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Tonight at Ten:
Three of Britain's closest allies
strongly criticise Russia,
following the chemical attack
on a former spy in Salisbury.
During the day, Theresa May visited
Salisbury, meeting members
of the emergency services
and welcoming the support she's had
from the USA, France and Germany.
This happened in the UK,
but it could have happened anywhere,
and we take a united
stance against it.
In Moscow - where Vladimir Putin
is facing a presidential election -
they're still denying any
involvement in the attack.
What rational person could imagine
that a few days before
the presidential election,
the Russian Federation suddenly
decides to do something like that?
And Moscow has again
warned it will retaliate,
following the explusion of some
Russian diplomats from the UK.
In Syria, thousand of civilians
have fled the rebel area
of Eastern Ghouta, on the seventh
anniversary of the start
of the Syrian conflict.
We'll be hearing the story
of a seven-year-old who was born
in the year the conflict began.
Tests on a fire door
from Grenfell Tower have shown
that it was far less flame-resistant
than it was claimed to be.
In Florida, a newly-built pedestrian
bridge has collapsed,
killing a number of people.
Many are still trapped.
And at the Emirates tonight,
Arsenal have been playing AC Milan
in the Europa League.
And coming up on
Sportsday on BBC News:
The Irish dominate at Cheltenham,
while trainer Willie Mullins
and Penhill were the big winners
on Day Three of the festival.
Three of Britain's closest allies
have declared their strong support
for Theresa May's response
to the poisoning of a former Russian
spy and his daughter in Salisbury.
The United States, France
and Germany blamed Russia
for the chemical attack,
which they said was an attack
on British sovereignty.
During the day, Theresa May visited
Salisbury for the first time
since the incident and met health
officials and members
of the emergency services,
including the police officer
who attended the scene
and is still in hospital -
as our diplomatic correspondent,
James Landale, reports.
His report contains flashing lights.
This was Theresa May's
first visit to Salisbury
since the nerve agent attack.
A chance to be briefed by the police
and public health officials.
But also a chance to meet
members of the public,
to chat, to reassure.
And, yes, even to do this.
She visited the scene of the attack
on the former Russian intelligence
officer Sergei Skripal
and his daughter, Yulia.
The restaurant where they ate.
The park bench, under a tent,
where they were found.
The Prime Minister thanked some
of the police officers who'd first
responded to the call.
What you did is what the police
do day in and day out.
You go to a routine call,
as you say, you don't
know what you'll find.
Then, at the local hospital,
she met and thanked
Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey,
who's still recovering
from exposure to the nerve agent.
She said she'd expelled
23 Russian diplomats
for this despicable attack,
but was ready to do more.
There are other measures
we're looking at.
And if we face further provocation
from Russia, there are further
measures that we can deploy.
But what is important
in the international arena,
and we have taken this into Nato,
the United Nations and we will be
taking it into the European Union,
is that allies are standing
And saying this is part
of a pattern of activity
that we have seen from Russia.
That united stance came
in a joint statement
from the leaders of Britain,
France, Germany and the US,
all blaming Russia unequivocally.
I spoke with the Prime Minister
and we are in deep discussions.
A very sad situation.
It certainly looks like
the Russians are behind it.
Something that should
never, ever happen.
And we're taking it very seriously,
as I think are many others.
The joint statement is significant
because it shows the Foreign Office
and Downing Street are convincing
Britain's allies that the Salisbury
attack is different,
that it represents an escalation
of Russia's hostile behaviour.
And, as such, those allies
are now ready to crank up
the pressure on Moscow.
That diplomacy continued at Nato
headquarters in Brussels,
where British officials briefed
allies about what they
called Russia's 'reckless
and unlawful behaviour'.
And promised to support other
countries facing similar threats.
And in the Netherlands,
ministers confirmed that officials
from the chemical weapons watchdog,
the OPCW, would get access to
samples of the nerve agent to verify
that it was developed in Russia.
They would get that access
here at the military research
laboratory at Porton Down,
where the Novichok was identified.
Today, the Defence Secretary
announced Porton Down will get
another £45 million in funding.
And the Russians would
get short shrift.
If you're a nation and another
nation has launched a nerve agent
attack on your people,
I think we have every right to tell
Russia to shut up and go away.
Meanwhile, near Salisbury,
the investigation and
decontamination process continues.
The graves of Mr Skripal's wife
and son were still being inspected
and two vehicles were recovered
from near the home of DS Bailey.
James Landale, BBC News.
