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Tonight at ten:
Britain expels 23 Russian diplomats
after Moscow fails to explain
the chemical attack in Salisbury.
As the investigation widened today
the Prime Minister announced
a series of sanctions against Russia
and cut off all high level
contacts with Moscow.
They have treated the use
of a military grade nerve agent
in Europe with sarcasm,
contempt and defiance.
Russia has again denied
being involved and has demanded
to be shown proof of a Russian link
to the nerve agent.
The Russian diplomats being expelled
have a week to leave.
We'll be asking who they are and
what impact their departure
I'm very proud that I have
been able to contribute
to our understanding
of the universe.
An extraordinary scientist
who inspired millions -
tributes pour in from around
to Professor Stephen Hawking who's
died at the age of 76.
Students across America
walk out of class -
a month after the Florida school
shooting - in the largest protest
against gun violence for years.
And what's in our bottled water?
A special investigation discovers
hundreds - even thousands -
of tiny particles of plastic
in a number of leading brands.
And coming up on Sportsday
on BBC News...
Altior wins the big race on day two
of the Cheltenham Festival.
The favourite stormed
home in impressive style
to win by 12 lengths.
Britain is expelling 23 Russian
diplomats after Moscow refused
to explain how a military grade
nerve agent was used
on a former spy in Salisbury.
It's the biggest such expulsion
for more than 30 years.
The Prime Minister told parliament
that the "undeclared
intelligence officers" have just one
week to leave.
The UK has also cut off all high
level contacts with Russia
and announced that government
ministers and the royal family
will not attend the World Cup.
Here's our political
editor, Laura Kuenssberg.
It was right to offer
Russia the opportunity
to provide an explanation.
But their response has
demonstrated complete disdain
for the gravity of these events.
The midnight deadline came
and went, leaving a morning
with no new answers.
Theresa May went prepared
to Prime Minister's Questions,
ready to announce the biggest
diplomatic action against Russia
since the Cold War.
They have treated the use
of a military grade nerve agent
in Europe with sarcasm,
contempt and defiance.
So, Mr Speaker, there is no
other than the Russian state
was culpable for the attempted
murder of Mr Skripal
and his daughter.
This represents and unlawful use
of force by the Russian state
against the United Kingdom.
So the UK will retaliate.
The United Kingdom will now expel
23 Russian diplomats
who have been identified
as undeclared intelligence officers.
They have just one week to leave.
This was not just an act
of attempted murder in Salisbury,
nor just an act against UK.
It is an affront to the prohibition
on the use of chemical weapons,
and it is an affront
to the rules-based system,
on which we and our
international partners depend.
So 23 diplomats suspected of being
spies have seven days to leave,
all high-level contact
between the UK and Russia
is also being suspended,
and no minister or member
of the royal family will
go to the World Cup.
And some Russian state
assets could be frozen,
with possible new laws to crack down
on hostile states.
In a tense House of Commons,
Jeremy Corbyn was not quite ready
to accept the culpability
of the Russian state.
Our response must be both
decisive and proportionate,
and based on clear evidence.
But listen to rising anger,
as Jeremy Corbyn turns some
of his fire on the Tories.
It is, as we on these benches
have expressed before,
a matter of huge regret
that our country's diplomatic
capacity as been stripped
back with cuts of 25%
in the last five years.
It is tradition for the two
main parties to stick
together on foreign policy.
Not these two.
This is not a question
of our diplomacy, of what diplomatic
support we have around the world.
This is a question of
the culpability of the Russian
state, for an act on our soil.
Their continued disregard
for the rule of law
and for human rights must be met
with unequivocal condemnation.
Look, Tories cheering
Jeremy Corbyn's team, arms folded.
The Russian government has
behaved with arrogance,
with inhumanity and with contempt.
Anger displayed in Westminster,
that this is happening
on British streets.
In Dorset today, the lorry that
removed the Skripals' car, seized.
