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tv   BBC News  BBC News  July 21, 2018 4:00pm-4:31pm BST

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this is bbc news. i'm annita mcvey. the headlines: not—so—smart smart meters? a criticism of delays in the multi—billion—pound roll—out scheme, which may only save some customers £11 a year. police in wiltshire widen their search for clues into the novichok poisonings, as a man who was left critically ill in amesbury is discharged from hospital. president trump tweets his response to an alleged tape recording regarding a payment to a playboy model, saying he did "nothing wrong". police seize 1.6 tonnes of cocaine off the coast of cornwall. two dutch men have been remanded in custody. also this hour: schools need more cash and less stress, that's according to education secretary damian hinds. in a newspaper interview, mr hinds rebukes schools that put too much pressure on young children facing exams, and says teachers' workloads are his "number one concern". and in 30 minutes: shaun ley and a panel of columnists discuss this week's brexit developments
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and president trump's remarks on russia. that's in dateline london. good afternoon. the multi—billion—pound project to install smart energy meters has been heavily criticised by a group of mps. they've warned it's likely to save customers just £11 per year. the report says the programme risks falling behind schedule and ending up heavily over—budget. our business correspondent, joe lynam, reports. malcolm got a smart meter. so every year, he could save enough energy... it's the biggest infrastructure projects you've probably never probably heard of. costing £11 billion, the mass roll—out of smart meters into 30 million homes throughout the uk is designed to cut our bills
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and make our lives easier. but things aren't going to plan. the mobile phone mast isjust there, it's touching distance. warren lives in london, and he's having problems with his smart meter connection. this so—called smart meter wasn't so smart after all. i'm finding my bill still comes through as estimated, where i have to keep updating them, manually phoning them just to give them an actual reading. until they finally reset the meter, and they confirmed that it was sending its readings again. the big infrastructure group of mps says smart meters may not be so bright after all. it says the government is rolling out technology which may be out—of—date already in some areas, and it may be useless due to insufficient mobile coverage. and the cost savings for consumers that were expected may not materialise. certainly consumers won't get anywhere near what they were promised originally. it's already down to just about £11 from the originally projected £26. it's likely to fall further,
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as well, as the problems with this roll—out continue. and we're really calling on government, on ofgem and the suppliers to get a grip of this process. the smart metering thing... not so, according to the group charged with rolling out the new technology. this infrastructure upgrade is the biggest one that's happening in energy in our lifetimes, so it's really important that people get to talk about this debate, but the thing everyone needs to know is to get a smart meter, because it's going to save us all billions of pounds over the next few years. building an entirely new mobile network to reach 65 million people from scratch is not easy, not cheap and fraught with potential problems. the government says it's a third of the way there. others say it's the wrong technology, it's behind schedule and won't to deliver the savings we all expect. joe lynam, bbc news. well, a little earlier, my colleague shaun ley spoke to the robert cheesewright, the director of policy at smart energy gb — the firm publicising the use of smart meters.
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the smart meter roll—out marks the key transition towards a greener, smarter, cheaper energy future where we can have things like electric vehicles and renewable energy. and the alternative is a dirty, expensive system that makes all of our bills more expensive and more wasteful than they need to be. i'm sorry to interrupt you, but the argument for a lot of people would be that our bills are expensive because we, as consumers, are paying for the programme. it's not being funded by the industry, it's being funded by a levy on people's energy bills, and we are not getting value for money. if all we're going to save at the end of the day is £11 per year, it's nice to have the extra £11 per year, but people would say it's being outweighed by the amount that is added to my bill to fund this roll—out. so, that £11 is inclusive to all of the costs and the benefits. so that £11 is £11 in your pocket
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that you wouldn't otherwise have. it's important to remember that. but that's just the average saving. we hear from thousands of smart energy owners across the country, and some of them are saving tens, and in some cases over £100 with their smart meter. you never know what you're going to find out about your energy once you've got... and part of that is because of the behavioural change you hope will follow from people being able to look in real time and see what energy they're going to use? i don't think anybody, even the people who've written this report, and we heard from grant shapps a little earlier on bbc news, don't dispute those benefits. what they say is that the way this has been carried out has actually minimised the benefits and increased the dis—benefits. take an example. why on earth are energy companies still installing machines that are effectively going to be obsolete in a very short amount of time? no smart meter is ever obsolete. the only meters in this country that are obsolete are analogue meters that leave people crawling under the stairs to read their meter. or going out in the rain to top it up. why are metres going dead when people switch energy suppliers? the first generation of smart
