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tv   BBC News  BBC News  April 18, 2021 10:00pm-10:30pm BST

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tonight at ten, international condemnation of russia after the two suspects in the salisbury nerve agent poisonings are linked to a deadly explosion in the czech republic. two men died in the blast in 2014, once declared an accident. the suspects are thought to be agents working for russian military intelligence. the foreign secretary, dominic raab, says the czech revelations show a "disturbing pattern of behaviour" by moscow. also tonight... football chiefs warn europe's top clubs not
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to join a new super—league after reports of an announcement on a breakaway tournament. from the favelas to the farmlands, how a divided brazil is failing to tackle coronavirus. and preparing for lift—off... the revolutionary nasa helicopter set to hover above the surface of mars. good evening. there's been international condemnation of russia after the two men suspected of carrying out the salisbury nerve agent attack three years ago were implicated in a deadly explosion in the czech republic in 2014. the foreign secretary, dominic raab, says the revelation shows a "disturbing pattern of behaviour" by moscow, while the white house has criticised what it says are "subversive actions" by the russian state.
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czech officials are now expelling 18 russian diplomats, a move moscow says is "absurd", and in retaliation is now expelling 20 czech diplomats. here's our security correspondent, gordon corera. the aftermath of a deadly explosion. in october 2014, this arms depot in the czech countryside blew up. it took a month to find the remains of two men who worked there. it was widely assumed to have been an accident, until now. a key piece of evidence came when investigators found an e—mail requesting permission for two men to inspect the site. attached were scans of the men's passports, a copy of which the bbc has obtained. if you recognise them, this is why. they're the same two men wanted in connection with the salisbury poisoning in the uk. in 2018, they were spotted on cctv and accused of smearing nerve agent on the front door
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of sergei skripal�*s house. the two denied any involvement, saying they visited salisbury to see the cathedral spire. the e—mail with the passport scans claimed the men were from the national guard of tajikistan, and gave false names. the pair arrived in prague on 0ctober11th, using the same names as in salisbury. on october 13th, they went to stay in 0strava, near the arms depot, and they left the country on october 16th, the day of the explosion. but why was the depot targeted? the bbc has been told that a bulgarian arms dealer, emilian gebrev, stored weapons there. six months later in bulgaria, members of the same unit of russian military intelligence are believed to have tried to kill gebrev. this cctv shows an alleged member of the team moving around gebrev�*s car. it's alleged that poison was smeared on its door handle,
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leaving him fighting for his life, though he did survive. 0ne expert says these incidents paint a picture of how this unit operates. it actually seems to be military intelligence�*s in—house team of miscellaneous throat—slitters and general saboteurs. there's probably about 20 operational staff and maybe 200 support personnel. the czech prime minister has announced that 18 russian diplomats are being expelled. the issue will be discussed by eu foreign ministers tomorrow, while in london, the foreign secretary said the uk stood by its czech allies in exposing russian�*s dangerous operations. moscow says the allegations about its role in this expression moscow says the allegations about its role in this explosion are unfounded and far—fetched, but investigations into the activities of russian military intelligence are ongoing and more cases may still be uncovered, raising the pressure on moscow further. gordon corera, bbc news.
