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tv   BBC News  BBC News  August 20, 2018 11:00pm-11:31pm BST

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this is bbc news. i'm ben brown. the headlines at 11: the government takes over the running of birmingham prison from the private firm gas as prisoners and inspectors describe appalling squalor and violence in the jail with staff asleep or locked in offices. i have seen peoplejust i have seen people just beaten up in front of staff, just like. organised fights. that happens a lot, organised flight. it is not out of control, but it is not far from it. the physical conditions were amongst the worst we have ever seen. a man appears in court charged with attempted murder after a car crashed outside the houses of parliament. the group representing hospitals and ambulance services in england warns there needs to better contingency planning to deal with the impact of a no—deal brexit on the nhs. also coming up — a flying start for a baby boy born on a coastguard helicopter. his mother went into labour while visiting the isles of scilly and gave birth while being airlifted
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to a hospital in cornwall. and at 11:30 we'll be taking another look at the papers with our reviewers henry mance from the financial times, and kate andrews from the free market think tank, the institute of economic affairs. birmingham prison is being taken over by the government from the private firm gas, after inspectors said it had fallen into a "state of crisis". the chief inspector of prisons said it was the worst prison he'd ever been to. conditions were filthy, and some inmates were scared to leave their cells. he accused the ministry ofjustice of being "asleep at the wheel", saying it should have intervened earlier. our midlands correspondent sima kotecha sent this report from birmingham. it's one of the country's
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largestjails but, today, hmp birmingham has been branded as the most violent prison in england and wales. parts of the prison are squalid, it's cockroach infested, it's rat infested. it's disgusting. a former inmate, who was released injune, said it was perilous. we've protected his identity because he's concerned about his safety. i've seen people thrown over the balconies onto the netting. i've seen people just beaten up in front of staff, just whacked. erm... organised fights. that happens a lot, organised fights, where one guy's got a beef with another guy, and they will organise a fight in the laundry room, in the shower room, on the landing, and the staff turn a blind eye. the chief inspector of prisons says somebody must have been asleep
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at the wheel for it to get this bad. in a report, he says blatant drug use was not being tackled. staff were often anxious and fearful. and parts of the jail were filthy, with vermin, blood and vomit on the floor. the prevalence of drugs, the levels of violence, the lack of order, discipline and control within the prison has led to a state of affairs where it's verging on being out of control. it's not out of control yet, but it's not far from it, and the physical conditions there were amongst the worst we've ever seen. the government, whose officials were working alongside gas, says the situation is appalling and they are now taking it over on a temporary basis. the fault is something that partly lies with us, partly lies with gas. but this isn't really about the blame game for me, this is about sorting it out. there were warning signs at the prison in 2016, when a riot broke out
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after keys were stolen. hundreds of inmates were let out of their cells. critics have questioned why nothing was done beforehand, even though officials knew the violence had been escalating. last year, nearly 1,200 assaults, including fights, were recorded at the jail. gas has been in charge here since 2011, but today's disturbing report is bound to raise some questions about its role in running prisons. the company has welcomed the findings and says it's an opportunity to urgently address some of the problems. a bit of weed... a recent video — filmed by inmates inside the prison — smoking what looks like cannabis. downing street says it has confidence in gas‘s leadership and that the company runs prisons effectively. but some former staff disagree. you didn't really have any
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control over the prisoners. the prisoners were controlling you. the prisoners were running the jail. now the onus is on the government, and the new governor, who has a month to come up with a plan to turn things around. sima kotecha, bbc news, birmingham. earlier i spoke to andrea albutt, president of the prison govoners association, and i asked what she thought the problems are at birmingham prison. i think what we are hearing at birmingham we have heard in a number of prisons recently. this isn't the public versus eight private sector issue, this is about the resourcing of prisons. in recent years there have been significant government austerity measures and those measures have resulted in inadequate staffing levels and it has allowed things like drugs to enter our
