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tv   BBC News  BBC News  May 19, 2017 7:00pm-7:31pm BST

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the ex—sex pistol who inspired the whole thing. first there is the high society wedding of the year with 350 guests are ranging from royalty and stars. but it doesn't come cheap. look at this monarchy. good luck getting wasps out of that. i would just be on the lawn. i will this is bbc news, i'm rachel schofield. the headlines at 7pm: i'm rachel schofield. sweden drops a long running rape investigation into the wikileaks founderjulian assange, he calls it an important victory, but expressed his anger. seven yea rs seven years without charge while my children grew up without me. that is not something i can forgive. it is not something i can forgive. it is not something i can after a seven year rape investigation in sweden was dropped without charge. this afternoon he made a rare appearance on the balcony of ecuador‘s embassy in london where he's been holed up forfive years to avoid extradition. he called the development an important victory for him — but said it was "extremely regretful" that he's still being threatened with arrest
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if he leaves the embassy — for skipping bail five years ago. prosecutors in sweden say they regret having to drop the case. his alleged victim says she stands by the allegation. here's our correspondent caroline hawley reports. 0ut into the fresh air. 0n the balcony of the ecuadorian embassy julian assange emerged this afternoon to have his say on the end of the swedish investigation against him. today is an important victory for me and for the un human rights system. seven years without charge while my children grew up without me. that is not something that i can forgive, it is not something that i can forget. but prosecutors in sweden have not cleared julian assange,
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they have simply said they can't pursue the case any further. translation: there are now no further measures remaining which are possible to advance the investigation. in order to proceed, it would be necessary forjulian assange to be formally served notice of the crimes of which he is suspected. this was a measure that was to have been conducted during an interview in london, but mr assange refused to make this possible. this complex international drama began in august 2010 when two women alleged thatjulian assange had sexually assaulted them on a visit to sweden. accusations he has always denied. in december that year he was detained in britain under an international arrest warrant. in may 2012 the supreme court upheld a decision to extradite him to sweden for questioning. and injune mr assange walked into the ecuadorian embassy in london requesting political asylum. the metropolitan police mounted a 24—hour guard at the embassy. by october 2015 it had
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cost over £30 million. —— and £13 million. and it is not over yet. julian assange is no longer wanted on an international arrest warrant but the metropolitan police say that if he stepped out of the embassy they are still obliged to arrest him forfailing to surrender to a london court back in 2012. at the embassy this evening his supporters were jubilant. but in sweden, the woman who accused him of rape issued a statement saying he was evading justice, and expressing her shock that the investigation was being shelved. julian assange was not held without charge with for seven years. he was subject to extradition proceedings with in the eu, under the european arrest warrant scheme he would have received a fair trial in sweden had he chosen to go back. the reason this has lasted seven years is entirely down to him seeking refuge in the ecuadorian embassy rather than going to face trial in a country that has governed by the rule of law. the founder of wikilea ks says it was fear that he
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would be extradited to the united states for leaking classified information that drove him through the doors of the ecuadorian embassy. so despite today's dramatic twist in this long—running diplomatic and legal saga, tonight he is back inside. not for the moment going anywhere. caroline hawley, bbc news. 0ur correspondent tom burridge is outside the ecuadorian embassy in london. that rare glimpse of mr assange, but he did not hang around to answer questions, i understand. that is right. no questions to the journalists behove, no mentions of the rape allegations that he has a lwa ys the rape allegations that he has always denied, but has not faced the legal system in sweden because he has been holed up in the embassy behind me. it was a typical performance from him. defiance, vitriolic against western governments, particularly against
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the eu, against the british legal system. but if he were to walk out of the embassy behind me, even though that arrest warrant has been dropped, linked to the get investigation in sweden, he would still be arrested by british police and that is because the law states that five years ago he failed to a nswer that five years ago he failed to answer bail and turn up to court, and failure to answer bail in britain can if convicted carry a maximum sentence britain can if convicted carry a maximum sentence of one year in prison. thank you. let's get reaction from sweden now. 0ur correspondent maddie savage is in the capital stockholm and shejoins me via webcam. clearly a lot of reaction to this story over here today. how is it where you are? i think still a lot of initial shock from people here that this sudden development to this long case, seven years of twists and
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turns, was announced by prosecutors earlier. there has been some reaction from one of the victims. i have contacted her by text message, she did not want to make a formal statement, but she said reiterating state m e nts statement, but she said reiterating statements her lawyer had said earlier in the day, that she felt julian assange was still guilty and at what has happened to date means he will not have the chance to prove himself innocent and she is glad that these allegations are going to stick to him for the rest of his life. i think here in sweden there has been a huge amount of very immediate analysis of what has happened, but we are going to see questions and there were certainly some questions in the press conference earlier about the length of time this took, it was five years before prosecutors even made it to london to question him, at the end of 2016, it all happened via translator is provided by the ecuadorian embassy. it has been a long process. it has cost the swedish and british authorities a
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lot of time and money, and i think the other thing we can expect is reaction from women's campaigners, rape and sexual assault crimes are taken very seriously here in sweden and the definition of those crimes isa and the definition of those crimes is a lot broader than in other countries. but there may well be some backlash against the fact that julian assange won't be coming to sweden to speak and answer questions about those allegations, and whether about those allegations, and whether a similarthing about those allegations, and whether a similar thing could happen to others accused of similar crimes in the future. and we'll find out how this story — and many others — are covered in tomorrow's front pages at 10:a0pm this evening in the papers. 0ur guestsjoining me tonight are henry mance, political correspondent at the financial times and lynn davidson, whitehall correspondent at the sun. there are divisions tonight within the conservative party over its manifesto commitment to means test winter fuel payments for pensioners. the scottish conservative leader, ruth davidson, said she was in favour of retaining the payments for all pensioners in scotland.
