tv BBC News at Ten BBC News February 10, 2017 10:00pm-10:30pm GMT
committed by british soldiers in iraq is being shutdown. a report by mps called it "an unmitigated failure that had cost tens of millions of pounds." this will be a huge relief to hundreds of british troops who've had these quite unfair allegations hanging over them, they're now being freed of that. me and my fellow soldiers and my regiment, going through a ten—year, you know, tarnish, and it'sjust not on. and it's not fair. the government's announced that most of the investigations into abuse allegations from afghanistan will also be dropped. also tonight: the health secretary admits waiting times in a&e in hospitals in england are unacceptable. donald trump vows to fight on, despite a court refusing to reinstate his controversial travel ban. over 400 whales beach themselves on the coast of new zealand — volunteers battle to save them.
and england get ready for the clash in cardiff, in their crucial six nations game against wales. and coming up in sportsday in bbc news: tom varndell becomes the premiership‘s all—time leading try scorer as he beats mark cueto's record with his 91st try. good evening. a controversial investigation costing tens of millions of pounds, into claims of the abuse of iraqi civilians by british troops is to be shut down "within months". it follows a scathing report by mps into the iraq historic allegations team, which it described as "an unmitigated failure", investigating thousands of claims unsupported by "credible evidence"
and that soldiers under investigation, had suffered "u na cce pta ble stress". 90% of investigations into abuse allegations from afghanistan are also being dropped. our diplomatic correspondent, caroline hawley, has the story. it's almost 1a years since british troops invaded it's almost 14 years since british troops invaded iraq and the legacy of the war is still causing controversy. in the aftermath of the occupation, thousands of allegations of abuse were made against british soldiers. and a special team called ihat was set up to investigate them. the human rights' lawyer, phil shiner brought most of the claims but last week he was struck off after he'd been found to be dishonest and to have‘ paiding agents to drum up business. and to have paid agents. now the ministry of defence is wrapping up the investigation early this will be a huge relief to hundreds of british troops who've had those quite unfair allegations whacking over them. they are now being —— hanging over them.
they are now being freed of them and we'll put new measures in place to make sure this never happens again, there will be safeguards to prevent unfounded and malicious allegations being made by our brave servicemen and women. the most serious allegations to be made were of furtherer and mutilation after this battle in 200a. the claims were false. the soldier who was there, decorated for his bravely, told using of the pain he'd been put through. you are under so much pressure on operations as it is, and when you hold your values and standards in the highest regard, to then come back and have that questioned for your actions you did on the ground, which you thought we re on the ground, which you thought were right, under extreme pressure, in extreme circumstances, to come home is damaging for individuals and also for the regiment, and the british army as a whole. there's no doubt that some abuses did happen in iraq. these were detainees being
beaten in basra in 2003. and over the past few years, the ministry of defence has paid out millions in compensation. but the iraq historic allegations team team has been criticised for getting out of hand t set up seven years ago and has had to plough through more than 3,000 claims. it cost more than #3ds 3a million but no soldiers have been prosecuted as a result. —— £34,000. ihat and its work has been controversial in the military but the downfall of phil shiner and concern for the toll it was taking over soldiers and their families has led the mot to act it is something thatis led the mot to act it is something that is very important. it will make a big statement to the army and it'll show the government is full square in supporting the army and providing it with a framework where soldiers can deal with the difficult situations they have to deal with. 0ver
