this is bbc news. i'm carrie gracie. the headlines at eight. the deadline approaches for russia to explain its role in the salisbury attack, but moscow says it wants to see the evidence first. detectives appeal for anyone who saw sergei and yulia skripal in this red bmw to come forward — as they warn the investigation could take weeks. the public are going to continue to see a great deal of police activity in and around the city, including potentially more cordons being erected. but please do not be alarmed. it is necessary as part of this major investigation by the counter terrorism policing network. just over a year after his appointment, president trump sacks his secretary of state, rex tillerson. what is most important is to ensure an orderly and smooth transition at an orderly and smooth transition at a time when the country continues to face significant national policy and security challenges. it's an upbeat assessment of the uk economy from the chancellor
in his spring statement. labour claim he's ignoring a crisis in public services — philip hammond forecasts higher growth, lower inflation and lower debt. i. i, meanwhile, am at my most positively tigger—like today! as i contemplate a country which faces the future with unique strengths. survivors of the dunblane school shooting — exactly 22 years ago — send a letter of solidarity and support to stoneman douglas high school in florida. what can i do for you mrs whatsit? and... a look at why disney's new film — a wrinkle in time — is a bittersweet moment for the woman who directed it. good evening.
welcome to bbc news. the prime minister, theresa may, has spoken with donald trump about the poisoning of a former russian spy and his daughter with president trump saying "the us is with the uk all the way". tonight the foreign office has also been giving more detail about the high—level diplomacy going on as the deadline approaches for a russian explanation as to how a nerve agent came to be used in salisbury. the foreign secretary, borisjohnson, has spoken with the french and german governments as well as nato secretary general. meanwhile, police have been giving more details about the last known movements of sergei skripal and his daughter before they collapsed in salisbury 9 days ago. let's get the latest from daniel sandford who's in salisbury. this evening, there was intense police activity at the pound where sergei skripal‘s car was found after being towed away from salisbury town centre.
every day, the work has thrown up a different location. counter terrorism detectives warning today that the operation in the city will last many weeks. we're sifting and assessing all evidence available and we are exploring all investigative avenues. this includes extensive cctv footage from across the city and over 380 exhibits so far. it's vital that we gather all the evidence available to us and we leave no stone unturned in establishing the full circumstances. detectives now believe yulia skripal arrived at heathrow airport from russia at 2.40 in the afternoon of saturday, 3rd march. the next day, the day of the attack, she and her father parked at 1.40pm on the upper deck of the sainsbury‘s car park in salisbury and then went to the mill pub. they took a short walk to zizzi restaurant, where they were between 2.20 and 3.35.
at 4.15, they were found seriously ill on a park bench. police are asking anyone who saw their car, this red bmw, between 1pm and 1.45pm that day to come forward. they said detective sergeant nick bailey, who became seriously ill after becoming contaminated, was making good progress. the two people targeted in the attack, yulia and sergei skripal, are still in intensive care here in salisbury hospital, where staff are having to use special precautions, because of the military grade nerve agents. they're both in a critical condition, but they're both still stable — which means they're not getting significantly worse. i'm told she is doing slightly better than he is. detectives said at this stage they would not be making public any suspect they have in this unique inquiry. daniel sandford, bbc news, salisbury. as we have reported, donald trump
and theresa may have spoken on the phone today. the prime ministers as russia must provide an ambiguous a nswe i’s. russia must provide an ambiguous answers. the eu says it is ready to support britain in pursuit of justice. with more on that, our diplomatic correspondent, james landale. it began as a brutal attack on the streets of salisbury, the poisoning of a former russian intelligence officer and his daughter, that the uk blames on russia. but it's become a global diplomatic row, with britain looking for allies in its confrontation with moscow. british ministers meeting again to discuss the case have given the kremlin until midnight to explain how a nerve agent developed in russia ended up in britain. if the response isn't credible, they are promising extensive measures against russia. this is a brazen attempt to murder innocent people on uk soil. policeman still in hospital, overwhelmingly likely or highly likely that the russian state