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but the prime minister argued it was unfair that wealthy pensioners received the money, while some families were struggling. here's our deputy political editorjohn pienaar. would you trust her to keep things running, or run the economy? but has theresa may dropped a spanning in the works by keeping people guessing about tax and spending plans, and keeping pensioners guessing about who would keep and who would lose the winter fuel allowance? she was not giving much away. we will ensure that the least well off pensioners are protected. at the moment, we see well off pensioners able to be supported with fuel bills, when struggling ordinary working families are not. i think there is a principle of fairness that underpins this. that is not how all tories see it, especially scottish conservatives under ruth davidson, who greeted mrs may in edinburgh. the scottish tory manifesto says, social security devolution allows us to make different choices in scotland, and so we will protect
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universal winterfuel universal winter fuel payments for all older people and they will not be subject to means testing. we believe there should not be means testing for the winter fuel payment. the reason we have said that is because scotland has a cloak colder climate, and a different amount of housing stock, and devolution allows you to make different decisions. mrs may says she is writing policy south of the border. as a government we have given the scottish government significant powers in relation to welfare and they make a number of decisions about various welfare benefits in scotland. and who knows? more voters might feel the same if jeremy corbyn's promised to protect the fuel allowance and pensions catches on. labour has been attacked over tax and spending plans critics say don't add up. now he is hitting back. she has accused a huge amount
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of anglo piety, she hasn't said what level she will change it. we think the fuel allowance should be kept, and will be kept under labour. just one way for the snp full to go, right at theresa may.|j one way for the snp full to go, right at theresa may. i think taking the payment away from pensioners who have worked hard and paid in all their lives isjust have worked hard and paid in all their lives is just wrong. have worked hard and paid in all their lives isjust wrong. the winter fuel payment is not a king 's ransom. not all tories south of scotla nd ransom. not all tories south of scotland agree with mrs may and policies like social care. 0ne former minuteman minister said they would oppose her except there is an election. that is one reason it is happening. she wants more backing for potentially unpopular decisions if public money gets tight after brexit, as you can bet she would hesitate to make risky promises if she wasn't so confident of winning. tories look upbeat about this campaign whether or not they always agree. life could get tougherfor them, for a lot of people
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afterwards, whoever wins. while she was in scotland today, theresa may refused to give more details about a manifesto pledge that a second scottish independence referendum would not take place, unless there was ‘public consent‘ for it. 0ur scotland editor sarah smith , who is in edinburgh, has been following the campaign and explained what that meant. i asked her exactly that, would she be relying on opinion polls or if the snp were to win a majority of seats in scotland at this election, with that demonstrate public consent? and she would not define exactly how she would decide if there was public consent for another vote. she said she would rather we weren't talking about it at all because she thinks this debate could potentially weaken her hand in brexit negotiations. she accused the snp of being obsessed with independence. though i have to say it is the tories in scotland who are making another referendum absolutely central to that election campaign,
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they are handing out leaflets with independents written in capital letters on them because they think that by saying that they are the only party who can stop another referendum they will attract unionist voters while nicola sturgeon says a vote for the snp is a vote to make scotland's voice heard. theresa may rules out the idea of giving her a seat at the brexit table, saying she theresa may, will negotiate for the whole of the uk. stay with us here on bbc news because at 7.30 we'll bring you this: that and all the other campaign developments over the past week, in our special election wrap programme, that's at 7:30pm. president trump is starting the first foreign trip of his presidency. he'll take in four countries in eight days, starting in saudi arabia. we can take you live to the airbase where he is about to set off. if
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they widen the shot you will see our force one waiting to take the president on his trip. his first overseas trip since taking office as we say, visiting saudi arabia, israel and the vatican. the homes respectively of islam, judaism and christianity. a lot of comments being made about the fact that saudi arabia is spreading of destination for arabia is spreading of destination foer arabia is spreading of destination for mr trump's first overseas trip. initially, of course, he was accused of another‘s phobia for those failed attem pts of another‘s phobia for those failed atte m pts to of another‘s phobia for those failed attempts to ban visitors from six muslim majority countries from coming to the united states. that led to quite a lead of antagonism. going back as far as february 2016, during his election campaign, he suggested that saudi officials have been complicit in the 9/11 attacks. he did not seem initially like the obvious choice of a first
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destination. let's see if the president is now emerging from the helicopter. 0k... well, 0k. .. well, maybe 0k... well, maybe he'sjust gathering his bits and pieces together. we do understand that president trump is... there we are. 0n president trump is... there we are. on board that helicopter. the formal salute, of course. stop for a brief chat. melania trump also with him. the first lady. handshakes all round and preparations to board that claim. it will take him on his first overseas trip as president, saudi
