23/02/2018 BBC News at Ten


23/02/2018

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The UN Security Council struggles

to agree on a ceasefire

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as bombardment continues

of civilians trapped in Syria.

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For the sixth day in a row Syrian

air strikes hit the rebel held

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enclave of Eastern Ghouta.

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Dozens are reported to have been

killed today, over 400 this week,

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with medical supplies running out.

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We'll bring you the latest

from the Security Council as world

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leaders plea for the carnage

to be stopped.

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Also tonight....

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EU leaders meet without Theresa May

and warn the UK can't cherry

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pick its terms and to think

otherwise is an illusion.

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A review finds not just girls

but also vulnerable women

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are being sexually abused

by grooming gangs in

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the north east of England.

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Donald Trump repeats his call

to the party faithful that teachers

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should be armed in schools.

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The beauty is it's concealed.

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Nobody would ever see it

unless they needed it,

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and a teacher would have shot

the hell out of him before

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he knew what happened.

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The family of two brothers,

aged six and two, killed in a hit

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and run pay emotional tribute

to their two lovely, happy boys.

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And in hiding and fear -

the man who revealed Russian doping

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tells the BBC Russia shouldn't be

allowed at the closing

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of the Winter Olympics.

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Coming up on Sportsday on BBC News,

the third round of the Six Nations

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began this evening, with France

and Italy playing outside of Paris

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for the first time in their history.

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Good evening.

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Members of the UN Security Council

are still struggling to reach

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agreement on the terms of a 30-day

humanitarian ceasefire in Syria.

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Three times today an announcement

has been expected and then delayed.

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There were more air strikes today

targeting the rebel-held

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area of eastern Ghouta,

near Damascus, which has been under

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heavy bombardment since Sunday.

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More than 400 people are reported

to have been killed this week.

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We'll go live to the UN in New York

for the latest in a moment,

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but first our Middle East editor

Jeremy Bowen reports.

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This is what happened in eastern

Ghouta as diplomacy studied. --

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studied. The enclave was pounded.

400,000 people spend most of the day

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underground. Above them, Russian

jets, with their Syrian allies, were

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in action. As the Russians demanded

guarantees that rebel fighters would

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respect any truce. In eastern

Ghouta, men from civil defence

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risked their lives to rescue

civilians, even though the buildings

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could collapse and the planes could

come back. In the dust and

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confusion, these children were

separated from their parents. The

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rescuers ignored the dangers. The EU

condemned what it called brutal

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attacks. Diplomacy is supposed to

find words and deeds to stop this

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happening. They were rushed into

underground hospitals. It is hard to

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end a war, or even a battle, with

words. Especially when one side, in

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Syria, the regime and its allies,

believes victory is close. In Syria,

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military power, the capacity to

inflict pain and death, sets the

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pace of events. Treating the wounded

is one-way for humanity to push

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back. Another is to recreate small

pockets of normality, kindness and

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decency. This girl is 11 and, like

most people in eastern Ghouta, has

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been living in a basement. Mothers

and their children wait and hope.

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TRANSLATION:

Has been two months

since I went to school and saw my

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friends. We are here in the shelter

because of the bombing. The rockets

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and missiles never end. I hope that

the war will stop so we can go home.

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Among Syria's children, only

teenagers remember peace. The world

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has failed a generation. These men

waited for a lull in the bombing to

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try to bury a member of their

family. They ran out of time. In

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Syria, nobody can rest in peace.

Jeremy Bowen, BBC News.

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Joining me is Nick Bryant at the UN

in New York. The Security Council

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members have been locked in talks

for hours now. We keep expecting an

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announcement and not getting one. Is

there any sign of a breakthrough to

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end this bloodshed?

All 15 members

of the Security Council have been

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meeting behind closed doors in a

conference room close to where I'm

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standing. In the last 15 seconds,

the Russian ambassador has walked

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past, I asked if would be an

agreement, he shrugged his shoulders

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and said we will see tomorrow. There

is not going to be a vote today.

