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Tonight at 10, Scotland Yard reveals
that a nerve agent was used
to poison a former Russian spy
and his daughter in Salisbury.
A police officer is also
in a serious condition.
These are new images
of Sergei Skripal.
He and his daughter Yulia
are still critically ill
after the attack on Sunday.
Having established that a nerve
agent is the cause of the symptoms,
leading us to treat this
as attempted murder,
I can also confirm that we believe
the two people who
originally became unwell
were targeted specifically.
Police are still searching tonight.
There are hundreds of officers
involved but they are not giving
more details of the substance used.
We'll have the latest
on the investigation,
as Moscow complains of black
propaganda being directed
of the teenager accused of planting
a bomb on a London underground
train last September.
After the M1 crash in which eight
people died, one lorry driver
is cleared of causing death
by dangerous driving.
Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman
holding talks on trade
and security in Downing Street,
as Labour protests about the Saudis'
involvement in the war in Yemen.
And coming up on Sportsday on BBC
News, can Tottenham Hotspur hold on
against Italian giants
Juventus to make it
through to the quarterfinals
of the Champions League?
We'll have the latest report and
features from the BBC sports Centre.
A nerve agent was used
to try to murder a former Russian
spy and his daughter
in Salisbury at the weekend.
Scotland Yard said they had
identified the substance,
but weren't prepared to make that
information public at this stage.
Sergei and Yulia Skripal were found
unconscious on Sunday afternoon
and they remain critically ill,
along with a police
officer who was the first
to attend the scene.
Police say that Mr Skripal
and his daughter were targeted
specifically and the
attack is being treated
as attempted murder.
Our home affairs correspondent
Tom Symonds has the latest.
Sergei Skripal is a man
with a shadowy past.
Relatives said he feared it
would catch up with him,
That he would be targeted.
But he was using his own name,
living a normal life,
popping into a corner shop last
month for milk and bacon.
Tonight, he and his daughter
are gravely ill and now,
The most senior counterterrorism
officer revealed why.
In summary, this is being treated
as a major incident
involved attempting murder
by the administration
of a nerve agent.
As you know, these two people remain
critically ill in hospital.
Sadly, in addition, a police officer
who was one of the first to attend
the scene and respond
to the incident is now also
in a serious condition in hospital.
It wasn't just police officers and
ambulance teams who came into
contact with the victims. So did
people who just tried to help. Could
they have been affected?
Chief Medical Officer, my message to
the public is that this event poses
a low risk to the public on the
evidence that we have.
Now the focus
is on the nearly three hours between
them arriving in this area and being
taken ill. Key locations remain
cordoned off, including the Zizzi
restaurant, where they had lunch
around 2pm. An eyewitness who saw
them there, and wanted to remain
anonymous, told me something
appeared to be wrong. What was your
view of them?
Initially I thought he
had mental problems. It was out of
the blue. There was no one around
him. He started screaming at the top
of his voice. He didn't look right.
He looked like he was going to lose
He and other eyewitnesses
say that Yulia had dark hair, as she
appeared in this picture. Police
have seized this CCTV footage from
just before 4pm, a man with a blonde
haired woman entering the shopping
area. Detectives will need to sort
through a mass of eyewitness reports
and CCTV to establish the truth. The
Government was briefed on the
We need to keep a cool head and make
sure that we collect
all the evidence we can,
and we need to make sure
that we respond not to rumour
but to all the evidence
that they collect.
And then, we will need to decide
what action to take.
But life in Salisbury is now
dominated by the response to the
suspected poisoning. When a woman
was taken ill at an office this
lunchtime, this was the emergency
services' reaction. This evening,
teams in protective suits and
respirators were at a nearby
ambulance station. Someone has used
a chemical weapon among the shoppers
of this peaceful city. Nobody is
taking any chances.
As we heard, police are not
revealing any more information
at this stage about the exact
substance they've identified
other than categorising
it as a nerve agent.
Here to examine what we know
about these nerve agents,
and who might have access to them,
is our security
correspondent Gordon Corera.
Today, the police made the dramatic
revelation that a nerve agent had
been deployed on British soil.
