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tv   BBC News  BBC News  February 24, 2018 4:00pm-4:31pm GMT

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this is bbc news, the headlines at apm: more than 500 people have been killed in a week in the rebel—held enclave of eastern ghouta in syria. the un will vote on a ceasefire resolution this evening. the red cross becomes the latest aid charity to become embroiled in scandal after revealing that 21 staff paid for sexual services whilst working for them. a man and woman have appeared in court charged with causing the death of two young brothers by dangerous driving in coventry. dubbed the beast from the east, the cold snap will affect the whole of the uk with temperatures in some areas expected to drop to minus—eight. britain's women's curling team lose to japan in the bronze medal match at the winter olympics, but overall team gb record their best games ever. in halfan
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in half an hour, it dateline london looks at the continuing violence in syria, and the latest twists in the brexit debate. good afternoon and welcome to bbc news. the united nations security council is due to vote this evening on a resolution calling for a humanitarian ceasefire in syria. it was due to be held yesterday, but was delayed by disagreements over the wording. the syrian government is continuing its bombardment of the rebel—held area of eastern ghouta, near the capital, damascus. activists say about 500 civilians have been killed in the last week. richard galpin‘s report contains distressing images. the relentless bombing which began
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a week ago has shattered whole neighbourhoods in eastern ghouta. and shattered the lives of hundreds of people, many of them children. besides those who have been injured, at least 120 children have been killed since last sunday, according to human rights activists. the number of casualties are overwhelming hospitals, some of which themselves have been targeted in the air raids. and despite all this, the united nations security council in new york has still not been able to pass a resolution calling for a ceasefire because of objections from russia. i am extremely frustrated with the fact the security council, that we have not been able to adopt the resolution to alleviate the suffering of the syrian people. yes, i am very frustrated with that. the draft resolution calls for a 30—day ceasefire across the whole country,
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starting without delay. the extremist organisations al-qaeda and the islamic state group are excluded from this. the aim of the ceasefire is to get urgently needed aid into eastern ghouta, including medical supplies, and to evacuate the injured. whether this bombing campaign continues or can be temporarily halted depends on another attempt at the un security council to hold a vote later today, with russia agreeing not to use its veto. pressure is coming from many quarters. what russia and what iran, and what syria have done recently is a humanitarian disgrace. we are there to get rid of isis and go home. we are not there for any other reason. we have largely accomplished our goal. but what those three countries have done to people, over the last short period of time, is a disgrace.
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with every hour, yet more people are being killed in eastern ghouta. at least 29 reported dead so far today. the syrian regime and its ally, russia, say onlyjihadist militants and rebels are being targeted, but on the ground, there is evidence of many civilian casualties. our correspondentjoins us now. has a form of words now been found that is acceptable to everyone on the security council? not yet, and they have not been negotiating this morning. negotiations ended last night, early evening. they could not agree on the final wording. the sticking point was when the ceasefire should come into effect. originally, they said it should come
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into effect 72 hours after the resolution was passed in new york, but because the russians have been delaying so much, western diplomats insisted the ceasefire has to come into effect immediately. they don't wa nt into effect immediately. they don't want any more delaying tactics, they need to stop the bombing in eastern ghouta. they have been demanding an immediate ceasefire but the russians won't agree to that at the moment. i am told by western vic diplomats there will be a vote at 12. woodward told that yesterday, it was scheduled three times and it did not happen three times. they are saying it they will bring it to a vote because they fear the time for negotiation is over and russia has to make up its mind, will it veto the resolution or let it pass by ascertaining? if it happens, and if it is passed, what does history tell us it is passed, what does history tell us about the effectiveness of such resolutions? they are not particularly effective, to be honest. these ceasefire resolutions have been broken in the past, but
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the hope would be that there is a pause in the fighting that would allow humanitarian convoys to get in and allow evacuations to take place. 700 people are in urgent need of medical help. that was the figure yesterday, but it will have increased. while we are having these diplomatic wrangling in new york city, of course the bombing continues. it is into its seventh day now. people on the ground are saying it is even more intense. the history of ceasefires is not good, but at the moment there is no certainty that we will get a ceasefire because western diplomats are complaining, as they have done so are complaining, as they have done so may times over the years, the russians are being obstruction is. they are protecting the assad regime. he is their key ally in syria, and they are not letting aid workers do theirjob. we have heard frustration from many diplomats, and every time there is an effort and a delayed effort to pass a resolution such as this am a particular when you are talking about something such
