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Tonight at ten:
The desperate plight
of people in Eastern Ghouta,
as Syrian Government forces step
up their bombardment.
The suburb, held by rebel forces,
is being flattened by the heaviest
bombardment of recent years.
Some 200 people have been killed
in the past three days and many
injured, including children.
Despite the evidence, the Syrian
regime denies targeting civilians
in its unrelenting airstrikes.
As the bombing campaign intensifies,
our Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen
will examine whether this a turning
point in the seven-year conflict.
Oxfam bosses come
to Parliament to face questions
about their handling of the crisis
of sexual misconduct.
Please allow me to begin
by saying how sorry I am
Scientists find the cause of a rare
disorder that can lead
to serious disfigurement
and be life-threatening.
My hopes and dreams for the funding
and the research is we'll
one day find a cure
And Christie goes down before
they reach the very first corner.
More heartbreak for Team
GB's Elise Christie,
as her hopes of a Winter Olympic
medal have disappeared.
And coming up, I'm at
Stamford Bridge with the latest
as Chelsea take on Barcelona
in the Champions League.
And coming upon Sportsday on BBC
News, could Chelsea get the better
of Barcelona in the first leg
of their last 16 tie
The United Nations says it's deeply
concerned about the fate of hundreds
of thousands of people
in the Syrian district
of Eastern Ghouta, which is still
under rebel control.
Syrian Government forces have
carried out some of the heaviest
bombardments of recent years,
supported by the Russian military.
Activists say that in the past
three days of airstrikes
and artillery fire,
some 200 people -
including many children -
have been killed in Eastern Ghouta.
This report by our Middle East
editor Jeremy Bowen
contains some distressing images.
This could be the beginning
of the end of a rebellion
in Eastern Ghouta that
began in 2012.
All the other smaller rebel-held
enclaves around Damascus have been
starved and bombed into submission.
Now, it looks to be
Eastern Ghouta's turn as the regime
pushes for decisive victory
around the capital.
Activists in Eastern Ghouta say this
is as bad as it's been.
You can hear the shout and crying
of women and children
through the windows of their homes
and the missiles and mortars
dropping on us like rain.
There is nowhere to hide from this
nightmare in Eastern Ghouta.
A generation has been
born into the war.
Dozens have been killed
by it in the last few hours
in Eastern Ghouta.
Over the years of siege,
they've set up a network
of underground hospitals.
This girl, named in Arabic
"Angel", escaped the worst,
but will have to go back
to the streets to get home.
And this is her area.
With a regime plane
dropping what appears
to be a barrel bomb,
unguided - an indiscriminate killer.
The Syrian regime denies
It says it's trying to liberate
Eastern Ghouta from terrorists.
Eastern Ghouta is a sprawling mix
of concrete suburbs and farmland,
starting about nine miles east
of Damascus' city centre.
starting about nine miles east
of Damascus city centre.
The Syrian rebels who have
controlled it since 2012 include
several Islamist militias,
including one with its
roots in Al-Qaeda.
Eastern Ghouta is surrounded
by Syrian government forces.
Before the war, it was just a short
drive from the Syrian
Officially, it's been designated
a de-escalation zone,
that is an empty phrase.
Force decides what happens in Syria.
After seven years, Syria's war isn't
ending, but it's changing.
President Assad, with the help
of Russia and Iran, is now secure,
but Syria is linked into a web
of war and power politics,
which guarantees more bloodshed.
How many times in the last seven
years have Syrians dug through
the rubble for survivors?
There's talk of safe
corridors out for civilians,
but, based on past form,
the regime wants victory
in Eastern Ghouta and
the surrender of the rebels.
Jeremy Bowen, BBC News.
Jeremy Hunt is with me. If Assad's
forces do manage to gain control of
Eastern Ghouta, will that constitute
a turning point in this conflict?
will be really important for the
regime and the area around the
capital Damascus. It is not, though,
the end of the war. Back when the
war was starting in 2012, 2013, I
was able to cross into Eastern
Ghouta. It was very difficult then,
impossible recently, but there were
real high hopes because there were
other enclaves around the edge of
the capital and they hoped this
would really be a knife to the heart
of the regime. As we see, it looks
now very much as if Assad is
preparing to try and roll up this
final enclave around Damascus and
that will secure his victory around
the capital and so for him and for
the capital, it's a very big moment.
