14/03/2018 BBC News at Ten


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14/03/2018

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Tonight at ten:

0:00:020:00:04

Britain expels 23 Russian diplomats

after Moscow fails to explain

0:00:040:00:07

the chemical attack in Salisbury.

0:00:070:00:11

As the investigation widened today

the Prime Minister announced

0:00:110:00:13

a series of sanctions against Russia

and cut off all high level

0:00:130:00:16

contacts with Moscow.

0:00:160:00:19

They have treated the use

of a military grade nerve agent

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in Europe with sarcasm,

contempt and defiance.

0:00:220:00:26

Russia has again denied

being involved and has demanded

0:00:260:00:28

to be shown proof of a Russian link

to the nerve agent.

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The Russian diplomats being expelled

have a week to leave.

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We'll be asking who they are and

what impact their departure

0:00:350:00:38

will have.

0:00:380:00:39

Also tonight:

0:00:390:00:41

I'm very proud that I have

been able to contribute

0:00:410:00:44

to our understanding

of the universe.

0:00:440:00:47

An extraordinary scientist

who inspired millions -

0:00:470:00:49

tributes pour in from around

the world

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to Professor Stephen Hawking who's

died at the age of 76.

0:00:520:00:57

Students across America

walk out of class -

0:00:570:00:59

a month after the Florida school

shooting - in the largest protest

0:00:590:01:02

against gun violence for years.

0:01:020:01:06

And what's in our bottled water?

0:01:060:01:08

A special investigation discovers

hundreds - even thousands -

0:01:080:01:10

of tiny particles of plastic

in a number of leading brands.

0:01:100:01:17

And coming up on Sportsday

on BBC News...

0:01:170:01:19

Altior wins the big race on day two

of the Cheltenham Festival.

0:01:190:01:22

The favourite stormed

home in impressive style

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to win by 12 lengths.

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Good evening.

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Britain is expelling 23 Russian

diplomats after Moscow refused

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to explain how a military grade

nerve agent was used

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on a former spy in Salisbury.

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It's the biggest such expulsion

for more than 30 years.

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The Prime Minister told parliament

that the "undeclared

0:02:010:02:03

intelligence officers" have just one

week to leave.

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The UK has also cut off all high

level contacts with Russia

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and announced that government

ministers and the royal family

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will not attend the World Cup.

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Here's our political

editor, Laura Kuenssberg.

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It was right to offer

Russia the opportunity

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to provide an explanation.

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But their response has

demonstrated complete disdain

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for the gravity of these events.

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The midnight deadline came

and went, leaving a morning

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with no new answers.

0:02:320:02:36

Theresa May went prepared

to Prime Minister's Questions,

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ready to announce the biggest

diplomatic action against Russia

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since the Cold War.

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They have treated the use

of a military grade nerve agent

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in Europe with sarcasm,

contempt and defiance.

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So, Mr Speaker, there is no

alternative conclusion,

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other than the Russian state

was culpable for the attempted

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murder of Mr Skripal

and his daughter.

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This represents and unlawful use

of force by the Russian state

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against the United Kingdom.

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So the UK will retaliate.

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The United Kingdom will now expel

23 Russian diplomats

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who have been identified

as undeclared intelligence officers.

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They have just one week to leave.

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This was not just an act

of attempted murder in Salisbury,

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nor just an act against UK.

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It is an affront to the prohibition

on the use of chemical weapons,

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and it is an affront

to the rules-based system,

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on which we and our

international partners depend.

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So 23 diplomats suspected of being

spies have seven days to leave,

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all high-level contact

between the UK and Russia

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is also being suspended,

and no minister or member

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of the royal family will

go to the World Cup.

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And some Russian state

assets could be frozen,

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with possible new laws to crack down

on hostile states.

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In a tense House of Commons,

Jeremy Corbyn was not quite ready

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to accept the culpability

of the Russian state.

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Our response must be both

decisive and proportionate,

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and based on clear evidence.

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But listen to rising anger,

as Jeremy Corbyn turns some

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of his fire on the Tories.

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It is, as we on these benches

have expressed before,

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a matter of huge regret

that our country's diplomatic

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capacity as been stripped

back with cuts of 25%

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in the last five years.

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It is tradition for the two

main parties to stick

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together on foreign policy.

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Not these two.

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This is not a question

of our diplomacy, of what diplomatic

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support we have around the world.