was involved, and the use of this nerve agent would represent the first use of nerve agents on the continent of europe since the second world war. as part of a huge diplomatic effort across europe, british officials told the chemical weapons watchdog in the netherlands that russia was implicated in the use of chemical weapons. germany, france and other allies offered support without attributing blame, but donald trump at least appeared to accept that russia might be involved. theresa may is going to be speaking to me today. it sounds to me like they believe it was russia and i would certainly take that finding as fact. as soon as we get the facts straight, if we agree with them, we will condemn russia or whoever it may be. russia is already subject to international sanctions because of its
interventions in ukraine and crimea. ministers insist these damage russia's economy but their impact on moscow's behaviour is doubtful. crucially, these are largely eu sanctions, the uk can't impose them on its own. so, what unilateral options is the government considering? some of russia's 58 diplomats in london could be expelled but that might promote a tit for tat expulsion of british diplomats. wealthy russians in london with links to the kremlin could face financial sanctions and travel bans, but who and how? there could be tougher laws to crack down on russian officials guilty of human rights abuses, and russian tv stations like rt could be targeted. the media regulator has already warned it could lose its licence. here at the foreign office, they are also investing a lot of effort and diplomacy in trying to bring international pressure to bear on russia, but the bar is high. russia has a veto at the un and some eu countries are reluctant to contemplate yet more sanctions. to date, the russian embassy said accusations of involvement in the salisbury attack
were groundless as diplomats promised retaliation against any new sanctions. russia is not a country to be spoken to in the language of ultimatums. i think it is high time the uk learned that. but unless moscow gives britain a satisfactory answer by midnight, some russian diplomats here might be clearing their desks very soon. james landale, bbc news. reaction to the attack upon former double agent sergei skripal continues in russia. the government there denies being involved and the russian foreign minister has accused britain of breaking international law by preventing the kremlin from accessing evidence of the nerve agent attack. from moscow, here's sarah rainsford. accused of a crime many miles from here, under pressure to explain a
chemical attack that shocked britain. but today the kremlin has remained silent. the foreign minister, though, was in full defensive flow. sergey lavrov rejected britain's 2a hour ultimatum to respond to the claim that moscow used a nerve agent. russia should get ten days, he said, accusing britain of floating the chemical weapons convention. and when i asked about the actual charge the minister called that nonsense. translation: russia is not guilty. russia is ready to corporate mac — co—operate in their dealings with legislation on chemical weapons if the uk finally decides to fulfil its obligations under international law within that document. russia is also demanding a sample of the substance used in the attack to conduct its own tests. the uk has identified it as novichok which the bbc believes was once produced here in a secret
socket programme. reports in moscow say any stockpiles were destroyed long ago. and as diplomatic pressure intensified the british ambassador appeared at the foreign ministry. russia says he came to hear its protest against a sordid attempt to discredit this country. reiterated the points made by prime minister made that we expect by the end of today an account from the russian state as to how this material claimed to be used in salford. russia has always insisted it had nothing to do with the poisoning in salisbury and that position clearly has not changed even with the threat of sanctions. after all this is a country that's been living and international sanctions for some time, linked to its actions in ukraine. those actions have not weakened president putin politically at all, if anything they have made him stronger. if putin is concerned by theresa may ‘s ultimatum he is
hiding it. today was very much business as usual, five days before he runs for re—election as president. and on the streets the few who have even heard of sergei skripal were not bothered either but they were sceptical that russia was to blame. translation: very likely is not the same as proof, said this man, it is a line we will hear a lot from now on. sarah rainsford, moscow. we'rejoined by author amy knight who has written extensively on russia — her latest book is called ‘orders to kill, the putin regime and political murder.‘ — shejoins us from our new york studio. thank you so much for talking to us. we just heard our reporter from moscow saying that if putin is concerned about this he's hiding it, this crisis over the salisbury attack. is he concerned?” this crisis over the salisbury attack. is he concerned? i think he should be. but where they he is or
not is a different question. obviously the kremlin is hunkering down and refusing to acknowledge any responsibility. and when you think about and they have to choices. one is to admit that they were careless and allowed their chemical weapons to get into hands they didn't want to, or that they themselves had approved of this poisoning. i am not surprised that the kremlin is denying everything. so given the choice between clock up and conspiracy their choice is neither. going back to another point said made in her report, saying that previous sanctions had actually made putin stronger, with elections coming up, do you think the threat of sanctions in relation to this salisbury attack will be something they will worry about, or given political strength? think it depends
