this is bbc news. i'm ben brown. the headlines at 11am. afghan security forces regain control of a hotel in kabul after it was seized by gunmen. six civilians died and 160 others were rescued. the ukip leader henry bolton tells the bbc it's not right for the party's ruling committee tojudge him on his personal life. an emergency meeting on his future is being held this afternoon. an eight—year—old girl has been stabbed to death in the west midlands, in what police are calling a "domestic incident". i live in london where hundreds of women have gathered as part of a time's up campaign, saying they've had enough of harassment and abuse. in the british tennis number two is through to the quarter finals of the australian open. kyle edmund beat italian andreas seppi to reach his first grand slam quarterfinal.
and in a bbc news special, the french president emmanuel macron talks to andrew marr about brexit and france's relationship with the uk. %hat‘s at 11.30. good morning and welcome to bbc news. afghan security forces have seized control of a luxury hotel in kabul, 12 hours after it was stormed by militants. fierce battles raged through the night as special forces fought the gunmen as they moved around the six—storey intercontinental hotel. six civilians were killed, as were all the militants. 160 guests and staff were rescued, including 41 foreigners. the taliban has now claimed responsibility for the attack. andrew plant reports. the intercontinental hotel in kabul
at dawn on sunday morning, blackened and smoking after an 11 hour siege that has seen at least five people killed and several more wounded. the shooting started after nightfall on saturday, several gunmen armed with grenades and automatic weapons. translation: at first, i heard some gunfire and then, after 15 minutes, a worker from the hotel approached and said that suicide attackers entered the hotel. security forces were fighting the gunmen floor by floor, with reports of hostages being taken. it's thought the security guards at the entrance to the five—storey building are among those who came under fire. the intercontinental hotel in kabul is popular with foreign guests. situated on a hilltop a few miles outside the city, it has been the target of an attack before, in 2011, when 21 people died, including nine attackers. initial reports said two gunmen had been shot dead, with more hiding on the upper floors.
now officials say there were three attackers. all were killed when security forces stormed the hotel. the attack comes days after the us embassy in kabul issued a warning about hotels in the city, saying extremist groups could be planning an attack, saying hotels, as well as public gatherings, could be potential targets. andrew plant, bbc news. let's take you live to kabul and speak to the bbc‘s auliya atrafi. it's all over and the security forces have regained control, is that right? that's right but after 12 hours of clashes, six people have been killed, one of them is a foreign national, the identity of that foreign national is not confirmed yet and the taliban have claimed responsibility. yes, one of
the biggest achievements here, it is claimed by the government, is that 160 people have been rescued but there is a lot of criticism on social media about the fact that although the security forces new that an attack was imminent, that it was to be a hotel or a place of gathering, that is how the insurgents still managed to penetrate into commie you know, the most popular landmark, that should have been the most secure place in the capital of kabul. it is a very prestigious hotel. i stayed there myself, actually. is the fact it was attacked just a sign of the continuing instability, the danger and the violence in kabul and afghanistan in general. that is right. it is also the taliban changing tactics. it is a time when
the pressure of the taliban is increasing, and the afghan government and security forces are receiving more assistance during this us presidency in terms of aerial support. so it is understood that the taliban are now switching back to these high—profile targets, that create more headlines. it is a show of force to say that they can still cause harm and damage. thank you forjoining us. an eight—year—old girl has been stabbed to death in the west midlands, in what police are calling a "domestic incident". one man has been arrested. 0ur correspondent ben james joins me now. whatmore are west midlands police saying? we don't know many details yet about what has happened, this is in the town of always, a small town between walsall, lichfield and
cannock in the west midlands, officers said they were called at 9:15pm last night to a property in valley view, a residential street with houses and bungalows, presumably one of which was the address to which officers were called and they found a seriously injured little girl who was taken to hospital. sadly, she died later of her injuries. they also have arrested a 54—year—old man, who himself is being treated for a stab wound to the stomach. 0fficers himself is being treated for a stab wound to the stomach. officers say he will be questioned in due course, perhaps he is not well enough yet to a nswer perhaps he is not well enough yet to answer their questions. we have heard from detective inspectorjim colclough of the force's, side unit and he says they are treating what happened as a domestic incident, not looking for anyone else in connection with the girl's death and they said the family liaison team is supporting the family of the little girl who are naturally devastated by her death. we don't have any further details on whether or not the man and the girlare details on whether or not the man and the girl are related to each other. the west midlands police facebook page has got lots of people