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This is a question of

the culpability of the Russian

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state, for an act on our soil.

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Fever rose.

0:05:010:05:03

Their continued disregard

for the rule of law

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and for human rights must be met

with unequivocal condemnation.

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Look, Tories cheering

Labour backbenchers.

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Jeremy Corbyn's team, arms folded.

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The Russian government has

behaved with arrogance,

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with inhumanity and with contempt.

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Anger displayed in Westminster,

that this is happening

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on British streets.

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In Dorset today, the lorry that

removed the Skripals' car, seized.

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In Salisbury, the bench

where Father and daughter

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were found, still sealed off.

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While the Prime Minister makes her

opening moves in a diplomatic

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tangle that could last.

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Tonight we do know it the Prime

Minister felt she had little choice

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but to take firm steps in

retaliation. We know the government

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expects there to be some form of

retaliation from Moscow. What we

0:06:030:06:07

don't know and what ministers don't

know, what shape and form that may

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take. But we also don't know, there

could be a prolonged period of

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tension between the two countries.

But what is clear tonight, this is a

0:06:170:06:22

big test of judgment for Theresa

May, and there may be nothing

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straightforward in the coming weeks

and months, for making sure for her

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that she passes it.

Thank you. Tonight, Russia has again

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denied being involved and has

demanded to see proof of the nerve

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agent used in Salisbury.

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Our Moscow correspondent,

Steve Rosenberg, joins us now.

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Steve.

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There was little surprise. Russia

expected sanctions. What that was a

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lot of was a feeling of anger and

defiance. There is a feeling that if

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Britain wants a diplomatic war with

Russia, then bring it on.

0:07:020:07:11

In Russia, at least the weather

is showing signs of a thaw.

0:07:110:07:14

After the long winter,

Moscow is melting.

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But in UK Russian relations,

you can feel the chill.

0:07:160:07:18

Britain's expulsion of Russian

diplomats has sparked anger

0:07:180:07:20

with Theresa May.

0:07:200:07:27

Prime Minister May is destroying

international law, and is destroying

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international relationship.

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Of course, it is the

end of her career.

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It's the end.

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It's a show.

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That was a political show.

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And this is not, it's not serious,

it's not for the serious politician.

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And this was the show

on Russian TV, while Mrs May

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was announcing sanctions.

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Commenting live, Andrei Lugavoy,

the man Britain believes poisoned

0:07:480:07:50

former Russian agent

Alexander Litvinenko in 2006.

0:07:500:07:56

Moscow refuses to extradite him.

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As for Kremlin funded

English-language channel RT,

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Theresa May has left it up to UK

regulator Ofcom to decide

0:08:030:08:07

whether it can keep its UK licence.

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What do you think the chances

are of RT being censored in the UK?

0:08:120:08:16

I hope RT is not censored in the UK,

because I really would not

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like British media, including you,

you are a very nice man,

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a gentleman, to be expelled

from Russia, which is exactly

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what I believe will happen if RT

is censored in the UK.

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The British government

wanted to send a strong

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message today to Moscow.

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But that message has been

dismissed here as nothing

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more than a provocation,

and it plays into the narrative

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which the Kremlin has been

creating for some time,

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that the West is against Russia.

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The man who styles himself

as the defender of Russia,

0:08:500:08:54

came to Crimea today,

territory Vladimir Putin

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annexed from Ukraine.

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With an election in Russia in four

days' time, UK sanctions may help

0:09:000:09:03

the UK leader rally support.

0:09:030:09:09

With an election in Russia in four

days' time, UK sanctions may help

0:09:120:09:15

the Kremlin leader rally support.

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Tonight, Moscow is showing no signs

of buckling under British pressure.

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Russia is promising

retaliation soon.

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Steve Rosenberg, BBC News, Moscow.

0:09:210:09:28

In New York the United Nations

Security Council has been told

0:09:280:09:30

tonight that the chemical weapon

used in Salisbury was so horrific

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that it's banned in war.

0:09:330:09:36

The US ambassador to

the United Nations said America

0:09:360:09:38

believes Russia is responsible

for the attack

0:09:380:09:40

and the UN Security Council should

take action.

0:09:400:09:47

Sergei and Yulia Skripal remain

in critical condition

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in Salisbury, ten days

after they were the principal

0:09:490:09:51

victims of an attack

using a banned chemical weapon.