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prisons, the staff prisoner relationship that we know make our presence safe are being compromised and birmingham isjust one more prison in a long line of prisons with these issues. the fact that birmingham has been run by gas, a private company, that is irrelevant in your view? it is irrelevant because the issues we are seeing at them and we have seen at liverpool, nottingham, exeter, albeit that birmingham seems to be at the fire and of issues. the fire and indeed because the chief inspector of prisons said it was the worst prison he has set foot in and he has seen quite a few pretty bad prisons in this country. i think what we need to remember is that in december 2016, birmingham had the worst riot that we had seen in gate and for prison to come back from that when they have chronic staffing levels, they have chronic staffing levels, they have chronic staffing levels, they have got an incredibly challenging prisoner population, a
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high churn, an overcrowded prison, to come back from that is a very tall ask when you have got staffing issues, you got people who have got very little experience in a prison setting, they struggle to retain staff and what we have seen today is basically evidence that really had issues trying to make their prison better. if you are suddenly made governor of birmingham prison, how would you turn it around? well, to think that in six months they can make a significant difference is a tall ask. the issues are very complex, you need to be looking at the staffing, that you got the correct staffing levels. you need to have a prison fit for purpose. it needs to be maintained with suitable accommodation. the type of prisons they have there, the short—term convicted listeners, the remand
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prisons, the trial prisons, you need to have the help there that is able to have the help there that is able to deal with these issues. you need to deal with these issues. you need to have technology so things like drugs, so it is more difficult for drugs, so it is more difficult for drugs to come into dozens of. while you mention drugs, spice is said to bea you mention drugs, spice is said to be a particular problem. this drug which has been called a game changer in all of britain's prisons because it is changing the mood of prisoners. tell us how big a factor you think that is? yes, psychoactive su bsta nces you think that is? yes, psychoactive substances act as they are known, have a massive issue. they drive debt, pilots, they kill people. we do have this in our prisons and that is why we need to have technology to prevent drugs coming into our prisons. at the same time, we have two stopped the supply getting into prisons, but we have to deal with prisoners who want to take these
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drugs have. we have two stop the demand. we have to have substance misuse centres that are reactive and can respond to the amanda. —— responded to the demand. —— respond to the demand. a man accused of driving a car at pedestrians, cyclists and police officers last week outside the houses of parliament has appeared in court for the first time. 29 year old salih khater, who's a british citizen born in sudan, was charged with two counts of attempted murder. our home affairs correspondent daniel sandford was in court. it was last tuesday, at 7:37 in the morning, that a ford fiesta ploughed through a group of cyclists on the edge of parliament square. without stopping, it drove up the access road to the house of lords car park and smashed into the security barrier. because of the location and the use of a vehicle, counter—terrorism officers led the investigation. salih khater, the driver of the car, has now been charged with attempting to murder cyclists at the junction of parliament square
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and with attempting to murder the police officers who leapt out of the vehicle's path. this morning, he was brought to court for his first appearance in the dock. salih khater wore a grey t—shirt and white trousers and confirmed his name and his address, in birmingham. asked what nationality he was, he said sudanese and then quickly corrected that to british. a refugee from sudan, he only got his british citizenship six weeks ago. born in darfur, in sudan, he came to britain in 2010, after travelling for two years through africa and europe. he continued his education here, while also working as a security guard. this morning's hearing lasted less than six minutes. the chief magistrate, emma arbuthnot, told salih khater that he would remain in custody until his next appearance in court at the old bailey in 11 days' time. daniel sandford, bbc news, at westminster magistrates‘ court. in the last hour or so, the metropolitan police has responded to reports of shots fired
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on the kingsbury road in brent in north west london. police and paramedics were called to the scene at around 9:a5 this evening and found three people, with injuries that are not thought to be life—threatening. officers say no arrests have been made but a crime scene is now in place. kingsbury tube station has been closed as investigations continue in the area. the group representing hospitals and ambulance services in england has warned there needs to be better contingency planning within the nhs for a no deal brexit. in a letter seen by the bbc, nhs providers say the risk to services is "real" and they have received "mixed messages" on where responsibility for brexit planning lies. our political correspondent chris mason is at westminster.