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0ur correspondent sarah rainsford is in moscow for us tonight. sarah, russia is facing criticism for a number of acts in recent days. yeah, it's been quite a week for russia's relations with the west. it is notjust the czechs who have been expelling russian diplomats, the americans and the poles have done it too. all of it is meant to change the way the kremlin is thinking, but moscow has mirrored all of those moves and more, and the political mood here feels increasingly tense. there is still of course that russian troop deployment to ukraine's border, and the sense that russia is one of what it might do if pushed. and russia is still insisting that it is the west that is aggressive, trying to impose its agenda inside russia, so there has been a real crackdown inside the country against vladimir putin because my political opponents. alexei navalny, the key one, is still in prison and he has been on a
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hunger strike now for 19 days. his opponents are warning that his life is hanging by a thread. they have called a protest for wednesday. that is shaping up to be a key day. president vladimir putin will make a state of the nation address on wednesday, and that could give us some indications of whether this downward spiral will continue. sarah rainsford in — downward spiral will continue. sarah rainsford in moscow. _ the premier league and uefa have warned any club thinking ofjoining a new european super—league that they'll be banned from all other competitions. there are reports that an announcement could be made soon about plans for the formation of a breakaway tournament. the prime minister says such proposals would be very damaging for football. our sports editor dan roan is outside old trafford, dan, what do we know? clive, if this were to happen, it has the potential to end the club game as we know it. the so—called big six of english club football,
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manchester united here, but also manchester united here, but also manchester city, liverpool, chelsea, arsenal and spurs, all understood to be on the verge tonight of announcing that they are in principle supportive of a possible european super league that would see them become permanent members of a new competition alongside italian and spanish clubs initially, in return for hundreds of millions of pounds. will it happen? in the past, this threat of a breakaway has regularly been used to get more power and money from uefa, and it is surely no coincidence that tomorrow, uefa are due to announce a new revamped, enlarged champions league format. it would be no surprise if this was a negotiation tactic ahead of that. it's been widely condemned tonight by everyone from the likes of the prime minister, former players and managers like sir alex ferguson and fan groups and the government, but also uefa, who said that the clubs would be punished. they would be barred from domestic and european club competition in the
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premier league, who said they wouldn't sanction it. the players might be barred from playing for their countries. it's being seen as a power grab motivated by greed. but whatever the motivation and whether it happens, it has reinforced a sense of division and also questions over where power lies in the game. dan roan at old trafford. the first weekend since the latest easing of covid lockdown restrictions in england has seen millions take the opportunity to get outdoors and enjoy sunny weather. but there are concerns over new variants of the coronavirus, with 77 cases discovered in england and scotland of an indian mutation of the coronavirus. with the latest, here's our health correspondent, catherine burns. as steps along the road map go, this one has made a big difference to streets up and down england. it's been the first weekend for nonessential shops to open. streets packed, and apart from masks and queues, it's almost like old times.
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pubs and restaurants too have had their first weekend of real trade for months. 0nly outside, but it's not putting people off. steve and his family are getting togetherfor a big occasion. it's really great to be able to come out and celebrate my birthday, meet my daughter, who i haven't seen for a long time, and just be around other people as well. there's a buzz. it'sjust really lovely to see them and celebrate. it feels a bit more normal as well. it's nice to be able tojust do it now. i even if you have to be cold, it's worth it. - right now, it can feel like we've all got a lot to celebrate. infections across the uk have fallen by 90% since the start of the year. they're now at their lowest level since september. public health officials will keep a close eye on how easing up affects those numbers, but in the meantime, they're also studying a new variant that seems to have come from india. cases are spiking there,
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and 77 people in the uk have now tested positive for the new variant. the vast majority have been picked up in routine testing as people isolated after travelling from india, although a few have not been linked to travel. we have the variant under investigation. to escalate it up the ranking, we need to know if it has increased transmissibility, increased severity or vaccine—evading, and wejust don't have that yet, though we're looking at the data on a daily basis. meanwhile, as we ease out of restrictions, the nhs is starting to reckon up the cost of the pandemic on patient care. there's a warning that it could take between three and five years to clear waiting lists in the worst areas. we're going to have to be bold, we're going to have to be transformational. we're going to need to basically change the way that we provide some of this care, but that's going to need the government to come up with extra funding. the government says yes, the nhs is facing significant challenges, but it's also getting an extra
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£7 billion funding. catherine burns, bbc news. the latest government figures show there were 1,882 new coronavirus infections recorded in the latest 24—hour period, which means on average, the number of new cases reported per day in the last week is 2,555. the number of people in hospital in the uk with coronavirus stands atjust over 2,000. ten deaths were reported, that's of people who died within 28 days of a positive covid—19 test, which means on average in the past week, 26 deaths were announced every day, taking the total to more than 127,000. nearly 140,000 people have had their first dose of a covid—19 vaccine in the latest 24 hour period, taking the overall number of people who've had their firstjab to more than 32.75 million,