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meters, if you switch, many people get to keep a smart service when they do, but for some people, their meter will temporarily start to act like an analog meter. the good news for everyone watching this if they will all be rolled into a national smart data network. you need to further be changing the equipment in houses? they will be updated over the air, consumers will have to do nothing, there's no hassle. this is common, all of our technology upgrades all the time, we're used to our phone having upgrades on it. this is all that is happening with smart metering, the idea that these are obsolete is simply not true. what about the schedule? do you think mps are wrong in that in the report? as far as you are concerned, they are wrong to say that? yes. 0k. the 2020 target for completing this roll—out, do you accept that is not now realistic anymore? i think it's a really challenging thing to do. there are 13,000 smart meters being installed every day, that's lots of brilliant engineers going out into homes doing something really challenging and important for this country. you would have to do 420,000
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per month, i'm sorry, at the moment it's 420,000 per month, which is presumably your 13,000 per day figure. but you would need to actually do 1.3 million per month if the 2020 target was going to be met. would it not be more honest to say to people, we're getting rid of the target, we willjust roll out as is appropriate over the time, rather than chasing a deadline which doesn't mean anything to anyone? in a sense, you've hit upon something. the deadline isn't what is important to people — what is important to people is, will i have better technology in my home? with smart meters, they will. there's obviously a debate to be had by politicians and in public about what the deadlines should be and how fast to do things, but actually, for all the people watching today, theyjust need to know if they get a smart meter, they finally get control of their energy use, they save money and are playing and are playing their part in a greener future where we can have the renewables
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we need and we don't have dirty, expensive energy anymore. if this installation, as mps suggest, is costing £1 billion more than originally budgeted, who is making up that shortfall? so, even if they're right about that, and i've not seen the economics, the roll—out will still save billions of pounds over its lifetime. that wasn't my question. who will end up paying for it if it costs more than budgeted? so, we all pay for everything in our homes... so, it will be on our bills? effectively, our bills will be more expensive if this costs more than has been planned? i dispute the premise of the question. these meters will bring our bills down. every £1 invested in smart meters yields £1.50 in savings. in other words, the answer to that is, yes, it will cost more. any extra cost is not going to be borne by the companies, it is going to be borne by the payment bills. i cannot answer that. the key point is, smart meters save on our bills. that's what people need to know about smart meters. in infrastructure investment, if things cost more, then things cost more, but this is an investment in our future, our country,
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our energy, it is really vital and we all need to do it. the best thing we can do is pick up the phone and get a smart meter from our energy company. because that's when we save on energy. regardless of what happens across the system, if you get a smart meter, you start saving money, that's what people need to do. robert cheesewright, director of policy at smart energy gb. police in salisbury have stepped up their search of a park in the centre of the city, where two victims of the novichok poisoning may have picked up a contaminated bottle. charlie rowley was released from hospital yesterday. his partner died. simonjones is in salisbury. simon, bring us up to date with this latest stage of the police search? in many ways, it is a familiar sight, something that should be strange, actually you've got officers who don those protective suits and go into the park to try
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and search for clues. now, what we had around lunchtime is the officers heading over to that area behind me, they went to a park bench, they took samples from that park bench. they also took photographs, and they took away evidence bags as part of their investigation. now, what we do know is the police are not prepared to give a running commentary on what exactly they are doing. but what we understand is they have been able to speak to charlie rowley fairly extensively since his recovery has improved in hospital. now, we know he was released yesterday, we don't know where he has been released because he can't return to his home in amesbury, a few miles from here, and that is because that remains pa rt and that is because that remains part of the police investigation. so, no idea then, simon, if there are any plans for him to speak to the media at this stage? well, as you can imagine, the media are very, very keen to speak to him, to hear
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his story. but what we're being told by the police is that what he decides to do will ultimately be up to him. but we do know he has been offered safety advice by officers. the metropolitan police would not tell us whether in fact he'd been offered any sort of protection. but that safety advice will include issues of how he should best about himself and the community and what perhaps he should decide to do in the future. simon, thank you very much. simonjones the future. simon, thank you very much. simon jones in the future. simon, thank you very much. simonjones in salisbury for us. nine members of the same family were among those killed when a boat capsized on a lake popular with tourists in the us state of missouri. 17 people died when the amphibious vehicle, called a duck boat, went down in poor weather. the safety record of duck boats has come under scrutiny. more than a0 have died in accidents aboard them in the last 20 years. sophia tran—thomson reports. hundreds of mourners gather around cars for a vigil in the parking lot where the table rock lake tourist boats depart.