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this is the letter that has come into our —— our possession from this organisation, nhs providers, from two senior managers and this is a letter sent within the nhs from one pa rt letter sent within the nhs from one part of it to another part of it. also sent a letter, matt hancock and dominic rather. the concern from nhs providers representing nhs hospitals and ambulance authorities in england is that there has been an insufficient amount of central co—ordination for no—deal brexit planning, or what they describe as a ha rd planning, or what they describe as a hard brexit. a say in this letter that there is a lack of visible and appropriate communication, they say that certain things are clearly based on at a national level, but there has been no formal communication to trust from either of the organisations of. it talks about current radio silence from nhs
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england and then goes on to say that if there isn't any contingency planning done, it cannot be expected that individual trust will develop individual contingency plans in a vacuum and how to reinvent the wheel 229 times, a reference to the number of trust that there are. it says without national planning there is a risk of both stockpiles and shortages of medicines and medical devices. have we had any response to this by the government? we showed the government this letter, we told them the letter we received and its content. the department of health said they didn't want to comment. nhs england said that they are doing everything they can, they are advising contingency planning for every circumstance around brexit. a little later this week the government is going to start publishing these, a pretty weighty tome, setting out its contingency
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plans for no deal and it looks like the detail on the nhs could come as soon as thursday. so we could effectively get a substantial response to the government to these kinds of concerns, i don't give —— i don't know the extent to which these organisations will regard them as sufficient, but we should get a substantial response from the government in a couple of days time. thanks for that. the headlines on bbc news: the government takes over the running of birmingham prison from the private firm gas as prisoners and inspectors describe appalling squalor and violence in the jail, with staff asleep or locked in offices. a man appears in court charged with attempted murder after a car crashed outside the houses of parliament. the group representing hospitals and ambulance services in england warns there needs to better contingency planning to deal with the impact of a no—deal brexit on the nhs. pope francis has told the world's roman catholics that no effort must be spared to prevent sexual abuse
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against children and to ensure it is never covered up. in an unprecedented letter, the pope condemned what he called the atrocities involving hundreds of priests in the american state of pennsylvania. and he expressed his shame that the church had shown no care and had abandoned those he described as the little ones. from pennsylvania, nick bryant reports. the pennsylvania child abuse scandal has shocked and appalled. a report alleging that 301 priests preyed on as many as 1,000 children over a 70—year period, and that church leaders hid the allegations away in a secret archive. who'd have believed me? a priest?! last week, the attorney general‘s office in pennsylvania released a video with testimony of three victims. i was groomed, starting young. the day i met him, i was around 18 months old. the pennsylvania report is deeply disturbing.
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it includes allegations that a ring of priests manufactured child pornography and gave victims gold cross necklaces to identify them to other predators as optimal targets. pope francis didn't mention the pennsylvania allegations during his sermon yesterday at the vatican, but he did so today, in an unusually forthright letter to the world's 1.2 billion catholics. i had lost that trust. juliann bortz was abused by her priest as a child in the 1960s. the pope's letter offered her no comfort. i don't believe anything the pope has to say at this point. i've lost faith.
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i've lost faith in my religion, i haven't lost faith in god. big difference. i believed my religion all my life and they lied and they lied and they lied, so his statement today means nothing to me. the claims made in pennsylvania are just the latest in an ongoing worldwide scandal for the church. police in the vatican arrested a former papal diplomat earlier this year on suspicion of possessing child pornography. in australia, an archbishop has been convicted of concealing child abuse by another priest. in chile, all 31 of the country's bishops offered to resign over a child sex scandal and cover—up. and in ireland, historical abuse is reported to have been endemic. pope francis is expected to meet victims when he visits next week. it's just a ploy and a sham, because he is coming to dublin at the weekend. if he is in any way genuine about this statement and if he is sorry about all these atrocities,
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let him agree to an inquiry. this is thought to be the first time the pope has addressed sex abuse with the worldwide catholic community. maybe a belated acknowledgement of the full enormity of the crisis. nick bryant, bbc news, pennsylvania. rescue efforts are being stepped up in the indian state of kerala, which has been hit by the worst monsoon floods in a century. although the weather has improved, some areas are still under water and indian military helicopters are airlifting stranded people, and dropping food supplies to those they cannot yet reach. more than a00 people have died in the floods and thousands have been marooned. from cochin, kerala's commercial capital, yogita limaye has sent this report. as the water recedes, people want to go back home. but it isn't dryjust yet. praveen and his family left their house in thrissur five days ago.
