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tv   BBC News  BBC News  April 18, 2021 10:00am-10:31am BST

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this is bbc news. i'm ben brown. our top stories: the two russian men suspected of carrying out the salisbury nerve agent attack three years ago are being sought by police in the czech republic. a senior conservative mp warns borisjohnson he'll lose the support of the so—called red wall voters in former labour seats, unless he resolves the row about lobbying. cannon fires. a day of refelection for members of the royalfamily, after the queen and the nation bid farewell to the duke of edinburgh. china and the us commit to working together and with other countries on tackling climate change.
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once the world's largest iceberg — but now it's broken apart — satellite images show the mega—berg has virtually gone. hello and welcome to bbc news. police in the czech republic say they want to question the two russian men suspected of carrying out the salisbury nerve agent attack, after linking them to a fatal explosion four years earlier. 18 russian diplomats have been expelled from prague, after the czech government said there was strong evidence moscow was involved in the blast. the uk foreign secretary dominic raab said the government stands in full support of the czech republic, and called the actions of russian intelligence services reckless and dangerous. gareth barlow reports. the czech republic, 2014. an explosion at an arms depot leaves two people dead,
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damages nearby homes and sends smoke rising from the ruins. following years of investigations, the czech authorities allege these two men were behind the blast. alexander mishkin and anatoliy chepiga, also known as alexander petrov and ruslan boshirov, the two russian intelligence officers the uk says in 2018 carried out the poisoning of a former russian agent on british soil. announcing the news on saturday, the czech foreign minister said 18 russian diplomats would now have to leave the country. translation: as foreign minister of the czech republic, i made the decision to expel all personnel at the russian embassy in prague, identified by our secret services as officers of russia's secret services. within 48 hours, 18 staff of the russian embassy must leave the czech republic. the czech prime minister said the two suspects were members of the gru, russia's military intelligence service.
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a senior russian parliamentarian called the claim absurd. it all follows tit—for—tat expulsions of diplomats by the us and russia at the end of last week and western concern over the build—up of russian troops along the ukrainian border. the latest development a serious escalation in a region that is already on a political knife edge. gareth barlow, bbc news. we can speak now to mark galeotti, author and russia crime analyst. he is a professor at ucl�*s school of slavonic and east european studies. thank you for being with us. it's quite a murky tale. can you explain what you think the russians were up to in the czech republic? it what you think the russians were up to in the czech republic?— to in the czech republic? it seems that the munitions _ to in the czech republic? it seems that the munitions which - to in the czech republic? it seems that the munitions which exploded to in the czech republic? it seems i that the munitions which exploded in 2014 were about to be bought by a bulgarian arms dealer and then transformed to ukraine. this was the point that russia had just annexed
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the crimean peninsula so it looks like this was an attempt to deprive the ukrainians of munitions. the arms dealer also got caught with another chalk, which suggests a pattern. it also suggests a certain pattern. it also suggests a certain pattern of blunders. the speculation at the moment is that the gru officers had booby—trapped the munitions and they were not to go off until later, perhaps in ukraine. so it's an unfortunate mix of malice, covert operations and incompetence.— malice, covert operations and incometence. , . , incompetence. these two characters, we know their — incompetence. these two characters, we know their faces _ incompetence. these two characters, we know their faces from _ incompetence. these two characters, we know their faces from the - we know their faces from the aftermath of the salisbury attack. they said they were in salisbury to look at the cathedral and its spire. what would you say then about what it says about the gru and russian
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intelligence generally? talk about a level of incompetence? the kremlin has basically — level of incompetence? the kremlin has basically been _ level of incompetence? the kremlin has basically been operating - level of incompetence? the kremlin has basically been operating in - level of incompetence? the kremlin has basically been operating in a - has basically been operating in a wartime footing since 2014. they're much less bothered about being named and shamed, called out and activities being identified because they feel they are in this existential political struggle with the west. in the past, the gru has not suffered political damage from apparent embarrassments. they set the moment that russia feels that it can and must operate these kind of covert sabotage operations which are nudging closer to the boundaries of what we would consider to be an act of war because it can get away with it, basically. until quite recently, the czechs have been quite reticent but they have now pivoted. the