In Salisbury, the bench
where Father and daughter
were found, still sealed off.
While the Prime Minister makes her
opening moves in a diplomatic
tangle that could last.
Tonight we do know it the Prime
Minister felt she had little choice
but to take firm steps in
retaliation. We know the government
expects there to be some form of
retaliation from Moscow. What we
don't know and what ministers don't
know, what shape and form that may
take. But we also don't know, there
could be a prolonged period of
tension between the two countries.
But what is clear tonight, this is a
big test of judgment for Theresa
May, and there may be nothing
straightforward in the coming weeks
and months, for making sure for her
that she passes it.
Thank you. Tonight, Russia has again
denied being involved and has
demanded to see proof of the nerve
agent used in Salisbury.
Our Moscow correspondent,
Steve Rosenberg, joins us now.
There was little surprise. Russia
expected sanctions. What that was a
lot of was a feeling of anger and
defiance. There is a feeling that if
Britain wants a diplomatic war with
Russia, then bring it on.
In Russia, at least the weather
is showing signs of a thaw.
After the long winter,
Moscow is melting.
But in UK Russian relations,
you can feel the chill.
Britain's expulsion of Russian
diplomats has sparked anger
with Theresa May.
Prime Minister May is destroying
international law, and is destroying
Of course, it is the
end of her career.
It's the end.
It's a show.
That was a political show.
And this is not, it's not serious,
it's not for the serious politician.
And this was the show
on Russian TV, while Mrs May
was announcing sanctions.
Commenting live, Andrei Lugavoy,
the man Britain believes poisoned
former Russian agent
Alexander Litvinenko in 2006.
Moscow refuses to extradite him.
As for Kremlin funded
English-language channel RT,
Theresa May has left it up to UK
regulator Ofcom to decide
whether it can keep its UK licence.
What do you think the chances
are of RT being censored in the UK?
I hope RT is not censored in the UK,
because I really would not
like British media, including you,
you are a very nice man,
a gentleman, to be expelled
from Russia, which is exactly
what I believe will happen if RT
is censored in the UK.
The British government
wanted to send a strong
message today to Moscow.
But that message has been
dismissed here as nothing
more than a provocation,
and it plays into the narrative
which the Kremlin has been
creating for some time,
that the West is against Russia.
The man who styles himself
as the defender of Russia,
came to Crimea today,
territory Vladimir Putin
annexed from Ukraine.
With an election in Russia in four
days' time, UK sanctions may help
the UK leader rally support.
With an election in Russia in four
days' time, UK sanctions may help
the Kremlin leader rally support.
Tonight, Moscow is showing no signs
of buckling under British pressure.
Russia is promising
Steve Rosenberg, BBC News, Moscow.
In New York the United Nations
Security Council has been told
tonight that the chemical weapon
used in Salisbury was so horrific
that it's banned in war.
The US ambassador to
the United Nations said America
believes Russia is responsible
for the attack
and the UN Security Council should
Sergei and Yulia Skripal remain
in critical condition
in Salisbury, ten days
after they were the principal
victims of an attack
using a banned chemical weapon.
outrage has now been echoed
at the Security Council
of the United Nations,
where Russia is so often at odds
with the key powers.
Britain's principal ally
the United States, urged
collective action against Russia.
Time and time again,
member states say they oppose
the use of chemical weapons
under any circumstance.
Now one member stands accused
of using chemical weapons
on the sovereign soil
of another member.
The credibility of this council
will not survive, if we fail
to hold Russia accountable.
That's exactly the support Britain
was hoping for when it
requested this meeting.
But what of other punitive
measures against Russia?
In the City of London it's less
obvious if Russians with corrupt
or criminal money in Britain,
have much new to fear.
Unexplained Russian wealth may now
be pursued more vigorously,
including some of the most expensive
property in the world.
The leading anti-corruption
estimates that a fifth
of all property bought
with criminal money in Britain
is owned by Russians.
But it's the expulsion
of 23 so-called diplomats
which is the big story.
