The latest national and international news, with reports from BBC correspondents worldwide.
Browse content similar to 12/03/2018. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
It is now clear that Mr Skripal
and his daughter were poisoned
with a military grade nerve agent
of a type developed by Russia.
The Prime Minister points the finger
at Moscow saying it's highly
likely it was behind
the attack in Salisbury.
Tonight a supermarket car park
in Salisbury is sealed off
as hundreds of police continue
to investigate the attack
eight days ago.
Sergei and Yulia Skripal
are still critically ill -
the Russian ambassador has been told
to explain by tomorrow
President Putin, BBC News...
In Russia, President Putin brushes
off questions about the attack -
as Moscow accuses the British
of making up fairy tales.
We will have the latest on the
We'll be looking
at what happens next.
A teenager is jailed for carrying
out a string of acid
attacks on moped riders -
to steal their scooters.
Tributes to Ken Dodd -
the last of the great
Music Hall variety comedians -
who has died at the age of 90.
This river in Greater Manchester
found to have the highest levels
of microplastic pollution so far
recorded anywhere in the world.
Sky's football pundit
Jamie Carragher is suspended
after he spits at a teenage girl
and her family.
And a "master of elegance" -
Hubert de Givenchy -
the man who dressed Audrey Hepburn
and Jackie Kenedy - has died.
Coming up on Sportsday later
in the hour on BBC News,
will it be another step closer
to the Premier League title
for Manchester City?
They made a good
start against Stoke.
The Prime Minister has pointed
the finger at Russia tonight, saying
it's highly likely it was behind
the attack in Salisbury on a former
Russian spy and his daughter.
In a dramatic statement,
Theresa May revealed that Sergei
and Yulia Skripal were poisoned
by a military grade nerve agent
of a type developed by Russia.
Russia's ambassador has been
summoned and told to explain -
by tomorrow night - what happened.
The Prime Minister said if there's
no credible response,
the Government will conclude
it was an unlawful use of force
by the Russian State against the UK.
And she said there
would be consequences.
Here's our political
editor Laura Kuenssberg.
Who was responsible? Who brought a
chemical attack to quite British
The Prime Minister was ready
to lay the blame. It is now clear
that Mr Skripal and his daughter
were poisoned with a military grade
nerve agent of a type developed by
Russia. This is part of a group of
nerve agents known as Novichok.
Either this was a direct act by the
Russian state against our country or
the Russian government lost control
of its potentially catastrophically
damaging nerve agent and allowed it
to get into the hands of others.
But what would she be ready to do?
Should there be no credible
response, we will conclude that this
action amounts to an unlawful use of
force by the Russian state against
the United Kingdom. Mr Speaker, this
attempted murder using weapons grade
nerve agent in a British town was
not just a crime against the
Skripals. It was an indiscriminate
and reckless act against the United
Kingdom, putting the lives of
innocent civilians at risk and we
will not tolerate such a brazen
attempt to murder innocent civilians
The Russian ambassador
summoned to the Foreign Office for
an explanation and handed an
ultimatum to respond by midnight
tomorrow. Not much chance of
consensus between red and blue at
We need to continue seeking a
robust dialogue with Russia on all
the issues currently dividing our
countries, both domestic and
international. Rather than simply
cutting off contact and letting the
divisions get worse and potentially,
even more dangerous.
moment on both sides though.
the whole House will be able to come
together behind a
firm response form the government in
the interests of our national
security and public safety.
not an act of war, was certainly a
wart like act by the Russian
Federation. Can Downing Street push
the powerful Kremlin? There will be
more expulsions. She has taught this
about being an unlawful act about
should bring in Nato and we should
be consulting Nato allies and I hope
that is going on now, because
anything we do will be more
effective if there can be a broader
solidarity behind us.
still in critical condition, their
personal plight now a grave
In the last hour, Theresa May has
spoken to Emmanuel Macron. Amber
Rudd will share another meeting of
the emergency committee at 11:30am
tomorrow. The Prime Minister's
response today was strong in its
tone and strong in its words. If by
midnight tomorrow, the Russians have
not come back with a credible answer
to what really went on in Salisbury,
the test will not be the strength or
nature of the pro-Minister's words,
but the strength and credibility of
the actions she actually decides to
take. -- Prime Minister.