The aim to kill.
So what does that tell us about who
was behind the attack?
Tests have been going
on here at Porton Down,
the Ministry of Defence's biological
and chemical research establishment.
Its specialists have been analysing
samples brought from Salisbury.
The tests established that a nerve
agent had been used to specifically
target two of the victims.
So what is a nerve agent?
Nerve agents were first created
in the 1930s for warfare.
They are manufactured rather
than naturally occurring.
They are fast acting
and, unless quickly
treated, often deadly.
And they work by crippling
the nervous system.
Essentially many of the muscles go
into spasm, so imagine that
you were just having
to hold your breath,
and just hold it, keep holding
it, keep holding it.
And this is one of the effects,
and this is why people
struggle to breathe.
But you also get massive secretion
of fluid in the lungs,
and people are trying
to breathe through that.
And the fluid in the lungs
is a surfactant, so it's
a slightly soapy consistency.
So when people are breathing
through it you often see them sort
of foaming at the mouth.
It's not the only time we've
seen a nerve agent used
to target individuals.
A year ago at Kuala Lumpur airport,
two women smeared a nerve agent
called VX on the face
of the North Korean
leader's half brother.
He was soon dead.
That's one method of delivery.
A nerve agent can also be
inhaled or ingested,
but it's not easy to make.
Nerve agents require not
an insignificant financial,
logistical and technical back-up
to actually be manufactured.
And so that would lead
to a more likelihood
of a state manufacturing it.
The police have been careful not
to reveal precisely which nerve
agent was used in Salisbury.
Tests can often trace such agents
to a specific country or even
laboratory of origin.
Officials have been careful
not to blame Russia.
But it is the only suspect so far
which has the means,
the track record and the motive
to kill a man whom some in Moscow
Trevor was behind it would have
known that the nerve agent would
almost certainly be identified, a
sign of just how brazenly attack is.
In Moscow, the foreign ministry said
the speculation about Russia's
involvement was "black propaganda"
and insisted that its case
against Sergei Skripal had ended
when he was part of an exchange
of spies in 2010.
Skripal had been jailed in Russia
for passing secrets to MI6.
Our Moscow correspondent
Steve Rosenberg has been speaking
to some of those who knew Skripal
in his previous life.
Piece by piece, a picture
is emerging of Sergei Skripal,
the former Russian double agent
poisoned in Britain.
Vladimir Svyatski knew
Sergei Skripal in the late 1960s.
They studied together
in a military college.
He was very
active, with a positive
attitude, and creative.
A real friend.
Many of the students
looked up to him.
Oleg Ivanov worked with
Sergei Skripal for two and a half
years in the Moscow regional
government after Skripal had retired
from Russian military intelligence.
Sergei was the life
and soul of the party.
He could find a common
language with anyone.
All his colleagues respected him.
So when he was arrested for spying
it was a real shock.
Today Russia's Foreign Ministry
responded to claims that Moscow had
targeted Sergei Skripal.
This was provocation, it said,
and an anti-Russian campaign.
Unfortunately we regard this
as a piece of disinformation.
Because what actually the media
and all the people need
is actual information,
official information on this case.
As for President Putin,
he is yet to comment
on events in the UK.
He was on the campaign trail today,
visiting a cake factory.
The sweet picture a stark
contrast to suspicions
of possible Russian involvement
in the nerve agent attack.
Russian officials have said
they are willing to cooperate
with the UK investigation
if they are asked to.
What Moscow isn't prepared to do,
though, is accept that the Russian
state was behind this attack.
Tonight, Moscow is waiting to see
whether Britain will officially
declare it the prime suspect.
Steve Rosenberg, BBC News, Moscow.
Let's go live to New Scotland Yard
and Daniel Stanford. Bring us
up-to-date on this investigation and
tell us something about the scale of
As you can imagine, after a
nerve agent attack on a
quintessentially English medieval
cathedral city, huge resources are
now being thrown at this
Counterterrorism detectives at
Scotland Yard thought they would
never see anything as extraordinary
as the polonium attack on Alexander
Litvinenko. If anything, this could
be harder, because there would be no
trail of radiation to follow.
