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tv   BBC News  BBC News  January 12, 2019 3:00pm-3:31pm GMT

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this is bbc news. i'm lukwesa burak. the headlines at 3.00pm: prison sentences of under six months could be scrapped in england and wales for all but violent and sexual offences, under plans being considered by the ministry ofjustice. two french firefighters and a spanish tourist have been killed in a powerful explosion at a bakery in paris. nearly 50 other people were injured in the blast president trump digs his heels in over his mexican border wall, as the us government shutdown enters a record—breaking 22nd day. hundreds of thousands of workers have not been paid. we can work really hard to get this education and make sure that we can provide for our family and still end up wondering if we're going to be able to pay our bills. protesterjames goddard has been arrested in connection with incidents outside parliament on monday. europe braces itself as heavy snow continues to fall, bringing chaos to a number of alpine regions. austria suffers the worst conditions for 30 years. this week, the big hitters for 2019,
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starring bed rockers, skintight suits, qunu click in turn, and queen, well, sort of. hello and welcome to bbc news. the ministry ofjustice says it's considering proposals to abolish prison sentences of less than six months in england and wales. ministers say short sentences are less effective at cutting re—offending
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than community penalties. it's thought about 30,000 offenders would avoid jail every year under the plans. ben ando reports. at any one time, around 3,500 people are behind bars in england and wales serving sentences of six months or less for crimes like burglary or shoplifting. but almost two—thirds of those released will reoffend within a year. the prisons minister, rory stewart, has described these short sentences in a newspaper interview as long enough to damage you and not long enough to heal you. adding that those jailed even for a few weeks can was their home, their family and be set on a course to more crime. the ministry ofjustice says that prison is meant to protect the public from dangerous people, reduce crime, and also reform prisoners. but could it be our overcrowded jails are instead turning one—time offenders into career criminals? since the 1990s, the prison population has doubled from 40,000 to 80,000.
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in 2017, 86,275 people were jailed. more than half of them received sentences of six months or less. we should not be imprisoning these people. we should be turning their lives around and giving them support, dealing with their drug addiction, their homelessness, and getting them to make amends for the wrong they've done. that's good for victims and it's good for the taxpayer and it will ease pressure on the prisons. abandoning such short prison sentences in england and wales is stilljust a proposal. legislation would be needed. and politicians know promising to send fewer lawbreakers to prison is rarely a vote winner. but a similar scheme in scotland has beenjudged a success and is being extended to sentences of 12 months. it could be that ending short sentences will benefit criminals and the community in the long term. ben ando, bbc news. let's speak now to angela levin, who's a former chair of the independent monitoring board for wormwood scrubs.
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thank for wormwood scrubs. you for coming in. your thoughts thank you for coming in. your thoughts on these proposals?” thank you for coming in. your thoughts on these proposals? i have heard them for 15 years now that they should never have anybody in prison under six months and nothing has been done. they don't know what else to do with them. rehabilitation inside a prison is absolutely useless. it is the first thing that goes when they are short of staff, as they are now. and it is done at the lowest common denominator, so it is difficult to help people, tie ever long they are in there and be able to do something. i feel that if somebody commits a crime then that's be punished, recognising what level of crime it is. the police now don't go after burglars, so if they don't
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and you don't respond to prison, what will happen? more burglary. in my area it has gone a bit huge amount. if you say a crime is a crime, the proposal here is for those short sentences due sense sometimes first—time offenders into a terribly negative environment and they are in no way we happily to to delight you say, is prison the right place for them? no, i don't think it is. they have to do what they are told about trying to rehabilitate. they should wear something around their ankles. 0n the way here i had an idea, i have studied the princes trust over a while, they find someone trust over a while, they find someone who is on the street who has committed a crime and they tried to inspire them to find something that they would like to do. they then give them training in doubt and
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often they get some sort ofjob at the end of it. i think if they did that, but younger prisoners, it would be fantastic because you have to inspire people to stop with something else they feel they can manage. it doesn't matter if it is engineering or painting, or anything like that. i understand these programmes are called offending behaviour programmes in the prisons. why aren't they working? because people are scared to come into prison. a lot of the people who come, prisoners aren't used to sitting there and learning, a lot of them did not go to school, just didn't bother with it, hated it. the people who come there are scared. they didn't insist on boundaries and they are often not very good, i'm afraid. the prisoners laugh and joke around like naughty teenagers. you