At the embassy packing
may ready have started.
The government is convinced all
those being kicked out are spies,
and that the hit will hurt.
Whatever the effect turns out
to be of today's action,
the Prime Minister was bold
in her claims.
She said if the Russians seek
to rebuild their intelligence
capability, we will prevent
them from doing so.
James Robbins, BBC News,
at the Russian Embassy.
Our security correspondent,
Gordon Correra, is outside
Tell us more about these so-called
"undeclared intelligence officers"
who've been told to leave,
and what impact their
departure will have?
It was striking the focus on
intelligence in the Prime Minister's
statement today. You could tell they
picked 23 intelligence officers,
because that was every single
Russian intelligence officer who had
been identified here at MI5, as
operating undercover at the Russian
Embassy. There are a couple of
others who are not undercover. They
are declared open intelligence
officers. They have been left in
place as a communications channel.
The aspiration is ambitious. Simply
to dismantle Russia's espionage
capability here in the UK. Other
measures the government wants,
including the ability to stop
suspected spies at the border or
port, something they can only do
with terrorism suspects, and the
ability to check private flights for
freight. We do now how do Salisbury
attack was carried out, but you can
see why the authorities want more
power to stop people coming in and
out of the country, and to check
what they might be bringing in and
out of the country. Everyone knows
the Russians will respond. They may
carry out tit-for-tat expulsions. I
think the view in London is it will
not damage British intelligence in
the same way, because we may not
have as many spies in Moscow, as the
Russians do here in London, but
British officials also have some
other measures in their back pocket
ready to go in case the Russians
continue and try and even escalate
Tributes have poured
in from all over the world
for Professor Stephen Hawking,
one of the greatest scientists
of modern times, who died this
morning at the age of 76.
He was diagnosed with a rare form
of motor neurone disease
when he was 22 and told he only had
a few years to live.
But he defied all expectations
and went on to become
one of the most famous
physicists in the world,
thanks to his studies
on black holes and relativity.
Our science editor, David Shukman,
looks back at his life.
There is nothing like the Eureka
moment of discovering
something that no one knew before.
Stephen Hawking had a gift
for inspiration, a powerful spirit
overcoming an ailing body to allow
a mind to roam through the cosmos.
It earned him a place as the most
famous scientist in the world.
It has been a glorious time to be
alive and doing research
in theoretical physics.
Who else could draw the crowds?
This was Israel.
The man who gazed at the stars
became one himself.
His story both poignant
His career involved concepts
so alien and complicated that
for most people it's been a struggle
to keep up but he explored
the strangest of features
of the universe, black holes,
drawing together the science
of the very largest things in space
with the science of the very small -
part of a quest to come up with
a single theory for the universe.
He made these incredibly original
insights which set up the modern
theory of black holes,
and made great contributions
to cosmology, and so
he was a huge figure.
I was devastated, really upset.
I'd only met him a couple of times,
but he had a real impact on my life.
I think it is the passing
of a great scientist.
He will be truly, sorely missed.
Even as a young student his
intelligence stood out,
but at just that moment he was given
a warning that motor neurone disease
would cut his life short.
When I was diagnosed at 21
I was told it would kill me
in two or three years.
But somehow he kept going.
In a high-tech wheelchair
and with a synthesised voice.
I am happier now than before
I developed the condition.
Communicating first by touch,
then by twitching a single
muscle in his cheek -
a daunting burden for anyone.
His children saw him as an example.
His daughter Lucy
spoke to us last year.
People who've lived in really
extreme circumstances seem to find
something very, very inspirational
in his example of perseverance
and persistence and his ability
to rise above his suffering
and still want to communicate
at a higher level.
Life was never straightforward.
His first marriage ending
in divorce, as did a second marriage
to one of his nurses.
Claims had emerged that he had
been physically abused,
the case was dropped
for lack of evidence.
None of this held him back.
