18/03/2018 BBC News at Ten


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18/03/2018

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A new salvo from Britain towards

Russia, the Foreign Secretary says

0:00:130:00:17

Russia has been making and

stockpiling nerve agents.

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Two weeks after the Salisbury

poisoning - the government believes

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Russia's interest in the deadly

substances was for the purpose

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of assassination.

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From Moscow Vladimir Putin has

dismissed the allegations -

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as the presidential election

gives him another

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six years in office.

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With international chemical weapons

experts due to arrive in the UK -

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we'll have the latest.

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Also tonight.

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A breakthrough in the treatment

of Multiple Sclerosis

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after a medical trial involving

stem cell transplants.

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A Sunday whiteout as driving snow,

biting winds and ice

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much of the country.

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And the million dollar teacher from

London who has scooped up a global

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award.

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Good evening.

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The Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson

has accused Russia of making

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and stockpiling the nerve agents

known as Novichok,

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used in the Salisbury

poisoning two weeks ago.

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Sergei Skripal and his daughter

remain critically ill,

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but today President Putin said

it was nonsense to say that

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Russia was responsible.

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We'll hear from our

Moscow correspondent

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Steve Rosenberg in a moment -

but first our Diplomatic

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Correspondent James Robbins.

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Whatever their whether the

decontamination work in Salisbury

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goes on. Two weeks after the

chemical attack on circus ago and

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his daughter Yulia it is clear that

one focus of the inquiry is in BMW

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with suggestions that the agent

might have been placed there to

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ensure that the occupants were

poisoned. A team of international

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chemical weapons experts from the

global body which polices their

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prohibition arrives in Salisbury

tomorrow. They will begin a further

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independent investigation. Today the

Foreign Secretary went further than

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ever, blaming Russia and lifting the

veil a little on secret

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intelligence. Boris Johnson says it

shows Russia has been making nerve

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agent within the past decade.

We had

evidence within the last ten years

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that Russia has not only been

investigating the delivery of nerve

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agents for the purposes of

assassination but has also been

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creating and stockpiling Novichok.

The Foreign Secretary also dismissed

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and derided a suggestion from one of

Russia's most senior diplomats that

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the nerve agent used in Salisbury

could have come from Britain's own

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military research facility at Porton

down.

Porton down as we know or know

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is the largest military facility in

the alighted kingdom that has been

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dealing with chemicals weapons

research. And it's only eight miles

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from Salisbury.

You are not

suggesting that Porton down is

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responsible for business agent?

I

don't know.

But Theresa May's

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government got solid support from

the Labour Shadow Chancellor after

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criticism of Jeremy Corbyn is more

questioning approach.

Putin has

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questions to answer because this is

likely it could be a state

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execution. But in this country we

don't leap to conclusions about the

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evidence.

As the investigation goes

on in the next days the government

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will focus on broadening

international backing from Britain's

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stance. On Tuesday ministers on the

international Security Council would

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discuss whether to launch a second

round of measures against Moscow at

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the risk of an endless tit-for-tat.

Whatever precisely happened in

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Salisbury,

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one consequence is that Russia's

international reputation,

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international reputation,

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already very fragile,

does seem to have been

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weakened still further.

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Britain is having little trouble

gathering in strong messages

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of support from overseas,

although action against Russia

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is harder to mobilise.

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But Vladimir Putin shows no sign

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of changing course.

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James, thank you.

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This evening President Putin said

claims that his country was behind

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the Skripal poisoning

were 'nonsense' but that Russia will

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work with the UK.

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He was speaking after winning

another term in office

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in the presidential election.

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Steve Rosenberg has

the latest from Moscow.

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He has been centrestage in Russia

for the last 18 years. Tonight by

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the Kremlin Vladimir Putin thanked

his people for re-electing him their

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president. We are destined to

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president. We are destined to

succeed, he said. Russia, Russia,

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they chanted. But imputing's fourth

term are Russia and the West

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destined for a cold war. Later the

president dismissed accusations that

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he was behind the nerve agent attack

in Salisbury.

It is rubbish, drivel,

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nonsense to think Russia would do

something like that head of a

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presidential election and the World

Cup.

Is pitched to voters had been,

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stick with me and Russia will be

strong. And many Russians believe

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that.

He's a genius commissioners.

Putin wants Russia to prosper and

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Russians to live in happiness. It is

thanks to Putin, she says, that

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Russia still exists. But critics of

the Kremlin say the election was

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fixed, that only those candidates

who stood no chance of unseating

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Putin were allowed to run.

The

problem is there's no such things

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Russian politics. Politics. Politics

has been eliminated in a show

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together. There's only one political

institution in Russia, the physical

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body of Vladimir Putin.

Which was

white Vladimir Putin was always

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going to win this fight. This

election wasn't about choosing a new

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president, it was about reappointing

the old one. And although many

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Russians to support Putin crucially

it is the political system that he

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has built in Russia that guarantees

him a landslide win. But these

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images are embarrassing, caught on

CCTV woman stuffs a ballot box near

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Moscow. Suddenly two of them are at

it and giving the vote count in

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Siberia balloons are moved to cover

the camera. Election officials say

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they will investigate but the

results will not change. Neither

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will the name of Russia's president.