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while the number of people who've had their second dose of the vaccine in the latest 24 hour period is nearly half a million, which takes the overall number who've had their second jab to nearly ten million. the environment secretary, george eustice, has told the bbc that the government will "look at" any recommendations to change the rules around lobbying. inquiries have begun into david cameron's contact with ministers, on behalf of the collapsed financial firm, greensill capital. here's our political correspondent, jonathan blake. letting light into parts of political life that often stay in the shadows. former prime minister david cameron's lobbying of ministers on behalf of a finance company has led to wider questions about links between government and business and possible conflicts of interest. 0ne cabinet minister who used to work for mr cameron defended his actions and those of ministers today, but hinted that a government review could bring change. once it's concluded and once all those parliamentary committees that are now looking at this
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are 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 that fundamentally here, the question should be less about who spoke to who. the question is much more about how ministers acted after those conversations. conservatives are worried that some of this may be starting to stick and could spell trouble for borisjohnson with voters if he doesn't do something soon. boris defeated what he regarded and described as an out of touch elite in the 2016 referendum, and won a general election victory. he is seen as different from his predecessors, and has won a lot of support as a consequence. he will lose that support unless he acts decisively now. labour's rachel reeves faced questions about why her party's former welsh first minister took a job against independent advice, but there's no letup in the political attacks. what we have seen this week is that
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tory sleaze is back and that - it's bigger than ever. 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. there are now multiple investigations under way into the rules around contact between politicians in power and those who seek to influence them, including the government's own review. so, it's possible, indeed likely, that more details will emerge and be used by some to argue that there are just too many grey areas. what's less clear is whether any of this will lead to lasting change in the way westminster works. how to regulate access to politicians and ensure that they're not unduly influenced are not easy questions to answer. jonathan blake, bbc news. the estimated number of people around the world who've died due to coronavirus has now
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topped three million, with the highest number in america, followed by brazil, mexico and india. in brazil, so far more than 370,000 people have died, but president bolsonaro refuses to order a lockdown despite continuing infections. 0ur correspondent mark lowen has sent us 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, queues have more than tripled as covid takes lives and livelihoods of brazil's poorest. for luciana firmino and herfamily, this is their only meal of the day. she lost herjob in a manicure studio with the pandemic, and they're 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
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children away to social services. it feels like a different country among the rich farmers and backers of the president. harvesting the corn, frederico says bolsonaro is cutting through a corrupt establishment. but with his hostility to lockdowns, slow vaccine perches and brazil shrouded with the pandemic, six out of ten brazilian households now lack sufficient access to food. bolsonaro's handling genocidal. president bolsonaro is not focused on killing anyone, he want to preserve the liberties of the people. he want people to get... to get out, to get work. with the public health disaster, economic woes, and a divisive leader,
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brazil is facing a perfect storm. the cost of that is the second worst death toll in the world and a hospital collapse. no, it's not true because the 355,000, we don't know if they only died by corona. to understand president bolsonaro's support even after the awful toll of the pandemic here, just look at his inspiration — donald trump. both paint themselves as anti—establishment. both captured the populist mood and both, despite mismanaging the pandemic, have kept their devoted following, from the wealthy farmers to the conservative base. blasting out his message are the evangelicals. streaming part samba, part sermon online is key to rallying the bolsonaro faithful. they back the president's push to reopen churches. translation: the church votes in favour of bolsonaro because he defends the family. he is against abortion and school books promoting lgbt groups. he fights for brazil with christian values, and if he doesn't want to wear a mask, that his right to choose.
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with a divisive president and the virus and poverty exploding, brazil faces a perfect storm. they're preaching to the converted here, but increasingly for this devastated country, they're empty words. mark lowen, bbc news, sao paulo. now with all the sport, here's olly foster at the bbc sport centre. good evening. there have been some big cup games in england and scotland, highlights are coming up after the news, but stay right there if you'd like some of the headlines. leicester have reached their first fa cup final for over 50 years, they beat southampton 1—0. a few thousand fans were allowed in to watch at wembley, as was our sports correspondentjoe wilson. they're back, cautiously and limited in numbers. local residents, mainly, but supporters, in the broader sense, of football. anna's a student who lives nearwembley, holding a ticket to an experiment. i'm 19 myself, so i am one of the people who's lowest at risk of getting the virus, so i don't mind taking part in something like this.