in the area expressing their shock and condolences. thank you for joining us. ukip‘s ruling national executive committee will meet today for a specially—convened meeting to discuss the controversy surrounding the pa rty‘s leader, henry bolton. mr bolton has faced calls to step down after it was reported his girlfriend sent a series of offensive texts, including racist comments about prince harry's fiancee, meghan markle. 0ne ukip member of the european parliament, patrick 0'flynn, has been speaking to the bbc's sunday politics. he explained the party's days might be numbered if it does badly in the local elections in may. let me put it this way, to use an old phrase of david mellor, there is no doubt the party is drinking in the last chance saloon and that is the local government elections in may, for which we have good candidates who want to stand and i will not undercut them, they deserve support. if we have a situation when we were wiped out in the county council elections and the general
election and now the district elections, too, maybe people will have to get round the table and say is the electorate are trying to tell us something, and is that thank you very much, good night? it needed to be, it is up to the people. but if people in the eastern counties want ukip to flourish and continue, they really need to vote ukip candidates in may. but lots of people think you were a one—subject party and that is now gone, many would say. the party was set up with the central aim of getting the uk out of the european union but my retort is that has not happened yet and we do not know on what terms that will happen. there is a huge effort among the establishment to stop it happening. we do not know when the sunset clause date is on the transition deal. i leftjournalism and went into politics with ukip to achieve this central aim and i will
certainly not be quitting until that central aim is achieved. you have had a succession of leaders since nigel farage left. do you think you need another one now? i don't think it's an issue of an individual leader. somebody in that film said it is. but i'm saying there is a fundamental change in the terms of trade of british politics that occurred injune 2016 and now we have allegedly a government committed to brexit and you could even argue it has a better brexit offer than ukip has, due to being in government. but we have to be there as the guard dogs of brexit and be the option if there is too much backsliding. do you think henry bolton should stand down? i don't see it would achieve anything to go into yet another leadership contest. 0ur political correspondent emma
vardy is here.
the ukip leader has been talking today. is he going to go or stay? he's very much fighting to try to keep hisjob. he says he's very much fighting to try to keep his job. he says all the fallout from the relationship with jo marney is over, the relationship is over, he is distancing himself from that and says it does not affect his ability to get on and do the job of leading ukip. affect his ability to get on and do thejob of leading ukip. the big question will be, can he convince the national executive committee of the national executive committee of the party, who he will have to meet with this afternoon? he's been out doing media interviews this morning, appearing on as many programmes as he could fit into a sunday morning, arguing he is the man for thejob and he wants to stay. he said the national executive committee should not be a court of moraljudgment and he believes the party needs to move forward. i want to put all this behind
us. the personal issues
relating to my marriage are for me to deal with. the issues overjo marney are dealt with. she is now out of the party. she has apologised and there is nothing more that she, ior and there is nothing more that she, i or anyone else can do about that. it is time the party moves on and the national executive needs to recognise that by pursuing action against me, they are actually undermining the party further. he is saying it is time the party moves on and his supporters will say it was not him that made these racist texts, he has ended the relationship with the woman who did, therefore he should be able to stay as leader.m comes back to the question, what happens in a politician's private life, how much or little should it affect the way we see them in the public and the way they do their job? i expect this won't be the last scandal in which we argue over that moral and ethical point, if you like. as to whether his resignation 01’ like. as to whether his resignation or not will affect the future of the party, he believes that if the nec committee and the wider party force him to go, that could be the end of
the party in its entirety. it has already been growing evidence the party might be facing extinction and as we saw on that sunday politics clip, in some people's eyes, it has ceased to have a reason for being after britain voted for brexit in the eu referendum so what is the pa rty‘s the eu referendum so what is the party's purpose any more? supporters say no, the party should broaden its appeal and it has a place and role in british politics. 0thers appeal and it has a place and role in british politics. others say it is dying a death and has been haemorrhaging support and this latest scandal might just finish it off. thank you forjoining us. people with hidden disabilities in england could soon be entitled to blue badge permits for free parking. the department for transport said the change would make it easier for those with conditions such as autism and dementia to access services they needed. helena lee has this report. the blue badge scheme was first introduced in england in the 1970s. today, around 2.4 million people with disabilities have one. it allows them to park free of charge on roads,