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it's thought that they belong to the passengers who died. this duck boat made it back to shore. the passengers filming the storm apparently unaware of the danger they were in. oh, my god. it's going under. further out, this boat was sunk in the severe sudden storm. of the 31 on board, less than half survived. among the 17 who died, nine were from one family. this picture has been shared by local media. only the woman on the far left and the boy on the far right are thought to have survived. we'll be working arduously to determine what happened, why it happened, and how to prevent it from happening again. it will be very important to the investigation that the vessel is raised. there is the intent
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to salvage the vessel. an assessment and an analysis of it and its condition will definitely be key to the investigation. there was a severe weather warning, so investigators are looking into why the boats were on the water, and if the passengers had safety vests on. it was a pretty severe storm. my husband was like, "this is crazy," severe winds and things, and then we come back and hear about this, and i just got sick. duck boats can travel on both roads and water. they are used as tour vehicles in many places around the world, but following several accidents in recent years, their safety record is now under scrutiny. investigators say a primary report should be ready in a month, but a full enquiry could take up to a year. sophia tran—thomson, bbc news. the funeral of six—year—old alesha macphail who was murdered earlier this month while on holiday on the isle of bute, has been held this morning. those attending were asked to wear pink — alesha's favourite colour. she was reported missing from her grandmother s house a few
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days into a summer break. a 16—year—old boy has been charged with her rape and murder. facebook has suspended an american data analytics firm while it investigates claims it built surveillance tools with users' information. the company, crimson hexagon, is said to have worked with a group linked to the kremlin and us government agencies. the headlines on bbc news: mps criticise delays to the £11 billion smart meter roll—out scheme, as a new report questions the value of the technology to customers. fresh investigations into the nerve agent attack in salisbury, as a man poisoned by novichok in amesbury is discharged from hospital. president trump reacts to claims he was recorded discussing making a payment to a model as "inconceivable", and says he's done "nothing wrong". in sport... the leaders are out on
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the course at the open. tiger woods is one of those making a move in the third round at carnoustie, he is five under par for the date with five under par for the date with five left to play, one shot behind a four way tie at the top of the leaderboard. lewis four way tie at the top of the leaderboa rd. lewis hamilton four way tie at the top of the leaderboard. lewis hamilton will star at 14th in the morra's german grand prix in hockenheim. his mercedes broke down in qualifying —— tomorrow's german grand prix. england are drawing the hockey world cup paul mark at —— hockey world cup pool match at olympic park in london. we will be back with a full update in an hour. two men have been remanded in custody in bristol following what's been described as a "significant seizure of cocaine" from a boat in the english channel. the dutch nationals were charged after a yacht was intercepted off the coast of south—west cornwall on thursday. the national crime agency says the exact quantity of cocaine is not yet known.
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janine jansen reports. —— the national crime agency says around 1.6 tonnes of cocaine was used. the dutch flags yacht was intercepted 120 miles off the cornish coast on wednesday. the marcia was escorted into newlyn harbour by the border force cutter hmc vigilant. officers found bails of cocaine wrapped in plastic bags in a compartment underneath the decking. we have recovered a significant amount of controlled drugs, literally hundreds of millions of pounds worth. potentially even the second largest seizure in the uk, on a sailing vessel. an estimated two tonnes has been recovered from the vessel. the national crime agency, border force and devon and cornwall police officers remain on the scene. the two crew members — 59—year—old maarten peter pieterse and 44—year—old emile adriaanjeroen schoemaker — appeared at bristol magistrates' court this morning via video link, charged with drug importation offences. pieterse didn't enter a plea.