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today, he has returned to take a look. but the water level has only gone down a few inches. these low—lying areas, there are many pockets like these where you still find water. it is completely cut off from the mainstream. for us, it is going to take at least a week to kind of get back to complete normalcy. but some don't have a house to go back to. chandra's home has been swept away. he is a tailor and struggles to make ends meet. "i don't know what to do," he says. more than half a million are in need. and here supplies are coming in that could help. bags of rice, clothes, water — it is all being stocked at this indoor stadium, where it is sorted and re—packed before it's sent off. hundreds of people have volunteered, many of them students. people have just lost everything that they have earned over their entire lives. now this is going into a house,
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they do not know if it'll stand. or it will crumble on their heads. ijust wanted to do something, do anything at all, rather than just sitting at home, watching the news. relief efforts are going on at a frantic pace. this lorry behind me has come in from the neighbouring state of karnata ka, bringing boxes of bottled water. they are taken to the centre, and from here they will be dispatched to areas across kerala. they need food here, shout this man. they need food here, shout this man. they have to stock up when they came. they don't know when the next boat will come. translation: we have nothing to eat, nothing to drink. we don't even have a bed. the water has
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destroyed everything. for those who had to flee from their houses, these suppliers will help them get through the next few days. many of them are still to find out what's left of their homes of their belongings —— and their belongings. yogita limaye, bbc news, kerala. let's just take you back to the breaking news we've got of a shooting incident in north—west london, in brent, we can show you some photos from the scene. they show police and paramedics responding to the incident on the kingsbury road. in the last few minutes, the metropolitan police have tweeted this update: "officers are at the scene of a shooting in #kingsbury road at 9.a5pm on monday. not terror related. three people taken to hospital, none believed to be life—threatening. #brent officers investigating alongside #trident colleagues." so that is just in from the
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metropolitan police. stressing this is not a terror related incident. three people have been taken to hospital with injuries, which are not life—threatening, so that is the latest from that shooting in brent in north—west london. we will bring you more details as they come to us. donald trump has criticised the united states' immigration policies, saying the world is laughing at their stupidity. the us president made the comments at a white house event, in which he paid tribute to federal immigration officials. mr trump is making border security a key component of his message ahead of the november midterm elections. last year alone sanctuary
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jurisdictions and local communities unleashed 8000 criminals on our street. our laws are no good, immigration laws are no goods, they have been bad for many years and the world is laughing at us, the world is laughing at the stupidity of what we have done with immigration. the woman who survived in the adriatic sea for 10 hours overnight after falling from a cruise ship 60 miles off the croatian coast has left hospital. kay longstaff was pulled from the sea yesterday morning after apparently falling from the cruise liner on saturday night. she said she was very lucky to be alive. from pula in croatia, guy delaunay sent this report. kay longstaff returning safely to dry land on a different sort of ship. the croatian coastguard rescued her from the adriatic after she spent a whole night treading water. i fell off the back of the norwegian star, and i was in the water for ten hours, so these wonderful guys rescued me.