Hundreds of police officers,
detectives, forensic scientists and
analysts have been involved in this
investigation. The best lead they
have is in fact that nerve agent. If
it is rare enough, that could lead
them to the place where it was made,
if it was something that could only
have been made in a very few number
of places. So, what is going on now
is that there is a huge trawl of
eyewitnesses and CCTV from the day
of the attack and the days leading
up to it. They need more public help
on that. There will be an attempt to
identify where the nerve agent came
from and also, of course, an attempt
to find the needle in a haystack,
the personal people that delivered
the poison. Once the evidence has
been gathered, if it still points to
a foreign power, it will be up to
the Government to handle the
Thanks very much for the
A teenager has gone on trial
at the Old Bailey, accused
of planting a bomb on a London
underground train last September.
30 people were hurt in the incident
during the morning rush hour
at Parson's Green station.
18-year-old Ahmed Hassan,
from Sunbury in Surrey,
denies attempted murder and causing
an explosion likely to endanger
life, as our home affairs
correspondent June Kelly reports.
An autumn morning in the rush-hour
and a major security operation
on the London Underground system.
Today the Old Bailey heard how
an improvised explosive device
partially detonated on a train just
after it pulled into
Parsons Green station.
It created a large
fireball in a carriage
with around 93 passengers.
Some were caught by the flames
and suffered serious burns.
This is the teenager
on trial for the attack,
18-year-old Ahmed Hassan,
captured on CCTV in the weeks
before, when his plans were said
to be well under way.
On this bus ride, in his plastic
bag, he was allegedly carry
one of the components,
hydrogen peroxide, he needed
for his homemade bomb.
Today the jury was told
Hassan left his device
in a bucket on the train.
Described as loaded with shrapnel
to cause maximum harm
and damage and containing
the volatile explosive TATP.
Prosecutor Alison Morgan said
of the passengers...
"Many ran in fear and panic.
They were fortunate.
Had the device fully detonated,
it is inevitable that serious injury
and significant damage would have
been caused within the carriage.
Those in close-proximity
to the device may well
have been killed."
Hassan came to Britain as an asylum
seeker from Iraq and was living
with foster parents.
Ahmed Hassan arrived in this country
three years ago on a lorry.
He told immigration officials that
he'd been forcibly taken
by the Islamic State group
and trained to kill by them.
But he said he was opposed
to IS and was in fear of them.
It was said to be a matter
of luck that the device
here did not fully go off,
it had been fitted with a timer.
Ahmed Hassan had got off the train
at the station before,
he was arrested 24-hours later.
June Kelly, BBC News,
at the Old Bailey.
The President of the European
Council Donald Tusk has warned that
trade with the UK will be more
complicated and costly after Brexit.
Mr Tusk was introducing
the EU's draft approach,
to talks on the future relationship.
Mr Tusk offered the prospect
of what he called an ambitious
and advanced free trade agreement,
but said it was out of the question
for Britain to take a pick and mix
approach to the single market.
The Chancellor Philip Hammond has
appealed for financial services
to be included in any free trade
agreement, as our political editor
Laura Kuenssberg reports.
A different mansion house -
this time in a Luxembourg garden.
But there's strife ahead,
even in the most tranquil
The European Union
revealed its response
to Theresa May's plans for Brexit.
It will make it more complicated
and costly than today for all of us.
This is the essence of Brexit.
A pick and mix approach
for a non-member state
is out of the question.
We are not going to
sacrifice these principles.
It's simply not in our interests.
Unfortunately, and we have
to know, there will be no
winners after the Brexit.
Both sides will be losing.
The EU has been united
with that gloomy message.
But it was only on Friday
the Prime Minister said she wanted
an ambitious trade partnership
with the bloc, but accepted
compromises would be made.
So, how do the two sides compare?
Well, the EU guidelines
of a possible deal say there will be
negative economic consequences.
And while the Prime Minister
said all agreements mean
picking and choosing,
the EU insists the UK can't
cherry-pick the bits
of the EU it likes.