0:09:510:09:54

Widespread international

outrage has now been echoed

0:09:540:09:55

at the Security Council

of the United Nations,

0:09:550:09:57

where Russia is so often at odds

with the key powers.

0:09:570:10:00

Britain's principal ally

the United States, urged

0:10:000:10:01

collective action against Russia.

0:10:010:10:05

Time and time again,

member states say they oppose

0:10:050:10:08

the use of chemical weapons

under any circumstance.

0:10:080:10:12

Now one member stands accused

of using chemical weapons

0:10:120:10:16

on the sovereign soil

of another member.

0:10:160:10:20

The credibility of this council

will not survive, if we fail

0:10:200:10:24

to hold Russia accountable.

0:10:240:10:28

That's exactly the support Britain

was hoping for when it

0:10:280:10:31

requested this meeting.

0:10:310:10:32

But what of other punitive

measures against Russia?

0:10:320:10:36

In the City of London it's less

obvious if Russians with corrupt

0:10:360:10:39

or criminal money in Britain,

have much new to fear.

0:10:390:10:44

Unexplained Russian wealth may now

be pursued more vigorously,

0:10:440:10:47

including some of the most expensive

property in the world.

0:10:470:10:54

The leading anti-corruption

organisation,

0:10:540:10:55

Transparency International,

estimates that a fifth

0:10:550:10:57

of all property bought

with criminal money in Britain

0:10:570:10:59

is owned by Russians.

0:10:590:11:01

But it's the expulsion

of 23 so-called diplomats

0:11:010:11:02

which is the big story.

0:11:020:11:10

At the embassy packing

may ready have started.

0:11:110:11:17

The government is convinced all

those being kicked out are spies,

0:11:170:11:19

and that the hit will hurt.

0:11:190:11:21

Whatever the effect turns out

to be of today's action,

0:11:210:11:23

the Prime Minister was bold

in her claims.

0:11:230:11:26

She said if the Russians seek

to rebuild their intelligence

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capability, we will prevent

them from doing so.

0:11:280:11:30

James Robbins, BBC News,

at the Russian Embassy.

0:11:300:11:33

Our security correspondent,

Gordon Correra, is outside

0:11:330:11:35

MI5 headquarters.

0:11:350:11:38

Tell us more about these so-called

"undeclared intelligence officers"

0:11:380:11:40

who've been told to leave,

and what impact their

0:11:400:11:42

departure will have?

0:11:420:11:50

It was striking the focus on

intelligence in the Prime Minister's

0:11:500:11:54

statement today. You could tell they

picked 23 intelligence officers,

0:11:540:11:59

because that was every single

Russian intelligence officer who had

0:11:590:12:03

been identified here at MI5, as

operating undercover at the Russian

0:12:030:12:08

Embassy. There are a couple of

others who are not undercover. They

0:12:080:12:14

are declared open intelligence

officers. They have been left in

0:12:140:12:18

place as a communications channel.

The aspiration is ambitious. Simply

0:12:180:12:23

to dismantle Russia's espionage

capability here in the UK. Other

0:12:230:12:28

measures the government wants,

including the ability to stop

0:12:280:12:31

suspected spies at the border or

port, something they can only do

0:12:310:12:37

with terrorism suspects, and the

ability to check private flights for

0:12:370:12:41

freight. We do now how do Salisbury

attack was carried out, but you can

0:12:410:12:45

see why the authorities want more

power to stop people coming in and

0:12:450:12:49

out of the country, and to check

what they might be bringing in and

0:12:490:12:54

out of the country. Everyone knows

the Russians will respond. They may

0:12:540:12:59

carry out tit-for-tat expulsions. I

think the view in London is it will

0:12:590:13:02

not damage British intelligence in

the same way, because we may not

0:13:020:13:05

have as many spies in Moscow, as the

Russians do here in London, but

0:13:050:13:10

British officials also have some

other measures in their back pocket

0:13:100:13:13

ready to go in case the Russians

continue and try and even escalate

0:13:130:13:19

the situation.

Thank you.

0:13:190:13:22

Tributes have poured

in from all over the world

0:13:220:13:24

for Professor Stephen Hawking,

one of the greatest scientists

0:13:240:13:26

of modern times, who died this

morning at the age of 76.

0:13:260:13:29

He was diagnosed with a rare form

of motor neurone disease

0:13:290:13:33

when he was 22 and told he only had

a few years to live.