The reason I say the war isn't over
is because of what is happening
elsewhere. Up in a zero, very
tangled, some big, important powers
involved. Russia is involved, Iran
is involved, the Turks, Americans
and British special forces
and British special forces there as
of people competing for influence in
that particular area. Power politics
coming to get -- together with the
threat of war and also the whole
position of Iran, perceived as a big
threat by the Israelis, who are also
getting involved their increasingly,
by the Americans and the Saudis, who
have been big players in the war as
well, so we are seeing a different
cast of characters but we are
continuing to see bloodshed and all
that means is it is certainly not
Jeremy, thank you very much.
And for more details
on the background to the war
in Syria, you can visit
bbc.co.uk/news for our analysis
on the seven-year conflict.
Pieces by Jeremy and other
The charity Oxfam is now
investigating 26 allegations
of sexual misconduct,
which have been reported since
allegations were made against some
of its workers in Haiti.
The charity's leaders
were questioned today
by a Parliamentary committee
at Westminster, when they admitted
that thousands of people had
cancelled their monthly donations
since the the scandal broke,
as our diplomatic correspondent
James Landale reports.
In 2010, Haiti was flooded
with aid workers,
most there to help the country
recover from the earthquake.
But seven men from Oxfam
were also hiring prostitutes
and bullying colleagues,
men who were eventually dismissed
or allowed to resign.
Today, the charity's most senior
executives were summoned
to Parliament to explain what had
gone on and why Oxfam hadn't been
more open and done more
to stop it happening again.
Sorry wasn't the half of it.
I am sorry, we are sorry,
for the damage that Oxfam has done.
On behalf of the Council of Oxfam,
that we are ashamed of what happened
in Haiti, we don't think
it was well handled.
Please allow me to begin
by saying how sorry I am
about what has happened.
I am ashamed.
In particular, Oxfam's chief
executive apologised for suggesting
the criticism the charity
was getting was disproportionate,
saying it wasn't as if babies had
been murdered in their cots.
I do apologise.
I was thinking under stress.
I had given many interviews,
I had made many decisions
to try and lead Oxfam's
response to this.
Oxfam, he admitted, had not been
explicit about what went
on and was now paying a price.
7,000 people have cancelled
their regular donations
in the past ten days.
were reserving judgment.
How many more revelations have
come to your notice?
Across Oxfam Great Britain,
we have had about 26 stories,
reports, come to us that were either
new reports come out
as a result of the stories,
or earlier stories, where people
said, "I didn't necessarily
report this at the time."
MPs just couldn't hide
You as an organisation are dealing
with these women and girls
as if they are just trinkets,
and you can pay for them and give
them a bit of aid and that's OK.
And you don't, when you know
about it, the organisation does not
report it to the
That's pretty shocking.
It's really heartbreaking that...
That we are in this situation.
But I want to assure
you that we are not doing nothing.
From our point of view, does it not
look like Oxfam was more interested
in protecting its own brand
than protecting vulnerable
women and girls?
It may look like that, Mr Law.
I can't do anything other than say
I think it was wrong.
I am conscious of the
fact you didn't hold
responsibility at the time.
The committee chairman said
he would now hold a full enquiry,
the fourth that Oxfam is now
facing, to ensure it
gets its house in order.
So, Oxfam is apologising to MPs,
it's being more transparent.
But what is clear from today's
evidence is that to recover public
trust, it will have to change
a culture that tolerated the
exploitation of vulnerable women.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
In the Commons, Oxfam was warned
that if new safeguarding procedures
were not in place by the end of next
week, then current government
funding could be cut.
The UK Government reserves the right
to take whatever decisions
about present or future funding
to Oxfam or any other
organisation we deem necessary.
The real test will come, of course,
not in Haiti but the next time
there is another natural disaster
and the world's aid industry
is deployed once again.
James is with me now. We have been
focusing, understandably, on Oxfam's
difficulties but tonight, another
charity facing difficult questions.