But the union's accepted
the goal of a trade deal
where there are no tariffs -
taxes on imports or exports.
only if the EU keeps access
to fish British waters.
But, crucially, there
is space to budge.
The document says if the UK
positions were to evolve,
the Union will be prepared
to reconsider its offer.
And there is the chance
of brokering some kind
of limited deal over services,
including the giant money machine
of the City of London,
where the Chancellor shrugged off
the Brussels position.
They are very skilled and very
disciplined in the way they carry
out their negotiation.
It does not surprise me
remotely that what they have
set out this morning
is a very tough position.
But Labour claims the Government's
approache is all over the place.
We can change the tone into one
of mutual interest, mutual respect.
We can get the deal
that will protect our
economy and protect jobs.
There are big gaps between
what the Government wants
and what the EU is willing to give.
And it's clear it's easier
for Brussels, not Westminster,
to call the shots.
But in this long, tortured process,
today is not a moment of political
panic, it is clear from both sides,
and from these guidelines, there
is a real conversation to be had.
Laura Kuenssberg, BBC
Simon Jack, our business editor,
is in the City of London.
Simon, what is your reading of the
response from the City of London
today to what has been said?
the Chancellor's speech went down
pretty well. People thought it was
pretty plausible and pretty detailed
attempt to achieve what Brussels
said was impossible. Including
financial services all-important to
the UK economy in a final trade
deal. The Chancellor said, look, it
is possible because Brussels tried
to include it in a deal they tried
to do with the EU - the US sorry.
Not only is it possible it's
desirable. Physical you split up the
expertise, the capital, the people
that you find here in this one stop
stop shop of London and spreaded it
around Europe it will cause European
Union businesses and customers a lot
more money. That was all pretty
good. However, as one person put it
to me in the City today, this was
really the end of the beginning.
This was one side in the argument
fleshing out its own position. That
is very different from actually
making substantial progress in the
negotiation itself. You heard
yourself what Donald Tusk had to say
about that. Now, the one thing I was
told that nothing that was said
today or indeed last week will make
businesses, banks, insurance
companies hit the halt or even the
pause button on the post-Brexit
contingency plans. All the rules and
regulations will stay the same until
December 2020. That is what they are
waiting for. If they do that, that
will calm nerves. A good effort
today by the Chancellor, but still a
great deal of work still to do.
Simon many thanks again. Simon Jack
there for us in the City of London.
A lorry driver, involved
in a collision on the M1 last
August, has been cleared of eight
charges of causing death
by dangerous driving.
54-year-old David Wagstaff
from Stoke-on Trent
was on a hands-free phone call
at the time of the collision
and had already admitted
to careless driving.
Yesterday another driver,
31-year-old Ryszard Masierak,
who was driving the other lorry
involved, was convicted of causing
death by dangerous driving.
Helena Lee, reports.
The sheer force of the impact
of the crash is clear to see.
A crash that was entirely
avoidable, the trial heard,
with the most catastrophic
and tragic of consequences.
Ryszard Masierak stopped his
lorry in the slow lane
of the M1 for 12 minutes.
The jury was shown this dash-cam
footage from another lorry driver
on the road before the collision.
He passed Masierak's
lorry, here on the left,
stationary in the slow lane.
The court heard Masierak was twice
over the legal limit and he'd
been driving erratically
in the hours before.
Soon after, Cyriac Joseph,
the minibus driver, tried to go
round Masierak's lorry.
He missed his chance, stopped behind
it and put his hazards on.
Moments later, David
Wagstaff's lorry ploughed
into the back of the minibus.
During the trial, the court heard
how Wagstaff had been
on a hands-free call for nearly
an hour at the time of the crash,
and his lorry on cruise control.
Cyriac Joseph and seven
of his passengers died in the crash,
he'd been taking them to London,
where they were going
on to Disneyland in Paris.
Four others in the minibus
were seriously injured.
Six months on from the crash,
and Mr Joseph's family
feel his loss deeply.
I miss him a lot.
I mean, my life has
like completely changed so much.
Yeah, it's hard, and I'm trying
to get through it, like we all are.
Today, outside court,
tributes were paid to those
who helped at the scene.