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have to go somewhere where it is quality stuff. i know lots of prisoners are taught how to pick up litter from the floor, that is no just did them. i don't think the ministry ofjustice just did them. i don't think the ministry of justice can just did them. i don't think the ministry ofjustice can do it, it is a rotten ministry in my experience. it is important that you think of the thick them. i have had the horrible experience of being burgled twice and i felt really violated for a very, very long time. i think people need closure on that. the police will offer you counselling, but i don't want to be apathetic person going through counselling and it is done in a very patronising way. you need somebody to be punished for what they have done so you can feel that at least they have been told off or they will think twice. thank you very much for your thoughts. thank you. thousands of demonstrators are marching through london
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demanding a general election and an end to austerity. it comes ahead of a crucial week in the commons, when mps are widely expected to reject theresa may's withdrawal deal with the eu. 0ur political correspondent, tom barton, is in central london at the protest. 0ur political correspondent, tom barton is in trafalgar square. what are these marchers acting for —— asking for? what are these marchers acting for -- asking for? this rally has been calling for another general election. just finished a couple of moments ago. they have heard from john mcdonnell, who is with me now. brexit was hardly mentioned on the podium. is brexit not the most important issue in the country at the moment? people marching today are concerned about brexit, but also austerities. we have a community
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groups, trade unions, local councillor at all saying what is happening in their communities with regard to austerities, the cuts to their schools, the nhs, the lack of police on the ground. 0verriding all of that is concerns about what happens if theresa may's goes through or if there is no—deal brexit. you are calling for a general election. isn't the reality that with the dup backing theresa may, with her party backing her, at least when it comes to remaining in power, it would be almost impossible for you to force the election. anything can happen in parliament. the first thing we need to do is defeat theresa may's deal. the prediction died that that will happen. we will make a judgment on whether to have a no—confidence vote and if that will trigger a general
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election. the key thing for us, this is notjust election. the key thing for us, this is not just about election. the key thing for us, this is notjust about brexit but about posterity, that is why suddenly people were marching today. the government is disintegrating before our eyes. it even had to amend its owi'i our eyes. it even had to amend its own finance act to get it through. we are seeing a government in office but not in power. it is time to have a general election. if you can't force a general election, which seems difficult at least, labour's policy is to call for a second referendum. will you follow through with that? we are sticking rigidly and firmly by what our members decide at the party conference. debate this deal, called for a general election, ben hamer no—confidence vote, and then keep all the options on the table. 0ne no—confidence vote, and then keep all the options on the table. one of those options is a second referendum. we are sticking to what
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our members have instructed us to do. in sheffield there has been a march for another referendum called bud the people's vote campaign. is that we lead the campaign that has momentum behind it, not yours with another general election? what most people want is to bring the country back together again and that is what we are trying to do. jeremy corbyn is the right leader we need to do that, somebody who builds consensus. once this debate is over, what we wa nt once this debate is over, what we want isa once this debate is over, what we want is a country united. we want to country the issues that affect us all, that is the issue of posterity. thank you for your time. so, the protest here today, the protest in sheffield colin prior another referendum. there will be loud voices in parliament in the coming weeks, as well. police have arrested the hardline pro—brexit campaignerjames goddard. he was detained outside a london underground station this morning on suspicion
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of a public order offence. james goddard was involved in a protest outside parliament earlier this week, when the remain—supporting conservative mp anna soubry was called a nazi. earlier, we heard from our home affairs correspondent daniel sandford, who was with protesters in central london. we are following a protest by the group linked to james goddard and some of the others that were seen to be shouting at anna soubry in that footage that was filmed earlier in the week. a protest of about 200 to 300 people marching through central london, they have taken a route from westminister to victoria, down through pimlico. but as the march assembled about 11:a0am this morning, just outside stjames park tube station, we sanames goddard being arrested by police. when we asked police what that was about, they said it related to a public order offence. there weren't more specific than that.