Sergei and Yulia Skripal
were poisoned with a rare kind
of nerve agent called Novichok.
But what is it and where
has it come from?
Our security correspondent
Gordon Corera joins us now.
Gordon. The Prime Minister was
remarkably specific about the
identity of that nerve agent that
had been discovered in Salisbury.
What do we know about it? Why was
she so specific and why is it
thought that it points to Russia?
Samples from the scene in Salisbury
were analysed at the Porton Down
laboratory. The tests determined
that it came from a rare class of
nerve agents known as Novichok.
Novichok are identifiable and new
and deadly poison.
The use of them
in the UK is sending a strong
message and it is therefore very
surprising that they are being used.
Novichoks are a class of agents
developed during the Cold War in the
1970s and 1980s, they can be eight
times more toxic than other agents
like VX. They were designed to be
hard to detect and to get through
defences like chemical protection
suits. The crucial thing is that
these agents were only developed by
Russia. Novichoks were top-secret,
but an insider revealed details of
the programme at the end of the Cold
War. Now, living in America, he told
the BBC tonight why he spoke out.
thought that I was involved in a
criminal enterprise. I came to the
conclusion that chemical weapons are
not normal weapons against the
armies, the troops of enemies.
identification of Novichoks meant
the Prime Minister could say that
either the Russian state itself
deployed that nerve agent in
Salisbury, or it somehow lost
control of its stocks.
I would have
thought it was highly unlikely and I
am sure there are other super
weapons and some of them we have
seen recently, Vladimir Putin has
demonstrated his tactical missile
and others and I would have thought
these are under very strict control
and I am sure no rogue elements in
Russia are making a fast buck by
searches by traces of nerve agent
are still ongoing. Russia should
have declared its secret programme
and the Prime Minister today said it
must now disclose its lead to the
international community. Some
questions were answered today, but
we still do not know exactly how the
nerve agent was delivered to the
Skripals and there is another
why did Russia use a nerve agent
which could so easily be traced back
to its own programme? Thank you.
Let's go to Salisbury now,
where hundreds of police officers
and army experts who've been drafted
in are continuing to investigate
what happened and deal
with the aftermath of the attack.
Our correspondent Daniel
Sandford is there -
and there's still a big police
operation in place?
Yes, there is no sign of letting up.
This is an enormous operation
involving chemical warfare trips,
counter-terrorism officers and
specialist ambulance crews who have
been working at a Sainsbury's car
park. A lot of what is visible to
the public is painstaking
decontamination work and removal of
vehicles for further decontamination
at that chemical warfare
establishment at Porton Down. There
is a lot of forensic work going on,
particularly at the home of Sergei
Skripal. It remains a focus of the
investigation but counter-terrorism
officers have made no appeal to the
public for information
public for information since
Wednesday, they have released no
images of suspects and in fact they
have given very few details about
how much progress they have made
towards identifying the individuals
involved in attacking Sergei and
Yulia Skripal. They have been going
about their business stalker here,
the residence, but there is a sense
that they should have been given
better public health information
following the attack.
Moscow was quick to respond
to the Prime Minister's speech,
with the Russian Foreign Ministry
calling her statement "a fairy
tale" and a "circus show
in the British Parliament".
Our Moscow Correspondent Steve
Rosenberg is in Krasnodar
in southern Russia,
where President Putin is on a visit.
Before today, Vladimir Putin
had not commented publicly on events
in Salisbury. He came here today to
do some election campaigning and we
came as well to see if he would say
anything at all about the attack
that Britain is blaming on Russia.
Getting close enough
to Vladimir Putin to ask
a question isn't easy.