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Three votes have been postponed

already. The Russians have been

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demanding changes to the draft

resolution. Many concessions had

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been made. According to negotiators,

some of the problems are not over

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the substance of the revolution,

they are over semantics, words,

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granular details. What Western

diplomats have been saying all along

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is that these are delaying tactics

by the Russians to give more time

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for the Assad regime on the ground,

in eastern Ghouta, to continue its

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military offensive. The United

Nations is not just a place where

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diplomats meet. It is a place where

humanitarian and aid experts work.

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They have watched this with great

and mounting frustration. They want

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to be organising a monitoring

convoys to go into Ghouta, they want

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to organise medical evacuations.

They are waiting for a green light

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from the Security Council and, at

the moment, the Russians will not

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give it. It sounds like we will have

to come back tomorrow to see if they

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can reach an agreement.

Thank you.

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The president of the European

Council has described as "pure

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illusion" any attempt by Britain

to pick and choose the terms of its

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future relationship with Europe.

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Donald Tusk, speaking

at a summit of EU leaders not

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attended by Britain,

said he hoped to get more clarity

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on exactly what Britain's

proposals were when he meets

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Theresa May next week.

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From Brussels, Damian

Grammaticas reports.

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France, Germany, Italy.

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Europe's leaders all

in Brussels today, all

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waiting to hear what the UK wants

from its future ties.

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But if Theresa May's plan

is to seek special access

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to the single market

for parts of the UK economy,

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it was immediately rebuffed.

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It is not an a la carte.

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It is not possible to be aligned

with the European Union when it

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suits and not when it doesn't.

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That's not possible.

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The EU doesn't yet know

what was decided by Mrs May

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and her ministers at Chequers

yesterday but EU leaders have said

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before and they said again today

that she cannot pick and choose only

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the bits of the single

market she likes.

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I am glad that the UK

Government seems to be moving

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towards a more detailed position.

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However, if the media

reports are correct,

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I'm afraid that the UK position

today is based upon pure illusion.

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It looks like the cake

philosophy is still alive.

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But the UK's exit poses

problems for the EU, too.

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Today its leaders were tackling

perhaps the thorniest issue of all,

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the EU's looming budget problem.

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When UK payments to the EU cease,

the EU will face a shortfall of more

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than 10 billion euros a year,

at least 10% of its annual spending.

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There's a hole in the budget,

so is your country prepared

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to accept less and see

cuts to spending?

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Well, you know, if you listen

to politicians there is usually

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a hole in the budget but finally

things are financed.

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So if we want to finance more,

we have to pay more.

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It's very simple.

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Is your country prepared

to pay more after Brexit?

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No.

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If I would keep my answer

short, I would say no.

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So, hints at divisions

between EU countries,

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and that might just give

the UK some leverage

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in the negotiations to come.

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And before he left the summit here

tonight, Donald Tusk said he would

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be travelling to London on Thursday

next week to meet with Theresa May.

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He said he is looking for more

detail on the UK position and he had

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a warning. He said that even if the

UK is not ready, the EU will press

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ahead with its own preparations for

the talks on the future

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relationship. Fiona.

Thank you.

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A review into sexual exploitation

in the north-east of England has

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concluded it is likely that not just

girls but also vulnerable women

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are being "extensively"

abused across the UK.

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It follows Operation Sanctuary

in August last year,

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which saw these 18 people jailed

for the sexual abuse of young women

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and girls groomed in Newcastle.

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A review of that case has concluded

a number of gangs have abused

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more than 700 victims

across the Northumberland region.

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From Newcastle, Fiona Trott reports.

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A city under scrutiny.

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On these streets, as many as 700

vulnerable girls and women

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were sexually exploited.

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Some were trafficked

from one house to another

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and abused by several men.

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Vanessa - not her real name -

was a victim of sexual exploitation.

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To protect her identity,

we have used an actor's voice.

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At first, nothing was expected.

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I would just meet them

and sit and have a drink.

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As time went on, I would have

to have sex with them.

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When you're in care,

they say you need education.

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But what they seem to forget is that

you can have the mental

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intelligence, but if you're not

emotionally educated,

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it's pointless.

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That is why schools

like this are teaching

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children about grooming.