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russians are _ but they have now pivoted. the russians are almost proud of these covert operations that they seem to be running in quite a few countries around the world? the? be running in quite a few countries around the world?— be running in quite a few countries around the world? they are basically o eratin: around the world? they are basically operating at — around the world? they are basically operating at the _ around the world? they are basically operating at the same _ around the world? they are basically operating at the same kind - around the world? they are basically operating at the same kind of- around the world? they are basically operating at the same kind of tempo and aggression as at the peak of the cold war in the west, at least. there is not pride if things go wrong, but if you look at the gru itself, its culture is to be an action centred organisation. they control the russian special forces. i remember once talking to a former gru officer. there is a sense of themselves as a match oh risk wartime operation. so for at least britain has been encouraging them to go out and break stuff.— go out and break stuff. interesting to talk to yon _ go out and break stuff. interesting to talk to you. thank _ go out and break stuff. interesting to talk to you. thank you - go out and break stuff. interesting to talk to you. thank you so - go out and break stuff. interesting |
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to talk to you. thank you so much. a senior conservative mp has warned the uk prime minister borisjohnson he'll lose the support of the so—called red wall voters in former labour seats, unless he resolves the row about lobbying. several inquries have begun into the former prime minister david cameron's communications with cabinet ministers while he was working for the collapsed finance firm, greensill capital. we'll have more on that story shortly with our political correspondent nick eardley. the royal family has honoured the duke of edinburgh's humour and humanity as he was laid to rest at st george's chapel in windsor. the service was restrained, in line with the duke's wishes and coronavirus guidelines. princes william and harry were seen chatting together as they left the service. the period of official national mourning has now come to an end. 0ur royal correspondent nicholas witchell looks back on a funeral that was watched by millions around the world. drawn up in the spring sunshine on the castle's quadrangle
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were the military detachments. they stood with heads bowed and rifles reversed. the scale was smaller than would have been the case without the pandemic — though that's hardly something that would've troubled the duke. he, after all, had choreographed much of what was to follow. the land rover hearse, which the duke had helped to design, moved to its position by the state entrance. the duke's coffin was borne on the shoulders of a bearer party from the grenadier guards. the coffin was covered with the duke's personal standard and surmounted with his sword and naval cap, and a wreath from the queen. with great care, it was
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placed on the hearse. behind the hearse were members of the royalfamily, who were walking to the chapel, headed by the prince of wales. a royal salute sounded and the first sight of the queen, accompanied by a lady in waiting, in the state bentley, taking position as the order was given for the procession to step off. he issues command. bell tolls. band plays. bell tolls. close by was one of the horse—drawn
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carriages the duke had taken such pleasure in driving. on the seat, his cap and gloves. among the members of the family walking behind the coffin were princes william and harry — the focus of so much attention — walking with their cousin peter phillips between them. bell tolls. the procession wound its way past the castle's round tower. by the side entrance to st george's chapel, other members of the royal family stood with their heads bowed. the queen made her way into the chapel, pausing to look back as the hearse moved on down the hill. on the wreath of white roses and lilies on the coffin was a card, on which were the handwritten words "in loving memory". before they entered the chapel, the bearer party paused as a field gun signalled the start
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of a one—minute silence. the service began with a tribute to the duke from the dean of windsor. we have been inspired by his unwavering loyalty to our queen, by his service to the nation and the commonwealth, by his courage, fortitude and faith. the small congregation sat in its family groups. the queen sat alone. so did prince harry. after the prayers and the commendation, a distinctive touch typical of the duke — royal marine buglers sounded the royal navy's call to action stations. and finally, at the end
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of her husband's funeral, the choir sang the national anthem. seldom can its words have had greater poignancy. # god save the queen #. the family mourners departed, a widowed queen to her castle, and two brothers, william and harry, walked away together, alongside the duchess of cambridge. the duke of edinburgh is gone, but the brothers know that he would have wanted the family to move on and for differences to be healed. nicholas witchell, bbc news. china and the us say they are committed to working together and with other countries on tackling climate change. it comes after several meetings between the us climate envoy john kerry and his chinese counterpart in shanghai last week. our energy and environment analyst
