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The UN Security Council struggles
to agree on a ceasefire
as bombardment continues
of civilians trapped in Syria.
For the sixth day in a row Syrian
air strikes hit the rebel held
enclave of Eastern Ghouta.
Dozens are reported to have been
killed today, over 400 this week,
with medical supplies running out.
We'll bring you the latest
from the Security Council as world
leaders plea for the carnage
to be stopped.
EU leaders meet without Theresa May
and warn the UK can't cherry
pick its terms and to think
otherwise is an illusion.
A review finds not just girls
but also vulnerable women
are being sexually abused
by grooming gangs in
the north east of England.
Donald Trump repeats his call
to the party faithful that teachers
should be armed in schools.
The beauty is it's concealed.
Nobody would ever see it
unless they needed it,
and a teacher would have shot
the hell out of him before
he knew what happened.
The family of two brothers,
aged six and two, killed in a hit
and run pay emotional tribute
to their two lovely, happy boys.
And in hiding and fear -
the man who revealed Russian doping
tells the BBC Russia shouldn't be
allowed at the closing
of the Winter Olympics.
Coming up on Sportsday on BBC News,
the third round of the Six Nations
began this evening, with France
and Italy playing outside of Paris
for the first time in their history.
Members of the UN Security Council
are still struggling to reach
agreement on the terms of a 30-day
humanitarian ceasefire in Syria.
Three times today an announcement
has been expected and then delayed.
There were more air strikes today
targeting the rebel-held
area of eastern Ghouta,
near Damascus, which has been under
heavy bombardment since Sunday.
More than 400 people are reported
to have been killed this week.
We'll go live to the UN in New York
for the latest in a moment,
but first our Middle East editor
Jeremy Bowen reports.
This is what happened in eastern
Ghouta as diplomacy studied. --
studied. The enclave was pounded.
400,000 people spend most of the day
underground. Above them, Russian
jets, with their Syrian allies, were
in action. As the Russians demanded
guarantees that rebel fighters would
respect any truce. In eastern
Ghouta, men from civil defence
risked their lives to rescue
civilians, even though the buildings
could collapse and the planes could
come back. In the dust and
confusion, these children were
separated from their parents. The
rescuers ignored the dangers. The EU
condemned what it called brutal
attacks. Diplomacy is supposed to
find words and deeds to stop this
happening. They were rushed into
underground hospitals. It is hard to
end a war, or even a battle, with
words. Especially when one side, in
Syria, the regime and its allies,
believes victory is close. In Syria,
military power, the capacity to
inflict pain and death, sets the
pace of events. Treating the wounded
is one-way for humanity to push
back. Another is to recreate small
pockets of normality, kindness and
decency. This girl is 11 and, like
most people in eastern Ghouta, has
been living in a basement. Mothers
and their children wait and hope.
Has been two months
since I went to school and saw my
friends. We are here in the shelter
because of the bombing. The rockets
and missiles never end. I hope that
the war will stop so we can go home.
Among Syria's children, only
teenagers remember peace. The world
has failed a generation. These men
waited for a lull in the bombing to
try to bury a member of their
family. They ran out of time. In
Syria, nobody can rest in peace.
Jeremy Bowen, BBC News.
Joining me is Nick Bryant at the UN
in New York. The Security Council
members have been locked in talks
for hours now. We keep expecting an
announcement and not getting one. Is
there any sign of a breakthrough to
end this bloodshed?
All 15 members
of the Security Council have been
meeting behind closed doors in a
conference room close to where I'm
standing. In the last 15 seconds,
the Russian ambassador has walked
past, I asked if would be an
agreement, he shrugged his shoulders
and said we will see tomorrow. There
is not going to be a vote today.
Three votes have been postponed
already. The Russians have been
demanding changes to the draft
resolution. Many concessions had
been made. According to negotiators,
some of the problems are not over
the substance of the revolution,
they are over semantics, words,
granular details. What Western
diplomats have been saying all along
is that these are delaying tactics
by the Russians to give more time
for the Assad regime on the ground,
in eastern Ghouta, to continue its
military offensive. The United
Nations is not just a place where
diplomats meet. It is a place where
humanitarian and aid experts work.
They have watched this with great
and mounting frustration. They want
to be organising a monitoring
convoys to go into Ghouta, they want
to organise medical evacuations.
They are waiting for a green light
from the Security Council and, at
the moment, the Russians will not
give it. It sounds like we will have
to come back tomorrow to see if they
can reach an agreement.
The president of the European
Council has described as "pure
illusion" any attempt by Britain
to pick and choose the terms of its
future relationship with Europe.