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Operation Sanctuary

happened on their doorstep.

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In Newcastle, we have seen

people being arrested.

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Generally, it tends to be men.

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It makes you afraid to go

out in case it happened

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to you or your friend.

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Were you that worried?

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Yeah.

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Scared in case it happened to me

and you don't know who to turn to,

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or who you could trust.

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Both people in a relationship need

to be comfortable and you need to be

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in a situation where they can

open up and listen.

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Today's report says

it's not just children.

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For the first time, a focus

on vulnerable adults and a warning

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to other towns and cities

across the UK.

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What I'd like the Government to do

is to have a really good look

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at the learning that's now available

about abuse of adults

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with vulnerabilities,

check the legislation,

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make sure the legislation that's

in place is fit for purpose.

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In the meantime, this is how police

are tackling the problem

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Takeaway staff across Newcastle

are being trained on how

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to spot adult victims.

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They know the exploitation

still exists in this city.

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I think it would be naive and wrong

for me to suggest that

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because of Sanctuary,

and at the point that this

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report is published,

that this has stopped.

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That we've solved the problem.

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We haven't.

It continues.

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It carries on, I would suggest,

in most, if not all towns

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and cities in the UK.

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Most of the perpetrators who cruised

these streets were from Pakistani,

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Bangladeshi and Indian backgrounds.

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Today's report is calling

for research into their cultures

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to understand their motivation

and what it calls an

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"arrogant persistence".

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Fiona Trott, BBC News, Newcastle.

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President Trump has repeated his

call for teachers to be armed

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with guns so that they can,

in his words, "shoot the hell

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out of any attackers".

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He was speaking as pressure grows

for action after the shooting

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at a school in Florida last week

that left 14 students and three

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members of staff dead.

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Meanwhile, the Governor of Florida

has announced proposals to restrict

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the sale of guns and to raise

the minimum age at which

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you can buy them to 21.

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Jon Sopel reports.

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Staff and teachers return

to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas

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school today as a nation continues

to grope for explanations

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of what happened.

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For some, it's all about guns.

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For others, it's mental health

and societal breakdown.

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But today, a new culprit.

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Scot Peterson, a deputy sheriff

who arrived outside the school 90

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seconds after the shooting started.

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But for whatever reason, didn't act.

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And he's taking a mighty

kicking from the President.

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He was there for five minutes. Five

minutes. He heard it right at the

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beginning, so he certainly did a

poor job.

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That's the case, where

somebody was outside.

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They were trained.

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They didn't react properly under

pressure or they were cowards.

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Speaking to Conservative activists,

the President also restated his

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belief that some teachers should be

carrying concealed

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weapons in school.

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And the beauty is it's concealed,

nobody would ever see it.

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Unless they needed it.

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It's concealed!

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So this crazy man who walked

in wouldn't even know who it is that

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has it, that's good.

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That's not bad, that's good.

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And a teacher would have shot

the hell out of him before

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he knew what happened.

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE.

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And in Florida, the governor has

announced a range of measures

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to tighten security.

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The goal of this plan of action

is to make massive changes

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in protecting our schools.

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Provide significantly more

resources for mental health.

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And to do everything we can to keep

guns out of the hands of those

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dealing with mental problems

or threatening harm

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to themselves or others.

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The President has just

told a news conference,

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"we're well on the way to solving

that horrible problem

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of gun violence".

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But so far there have only been

sketchy proposals and no class

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of weapon is being banned.

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Well on the way?

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Well, that might be

wishful thinking.

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Jon Sopel, BBC News, Washington.

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The man who exposed

the Russian Olympic doping scandal

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says his country's athletes should

not be allowed to parade

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under their national flag

at the closing ceremony

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of the Winter Games this weekend.

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Two Russian athletes have tested

positive for banned drugs.

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Dr Grigory Rodchenkov's revelations

of state-sponsored doping

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saw the country banned

from the Olympics, its athletes

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forced to compete as neutrals.

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In fear of his life,

Dr Rodchenkov went into hiding.

0:15:080:15:10

Now in the United States,

our sports editor Dan Roan

0:15:100:15:13

travelled to interview him

at a secret location.