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asa you are talking about something such as a humanitarian ceasefire, it does bring questions about the effectiveness of diplomacy at the united nations. it does, this is a moment of truth for the international system. the united nations security council. people are saying, if we cannot get a ceasefire in eastern ghouta to stop the blood shed there, just to deliver humanitarian aid and medical convoys , we humanitarian aid and medical convoys, we may as well give up and go home. it is so frustrating. this is not only a place where diplomats come to negotiate, it is a place where un aid staff work. at the moment, they are planning humanitarian convoys, medical evacuations, but what they are waiting for is the green light from the united nations, which in this instance, means the russians clamouring that resolution through, and they are just not getting it. you can imagine the frustration. i saw the swedish ambassador last night at the one end of what has been a two—week negotiation progress
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to the macro process and he looked like a broken man. he had been dealing with the russians, try to get them to agree, and a lot of the things were very semantic. it was just granular details, it was not the substance of the resolution, so there is an enormous amount of frustration and finger at the russians. i did speak to a senior western diplomat, who will speak in the security council today, and he said he was writing a speech which was basically anticipating a russian veto. there will be a hope that that will not happen, but there does seem to bea will not happen, but there does seem to be a dismal mood going into this meeting. for the moment, thank you. breaking news coming into us that the actress emma chambers has died aged 53. she was perhaps best known for playing alice in the thick of deadly. —— vicar of dibley. the
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statement says "over the years, she created a wealth of characters and an immense body of work. she brought laughter and joy to many and will be greatly missed. " her agency asks for privacy for her family and loved ones at this time. she found fame playing honey in the 1999 film notting hill, but was perhaps best known for her role as alice alongside dawn french in the vicar of dibley. emma chambers, who has died at the age of 53. the international committee of the red cross says more than 20 of its staff have been dismissed in the last three years for sexual misconduct. the disclosure is the result
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of an internal review of the swiss—based organisation which has more than 17,000 staff worldwide. our diplomatic correspondent caroline hawley is following developments. it says that since 20001521 it says that since 2000 1521 staff members were either dismissed or resign for painful sexual services. this is banned, even in countries where prostitution is legal. two more members of staff did not have their contracts removed, and the head of the icrc was saddened to report these incidents. he said he was concerned that case it should have been reported before that were not, or that cases were not properly handled. of course, the icrc is the latest humanitarian organisation to reveal cases of misconduct in the wa ke reveal cases of misconduct in the wake of the oxfam scandal. the international development secretary has given aid agencies 192 eight agency who receive uk aid, she has given them until monday to spell out exactly what steps they have taken to safeguard people they work with
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around the world, and to report individual cases to the right authorities. the admission from the icrc comes as another aid charity, plan international, revealed six recent cases of sexual abuse and exploitation of children involving its staff, volunteers or partner organisations. it says five of the cases were reported to the authorities in the countries involved. plan international said it's tightened its procedures to prevent abuse, as adina campbell reports. another charity mired in sexual misconduct making the front pages. this time, plan international uk, which works in more than 50 countries to improve children's rights and promote equality for girls. in its latest online blog it has confirmed six cases of sexual abuse and exploitation of children between july 2016 and june last year. one involved a member of staff. the others were by volunteers or associates. plan international says
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the staff member was not from the uk and was dismissed without a reference. and it ended the contracts with the other volunteers and organisations involved. the charity also says there were nine cases of sexual misconduct and harassment by staff against other adults which led to seven dismissals. in the past, plan international uk has received millions of pounds of funding from the government. it is the latest major charity to admit cases of sexual misconduct and follows investigations into aid organisations including oxfam and save the children. in an open letter, the three charities and many others have now promised a series of urgent and immediate measures to protect the vulnerable. two people have appeared in court charged with causing the deaths of two brothers in coventry by dangerous driving. corey and casper platt—may,