0:13:330:13:37

But he defied all expectations

and went on to become

0:13:370:13:44

one of the most famous

physicists in the world,

0:13:440:13:46

thanks to his studies

on black holes and relativity.

0:13:460:13:48

Our science editor, David Shukman,

looks back at his life.

0:13:480:13:52

There is nothing like the Eureka

moment of discovering

0:13:520:13:57

something that no one knew before.

0:13:570:13:59

Stephen Hawking had a gift

for inspiration, a powerful spirit

0:13:590:14:04

overcoming an ailing body to allow

a mind to roam through the cosmos.

0:14:040:14:07

It earned him a place as the most

famous scientist in the world.

0:14:070:14:10

It has been a glorious time to be

alive and doing research

0:14:100:14:13

in theoretical physics.

0:14:130:14:15

Who else could draw the crowds?

0:14:150:14:17

This was Israel.

0:14:170:14:21

The man who gazed at the stars

became one himself.

0:14:210:14:28

His story both poignant

and uplifting.

0:14:280:14:31

His career involved concepts

so alien and complicated that

0:14:310:14:39

for most people it's been a struggle

to keep up but he explored

0:14:390:14:42

the strangest of features

of the universe, black holes,

0:14:420:14:45

drawing together the science

of the very largest things in space

0:14:450:14:47

with the science of the very small -

part of a quest to come up with

0:14:470:14:51

a single theory for the universe.

0:14:510:14:53

He made these incredibly original

insights which set up the modern

0:14:530:14:55

theory of black holes,

and made great contributions

0:14:550:14:59

to cosmology, and so

he was a huge figure.

0:14:590:15:04

I was devastated, really upset.

0:15:040:15:10

I'd only met him a couple of times,

but he had a real impact on my life.

0:15:100:15:14

I think it is the passing

of a great scientist.

0:15:140:15:17

He will be truly, sorely missed.

0:15:170:15:18

Even as a young student his

intelligence stood out,

0:15:180:15:24

but at just that moment he was given

a warning that motor neurone disease

0:15:240:15:27

would cut his life short.

0:15:270:15:28

When I was diagnosed at 21

I was told it would kill me

0:15:280:15:32

in two or three years.

0:15:320:15:33

But somehow he kept going.

0:15:330:15:34

In a high-tech wheelchair

and with a synthesised voice.

0:15:340:15:37

I am happier now than before

I developed the condition.

0:15:370:15:41

Communicating first by touch,

then by twitching a single

0:15:410:15:45

muscle in his cheek -

a daunting burden for anyone.

0:15:450:15:49

His children saw him as an example.

0:15:490:15:51

His daughter Lucy

spoke to us last year.

0:15:510:15:54

People who've lived in really

extreme circumstances seem to find

0:15:540:16:02

something very, very inspirational

in his example of perseverance

0:16:060:16:08

and persistence and his ability

to rise above his suffering

0:16:080:16:10

and still want to communicate

at a higher level.

0:16:100:16:12

Life was never straightforward.

0:16:120:16:13

His first marriage ending

in divorce, as did a second marriage

0:16:130:16:16

to one of his nurses.

0:16:160:16:17

Claims had emerged that he had

been physically abused,

0:16:170:16:19

the case was dropped

for lack of evidence.

0:16:190:16:21

None of this held him back.

0:16:210:16:23

His book, A Brief History of Time,

sold at least 10 million copies

0:16:230:16:26

and everyone has wanted to meet him.

0:16:260:16:28

From the Pope in the Vatican...

0:16:280:16:29

Good evening, ma'am.

0:16:290:16:30

To the Queen...

0:16:300:16:31

Nice to see you again.

0:16:310:16:35

To Barack Obama, who awarded him

a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

0:16:350:16:42

His fame reached far

beyond the world of science.

0:16:420:16:44

Your theory of a doughnut-shaped

universe is intriguing, Homer.

0:16:440:16:46

I may have to steal it.

0:16:460:16:48

Wow.

0:16:480:16:49

Even appearing in The Simpsons.

0:16:490:16:50

Who's paying the tab?

0:16:500:16:51

HOMER IMITATING HAWKING:

I am.

0:16:510:16:52

I didn't say that.

0:16:520:16:55

HOMER IMITATING HAWKING:

Yes, I did!