0:15:130:15:18

It's one of sport's

greatest scandals.

0:15:180:15:20

Russian cheating reached its height

at the last Winter Games in Sochi.

0:15:200:15:25

The mastermind, Doctor

Grigory Rodchenkov.

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In 2015, the former head

of Moscow's anti-doping lab

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turned whistle-blower,

fleeing to the West.

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Ever since, he's been

in FBI witness protection.

0:15:330:15:36

And we are on the way to meet him.

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For more than two years now,

the man at the very heart

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of Russia's doping scandal has been

living in hiding, here somewhere

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in the United States.

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Finally, he's agreed to speak to us,

but such are the security

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concerns surrounding him,

we've not even been told

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where we have to go.

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After hours on the road,

we are taken to a location

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that we are told has to remain

a secret, along

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with his new identity.

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If you had not left Russia,

where would you be now?

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You'd be dead?

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Rodchenkov's role in Russia's

remarkable doping programme

0:16:140:16:15

became the subject of

an Oscar-nominated film.

0:16:150:16:17

Were you the mastermind that

cheated the Olympics?

0:16:170:16:24

He said the conspiracy

went right to the top,

0:16:260:16:28

and that London 2012

was also targeted.

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So what does he say to British

athletes whose Games were tainted?

0:16:300:16:32

The Russian government

says you are lying.

0:16:490:16:51

You were cheating.

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It wasn't them, it was you.

0:16:520:16:55

Does British sport have a problem

with cheating, do you think?

0:17:070:17:14

Rodchenkov says he may soon be

prepared to name names, and has

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vowed to reveal more information.

0:17:270:17:30

Despite Russian claims he is part

of a Western conspiracy,

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his information led to a ban

from the Winter Olympics.

0:17:330:17:36

168 of the country's athletes

competed as neutrals,

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but they may now be allowed to march

under their national flag

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at the closing ceremony.

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The Olympic athletes

of the Russian team...

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Only clean Russians were meant

to be in Pyeongchang,

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but today a second of its athletes

at these games, Nadezhda Sergeeva,

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failed a drugs test.

0:18:060:18:07

Moving forward from sport's biggest

crisis is proving no easy task.

0:18:070:18:10

Dan Roan, BBC News.

0:18:100:18:15

The family of two young brothers

killed in a hit-and-run collision

0:18:150:18:18

have paid tribute to them as "jolly,

happy, lovely boys".

0:18:180:18:21

Corey and Casper Platt-May, aged six

and two, were struck by a car

0:18:210:18:24

yesterday afternoon in Coventry.

0:18:240:18:27

A 53-year-old man and a 41-year-old

woman have been arrested.

0:18:270:18:30

Sima Kotecha reports.

0:18:300:18:34

Casper and Corey.

0:18:340:18:35

One brother loved maths

and football, the other enjoyed

0:18:350:18:37

splashing in puddles.

0:18:370:18:42

Yesterday, on this road in Coventry,

they were hit by a car.

0:18:420:18:45

Today, bewilderment,

confusion and shock.

0:18:450:18:49

They were the most loving boys.

0:18:490:18:51

They did nothing wrong.

0:18:510:18:54

They were loved by so many people,

and so cheeky and...

0:18:540:18:59

Corey was cheeky,

artistic, mischievous.

0:18:590:19:03

A right wrestler.

0:19:030:19:09

Casper followed his brothers,

being a wrestler, being

0:19:090:19:11

mischievous and being cocky.

0:19:110:19:12

Just a normal little toddler.

0:19:120:19:15

They didn't deserve this.

0:19:150:19:21

It was around 2pm and the boys

were on their way to the park

0:19:210:19:25

with their mother when they were hit

by a black Ford Focus.

0:19:250:19:28

They were taken to hospital

with severe injuries

0:19:280:19:29

but neither of them survived.

0:19:290:19:32

I feel really heartbroken,

to be honest.

0:19:320:19:34

I've known the dad

almost all my life.

0:19:340:19:38

And such a lovely family.

0:19:380:19:40

Why do bad things happen?