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roger harraben reports. china is currently the world's number one polluter with its massive carbon emissions from coal. but the us is most to blame historically for the emissions that are heating the atmosphere. the superpowers must work together on the climate. since the controversy over china's treatments over its uighur minority, us—china relations have been icy. but america's climate envoy john kerry has been in china, urging superpower cooperation to reduce emissions. the round table a symbol of working together. the us will announce its planned emissions reductions at a joe biden climate summit next week. he admitted... it's not easy for any country. we all face this challenge. but europe has set a goal of 55% reduction. the uk has set a goal of 68% reduction. so we are evaluating right now
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what we ourselves can do. china's already the world's top new factor of wind turbines and solar panels. thejoint statement said finance must shift towards renewables, away from coal. environmentalists say the statement is positive, but warned that tackling climate change will need all nations to strive much harder. roger harrabin, bbc news. a look at our latest headlines... the two russian men suspected of carrying out the salisbury nerve agent attack three years ago are being sought by police in the czech republic. a senior conservative mp warns borisjohnson he'll lose the support of the so—called red wall voters in former labour seats — unless he resolves the row about lobbying. cannon fires. a day of refelection for members of the royal family, after the queen and the nation bid
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farewell to the duke of edinburgh. the number of covid—19 deaths around the world has risen to more than three million. the latest figures show that most fatalities have been in the united states, followed by brazil, mexico and india. more than 370,000 people have now died from coronavirus in brazil. yet president bolsonaro refuses to lock down despite a sharp rise in infections. mark lowen has this report from sao paolo. every day, the faces of despair multiply. the food lines in sao paulo's largest favela go on and on. with most here working in the grey economy, covid has destroyed jobs. queues have more than tripled in recent months, as the pandemic takes lives and livelihoods of brazil's poorest. i am very worried that if coronavirus gets worse,
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people in the favela will turn to crime or start looting supermarkets, says this man. when a father is starving and trying to feed his children, desperation hits. for this woman and her family, this is now their only meal of the day. she lost herjob in a manicure studio with the pandemic and they are unable to pay the rent. translation: i've lost hope. we will have to live on the street or under a bridge soon. sometimes i think i should give my children away to social services. with the pandemic, six out of ten brazilian households now lack sufficient access to food. government hand—outs last year helped, but they've been reduced as money runs scarce. covid has gone from health crisis to an acute social one, too, as brazil's
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profound inequality deepens. no such concerns for the wealthiest food producers and backers of the president. it's corn harvest time on this man's 1,300 hectares. the agricultural richness of this country makes hunger hard to fathom. president bolsonaro, he says, is cutting through a corrupt establishment. but with the president's anti lockdown stance, slow vaccine purchase and more than 365,000 dead here, his critics call his handling genocidal. the president bolsonaro is not focused on killing anyone. - he wants to preserve - the liberties of the people. he wants people to get out, to get to work. - the cost of that is the second worst death toll in the world and a hospital collapse. no, it's not true because 365,000, we don't know
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if they died by corona. with a public health disaster, economic woes and a divisive leader, brazil is facing a perfect storm. it urgently needs a way out from the darkness of the pandemic. but there is still no sign of it or of the hope this devastated nation craves. mark lowen, bbc news, sao paulo. what was once the world's largest iceberg has finally broken apart. a—68, as it was known, covered an area of nearly 2,300 square miles when it broke away from antarctica in 2017. but satellite images show the mega—berg has now virtually gone, broken into countless small fragments that the us national ice center says are no longer worth tracking. here's our science correspondent, victoria gill. a 1—billion tonne block of ice. when iceberg a—68 broke away from antarctica back in 2017, it measured more than 2,300 square
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miles — a quarter the size of wales. it was only by imaging it from space that scientists could actually follow the massive iceberg's journey as it inched its way north. at one point, it was on a direct collision course with the antarctic island of south georgia, potentially threatening to cut off vast populations of penguins and seals. but it was off that coast in the open ocean swell that the world's largest iceberg broke apart and now that it's officially been declared deceased, the scientists who've been following itsjourney so they are surprised it survived as long as it did. so this thing is incredibly fragile and flexible as it moved around the oceans. it lasted for years like that as it moved around but eventually broke into four, five pieces and then those broke up again. but the end point for some of these fragments was quite interesting because just very suddenly overnight, theyjust fragmented into millions of little tiny pieces and you can see that on the satellite data. and that process, i think,
