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tv   BBC News at Six  BBC News  December 20, 2017 6:00pm-6:30pm GMT

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tonight at six — the met police is to review dozens of sex offence cases after the collapse of two prosecutions. in the last week the trials of two men charged with rape were halted — police failed to hand over evidence helpful to the defence. the danger here is that people will lose years of their lives locked up in prison for crimes they haven't committed, evidence that could have revealed this being suppressed, and not disclosed to their lawyers, and years of their lives wasted. we'll be asking how many similar cases there might be around the country. also tonight: the world's leading financial organisation says the uk is in need of a tonic — it forecasts slower growth because of brexit. a new challenge from the eu's chief brexit negotiator — he says the uk must go it alone sooner than the government wants. a special report on why patients with eating disorders in northern ireland are forced to travel to england for hospital care. you're trying to recover from an eating disorder,
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that in itself is a struggle, never mind having the added factor of being away from your family. the super—agers cheerleading in their 70s and 80s — so what's the secret to a long and healthy life? and coming up on sportsday later in the hour on bbc news: the last of the league cup quarterfinals with championship bristol city getting ready to face the holders manchester united. good evening and welcome to the bbc news at six. britain's biggest police force, the metropolitan police, is reviewing all its current sex offence investigations
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after the collapse of two rape cases in the space of a week. both prosecutions were halted because the police had failed to disclose key evidence which might have helped the defence. several legal experts are now warning that this may reflect a wider issue across england, wales and northern ireland. here's our legal correspondent clive coleman. are the scales ofjustice being u nfa i rly are the scales ofjustice being unfairly kicked against defendants, because the police are not sharing evidence that could help their case? one of the founding principles of the criminal justice one of the founding principles of the criminaljustice system is beset by problems. the bbc understands isaac itiary spent months in jail, awaiting trial on charges of sexual activity with a child. the case against him was dropped yesterday, when text messages from his alleged teenage victim's phone, showed she routinely lied about her age. a few
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days earlier, the case against liam allan was stopped because text m essa 9 es allan was stopped because text messages showed her victims enjoyed having sex with him. in the last yeari having sex with him. in the last year i have not concentrated on anything so it has ripped apart my normal personal life. the metropolitan police is now carrying out a review into what happened to liam allan, and all the evidence in its current rate and sex abuse cases. that is being conducted jointly with the cps and our investigating officers, to make sure those cases are safe to go to trial. our priority are the 30—something where trials are about to start. i have no reason to believe there are problems with any cases, but it is a pragmatic step to conduct that checked now. the police and crown prosecution service have made huge effo rts prosecution service have made huge efforts in recent years to write the wrongs of the past and ensure that efforts in recent years to write the
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wrongs jigs rape ensure that] fii‘? of £5 recess qt,— reviews of the disclosure process in recent yea rs, reviews of the disclosure process in recent years, - some of those
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recent years, and some of those working in the criminal courts believe the system's integrity is now under threat. the danger here is people can lose years of their lives locked up in prison for crimes they have not committed. evidence that could show they are innocent is not disclosed to them or their lawyers, and therefore there are great miscarriages ofjustice. the prosecution's duty to pass evidence to the defence which assists the defence underpins our justice system. that duty is now under scrutiny as never before. our home editor mark easton is here with me. is this a problem just for the met oi’ is this a problem just for the met orare is this a problem just for the met or are we dealing with something much wider? i think it goes much wider thanjust much wider? i think it goes much wider than just rape cases in london. as clive was saying, it might sound counterintuitive, but the justice system relies on the people doing the prosecution, the police and prosecution service, to give the defence anything that might undermine their case, their hopes of
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getting a conviction. does it work? only last summer, the people whose job it was to keep an eye on the police and prosecutors did an inspection and came up with some troubling findings. and in 55% of crown court trials, there were issues with initial disclosed and most of those issues were not resolved. half of prosecution lawyers say the same. there have been recommendations going back yea rs been recommendations going back years for better training, supervision systems. others argue it is really about money, more resources and expertise needed because complex cases these days involved in a lot more data. and some think it may partly be down to the fact that people want to improve conviction rates with rape trials. what should not be forgotten in all of this is that innocent people have ended up wrongly convicted of crimes because evidence has not been handed over. getting this right is fundamental to our system of