But we were with the Kremlin leader
when you visited Russia's national
But we were with the Kremlin leader
when he visited Russia's national
He wanted to talk about record
harvests but we wanted
to know if Moscow had
President Putin, BBC News.
Is Russia behind the poisoning
of Sergei Skripal?
with agriculture here.
To create good
conditions for people's
And you talk to me
about some tragedies?
First work out what actually
happened there and then
we'll talk about it.
But when the British
government announced it had
worked out which country had
attacked the Skripals, Moscow was
in no mood to listen.
Tonight Russia described
Theresa May's Commons statement
circus show and it dismissed
accusations against Moscow as an
informational political campaign
based on provocation, a fairy tale.
Meanwhile, Russian state TV has been
pointing the finger back at Britain.
The news bulletins suggested
that the UK had poisoned the former
Only the British stood
to benefit, he says.
It feeds the Russa phobia.
Security experts, though,
believe the trail leads to
Moscow and to the Kremlin.
I haven't got the sense, frankly,
that operations of this magnitude,
something that you know it's
going to have a major
can go ahead without being signed
off from the very top.
Now whether that actively
means a plan being
spelt out to Putin, and him saying,
yes, go for it, or something
a little bit more lightweight.
Nonetheless this is not
something that came from
anything other than
the top of the system.
This weekend Russians are expected
to re-elect Vladimir Putin
as their president.
A new term that is set
to be marked by a new
confrontation with the West.
BBC News, Krasnodar.
And our Diplomatic Correspondent
James Landale joins me.
Russia's ambassador was told that he
had until tomorrow night to explain
what happened and if he doesn't,
If there is no
satisfactory answer, I would expect
the expulsion of some diplomats,
four were kicked out after the case
of Alexander Litvinenko. We should
expect a lot more than that. We
should see the government is
cracking down on wealthy Russians in
London, travel bans, financial
restrictions and also tougher laws
potentially that would seize the
assets of those Russians guilty of
human rights abuses. Other
responses, targeting the Russian
state broadcaster, potentially do
playing more troops to the eastern
flank in Nato, conducting even
offensive cyber operations against
Russia. None of this has been ruled
out. The interesting question is the
International site, a lot of
diplomacy is going on to trying get
support for this and the problem is
that the bar is high. The Russians
have a BTO at the United Nations and
the Europeans are reluctant to
toughen sanctions and the US is
saying, we are supporting new but
refusing to criticise the Russians.
There are a lot of options, the test
will be whether it is enough to have
an impact on the Kremlin.
Landale, thank you.
A 17-year-old has been sentenced
to ten and a half years in jail
for carrying out a series of acid
attacks on moped riders
in London last July.
Derryck John, from Croydon,
sprayed six people with acid
in the space of an hour and a half.
He stole two mopeds and attempted
to take another four.
The judge described his
crimes as 'despicable'.
Tom Burridge reports.
He'd thrown acid into
the face of six men.
But here's Derryck John calmly
paying for petrol that night.
He was linked to the stolen
moped, but the person
seen here driving him around
still hasn't been identified.
When Derryck John drove a stolen
bike himself later on, this -
an accident which linked him
to a string of violent acid attacks.
Where's it hurting,
mate, you all right?
This victim says his face felt
like it was on fire.
Attacked by Derryck John
while delivering takeways,
Jabed Hussain is still suffering
I have to keep my eyes everywhere.
Even I don't trust in the street.
If anyone shouts next
to me, I get scared.
If I want to go out, I always
lock my car doors and windows.
I used to be busy myself,
I'm a working class guy.
After the incident,
I am totally different.
I can't believe myself that
I am stuck and alone.
Today, the 17-year-old was sentenced
to ten and a half years in jail.
The judge said an adult would have
gone to prison for much longer.
We're very pleased with
the sentencing Mr John has received,
We think it does send a strong
message that even as a youth
offender, a ten-year plus sentence
still sends a strong message
that this will not be tolerated.
The same judge sentenced
Arthur Collins, seen here throwing
acid across a crowded dance floor,
to 20 years in prison.