upon the nature of the sanctions and how harsh they are. i actually disagree that the sanctions didn't doa disagree that the sanctions didn't do a lot of harm. the ones introduced after the invasion of ukraine contributed a lot to russia's economic troubles. so whereas maybe the population in general was not upset about the sanctions, they did have a troubling effect on the russian economy. i think putin has that to worry about, and then if more sanctions are introduced against people who are close to him or even some oligarchs who live in london and enjoy the west, that could cause some discontent within putin's elite. you are speaking to us from the usa and today we seen the other big international story, the sacking of the secretary of state. is there any connection between that and this
story? that is a very good question. we know that trump has been considering dismissing tillotson for quite a while. but it is a coincidence that it comes right after mr tillerson voiced his strong support for the british, and condemned the russians. something that mr trump had not done. so i am wondering if maybe what happened was, when tillerson found out that he was going to be dismissed, he decided not to be constrained by trump's overwhelming support for russia, and to voice his own opinions. of course now trump has relu cta ntly opinions. of course now trump has reluctantly over a week voiced some support from britain but it has been a long time in coming. before i let
you go, can i ask you, as someone who has watched the soviet union turn into what it is now, been watching intelligence services for all these decades, what do you think happened here and is there anything about what you think happened that surprises you? what i think happened was that the kremlin wanted to send its would—be traders a message. they couldn't kill sergei skripal after he was convicted of treason in russia, because russia does not legalise execution. and this is a good way of showing other intelligence agents that they should not defect. but i also think it is pa rt not defect. but i also think it is part of putin's broader message to
the west. on behalf of his population, which is, we can pretty much do what we want, and if we want to punish a trader who is holed up in britain we will do it. i think it actually appeals to the russian audience, although for now, probably most russians are simply not accepting that the kremlin is involved. so really no surprises for you in that behaviour? well, there was one surprise. you in that behaviour? well, there was one surprise. and that was how sloppy this was. i mean, whoever executed this poisoning, administered the poisoning, spread it, contaminated a lot of other people and places, but one i look back on the poisoning of alexander litvinenko in 2006, and the two assassins, they were also very very careless, as you recall, they
sprinkled polonium 210 everywhere they went. so i don't know but that pa rt they went. so i don't know but that part did surprise me. one would have thought, if they were going to do something like this it would not have been such a messyjob. something like this it would not have been such a messy job. with that hardly reassuring conclusion, thank you very much! and we'll find out how this story — and many others — are covered in tomorrow's front pages at 10:40 this evening in the papers — our guestsjoining me tonight are michael booker, deputy editor of the daily express, and the times columnist jenni russell. counterterrorism police are investigating the death of a russian businessman in london. nikolai glushkov was found dead at his home
in london. andy, can you bring us up to speed with that. police say that they were called to this house about a quarter to 11 last night. you may notice the police vehicles behind me, the cord and has been extended in the last few minutes. police were called last night. it is being investigated by counterterrorism officers as a precaution because of this man's associates. it has not been linked with what happened in salisbury at the moment. police say there is no evidence for that and you can understand why there is this the investigation the police have been accused of not investigating thoroughly, some 1a deaths in the uk of russian businessman and exiles. so they will want to get to the bottom of this one, especially in the circumstances. what do we know about nikolai glushkov? he was 68, a former aeroflot executive, convicted
of fraud in russia, jailed briefly and then came to the uk. the russian authorities tried to charge on another charge, the british authorities said he wouldn't be extradited. a man in his 60s, there are some reports that he had been suffering some sort of heart problem. i spoke briefly to a neighbour who said he was a lovely man and she said he had been suffering health problems. a postmortem is being carried out is that the police might be able to tell us more about the cause of death at some stage. andy, thank you. the headlines on bbc news. russia says it will not co—operate with the investigation into how a former spy and his daughter were poisoned in salisbury until it's been provided with evidence. president trump has sacked his secretary of state, rex tillerson, replacing him with the director of the cia. the chancellor delivers his spring statement saying growth has risen and employment is up —