All of the emergency services,
together with staff
and Highways England and members
of the public, worked
extremely hard to bring
comfort to those involved
Everyone who attended
will not forget the scene
they faced that day.
The Crown Prosecution Service says
this case serves as a stark warning
to other drivers.
It's a clear reminder
to all drivers that holding
a drivers licence brings with it
a high degree of responsibility that
should be at the forefront of every
Today, the judge praised
the families of those who
lost loved ones for their constant
dignity in what he said was a
Helena Lee, BBC News,
Reading Crown Court.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
of Saudi Arabia has started
a three-day visit to Britain
by having lunch with the Queen
and holding talks with
the Prime Minister in Downing Street
about trade and security.
But the visit is not appropriate,
according to human rights
campaigners, who point
to Saudi Arabia's role
in the conflict in Yemen,
where the UN says there's
a humanitarian crisis.
Our security correspondent,
Frank Gardner, has more details.
A Downing Street welcome for the man
who is shaking up Saudi Arabia with
radical reforms. Crown Prince
Mohammed bin Salman and his
delegation have come to Britain
looking for new deals and new
partnerships. This meeting concluded
with an agreed target of £65 billion
of future trade deals, spread across
education, healthcare, energy and
defence. Today, the Crown Prince was
given an audience and lunch with the
Queen. Tonight he is dining with
Prince Charles and Prince William.
The lunch that Crown Prince Mohammed
bin Salman had with the Queen is a
mark of just how highly the
Government values its relations with
Saudi Arabia. He's not a Head of
State and four years ago almost
no-one had heard of him. Not
everyone in Britain though welcomes
this visit. A small, but noisy
demonstration outside Downing
Street, protesting Saudi Arabia's
air strikes on Yemen and its poor
human rights record. Britain is a
major supplier of arms to Saudi
Arabia, contracts are worth billions
of pounds and employ thousands of
Britons. In neighbouring Yemen,
Saudi led air strikes on Houthi
rebels are blamed for the majority
of civilian casualties. In
Parliament today a question over
whether Saudi Arabia is a suitable
There has been a sharp
increase in the arrest and detention
of dissidents, torture of prisoners
is common, human rights defenders
routinely sentenced to lengthy
But the Government
places huge value on Saudi
co-operation in counter terrorism.
The link we have with Saudi Arabia
is historic it, it hes a an
important one and it has saved the
lives of potentially hundreds of
people in this country.
Mohammed is pushing a sweeping
economic and social reform
programme, reintroducing cinemas and
public entertainment. He's also gig
Saudi women much more freedom to
enjoy public life. From June they
can drive. We spoke to a prominent
women's rights campaigner.
comes to human rights I think
there's no reform yet. I think
everything is going to happen
because people nowadays are like,
you know, 70% of the population are
youth, youngsters, and they all want
change. The Saudi Crown Prince is no
democrat. He locked up citizens in
this hotel until they handed over
their assets. Young Saudis admire
him. If he can deliver on his
economic promises, with Britain's
help, he will go down in history as
the man who modernised Saudi Arabia.
Frank Gardner, BBC News.
A brief look at some
of the day's other news stories.
Syrian government forces
have reportedly taken
half of Eastern Ghouta,
the last rebel-held enclave close
to the capital Damascus.
More aerial bombing has
killed at least 20 people.
Troops and tanks have advanced,
with many local residents trying
to flee the violence.
The leader and deputy leader
of the far-right group,
Britain First, have been jailed
after being found guilty of
Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen have
been sentenced to four-and-a-half
months and nine months respectively
after targeting Muslims
they believed were part of a rape
trial taking place last May.
Almost 1,000 jobs are to be
lost at the high street
fashion chain New Look.
The retailer says it's planning
to close 60 stores and reduce rent
on 400 shops as part
of rescue plans.
The company says the cuts
are tough but necessary
to restore profitability.
The Government is to pay
£50 million in cold weather
benefits because of last
week's freezing temperatures.
Around two million households
are receiving a top-up
to their benefits, worth £25 pounds,
because their area stayed below zero
degrees for seven days.