Donald Tusk, speaking
at a summit of EU leaders not
attended by Britain,
said he hoped to get more clarity
on exactly what Britain's
proposals were when he meets
Theresa May next week.
From Brussels, Damian
France, Germany, Italy.
Europe's leaders all
in Brussels today, all
waiting to hear what the UK wants
from its future ties.
But if Theresa May's plan
is to seek special access
to the single market
for parts of the UK economy,
it was immediately rebuffed.
It is not an a la carte.
It is not possible to be aligned
with the European Union when it
suits and not when it doesn't.
That's not possible.
The EU doesn't yet know
what was decided by Mrs May
and her ministers at Chequers
yesterday but EU leaders have said
before and they said again today
that she cannot pick and choose only
the bits of the single
market she likes.
I am glad that the UK
Government seems to be moving
towards a more detailed position.
However, if the media
reports are correct,
I'm afraid that the UK position
today is based upon pure illusion.
It looks like the cake
philosophy is still alive.
But the UK's exit poses
problems for the EU, too.
Today its leaders were tackling
perhaps the thorniest issue of all,
the EU's looming budget problem.
When UK payments to the EU cease,
the EU will face a shortfall of more
than 10 billion euros a year,
at least 10% of its annual spending.
There's a hole in the budget,
so is your country prepared
to accept less and see
cuts to spending?
Well, you know, if you listen
to politicians there is usually
a hole in the budget but finally
things are financed.
So if we want to finance more,
we have to pay more.
It's very simple.
Is your country prepared
to pay more after Brexit?
If I would keep my answer
short, I would say no.
So, hints at divisions
between EU countries,
and that might just give
the UK some leverage
in the negotiations to come.
And before he left the summit here
tonight, Donald Tusk said he would
be travelling to London on Thursday
next week to meet with Theresa May.
He said he is looking for more
detail on the UK position and he had
a warning. He said that even if the
UK is not ready, the EU will press
ahead with its own preparations for
the talks on the future
A review into sexual exploitation
in the north-east of England has
concluded it is likely that not just
girls but also vulnerable women
are being "extensively"
abused across the UK.
It follows Operation Sanctuary
in August last year,
which saw these 18 people jailed
for the sexual abuse of young women
and girls groomed in Newcastle.
A review of that case has concluded
a number of gangs have abused
more than 700 victims
across the Northumberland region.
From Newcastle, Fiona Trott reports.
A city under scrutiny.
On these streets, as many as 700
vulnerable girls and women
were sexually exploited.
Some were trafficked
from one house to another
and abused by several men.
Vanessa - not her real name -
was a victim of sexual exploitation.
To protect her identity,
we have used an actor's voice.
At first, nothing was expected.
I would just meet them
and sit and have a drink.
As time went on, I would have
to have sex with them.
When you're in care,
they say you need education.
But what they seem to forget is that
you can have the mental
intelligence, but if you're not
That is why schools
like this are teaching
children about grooming.
happened on their doorstep.
In Newcastle, we have seen
people being arrested.
Generally, it tends to be men.
It makes you afraid to go
out in case it happened
to you or your friend.
Were you that worried?
Scared in case it happened to me
and you don't know who to turn to,
or who you could trust.
Both people in a relationship need
to be comfortable and you need to be
in a situation where they can
open up and listen.
Today's report says
it's not just children.
For the first time, a focus
on vulnerable adults and a warning
to other towns and cities
across the UK.
What I'd like the Government to do
is to have a really good look
at the learning that's now available
about abuse of adults
check the legislation,
make sure the legislation that's
in place is fit for purpose.
In the meantime, this is how police
are tackling the problem
Takeaway staff across Newcastle
are being trained on how
to spot adult victims.
They know the exploitation
still exists in this city.
I think it would be naive and wrong
for me to suggest that
because of Sanctuary,
and at the point that this
report is published,
that this has stopped.
That we've solved the problem.
It carries on, I would suggest,
in most, if not all towns
and cities in the UK.
Most of the perpetrators who cruised
these streets were from Pakistani,
Bangladeshi and Indian backgrounds.
Today's report is calling
for research into their cultures
to understand their motivation
and what it calls an
Fiona Trott, BBC News, Newcastle.
President Trump has repeated his
call for teachers to be armed
with guns so that they can,
in his words, "shoot the hell
out of any attackers".
He was speaking as pressure grows
for action after the shooting
at a school in Florida last week
that left 14 students and three
members of staff dead.
Meanwhile, the Governor of Florida
has announced proposals to restrict
the sale of guns and to raise
the minimum age at which
you can buy them to 21.
Jon Sopel reports.
Staff and teachers return
to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas
school today as a nation continues
to grope for explanations
of what happened.
For some, it's all about guns.
For others, it's mental health
and societal breakdown.