It was one of 400 acid attacks
in England and Wales in the
first six months of last year.
Even those under 18
who are caught, like
Derryck John, are likely to spend
several years in prison.
Tom Burridge, BBC News.
The Leader of the House of Commons
has recommended a "short,
independently led" inquiry
into claims of bullying
of parliamentary staff.
It follows allegations against
the Commons Speaker John Bercow
and two MPs after an investigation
by the BBC's Newsnight programme.
All three strongly
deny the allegations.
Tributes have been paid to Sir Ken
Dodd, one of the most popular
entertainers of our time, who has
died at the age of 90. During a
career which spanned more than 60
years, he brought laughter to
millions of fans. Sir Ken died
yesterday in Liverpool in the house
where he was born. His partner of 40
years was by his side. They got
married last Friday. David Sillito
looks back at his life.
I always say writing jokes
for Ken Dodd was almost
like being asked to mix the paints
for Van Gogh.
It was that big an honour.
A little old lady
went to the doctor.
She said, "Doctor!
Can I have some more sleeping
pills for my husband?"
She said, "He's woke up."
His shows could last
into the early hours.
He was a joke machine,
and there were thousands.
I haven't spoken to my
mother-in-law for 18 months.
I don't like to interrupt her.
Did you hear about the shrimp that
went to the prawn cocktail party?
He pulled a mussel!
It turns out that if you bang two
halves of a horse together,
it doesn't make the
sound of a coconut!
but in public, unstoppable.
I think there's a show
business Ken Dodd and there
is a thinking Ken Dodd.
And hopefully, there's
an amusing Ken Dodd.
I hope so, anyway.
She said, do you know
what an erogenous zone is?
I said, I know you can't park there.
Ladies and gentlemen,
please welcome Ken Dodd!
When he walked on, the place used
to go up and he hadn't
even said anything yet.
Now, that doesn't happen very often.
How tickled we were.
How tickled we are.
He would fire the gags out
at you like a machine-gun.
In 1955, he was at
the top of the charts.
Only the Beatles outsold him.
We call it "hur" in Liverpool,
Judy with the "fur hur".
# Tears for souvenirs...
And home was the house he was born
in in Knotty Ash in Liverpool,
and where he finally
married his partner Ann
just three days ago.
I have been overwhelmed by love
and affection which I have already
received from dear friends
and the public.
I thank you all for being here.
He also famously had his troubles
with the Inland Revenue.
He was eventually acquitted.
The job I fancy is Chancellor
of the Exchequer -
at least I'd be reunited
with my money!
Ken Dodd - one of our last links
to the world of music hall.
An era really has come to an end.
Sir Ken Dodd, who's
died at the age of 90.
Plastic and the problems it causes
in oceans and rivers around
the world are already well known.
But what's not so clear is how much
damage microplastics are doing -
the tiny particles of plastic less
than five millimetres in size.
They can be found in all kinds
of things from industrial
pollution to cosmetics.
And now researchers have discovered
that a river in Greater Manchester
has the highest levels
of microplastic pollution so far
recorded anywhere in the world.
Our science correspondent
Victoria Gill reports.
All along this river bank you can
see evidence of plastic litter,
plastic bags, plastic
bottles, food containers.
But it's when things like this break
down into much smaller fragments
that they're just one source
of the microplastics that
end up in the riverbed.
To find out just how
much microplastic flows
into our rivers from litter,
waste water and industry,
scientists need to take a piece
of the riverbed back to the lab.
All the mud and silt and clay
and the microplastic particles
will come into the water.
The team analysed silt at 40
from remote rural streams
to city centre waterways.
They found microplastic everywhere.
Where lots of people live,
we found extraordinarily high levels
of microplastic contamination.
Just a few kilometres upstream
from here, we found microplastic
concentrations that are the highest
so far recorded anywhere
in the world, over 500,000
microplastic particles per metre
square of riverbed, enormously high
levels of contamination.
And that is just a few miles
upstream from where we're standing
in Greater Manchester?