and normally without a time limit. the government is now proposing to extend the scheme. it wants people with hidden disabilities and conditions like autism and dementia to be able to qualify for a blue badge, so they too can enjoy the freedom to get out where and when they want. it's just being able to be a more active member of society. public transport can be really difficult for disabled people, whether that is lack of accessibility or the cost. so driving is often only way people can get around and so being able to park close to whereever they need to go is very important. scope have said it's a real victory for common sense and i really do believe that. the department for transport says only some councils recognise hidden disabilities under the current scheme, because they interpret the existing rules differently. the proposals would be the biggest change to the scheme
since it was first introduced. the plans will now go through an eight—week public consultation. helena lee, bbc news. earlier i spoke with sarah lambert, head of policy and public affairs at the national autism society. she said her organisation had been campaigning for this decision for years. we know that for those people that can we know that for those people that ca n a ccess we know that for those people that can access them currently, it can be a real lifeline, the difference between being able to go out and go to the shops, to see friends and do the same things as everyone else or staying at home. how exactly under these proposals will the rules change? what the government is doing todayis change? what the government is doing today is launching a consultation which sets out some proposals for how come across england, the eligibility for the blue badge can change so it will take into account much more people's needs in terms of whether they have awareness of safety, whether they have perhaps
anxiety when travelling. it is a consultation so everyone should get involved and respond to it and let the government know how important it is that these changes happen. how specifically then would this help people who have autism? just talk us through the problem is those people have in terms of parking. sure, for lots of autistic people when they go out and about and are in public, they can get very overwhelmed by crowds all light and sound and they can become so overwhelmed they might have a meltdown. that anxiety can also be around, you know, having the knowledge of where you might park and what might happen. parents often tell us that if they know they can quickly take their child's weight if there is a problem and take them home, that gives them the confidence to ta ke home, that gives them the confidence to take the child out. —— take their child away. and for some adults, they might have two to one support to make sure they are safe when they are out and about in the community and to be able to park more closely will give them reassurance about
knowing where they can go, and if there is a problem, they know they can easily escape the issue. will this be everybody with autism or would it be severe cases? who will decide who gets a blue badge? how does it work? as i said, it's a government consultation at the moment to look at the rules. the mechanisms. yes, and how exactly you might describe that because not all people on the autism spectrum will need a blue badge, it willjust be for some of those who can really benefit and for that group of people, it's really important. benefit and for that group of people, it's really importantlj suppose people, it's really important.” suppose you can imagine a situation where there might be people who see someone parking with a blue badge, and say, "hang on, you are not obviously physically disabled, why on earth are you parking there?" sort of challenging someone who has autism or a member of theirfamily who has autism, challenging them unfairly. it could lead to some potentially difficult situations. and we do hear of that situation at the moment for those families that do have a blue badge where their
child or adult son or daughter is getting out of the car and they don't have any obvious physical disabilities. at that point, they are not having a meltdown or problem because they have been able to park close to their destination. alongside the roll—out of the changes, it is really important the government looks at how they raise awareness of autism and other invisible disabilities so the public to understand how important this can be. but on the whole, it isjust a move towards a more enlightened policy on parking, i suppose, that is the idea was to mark absolutely, the original blue badge policy was set up over 30 years ago when our understanding of disability and difference was very different. this is very much about modernising and updating what we know about disability and making sure that there's much more parity for those with different types of disability. sarah lambert from the national autism society talking to me earlier. the headlines on bbc news: afg ha n
afghan security forces regained control of a hotel in kabul after it was seized by gunmen. six civilians have died and 160 others were rescued. an eight—year—old girl has been stabbed to death in the west midlands in what police are calling a domestic incident. ukip leader henry bolton tells the bbc it is not right for the party's ruling committee tojudge right for the party's ruling committee to judge him right for the party's ruling committee tojudge him on his personal life. an emergency meeting of his future is being held this afternoon. —— on his future. time to get a sport round—up now with jj chalmers. we'll have news of england's one day international win and kyle edmund;s progress to the last eight of the australian open in a moment, but we'll start with football. watford have sacked manager marco silva after just eight months in thejob. the club are blaming everton‘s approach for the portuguese in november as the "catalyst for this decision". watford's statement said that without "the unwarranted approach" they would have "continued to prosper under his leadership".