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is something that needs studying a little bit more because it might tell us a little bit about how ice shelves will break up in the future. a—68 being the size of a small country made it the focus of global media attention. but the breaking away, or calving, of these giant icebergs is a natural part of the ebb and flow of the dynamic ice shelf. does the whole journey and the break—up and demise of an iceberg of this scale, does it give you any insight into how climate change is going to affect the ice sheets at large in antarctica? one event on its own can't tell us that much but what we're looking at is the regularity of these events. are they becoming more frequent? and an iceberg calving is a big factor in ice loss from antarctica. so, if these iceberg calving events are becoming more frequent, then it is a really important factor that we need to be looking at and researching. while a—68 will be remembered as a social media star
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that was visible from space, scientists will now be turning their attention to the newest chasm on the edge of the vast ice sheet and the next giant berg to set off on its own epicjourney. victoria gill, bbc news. let's return now to the story about lobbying at westminster, and the inquiries into the former uk prime minister david cameron's communications with cabinet ministers while he was working for the collapsed finance firm, greensill capital. our political correspondent nick eardleyjoins me. we have had various politicians talking about this again this morning. talking about this again this morninu. ~ . ., ., talking about this again this mornin_ . ., ., ., morning. what are labour saying? the bi ruestion morning. what are labour saying? the big question now _ morning. what are labour saying? the big question now is _ morning. what are labour saying? the big question now is whether _ morning. what are labour saying? the big question now is whether the - big question now is whether the rules around lobbying are tight enough. we have heard a stream of stories of the last few weeks about david cameron lobbying ministers on behalf of his company about potential conflict—of—interest in the civil service and in the cabinet as well, but in a lot of these it
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seems like the rules have not been broken. we are increasingly hearing calls for the role is to be tightened. let's listen first to rachel reeves from labour. what we've seen this week is that tory sleaze is back and it's bigger than ever. and we need real change to restore trust in our democracy and in the very essence of public service, which matters to so many of us and matters to people in our country. what we want to see, what we wanted this week, and that's why we had a vote on it, is to have a proper inquiry. not chaired by one of boris johnson's friends, and a very close friend of the conservative party is nigel boardman, who is doing the review, but a proper independent inquiry that has teeth and has the chance to make recommendations on how to clean this up. this isn't just about greensill — greensill is the tip of the iceberg. there is £2 billion of contracts that have gone to friends and donors of the conservative party. this whole growing feeling
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that there is one rule for those at the top and another for everybody else that we need to root out of our politics. labour are very keen to point this at the conservative party. rachel reeves was asked about the former welsh first minister carwynjones who was told by the body that oversees these things that you should not take a job with a steel company after he left his job as first minister. he did take it and she was suggesting that the two things were different. but clearly the spotlight is on this in a way that it has not been for some time. the argument from the government as they are going to look into this. i'm a last count there are seven enquiries ongoing, some by mps, one from a senior lawyer looking into this for the government. the environment secretary george eustice was on the march show this morning
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and he said david cameron had not done anything wrong but the government needed to look into everything. have a listen. we've got these various i reviews that are ongoing, including the government one, . including simon case looking at... there's always an ongoing review, come on. well, it's not. this is an ongoing review that hasjust been set up. - once it's concluded and once - all those parliamentary committees that are looking at this have - concluded, i'm sure some of them will make policy recommendations, and of course the government - will look at that. i'm not saying that things couldn't be tweaked or improved, - but i am saying that it was changed about ten years ago. _ and, fundamentally, _ here the question should be less about who spoke to whom, the question is much more| how did ministers act - after those conversations. and on that, as far as i can see, the answer is that rishi sunak. didn't do any special favours i for greensill or david cameron. you will notice and the answer there that george eustice hinted that maybe the government would look at strengthening the rules at some point. strengthening the rules at some oint. ~ . ., point. what are the political ramifications _ point. what are the political ramifications of _
