tv BBC News BBC News January 12, 2019 4:00pm-4:31pm GMT
this is bbc news. i'm lukwesa burak. the headlines at apm: 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. it's reported three people have died, including two firefighters, and dozens more injured after a huge explosion at a bakery in paris. it's thought to have been caused by a gas leak. 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. and coming up on dateline london at liz30pm with carrie gracie, we look back at a key week in parliament, as mps prepare to vote on the most momentous question of the age, withdrawalfrom the european union. 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 — 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 lose their home, theirjob and 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. in 2017 86,275 people were jailed.
and 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 ian lawrence, who's general secretary of napo, the trade union for probation staff. the reason they are talking to you
isa the reason they are talking to you is a lot of people don't realise the role of probation in sentencing and also community once the offenders are also community once the offenders a re let also community once the offenders are let back into the community. what do you make of these proposals? it takes a long time for the penny to drop but we broadly welcome this announcement. we will support the concept of removing short—term prison sentences for those people who don't constitute a threat to the community. members have been saying for decades and i think it's a sensible proposal. we stand ready work with the secretary of state and this minister to get this moving but there is an important caveat. 0k, ta ke there is an important caveat. 0k, take me through that? essentially the probation service has been part privatised for the last four, four and a half years and it's had a massive impact on service delivery and the ability of our skilled professionals to do exactly what
they should be doing. levels of supervision in many regards are u nsatisfa ctory supervision in many regards are unsatisfactory and that's notjust supervision in many regards are unsatisfactory and that's not just a union seeing that. taking this back to the beginning, in the first case, at the moment, when an offender goes to court, part of their sentence is determined by a report that the probation service writes, correct? thejudge takes probation service writes, correct? the judge takes that into consideration. when they leave prison they are released on licence? it depends on what the tariff is, it may involve a short—term sentence in prison or community service but what we are talking about ostensibly here as those offenders who have gone into a short—term sentence, six months or thereabouts, we are saying it's not conducive to proper rehabilitation and it's not cost—effective to the taxpayer. what we need to see is more provision in the community for people to be given the community for people to be given the opportunity to turn their life around at a lower cost to the taxpayer in the hands of skilled professionals. but you have private companies running half the system.
badly. what does probation do with offenders within the community? essentially what we try to do its work within the client to see what their personal circumstances are, do they have drug abuse or alcohol problems, domestic issues, and we would work with the agencies to try and find a pathway for them to get back into society in a meaningful way. the danger of going into short—term prison sentences as they are mixing with as rory stewart said, some interesting characters and often they become friends and down the track if they get into a reoffending cycle the other people they will turn to. but the prison service needs repairing from the disaster of this government and chris grayling in particular is responsible for. if they say yes, we will go ahead with this, we understand they have been talking about this for some 15 years. if they say let's go ahead without the probation service had to step in to help with this community
rehabilitation. and lowering risk, it's all about risk in the community isn't it? are you fit for purpose, what needs to be done to get the probation service fit for purpose? we need to pay staff and harm —— harmonise benefits. we need to stop the government privatising the system and selling it off. we need the system brought back into public ownership. this government can have a long and sober look at what has gone on and we can take time to restructure the service and do the right thing for the taxpayer and clients. so can this work without you in the whole? 0h clients. so can this work without you in the whole? oh no, you need us, minister, and you need to work with us. thank you. two french fire fighters and a spanish woman 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. navtej johal reports. engulfed in flames, this burning bakery is the site of a dramatic explosion this morning that's left firefighters dead, dozens of people injured and residents in this part of central paris stunned. it's been reported that the hubert bakery on the rue de trevise was not due to be open at the time. firefighters had been on their way to deal with a gas leak in the building when the explosion occurred. translation: i heard an explosion half—an—hour ago and opened my window. i thought it was a bomb, i thought it was the yellow vests. then i called my daughter and she 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 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 leak and our first assessment tells us it is accidental. it has had a very heavy toll on civilians, but also on firefighters who were on site. it comes as france is gripped, for the ninth saturday in a row, by the yellow vests — thousands of demonstrators turning out to criticise the government's policies. their marchers have descended into some of the worst rioting france has seen in decades and today was supposed to see some 18,000 police 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 continue to deal with its aftermath. the standoff 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. 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 in 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. cheyne was among those watching.