0:16:550:16:57

In an episode of Star Trek

he was given the chance

0:16:570:16:59

to tease Isaac Newton.

0:16:590:17:00

Not the apple story again!

0:17:000:17:02

And is this your new friend?

0:17:020:17:04

More recently he was happy to play

along for Comic Relief.

0:17:040:17:08

Astounding to think the Lord created

all this in just seven days.

0:17:080:17:11

Incorrect.

0:17:110:17:12

It took 13.8 million years.

0:17:120:17:17

Let's not get bogged

down in all that again!

0:17:170:17:20

He had real a sense

of adventure, even attempting

0:17:200:17:22

a zero gravity flight.

0:17:220:17:24

As you can imagine,

I am very excited.

0:17:240:17:32

I have been wheelchair-bound

for almost four decades

0:17:330:17:37

and the chance to float

free in zero G will be wonderful.

0:17:370:17:41

Tim Berners-Lee, founder

of the World Wide Web tweeted...

0:17:410:17:44

And Nasa said...

0:17:460:17:49

If you reverse time then

the universe is getting smaller.

0:18:000:18:02

All right.

0:18:020:18:03

Eddie Redmayne played

Stephen Hawking in the film

0:18:030:18:10

The Theory of Everything

and today said "We've lost

0:18:100:18:12

a truly beautiful mind."

0:18:120:18:13

Which sums up the real

Stephen Hawking, who could always

0:18:130:18:16

conjur up a visionary thought.

0:18:160:18:19

So a scientist who delved

into the weird realm of black holes

0:18:310:18:34

achieved something remarkable.

0:18:340:18:35

He found a way of acting as a bridge

between science and popular culture.

0:18:350:18:39

He knew his work baffled a lot

of people, but he hoped they'd get

0:18:390:18:42

something out of it,

understanding that there

0:18:420:18:45

are rational laws governing

the universe, and, uniquely

0:18:450:18:47

he succeeded in reaching

a global audience.

0:18:470:18:53

Professor Stephen Hawking,

who's died at the age of 76.

0:18:530:19:01

Stephen Hawking's most famous book

A Brief History Of Time has shot

0:19:070:19:10

to the top of the bestseller list

at Amazon today.

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He had an ability to bridge

the divide between academia

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and popular culture.

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Our correspondent, Jon Kay,

reflects on his enduring appeal

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for new generations of scientists.

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Stephen Hawking would have loved

this - 20,000 young British

0:19:210:19:23

scientists experimenting together.

0:19:230:19:24

Do it again!

0:19:240:19:26

Do it again!

0:19:260:19:27

Don't touch it.

0:19:270:19:28

He told young people

to be curious and today,

0:19:280:19:30

as they studied trajectories

and force, many were thinking

0:19:300:19:32

of their scientific superhero.

0:19:320:19:33

How would you describe him?

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Genius, pioneer, brilliant,

inspirational, motivationally

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engaging, phenomenal.

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I've read A Brief History Of Time,

I thought it was very interesting.

0:19:440:19:47

Did you read all of it?

0:19:470:19:49

I did actually read all of it.

0:19:490:19:52

And it got me into black holes

and I went on to a series

0:19:520:19:55

of lectures about them.

0:19:550:20:00

So, yeah, it fuelled a lot for me.

0:20:000:20:01

On display at the Big

Bang Fair, inventions

0:20:010:20:03

from the scientists of tomorrow.

0:20:030:20:05

These A-level physicists,

from North Wales, regard Professor

0:20:050:20:07

Hawking as a modern-day genius.

0:20:070:20:09

He's the intellectual follower

of Einstein and Newton.

0:20:090:20:14

These amazing, amazing figures

that we read about in physics books,

0:20:140:20:16

he was getting to that level.

0:20:160:20:18

He was incredible.

0:20:180:20:19

His legacy will live on.

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For ever.

0:20:210:20:23

See the astronaut

there, look at him.

0:20:230:20:28

Inside an inflatable black hole,

teenagers studied Hawking's

0:20:280:20:31

space and time theories,

while taking selfies.

0:20:310:20:35

It's a lot in one

lifetime for anyone.

0:20:350:20:37

I think he's encouraged

science as a field as well.

0:20:370:20:39

I think more people are more

invested in science

0:20:390:20:41

nowadays because of him.

0:20:410:20:44

It would navigate you

to the nearest exit.