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justice. thank you. the international monetary fund — the world's leading financial organisation — has downgraded its forecast for the uk's economic growth this year. the head of the imf, christine lagarde, said the impact of the uk's decision to leave the eu had "weighed heavily" on the economy, and that rising inflation and stagnant wages were squeezing spending power. here's our economics editor kamal ahmed. she came before the referendum with a warning. if britain voted brexit, then the economic risks were clear. it is going to be pretty bad to very, very bad. that is what we see. today she was back for the first time since that brexit vote, to give her analysis of where we are now. since the start of this year, growth has slowed notably. the significant depreciation of sterling that followed the referendum has pushed inflation over 3%, squeezing real
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incomes. how do you respond to those critics who suggest the imf is simply too gloomy on the uk economy? regrettably, the numbers we are seeing the economy delivered today are actually proving the point that we made a year and a half ago, when people said you are too gloomy, and you are one of those experts. christine lagarde came here to the treasury to deliver her report, and let's be clear, she was not all gloomy. she said that employment was at record levels, and she welcomed progress in those brexit negotiations. but if i was to identify one big takeout from the imf today, it is this. in a world of growing global growth, the uk economy has suffered since the referendum. the imf said growth in the first nine months of the year was lower than in 2016. it said that prices had risen because of a fall
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in the value of the pound causing a squeeze on living standards. and called for a quick agreement on the transition phase of the brexit talks to use uncertainty and avoid crashing out of the eu. around the corner in parliament, it was the turn of the governor of the bank of england, also pushing for a free—trade deal, this time in financial services, despite grumbles from the eu that such a thing had never been achieved before.|j from the eu that such a thing had never been achieved before. i don't accept the argument that just because it has not been done in the past it cannot be done in the future and store we would just walk away from progress is that was the approach we took two issues. the hunt for approach we took two issues. the huntforan approach we took two issues. the hunt for an agreement goes on, and firms like this gin manufacturer in london are keeping plans on ice until there is greater clarity. clearly helps that the pound is not strong and becoming more expensive, but it is not a major factor. until it is clear exactly what is going to happen with brexit, it is very
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difficult to commit to further investment here, because of the markets are difficult to access from the uk, it will be difficult to justify spending out more money growing the business. it is now all about that clarity, clarity on any deal with the eu, and clarity with the future of the uk economy once brexit has happened. now to the brexit talks — and a new challenge from the eu's chief negotiator. michel barnier says he wants the transition period after britain legally leaves the eu to be shorter. the government wants two years for businesses to adjust to any deal, but the eu now says the cut—off point should be the end of december 2020 — that's three months less. the prime minister said today that the timeline was a matter for negotiation. our political editor laura kuenssberg reports. she made it this far. the prime minister leaving her house today for
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work. still in number ten after eu when that did not always looks certain. are you looking forward to break, prime minister? no easy answers on how government's biggestjob, how we leave the eu. can the government have the trade deal ready before we leave ? have the trade deal ready before we leave? that is what we are working to and that is what i believe we can do. everybody wants to know on what basis they are going to be operating the future. there are big doubts in brussels about that, and the tories expectation that it will take about two years to make the changes we need after brexit, a transition, and there is nothing surprising about there is nothing surprising about the european union getting its arguments in early. the chief negotiator saying today we would have to stick to all of the rules during transition and that period would have to be over by the end of
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2020, earlier than she believes. it is not just 2020, earlier than she believes. it is notjust the government, labour thinks two years is about right. we need at least two years. we need clarity about what that transition deal means and i think membership of the customs union and single market for that period but there needs to be more flexibility. but don't be fooled, there is no real outbreak of christmas cheer between the two main parties. last year the prime minister told the radio times that on christmas day she likes to prepare and cook her own goose. laughter in the spirit of christmas, can i suggest you heard that in an order to extract the maximum pleasure from the messyjob of stuffing her goose that she names it either michael or boris. the applause gave the