In Moscow, the Russian Government
says that President Putin
will decide soon what action to take
- in response to the expulsion
of 23 Russian diplomats,
thought to be intelligence officers
from the UK.
The Foreign Minister,
Sergei Lavrov, accused Britain
of acting in a boorish way,
and insisted again that
Russia was not involved
in the Salisbury attack -
as our correspondent
Steve Rosenberg reports.
Well, in three days' time, Russians
go to the polls to elect a new
President. And there is little doubt
that Vladimir Putin will be the
winner. The Kremlin insists that
President Putin is focused
completely on the election campaign,
but the nerve agent attack in
Salisbury has sparked, on the Eve of
the vote, a diplomatic war with
Britain, and the next move is
It may be feeling like a Cold War,
but in Moscow today,
there was a warm reception
for the President.
Vladimir Putin the star guest
at a youth conference.
Lots of smiles, but no mention
of diplomatic expulsions.
The Kremlin leader keeping his
plans for retaliation
against Britain to himself.
Across town, at the British Embassy,
they waited for news.
Would Moscow expel
The UK had expelled 23 Russians.
And the news on Russian TV -
Britain has been Russia's
enemy for centuries.
The message to viewers -
the UK cannot be trusted.
Russia's Foreign Minister,
Sergei Lavrov, claimed
Britain was using the poisoning
of Sergei Skripal to distract
attention from Brexit.
Then, pictures from the Kremlin.
The President meeting his security
chiefs to discuss UK sanctions.
Moscow's response expected soon.
Russia may be coming under
increasing international pressure,
but the language coming out
of the Kremlin is
Vladimir Putin's spokesman today
described Britain's stance
as 'destructive and provocative'.
The President, he said,
would take the final decision
on how Russia responds.
And just when you think relations
can't get any worse,
the Defence Secretary tells
Russia to 'shut up'.
The reaction in Moscow?
It's not only a mistake,
it's worse than a mistake
because it's stupid.
Or it's done on purpose,
it's a provocation, they want
the Russians to be provoked.
Criticism of Russia, too, by Nato.
It agrees Moscow was behind
the Salisbury attack.
All of us agree that the attack
was a clear breach of international
norms and agreements.
This is unacceptable.
It has no place
in a civilised world.
Tonight, Russia is feeling
and in a new Cold War it blames
on the West.
In a moment, we'll
speak to our security
correspondent, Gordon Corera.
But first, live to Washington
and our North America
editor, Jon Sopel.
A notable change of tone in
Washington, what is behind it?
Well, you could argue that Theresa
May has been more successful than
the US intelligence services because
she has convinced Donald Trump that
the Russians have been up to no good
and for the past 15 months, Donald
Trump has been very wary, almost
open in refusing to accept that.
What was striking was the statement
issued last night by the White House
press secretary, full square behind
Theresa May and the need to expel
the diplomats and the belief that
Russia was behind it. Then the most
unlikely thing this morning, a joint
letter signed by Trump, the leader
of France and Germany and Britain.
And one other thing as well, America
has announced that it is imposing
its own sanctions on 19 individuals
and private entities. Not connected
directly with the Salisbury attack,
but with the hacking of the US
election in 2016 and Russian
involvement in that. I think that
has come today because the Americans
want to send a sign to Russia as
well as the French and the Germans,
it is not Britain alone against
Vladimir Putin. There are a lot of
mighty powers who think what
happened in Salisbury overstepped
Many thanks. Can we talk
about that, Gordon, the basis for
the consensus? Can we assume France,
Germany and the United States have
seen the intelligence and agree with
Britain has been busy showing
this assessment with different
allies and that is based on a number
of things. The technical element,
which shows written says this was a
Russian developed nerve agent, a
Novichok. And the broad assessment
that not only did Russia have the
means in terms of that agent, but
the motive, having made calls to
kill what it considers traitors, and
the track record using
unconventional weapons. The use of
polonium to kill Alexander
Litvinenko. That is not a direct
trail of evidence of what happened,
but it is enough clearly for allies
and it was important in the
statement they said, there was no
plausible alternative explanation
other than Moscow's involvement.
There will be an independent,
scientific analysis done by the
chemical weapons inspectors from the
OPCW, but that is slow and it took
months for them to come to
conclusions about Syrian chemical
weapons and British professionals
were clear, they wanted to maintain
the initiative. If you look back to
the Litvinenko case, they felt
played by the Russians, played for
time inviting the police to Moscow
and making their life very
difficult. This time, British
officials wanted to keep up the
momentum and they will be encouraged
by the way that has gone with allies
today and they will hope the
Russians will be on the back foot as
they work out how to respond.
again, thanks very much. And thanks
very much from the White House.