0:20:440:20:46

At 15, Byron has invented an app

which could help people

0:20:460:20:49

escape a tower block fire

using virtual reality.

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He admires Hawking's

personal courage.

0:20:500:20:54

He was only one man who did such

great things and I was really

0:20:540:20:57

inspired by that, because usually

you see people follow the same paths

0:20:570:21:00

and try and do the same things.

0:21:000:21:02

But Stephen Hawking was really

unique in the sense that he wanted

0:21:020:21:05

to do things differently

and he wanted to contribute things

0:21:050:21:08

in a different sense.

0:21:080:21:09

I was really inspired by that.

0:21:090:21:13

Perhaps the next Stephen Hawking

was in this room today.

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Jon Kay, BBC News, Birmingham.

0:21:150:21:20

And after the news on BBC One

there is another chance to see

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Dara O'Briain meets Stephen Hawking.

0:21:240:21:32

That's at 10.45pm tonight.

0:21:320:21:35

Students across the United States

have walked out of their classrooms

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today to demand tighter

gun safety laws.

0:21:380:21:40

They staged a 17-minute protest

to represent the 17 people

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who were killed in the Florida

school shooting exactly a month ago.

0:21:420:21:45

Here's our North America

editor, Jon Sopel.

0:21:450:21:47

Hey-hey, ho-ho,

the NRA has got to go!

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The last time we saw children

pouring out of school,

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it was with their hands up in terror

after the Florida shooting.

0:21:510:21:54

Today they came out across America,

but this time with fists clenched,

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demanding change on gun control.

0:21:590:22:01

What do we want?!

0:22:010:22:02

Gun control!

0:22:020:22:03

When do we want it?!

0:22:030:22:04

Now!

0:22:040:22:12

In Washington at ten o'clock,

on a bracing cold morning,

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with their backs turned

on the White House, these students

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fell silent for 17 minutes -

a minute for each of the people

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who died at the Marjory

Stoneman Douglas School

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in Florida last month.

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There's no doubting

the extraordinary success these

0:22:250:22:27

young people have had in changing

the whole terms of debate

0:22:270:22:30

on the subject of gun

control in America.

0:22:300:22:34

Their problem is that the man

who lives on the other side of that

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fence seems to have got cold feet.

0:22:370:22:40

Hey-hey, ho-ho,

the NRA has got to go!

0:22:400:22:44

When Donald Trump met

youngsters from the Florida

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school at the White House,

he seemed to offer his support

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for tougher gun control measures,

like raising to 21 the age

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at which you can buy a rifle.

0:22:530:22:54

And he later chided lawmakers

for being frightened

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of the National Rifle Association.

0:22:560:22:58

Some of you people are

petrified of the NRA.

0:22:580:23:00

You can't be petrified.

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But he's now backed off those

proposals and so young people

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are intensifying their campaign.

0:23:030:23:04

We want them to pass

common-sense gun laws.

0:23:040:23:06

Common-sense gun laws.

0:23:060:23:07

We want to see a ban

on assault rifles.

0:23:070:23:10

We don't want to be

scared in school.

0:23:100:23:11

It should be our safest institution.

0:23:110:23:13

We are tired of being scared.

0:23:130:23:14

We want actual change.

0:23:140:23:15

We want it to happen

with this protest.

0:23:150:23:17

This is what democracy looks like!

0:23:170:23:24

This is a curtain raiser

to a mass demonstration

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in Washington in ten days' time.

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They're a long way from getting

what they want, but the power

0:23:340:23:37

of youth protest has got them

further than anyone

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could have imagined.

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And they're not in any

mood to surrender.

0:23:410:23:43

Never again!

0:23:430:23:44

Never again!

0:23:440:23:45

Jon Sopel, BBC News, Washington.

0:23:450:23:47

Scientists have discovered tiny

particles of plastic

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in bottled drinking water.

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Research, commissioned

by journalists at Orb Media,

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studied more than 250 bottles

of water, from 11 of

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the world's leading brands.

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Some bottles had no particles,

but others tested had hundreds

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or even thousands of particles -

some the width of a human hair.

0:24:060:24:10

Food safety experts say the levels

of plastic found does not make

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the water unsafe to drink.

0:24:150:24:16

But they are calling for more

research into the effects

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of microplastic on the human body,

as David Shukman reports.

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They are among some of the most

popular brands of water

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in the world, millions are sold

every day, but new research has made

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a surprising discovery that

many of the bottles contain tiny

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particles of plastic.