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point. what are the political ramifications of all - point. what are the political ramifications of all of - point. what are the political ramifications of all of this? | point. what are the political i ramifications of all of this? we have a senior conservative mp talking about warning borisjohnson he could lose support around the country because of this?- country because of this? that's riuht. sir country because of this? that's right. sir bernard _ country because of this? that's right. sir bernard jenkin - country because of this? that's right. sir bernard jenkin has i country because of this? that's i right. sir bernard jenkin has been country because of this? that's - right. sir bernard jenkin has been a right. sir bernard jenkin has been a tory mp since 1992 and is seeing some of those people who voted conservative for the first of over brexit will look at this and it might erode their trust in the political system. might erode their trust in the politicalsystem. i might erode their trust in the political system. i think there is a nervousness around westminster that this is really starting to cut through. it's been going on for weeks. the spotlight is on this issue like it hasn't been for some time. there is a nervousness it is starting to impact trust on politicians and i think the more this continues, the more that nervousness will grow. figs this continues, the more that nervousness will grow. as you say, it's a row that _ nervousness will grow. as you say, it's a row that is _ nervousness will grow. as you say, it's a row that is continuing. - nervousness will grow. as you say, it's a row that is continuing. we - it's a row that is continuing. we have these seven enquiries currently under way? have these seven enquiries currently underway? it’s have these seven enquiries currently under wa ? �* , , ., under way? it's interesting. you have the private _ under way? it's interesting. you have the private one _ under way? it's interesting. you have the private one which - under way? it's interesting. you have the private one which will. under way? it's interesting. you i have the private one which will be the government's lawyer and we won't
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see much of that until the conclusion, but three different groups of mps are now looking at this, so we face the prospect of david cameron and a bunch of cabinet ministers giving evidence in public. nick, thank you very much indeed. you are watching bbc news. now let's get a look at the latest weather forecast for you. there is a lot of dry weather in the day and the week ahead. it's feeling quite pleasant out there now. it looks as though the beginning of this week will be a bit warmer than last week because of the wind direction, but the wind changes once again. noticeably coolerfrom again. noticeably cooler from midweek again. noticeably coolerfrom midweek onward so we could see a return to more significant frosts.
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some cloud are spilling into western wales and south—west england as well. forthe wales and south—west england as well. for the rest of the day, dry, settled and sunny with a light breeze and temperatures will respond. we could see into the middle of the afternoon highs of 15 or16 middle of the afternoon highs of 15 or 16 degrees. a bit cooler into the far north under the cloud, more of a breeze here. it stays quite murky as well over higher ground. that weather front will retreat a little further north and west overnight, but it still sitting out in the atlantic and is going to continue to bring a lot of cloud into the far north—west so here it will stay on the mall site through the night. we could draw in a bit more in the way of low cloud and fog. not as cold start as previous mornings. we keep those temperatures perhaps up just above freezing for many. so on monday largely dry story to begin with. that fog will burn its way back to the north sea, a good deal of sense in coming through. cloudy
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with light, patchy rain into the western isles and may be to the west of northern ireland. here are a bit of northern ireland. here are a bit of a nuisance, but perhaps 17 degrees as possible. for tuesday, this area of high pressure is building and moving eastwards. more importantly, it means a change of wind direction. more of a northerly flow which will drag slightly cooler air across the country and that will mean a change to the feel of the weather. so particularly on those exposed east coast, cooler with a breeze coming in off the sea. take care.
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this is bbc news. the headlines. the two russian men suspected of carrying out the salisbury nerve agent attack three years ago are being sought by police in the czech republic. a senior conservative mp warns borisjohnson he'll lose the support of the so—called "red wall" voters in former labour seats, unless he resolves the row about lobbying. cannon fires. the row about lobbying. a day of refelection for members of the royal family, after the queen and the nation bid farewell to the duke of edinburgh. china and the us commit to working together and with other countries on tackling climate change. once the world's largest iceberg — but now it's broken apart — satellite images show the "mega—berg" has virtually gone.

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