0:19:400:19:43

My little one, she knows the older

one, because she's six.

0:19:430:19:47

He was really friendly.

0:19:470:19:49

And kind.

0:19:490:19:56

A 53-year-old man and a 41-year-old

woman have been arrested

0:19:560:19:58

on suspicion of drink-driving

and causing death

0:19:580:20:00

by dangerous driving.

0:20:000:20:03

Casper and Corey's mother paid

tribute to her sons on social media,

0:20:030:20:07

calling them amazing,

cheeky and fun.

0:20:070:20:11

Their grandfather had this to say.

0:20:110:20:14

The boys were lovely.

0:20:140:20:15

They'd do anything.

0:20:150:20:16

Just very happy, jolly, lovely boys.

0:20:160:20:21

And their lives have been

taken away so young.

0:20:210:20:24

It's unbelievable.

0:20:240:20:25

I just don't know

what to say, you know.

0:20:250:20:28

It's just crazy.

0:20:280:20:32

Sima Kotecha, BBC News, Coventry.

0:20:320:20:39

Mabil's long-standing general

secretary has quit. The resignation

0:20:450:20:50

after seven years in the role

follows continued claims that allies

0:20:500:20:53

of Jeremy Corbyn wanted to oust him.

In a statement, he said he was

0:20:530:20:57

standing down to pursue new

challengers.

0:20:570:21:00

The head of Royal Bank of Scotland

says its return to profit,

0:21:000:21:03

for the first time since

it was bailed out by

0:21:030:21:06

the government in 2008,

is a "really symbolic moment".

0:21:060:21:08

RBS, a majority of which is still

owned by the taxpayer,

0:21:080:21:10

made an annual profit

of £752 million in 2017 compared

0:21:100:21:13

with a loss of nearly

£7 billion the year before.

0:21:130:21:15

Our economics editor

Kamal Ahmed reports.

0:21:150:21:19

Faced with one of the biggest crises

since the Second World War...

0:21:190:21:22

A coordinated response

to the financial crisis...

0:21:220:21:24

For RBS, the Government will take...

0:21:240:21:25

It was an astonishing time,

a global, risky bank on the verge

0:21:250:21:30

of collapse, customers unsure

if they could withdraw their own

0:21:300:21:34

money, a rescue plan funded

by the taxpayer to save the economy.

0:21:340:21:38

A decade on, after years of losses,

the man at the helm of a partially

0:21:380:21:42

revived RBS said he believed

the worst was behind them.

0:21:420:21:44

This is actually very symbolic.

0:21:440:21:47

I think not just for our colleagues

at work but also for the UK,

0:21:470:21:51

who did put a lot of

money into this bank.

0:21:510:21:54

And we've been restructuring it,

taking losses through conduct

0:21:540:21:56

and litigation issues.

0:21:560:21:59

From the out of control

RBS to the new, a focus

0:21:590:22:03

on the simpler Natwest,

which RBS owns, and selling off

0:22:030:22:06

the riskier bits of that old bad

bank after past bad behaviour.

0:22:060:22:11

A better day, a symbolic day

for this bank, but it's a bank

0:22:110:22:15

that is not out of the woods.

0:22:150:22:17

Ahead is a huge fine

from the American authorities over

0:22:170:22:21

this bank's involvement

in the mortgage crisis over there.

0:22:210:22:25

Here, there's the continuing fallout

from the terrible treatment

0:22:250:22:29

of many small businesses.

0:22:290:22:32

Yes, this year a profit,

but the accumulated losses

0:22:320:22:35

by this bank over the last

decade, £58 billion.

0:22:350:22:43

With profits coming in at last,

is it now time for the government to

0:22:430:22:46

sell its stake?

0:22:460:22:48

Will the taxpayer get their money

back for bailing you out

0:22:480:22:50

in the financial crisis?

0:22:500:22:53

It will take a number

of years to come through.

0:22:530:22:56

The government has said

they want to start that process

0:22:560:22:59

in the fiscal year 18-19,

and it will take probably

0:22:590:23:02

about three to five years for them

to get down to a much smaller

0:23:020:23:05

percentage of their ownership.