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 has not been paid, leaving her to fret about how to make ends meet. it's just a time that is so unbelievable, that you can work really hard to get this education and be sure that we can provide for a family still, and end up wandering if we are going to be able to pay our bills. 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.
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 tojessica slider whichard, a spokesperson for the food bank of central & eastern north carolina. we are seeing folk who are receiving nutrition programmes wondering if their benefits will continue. we know it will continue through the end of february and we see an increase need from people working from the federal government not receiving paychecks struggling to know if they will be able to pay rent or pay for food so we are trying to get more food into the community to help that. what about the system of food stamps? is that being affected by this shutdown or are people still receiving food stamps? right now people are receiving money for food stamps through the women, infants and children programme and that will
continue until the end of february whereas after that it becomes more nebulous. what are people saying? that they are having to make tough choices. we have a pantry serving tsa workers at the airport and somebody said because he could receive free food he could no he has a light bill so it's becoming the question of what bill is to be paid? do we try to get food, do we accept late fees which may be coming because the funds are not there from their paychecks. have you ever experienced anything like this in your experience? it's different from what we've seen, we deal with a lot of natural disasters here, need is immediate and great and this is one where people are not prepared for it and they are having to make choices and they are having to make choices and they are having to make choices and the system of support they would normally rely on for instant. numbers will keep going up, are you prepared for the increase in people
coming to see you? we are, we have food available and it's a matter of making sure we know what they need is and getting it to the right communities where it is needed. it's not something we can do long term by any means, we are not able to make up any means, we are not able to make up the difference but buy right now we can make up that folks have food. are you able to replenish could surprise, when are you getting the donations from? we have grocery stores and agricultural partners and manufacturing partners and we also have a great community who donate food where needed. right now we do have that, it's just if this continues longer term that does start to go away and it affects all aspects of the food industry. start to go away and it affects all aspects of the food industrylj don't aspects of the food industry.” don't know if you can comment but do you get the sense people are happy to hunker down and set this out? what is the mid light?” to hunker down and set this out? what is the mid light? i don't know ifi what is the mid light? i don't know if i can speak to that. people are worried about their own families right now and that's the main focus.
0k, and you are seeing february, the food stamps can last until february, what are the plans after that? after that i think what we have to do is make sure we are putting out in our community where food resources are available, where people can get hot meals are stuck up their pantry and that's the next information push which will go out, here are the places in your community that will have food available if benefits continue to lapse. we are just hearing, i have got the latest twitter message from donald trump and in it he says i have a plan on the shutdown. but to understand that plan you have to understand the fact that i won the election and i promised safety and security for the american people. part of that promise was a wall at the southern border. elections have consequences. that's the latest response from president trump on the shutdown, he
won the election, he says. the headlines on bbc news: 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. and 19—year—old declan rice was the star for west ham as they beat arsenal 1—0 in the early game at the london stadium, west ham up to eighth place whilst arsenal remain fifth. mark selby else i will be reminded by the club of the integrity of leeds united after she
admitted spending a staff member to spy admitted spending a staff member to spy on a derby county training session. and andy murray has been back on court in melbourne warming up back on court in melbourne warming upfor back on court in melbourne warming up for what could be his last match ata grand up for what could be his last match at a grand on monday as slam he prepares for his first round of the australian open. you can keep up to date on the bbc sport website with the football scores. thousands of demonstrators are marching through london, 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, has been at the protest in central london. this protest is just getting under way, they are just starting to march from here outside the bbc down to trafalgar square. this protest is organised by the left—wing group people's assembly, there are
m essa 9 es people's assembly, there are messages that brexit is not the only issue affecting the country, it's one of a number of issues and the best way to solve those issues and unlock the brexit deadlock is to hold another general election. this is not the only protest taking place today, there is also one in sheffield organised by the peoples vote campaign, that is calling for another brexit referendum. this is happening ahead of another big week in the brexit debate, mps due to vote on tuesday, finally, over the prime minister's brexit deal, it might be noisy here and in sheffield but it will be noisy in the house of commons as well. police have arrested the hardline pro—brexit campaignerjames goddard. he was detained outside a london underground station this morning — on suspicion 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. certainly, james goddard hadn't done anything at that point this morning, so we assume it relates to events earlier on in the week. heavy snow is continuing to wreak havoc across large parts of europe, leaving roads blocked, trains services cancelled and schools shut.