situations they have to deal with. over the course of britain's long involvement in iraq, the ministry of defence says over the summer only 20 cases will be left to be investigated. there has been growing controversy over iraq historic allegations team for sometime but it was presumably today's report by mps that finished it off the mod has been under pressure over the investigation which has been running forself seven yea rs, which has been running forself seven years, with 130 staff and no prosecutions. most of the cases in front of it had been dismissed due to lack of evidence. last week you had phil shiner being struck off. he had phil shiner being struck off. he had brought most of the claims in front of the iraq historic allegations team. then this blistering attack by mps on the investigation, calling it an unmitigated failure and it was just after their report was issued that the mod announced it was wrapping up the mod announced it was wrapping up the investigation early, wrapping it up the investigation early, wrapping it up by the investigation early, wrapping it up by the summer, saying that there will only be about 20 cases left and the royal navy police will now take those on. and it has also announced, as you said, that 90% of the
allegations of abuse made in afghanistan will now be discontinued as well. thank you caroline. the health secretary, jeremy hunt, says it's "completely unacceptable" that some patients in england are waiting up to 13 hours in a&e. figures show that waiting times in casualty are worse than at any time in the last decade and the number of operations cancelled at the last minute hit a 15—year high last year. mr hunt insists he does have an improvement plan — though didn't reveal it — and he admits it will take time. he was talking to our health editor hugh pym. the worst monthly a&e figures in more than a decade. we actually have corridor nurses now as well. it shows times are very desperate. images like this, across bbc news. no—one would want it for members of their own family. it's been a difficult few days for the health secretary. now he's come out and acknowledged that what's happening in england's hospitals is unacceptable. the bbc has shown images from royal blackburn of people waiting 13 hours,
mothers and babies sitting in the corridor. aren't you embarrassed about that? it is incredibly frustrating for me. i'm doing thisjob because i want nhs care to be the safest and best in the world and that kind of care is completely unacceptable. no—one would want it for members of their own family. we futured iris sibley‘s story this week. she had to wait six months in hospital before a care home place was available. what did mr hunt have to say to her family? well, i don't want to make any kind of excuses for that. it is totally unacceptable. it is terrible for mrs sibley but it is also very bad for the nhs because other people could... but it is not the only case of its kind. no, and as i say, there are no excuses, it is completely unacceptable. iris‘s son, john, said he was pleased mr hunt had recognised that his mother had been let down but he had this message for the health secretary.
what i would like to say to jeremy hunt is to admit, to have the guts to admit that the system for social funding is broken. if we have to pay more, i'd say tojeremy hunt — i'm prepared to pay more tax and i'm sure most of the country would be too because our old people are worth it. and the state of social care was something i raised with mr hunt. the prime minister's been very clear. we recognise the pressures there. we recognise there is a problem about the sustainability of the social care system and that has to be addressed and we are going to do that. there have been calls for more funding for the nhs in england, including from an american health expert who advised david cameron and jeremy hunt. he thinks the government's current spending plans are set too low. i have serious doubts as to whether you can have a health care that's universal, not rationed and responsive to needs at that target level. so, i'm concerned. but others say it's notjust about money and getting the nhs
to be more efficient is important, with new ways of working the real priority. mr hunt says change is needed on many fronts. i think it's wrong to suggest to people that these profound challenges, such as we face with an ageing population, are ones where there is a silver bullet that you can solve the problem overnight. we also need the public‘s help because we know that a number of people who are seen in a&es could actually have their needs dealt with in another part of the nhs. new figures show cancelled operations in england were up i6% last year. further evidence that whether it's routine surgery, a&e or community care, there's pressure right across the nhs. hugh pym bbc news. president trump has hit back after a us court refused to reinstate his temporary ban on travellers from seven mainly muslim countries. this evening, mr trump said there was "no doubt" he would win in the courts and pledged additional security measures next week.