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chancellor time to help out the prime minister with her own punch line. i think i will have to resist the temptation to call the goose jeremy. it was prime minister's questions, not the christmas panto. but for theresa may's party at least, the end of the year has brought a little cheer. police are continuing to search two properties, including a community centre, following anti—terror raids in sheffield and chesterfield. four men have been arrested and held over an alleged islamist terror plot that officers say could have been carried out this christmas. it's being billed as the most far—reaching overhaul of america's tax system for decades. in his first major legislative achievement, president trump has kept his pledge to recast the taxes individuals and corporations pay. critics say the plans are a give—away to the super—rich, while his supporters insist the changes will boost the economy. let's speak to our north america editorjon sopel, who's outside the white house. mrtrump has had
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mr trump has had quite a rocky time of it, how significant is this particular achievement?” of it, how significant is this particular achievement? i think this isa particular achievement? i think this is a significant achievement for the president. he has been holding a cabinet meeting in the last few minutes and was talking about this being a great gift to the american people. although it is fair to say the very wealthiest american people will get a much bigger christmas present from this tax reduction, than blue—collar people, the very people who voted for donald trump. it has global significance as well. that old phrase that when america sneezes britain catches a cold, the c0 nve rse sneezes britain catches a cold, the converse is true sneezes britain catches a cold, the converse is true as sneezes britain catches a cold, the converse is true as well. if there is bigger economic growth in the us, if people have more money to spend, then british exports which are cheaper at the moment because of a wea k cheaper at the moment because of a weak pound, should also benefit the british economy as well as the american economy. britain has an interest in the american economy growing. it has been a difficult
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yearfor donald growing. it has been a difficult year for donald trump, but at the end of it, he can reflect that his tax reform has got past, the stock market is at record levels, he has put his pick into the supreme court, and regulations have been torn up. it may not have been pretty, but he sort of got done what he promised to do. the time i 6:15pm. our top story this evening. the met police will review dozens of sex offence cases after the trials of two men charged with rape were halted. and still to come: why access to high—speed broadband will soon become a legal right. coming up on sportsday in the next 15 minutes on bbc news: birmingham's bid to host the commonwealth's finally gets the go—ahead. the games are coming to the midlands in 2022. struggling to cope with an acute eating disorder is tough enough —
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but imagine if the hospital treatment you need is only available hundreds of miles away. that's what it's like for many patients in northern ireland — they have to travel to london, leaving behind family and friends. a review of services in northern ireland is currently under way. our health correspondent dominic hughes has this special report on the challenges facing patients and those trying to care for them. more than a million people in the uk are living with an eating disorder. a life—threatening mental illness. it's a very destructive disease, like, physically, mentally. it is just absolute torture. student nurse olivia realised she had anorexia while at university. but when she sought help from her gp, she was shocked by a simple lack of understanding. they should know that it is not to do with food, it is to do with maybe some emotional trauma that you went through, or the unhappiness in your life. i cried a lot after that because no one was taking me seriously, you know.
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there is so much going on in my head and no one is dealing with that. olivia ended up getting help through a private clinic. but in northern ireland where she lives there is a particular issue around how and especially where eating disorders are treated. right now thousands of people across northern ireland are struggling with an eating disorder. and while there are services in the community where they can get help, those services are under intense pressure. and for people who are in a real crisis, who need hospital treatment, well, at the moment their only option is to leave northern ireland altogether. it was a time in my life where ijust went, how did i come to this? aileen‘s anorexia got so bad that she required hospitalisation. but nowhere in northern ireland could deliver the intensive care she needed. her only option, to leave home and travel to london, hundreds of miles away. trying to recover from an eating disorder,
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that in itself is a struggle. never mind having the added factor of being away from your family. there's people out there that are really, really struggling with life and can't access the help that they really, really need. community—based teams in northern ireland do offer psychological therapies. but a population ofjust 1.8 million may not be enough people for a specialist hospital service. the advice we have sought is you might need a population base of say 5 million. so would we everjustify an inpatient service, i'm not sure. for many an eating disorder gives some control over a part of life when everything else feels very much out of control. early diagnosis and treatment are vital. every day we worried if our son was going to be alive by the night—time. at the age ofjust 2a, lawrence died from a heart attack after living with bulimia for years. his mother pam believes her son missed out on the best care and so too, are hundreds of others. it can be fatal, it has been fatal, not just for my son but for a lot of people.