This is a jar of sediment
from the bed of this river,
a typical suburban stretch
of the River Mersey.
And in this 250g jar,
there will be 5,000 individual
pieces of microplastic.
Aquatic insects, birds
and fish can ingest these
microscopic pieces of plastic.
And this is where the
problem becomes visible.
This is all plastic?
How many fragments
would you have in this?
So in this sample just
from a few grams, about 100
Over here, we've got
a couple of microbeads,
a bright pink one and a yellow one.
Finding the source of this problem
will be scientists' next step
to stop our riverbeds becoming
an invisible dumping ground
for billions of pieces of plastic.
Victoria Gill, BBC News.
The BBC has accused Iran
of collectively punishing
its Persian Service journalists
for reporting on the country's
In an unprecedented move,
the BBC has launched an appeal
to the UN Human Rights Council,
demanding that its employees'
rights be protected.
More than 20 Persian Service staff
and their families have had death
threats and some of their relatives
have been harassed.
James Robbins is at
the UN in Geneva.
James, what's the BBC hoping
to achieve by this?
This is happening because the
Iranian authorities have been
hostile to the BBC Persian
television service ever since it was
launched in 2009. They accuse it of
spreading false propaganda in Iran,
designed to encourage those who want
to bring down the entire Iranian
government system. We only know that
because the Iranians, provoked, I
think, by the BBC going to the UN
today, have come out for the first
time with a detailed response to the
BBC's complaints about the treatment
of its staff. The fact is that Tony
Hall, the director-general, thought
he was making no progress with the
Iranians in trying to write to them
and get a response. They were not
coming back to him with anything and
he said it was necessary to bring
this all out into the open in the
hope that perhaps the Iranians would
now take serious note now that the
UN is involved.
James Robbins, thank
Sky has suspended the football
pundit, Jamie Carragher,
after footage emerged of him
spitting through a car
at a teenage girl and her father.
The former England and Liverpool
footballer described it as a "moment
of madness" after he was goaded.
Andy Swiss's report contains
some flashing images.
Jamie Carragher there, look!
He is one of football's
most famous pundits,
but after being spotted by a fan
on Sunday, Jamie Carragher winds
down his window and this happens.
Unlucky, Jamie, lad.
He spat on me.
"He spat on me" -
the voice of the driver's
Jamie Carragher spat
on my daughter, nice.
Carragher, who'd just watched his
former club Liverpool lose,
said he'd been goaded
and lost his rag.
Have you been sacked?
But this morning, he arrived
in London to be told he'd been
suspended from his job
with Sky Sports.
Carragher, who has a 14-year-old
daughter himself, admitted his
behaviour was unacceptable.
It looks awful and I accept that.
It's not something I've done before,
it's not something I will do again.
I'm sure of that.
I've had a moment of madness,
a really big, huge mistake,
a stain on my character.
I have to accept that.
I have let my family down,
but I think the family I've let down
more than anyone is the people
in the car.
Well, what Jamie Carragher did
on his way home from the match
here at Old Trafford has been
strongly condemned by his employers.
In a statement, Sky said his
behaviour fell well below
the standards they expect.
The question now is
whether his apology will be
enough to save his job.
Before this, Carragher had proved
a success in the Sky studios.
His transition to tough-talking
pundit from tough-tackling
player had seemed seamless,
but after retiring on the pitch,
his new career could yet
face an early farewell.
Andy Swiss, BBC News.
The cost of getting the civil
service ready for Brexit is running
into billions of pounds.
Thousands of extra civil servants
are being employed to cope
with the challenges.
New research suggests that
in some key government
departments, six years
of austerity cuts have been
reversed, less than two years since
the Brexit referendum took place.
The cost of getting the civil
service ready for Brexit runs
into billions of pounds.
Chris Morris from our
Reality Check team explains.
At the time of the EU referendum
after years of austerity,
the size of the civil
service here in Westminster
was at its smallest since
the Second World War,
and 20% smaller than it was
when the coalition government
took office in 2010.