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certainly, james goddard hadn't done anything at that point this morning, so we assume it relates to events earlier on in the week. two french fire fighters and a spanish citizen have been killed in an explosion at a bakery in central paris. dozens more were injured in the blast. police suspect the blast was caused by a gas leak, which was reported in the building this morning. engulfed in flames, this burning ba kery engulfed in flames, this burning bakery is the site of a dramatic explosion this morning that has left two firefighters dead, dozens of people injured and residents in this pa rt people injured and residents in this part of central paris bound. it has been reported that the hubert bakery was not due to be open at the time. firefighters had been on the way to deal with a gas leak in the building
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when the explosion occurred. translation: i heard an explosion happened there ago and opened my window. i thought it was born, i thought it was the yellow vests, then called my daughter and you told me it was not. several reports have highlighted the extent of the damage around the area caused by the blast, including shattered windows, smashed ca rs including shattered windows, smashed cars and debris in nearby streets. the incident is not believed to be terror related. translation: firefighters were dealing with the blaze. the explosion is probably from a gas lea k explosion is probably from a gas leak and first assessment tells us it is accidental. it has had a heavy toll on civilians but also on firefighters who were on site. toll on civilians but also on firefighters who were on sitem comes as france's is gripped by a ford the ninth saturday in a row by the yellow vests, thousands of demonstrators to turn out to criticise the government's policies,
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their marchers have descended into some of the worst rioting brands are seenin some of the worst rioting brands are seen in decades and today was supposed to see some 18,000 police officers on duty around the country. the protesters a re officers on duty around the country. the protesters are not thought to be connected to the explosion. meanwhile, more than 200 firefighters and 100 police officers continued to deal with its aftermath. continued to deal with its aftermath. the headlines on bbc news: prison sentences of under six months could be scrapped and wales for all but violent and sexual offences, under plans being considered by the ministry ofjustice. two french firefighters and a spanish tourist have been killed in a powerful explosion at a bakery in paris. nearly 50 other people were injured in the blast president trump digs his heels in over his mexican border wall, as the us government shutdown enters a record—breaking 22nd day. hundreds of thousands of workers have not been paid. in sport, 19—year—old debt advice
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was the star for west ham as they beat arsenal 1—0 in the early premiership game. west ham move up to eighth place on the table while arsenal remain in fifth. the head coach of leeds united will be reminded by the club of the integrity expected of the club after he sent a spy to look at the training session of another team. i will be back with more on those stories in an hour. i will be back with more on those stories in an hour. the stand—off between president trump and members of the us congress over funding for a wall on the mexican border has now resulted in a record—breaking government shutdown. the row has entered its 22nd day, leaving hundreds of thousands of government workers unpaid, as politicians argue over budgets. david willis has the latest from washington. we pray today for your wisdom,
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for your answers, for your help. at the white house, they prayed. among them, a president caught in a crisis so seemingly intractable, it might take divine intervention to solve. a government shutdown that started with museums closed and rubbish piling up at national parks has now seen hundreds of thousands of government workers go without pay. and following protests across the country, that shutdown has now set a dubious record as the longest in american political history. cher muzyk was among those marching. when she and her family moved to the farming community of nokesville in virginia, she was looking forward to life as a stay—at—home mother to her young twins. but her husband works for the government and hasn't been paid, leaving her to fret about how to make ends meet. we can work really hard to get this education and make sure that we can
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provide for our family but still end up wondering if we are going to be able to pay our bills. things are working out well... president trump had threatened to declare a national emergency. he still might, he says, but not now. this is a 15—minute meeting! if they can't do it, i will declare a national emergency! there has been no formal contact between president trump and democrat leaders since talks collapsed in the middle of this week. and with none planned, washington's winter of discontent threatens to drag on and on. david willis, bbc news. many us government workers are struggling to cope under the shutdown due to missed pay cheques, forcing many to turn to food banks. earlier, i spoke to jessica slider whichard, a spokesperson for the food bank of central and eastern north carolina. we are seeing folks who are