it's led to the deaths of seven people in austria in the past week , and two hikers have been reported 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 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 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. she 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. sot it's been a world wind few days for ra haf it's been a world wind few days for rahaf all-qunun who has arrived in canada, a number of news crews have been here to greet her and to ca ptu re been here to greet her and to capture those first few moments. a few days ago when she took 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, bbc understands, was taking too long and because she had gotten threats online the un was concerned about her safety. canada was asked by the un to accept her asylum application will stop the agreed and all of this happened quite quickly with the prime ministerjustin trudeau seeing canada that be an unequivocal voice for women's rights human rights and that rahaf al-qunun was welcome. she will start now the rest of her life here in canada, the case has encouraged campaigners online who took up her case and spread her message. this will also create a bit ofa message. this will also create a bit of a frosty situation for saudi arabia and canada who are already in the midst of a diplomatic row following canada's the midst of a diplomatic row
following ca nada's calls the midst of a 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. police in wisconsin have charged a 21—year—old man with kidnapping a teenage girl and murdering her parents. jake patterson was arrested on two counts of first—degree homicide and one count of kidnapping. 13—year—old jayme closs had been held captive since october after her mother and father were shot dead. she managed to escape and was found yesterday. now 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's been a busy couple of weeks for this online fashion company. but staff here know that, like a boomerang, a good chunk of these clothes come straight back. this is just today's returns. 0h, we would be flying if we did not have any returns but we sort of accept that. you know, it is like if you go into a retail shop, you do sort of expect to try a few things on before you want to buy something. this week in our clearance sale, we have had ladies buy three of the same dress in three different sizes and i know that, you know, best case scenario, one will stay out. however, if they actually get the dress, three might come back, which is quite heartbreaking when you know the cost of, you know, getting things back and forth. but increasingly that is what shoppers are expecting. i will buy a small and a medium and see which one fits best because i do not want to risk it, so i will send one back, because, obviously, i do not need two. only if, also...
if you send it back, it is free. if you have to pay to send it back, i will probably just give it to a friend or sell it or something like that. yeah, over ordering, especially things for the kids, like holiday clothes and things like that, ordering loads 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 is more of a hassle to come back but a lot of my friends do it. the amount of stuff being brought back to shops has increased dramatically over the last couple of years. royal mail say they are expecting this year to be their busiest ever for returning online goods. that is why some of the biggest online stores, like next, have decided to start charging people to return some items. but most retailers are using softer techniques to make sure too many things are not sent back. we are tending to see more online technology that suggests what size you might want to buy. they are paying more attention to the photography, or indeed the videos of the things they are selling, to help
the customer have a better sense of what they are buying. retailers will have to work harder to help customers get it right first time or swallow the extra cost, because for customers, sending things back is now part and parcel of the shopping process. colletta smith, bbc news, in newcastle. now it's time for a look at the weather with susan powell. many of us and our sullen skies on saturday. eastern scotland fitting well with clear spells but now we look at an area of low pressure rolling towards scotland which will bring heavier rain through the course of the night. rain briefly across eastern england, dry story to the south, overnight, further north the south, overnight, further north the wettest weather. strong winds across the board particularly gusty across the board particularly gusty across northern scotland and a bit of rain into northern ireland and northern england, just look how mild it is. these are overnight lows,
eight or nine more like the daytime highs we would see at this time of year. mild day again on sunday to the south of the uk, temperatures in double figures. further north clear skies start to push in and fresher air, by the afternoon we are looking at temperatures of eight or nine. starting to feel somewhat hello, this is bbc news with lu kwesa burak. the headlines... 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.
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. now on bbc news it's time for dateline london with carrie gracie. hello and a very warm welcome to dateline london. i'm carrie gracie. this week, the uk living on the edge with mps about to vote on the most momentous question of the age — withdrawal from the european union.
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