These allegations about somebody
called Justin Forsyth, former
Downing Street adviser and former
chief executive of Save The
Children. Radio 4's PM programme
revealed Mr Forsyth was subject to
three separate complaints of
inappropriate behaviour towards
female members of staff before he
left the Save The Children in 2015.
Mr Forsyth said in a statement he
had made personal mistakes and "I
recognise that on a few occasions I
had a unsuitable and thoughtless,
stations with colleagues which I now
know caused offence and hurt. I
apologise unreservedly to the
colleagues involved and I thought
the issue closed many years ago." Mr
Forsyth is currently a senior figure
at the UN charity Unicef and it said
tonight it is discussing the matter
with him "So we can take appropriate
action." This of course is the
second case involving the charity in
recent days. Brendan Cox, the
husband of the murdered MP Jo Cox,
admitted at the weekend that he had
made mistakes and behaved in a way
that caused some women heard and
offence when he had worked at the
James, thanks very
The Brexit Secretary David Davis has
tried to reassure the EU that the UK
won't pursue a radical programme
of deregulation after Britain
leaves the European Union.
Speaking ahead of a meeting
on Thursday when senior ministers
will try to agree the Government's
position on a final Brexit deal,
Mr Davis told business leaders
in Vienna that the UK wants
to promote rights and standards.
Labour says the assurance
from Mr Davis is not worth
the paper it's written on,
as our political correspondent
Vicki Young reports.
The UK has decided to carve
out a different path
to the European Union.
But ministers don't seem to be
preparing for a sharp change
The message here in Vienna
was more about reassurance.
David Davis denying accusations
from Labour that the Government
plans to sweep away rules that
protect workers or the environment.
They fear that Brexit
could lead to an Anglo-Saxon
race to the bottom.
With Britain plunged into a Mad Max
style world borrowed
from dystopian fiction.
These fears about a race
to the bottom are based on nothing.
He argued that high standards
could help ensure trade with the EU
remained as frictionless
as possible, with both sides
recognising each other's
rules and institutions.
Some of the business leaders
in the audience who want to keep
close ties to Britain
were encouraged by Mr Davis' words.
I think his tone is now different
to what it was maybe one year ago.
In reality, hopefully it
will bring us together.
In the end, there will be
In the end, there will be
between the EU and the UK,
otherwise nobody will win.
David Davis' words today are a far
cry from what many in his own party
have been saying about the need
to break away from the burden of EU
red tape that's been stifling
British business for decades.
He prefers to talk now about ongoing
cooperation and mutual trust with
the European Union after Brexit.
But, tonight, signs that some Tory
MPs have their doubts
about the Government's approach.
More than 60 Eurosceptic MPs have
written a letter to Theresa May,
calling for her to grasp
the opportunities of Brexit,
urging her to stand firm
in negotiations and make sure
Britain really does have the power
to make its own decisions.
Labour says it is the Cabinet that
needs to make up its mind.
The problem is that you got
David Davis saying one thing,
The problem is that you've got
David Davis saying one thing,
Boris Johnson saying something else
and the Prime Minister
saying almost nothing.
It's got to be resolved.
And that's the aim of Thursday's
meeting of senior Cabinet ministers.
David Davis says he is certain
a good deal with the EU
is on the cards, but discord
amongst his colleagues
needs to be dealt with first.
Vicki Young, BBC News, Vienna.
A brief look at some
of the day's other news stories.
Labour's Jeremy Corbyn has warned
the press that "change is coming,"
as he accused them of publishing
"lies and smears" over his contacts
with a Czech spy back in the 1980s.
He suggested the reporting showed
how "worried" media bosses
were by the prospect
of a Labour government.
A High Court judge has ruled that
doctors in Liverpool can stop
providing life support to a boy
who's seriously ill,
against his parents' wishes.
Alfie Evans, who's 21 months old,
suffers from an undiagnosed
neurological degenerative condition.
The judge said he agreed
with medical specialists that
further treatment was futile.
The KFC fast food chain says
disruption is expected to continue
for the rest of the week
after a change of delivery supplier
meant that hey ran out of chicken.
Just under half of the 900 UK
outlets are still closed.
The company says a new delivery
contract with DHL has
disrupted their supplies.