the hornets have won just one of their last 11 premier league games and are 10th in the table. england have won the one—day series against australia 3—0 with two matches to play after a 16 run win in sydney. england got off to a slow start butjos in sydney. england got off to a slow start but jos buttler in sydney. england got off to a slow start butjos buttler and chris woa kes gave start butjos buttler and chris woakes gave the innings impetus. jos buttler made an unbeaten century and chris woakes finished on 53 as england made 302 — six. australia seemed to be on track with captain steve smith at the crease but he was out in controversial fashion, given caught by the on field umpire, when replays seemed inconclusive but the decision stood. australia were behind the required run rate and despite having wickets in hand, they
fell short of their target. kyle edmond has powered into his first grand slam quarterfinal, beating andreas seppi of italy in the australian open. the british number two recovered from a slow start to win in four sets in melbourne. edmond trailed by one set and a break at one stage but cut down his errors to secure his place in the last eight. he will face australia's nick kyrgios or grigor dimitrov of bulgaria on tuesday. their match is ongoing. number one seed rafael nadal is also through to the quarterfinals after beating argentina's diego schwartzman in four sets. the 24th seed proved nadal‘s trickiest opponent so far, taking a first set of the tournament off the 16—time grand slam champion. nadal will play croatia's marin cilic in the last eight. world number two caroline wozniacki is through to the last eight of the women's draw after a comfortable straight sets win. alexis sanchez is on the verge
of joining manchester united from arsenal, after united midfielder henrikh mkhitaryan agreed to be part of a direct swap. the players will both have their medicals today. mkhitaryan‘s paperwork for his transfer was completed yesterday. the length of the armenian‘s contract at arsenal and his salary is undisclosed. sanchez missed arsenal's 4—1win over crystal palace because he was travelling to manchester. there's one premier league match today. spurs could go fourth with a win at southampton in the 4pm kick—off. spurs beat the saints 5—2 on boxing day but mauricio pochettino is bracing himself for a tough match. i don't have doubt that they are going to success because the club is so strong, great manager, great coaching staff and great players. i have no doubt that they are going to
win, success, buti have no doubt that they are going to win, success, but i hope after sunday because for us it is so imported from the three points, but i know it will be very tough because they need three points, too. there will be a new name on the masters trophy this evening with mark allen taking on kyren wilson. neither player has reached this stage before. allen knocked out two—time winner john higgins in his semifinal, having already beaten ronnie 0'sullivan. wilson defeated world no 3 judd trump to make his first masters final. that's all the sport for now. i'll have more in the next hour. theresa may has said she's to set out plans in coming weeks to crack down on company executives who enrich themselves while jeopardising their workers' pensions. writing in the observer newspaper, she describes the practice as an unacceptable abuse that will be ended. our business correspondent joe lynam is here. all this comes off the back of the
controversy all this comes off the back of the co ntrove rsy over all this comes off the back of the controversy over the failed carillion company and the danger to the pension scheme there. absolutely, at the end of 2016, the pensions deficit at carillion stood at £600 million. the company continued to pay dividends to their shareholders, in other words, continued to pay dividends to their shareholders, in otherwords, give money back to the people that own the company, while the pensions hole grew and some estimates are putting the hole now at close to £900 million. that looks awful for those people who support free enterprise and the prime minister stresses that she continues to support capitalism and free enterprise and those that ta ke and free enterprise and those that take risks need to be rewarded but if they continue to line their pockets and filch from pension schemes and suchlike, then they face massive fines and retribution. what she is hoping to do is introduce new measures in the forthcoming white paper to deal with the issue which will be introduced in march at which will be introduced in march at which will take on the role that directors must have and their responsibilities