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arabia the first destination. we we re arabia the first destination. we were saying that it would not initially seem like a warm relationship but the point is that over time, since taking office, he has been forging a new relationship between washington and riyadh and the focus of much of that has been errani and america's position towards iran. that will be one of theissues towards iran. that will be one of the issues on the agenda when he gets to saudi arabia, as well as a hope he has two build more commercial relations tween the united states and saudi arabia. let's move on and leave president ron as he sets off. the headlines on bbc news: julian assange has declared victory after swedish prosecutors pounded a seven year rape investigation into
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him. theresa may is forced to defend her election pledge to scrap winter fuel payments for some pensioners as divisions opened up within her party. the families of the victims of serial killer stephen port expressed dismay at the slow progress of enquiry into why police took so long to catch on. in the next few minutes, polls close in iran in the election to choose the country's next president. after what's expected to be a huge turnout, polling stations have been forced to stay open longer to cope with long queues. president hassan rouhani is hoping to fight off a challenges from a hardline rival to win a second term. with me is kasra naji, a special correspondent from the bbc‘s persian tv channel. thank you for coming in. we were saying, it is obviously quite an appetite for this election, and a
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high turnout expected. it was much higher than we expected in the sense that from early morning we got reports that a lot of people are turning up, long queues everywhere, not just turning up, long queues everywhere, notjust in teheran but in other cities. the reason for the high turnout is interesting, this election is a fight between the hardliners and the moderates. and the hardliners, there were indications they were mobilising all their forces, indications they were mobilising all theirforces, bringing as many people as they could. so that spy at the other side, the moderates, to bring their supporters out in big numbers. so it is a fight between the two sides and it is a question of numbers and we will see. what is the prediction, are people going as far as to say as... do they have exit polls? there are no reliable exit polls? there are no reliable
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exit polls. but generally speaking high turnout is, favours moderates. it always does. the other side, the hardliners, just don't have the numbers. so we are expecting, the way things are going, that we will probably see a second term of the current president. and has he laid out if he wins that term what further steps he would like to take in terms of both domestic and foreign policy? he has promised quite a lot in this election, in the sense that he has called for opening up sense that he has called for opening up of the political atmosphere in the country, extending individual and political reform and freedoms, ending discrimination against women, for example. all that political stuff, as well as a promise to get
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the economy going after four years of sluggish performance. a lot is expected of him, but my own impression is that probably the hardliners won't let him do a lot of that because they are going to cause trouble for him at every turn. they will make sure that he will not succeed and if they don't get through the elections this time, next time they will be back in power. briefly, do we know when to expect result? no. they will start counting in the next few hours but the result will be probably saturday afternoon or evening. no doubt we will see more of you or your collea g u es will see more of you or your colleagues to talk about this. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news this afternoon. the former television star rolf harris has been released from prison, after serving nearly three years of his sentence. the 87—year—old is currently on trial on four counts of alleged indecent assault against three teenagers between 1971 and 1983,
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all of which he denies. he will attend the trial at southwark crown court in person from monday. tameside council — whose area includes saddleworth moor — has asked all its funeral directors to reject any request to cremate the body of the moors murderer, ian brady. brady , who killed five children with myra hindley — died on monday. a former youth team coach at newcastle united football club has been charged with 29 sexual offences. george 0rmond, who's 61, will appear in court next month following an investigation by northumbria police into historical child sexual abuse. a bbc investigation, has found flaws in the voice—recognition system, used by one of britain's biggest banks, hsbc. it analyses a customers' voice patterns, allowing access to their accounts. but while the bank says everyone's voice is unique,
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making the system secure, the bbc‘s click technology programme, has found it's possible for strangers to access bank details. dan simmons has the story. passwords, key fobs and apps have all been used to protect us, but over the past year, a new gold standard in security has emerged — biometrics. like fingerprints, the human voice is unique to each of us, and hsbc, along with other banks, has started using the voice of its customers as their password. they say it's secure. my voice is my password. but a simple experiment with my non—identical twin brother... welcome to hsbc advance. ..proves otherwise. my financial details and the ability to transfer money, wide open. i am absolutely shocked. under no circumstances should two different people be able to get into the same bank account with voice biometric authentication. yes, every voice is unique.