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And there are certain wavelengths

of light that causes them to sparkle

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like stars in the night sky.

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In the largest study of its kind,

bottles were water were bought

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in different countries around

the world - China, India,

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Brazil and many others.

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The project was coordinated

by journalists at Orb Media

0:24:520:24:55

and they recorded each step

of the process, from the shops,

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to the courier companies,

as the bottles were sent

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to a laboratory in New York State.

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Professor Sherri Mason is a chemist

specialising in plastic

0:25:030:25:06

and she tested more than 250

of the bottles.

0:25:060:25:09

I'm going to take a specific

amount of nile red dye.

0:25:090:25:13

The dye, nile red, has

a proven ability to stick

0:25:130:25:15

to pieces of plastic.

0:25:150:25:17

It was first used to detect

plastic in sea water.

0:25:170:25:22

So when the bottles were emptied

through a filter, what was left

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was a mass of tiny particles.

0:25:250:25:28

The next stage was then to analyse

them under a microscope.

0:25:280:25:32

The dye makes anything

plastic fluoresce under

0:25:320:25:34

a particular kind of light.

0:25:340:25:38

So the particles could be counted

and some were then examined to see

0:25:380:25:41

what they were made of.

0:25:410:25:43

The typical microplastics that we're

finding in the bottled water,

0:25:430:25:46

at the lower end of the screen

you see a fibre.

0:25:460:25:48

This, what looks like

a little hair, just there?

0:25:480:25:50

Correct.

0:25:500:25:53

You see it in bottle after bottle

and we see it in brand after brand.

0:25:530:25:57

Part of that too is,

it's not about pointing fingers

0:25:570:25:59

at particular brands,

it's really showing

0:25:590:26:01

that this is everywhere.

0:26:010:26:02

So what exactly was found?

0:26:020:26:04

A small minority of bottles had no

plastic particles at all.

0:26:040:26:09

But in this video, recorded

with a special light and an orange

0:26:090:26:12

lens, you can actually see

pieces of plastic.

0:26:120:26:16

And this close-up image of a filter

shows hundreds of particles,

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it looks like a picture

of the stars.

0:26:190:26:23

A technique developed for astronomy

had to be used to count every dot.

0:26:230:26:26

The biggest particles, larger

than the width of a human hair,

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were confirmed as plastic,

and there was an average

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of ten of them per litre.

0:26:330:26:37

Smaller particles were also found,

an average of 314 per litre.

0:26:370:26:40

These weren't positively identified,

but were probably plastic.

0:26:400:26:48

At the moment there are no rules

covering these microplastics or any

0:26:500:26:53

agreed way of checking for them.

0:26:530:26:55

What's striking is how

widespread this problem is.

0:26:550:26:57

The research has studied bottles

from nine different countries,

0:26:570:27:01

11 different brands and,

in almost all of them, they found

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plastic floating around inside.

0:27:040:27:05

When they looked more closely,

they found that the type of plastic

0:27:050:27:07

is often what's used

to make the cap.

0:27:070:27:11

So the theory is, that the very act

of opening a bottle,

0:27:110:27:18

maybe what pollutes it.

0:27:180:27:19

We approached all the companies

involved, a few didn't reply.

0:27:190:27:21

Those that did said they maintained

the highest standards of safety.

0:27:210:27:29

Nestle told us...

0:27:300:27:33

It said the study "misses some

crucial steps to avoid false

0:27:330:27:36

positives, detecting something

other than plastic."

0:27:360:27:39

Danone, which owns Evian,

said it wouldn't comment

0:27:390:27:40

on the study because the testing

methodology is unclear,

0:27:400:27:48

and it pointed out that

for microplastics there's "no

0:27:540:27:56

regulatory framework or scientific

consensus on testing for them."

0:27:560:28:03

Gerolsteiner said its own tests

found microplastics "significantly

0:28:030:28:06

below the limits for particles set

for pharmaceutical companies."

0:28:060:28:09

And Coca-Cola, which makes Dasani,

said that microplastics seem to be

0:28:090:28:13

everywhere "and therefore maybe

found at minute levels,

0:28:130:28:16

even in highly treated products."

0:28:160:28:17

Plastic is turning up

in unexpected places.

0:28:170:28:19

Last year this lab found it

in samples of tap water.