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and if it means i get to see a club perform, i'm all for it. spectators had to show a negative lateral flow test to get in, keep on face coverings and maintain social distance. after the game, they'll be monitored, too. did we have the right capacity? were there big queues? it turns out there wasn't. everything seems to have gone very smoothly so far. you know, one—way systems, hygiene measures, plus importantly, that testing that's taking place before and after. we'll be analysing the data from that very, very carefully. there are hopes and plans to expand wembley�*s permitted attendance in weeks and months to come. big matches lie ahead. but what about this one? southampton versus leicester city took time to get going. leicester needed the energy of jamie vardy and the perseverance of iheanacho to break the stalemate. iheanacho is a master finisher these days. and look, they had friends in the stadium. new supporters or old? well, real—life reaction is what football's missed and there could be new winners of this oldest competition. come on! leicester are in the final.
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joe wilson, bbc news, at wembley. rangers are still on for the double in scotland after beating their old firm rivals celtic in the scottish cup. a month after securing the league title, steven gerrard's side won 2—0 at ibrox to reach the quarter—finals, where they'll face stjohnstone. hibs also won today. we've had 14 ties in the women's fa cup today. there was a west midlands derby as birmingham city women beat coventry united ladies 5—1 at solihull. sarah mayling scored twice to see them reach last 16. the second formula one grand prix of the season had it all; a huge crash and a brilliant drive from lewis hamilton to make it onto the podium, but it was max verstappen�*s red bull that took the chequered flag in italy. adam wild reports. arriving in the sunshine, heading out in the rain. imola in the springtime — who knows what to expect? it's lights out and away we go... well, reigning champion lewis hamilton at the front felt familiar enough, but behind him, the looming
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threat of red bull. that wouldn't stay behind him for long. hamilton against max verstappen — it may be the story of the season, playing out here behind the spray. keep an eye on that weather, though. the rain was slowly going. the chaos coming at pace. a rare mistake from lewis hamilton took him into the gravel. he would make it back out eventually, unlike his team—mate, valtteri bottas, colliding with george russell's williams. bad enough to stop the race. some time, then, for recriminations... radio: what was he doing? honestly! ..and some reflection. but with the dust settled, the track cleared. hamilton, incredibly, raced back to second. verstappen, though, wouldn't be caught. a race from which no one knew what to expect ultimately had it all. adam wild, bbc news. there's much more on the bbc sport website, including details of another good day for mark cavendish in turkey. clive. it's nearly 180 million miles away from earth,
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but this small helicopter could make history tomorrow by attempting the first powered flight on another planet. these are images sent back from mars of the craft ingenuity, carrying out its final checks. rebecca morelle reports. the parachute has deployed and we are seeing... this mission has already revealed mars as never seen before, with the first ever footage of a thrilling descent, as the rover is lowered down to the martian surface. touchdown confirmed. now, nasa is ready to make history again. this time it will try to launch a helicopter. the first attempt at powered flight on another planet. this animation reveals how it might look, but with the extreme conditions on mars and the fact that there's barely any atmosphere, it won't be easy. it feels absolutely nuts! of course. we've been flying on earth forjust over 100 years and now, like, yeah,
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we're going to go to another planet and fly. it's crazy! but that's the beauty of exploration, that's the beauty of engineering. nasa's helicopter is a feat of engineering. it weighsjust 1.8 kilograms, that's 4lbs, and it has two long rotors that spin in opposite directions at up to 2500 revolutions per minute. this is much faster than a helicopter on earth, but it needs this speed to lift off in the extremely thin martian atmosphere. its first test flight takes it three metres above the ground for 30 seconds before rotating and finally landing. then for the next 30 days, it will begin to fly much further afield. the helicopter has been lowered from where it was stored beneath the rover onto a carefully selected strip of terrain, free of boulders. it will capture footage as it flies, looking down on the rover, and the rover�*s camera will film the helicopter, providing multiple views for the scientists to study. one of the things that a helicopter is very well—suited for is just
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looking around, scouting. you can traverse places, you know, without being hindered by the terrain. so it can do those kind of scouting missions for our future rovers, perhaps, or even for astronauts. the helicopter is part of nasa's most ambitious mars mission to date. these are all images taken in the last few weeks and there's even footage from its final test before its attempted lift—off tomorrow. on the ground, the rover will be searching for signs of life. but the helicopter will add an airborne dimension to how we explore other planets. opening up new frontiers in flight. rebecca morelle, bbc news. that's it. now on bbc one, time for the news where you are. have a very good night. hello. we are going to be talking about high pressure a lot through the week ahead, maybe even beyond that. we will see a lot of dry weather as a consequence.