Steve Rosenberg BBC News Moscow.

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As the government here blames

Russia for stockpiling

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Novichok nerve agents,

a group of international chemical

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weapons experts is due

to arrive in the UK tomorrow

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Our Security Correspondent Gordon

Corera is at the Foreign Office now.

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Gordon - what was behind

that assessment from

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the Foreign Secretary today.

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Today Boris Johnson deliberately

revealed a piece of sensitive

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intelligence, the claim that Russia

has been stockpiling, creating

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Novichok and looking at using it for

assassinations. Why did he do that?

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Because there's a battle going on

over information and the

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credibility. British officials

believe that the Kremlin 's plan

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will be to muddy the waters and

create confusion, pointing to

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including comments from the Russian

ambassador to the EU today,

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suggesting that perhaps Porton down

had created the Novichok and for

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some reason relisted in its own

backyard. The British government is

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trying to put the Russians on the

back foot by asserting that they are

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in contravention of the chemical

weapons Convention by having this

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secret chemical warfare chemical

assassination programme at some

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point in the last ten years. We will

get that independent inspection

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coming from the OPC W but it's

likely to be the next battle ground

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over credibility. They will look at

samples, perhaps blood samples from

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the victims, and whatever their

conclusions, they may be clear, they

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may be disputed, questions may be

asked about whether the results were

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tampered with, that will be the next

battle ground of the credibility.

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Gordon, at the Foreign Office, thank

you.

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Scientists say they've achieved

a breakthrough in the treatment

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of Multiple Sclerosis,

after the results of

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an international trial involving

stem cell transplants.

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Doctors in Sheffield

were part of the study,

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which showed an improvement

in symptoms and the progress of

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the neurological condition halted.

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Around 100,000 people

in the UK are affected by MS,

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as our medical correspondent

Fergus Walsh explains.

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So nice to finally get out. It feels

like my diagnosis was just a bad

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dream.

Before the transplant, Louise

Willetts from Rotherham had severe

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relapses, attacks of multiple

sclerosis. At one point she was in a

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wheelchair. It also affected her

mind. She struggled to read and

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follow conversations. Now she's

completely well and has a newborn

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daughter as well.

It does feel like

a miracle, I must have to pinch

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myself and ask if it is real, has it

gone will it ever come back. I don't

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live in fear any more. I live every

day the wake I want to rather than

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around my MS.

MS is caused by a

faulty immune system attacking the

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brain and spinal-cord. Symptoms

include balance and muscle problems,

0:10:120:10:16

fatigue and loss of vision. Panorama

followed Louise 's treatment.

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Originally developed for cancer

patients. A high dose of

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chemotherapy was given to knock out

her immune system. Then these

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healthy stem cells taken from

Louise's blood and bone marrow were

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infused. Not affected by MS, the

stem cells rebuild her immune

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system. Now more than two years on,

she is back at Sheffield 's Royal

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Hallamshire Hospital for a checkup.

Hi Louise, thank you for coming.

The

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M R I shows there is no active

disease in her brain.

I'm delighted

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that this has been so successful,

this is really good news.

It is, I'm

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delighted as well.

Results from a

trial of over 100 MS patients show

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that in the half given the stem cell

transplant there was only one

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relapse after one year, compared to

39 among those given standard drug

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treatment. Transplant patients were

ten times less likely to see their

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treatment fail after three years and

their level of disability reduced.

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The results of this trial are simply

stunning. It should mean that many

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more MS patients are offered a stem

cell transplant with the hope of

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stopping their disease in its

tracks. This is a game changer. It

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can fundamentally alter the course

of patients with MS who have got

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resistant disabling disease. The

stem cell transplant involves a

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one-off cost of £30,000. No more

expensive than the yearly fee for

0:12:010:12:05

some drugs. It is not suitable for

all MS patients but the life

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changing results with Louise and

others are plain to see.

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Ferguson is here, extraordinary

salt, has much people with MS

0:12:200:12:24

benefit from this?

It will take time

to scale as up and train the teams,

0:12:240:12:29

three trusts, Sheffield, kings and

Imperial offering this. 150 MS

0:12:290:12:36

patients in the UK have had it, more

than any other country in the above

0:12:360:12:41

except for Sweden and Italy but is

only scratching the surface. Many

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neurologists have been sceptical and

they've been waiting over a decade

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for the results of this trial we are

reporting tonight. The results are

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convincing but the beauty of the

treatment is, it is the patient

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healing themselves. Their stem

cells, no need for a donor. And

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those cells are resetting the

patient's immune system to the point

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before they had amassed. It is a

gruelling procedure involving

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chemotherapy and not suitable for

patients with advanced disease that

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it is delivering life changing

results.

Fergus Walsh, thank you.

0:13:130:13:19

Much of the UK has been in the midst

of a second significant

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snowfall of the winter.

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For many areas it's been combined

with bitterly cold winds,

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bringing misery to those who've been

travelling this weekend.

0:13:260:13:28

Sarah Ransome reports.

0:13:280:13:35

Snowstorms and snowdrifts, has seen

many people woke up to this morning.