but labour accuse him of astounding complacency. now this board, a full round up from the sports centre. good evening. let's start at old trafford where manchester united are looking to join manchester city and liverpool in the quarter—finals of the champions league. they're taking on spanish side sevilla, it was 0—0 in the first leg. sevilla have come closest to scoring, which would leave manchester united having to score one goal. but it remains goalless at the minute. roma and shakhtar donetsk are under way at the study of olympic coach with shakhtar donetsk holding a 2—1 advantage from the first leg, it is still goalless in the italian capital. there have been further calls today for england to consider a boycott of the football world cup in russia
in the summer, that's if vladimir putin and the russian state are found to be involved in the poisoning of a former russian spy and his daughter in salisbury at the weekend. the labour mpjohn woodcock has told the bbc that england's participation "ought to be in question" the fa's position is that international relations are a matter for the government. the more likely option is the dignitaries, the suits not going to moscow, saint petersburg and the rest. but that affect the russians? not really. will it make people feel better that there is some symbolic gesture ? better that there is some symbolic gesture? perhaps. away from football, the big race of the opening day of the cheltenham festival, the champions hurdle was won by the odds—on favourite. the nicky henderson trained horse, ridden byjockey barry geraghty, has nowjoined some ofjump racing's
greats by winning back to back stagings of the prestigious race. the great thing about today was that he found himself in a battle for the first time in his career really. it has all been easy for him. today he had to fight anti—jolly did, he was great. it is tough out there today. the ground is testing. ruby walsh, the most successful jockey at the cheltenham festival got his second win of the day in the man's hurdle. he only returned to the saddle five days ago after breaking his leg. he beat the hot favourite apple trade in third. earlier ruby walsh won the arkle challenge trophy novices' chase aboard footpad. great britain have won their 11th medal at the winter paralympics in south korea. menna fitzpatrick and guidejen took silver in the women's visually impaired
super combined event. they were second after the super g run and despite an impressive slalom effort they were unable to get the better of the slovakians. britain's millie knight missed out on a third straight medal with brett wild, they were fourth. i have no words! it hasn't sunk in yet. amazed to be here, and so grateful that it all went right today. the strategy that we put in place was to go for it in this super g, we had confidence from two days ago so g, we had confidence from two days ago so we g, we had confidence from two days ago so we thought will push it a bit more and we skied really well in that one and then we gave it all for the slalom this afternoon. team sky have scored their first major victory of the 2018 cycling season — michal kwiatkowski
has won the week—long tirreno—adriatico race, while team—mate geraint thomas finished third overall. the final stage on italy's adriatic coast was a time trial, and thomas was fast enough to move up from fourth and take the last podium spot. it is still goalless between sevilla and manchester united. that's all the sport for now. i'll have more for you in sportsday at half past ten. president chun has sacked his top diplomat, the secretary of state, rex tillerson, apparently without warning. president trump has sacked his top diplomat, the us secretary of state, rex tillerson — apparently without warning. the two men have had a series of public rifts over issues like russia, north korea and iran. here's what the outgoing secretary of state had to say. i received a call from the president
of the united states this afternoon aboard air force one and i have also received a call from mr kelly, to ensure we have clarity for the days ahead. what is most important is to ensure an orderly and smooth transition at a time when the country continues to face security challenges. our state department correspondent barbara plett usherjoins me now from washington. how much of a surprise was this to you? a shock. there has been a lot of reporting about mr trump and mr tillerson, their differences in personality and policy and at one point there were rumours that rex tillerson was on his way out but that seemed to have died down and they seemed to have found a way to work together although the rumours never went away so we were never sure. but we never thought it would happen out of the blue announced on twitter. at least we thought rex tillerson would be able to set his own terms or retire. but it happened in this humiliating way and he made
it clear that he didn't actually talk to the president until sometime after that tweet was issued so the president didn't even have the courtesy to call him and tell him what he was going to do so it was a shock. we had mr tillerson talking about a smooth and orderly transition, will there be a smooth and orderly transition in terms of policy? in terms of policy mr tillerson advised mr trump on issues that by and large had an establishment line, the traditional way of dealing with adversaries and allies promoting diplomacy of aggressive statements, he worked on that hard, especially with the north korea campaign to isolated diplomatically. but his successor has quite a different approach. he has quite a different approach. he has been hawkish on iran for example. this is mike pompeo. he has also been more belligerent rhetorically on north korea, so he