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schoemaker pleaded not guilty. they were remanded in custody to appear at bristol crown court next month. janine jansen, bbc news. the education secretary, damian hinds, has said that schools need more cash and less stress. in an interview with the guardian, he said too many teachers in england are being overwhelmed by excessive workloads. the labour shadow education secretary, angela rayner, said "we need action, notjust warm words and sympathy". in his interview, mr hinds defended the tougher gcses and a—level exams. rebuked primary schools who put pressure on young pupils to do well in sat exams. and said workload of teachers was his "number one concern". we can speak to helena brothwell,
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principal at queen elizabeth s academy in mansfield. tell me about the workload that you and your teachers are coping with currently, is it to number one concern? yes, i mean, for sure it is the number one reason why teachers leave the profession. we are in a recruitment crisis, a retention crisis at the moment. schools have got to do or they can now to reduce the bureaucracy around data planning and data entry and lesson planning. it's really, really important. as a school, we've done an awful lot to make sure that our staff can be an majestic in the classroom and full of life, have a life outside of school —— can be energetic in the classroom. that's really important, andi classroom. that's really important, and i think we can achieve a worklife balance if we want it badly enough. give us an idea of how you encourage your staff to manage their workload? we have removed written
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marking is a requirement. some schools asked staff to mark and stu d e nts to schools asked staff to mark and students to respond to the marking and then the teacher has to respond to the student's response. none of it makes any difference to student progress. if it did, we'd happily ask our staff to do it and our staff would happily do so. the reason that teachers are irritated over this is because they know it doesn't make any difference, it doesn't have the impact that some school leaders think it does, so we've removed that isa think it does, so we've removed that is a requirement completely. damian hinds says in his interview with the guardian that schools are run a par with the nhs is a special case for extra government spending. there's no announcement yet on teachers' pgy- no announcement yet on teachers' pay. but in england, if that money didn't come from an extra pot from central government, it would have to be taken out of some other budget that he would wish to spend perhaps one another area of school spending. but would that be worth it if it led
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to better retention of staff was yellow yes, it would be worth it. your teachers are your biggest asset ina your teachers are your biggest asset in a school. we have to pay our teachers properly, and i think the fa ct teachers properly, and i think the fact that the announcement hasn't been made and the schools have already broken up, most of them, and we haven't been able to plan budgets for the next year effectively, it's a real let down. however, having said that, you know, schools are working extremely hard to find other budget savings so that we don't have the past those, you know, cost onto the past those, you know, cost onto the teachers —— so that we don't have to pass. teachers are biggest asset, and we need them, so it's really, really difficult. we want a broad—based curricula, to offer the a rts broad—based curricula, to offer the arts and drama, but those areas get cut first when schools are in difficulty. especially in a working—class area where there is areas of that probation and we don't have enough access to the arts ——
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areas of deprivation. we don't want to be cutting those things from school. we heard the shadow education secretary saying that warm words are all very well, but action is needed. what are the key actions you would like to see from the education secretary that would make the biggest difference both to teachers and pupils? i'd like him to continue to reassure school leaders that some of the bureaucracy around data entry and measuring, you know, measuring the pig regularly, it doesn't fatten the pig, itjust measures it. making sure that we reduce and remove some bureaucracy from teaching staff, that would do an awful lot to improve our detention figures. he needs to do work to improve the status of teachers. we have spent decades having ourjob reduced to entertainers and ab setters, you know, that isn't what we do. we are trained to do this —— baby—sitters. it should be appropriate. he needs
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to find us some money, also. absolute, i'm sure most teachers would undoubtedly agree with you there. he also said in the interview that education needs a period of less change, less tinkering. there are certain changes, yes, that you would like to see, and overall, do you agree that some of the reforms and rapid turnaround of reforms that we've seen in the education system over the past three years, that teaching to do with a break from those —— past few years. teaching to do with a break from those -- past few years. absolutely. i don't have an issue with the reforms, i think they've been the right thing to do. what i have an issue with is the speed in which they were done and the lack of support that went alongside it. you know, that's why teachers have suffered, and that's why school leaders have, you know, really worked hard to try and reduce that for teaching staff. but absolutely, no more changes, or very few. and if
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we are to make new changes then, you know, we need time to implement them, we need proper support and training around them so that, you know, we can do that effectively and it doesn't end up impacting on our teaching staff. 0k, helena brockwell, when the ball at queen elizabeth's academy in manchester, thank you very much for your thoughts today —— the principle. the fbi is reported to have seized a secret recording of donald trump discussing a payment to a former playboy model. the new york times says the tapes were discovered in the offices of mr trump's former lawyer during a police raid. 0ur washington correspondent, chris buckler, reports. karen mcdougal was a model for hugh hefner's playboy magazine, and she claims that she had an affair with donald trump that lasted for months. # and i'm proud to be an american... their alleged relationship took place a decade before mr trump ran for president. but in the months leading up to that vote, karen mcdougal sold her story to a tabloid newspaper. however, the national enquirer, which is owned by one of donald trump's friends, never published it. his campaign team denied knowing