0ur north america editor, jon sopel, has the latest on the president's confrontation with the legal system. at the white house this morning, a full ceremonial welcome being laid on for the japanese prime minister. even an awkward bear hug for the man he has only met once before. the focus of the conversation was meant to be about trade, not the subject journalists wanted to talk about. i'm curious about yesterday's ruling in the ninth circuit court. has it caused you to rethink your use of executive power? your question was unrelated to what we're here for today but i'll answer it. he steered clear of attacking the judges and promised victory eventually. we'll be doing something very rapidly, having to do with additional security for our country. you'll be seeing that sometime next week. in addition, we will continue to go to the court process, and ultimately i have no doubt that we'll win the particular case. last night, there was a furious reaction to the judgment, with the president tweeting, in block capitals, a sure sign
of irritation "see you in court. the security of our nation is at stake". in washington state, which brought the original case, a mixture of defiance and "bring it on". we have seen him in court twice and we are two for two. we respect that the president has broad authority when it comes to issuing executive orders, but they still have to follow the constitution. that's the bottom line. the sudden implementation of the executive order brought chaos to america's airports. travellers from seven mainly muslim countries were banned from entering the us for 90 days, the entire refugee programme suspended for 120 days, except when it comes to syria, and there, the suspension is indefinite. the three federal appeal court judges ruled that there is no evidence that any alien from any country named in the order has perpetrated a terrorist attack in the united states.
the safety valve for the most vulnerable people offered no explanation for how these waiver provisions would function in practice. and in conclusion, thejudges say, competing public interests do notjustify a stay. in other words, the decision of the lower court will not be overturned. the next and last legal stop is the supreme court. with one vacancy still to be filled, it's split evenly between four liberal and four conservative judges. if they were to tie, then the judgment of the lower court would be upheld. the president and his advisors have a tough decision to make. do they press on, take this to the supreme court and risk another defeat, or rip up the existing executive order, redraft it and admit that they got it wrong in the first place? not easy choices. the president promised during the campaign that he would "win so much, americans would get bored of winning". this is not the story so far on his migrant ban. thank you, everybody. jon sopel, bbc news, washington. meanwhile, president trump
and his chinese counterpart, xijinping, have held theirfirst telephone conversation. during the call, described as "cordial", mr trump agreed to honour the so—called "one china" policy, which he'd previously threatened to re—examine. it relates to the status of the island of taiwan, which has its own government but which beijing sees as a breakaway province. the one china policy acknowledges there is only one chinese government and that diplomatic relations must be with china, not taiwan. our china editor, carrie gracie, reports from the taiwanese capital taipei. people in taiwan have more freedom of expression than people in china. after 70 years of governing itself, this noisy democracy has a mind of its own. taiwan even has political satire. in this animation studio, they are notjust mocking their own president but mr xi and mr trump as well. we have 1800 missiles
pointed our way but at the same time in taiwan we have absolute freedom to do anything we want, so satire is one of the good things we need to push because it helps taiwan to get its name out there. beijing doesn't do satire. it's threatened to retake taiwan by force, and it sailed its aircraft carrier past the island last month to show that it means business. for beijing this, the island of taiwan, is the last piece in a jigsaw. it's the piece they say will finally reunite a nation broken up and humiliated by colonial powers two centuries ago. to let taiwan float off towards independence, or even worse, to let it become part of an american—led alliance against china in these waters, well, that, to beijing, would be unthinkable. the taiwanese navy is
no match for china's. it's the american fleet which protects taiwan. back in december, it looked as if donald trump would go further. he took a call from the taiwanese president and hinted at recognition for taiwan. now, president trump has backed down. in his phone call with president xi, he returned to the so—called one china policy that beijing insists on. and many taiwanese reluctantly accept the status quo. translation: ideally, i would choose independence but in the real world independence is impossible. it would mean war with china. messages of peace for the year ahead at taipei's lantern festival. but their future is fragile. caught between an unpredictable
america and an implacable china. their hopes and fears are low priority to both. carrie gracie, bbc news, taipei. the labour leader, jeremy corbyn, is continuing his reshuffle, following the resignation of several shadow cabinet ministers and a rebellion by labour mps over the brexit bill. one of the big tests of his leadership will be the by—elections on the 23rd february in the labour—held seats of stoke—on—trent central and copeland. our deputy political editor, john pienaar, has been talking to voters in both constituencies. this is bbc radio stoke. why is labour up against it? you only have to ask. john pienaar is in hanley and he wants to know how people feel about the by—election in stoke—on—trent central. is stoke going to stay a labour city? hopefully not. why do you say that? i think for far too long we've been taken for granted by labour.