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in fact, we are talking really about two areas of high pressure. we start the week with one area of high pressure which extends back into the uk from scandinavia, the other area will build up in the atlantic. between the two is the weather front which, on sunday, brought some rain into northern ireland and western scotland. and there's that front on our chart. as we look at monday, one high to the east and one high to the west and between the pair of them they are going to basically squeeze the life out of that front in the next 48 hours. clearskies, england, wales, southern and eastern scotland overnight. we will start with a frost here on monday, but the front leaves enough cloud overnight across western scotland and northern ireland to make for a frost free start here, but some rain in the western aisles, i think on monday. isles, i think on monday. to the west of northern ireland come the afternoon. elsewhere, a lot of sunshine and with a southerly airflow. warmest day of the week, i think, temperatures 16 in eastern scotland, 17 across southern england. and still with a southerly airstream overnight we will have, i think, our mildest night in quite some time. first thing tuesday,
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we should start frost free. and that could be our only frost—free night, then, as we look into the week ahead. tuesday will bring a lot of sunshine to england and wales, but our front to the north does start to come into play. not much in terms of rainfall in association with it some light rain across eastern scotland, but it does allow colder air into the north of the uk. so a frost returns overnight tuesday into wednesday. to the north of the uk. to the south it's relatively mild, with temperatures above freezing. a bit more cloud around here, thanks to that front on wednesday. as it makes its way south it may produce the odd shower, but overall a lot of dry weather on wednesday. still a lot of sunshine, but into the colder air many of us are plunged. particularly chilly with the northerly breeze down the north sea coast. wednesday into thursday and the cold air sweeps right the way across the uk. and that means overnight wednesday into thursday the risk of a widespread frost top
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to tail across the uk. for thursday, though, blue skies and sunshine in abundance. the breeze a little more away from the shores of the north sea may mean it feels a little milder here. perhaps a little chillier along the channel coast as we pick up something of an easterly wind. a lot of sunshine on thursday. strengthened the sunshine now, if you are in the sun it should feel pleasantly warm, in the shade, though, we're in arctic air, so it will still feel chilly. friday, that high really establishing itself across us, and that means, again, a chilly start, quite a widespread frost, but a lot of sunshine through the day. mainly light winds, most notable probably that easterly through the channel. and direct sunshine, actually on friday one or two spots the temperatures could push up around 15 or 16 degrees. and then the question falls on what happens next. well, not a lot, actually. looking at our current weather charts. that area of high pressure is keen to stay locked down through next weekend and on into the following week.
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and if it does so, the biggest question will come about what happens to our temperatures? as we watch how this high orientates itself across the uk. potentially next weekend it could plumb us into a direct northerly airstream, so that could make things very much on the chilly side for the time of year once again.
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hello and welcome to our look ahead hello. this is bbc news. we'll be taking a look at tomorrow mornings papers in a moment with kezia dugdale and john stevens — first the headlines. millions enjoy the first weekend since england's lockdown was eased — but concerns as health officials confirm 77 cases of the indian variant across the uk. the organisation representing nhs trusts in england says it will take five years for some hospitals to catch up with the backlog caused by the pandemic two russians suspected of carrying out the salisbury nerve agent poisonings, are now accused, over a czech arms depot explosion, in 2014.

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