but also, you know, what they owe to the pension shareholders. off the back of carillion and the bhs scandal, philip green and so on, that controversy, some people say, we have a pensions regulator, haven't we? why do we need further safeguards? this is a good point and some business lobby groups have said the plans to give even more power to the plans to give even more power to the pensions regulator would make —— give the make was i executive role which was not the original intention of the pensions regulator. we don't know what the regulator feels about taking on extra powers of policing directors and their responsibility towards people saving for their pensions. the concern is that they won't be able to handle it because they will be tied up in lawsuits because the pensions regulator would have the power to say," we won't get money back from you from abusing the pension scheme", —— we want to get. it gets dragged out and the lawyers are the only one who win. in the
meantime, thousands of people at carillion are being dumped into the pensions lifeboat, the pension protection scheme, and they will lose pa rt of protection scheme, and they will lose part of their savings, up to 1596, lose part of their savings, up to 15%, as a direct result of this. anchor—macro hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets in cities across the us for the second women's march, protesting against president trump on the anniversary of his inauguration. the largest demonstrations were in new york and chicago and protests have been held also in london, outside downing street. 0ur correspondent simonjones is there for us now. hundreds of women have gathered here and the message of this rally is time's up, time's up for the sexual harassment of women, time's up for treating women as second—class citizens, time's up for abusing women on social media. it is very noisy here. there's been a lot of
charting of "time's up". you can hear the crowd cheering, lots of speakers and people wanting to make their voice heard. let's talk to one of the organisers. what is this all about? we are here basically to say time's up on all systematic oppression of women including sexual harassment and abuse as well as economic oppression. we currently have a government imposing an economic policy that disproportionately impact swimming. 85% of tax and welfare changes under austerity have been absorbed by women. time's up on the policing of trans—women's bodies, on the misogynistic culture which disproportionately affects black women, muslim women and women of colour. time is up on any form of bigotry and oppression. this is taking place a year after women in london to the streets and marched through london, which coincided with president trump's first full day in office. looking back at the past year, have things changed? we have
had the hollywood sex scandal and things like that. over the last year, the women's movement has had a lot more energy from this. a lot of people have become active who were not before. as someone who has been around for a lot longer, this is really exciting. we've had an enormous amount of attention to issues which disproportionately affect those who were assigned fema at birdlike menstrual poverty and to boot has received an enormous amount of attention in the last few months. reproductive rights are disproportionate, we have women who are british citizens who cannot access legal abortion in northern ireland. that is starting to get attention which is really exciting. predominately women here although men are invited today but is there a danger that you send out a message that all men are misogynist or abusers? no, nobody is saying all men. what we are things that all women have experienced abuse. if your priority when hear women turning around and the scale of women saying, "yes, i've been assaulted, too", and your response
is to say, "what about the men who are not abusers? " is to say, "what about the men who are not abusers?" you are missing the point. it's not about all men. it's about women. thank you for joining us. a very noisy atmosphere but people are determined, as i said, to have their voices heard. simon, thank you very much. simon jones in central london. time for a look at the weather with snow in part. thomas jackson acca will bring us up to date. it is all happening but it is not armageddon, it is normal wintry weather for the time of year. yes, there is some snow around but as is quite often the case in the climate, this is a short lived period of snow, so the rain has turned to snow and eventually this evening and overnight, it will turn back to rain and then melt away so there will be some slush. this is what it looks like at lunchtime, snow across the highlands of scotland but we are used to that. in some areas, about 30 centimetres lying around. some snow mixing with rain across areas
further south. the hills could get five centimetres, two inches but towns and cities have already had a covering some so you know where you are where you have had snow but it will not last for very long. the most of the afternoon, before it clears away. through the course after night, temperatures will start climbing. —— of tonight. snow will turn slushy and heavier and tomorrow morning it will be a really messy picture across northern areas, with a rapid thaw across the north. 8 degrees and the snow will not hang around for very long but a much better day on the way on the weather front overall for many of us tomorrow.