But now, in key departments
dealing with Brexit,
those staff reductions have
largely been reversed.
Two new departments have been
created since the referendum,
the Department for International
and the Department for Exiting
the EU here in Downing Street.
Between them, they have about 1,500
staff devoted exclusively to Brexit.
The numbers are most striking,
though, here at Defra.
The Institute for Government says
its headcount will have increased
by 65% since the referendum.
By the end of this month,
it's due to have taken on an extra
1,200 people dealing exclusively
with Brexit, including replacing
the EU's Common Agriculture
and Fisheries policies.
Elsewhere, the Home Office
is planning to have hired an extra
1,500 Brexit staff by September
and Her Majesty's Revenue
and Customs between 3,000 and 5,000
extra staff by this time next year.
So, more people, and the Government
has said it is committed to ensuring
that the right skills and resources
are available to deliver
a successful Brexit.
So how much is it all going to cost?
Well, the Institute for Government
thinks getting the civil service
ready for Brexit could cost as much
as £2 billion by the time we're due
to leave the EU next year.
And that's on top of
the divorce bill with the EU,
which the Government says will be
39 billion and could be even higher.
Chris Morris, BBC News.
Next month a tax on sugary drinks
will be introduced for the first
time in the UK in a bid
to tackle obesity.
You'll be paying between 18
and 24 pence extra per
litre for many drinks -
depending on how much extra
sugar has been added.
Our health editor Hugh Pym has been
to Norway where a sugar tax has
been in place for years.
There are sweets and lots of them
in this shop favoured by some
Norwegians, but it is not
in their own country, it is just
over the border in Sweden.
The store owner is offering
all of this at half the prices
Norwegians pay at home.
In January, the sugar tax levied
in Norway went up more than 80%.
Some have driven long
distances to cross the border
for their shopping.
I'm coming every once a month to buy
food, so it's worth it.
It's not only because of the price,
but we like to have a treat
and we buy a lot when we come here.
The company says trade has picked up
since the Norwegian tax rise,
equivalent to about 10p
on a chocolate bar.
It's hard to imagine
anything else quite like it.
The Swedish owner says this
is one of the biggest
sweet shops in the world.
It has 20 of them, all a short
distance from the border.
95% of customers come
over from Norway.
Norwegians are used to the sugar tax
which was introduced some time ago.
Locals here in Oslo
are philosophical about it,
even after the tax increase.
People are not happy
with the tax increasing,
but I think it's good.
There are a lot of other taxes
that I would react on,
but this one is OK for me.
The government says the tax has
helped control child obesity rates,
which are below Sweden's.
We managed now to stabilise
the obesity of the children
and young people and I am
happy about that.
It means that what we have
done until now has been
functioning in the right way.
The UK is now going down
the same track with a tax
on sugary soft drinks.
The aim is to move shoppers
towards lower sugar options.
Groups like this have
already done that.
This cookery class with healthy
recipes for parents and children
is run by a charity,
made in Hackney, puddings
and juices with fruit,
but no added sugar on the menu.
Occasionally, you would
have a fizzy drink,
but I want to stop, so I am
here learning about this.
The Norwegian example
shows people can learn
to live with the sugar tax,
even though when it comes
to their behaviour, the message is,
expect the unexpected.
Hugh Pym, BBC News, Oslo.
One of the great names of fashion,
the French designer Hubert
de Givenchy, has died
at the age of 91.
After founding his own fashion house
in 1952, Givenchy became famous
for dressing stars like Grace Kelly
and Jackie Kennedy.
Most notably, he designed
the "little black dress"
Audrey Hepburn wore
in Breakfast At Tiffany's,
as part of a professional
and personal relationship
that lasted 40 years.
In a moment, we'll have the news
from where you are.
But first, we'll have some images
from Givenchy's life -
set to one of the iconic
tracks from Breakfast
At Tiffany's - Moon River.
# Moon river
# Wider than a mile
# I'm crossin' you in style someday
# Old dream maker
# You heartbreaker
# Moon river
# And me #.