The head of world cycling's
governing body, the UCI,
is calling for an investigation
into Team Sky following
a parliamentary report.
David Lappartient has told the BBC
that the findings of the inquiry
into doping in sport
and "could affect the global
credibility" of cycling.
The report accused Team Sky
and Sir Bradley Wiggins of having
"crossed an ethical line"
by using drugs allowed under
anti-doping rules to enhance
performance instead of just
for medical purposes.
From Switzerland our sports
editor, Dan Roan, reports.
They may be the dominant
force in cycling, but
the pressure is on Team Sky.
Today, they tried to focus
on their latest race in Italy,
but it's the way they've won
in the past that's under scrutiny.
Team Sky have admitted mistakes
following this week's damning report
by a parliamentary committee,
but today the most powerful figure
in the sport told me
that wasn't good enough.
Mistake is something you've done
with the intention to be wrong.
The report, it's
a little bit different.
It seems that it was a little bit
organised, so it's maybe not
a mistake but a fault,
which is different, because that
could affect the credibility
globally of our sport,
and that's why I'm
concerned about this.
The MPs alleged Sir Bradley Wiggins
used asthma drugs to boost
performance, and not
just for medical need,
when he rode for Team Sky.
A claim that both they and he deny,
but Lappartient seems unconvinced.
Do you feel an ethical line
was crossed, as the MPs suggest?
It's what in the report
and what I read.
When you can see that
substances were used,
not for health problems,
but to increase your performances,
then, yes, that's something
unacceptable for me
and the philosophy we have.
So if it's not breaking the rules,
can it be cheating?
If you are using, you know,
substances to increase your
performances, I think this
is exactly what is cheating.
Despite the controversy,
Sir Dave Brailsford remains
in charge of Team Sky,
but Lappartient told me he now wants
the World Federation's
to launch their own inquiry.
I want them to investigate
and to see if there is some
violation of anti-doping rules.
Britain's top rider, Chris Froome,
continues to compete
despite an adverse drugs test last
year, and the Team Sky star
could defend his title in this
summer's Tour de France
with the case still unresolved.
What would the effect of that be?
That would be a disaster
for the image of cycling.
On the legal point of view
he has a right to ride,
but for the image of our sport,
that could be a disaster.
The UCI president now wants
Chris Froome to withdraw from racing
until either he clears his name
or is banned.
The road to reputational recovery
could be a long one.
Dan Roan, BBC News.
In tonight's Champions League
football it's been a hugely
disappointing night for Tottenham,
who needed to avoid a home defeat
by Juventus to book a place
in the quarter-finals.
Spurs went ahead early in the tie,
but the Italians fought
back in the second half.
From Wembley, Natalie Pirks reports.
The saying goes that
football is more important
than life or death.
Tonight began with a reminder
that simply isn't true.
Emotion etched on the face
of Giorgio Chiellini.
In honour of their former
the Italians were up for it.
Son had been threatening
the goal all match.
There's the chance,
oh, it's gone in!
This was just reward.
Yes, the strike wasn't
exactly vintage, but it
was huge unimportance.
How quickly things
can change, though.
First, Higuain levelled for Juve.
And there's the goal,
the flag stays down!
And, mere moments later, Dybala sent
travelling fans into raptures.
The Old Lady had awoken.
Spurs had gone from composed
to rattled, in the blink of an eye.
A Spurs goal would take
the game into extra time.
Hoisted in towards Harry Kane!
But the post stood between Harry
Kane and Tottenham fans' dreams.
Vital clearance by the
Inconsolable on the turf,
yet another year of disappointment.
Spurs had the advantage of of away
goals from the first-leg and when
Son scored everybody thought they
would go through. Juve have reached
two of the last three finals and
tonight that experience just told.
4-3 the final score across two legs.
Tottenham left shell-shocked. Better
news for Manchester City. They are
through to the quarter-finals
despite losing 2-1 on the night.
Basel inflicting their first home
defeat since 2016. City won 5-2 on
aggregate. City and Liverpool
through to the last eight.
Tottenham's run alas is over.
Natalie many thanks once again.