In Syria, thousands of people
are fleeing the rebel-held
enclave of Eastern Ghouta,
as government forces
intensify their offensive.
Doctors there have been sending
out desperate messages,
saying they are overwhelmed
by the number of casualties.
President Assad's forces
have now retaken large
parts of Eastern Ghouta -
the last rebel stronghold
near the capital, Damascus.
This report by our Middle East
editor, Jeremy Bowen,
contains some distressing scenes.
Thousands are fleeing
parts of Eastern Ghouta,
tredging into an uncertain future
that looks better now than
the deadly present.
In this war, half Syria's population
has fled or been driven from their
These people are among the latest.
Many families will have
been displaced before.
spent weeks hiding
in basements from the shelling.
Eastern Ghouta is the size
of Manchester, and this isn't
One armed group has bought some
quiet by negotiating a
transfer of power.
But many tens of thousands
of civilians are still besieged.
This was filmed by Omar, a cameraman
who gives his material to the BBC.
The attack happened
outside his building.
I was telling
myself that this rocket
was going to kill me.
For a second, I was talking
to myself, saying I'm
about to die.
A small boy was caught up in it.
He's deaf, so he hadn't heard
warnings to take cover.
Omar, the cameraman,
worried the boy would bleed to death
and told us the eight minutes it
took for the ambulance to arrive
were the worst he had
endured since the battle
for Eastern Ghouta began.
Omar carried him to the ambulance,
where he was squeezed in
next to the bodies of the dead.
Omar has seen a lot of death.
He said the boy was a soul
he wanted to save.
We have been following
Dr Amani Ballour,
a paediatrician in an underground
hospital, who spends every day
with the wounded and the dying.
In that place, they are all
fighting fear, aware
that regime soldiers
advancing into Eastern Ghouta.
Dr Amani sent a message.
It's the worst
it's been for many days,
the shelling is brutal -
all kinds of weapons.
This may be my last message.
The injured are everywhere,
the operating theatres
are full of wounded people.
We don't have enough
doctors to help them all,
our own homes have been shelled.
A small amount of aid is being
brought into Eastern Ghouta.
All the talk of a humanitarian
ceasefire has been ignored.
This war started seven years ago.
Its horror goes on.
Jeremy Bowen, BBC News.
And for many of those who've managed
to flee the violence in Syria,
the shadow of war remains.
Rouaa and Mustafa -
two seven year olds -
were born in the year
the conflict began.
Our correspondent, Caroline Hawley,
has been following their stories.
Rouaa and her friend Hoda are part
of a whole generation of Syrians
growing up as refugees.
Her family fled Eastern Ghouta
in 2013, after a chemical attack.
A nappy soaked in vinegar
is all her parents have
to try to protect her.
This is home now, she says.
One room for the whole family
to eat, sleep and study in.
And even after nearly five years
here, she still hasn't got used
to the camp's shared toilets.
But here, she is at least safe.
Her cousin, Mohammed,
was killed in an air strike
in Eastern Ghouta this week.
Her father's thighbone
was shattered by a sniper's
bullet and he can't work.
Her sister was hit by shrapnel.
They're just one of so many
families scarred inside
and out by Syria's war.
A barrel bomb killed Mustafa's
parents, broke both of his hips
and lodged a piece of shrapnel
in his brain.
He has severe nerve damage
down his left side.
It's hard for him trying
to keep up with his peers,
but he's determined.
Back at home, his grandmother
brings out a photograph
of his father, Ibrahim.
But Mustafa is now losing
the memory of what his parents
were actually like.
Once a week, Mustafa
comes for physiotherapy.
Beside him is Benin.
She lost her father,
two brothers and a sister
when a shell landed on her home.
Syrian children have paid
a catastrophic price for the war.
And yet, in art therapy,
Mustafa draws himself smiling.
Despite everything he's been
through, everything he's up against,
I've never once seen him complain.
Caroline Hawley, BBC News.
A number of people have died -
and many are believed
trapped under rubble -
after a newly-built
pedestrian bridge collapsed
in the US city of Miami.
A major rescue
operation is under way.
The bridge, weighing
nearly a thousand tonnes,
was opened last Saturday -
as our correspondent,
Gary O'Donoghue, reports.
The bridge just clap stowed of
nowhere. There are cars stuck under
Scrambling to rescue the trapped
and injured after 950 tonnes
of the newly-installed pedestrian
bridge crashed down
onto the road below.