i'd like to think it was going to stay labour. they sort of work for everybody, don't they? whereas i don't know, the guys who are potentially going to get in, are quite bigoted in a couple of their views. by all accounts, the labour candidate is pro—european. so how does that square with 70% plus anti—european votes for stoke central? you have been labour, but you're switching? most probably. i'll most probably switch this year. yes. you're still agonising a bit about it? we're still agonising. this is a really big deal in national politics, isn't it? why? is labour's traditional support in industrial towns like this one in stoke, away from london and the big cities, is it deserting them? well look, most people here voted to leave the european union. most of the mps here, the labour mps here, voted and campaigned to stay in the european union. and jeremy corbyn, he is popular with his party members. when it comes to the wider public, not so much. a senior labour mp has said that
labour here is hanging on by its fingernails against the challenge of the uk independence party. messages, thousands, came in on our bbc facebook live page. "jeremy corbyn was a big election issue for labour." "full of honesty, respect and integrity," says stephen. "corbynites are enthusiastic, but he costs votes." and plenty more of the same. labour has reason to worry. every vote is a prize just now. labour is under siege in two by—elections on the same night. voters who never wanted brexit are being targeted by the liberal democrats and the greens. will ukip‘s campaigners see their leader become stoke's new mp? that would strike fear into labour's brexit—supporting heartland. tory campaigners are daring to dream of an historic triumph. they ran ukip close in stoke, but in copeland they feel
they can beat labour, the first government gain over its main opponents in a by—election in 35 years. so labour is fighting door to door, street to street, here in stoke. and far to the north, where labour is facing a hard slog to survive in a very different setting. in copeland's coastal town of whitehaven, sellafield employs thousands. ask almost anyone, jeremy corbyn‘s past opposition to nuclear power counts against his party. though voting labour here is an old habit. well, i'm going to stay with labour, because ijust think it's for the working people. and all my family has always voted labour. because of the workforce at sellafield, and what it creates in the wider community, and what mr corbyn said about nuclear power, they've got to think of themselves. and for the long—term future of sellafield, it possibly will go conservative. holding this seat looks tough. losing here or in stoke means talk
of existential crisis for labour. rejected by once loyal voters who now feel left out and left behind. john pienaar, bbc news, whitehaven. and to see a full list of candidates for both the stoke—on—trent central and copeland by elections, visit our website at bbc.co.uk/politics. a brief look at some of the day's other news stories. the uk's biggest domestic energy supplier, british gas, has said it will freeze its prices until the summer. however, scottish power has announced that its customers will see their bills go up, following similar moves from edf and npower. concerns have been raised about the effectiveness of britain's naval fleet after it emerged that none of the seven attack submarines are at sea on active operations. the newer submarines, which carry cruise missiles, cost more than a billion pounds each. the mod insists some are "operationally ca pable". cocaine worth up to £50 million has washed up on beaches
near great yarmouth in norfolk. holdalls containing over 300 kilos of the drug were found. detectives said it would be a "major blow to the organised criminals involved". a london—based plumbing firm has lost a legal battle over whether it should give freelance workers basic employment rights such as pensions, holiday and sick pay. pimlico plumbers went to the court of appeal after plumber gary smith, who was on a self—employed contract, won a tribunal case against them. more than 400 whales have beached on the coast of new zealand, one of the worst whale strandings ever seen in the country. volunteers in the community of farewell spit are racing to save and refloat them but around 300 have already died and time is running out for the rest. stranded, distressed and barely alive. volunteers have come from far and wide to save the whales beached in new zealand overnight.