But today, a new culprit.
Scot Peterson, a deputy sheriff
who arrived outside the school 90
seconds after the shooting started.
But for whatever reason, didn't act.
And he's taking a mighty
kicking from the President.
He was there for five minutes. Five
minutes. He heard it right at the
beginning, so he certainly did a
That's the case, where
somebody was outside.
They were trained.
They didn't react properly under
pressure or they were cowards.
Speaking to Conservative activists,
the President also restated his
belief that some teachers should be
weapons in school.
And the beauty is it's concealed,
nobody would ever see it.
Unless they needed it.
So this crazy man who walked
in wouldn't even know who it is that
has it, that's good.
That's not bad, that's good.
And a teacher would have shot
the hell out of him before
he knew what happened.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE.
And in Florida, the governor has
announced a range of measures
to tighten security.
The goal of this plan of action
is to make massive changes
in protecting our schools.
Provide significantly more
resources for mental health.
And to do everything we can to keep
guns out of the hands of those
dealing with mental problems
or threatening harm
to themselves or others.
The President has just
told a news conference,
"we're well on the way to solving
that horrible problem
of gun violence".
But so far there have only been
sketchy proposals and no class
of weapon is being banned.
Well on the way?
Well, that might be
Jon Sopel, BBC News, Washington.
The man who exposed
the Russian Olympic doping scandal
says his country's athletes should
not be allowed to parade
under their national flag
at the closing ceremony
of the Winter Games this weekend.
Two Russian athletes have tested
positive for banned drugs.
Dr Grigory Rodchenkov's revelations
of state-sponsored doping
saw the country banned
from the Olympics, its athletes
forced to compete as neutrals.
In fear of his life,
Dr Rodchenkov went into hiding.
Now in the United States,
our sports editor Dan Roan
travelled to interview him
at a secret location.
It's one of sport's
Russian cheating reached its height
at the last Winter Games in Sochi.
The mastermind, Doctor
In 2015, the former head
of Moscow's anti-doping lab
fleeing to the West.
Ever since, he's been
in FBI witness protection.
And we are on the way to meet him.
For more than two years now,
the man at the very heart
of Russia's doping scandal has been
living in hiding, here somewhere
in the United States.
Finally, he's agreed to speak to us,
but such are the security
concerns surrounding him,
we've not even been told
where we have to go.
After hours on the road,
we are taken to a location
that we are told has to remain
a secret, along
with his new identity.
If you had not left Russia,
where would you be now?
You'd be dead?
Rodchenkov's role in Russia's
remarkable doping programme
became the subject of
an Oscar-nominated film.
Were you the mastermind that
cheated the Olympics?
He said the conspiracy
went right to the top,
and that London 2012
was also targeted.
So what does he say to British
athletes whose Games were tainted?
The Russian government
says you are lying.
You were cheating.
It wasn't them, it was you.
Does British sport have a problem
with cheating, do you think?
Rodchenkov says he may soon be
prepared to name names, and has
vowed to reveal more information.
Despite Russian claims he is part
of a Western conspiracy,
his information led to a ban
from the Winter Olympics.
168 of the country's athletes
competed as neutrals,
but they may now be allowed to march
under their national flag
at the closing ceremony.
The Olympic athletes
of the Russian team...
Only clean Russians were meant
to be in Pyeongchang,
but today a second of its athletes
at these games, Nadezhda Sergeeva,
failed a drugs test.
Moving forward from sport's biggest
crisis is proving no easy task.
Dan Roan, BBC News.
The family of two young brothers
killed in a hit-and-run collision
have paid tribute to them as "jolly,
happy, lovely boys".
Corey and Casper Platt-May, aged six
and two, were struck by a car
yesterday afternoon in Coventry.
A 53-year-old man and a 41-year-old
woman have been arrested.
Sima Kotecha reports.
Casper and Corey.
One brother loved maths
and football, the other enjoyed
splashing in puddles.
Yesterday, on this road in Coventry,
they were hit by a car.
confusion and shock.
They were the most loving boys.
They did nothing wrong.
They were loved by so many people,
and so cheeky and...
Corey was cheeky,
A right wrestler.
Casper followed his brothers,
being a wrestler, being
mischievous and being cocky.
Just a normal little toddler.
They didn't deserve this.
It was around 2pm and the boys
were on their way to the park
with their mother when they were hit
by a black Ford Focus.
They were taken to hospital
with severe injuries
but neither of them survived.
I feel really heartbroken,
to be honest.
I've known the dad
almost all my life.
And such a lovely family.
Why do bad things happen?
My little one, she knows the older
one, because she's six.
He was really friendly.