A number of vehicles were crushed
as the bridge came down,
shortly before 2pm.
The emergency services,
dashing to help those
pinned under the concrete.
The footbridge had only
just been completed,
designed to take students
from the Florida International
University safely across a six-lane
highway to their accommodation.
What was soon to become an iconic,
staple part of the connectivity
between the city and the University
has actually turned out
to be a national tragedy.
Our hearts are extended out
to those, the victims that
were actually able to be transported
away, as well as those that may not
be walking away from the scene.
The collapsed section of the bridge
was only put in place last Saturday,
using a method known as advanced
designed to be fast and cause
the least disruption
as possible to traffic.
This is crazy, God bless everyone
The National Transportation Safety
Board says it is sending
investigators to the scene,
and the building company employed
to put up the bridge, MCM,
says it will co-operate fully.
A brief look at some of the day's
other other news stories.
Following the death of an Egyptian
student in Nottingham,
Egypt is to send a delegation
of parliamentarians to Britain.
Mariam Moustafa died
in hospital yesterday,
a month after being attacked
in the city centre.
Police say they're aware
of suggestions on social media
that she was the victim of a hate
crime, but they're not
currently treating the attack
as being racially motivated.
Neville Hord has been jailed
for at least 30 years -
after admitting stabbing to death
the daughter of his former partner
at an Aldi supermarket in Skipton
just before Christmas.
30-year-old Jodie Willsher died
after being stabbed 11 times.
Prosecutors described Hord's motive
for the killing as 'revenge'.
A government inspector
has recommended that
Northamptonshire County Council,
which has faced serious
should be abolished,
and replaced with two new councils.
The Conservative council has
accepted the findings,
and its leader has resigned.
HSBC has revealed that its female
staff in the UK earned 59%
less than their male
colleagues last year.
Bonuses at the bank awarded
to men were 86% higher
than those given to women.
HSBC said less than a quarter of
senior roles were filled by women.
Police investigating the fire
at Grenfell Tower in west London,
which claimed the lives of 71
people, say tests on a front door
from one of the flats,
showed it was far less
fire-resistant than intended.
Survivors of the blaze have
described the finding as
'shocking' as our home affairs
correspondent Tom Symonds reports.
Could what happened
here be the result of
That is what the police
Highly technical work,
including the test of a door
from a Grenfell flat.
One that was undamaged in the fire.
In this standard test,
heat is applied to one side
and the door must
hold for 30 minutes.
Here, there's some smoke, but this
door easily passes the test.
The sample from Grenfell
lasted 15 minutes.
The police informed the government,
which has consulted its own experts.
There is no change
to fire safety advice
that the public should follow.
I, nevertheless, fully appreciate
that this news will be
troubling for many people,
not least all those affected
by the Grenfell tragedy.
That is why, based on expert advice,
we have begun the process
of conducting further tests
and we will continue to consult
with the expert panel
to identify the implications
of these further tests.
This picture is from
before the fire.
Flats appear to have
had a variety of doors,
but they were fairly new.
The doors were replaced in 2012,
not as part as the major
refurbishment of Grenfell Tower.
After that work there
was a safety inspection.
The investigators will want to know
were the doors properly assessed?
For the survivors, understanding why
it happened is vital.
It's very important for Grenfell
survivors and the bereaved families
to feel that we can honour
the memory of those who have died.
One way we can bring justice
is to make sure that regulations
and progressive policies ensure that
people feel safe in their homes once
again and that means
tightening the regulations.
But those questions will come later.
For now, this is still the scene
of a criminal investigation.
Tom Symonds, BBC News,
at Grenfell Tower.
The Anglo-Dutch consumer company
Unilever, the third-biggest firm
in the UK, has denied that Brexit
is a factor in its decision
to base its new headquarters
in Rotterdam rather than London.
The firm, which owns
well-known brands such
as Marmite and Hellmann's,
insisted it's fully committed
to its British operations.
Our business editor Simon Jack
is at the firm's current
headquarters in London.
When they say it is not to do with
Brexit what do you make of that?
think they've got good reasons why
that is a credible explanation.
Since 1930 this rather beautiful
building Unilever house has been the
UK headquarters of the maker of
Marmite, of Dove and personal and
throw those decades it's adding
another headquarters in Rotterdam in
the Netherlands. Today the company,
historic move, said its future,
there is only room for one
headquarters and it's not going to
be here. So why are they doing it?
They say they need to save money and
be more streamlined, be more agile.