His book, A Brief History of Time,
sold at least 10 million copies
and everyone has wanted to meet him.
From the Pope in the Vatican...
Good evening, ma'am.
To the Queen...
Nice to see you again.
To Barack Obama, who awarded him
a Presidential Medal of Freedom.
His fame reached far
beyond the world of science.
Your theory of a doughnut-shaped
universe is intriguing, Homer.
I may have to steal it.
Even appearing in The Simpsons.
Who's paying the tab?
HOMER IMITATING HAWKING:
I didn't say that.
HOMER IMITATING HAWKING:
Yes, I did!
In an episode of Star Trek
he was given the chance
to tease Isaac Newton.
Not the apple story again!
And is this your new friend?
More recently he was happy to play
along for Comic Relief.
Astounding to think the Lord created
all this in just seven days.
It took 13.8 million years.
Let's not get bogged
down in all that again!
He had real a sense
of adventure, even attempting
a zero gravity flight.
As you can imagine,
I am very excited.
I have been wheelchair-bound
for almost four decades
and the chance to float
free in zero G will be wonderful.
Tim Berners-Lee, founder
of the World Wide Web tweeted...
And Nasa said...
If you reverse time then
the universe is getting smaller.
Eddie Redmayne played
Stephen Hawking in the film
The Theory of Everything
and today said "We've lost
a truly beautiful mind."
Which sums up the real
Stephen Hawking, who could always
conjur up a visionary thought.
So a scientist who delved
into the weird realm of black holes
achieved something remarkable.
He found a way of acting as a bridge
between science and popular culture.
He knew his work baffled a lot
of people, but he hoped they'd get
something out of it,
understanding that there
are rational laws governing
the universe, and, uniquely
he succeeded in reaching
a global audience.
Professor Stephen Hawking,
who's died at the age of 76.
Stephen Hawking's most famous book
A Brief History Of Time has shot
to the top of the bestseller list
at Amazon today.
He had an ability to bridge
the divide between academia
and popular culture.
Our correspondent, Jon Kay,
reflects on his enduring appeal
for new generations of scientists.
Stephen Hawking would have loved
this - 20,000 young British
scientists experimenting together.
Do it again!
Do it again!
Don't touch it.
He told young people
to be curious and today,
as they studied trajectories
and force, many were thinking
of their scientific superhero.
How would you describe him?
Genius, pioneer, brilliant,
I've read A Brief History Of Time,
I thought it was very interesting.
Did you read all of it?
I did actually read all of it.
And it got me into black holes
and I went on to a series
of lectures about them.
So, yeah, it fuelled a lot for me.
On display at the Big
Bang Fair, inventions
from the scientists of tomorrow.
These A-level physicists,
from North Wales, regard Professor
Hawking as a modern-day genius.
He's the intellectual follower
of Einstein and Newton.
These amazing, amazing figures
that we read about in physics books,
he was getting to that level.
He was incredible.
His legacy will live on.
See the astronaut
there, look at him.
Inside an inflatable black hole,
teenagers studied Hawking's
space and time theories,
while taking selfies.
It's a lot in one
lifetime for anyone.
I think he's encouraged
science as a field as well.
I think more people are more
invested in science
nowadays because of him.
It would navigate you
to the nearest exit.
At 15, Byron has invented an app
which could help people
escape a tower block fire
using virtual reality.
He admires Hawking's
He was only one man who did such
great things and I was really
inspired by that, because usually
you see people follow the same paths
and try and do the same things.
But Stephen Hawking was really
unique in the sense that he wanted
to do things differently
and he wanted to contribute things
in a different sense.
I was really inspired by that.
Perhaps the next Stephen Hawking
was in this room today.
Jon Kay, BBC News, Birmingham.
And after the news on BBC One
there is another chance to see
Dara O'Briain meets Stephen Hawking.
That's at 10.45pm tonight.
Students across the United States
have walked out of their classrooms
today to demand tighter
gun safety laws.