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in different age ranges, not just at 2a years of age, at 30, a0 and 50. people need to get the right support. they are entitled to it. the nhs in northern ireland is not alone in struggling to meet demand for help with eating disorders. but anorexia and bulimia are taking lives and tearing families apart. and there are no easy answers when it comes to improving the way they are treated. dominic hughes, bbc news, belfast. uber is officially a transport company and not a digital service, that's according to a european court of justice ruling today. the ride—hailing firm had argued it was an information service — helping people to make contact with each other electronically — and not a cab firm. now, we are doing more and more things online — whether it's the shopping or streaming the latest drama — but slow broadband speeds can make the whole process pretty frustrating.
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now the government says we will have a legal right to demand high speed broadband by 2020. our technology correspondent rory cellan—jones is here. ican i can almost hear millions of people shouting, "about time too!" it's about 4% of the country that is left in the slow lane but it gets all the more frustrating for them as it goes on. ofcom worked out recently there is something like 1.1 million homes and businesses across the uk just not getting the kind of broadband they need to do simple tasks. so, from 2020 they are going to be given a legal right to a minimum service of 10 megabits per second, what's called a universal service obligation, that still not that fast. ofcom reckons superfast broadband is defined as 30 megabits per second. berget into that 10 megabits a second is going to be quite a challenge, the government must work out which companies will do it, what technologies they are going to use to do it and it will not even then end up covering
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absolutely everyone. will be a maximum cost. if you live up the mountain and they work out it will cost thousands of pounds you will still have two whistle for your broadband, i'm afraid. rory, thank you very much. a brief look at some of the day's other news stories. it's understood birmingham will be confirmed as the host city of the 2022 commonwealth games tomorrow. it will be britain's most expensive sports event since the 2012 olympics — at a cost of £750 million. scotland's biggest council landlord is considering proposals to knock down all its high—rise flats over the next 20 years. north lanarkshire council has 48 tower blocks with about 4,000 homes between them. it will run a consultation on how to gradually replace them all with low—rise buildings. a review has recommended that the pay of members of the northern ireland assembly should be cut by around £13,000 in two stages. mlas have been drawing their full salaries since being elected in march —
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even though the assembly at stormont hasn't been sitting because the power—sharing executive has collapsed. life expectancy across the globe is continuing to rise prompting scientists to ask how long we might live in the future. most think we will see gradual gains in longevity but there have been predictions that anti—ageing drugs could allow people to live for centuries. in the last of his special reports on "super—agers", our medical correspondent fergus walsh has been to california and arizona. i like to do things. i don't want to sit in the background. enthusiastic, engaged, optimistic. lester dray is 101, the oldest resident of this retirement village in sun city, arizona. you're going to miss something if you just moan and groan about how horrible life is. show me your teeth.