Just last year they had a nasty
shock when they were the subject to
one of the biggest takeover bids in
history when the US giant Kraft
Heinz tried to buy them. A lot of
people see under Dutch law that
takeover would have been more
difficult to actually pull off.
There is more protection afforded
under Dutch law. It does not mean
Unilever is leaving the UK, seven
and a half thousand jobs here and
will stay, they will run two
divisions, but it does mean Unilever
will fall out of the FTSE 100 index
of leading shares. They say it's not
to do with Brexit. Having said that,
the Prime Minister and the Business
Secretary lobbied very hard for this
not to happen because they know full
well that with just over a year to
go before we leave the European
Union this move will send a very
uncomfortable and very unpleasant
message to the rest of the corporate
sector and very, very sensitive
Thank you very much, our
business editor Simon Jack at
Unilever headquarters in London.
The Danish prime minister has told
the BBC that Britain can rely
upon its European neighbours,
in moments of crisis.
Lars Lokke Rasmussen said that
although Britain had
decided to leave the EU,
they still had the
closest ties possible.
And he warned that the EU
would be sending a very
clear message to Russia,
in relation to the Salisbury attack,
when it meets next week.
Our Europe editor
Katya Adler reports.
Denmark is one of the UK's
closest European allies,
a fellow nonconformist,
rather Eurosceptic nation.
Today, as we walked
through the Danish Parliament,
Prime Minister Rasmussen wanted
to talk first about the Salisbury
attack and whether the EU
would take concrete action.
I think it's time to step up
and speak out very loud and very
clear to Russia that we will not
accept this because this is a threat
to everybody's security.
This is in a way the first
real test after Brexit.
12 months of very
Can the UK still rely
on its European allies
in a moment of crisis?
I'm absolutely convinced that
Britain can rely on Europe.
Even though the British have decided
to leave the EU as an institution,
Britain is still a part of Europe.
Because so far Britain
has been disappointed
by its traditional allies,
in that in the Brexit negotiations,
Denmark, the Netherlands, Ireland,
in the negotiations have chosen,
if you like, the EU over ally UK.
Well, I wouldn't put it that way.
Even though I love Britain,
I mean, I have to be aware
of what the Danish interest
is in this case.
I have to protect my business
environment in the same way that
Theresa May has to protect
the British business community.
And you believe that
changing rules for the UK
would damage the single market?
That could be the case.
It could be, you know,
followed by other countries wanting
to go down the same lane,
if we allow this kind
of cherry picking.
But Denmark is keen on some
cherry picking of its own.
It's one of the world's biggest
exporters of fish but Danish
fishermen rely heavily on access
to UK waters.
They want that to
continue after Brexit.
This is definitely something
we have to negotiate.
I mean, that's what it's
all about, negotiating.
So will there be that give and take?
My point of departure
is that we have to reach out
for a balanced agreement.
Let's look at this idea
the transition deal.
The UK is hoping for that to be
confirmed at the EU's leaders summit
on Thursday and Friday.
You will be there.
Will it be a yes?
I will echo those who say
that we need to send a clear signal
about a transitional agreement
so that we can postpone
uncertainty until 2020.
That Brexit uncertainty
is disruptive for Denmark
and the rest of Europe
as well as the UK.
Whatever is decided at next week's
EU summit, months of tough
negotiations still lie ahead.
Katya Adler, BBC News, Copenhagen.
Football, and Arsenal have
been playing tonight
in the Europa League.
They have beaten AC Milan at the
Emirates I 3-1 to get to the
It's been a dark
winter in Islington.
Arsenal's league season went into
a tunnel and ended up in a hole.
But they found escapism in Europe.
Last week they beat AC Milan
2-0, a morale boost,
but also a mental test,
for in the second leg Milan
knew they could change
the mood in a moment.
Calhanoglu with a strike
to shake the try.
How were those nerves?
Well, how about this for a settler?
Not two minutes later
Danny Welbeck broke and fell.
A plea, a pause.
Back to Welbeck.
In a kick a stadium exhaled.
Arsenal aren't always suitable
for before the watershed.
Though always a chance of jump
scares courtesy of a desperate Milan
with nothing to lose.
Arsenal ensured they had
nothing to gain either.
Xhaka aimed for one corner
and somehow scored in the other.
Then time for luxury.
They queued up for a
third, Welbeck got it.
A competition which was never
supposed to be a priority
for Arsenal has helped them regain
a little of their identity.
Patrick Gearey, BBC News.
Newsnight is coming up on BBC Two.
Here is an Ollie.
Tonight we talk to the excelled
Russian oligarch who believes blood
and Putin has lost control of the
Russian state. During the night on