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however, it's up to the system to differentiate between voices, and obviously it hasn't done it in this case, and granted access. unlike a password, a voice is public, and experts worry that artificial intelligence software can synthesise voices so well that it would soon be able to clone a voice from a sample of 30 seconds or less — a tool which could make the hackers' job much easier. it's a scary application, but we are working with security researchers to figure out what is the best way to proceed with this. this is one of the reasons why we have not published this to the public yet. in response to our attempts to break in, the bank said: most experts agree that by making security more personal, you make it more secure.
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but if your voice can be copied, then, unlike passwords, it may be difficult to get a new one. dan simmons, bbc news. london city airport is set to become the first in the uk to replace its on—site air traffic controllers with a remote control digital system, operated from more than a hundred miles away. instead of sitting in a tower overlooking the runway, controllers will watch live footage from high—definition cameras in hampshire. the new system will be operationalfrom 2019. 0ur transport correspondent richard westcott reports. modern airports are dynamic, fast flowing, hundreds of pieces being moved around every minute and all of those movements must be tightly choreographed to keep it safe. this is london city airport and that is just one of the 300 or so take—offs and landings that happen here every day. until now, all of those flights have
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been coordinated by a group of controllers who look out of these windows here. but in the future those windows are going to be replaced by these high definition tv screens. controllers won't just see the airport, they will be able to hear it as well. the thing is, this digital control tower is 120 miles away from the airport. we've been shown this simulation, but by 2019 controllers will be sitting here directing traffic for real, using pictures fed from a new camera tower next to the runway. unlike the old tower, they can zoom in for a better view, put radar data onto the screen to track aircraft. critically, for safety, the cameras can pick out rogue drones near the airport and light the runway at night. my initial reaction was sceptical because i'm used to being at an airport. they give the controller more
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information in terms of what they can see, what they can hear, how they can identify targets, how they can track targets. the awareness that the controller gets, it's all about being heads up, they're no longer looking down. a tower controller's job is we get paid to look out of the window, so it makes thatjob much easier. now, i know exactly what you're thinking. the number one question i've been asked by everybody i've told about this is, what if the tv screens go down, what if the system is hacked? how secure is it? so, highly secure. the system has been independently stress—tested by security specialists. we have three cables that are in place between the airport and swanwick, in the control centre. if one of those was to fail, there's a back—up. and in the event that that fails, there's another cable. and they're all routed, taking different routes between the airport and swanwick. london city is convinced the new system will make their operation more efficient and more safe. the idea of the control tower miles
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from the airport may seem odd, but it isn't far away. richard westcott, bbc news. stay with us because election wrap coming up. it has been another mixed stay in terms of weather. we have had heavy showers around some persistent rain, but equally some sunshine. here was the scene earlier. blue skies, shower clouds. that has been the scene across shower clouds. that has been the scene across many parts shower clouds. that has been the scene across many parts of the country. but towards the north east will persistent outbreaks of rain. you can see the grey cloud there. that was producing some outbreaks. we are keeping that rain across parts of the north east of england and north—east scotland through the course of tonight. elsewhere across the country many places see the
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showers easing away and becoming largely dry, clear and fresh on saturday morning. through the day tomorrow another day of sunshine and showers are many, but still some rain across the north east of scotland, south west scotland into northern ireland, sunny spells and scattered showers. the north east of england has patchy outbreaks of light rain but further south across england and wales there will be some sunshine to kick up the morning but again showers cropping up across wales and the south—west of england where they could be heavy thirsting. fewer for central and south—eastern parts but heading through the day as temperatures rise we will start to see the showers building, across much of northern ireland england, wales, there could be thunder too. across scotland most of the rate will clear leaving a scattering of showers. 0n will clear leaving a scattering of showers. on sunday, most of the showers. on sunday, most of the showers will ease away. it should be
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an improvement. fewer showers and temperatures are little warmer, up to 20 degrees. still a few showers in the north—west. to summarise, heavy downpours likely, some sunshine on saturday, sunday is a dry day with fewer showers and temperatures and the warmer side. heading into the new working week, on monday we see low—pressure approaching and this will bring breezes to northern ireland and scotla nd breezes to northern ireland and scotland with outbreaks of showery rain. the further south east you go it is drier at an the sunshine it should feel warmer. hello and welcome to the election wrap, our guide to all the election news of the day. the conservative leader in scotland gives a frosty reception to the means testing of the winter fuel allowance, leaving it
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