has
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made his mind up. i think it's pretty obvious what's happened. there's industrial—scale partying been going on at downing street. not much of it is really denied, and i think that the public have made up their mind. i think the facts speak for themselves. i think the prime minister broke the law. i think he then lied about what had happened. mr speaker, i want to apologise. the prime minister has admitted he attended one drinks gathering at a time when socialising was extremely limited. that left many of his mps furious. this woman, sue gray, is looking into allegations spanning almost a year. her report is expected soon, but ministers are already suggesting it's the culture, not the man at the top, that needs to change. the culture in downing street does need to be addressed, and i think it's absolutely essential that when the prime minister responds to the sue gray report, and he's committed to doing that in parliament, that he addresses that culture.
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i know from many conversations i've had with the prime minister that he's in absolutely no doubt that he should and will take responsibility. but many tory mps are worried about the man at the top. former minister tim loughton is the sixth to say the prime minister should go, tweeting... others are angry in private. grimsby voted conservative for the first time in decades in the last election, so has this change minds about boris johnson? i think the way theyjust think it's ok to do what they like. i think the whole thing has made me feel like it's time to go, it's time for a change. what he did was wrong, but i think he has done a lot of good things as well. i think it's disgusting. especially when you come to a town like grimsby. i it's been tough. it's been really tough. everybody makes mistakes.
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it's not a big deal. the next week could be crucial in deciding if that happens. mps will return to parliament afterjudging the mood in the country, and the report on parties in downing street is set to be published. will the prime minister be able to move on, or is the clock ticking on boris johnson's premiership? nick eardley, bbc news. our political correspondent chris mason is here. good evening to you. another week in westminster beckons, conservative mps heading back in their constituencies tonight, tomorrow they will have been looking to their e—mails, talking to constituents, so what might this week hold in store for borisjohnson? what might this week hold in store for boris johnson?— what might this week hold in store for boris johnson? there is no doubt this is a moment _ for boris johnson? there is no doubt this is a moment of _ for boris johnson? there is no doubt this is a moment of jeopardy - for boris johnson? there is no doubt this is a moment ofjeopardy for - for boris johnson? there is no doubt this is a moment of jeopardy for the | this is a moment ofjeopardy for the prime ministerfor this is a moment ofjeopardy for the prime minister for itself for that reason, mps have spent the last couple of days in their constituencies taking soundings on a story that thomas compels an opinion from everyone, because of the nature of the pandemic being thin that none
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of the pandemic being thin that none of us could be near observers of, we were all participants in terms of restrictions on our lives and our liberties. we have discovered in the last couple of weeks and months forces a view out of pretty much everyone which therefore means politicians are hearing plenty of anger in their ears and we know that from the conservative mps that were speaking to us, and plenty are worried that this is the kind of thing that will forever and indelibly mark this prime minister, evenif indelibly mark this prime minister, even if he survives in the short—term. i think it's worth mentioning it's quite difficult to dislodge a prime minister who doesn't want to budge. so from conservative mps' points of views, because they hold his fate in their hands, they would have to be 5a of them who wanted him gone to trigger a leadership contest. he could stand in that contest and still win but to even trigger that contest, if he didn't voluntarily resign, you would need 5a of them plus we know of six
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mps publicly who have said that he should go for suspect there is quite a few more who have said so privately, and others who are considering it privately. but it's also worth remembering a huge number of conservative mps, particularly those in seats like grimsby that haven't been run by the conservatives for decades, the fat they are mps, they feel it is down to borisjohnson. it was his capacity to win that propelled them to parliament in the first place. that is bound to and will think, give him at least loyalty from some of them. maybe for some time,, but for the stem from others particularly in advance of the report from sue gray, which is coming relatively soon. and report from sue gray, which is coming relatively soon. and you have to wonder, because _ coming relatively soon. and you have to wonder, because there _ coming relatively soon. and you have to wonder, because there has - coming relatively soon. and you have to wonder, because there has been l coming relatively soon. and you have| to wonder, because there has been so much discussion and airing of the issues that when this report from sue gray does arrive, and it goes to the prime minister's inbox first of all before anyone else when it does arrive, whether that will make any
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material difference to the discussion?— material difference to the discussion? ., , , ~ discussion? completely. at the moment every _ discussion? completely. at the moment every conservative - discussion? completely. at the - moment every conservative politician is walking round with an invisible but audible shield that has the words sue gray on it. at the moment they are hiding behind that shield and saying, let's wait to see what she finds. but it's worth reflecting on the remit, what she has been asked to do. she has been asked to catalogue the partying in whitehall, by all accounts, she is a ferocious investigator when she is tasked with these kind of investigations. but she is not in the business, it is not within her remit to offer a political conviction of the prime minister. i think it's entirely possible when we see this report, it looks like it will not be this coming week but perhaps the one after, that it details lots of partying, quite a lot of which we already know about, maybe one or two of which we don't yet know about, but it isn't likely to say in black—and—white something that would guarantee the prime minister's
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imminent demise. it might mean some more conservative mps conclude he should go. but it will not necessarily mean that we are suddenly into some sort of leadership contest within the conservative party. one final point, the next general election doesn't have to be for the best part of three years. it doesn't have to be an election until december 202a. in all likelihood there will be one before that. the reason i make the point is, plenty of water can pass on to a lot of political bridges between now and then command attention spans can be short. so the conservatives and borisjohnson might still hope that they can turn the tide of what has undoubtedly been for them a very, very difficult few months. been for them a very, very difficult few months-— few months. chris, thank you very much. few months. chris, thank you very much- chris _ few months. chris, thank you very much. chris mason. _ the family and friends of a british woman missing in tonga in the tsunami which has devastated the pacific island nation say they're desperate for news about her.