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who were six and two, were on a family trip to a park when they were hit by a car on thursday. robert brown, who's 53 years old, and gwendoline harrison, who's a1, were remanded in custody. the us government is considering appointing a special envoy to northern ireland in a bid to break the political impasse, and restore the power sharing government. during a meeting with the irish deputy prime minister in washington, the us secretary of state, rex tillerson, said they were considering a list of people for the role. northern ireland has been without devolved government for 13 months after a coalition led by the democratic unionist party and sinn fein collapsed. the european council president, donald tusk says he'll be presenting draft guidelines on the future eu relationship with the uk next month, whether britain is ready or not. speaking at a meeting of the other 27 eu leaders, mr tusk, who is meeting theresa may on thursday in london, said the uk is still trying to "cherry pick" its future
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relationship with the eu. if the media reports are correct, i am afraid that the uk position today is based on pure illusion. it looks like the cake theory is still alive. from the very start it has been a key principle of the eu 27 that there can be no cherry picking and no single market a la carte. a number of us companies have cut ties with the national rifle association, as consumers call for a boycott of firms linked to the powerful gun lobby. they include the car rental companies hertz and enterprise holdings, both of which have stopped offering discounts for members of the association, in the wake of the florida school shooting. our north america correspondent peter bowes reports. the aftermath to a school shooting that could prompt change in america.
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amidst the grieving, the mood has been different this time. within hours of a gunman killing 17 people, anger overflowed onto the streets. now it is social media where pressure is being exerted on the hugely powerful gun lobby. under the hashtag boycott nra, activists are targeting firms that offer special benefits to members of the national rifle association. and they include some of the most familiar corporate names. the car rental companies hertz and enterprise, which also owns alamo international. they're ending discounts offered to members of the gun lobby group from next month. met life insurance and the software company symantec are taking similar action. there has been no word in response from the nra. it is unclear whether these actions will hurt an organisation that boasts 5 million members. during the week, its chief executive hit out at the protesters.
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their goal is to eliminate the second amendment and our firearms freedoms. so they can eradicate all individual freedoms. donald trump says he is open to new ideas, but the one he seems to like best is giving guns to teachers. it's concealed. so this crazy man who walked in wouldn't even know who it is that has it. that's good. that's not bad, that's good. and a teacher would have shot the hell out of him before he knew what happened. the debate over what to do next will be highly charged and intensely political. the headlines on bbc news: fearing attacks in eastern ghouta are said to have killed 500 people this week. the international committee of the red cross becomes the latest aid charity to admit staff have been let go due to sexual misconduct.
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a man and a woman have been charged with causing death by dangerous driving following the death of two brothers in coventry. great britain have made history at the winter olympics, thanks to billy morgan taking the bronze in the snowboard big air. that takes team gb to the highest ever tally of medals. but disappointment for great britain's women's curlers, losing 5-3 to britain's women's curlers, losing 5—3 to japan. that was japan's first medal in the sport. ireland have beaten wales 37—27 to remain unbeaten after three matches. scotla nd remain unbeaten after three matches. scotland host england at 4:45pm. all the latest football results are on the bbc sport website. i will have a full sports desk for you at around 5:30pm. campaigners in london are urging authorities to improve knife crime
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prevention measures, after two more men were stabbed to death in the capital this week. it takes the number of people fatally wounded by knives so far this year to 16. caroline davies reports. four knife attacks, two deaths in seven hours in one area of london. knife crime is nothing new, but after years of dropping, it is going up across the uk. the highest rise was here in london, recorded by the met police. in the run—up to january for the last 12 months, they recorded 14,521 knife crime offences, nearly a0 every single day. so far in 2018, 16 people have been stabbed to death in the capital. on tuesday, it was 17—year—old abdikarim hassan and 20—year—old sadiq adan mohamed. london needs me alive. the mayor of london launched a campaign last year to stop young londoners carrying knives. he has promised £15 million for the police to tackle knife crime. my thoughts and prayers are with their families.