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receiving federal nutrition programmes wondering if their benefits will continue. we know that will continue to the end of debris. we are seeing increased need from folks working for the government not receiving their pay cheques, struggling to know as they can pay their rent orfood struggling to know as they can pay their rent or food bills. what about their rent or food bills. what about the system of food stamps? this is a federal system, is that being affected by the shutdown and more people still receiving their foodbanks? right now, people are receiving money for their food foodbanks? right now, people are receiving money for theirfood banks and that will continue through the end of february. after that, it becomes more nebulous. what are people saying to you? we are hearing that they are having to make tough choices. we have our pantry that is serving tsa workers at the airport. it is kind of becoming those
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questions of what bills do we pay, do we tried to get food, except the late fees that may be coming because the funds just arrived there from their pay cheques. in your experience, have you experienced anything like this? this is different from what we have seen. we deal with a lot of natural disasters in north carolina, hurricanes, with the need is immediate and great, but this is one where books were not prepared for it and they are having to make choices and the system of support that they would normally rely on for a natural disaster isn't there. i suppose those numbers will keep going up, are you prepared for the increase in people coming to see you? we are. we do have the food available. it is just a matter of making sure we know what they need is an getting it into the right communities. it is not something we can to long term, we can't make up that difference, but for now we will be able to make sure that people
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have food. are you able to replenish those food supplies, where are you getting the donations from? we work with partners, grocery stores, agriculture partners and manufacturing partners and we have a great community that donates food when needed. at the moment we have that, but if this were to continue longer term it does start to affect all aspects of the food industry. longer term it does start to affect all aspects of the food industrylj all aspects of the food industry.” don't know if you can comment on this, but do you get a sense that people are happy to hunker down and said the site? what is the mood like? i don't know if unable to speak to that. people are really worried about their own families and thatis worried about their own families and that is the main focus. you were saying, once february, those food sta m ps saying, once february, those food stamps can't last until debris, what are the plans after that? after that, we just need to make sure we putting out in the community where food free sources are available, where people can get hot meals or
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food to stock up their pantries. that is the next information pushed the local white bear, here are all the local white bear, here are all the places in the community that will have food available to you if benefits lapse. heavy snow is continuing to wreak havoc across large parts of europe, leaving roads blocked, trains halted and schools shut. it's led to the deaths of seven people in austria in the past week and two hikers are missing. conditions are also particularly treacherous in bavaria, as andy beatt reports. from scandinavia to switzerland, and the baltic to bulgaria, vast swathes of europe in the grip of a deadly, debilitating freeze. in austria, the heaviest snowfalls in 30 years have left alpine resorts and villages stranded, up to three metres of snow bringing many to a standstill. in germany, hundreds of soldiers joined emergency workers to clear roofs and roads in bavarian towns. five districts declared a state
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of emergency with schools closed and many communities cut off. further north in saxony, helicopters were used to blow snow off trees to stop them falling on roads and railways. but some remain blocked, while more than 100 flights have been cancelled. three people were injured when an avalanche swept through this hotel in eastern switzerland. local reports said the wall of snow was 300m wide. and storms across scandinavia have made some routes impassable. in northern norway, a bus full of students blew off the road, while winds on the swedish border approached almost 180km/h. 1,000 miles further south, more snow and sub—zero temperatures. drivers in romania battling blizzard conditions, police rescuing some, but reportedly finding the body of one man in a car park. translation: you cannot see three
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metres in front of you. right here, 200m back, you cannot see. translation: we're waiting, for the moment. we're waiting for the snowfall to stop. but there is little sign of that with heavy snows forecast to continue across europe over the weekend. for many, there is still a long winter ahead. andy beatt, bbc news. canada has granted asylum to a saudi teenager who was stranded at an airport in thailand after running away from her family. rahaf mohammed al-qunun publicly renounced islam and feared her relatives would kill her. she flew from bangok yesterday evening and arrived in the canadian city of toronto today. 0ur correspondent nada tawfik is at the airport where al-qunun landed. a short time ago, she told us why the teenager has ended up in canada, when australia was the first to offer asylum. it has been a whirlwind few days for