will handle those files now as secretary of state. we will see how key changes but his pass suggests he will have a different approach, one more in line with mr trump's instincts. and how do you imagine that the run—up to this incredibly important north korean summit will go? that is the question, even before rex tillerson left there was the question of how this could be prepared in such a short time with no ground work done on diplomacy, even as rex tillerson was coming back from a trip to africa, he arrived this morning, just hours before he was fired, talking about that, saying he had great experience in these negotiations, he knew how to get disparate parties into the same room and have success, perhaps with hindsight this was his final argument for why he should be kept. now mike pompeo will take over this
brief and we will see how he does prepare for the talks, he is someone that mr trump feels comfortable with, he likes and trusts him. so in that sense the preparation will go smoothly between the state department and the white house in terms of what they will come up with, with regards to an agenda is something we don't know at this point. barbara, thank you. the chancellor philip hammond has delivered an upbeat assessment of the uk economy, claiming there's "light at the end of the tunnel" and hinting at possible public spending increases in the autumn. mr hammond delivered his spring statement to mps, saying growth and employment were up and inflation was set to fall. but labour accused the chancellor of ignoring a public sector funding crisis. here's our political editor laura kuenssberg. is there anybody out there? no 11 didn't want us to pay that much attention. no fuss, no frills. reporter: do you have good news today, chancellor? only the chancellor slipping off to work. the speaker: statement,
the chancellor of the exchequer. but what was this, a cheery philip hammond rushing to his place? if there are any eeyores in the chamber, they're over there. i, meanwhile, am at my most positively tigger—like today. not much has changed from the world outside. true, the economy will grow a little bit faster. the debt will start to fall, just. the day—to—day deficit, remember that, it's gone. but compared to other countries, the economy is sluggish and slow. spending will stay tight. i do not agree with those who argue that every available penny must be used to reduce the deficit. and nor do i agree with the fiscal fantasists opposite
who argue that every available penny should be spent immediately. but a glimmer for the end of the year. if, in the autumn, the public finances continue to reflect the improvements that today's report hints at, then, in accordance with our balanced approach, i would have capacity to enable further increases in public spending. that might have delighted his side. the speaker: john mcdonnell. but labour accused him of not being in the real world. hasn't he listened to the doctors, the nurses, the teachers, the police officers, the carers and even his own councillors, they're telling him they can't wait for the next budget. they're telling him to act now. but is he listening? this is the eighth year, the eighth year in a row when a conservative chancellor has said to the public that dealing with the accounts is more important than what they might feel they need. well, i hear what you're saying, laura, but the facts speak for themselves. i've put £11 billion, this is just what i've done since i've been chancellor, £11 billion additionally into public
spending in 2018/19 and have promised to put more into the national health service this year if we get a deal on pay. many of your colleagues now believe that the evidence is overwhelming for more money to go into the nhs in the longer term? well, the evidence is clearly there that our population is getting older. that technology is developing in a way that makes more and more interventions possible, and indeed desirable in the health service. that does represent a continuous upward pressure. is the cabinet at the moment discussing how to find more money for the health service, as some of your colleagues have told me? this is my responsibility to look at these things, but of course we look at all these issues. as we approach the budget in the autumn and then the spending review in 2019, of course we will look at all these pressures across the piece.
not good enough for these opponents. this is a chancellor asleep at the wheel. he really had to show today he was prepared to take action. there was nothing in that statement that creates confidence. wales being shackled to brexit brittania is not doing any good for our economy. the only solution is for us to get the full portfolio of economic powers devolved to wales. what the chancellor should have done, i think, is to be much more open and honest with the public and say there is no more public money for public services, which is badly needed, therefore we will have to have an increase in taxation to pay for it. not admissions the government is ready to make. hard choices that will linger long after today. along with the brexit bill, revealed to be hanging around until 2064. spring has not yet really sprung. laura kuenssberg, bbc news, westminster. spring may not have sprung up there but let's see if it has come as the weather.