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do you hear a sound? say, "aah". aah. he gets regular medical checks as part of a study into longevity. it's an issue which is attracting interest from unusual quarters. in silicon valley, california, some of the biggest names from google to facebook are investing hundreds of millions of dollars into defeating the diseases of ageing. so, why are tech entrepreneurs suddenly interested in human health? i think silicon valley is driven by curiosity. i think that same curiosity that drives a 14—year—old to programme computers in his bedroom drives someone in their 20s or 30s to really apply their minds and their cash to this problem. the dna from this special part of the cell called the mitochondria... it's why this british scientist set up in silicon valley. aubrey de grey is probably the world's leading advocate of life extension. the idea that humans can and will live in good health
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for hundreds of years. there will certainly be no limit on how long people can live once we bring ageing under control. people will still die. there's still trucks to be hit by and so on. but the fact is people will on average live a lot longer and less of some bizarre things like we get hit by an asteroid, or whatever. that's beautiful... that's a minority view. although extending life is possible in the lab with fruit flies, used for worms, it gets more difficult higher up the evolutionary ladder. so in the lab in simple laboratory animals we can increase life span by 100%, 200, 500%, really extraordinary differences in life span. it turns out ageing is really plastic in these simple laboratory animals. it may be more complex as we go to mammals, for the mouse, for example, we've been able to increase the life span of 20 or 30%. and we really don't know what's possible in humans at this point. we do know exercise is a magic formula that can keep us healthy longer and there are no drugs yet to match it. there is probably an upper limit to life
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expectancy of around 115 years. so, the quest for immortality is still the stuff of science fiction. but increasing our health span, the number of years we spend free of chronic diseases, well, that really could be a reality. here we go! # jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rock #jingle bell, jingle belljive # finding something you enjoy and staying socially engaged are key elements of healthy ageing. like the sun city poms, many of whom are in their 70s and 80s. i'm 78, born on the 11th ofjuly, so i'm still a firecracker and still going and booming. it keeps me physically active, it keeps my brain working and helps my memory. we just get out there and do what we need to do and enjoy. we can't slow time but we can put more life in our years,
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and hopefully become super—agers. fergus walsh, bbc news, sun city, arizona. let's see if the weather is going to cheer us up. the picture has been so gloomy, we had to inject a bit of weather into the weather forecast, it's not from today, it is a summary picture. the picture for the festive period is the same as today, cloudy, some rain around, with a bit of brightness. we had some brightness today, not cloudy everywhere. tonight, most of the uk will be surrounded with cloud, certainly england and wales, quite a bit of cloud of northern ireland, in scotland clearer skies so ireland, in scotland clearer skies so hence a bit colder, maybe a touch of frost in the glens. this is the weather map for tomorrow, the yellow
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is the mild air pushing into parts of scandinavia, and that means it's going to be a very similar day tomorrow to what we've just had. a lot of cloud around, low grace —— grey skies. the north of scotland and the east of england a bit brighter, newcastle into hull with a bit of brightness and one or two glimmers of sunshine at some point in the day across the midlands and wales. here is a look at friday morning. extensive cloud and drizzle and maybe some coastal fog, and morning. extensive cloud and drizzle and maybe some coastalfog, and once again in the north—east a little bit of sunshine. look at those temperatures, 12 degrees across the south, above the average for this time of year, around about nine in the far north for our friends in shetland. this is saturday, the low pressure moving to the north of scotland, quite a few isobars serve a subtle change in weather, the winds will strengthen, gale force winds will strengthen, gale force winds in the north for a time, and the strong wind will help to bring
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milderair the strong wind will help to bring milder air further north, the strong wind will help to bring milder airfurther north, 12, 11 degrees across the country, sunday is looking milder. we are not getting snow but i thought i would finish with a festive picture anyway. a reminder of our main story. the metropolitan police is to review dozens metropolitan police is to review d oze ns of metropolitan police is to review dozens of sex offences cases after the trials of two men charged with rain were halted because police had failed to disclose key evidence. that's all from the news at six from the bbc so it's goodbye from me and on bbc one we canjoin the bbc so it's goodbye from me and on bbc one we can join the bbc news teams where you are. hello — i'm olly foster, these are our sportsday headlines tonight: different league, but bristol city
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are plotting a league cup upset against the holders manchester united. when man united come to town, it is a big feeling, and the town has not have that kind of tie. a man who racially abused and assaulted raheem sterling at the weekeknd has been sent to prison. birmingham win a one horse race to host the commonwealth games in 2022. i have been talking to the man who wa nts to ta ke i have been talking to the man who wants to take the world cup to united states in 2026. good evening, the league cup semifinal line up will be complete in the next few hours. manchester city and arsenal are already in the hat for the draw that follows tonights two ties.
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chelsea against bournemouth and championship side bristol city face the holders manchester united at ashton gate . alistair durden reports... the 1909 fa cup final, this much they cost 1p. city played in blue shirts that day. and what is described on the team sheet is white knickers. the game was played at crystal palace as wembley had not been built yet. bristol city lost 1-0. been built yet. bristol city lost 1—0. still city coming forward them. city have had their revenge then, several times. joejordan city have had their revenge then, several times. joe jordan played in this fixture for united. but
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finished his career with bristol city. the clamour of manchester united coming to
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