President Trump says he wants
officials to look at banning any
devices that would turn legal,
semi-automatic rifles into automatic
The devices - known
as 'bump stocks' -
were used by the gunman
who killed 58 people
in Las Vegas in October.
Scientists have discovered the cause
of a rare blood vessel disorder that
can cause serious facial
disfigurement and life-threatening
bleeding in children.
The research, involving
Great Ormond Street Hospital,
pinpoints the genes responsible
for the condition and,
for the first time, identifies
existing cancer drugs
as a possible treatment.
Our medical correspondent,
Fergus Walsh, has the story.
OK, so we need to do the eggs,
and froth the eggs.
13-year-old Nikki Christou
never knows when her face
will start to bleed.
She has a rare disorder,
which means high pressure blood
in her arteries feeds directly
into her veins.
It causes swelling, facial
disfigurement and life-threatening
bleeds from her nose,
and even her tear ducts.
It's very scary because you don't
really know if it's going to stop,
how much blood you're losing,
and if it is really bad,
then I can, you know,
become very light-headed
and things like that.
So I think when these bleeds happen,
you just know that it's
time for an ambulance.
Nikki has not let her condition,
known as AVM, hold her back.
The winner of
Junior Bake Off is...Nikki.
As well as winning Junior Bake Off
in 2016, she's also interviewed
the Prime Minister for CBBC.
So what were you like as a teenager?
Nikki has had hundreds of
appointments at Great Ormond Street
Hospital, and 30 operations.
How are you doing?
It's lovely to see you.
I'm just going to have a little
feel of your face.
And is now part of
which is led by her consultant.
The team at UCL's Institute
of Child Health sequenced the DNA
of more than 150 children
with her condition and found
it could be triggered
by four faulty genes.
This is really an
enormous step for us.
Having discovered the genetic causes
of these in individual patients,
we're now able to suggest treatments
which could potentially slow
the growth, stop the growth
or perhaps even reverse the growth
of this condition
in the longer term.
And those drug treatments come
from an unlikely source.
The gene mutations discovered
in this lab, which are responsible
for these faulty blood vessels,
also play a key role
in the growth of some cancers.
Now, the good news is,
there are several cancer drugs
which inhibit these faulty genes,
which can now be repurposed
to treat Nikki's condition.
This is your right eye
and this is the AVM.
Nikki's one of two patients who are
taking the targeted cancer drugs.
Today, she's finding out
the results of some new scans.
This looks good.
It looks exciting that,
after six months, it seems
to be holding the growth.
That's really good, isn't it?
Yeah, that's so good.
It'll be at least a year before
doctors know for sure
whether the cancer drugs Nikki
is taking are working,
but the discovery of the faulty
genes has given hope to patients
with this debilitating condition.
Fergus Walsh, BBC News.
One of Scotland's largest councils
will provide free lunches
to children from low-income
households every day of the year.
North Lanarkshire Council say that
they'll use sports centres and other
facilities to provide meals
when schools are closed.
The pilot scheme will
begin this spring.
Our Scotland editor,
Sarah Smith, tells us.
Yeah, there's all different
food you can get.
My favourite's chicken curry.
It's tomato pasta.
So this is your favourite
meal you've got today?
You get lettuce and you have tomato
and you have all the pasta.
When I was at school,
school lunches were not something
you looked forward to,
but are they actually good here?
All the kids here do seem to really
enjoy their school meals,
and the teachers know that,
for some of them, it's the best meal
they're going to eat all day.
When the schools close,
quite a few of these kids
do, sadly, go hungry.
That's why North Lanarkshire Council
are to pilot a scheme providing free
lunches to kids who need them,
not just on school
days, but every day.
Every so often, you can spot
that somebody's hungrier
than we would like them to be,
after a weekend or after a holiday
period in particular.
It can be individual children,
we know that food is an issue.
If you're hungry, you won't learn
and you won't achieve.
Other councils in the UK provide
meals during school holidays.
North Lanarkshire will be the first
to make free lunches
available 365 days a year,
from primary one, up to the third
year of secondary school.
I know there are children out
there that don't get a meal.
Some adults go without to give
their kids during the holidays.