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anything about that payment. but it seems donald trump did talk about it with this man — his former lawyer and so—called fixer, michael cohen, who is currently under investigation for a series of possible offences. in a raid on mr cohen's offices, fbi agents apparently seized a secret recording in which mr trump discussed with his lawyer the possibility of paying money to keep ms mcdougal quiet, perhaps by buying the rights to her story. reporter: sir, can you talk about michael cohen? the president left washington for a weekend at one of his golf clubs without answering that question. but payments to bury embarrassing stories about an election candidate could potentially be seen as breaking campaign finance laws, although his representatives insist that no cash was actually handed over. in a statement, michael cohen's own lawyer said... donald trump's political opponents
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are also still trying to discover exactly what he said to vladimir putin during their private meeting in helsinki, amid the controversy over plans to invite the russian president to the white house this autumn. they believe there's a possibility that mr trump's own words could yet come back to haunt him. chris buckler, bbc news, washington. roads, ports and airports are set to be extremely busy this weekend as millions of us embark on our summer getaways. with schools in england and wales breaking up for the summer, there could be lengthy delays as more than nine million road journeys are expected to be made between friday and sunday. ben ando reports. if yesterday was frantic friday, today could be standstill saturday. travel experts say more than five million people are expected to set off this weekend on getaway trips at the start of
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the school holidays, and that means super—busy roads, airports and railways. at this time of year, it's really avoiding the peak times. so over the weekend, it tends to be lunchtime, so if you can go earlier in the morning or later at night. and also, you then get the advantage you're not stuck in a hot car when the sun is bearing down, or indeed the thunderstorms that are predicted in some areas. for staycationers, roads in south—west england, particularly the m5 and a303, look likely to be the worst—hit, while the port of dover is expecting its busiest outbound day of the summer, as thousands head to the continent. and a further 2.5 million are taking to the skies, with heathrow expecting 500,000, 250,000 at gatwick, and 160,000 passengers through manchester. weekend engineering works are causing disruption on the railways, too. the mainline linking london and the west country is blocked, meaning diversions of a0 minutes, and in scotland, the line linking glasgow and
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motherwell is also closed. and here at king's cross and st pancras, passengers are facing ongoing disruption caused by the botched introduction of a new timetable back in may. but there is one piece of good news for weary rail users. virgin trains are dropping evening peak restrictions every friday until the end of august, in an effort to spread loadings and cut congestion. ben ando, bbc news. the time is approaching a:30pm. now it's time for a look at the weather with stav danaos. hello there. apart from a few showers around this evening, most places will end the day on a fine note. and into tomorrow, it's looking pretty similar to part one of the weekend. very warm and sunny across a good portion of england and wales, but always more cloud in the north and the west. this evening and overnight, it will stay very cloudy across much of scotland, northern ireland, north—west
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england, north wales. could see some spots of rain across western scotland, the western isles, where there will be more of a breeze. but you can see it's a warm and muggy night, especially england and wales with values no lower than 1a to 18 celsius. it's a warm start to sunday. there will be a fair amounts of cloud around, but the sunshine will break through across eastern scotland, eastern england, much of the midlands, southwards and also for a good portion of wales. it'll become very warm into the afternoon. mid to upper 20 celsius here, but always more cloud and breeze again across this north—west corner, with outbreaks of rain. set to stay very warm, turning hotand humid across southern areas into next week. always a bit cloudy and cooler further north. hello, this is bbc news with annita mcveigh. the headlines: new searches are taking place in salisbury as part of the police investigation into novichok poisonings in wiltshire. the government's defended its multi—billion pound scheme to install smart energy meters after a group of mps and peers said the project was failing to deliver value for money. president trump tweets his response to an alleged tape recording
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regarding a payment to a playboy model, saying he did nothing wrong. to dutch are remanded in custody. and now on bbc news, it is time dateline london. hello and welcome to dateline london, the programme in which some of the uk's leading columnists debate with foreign correspondents whose dateline is london. this week: theresa may's pragmatic brexit receives the approval of mps by a whisker. does a no—deal exit from europe now look more likely? and did the president mis—speak,
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or is he trump the traitor? to discuss all that, with me agnes poirier of the french magazine marianne, polly toynbee, columnist with the guardian, iain martin, whose columns appear in the times, and the irish broadcaster brian 0'connell.

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