0:23:050:23:09

Mr McEwan said costs still had

to be controlled and gave

0:23:090:23:13

no guarantees on jobs,

or that more bank branches

0:23:130:23:15

would not be closed.

0:23:150:23:16

The British public have invested

in RBS and supported it supported it

0:23:160:23:19

for the last ten years.

0:23:190:23:22

We would like to see that support

invested back into the local

0:23:220:23:24

communities RBS serves.

0:23:240:23:26

That starts with the bank

branch closure programme,

0:23:260:23:29

which we think should be

slowed down and stopped.

0:23:290:23:31

A more positive time for RBS,

but challenges ahead

0:23:310:23:34

and a clear message -

the taxpayer will not be getting his

0:23:340:23:37

or her money back any time soon.

0:23:370:23:40

Kamal Ahmed, BBC News.

0:23:400:23:44

At the Winter Olympics,

Britain lost to Sweden

0:23:440:23:46

in the semi-final of the women's

curling, although there is still

0:23:460:23:48

the chance of a bronze medal.

0:23:480:23:50

Elsewhere, a Russian girl

aged just 15 won gold

0:23:500:23:53

in a stunning performance

in the women's figure skating.

0:23:530:23:56

Andy Swiss reports.

0:23:560:24:01

So would it be another step

towards the Olympic title?

0:24:010:24:05

The British team walked out to a mix

of noise and nerves.

0:24:050:24:09

The captain's face betraying just

how much was at stake.

0:24:090:24:13

Four years ago in Sochi, the British

women lost in the semifinals.

0:24:130:24:17

So for Eve Muirhead and her team

this is a chance to put that

0:24:170:24:20

disappointment behind them

and to guarantee themselves

0:24:200:24:22

an Olympic medal.

0:24:220:24:25

What followed proved

predictably tense.

0:24:250:24:27

Sweden went ahead early

but Britain fought back.

0:24:270:24:29

COMMENTATOR:

Has Eve Muirhead

played a cracker here?

0:24:290:24:33

A spot of Muirhead magic

to level things up.

0:24:330:24:36

Well done, Eve Muirhead.

0:24:360:24:37

But their hopes

suddenly slipped away.

0:24:370:24:40

An error by the captain giving

the Swedes three shots.

0:24:400:24:45

The expression said it all.

0:24:450:24:48

From there, there was no way back.

0:24:480:24:51

Sweden wrapped up an emphatic win.

0:24:510:24:52

Britain will now play off

for bronze, but their

0:24:520:24:54

golden hopes have gone.

0:24:540:24:55

Absolutely gutted.

0:24:550:24:56

I guess we've trained hard

for the last three or four years

0:24:560:24:59

to be in that position

and unfortunately today

0:24:590:25:01

we were just outplayed.

0:25:010:25:05

But if that was one-sided,

the other semifinal

0:25:050:25:07

delivered astonishing drama.

0:25:070:25:10

In extra time, South Korea

had the final stone

0:25:100:25:12

and a nation willing it on.

0:25:120:25:15

COMMENTATOR:

They

are going to get it.

0:25:150:25:17

They have.

0:25:170:25:18

What a fantastic shot!

0:25:180:25:21

Victory over Japan sparking

wild celebrations.

0:25:210:25:23

The hosts in the final

and utter jubilation.

0:25:230:25:27

They are into the gold medal match.

0:25:270:25:29

But perhaps the day's

greatest achievement

0:25:290:25:31

belonged to a 15-year-old,

the remarkable Alina Zagitova

0:25:310:25:34

winning a first gold

medal for the Olympic

0:25:340:25:37

athletes from Russia.

0:25:370:25:42

Her country is banned

from these Games so,

0:25:420:25:44

come the presentation,

no national flag

0:25:440:25:46

and a neutral anthem.

0:25:460:25:52

An unusual ceremony

for an extraordinary teenage talent.

0:25:520:25:56

Andy Swiss, BBC News, PyeongChang.

0:25:560:26:00

That's it.

0:26:000:26:01

Now on BBC One, it's time

for the news where you are.

0:26:010:26:04

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