0:28:190:28:22

So what does this

mean for our health?

0:28:220:28:23

Right now there's no hard evidence

that drinking or eating plastic

0:28:230:28:26

particles can cause any harm,

but that isn't out of the question.

0:28:260:28:29

Some of these particles

are so incredibly small

0:28:290:28:31

that they can actually

make their way across

0:28:310:28:34

the gastrointestinal track,

across the lining and be carried

0:28:340:28:37

throughout the body,

and we don't know the implications

0:28:370:28:41

of what that means on our various

organs an tissues.

0:28:410:28:48

And if there's plastic in bottled

water, where else might it be?

0:28:480:28:51

We turned to one of the British

scientists who helped to develop

0:28:510:28:54

the nile red technique

for detecting plastic.

0:28:540:28:55

This study is maybe just the start.

0:28:550:28:57

When we start looking more

carefully, we will very

0:28:570:29:01

likely find it in food,

in packaging, in milk,

0:29:010:29:04

in any other place we look,

because I don't think mineral water

0:29:040:29:07

is unique in that sense.

0:29:070:29:10

Despite this, the message

from the scientists is clear -

0:29:100:29:13

if your tap water is dirty,

bottled water is far safer.

0:29:130:29:17

But the world of microplastics

is new and full of uncertainty,

0:29:170:29:20

which makes research into it

all the more urgent.

0:29:200:29:22

David Shukman, BBC News,

in New York State.

0:29:220:29:28

Toys R Us is closing all 100

of its UK stores in the next six

0:29:280:29:32

weeks after administrators failed

to find a buyer.

0:29:320:29:37

3,000 jobs will be lost as a result.

0:29:370:29:39

Some 25 stores have either already

closed in recent days or are due

0:29:390:29:42

to close by tomorrow.

0:29:420:29:47

Football now, and Chelsea

have been knocked out of

0:29:470:29:49

the Champions League by Barcelona.

0:29:490:29:50

They lost 3-0 in tonight's

second leg in Barcelona.

0:29:500:29:52

Joe Wilson watched the action.

0:29:520:29:54

Barcelona helpfully provided

a banner in English

0:29:540:29:56

for visiting Chelsea.

0:29:560:30:01

Ask anyone in the world

who's football royalty,

0:30:010:30:03

they'll answer - Lionel Messi.

0:30:030:30:05

Sure, he's good, but nobody has

a devine right to score.

0:30:050:30:07

You can't just expect

to finish your first opportunity,

0:30:070:30:10

from an impossible angle.

0:30:100:30:11

COMMENTATOR:

And he scores, Messi.

0:30:110:30:14

Oh!

0:30:140:30:15

Two minutes - Messi 1, Chelsea 0.

0:30:150:30:19

Even at the highest level,

Messi just seems superior.

0:30:190:30:22

Steal the ball, then then his legs

whirl and his brain beats everyone.

0:30:220:30:30

No shot, a pass - let

Dembele finish this one.

0:30:300:30:32

COMMENTATOR:

He smashes it in.

0:30:320:30:33

So Chelsea were 3-1 down

on aggregate, but getting a goal

0:30:330:30:36

back seemed feasible.

0:30:360:30:39

This free-kick brushed the post.

0:30:390:30:41

Chelsea had a lot of the ball,

but Messi just needed one sight

0:30:410:30:45

of goal, aiming again for the gap

between the goalkeeper's legs.

0:30:450:30:48

There is a release

clause in his contract.

0:30:480:30:50

he could be yours for

700 million euros.

0:30:500:30:52

Joe Wilson, BBC News.

0:30:520:30:57

Well, that's just about from us.

0:30:570:30:59

In a moment the news where you are,

but we will leave you now

0:30:590:31:03

with the words and images of one

of the greatest scientists of modern

0:31:030:31:07

times, Professor Stephen Hawking,

who died this morning.

0:31:070:31:09

Good night.

0:31:090:31:17

Theoretical physics is one

of the few fields in which being

0:31:170:31:20

disabled is no handicap.

0:31:200:31:24

It's all in the mind.

0:31:240:31:32

I hope my example will give

encouragement and hope to others

0:31:400:31:43

in similar situations.

0:31:430:31:51

I hope my example will show

disability can be no barrier.

0:31:590:32:03

One can achieve anything,

if one is determined enough.

0:32:030:32:05

Never give up.

0:32:050:32:13