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this is the moment she was pulled from the sea on sunday morning. her rescuers said she was tired and a bit sunburnt, but remarkably well, considering her ordeal. translation: the person was exhausted and in shock. but soon after she was pulled on deck, and after liquids were offered to her, she was herself and we could see she had sustained no physical injuries and no scratches. kay spent the night here at pula general hospital. she was discharged this afternoon and left without making any further public statements. but her doctors say that her adriatic adventure doesn't appear to have caused her any physical harm. she is in good condition, probably because she is a young and healthy person. and nothing happened to her after ten hours in the croatian sea. kay was on board the norwegian star, filmed here on an earlier cruise. it is thought she was on the seventh deck, close to the back,
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when she fell. the ship had left the port of dubrovnik and was heading north. but roughly 60 miles out from the coast of croatia, kay longstaff went overboard. the ship made several turns to try to find her. only later did it go on to its final cruise stop of venice. everyone is still asking how kay could have survived that long treading water. perhaps her previous experience as airline cabin crew may have helped, or her apparent dedication to yoga. the majorfactors in survival in this case are going to be in the warm water, which was about the same temperature as a swimming pool, the fact that it was calm, so there was not a great requirement to work hard to keep her airway clear of the water. that she was female, which helped her float, because females have more body fat than males. whatever happened, it seems like an incredibly lucky escape against the kind of odds which would have broken the bank at a cruise ship casino. guy de launey, bbc news, pula. we are going to have a full review
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of the newspapers very soon. now it's time for a look at the weather for the week ahead with ben rich. over the next week or so you will notice changes in the feel of the weather largely down to changes in where ourair weather largely down to changes in where our air will come from, at the moment it is coming from the south—west, a warm direction, a moist direction as well, with wind coming across the waters of the atlantic, bringing high humidity and a lot of cloud. this frontal system will bring quite a big change, starting to approach of the north—west later in the day. before it arrives, a lot of cloud, although it arrives, a lot of cloud, although it will break up more readily than it will break up more readily than it did on monday, so we will see spells of sunshine, a shower in east anglia, parts of scotland, then thick cloud and rain as the weather front approaches the north—west later on. with the humid air in
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place, in the sunshine, temperatures p0p up place, in the sunshine, temperatures pop up to 26— 27. through tuesday evening the weather front starts to get its act together, moving into northern ireland and scotland, and notice how we get this bend on the front, that will hold it across the north—western areas throughout tuesday night. so a prolonged dose of heavy rainfall although in scotla nd of heavy rainfall although in scotland as the wet weather sinks into northern england, wales, the midlands and the south—west it will tend to fizzle. before the weather front in the south—east, still in the humid airon front in the south—east, still in the humid air on wednesday. further north and west something significantly cooler and fresher. 17 in aberdeen, glasgow, belfast. 27 in norwich. this frontal system will p9p up norwich. this frontal system will p9p upa norwich. this frontal system will pep up a little on wednesday night. into the early hours of thursday a dose of rain for the south—east. then another cold front and then behind at the winds no longer coming from the south—west, but the north—west, a much cooler wind
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direction, but a clear airflow as well, if you like, so less cloud, more sunshine, equally hefty showers, some of which could contain rumbles of thunder, particularly across north—western areas, but look at the temperatures, 15— 22 degrees with a noticeable breeze as well. as we move into friday high pressure to the south—west and low pressure to the south—west and low pressure to the north—east will maintain the north—westerly airflow. in fact the aircoming from a north—westerly airflow. in fact the air coming from a long way north at this stage. you really will feel the difference. we will see showers pushing into northern and western areas, the best of the sunshine to the south and the east. but with highs of1a— the south and the east. but with highs of 1a— 19 degrees at best, temperatures are little below average for the time of year. how often have we said that this summer? on saturday some showers in the north or north—westerly wind, some sunshine as well, things gradually start to dry up from the south—west, but still temperatures are low, 1a— 19 degrees. on sunday this bridge of high pressure is likely to give a
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dry day, with a frontal system on its way, perhaps rain from this on monday, then as we get into next week, where will the abbey coming from? broadly the westerly flow but across the southern half of the country something of a south—westerly —— where will the air be coming from? in the north of the country something of a north—westerly. so in the northern areas there is likely to be some cooler weather and with that little rain at times, not all the time. further south more of a south—westerly wind, it is likely to warm up again with lots of dry weather and some spells of sunshine. so some big changes in the feel of the weather over the next ten days.
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