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i'm afraid it's not the first time where i have sent condolences to the victims of knife crime. my worry is that it won't be the last time either. i have asked the prime minister and the home secretary to meet with the commissioner and myself to discuss a way forward, not to name blame, but to see if we can work together to grapple with this issue that is causing huge misery to londoners. yesterday, the head of the met cressida dick was in glasgow speaking to police there. scotland's murder rate has nearly halved in the last 13 years. could their model work in london? some are sceptical. meanwhile, campaigners in london say action needs to be taken now. violence isn't inevitable. we've had knife crime falling before and we need to start taking action quickly to have that happen again. this isn't a quick fix. nobody can flick a switch and knife crime falls straightaway. it will take a little bit of time, but at the moment, we seem to be in an impasse and that is most
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frustrating, particularly when we see so many young people being stabbed and murdered. the race is now on to find some way to stop knife crime before even more young lives are lost. caroline davies, bbc news. britain is set for its coldest debris week in five years as freezing air arrives from russia. the cold snap will affect the whole of the uk from sunday night, with damages expected to drop down to —8 in some areas. the gritters are gearing up as britain braces itself for a big freeze. the so—called beast from the east is sweeping in from siberia. the met office, in conjunction with nhs england, has issued a level three cold weather alert for the whole of the country, the second most serious level. that means there is a 99% chance of severe weather, icy conditions or heavy snow, between now and thursday. there are additional yellow severe warnings for snow early next week
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covering most of eastern britain. that could cause travel problems and power cuts. it is certainly not the first snow we will have this winter. but what makes this cold snap different is it is expected to affect the whole of the uk. temperatures could fall as low as minus 8, but it will feel much chillier because of the wind. there could be increased pressure on already stretched nhs services and councils are providing extra emergency beds for rough sleepers. in ipswich it is being done in partnership with the local housing association. the main aim is always to get people off the street and to stop people from dying in the cold weather. and to date we have been pretty successful. next thursday is the meteorological start of spring. but that appears to be on hold as winter continues to bite. earlier, councillor martin tett from the local government association said councils would work to ensure
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homeless people have somewhere to sleep during the cold snap. councils have been monitoring the weather forecasts and we have already had a pretty wet winter so far which is doing terrible damage to the roads but seeing the cold coming back is significant. we will be gearing up to make sure we will be getting out, salting the roads, gritting them, so we will be doing the main trunk roads, working our way through the smaller residential roads, and we're making sure that social services teams are on stand—by. lots of people focus on the roads, but one of the most difficult and dangerous things is when you have vulnerable, isolated people who rely on social care, and we need to make sure the teams are ready to look after them. many councils have a severe weather emergency protocol. they will be working closely with charities and voluntary organisations to try and match people with available accommodation. one of the things we do not want is a potential threat of someone sleeping out in bad conditions. it's the time of year when snowdrops
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are appearing in our gardens, a welcome sign that, believe it or not, spring is on its way. but did you know that the current world record for the sale of a snowdrop bulb is £1,400? graham satchell has been to meet a couple of experts to find out if you could have a goldmine in your garden. they are a cheery little flower, something which sort of helps remind you that spring is just round the corner. michael myers suffers from a little—known condition. gala nthamania. it has quite particular symptoms. i often refer to a thing called dirty knees syndrome. and that involves people getting down on their knees and looking at the minute details of snowdrops. galanthamania derives from tulip mania, which took place in holland in the 1630s.