The children get full meals
at school, so in the holidays
and that, you give them a piece
for lunch, and they're, like,
"Where's my hot dinner?", ken?
About 40% of these children qualify
for free school meals,
but the school works hard to make
sure it's not obvious who,
to avoid any stigma.
For the same reasons,
kids won't be coming into school
at weekends and holidays,
meals will be served in leisure
centres or community halls.
It will cost around £500,000 a year
to feed kids who might not otherwise
eat a proper meal over the weekend.
We know that at holiday periods
and at weekends some parents,
sadly, find it difficult
to feed their children.
We hope that this will give them
the opportunity to do that.
Hungry children can't learn properly
or achieve their full potential.
North Lanarkshire might be one
of the most deprived areas
in the UK, but they hope that
doesn't mean that kids
here have to go hungry.
Sarah Smith, BBC News, Wishaw.
The project to build Africa's
biggest hydroelectric dam
on the River Nile is threatening
to provoke a major conflict between
some of the countries affected.
The dam is being built by Ethiopia
and Sudan says it welcomes
the prospect of cheaper power
and the ability to reduce flooding
in its vast irrigation projects.
But the Egyptians are deeply
unhappy, fearing the flow
through the Aswan Dam
and on to Cairo will be weakened,
in a country already facing
serious water shortages.
Our Africa correspondent,
Alastair Leithead, has travelled
to all three countries and he sent
this special report.
The River Nile is the world's
longest river, but these
are turbulent times between three
countries that share
its life bringing water.
The source of the row is this,
the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.
Five years in and two-thirds built,
this multi-billion dollar dam can
already control the flow
of the Nile, and that's what's
upsetting downstream Egypt.
When it's finished, this will be
the largest hydroelectric
power station in Africa,
and one of the biggest
dams on the continent.
It will not only power this country,
but the surrounding
countries as well.
Ethiopia didn't even ask
the countries downstream before
it started building.
That is the scale of this
The reservoir it creates will be
bigger than Greater London.
Hydroelectric dams don't
consume water, but if it's
filled up too quickly,
the flow of the Nile,
85% of which comes from
here, will be reduced.
Ethiopia is obsessed with
electrification. 70% of people here
don't have power. It's betting on
economic growth and Industrial
Revolution often at the cost of Hume
rights and freedom of speech, to
pull its people out of poverty and
wipe out its historic image of
drought and famine. One of the
most important flagship projects for
Ethiopia. It's not about control of
the flow. It's really about
providing opportunity for us to
The power lines
are ready and waiting to take cheap,
sustainable electricity to Sudan,
which has a lot to gain from the
dam. Sudan has vast farming
projects. And huge potential to be
an agriculture powerhouse for Africa
and beyond. Much of this cattle
field is destined for the Gulf. The
new dam would stop flooding and
regulate the river's flow.
Danned Dan it's wonderful. It's the
best thing that's happened for a
long time. The combination of energy
and regular water levels is a great
Sudan has had a decade's
long deal with Egypt, but is now at
aodds with its neighbour about how
much it can use. Egypt was ruled
from here 2,000 years ago. Powers on
the Nile rise and fall. Luxor's
temples represent thousands of years
of Egyptian power set in stone. The
foundation of its proud national
Wahbi's livelihood depends on the
They say the water won't be
affected, but only God knows what
would happen. If they dam the river
there will be wars and fighting.
It's not a fear to be taken lightly.
Egypt relies on the Nile for almost
all its water. With a vast growing
population the UN pre-8 dibths water
shortages by 2025.
If the water that
is coming to Egypt is reduced by 2%,
loss about 200,000 acre of land. One
acre at least makes one family
survive. Family in Egypt, average
family size five persons. About one
million will be jobless.
of the dam hasn't been properly
assessed. It's a battle between the
traditional power of Egypt and the
emerging ambitions of Ethiopia. War
over water can be avoided through
strong leadership and diplomacy. Now
it's up to them to navigate tensions
on the world's longest river.
Alastair Leithead, BBC News on the
If you'd like more detail on that
story, here's Alistair to explain
how you can find it.
Well, we took a camera that
films 360 degrees with us
on our journey up the Nile,
to give you a different
perspective on the story.