A 53-year-old man and a 41-year-old
woman have been arrested
on suspicion of drink-driving
and causing death
by dangerous driving.
Casper and Corey's mother paid
tribute to her sons on social media,
calling them amazing,
cheeky and fun.
Their grandfather had this to say.
The boys were lovely.
They'd do anything.
Just very happy, jolly, lovely boys.
And their lives have been
taken away so young.
I just don't know
what to say, you know.
It's just crazy.
Sima Kotecha, BBC News, Coventry.
Mabil's long-standing general
secretary has quit. The resignation
after seven years in the role
follows continued claims that allies
of Jeremy Corbyn wanted to oust him.
In a statement, he said he was
standing down to pursue new
The head of Royal Bank of Scotland
says its return to profit,
for the first time since
it was bailed out by
the government in 2008,
is a "really symbolic moment".
RBS, a majority of which is still
owned by the taxpayer,
made an annual profit
of £752 million in 2017 compared
with a loss of nearly
£7 billion the year before.
Our economics editor
Kamal Ahmed reports.
Faced with one of the biggest crises
since the Second World War...
A coordinated response
to the financial crisis...
For RBS, the Government will take...
It was an astonishing time,
a global, risky bank on the verge
of collapse, customers unsure
if they could withdraw their own
money, a rescue plan funded
by the taxpayer to save the economy.
A decade on, after years of losses,
the man at the helm of a partially
revived RBS said he believed
the worst was behind them.
This is actually very symbolic.
I think not just for our colleagues
at work but also for the UK,
who did put a lot of
money into this bank.
And we've been restructuring it,
taking losses through conduct
and litigation issues.
From the out of control
RBS to the new, a focus
on the simpler Natwest,
which RBS owns, and selling off
the riskier bits of that old bad
bank after past bad behaviour.
A better day, a symbolic day
for this bank, but it's a bank
that is not out of the woods.
Ahead is a huge fine
from the American authorities over
this bank's involvement
in the mortgage crisis over there.
Here, there's the continuing fallout
from the terrible treatment
of many small businesses.
Yes, this year a profit,
but the accumulated losses
by this bank over the last
decade, £58 billion.
With profits coming in at last,
is it now time for the government to
sell its stake?
Will the taxpayer get their money
back for bailing you out
in the financial crisis?
It will take a number
of years to come through.
The government has said
they want to start that process
in the fiscal year 18-19,
and it will take probably
about three to five years for them
to get down to a much smaller
percentage of their ownership.
Mr McEwan said costs still had
to be controlled and gave
no guarantees on jobs,
or that more bank branches
would not be closed.
The British public have invested
in RBS and supported it supported it
for the last ten years.
We would like to see that support
invested back into the local
communities RBS serves.
That starts with the bank
branch closure programme,
which we think should be
slowed down and stopped.
A more positive time for RBS,
but challenges ahead
and a clear message -
the taxpayer will not be getting his
or her money back any time soon.
Kamal Ahmed, BBC News.
At the Winter Olympics,
Britain lost to Sweden
in the semi-final of the women's
curling, although there is still
the chance of a bronze medal.
Elsewhere, a Russian girl
aged just 15 won gold
in a stunning performance
in the women's figure skating.
Andy Swiss reports.
So would it be another step
towards the Olympic title?
The British team walked out to a mix
of noise and nerves.
The captain's face betraying just
how much was at stake.
Four years ago in Sochi, the British
women lost in the semifinals.
So for Eve Muirhead and her team
this is a chance to put that
disappointment behind them
and to guarantee themselves
an Olympic medal.
What followed proved
Sweden went ahead early
but Britain fought back.
Has Eve Muirhead
played a cracker here?
A spot of Muirhead magic
to level things up.
Well done, Eve Muirhead.
But their hopes
suddenly slipped away.
An error by the captain giving
the Swedes three shots.
The expression said it all.
From there, there was no way back.
Sweden wrapped up an emphatic win.
Britain will now play off
for bronze, but their
golden hopes have gone.
I guess we've trained hard
for the last three or four years
to be in that position
and unfortunately today
we were just outplayed.
But if that was one-sided,
the other semifinal
delivered astonishing drama.
In extra time, South Korea
had the final stone
and a nation willing it on.
are going to get it.
What a fantastic shot!
Victory over Japan sparking
The hosts in the final
and utter jubilation.
They are into the gold medal match.
But perhaps the day's
belonged to a 15-year-old,
the remarkable Alina Zagitova
winning a first gold
medal for the Olympic
athletes from Russia.
Her country is banned
from these Games so,
come the presentation,
no national flag
and a neutral anthem.
An unusual ceremony
for an extraordinary teenage talent.
Andy Swiss, BBC News, PyeongChang.
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