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the young saudi teenager, temp three, who has now arrived in canada. there are a number of news crews that have been here to greet and captured the first few moments. a few days ago when treated to twitter to plead for help to avoid being deported from thailand and sent back to her family she was unknown. now she has gained international attention. she was originally supposed to go to australia, where she had a support network, but the process was taking too long, because she had gotten threats online, the un was very concerned about her safety. canada was asked by the un to accept her asylu m was asked by the un to accept her asylum application. they agreed and all of this happened quite quickly. the prime minister, justin trudeau, saying that canada would be an equivocal boys for woman's human rights and that rahaf al-qunun was welcome. she will start by the rest
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of life here in canada. the case certainly has encouraged campaigners online feature copper case, who spread her message. this will also create a bit of a frosty situation for saudi arabia and canada, who we re for saudi arabia and canada, who were already in the midst of diplomatic row following canada's calls in a tweet a few months back for saudi arabia to release other human rights activists, women, who had been imprisoned. it's that time of year — returns season. in fact, the office for national statistics estimates that a quarter of our christmas shopping could be sent back. anything bought online is more likely to be returned and in women's clothing the percentage can be as high as 50%. it's a huge cost for stores and, as our consumer affairs correspondent colletta smith reports, retailers are starting to fight back. picking, packing and mailing out. it has been a busy couple of weeks for this online fashion company.
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but staff here know that, like a boomerang, a big chunk of these clothes come straight back. this is just today's returns. 0h, we'd be flying if we didn't have any returns, but we sort of accept that. it's like, if you go into a retail shop, you do expect to try a few things on before you buy something. this week in our clearance sale, we've had ladies by three of the same dress in three different sizes, and i know that, best—case scenario, one will stay out. however, if they actually don't get the dress, three might come back, which is quite heartbreaking, if you know the cost of getting things back and forth. but, increasingly, that is what shoppers are expecting. i will buy, like, a small and medium, and i'll see which one fits best, because i don't want to, like, risk it. so i'll send one back, because i don't need two. if you send it back, it's free. if you have to pay to send it back, i'll often give it to a friend, orjust a little something like that. and especially things for the kids,
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like clothes and things like that, we order loads just to try on, and then taking things back. with it being easier online, a lot of people will do that. maybe not so much in the shops, because it's more of a hassle to come back, but i think, yes, a lot of it is. royal mail say they are expecting this year to be their busiest ever for returning online goods. that is why even some of the biggest stores, like next, have decided to start charging people to return some items. but most retailers are using softer techniques to make sure that too many things are not sent back. we're tending to see more online technology that suggests what size you might want to buy. they're paying more attention to the photography, or indeed the videos, of the things they're selling, to help the customer have a better sense of what they're buying. retailers will have to work harder to help customers get it right first time, or swallow the extra cost, because for customers,
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sending things back is now part and parcel of the shopping process. we all know the frustration of getting stuck behind slow—moving traffic when you're driving, but this was one jam where the drivers didn't dare hoot their horns, no matter how impatient they got. this was the scene in south africa's kruger national park as four large male lions strolled along the road, apparently oblivious to the hold—up they were causing behind them. many other us have sat under a southern skies on saturday with a
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glimmer of brightness here and there. he turned scotland has fared pretty well. many looking at an area of low pressure rolling towards scotland bringing heavy rain overnight. rain briefly to cost eastern england through the evening. dry story to the south. further north, the wettest weather. strong wind across the board. particularly gusty across northern scotland. some rain into northern ireland, northern england. these are our overnight loa ns. england. these are our overnight loans. more like the daytime highs we see at this time of year. temperatures in double figures to the south. further north, clearer skies pushing in, fresher air. afternoon, temperatures of 7—9 across scotland, northern


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