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angela glover, who runs a dog rescue centre in tonga, was washed away when the wave hit. her husband james, who was with her, managed to hold on to a tree. it's unclear yet how much damage has been caused by the tsunami — and the volcanic eruption that preceded it. but much of the island appears to be covered in a layer of ash — and australia and new zealand are preparing to send surveillance flights. rupert wingfield—hayes reports. from high up in space, weather satellites caught the moment the huge underwater volcano let loose, sending a cloud of ash and rock 20 kilometres high and at least 500 kilometres wide. that is an ash cloud that could stretch from london to edinburgh. somewhere beneath it, is the tiny island kingdom of tonga. the first thing to hit the island was the shock wave. then came the rushing waters of the tsunami, smashing into sea walls and flooding what here appears to be a church. next, day turns to night as the ash began to form. these pictures are from saturday afternoon as people were trying to flee from the coast.
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the new zealand prime minister jacinda ardern said communication with tonga remains difficult. shops along the coast have been damaged and significant clean—up will be needed. one of the islands is covered in the thick film of volcanic dust, but otherwise conditions are calm and stable. the volcano has been active since mid—december. but saturday's huge eruption took experts by surprise. i would expect the activity to continue for a while yet. i'm not necessarily expecting it to get any bigger, but it could conceivably continue on at a similar scale. the eruption sent a tsunami wave right across the pacific ocean. in new zealand, the tsunami caused serious damage, smashing boats against each other and causing some to sink. but tonight, the main concern remains tonga. until the ash cloud clears and new zealand and australia can
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begin sending military flights, it remains very unclear how bad the situation on the island really is. the culture secretary nadine dorries has suggested that the days of the bbc licence fee are numbered, in a tweet suggesting the present charter — which runs until 2027 — could be the last. our media correspondent david sillito explained what happened this morning on social media. a tweet this morning, the words, "this licence fee announcement will be the last. the days of the elderly being threatened with prison sentences and bailiffs knocking on doors are over." essentially, two bits of information in this. the first one, this licence fee announcement, essentially endorsing a story in today the mail on sunday suggesting the bbc licence fees are going to be frozen for the next two years and then small increases after that, which will mean further hefty cuts to their bbc�*s funding. but of course, the wider issue about the licence fee itself.
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there have been many questions about how long it will last. the current charter goes to the end of 2027. could the bbc, for instance, be run like netflix on a subscription? the question there is, well, what about all of the millions who watch on free—to—air tv and free—to—air radio. you would have to have big changes. subscription bbc would be very different. and of course, borisjohnson, the prime minister was asked about this in question time only last week. he certainly did not suggest that he was in favour at the moment of getting rid of the licence fee and described the bbc as a great national institution at the time. now it's time for a look at the weather with louise lear. good evening. it's a quiet weather story at the moment. we'll have clear skies over the next few hours across england, wales, and eastern scotland — that will allow those temperatures to fall away. but a bit more of a westerly feed driving in some cloud off the atlantic, bringing more moisture to the northwest of the great glen,
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maybe a spot or two of drizzle. that will hold temperatures up to around 4—6 celsius.

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