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where tulips would exchange prices for the equivalent of the price of a house, maybe even more. and thankfully at the moment gala nthamania has not quite got that silly. franklin gardens, a national trust property in perth. head gardenerjimjermyn is a fellow sufferer. a true galanthaphile. once you have started down the road of collecting snowdrops, it becomes totally infectious. it becomes must have. you just desire to have something better and better each time. what am i looking out for? something that stands out in the crowd. so you have hundreds of snowdrops that look very similar and then suddenly your eye can pick out one with a broadleaf or larger flower. good markings. it is all about the markings. if you find something more different, and you are excited about it, you need to seek out the owner of the land and ask if you might be able to collect a small part of the bulb from a clump.
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snowdrops are a magical burst of life in the depths of winter. and very common. surprising then that there might be a gold mine on your doorstep. you may be lucky enough to find a new variety in your own garden. the current world record for a single snowdrop isjust under £1400. and i would not be surprised to see a new snowdrop go for £2000 in the nearfuture. so, get your knees muddy, look out for unusual green and yellow markings. there will definitely be a galanthaphile or two who will want to know. hopefully they will be able to keep their heads above the snow that is
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heading our way this week. a uk ticket holder has won nearly 78—million in the euromillions draw after sharing the jackpot with a winner from spain. the jackpot has been growing since the turn of the year and was the third biggest in the draw‘s history. it is time now to take a more detailed look at the weather forecast. it feels cold and crisp and quite wintry out there right now, but it is nowhere near as cold at the moment, compared to what we are in forfor the moment, compared to what we are in for for the next few days. a lot of sunshine around today. this is where the cold air has reached central and western parts, just around germany tem pters western parts, just around germany tempters are below freezing by day. it is creeping into holland, but it is not reached us yet. this is the leading edge of the cold air mass, which won't arrive until monday night and into tuesday, probably not until wednesday. the winds are easterly, so we are feeling those
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cold winds blowing out of the co nsta nt cold winds blowing out of the constant right now. by any on sunday in the middle of big towns and cities tempters will be below freezing. around —5 in rural areas. a lot of crisp sunshine around on friday, some areas a bit of cloud creeping in from hull to newcastle, probably edinburgh and aberdeen. these are the temperatures, around 12 and three. because of the wind it will feel quite a bit colder than that. these are the maximum temperatures, says the most of the time it will be lower than that. the first snow showers will reach eastern counties of the uk on monday morning, so anywhere from east anglia to lincolnshire, the north east, possibly eastern scotland as well. initially they will be light, then through the course of the afternoon a trail of snow showers and the wind will be pushing them further inland. look at these daytime temperatures. barely above freezing across most of the uk, even
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in the tip of cornwall it will feel like it is below freezing. a wintry start to the day for some of us, but not for everybody. progressively later on tuesday and into wednesday, those snow showers across the uk will become more widespread, the temperatures will keep dropping and the wind will strengthen. that's when it will feel bitterly cold. middle of next week, that cold air all the way from russia has actually swept all the way out into the atlantic. we are well and truly in that cold air mass, and the snow showers will come. for some of us, the snow could be disruptive and by the snow could be disruptive and by the end of next week, some areas could have quite a lot of snow. good afternoon. this is bbc news — our latest headlines. activists say 500 people have been killed by syrian government forces bombarding eastern ghouta — nearly a quarter of them children. the un is due to vote on a
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resolution but it is not known if this will go ahead. the red cross becomes the latest aid charity to become embroiled in scandal after revealing that 21 staff paid for sexual services whilst working for them a man and a woman have been charged with causing death by dangerous driving following a crash which killed two young brothers in coventry. the actress emma chambers has died aged 53. she was perhaps best known for playing alice tinker in the vicar of dibley, alongside dawn french — as well as her role as honey thacker in the film notting hill.
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