They staged a 17-minute protest
to represent the 17 people
who were killed in the Florida
school shooting exactly a month ago.
Here's our North America
editor, Jon Sopel.
the NRA has got to go!
The last time we saw children
pouring out of school,
it was with their hands up in terror
after the Florida shooting.
Today they came out across America,
but this time with fists clenched,
demanding change on gun control.
What do we want?!
When do we want it?!
In Washington at ten o'clock,
on a bracing cold morning,
with their backs turned
on the White House, these students
fell silent for 17 minutes -
a minute for each of the people
who died at the Marjory
Stoneman Douglas School
in Florida last month.
There's no doubting
the extraordinary success these
young people have had in changing
the whole terms of debate
on the subject of gun
control in America.
Their problem is that the man
who lives on the other side of that
fence seems to have got cold feet.
the NRA has got to go!
When Donald Trump met
youngsters from the Florida
school at the White House,
he seemed to offer his support
for tougher gun control measures,
like raising to 21 the age
at which you can buy a rifle.
And he later chided lawmakers
for being frightened
of the National Rifle Association.
Some of you people are
petrified of the NRA.
You can't be petrified.
But he's now backed off those
proposals and so young people
are intensifying their campaign.
We want them to pass
common-sense gun laws.
Common-sense gun laws.
We want to see a ban
on assault rifles.
We don't want to be
scared in school.
It should be our safest institution.
We are tired of being scared.
We want actual change.
We want it to happen
with this protest.
This is what democracy looks like!
This is a curtain raiser
to a mass demonstration
in Washington in ten days' time.
They're a long way from getting
what they want, but the power
of youth protest has got them
further than anyone
could have imagined.
And they're not in any
mood to surrender.
Jon Sopel, BBC News, Washington.
Scientists have discovered tiny
particles of plastic
in bottled drinking water.
by journalists at Orb Media,
studied more than 250 bottles
of water, from 11 of
the world's leading brands.
Some bottles had no particles,
but others tested had hundreds
or even thousands of particles -
some the width of a human hair.
Food safety experts say the levels
of plastic found does not make
the water unsafe to drink.
But they are calling for more
research into the effects
of microplastic on the human body,
as David Shukman reports.
They are among some of the most
popular brands of water
in the world, millions are sold
every day, but new research has made
a surprising discovery that
many of the bottles contain tiny
particles of plastic.
And there are certain wavelengths
of light that causes them to sparkle
like stars in the night sky.
In the largest study of its kind,
bottles were water were bought
in different countries around
the world - China, India,
Brazil and many others.
The project was coordinated
by journalists at Orb Media
and they recorded each step
of the process, from the shops,
to the courier companies,
as the bottles were sent
to a laboratory in New York State.
Professor Sherri Mason is a chemist
specialising in plastic
and she tested more than 250
of the bottles.
I'm going to take a specific
amount of nile red dye.
The dye, nile red, has
a proven ability to stick
to pieces of plastic.
It was first used to detect
plastic in sea water.
So when the bottles were emptied
through a filter, what was left
was a mass of tiny particles.
The next stage was then to analyse
them under a microscope.
The dye makes anything
plastic fluoresce under
a particular kind of light.
So the particles could be counted
and some were then examined to see
what they were made of.
The typical microplastics that we're
finding in the bottled water,
at the lower end of the screen
you see a fibre.
This, what looks like
a little hair, just there?
You see it in bottle after bottle
and we see it in brand after brand.
Part of that too is,
it's not about pointing fingers
at particular brands,
it's really showing
that this is everywhere.
So what exactly was found?
A small minority of bottles had no
plastic particles at all.
But in this video, recorded
with a special light and an orange
lens, you can actually see
pieces of plastic.
And this close-up image of a filter
shows hundreds of particles,
it looks like a picture
of the stars.
A technique developed for astronomy
had to be used to count every dot.
The biggest particles, larger
than the width of a human hair,
were confirmed as plastic,
and there was an average
of ten of them per litre.