a lovely day in the sunshine, although temperatures should fall quickly and we'll see changes coming to the west where the wind will pick up to the west where the wind will pick up and we see to the west where the wind will pick up and we see more to the west where the wind will pick up and we see more clout and some rain from northern ireland and eventually for the far south—west of england. but ahead of that, temperatures particularly in the north will get low enough for a touch of frost. for and the g tomorrow, eastern parts of the uk tomorrow, dry and breezy, the strongest winds of western hills and coasts, gales likely, rain on and off pushing into wales and back towards the far south—west of scotland. back ahead to the east, some sunshine, sunny skies in the south—east, 14 degrees so skies in the south—east, 14 degrees soa mild skies in the south—east, 14 degrees so a mild wind blowing. that's the last of it. the winds will ease over the next couple of days and will pick up an easterly wind in time for the weekend and it will feel cold and there will be some snow showers as well. this is bbc news,
our latest headlines. moscow is refusing to co—operate with the investigation into the poisoning of a former spy and his daughter, until it has seen the evidence, as police here give an update on the investigation. the public will continue the secret police activity around the city. potentially, don't be alarmed, it is necessary as part of this major investigation by the counterterrorism policing network. in truth, last many weeks. president trump sacks his secretary of state, rex tillerson, announcing his dismissal on twitter. he'll be replaced by the head of the cia, mike pompeo. and... in his spring statement, the chancellor, says the rate of economic growth has risen faster than previously predicted and borrowing is down, but labour accuses him of astounding complacency and of ignoring
a crisis in public services. the united states, france and germany have voiced support for britain as it awaits an explanation from moscow about how a russian nerve agent came to be used in salisbury against a former spy. the foreign secretary, borisjohnson, says the nato secretary general has given his backing, and stressed the importance of nato solidarity. meanwhile, police have warned that the investigation into what happened in salisbury could take many weeks. our correspondent duncan kennedy gave us this report from salisbury. so far as the day is concerned i think we learned three new main areas of information concerning the people involved in this estimate, the timeline involved and also the police investigation. with regard to the people involved, the place of the people involved, the place of the day that a total of 38 individuals were admitted to hospital as a result of this incident. three remain in hospital,
his doctor, was in a critical condition but stable and also sergeant billy, the police officer who want to help them, and a serious condition but making good progress we learned today. i fourth member of the public who was admitted but has been released and undergoing monitoring just in case. so far as the timeline is concerned, the police gave us more details on that. they told us that he arrived in britain via heathrow the day before the incident. she came here to the city centre with their father on the sunday and the eight not far from here and also had a drink in the pub and today the police put out a request from the public to help them if they saw him and his daughter but also more importantly, did they see his red bmw. anywhere around salisbury city centre. he ended up parking in this across to a here and there and asking if anybody had —— competition might have brought up the car or competition might have brought up the carorany competition might have brought up the car or any other kind of
information that might identify where that car went on that sunday. so far as the police investigation, we learned that hundreds of police officers are on this working round—the—clock we also learned that the police have now collected something like 380 pieces of information and we know from before that they've interviewed 240 witnesses, but the investigation has spread across five the main sites, not just the event spread across five the main sites, notjust the event chair but his home and the restaurant and bar. the police were very keen to point out today that their operation here in salisbury could go on for what they say many weeks and mayjust turn up is still something off and they were keen to get across to miss is that they risk is very low, with him what they risk is very low, with him what the public to be is a line. they say this investigation is complex, it will take some time. that was duncan kennedy in the salisbury. let's turn
to other news. two victims of the serial sex attackerjohn worboys have taken their case to the high court. they're challenging a decision by the parole board to release the former taxi driverfrom prison. worboys has served ten years in jail for attacks on 12 women in london. now, two women he attacked are hoping to overturn that decision. one of them was in the high court today with worboys appearing via videolink as we learnt why the parole board thought he was fit for release. it believed worboys had become "open and honest." that he had taken "full responsibility for his offences" and he had, the parole board thought, "shown insight into factors that could cause him to re—offend."