This is what the dam might look
like when it's finished.
You can see it in virtual reality
through popping a smartphone
into one of these headsets.
It looks a bit like this,
you can see all around.
It's the first time we've done it
on this scale on BBC News,
and it's certainly a different
way of watching.
Check out how to at
Alastair Leithead there for us.
The Queen has made a surprise
appearance in the front row
at London Fashion Week.
It's the first time the Queen has
visited the event and sat
alongside Dame Anna Wintour,
the editor in chief of Vogue.
Her Majesty praised the craftmanship
of the British fashion industry
before presenting the inaugural
Queen Elizabeth II Award
for British Design to Richard Quinn.
At the Winter Olympics
in South Korea, Team GB's
Elise Christie was disqualified
in her 1000 metre short track
heat, ending her chances
of a medal at the Games.
These are the second Olympics that
have ended with Christie failing
to complete her events.
Our sports correspondent, David
Ornstein, reports from Pyeongchang.
Just three days after leaving
the ice on a stretcher,
Elise Christie was back,
her Olympic hopes on the line.
Away they go.
And Christie goes down before
they reach the very first corner.
After crashing out of the 500
and 1500 metres, Christie's bid
for 1000 metres gold got off
to the worst possible start.
But having been tripped,
she earned a reprieve,
the heat would be rerun.
An ankle injury meant her
participation was only confirmed
in the hour before the race,
and although slow to get going,
she fought back impressively.
a lap to go, Christie's
in position to qualify here.
Battling through a physical
contest to finish second
and reached the quarter-finals,
or so she thought.
As Christie was carried away
in pain, her night would take
another turn for the worse,
the judges spotting two
infringements and disqualifying
the triple world champion.
So it's heartbreak for
Elise Christie yet again
after failing to win a medal
at the last Olympics,
four years ago, history has repeated
itself here in Pyeongchang,
her dreams ending in
Right now, I'm a bit shell-shocked.
You know, I worked so hard to come
back from this injury.
I think a thousand people
wouldn't have skated
with my ankle the way it was.
The only thing I can say is,
I can promise Britain that I'll
fight back from this,
and I will come back for Beijing.
And hopefully, you know,
I can do Britain proud then.
It's going to come
in nicely and pick up his three.
There was better news for Britain's
curlers as the men out dazzled
the colourfully dressed Norway and,
like the women who beat Japan,
can progress to the semi-finals
with victories tomorrow.
In the figure skating,
Penny Coomes and Nick Buckland
finished 11th in the free dance
final, an event that will long be
remembered for the world record
display of Tessa Virtue and Scott
Skating together since childhood,
the Canadians took a stunning
second gold of the Games,
and are now the most decorated
skaters in Winter Olympic history.
David Ornstein, BBC
Football, and Chelsea have drawn 1-1
against Barcelona in the first leg
of their Champions League tie
at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea were leading
until an equaliser in the 75th
minute from Lionel Messi.
Natalie Pirks was
watching the action.
He's Barcelona's little magician,
Lionel Messi, scoring goals for fun
- only never before against Chelsea.
Instead, it was the Blues
creative maestro who almost
caused some early damage.
little turn of pace.
You always know Barcelona will
dominate, and so it came to pass.
Messi with a beautiful cross,
Paulinho wide with the header.
The best chances though
fell to Chelsea, Willian
becoming all too familiar
with the woodwork, not once...
didn't need him.
Good position again.
Oh, he's hit the other post now.
Prompted howls of disbelief
from the Chelsea bench.
But if the first half you don't
succeed, try and try again.
It's another one!
Willian proving the third
time is indeed a charm.
it right for Chelsea.
As the clock ticked down, Chelsea
needed only to stay vigilant,
punished by you know who.
Chelsea no longer Messi's bogey
team, Conte left rueing
what might have been.
Chelsea knew they would need a
near-perfect match tonight to beat
the five times winners of the
Champions League. They almost got
their wish. One bad ball being
pounced on by Barcelona and it's
left the Chelsea players here
feeling as if this was a defeat. How
important will that away goal be,
Huw, we will find out next month at
the Camp Nou.
Natalie Perks with the