Smaller particles were also found,
an average of 314 per litre.
These weren't positively identified,
but were probably plastic.
At the moment there are no rules
covering these microplastics or any
agreed way of checking for them.
What's striking is how
widespread this problem is.
The research has studied bottles
from nine different countries,
11 different brands and,
in almost all of them, they found
plastic floating around inside.
When they looked more closely,
they found that the type of plastic
is often what's used
to make the cap.
So the theory is, that the very act
of opening a bottle,
maybe what pollutes it.
We approached all the companies
involved, a few didn't reply.
Those that did said they maintained
the highest standards of safety.
Nestle told us...
It said the study "misses some
crucial steps to avoid false
positives, detecting something
other than plastic."
Danone, which owns Evian,
said it wouldn't comment
on the study because the testing
methodology is unclear,
and it pointed out that
for microplastics there's "no
regulatory framework or scientific
consensus on testing for them."
Gerolsteiner said its own tests
found microplastics "significantly
below the limits for particles set
for pharmaceutical companies."
And Coca-Cola, which makes Dasani,
said that microplastics seem to be
everywhere "and therefore maybe
found at minute levels,
even in highly treated products."
Plastic is turning up
in unexpected places.
Last year this lab found it
in samples of tap water.
So what does this
mean for our health?
Right now there's no hard evidence
that drinking or eating plastic
particles can cause any harm,
but that isn't out of the question.
Some of these particles
are so incredibly small
that they can actually
make their way across
the gastrointestinal track,
across the lining and be carried
throughout the body,
and we don't know the implications
of what that means on our various
organs an tissues.
And if there's plastic in bottled
water, where else might it be?
We turned to one of the British
scientists who helped to develop
the nile red technique
for detecting plastic.
This study is maybe just the start.
When we start looking more
carefully, we will very
likely find it in food,
in packaging, in milk,
in any other place we look,
because I don't think mineral water
is unique in that sense.
Despite this, the message
from the scientists is clear -
if your tap water is dirty,
bottled water is far safer.
But the world of microplastics
is new and full of uncertainty,
which makes research into it
all the more urgent.
David Shukman, BBC News,
in New York State.
Toys R Us is closing all 100
of its UK stores in the next six
weeks after administrators failed
to find a buyer.
3,000 jobs will be lost as a result.
Some 25 stores have either already
closed in recent days or are due
to close by tomorrow.
Football now, and Chelsea
have been knocked out of
the Champions League by Barcelona.
They lost 3-0 in tonight's
second leg in Barcelona.
Joe Wilson watched the action.
Barcelona helpfully provided
a banner in English
for visiting Chelsea.
Ask anyone in the world
who's football royalty,
they'll answer - Lionel Messi.
Sure, he's good, but nobody has
a devine right to score.
You can't just expect
to finish your first opportunity,
from an impossible angle.
And he scores, Messi.
Two minutes - Messi 1, Chelsea 0.
Even at the highest level,
Messi just seems superior.
Steal the ball, then then his legs
whirl and his brain beats everyone.
No shot, a pass - let
Dembele finish this one.
He smashes it in.
So Chelsea were 3-1 down
on aggregate, but getting a goal
back seemed feasible.
This free-kick brushed the post.
Chelsea had a lot of the ball,
but Messi just needed one sight
of goal, aiming again for the gap
between the goalkeeper's legs.
There is a release
clause in his contract.
he could be yours for
700 million euros.
Joe Wilson, BBC News.
Well, that's just about from us.
In a moment the news where you are,
but we will leave you now
with the words and images of one
of the greatest scientists of modern
times, Professor Stephen Hawking,
who died this morning.
Theoretical physics is one
of the few fields in which being
disabled is no handicap.
It's all in the mind.
I hope my example will give
encouragement and hope to others
in similar situations.
I hope my example will show
disability can be no barrier.
One can achieve anything,
if one is determined enough.
Never give up.