but most of them were already dead. this is the third—largest mass stranding that we've recorded in our history and so it's a very large one. logistically it's a massive undertaking. the whales started stranding last night, round about ten o'clock last night. we were notified of that, and then this morning when they went out and checked on them, most of the whales were already dead. i've never experienced death like this before. you know, it's... for such a majestic animal it's really strange to see them doing this. there's a lot of death here, eh, which is a sad, sad thing, but, hey, if we can get some of them out it's got to be a good thing. scientists don't know exactly why whales beach themselves. it can be due to sickness or injury. anybody that doesn't have a sheet over the whale, make sure those sheets are really nice and wet, not covering the blowhole... rescuers tried to re—float some of the whales at high tide, but some just turned straight back to shore. whale strandings in new zealand are common.
just two years earlier 200 whales beached here. but this is one of the country's worst mass strandings. it's another weekend of fierce rivalry, intense pressure and big expectations in the six nations tournament. england take on wales tomorrow and if england win, they will be just three games away from breaking the world record for the most unbeaten test matches, a title currently held by new zealand. italy take on ireland, and scotland play france on sunday. here's our sports correspondentjoe wilson. long before the bridge, there was rugby. the journey to wales has petrified england, their coach reflected this week. why? history. in 2013 wales scored 30 points in cardiff, england humbled. the coach says it's just another city. the beer tastes the same as home. yes, but in cardiff it's named after the welsh captain, alun wynjones, you see.
i think the game does mean a lot to a lot of people. we are able to share that, hopefully we can share it in a positive manner. i think we're very fortunate to have a stadium that is suitable or apt for the occasion. we've experienced lights, fire, music. england'sjones, eddie, now expects what he calls "shenanigans". what are the shenanigans you're prepared for? oh, i don't know, but, you know, they're a cunning lot, the welsh, aren't they? you know, they always have been. you know, they've got goats, they've got daffodils, they've got everything. so who knows, who knows? well, mischievous friendly rivalry, that's what the six nations should be about. it is an outlet for passion and that's exactly why england have decided that here in cardiff the roof should be open for the game, allowing all that welsh noise to escape into the sky. well, everyone in professional sport is trying to find an edge.
gareth southgate — yes, the england football manager — was at rugby training this week, seeking a different perspective. was that handball? well, england fly—half george ford finished the session and then told me he won't be in wales in fear. i think, as a player, if you learn to embrace it and learn to be excited about it, i think that's the best way to approach it. if you look back and you feel like you didn't enjoy it, you'll probably regret that. yes, look to the future. after their scintillating victory over ireland last weekend, scotland suddenly look like the team to beat in the six nations. france away for them on sunday. daunting? well, paris isjust another city. joe wilson, bbc news. that's it. now it's time for the news where you are. have a very good night. good evening.
i'm asad ahmad. the head teacher at one of london's top—performing academies is under investigation, suspected of fixing exam results. hello and welcome to sportsday. coming up tonight: bristol wing tom varndell breaks the all—time premiership try scoring record. it's round two of rugby union's six nations, we'll have the latest from all of the home nations. confusion at rangers is mark warburton denies he has resigned. and stripped of gold
from london 2012 — the russian athlete banned for doping. yes, hello and welcome. the news from ibrox tonight. —— big news. before we look ahead to another busy weekend of six nations action, history was made in the aviva premiership tonight as bristol winger tom varndell broke the all time try scoring record. he surpasses mark cuetos tally of 90 tries to stand alone on 91, after crossing over against harlequins tonight. patrick gearey reports. he has plunged into rugby history. try 91 against harlequins has beaten the premiership record. he has spent a career turning pace into points.
he told me recently about his love of crossing the line. scoring tries is myjob in the team. any player was to leave their mark on the game. ifi was to leave their mark on the game. if i can do that that would be fantastic. he has been trying for some time. he has played 12 seasons at end and's hires level and has appeared in 177 premiership games and scored 91 tries, which pits ahead of the playerfrom and scored 91 tries, which pits ahead of the player from sale sharks. his biggest asset is his lead. he is very quick and he is always one of the fastest. from an athletic point of view, no one is better. that is credit to him. he is creeping into his 30s now so is to still be in the shape years and usually good. he is beaten in one