0:13:350:13:40

Strong winds causing blizzard

conditions, making driving

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treacherous. In the north-west, snow

gates on the a 66 remained closed

0:13:420:13:49

between County Durham and Cumbria,

and just getting outside the front

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door in Newcastle was no mean feat.

I've been here for quarter of an

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hour, I've done a quarter of road so

I'm making headway.

Delays at

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Newbury as trains were stopped,

railway stations across the country

0:14:050:14:08

have also seen delays and

cancellations. In Gloucester

0:14:080:14:13

sporting fixtures like the Anglo

Welsh cup final were called off

0:14:130:14:16

because snow stopped play. And as

the heaviest snowfall hit the

0:14:160:14:23

south-west Bristol Airport stopped

flights of Exeter Airport cancelling

0:14:230:14:26

flights for most of the day. The

snow showed no sign of giving up in

0:14:260:14:30

Devon and know neither did those

keeping traffic moving. While

0:14:300:14:37

snowploughs and bridges cleared

major roads some drivers got stuck

0:14:370:14:40

and there were problems on the M5

and A roads, motorists seemingly

0:14:400:14:47

ignoring repeated appeals not to go

out to unless it is essential.

When

0:14:470:14:51

people ignore those warnings it does

get frustrating because the already

0:14:510:14:55

stretched resources we have become

even more stretched to rescue and

0:14:550:14:58

recover people who have no reason to

be out in this weather.

It was not

0:14:580:15:05

all doom and gloom as the so-called

mini beast from the East swept

0:15:050:15:10

through. Another snow day play date

beckoned. But there's an amber

0:15:100:15:15

warning in place across the

south-west until the early hours of

0:15:150:15:19

tomorrow morning with ice a major

risk.

0:15:190:15:26

The amber warning is still in place,

it is still snowing and the prospect

0:15:260:15:30

of more snow and ice overnight.

Emergency services say, please heed

0:15:300:15:35

advice, check your travel

arrangements to check where you need

0:15:350:15:38

to go safely if in fact you need to

get there at all and if you have

0:15:380:15:43

children of school age you might

want to check that their school is

0:15:430:15:47

open, hundreds of schools across

Devon and parts of Wales have

0:15:470:15:50

already said they are not opening

tomorrow so for some it is another

0:15:500:15:55

snow day. Sarah Ransom, thank you.

0:15:550:16:00

In Syria President Assad has visited

eastern Ghouta a former rebel held

0:16:000:16:07

area near Damascus, state TV showed

him surrounded by soldiers and

0:16:070:16:11

civilians after a month-long

government bombardment. Syrian

0:16:110:16:15

forces are thought to control some

80% of Eastern Ghouta with thousands

0:16:150:16:19

more civilians fleeing the area

today.

0:16:190:16:24

Facebook has announced an

investigation into whether the

0:16:240:16:27

personal details of 50 million of

its users have been compromised. It

0:16:270:16:32

has already suspended data from

Cambridge Ghouta known for its work

0:16:320:16:39

on the Trump election campaign after

reports it inappropriately obtained

0:16:390:16:43

user data. Both companies deny

wrongdoing. Let's join our media

0:16:430:16:48

editor in New York.

0:16:480:16:51

The revelation that tens of millions

of Facebook users have had their

0:16:520:16:55

personal data harvested like this

has caused dismay on both sides of

0:16:550:16:59

the Atlantic and may have profound

implications. But Facebook and

0:16:590:17:04

Cambridge Ghouta deny wrongdoing and

said they haven't broken the law. It

0:17:040:17:08

could be just that that causes alarm

because there are at least three

0:17:080:17:11

layers to the story. First fully

what and when, the Cambridge

0:17:110:17:16

Analytica whistle-blower Chris Wylie

has given an account that has

0:17:160:17:21

blatant inconsistencies with the

account given by Cambridge Ghouta

0:17:210:17:25

and Facebook. The second issue is

public safety, we live in a time

0:17:250:17:29

when a few firms have become wealthy

by amassing troops of personal data

0:17:290:17:34

and consumers need to realise that

every time they go online David and

0:17:340:17:38

digital footprint and individuals,

companies and governments can use

0:17:380:17:43

that data to do things they might

not like. The third layer is the

0:17:430:17:47

politics. We have to regulators in

Britain looking at whether Cambridge

0:17:470:17:53

Analytica was involved in the Brexit

referendum. In America the questions

0:17:530:17:57

about their role in the Trump

election. If it is proven as

0:17:570:18:05

Cambridge Analytica claim that they

use psychological profiling to

0:18:050:18:07

influence voters, if that is to

perhaps the fragility of Western

0:18:070:18:12

democracy owes as much to our online

habits as our offline once. Thank

0:18:120:18:16

you.

0:18:160:18:22

Now time for the sports news. The

semifinals of the FA Cup will see

0:18:220:18:27

Manchester United play Spurs and

Chelsea face Southampton, both games

0:18:270:18:31

at Wembley. The draw for the final

four was made after Chelsea beat

0:18:310:18:34

Leicester City 2-1 while Southampton

knocked League 1 side Wigan athletic

0:18:340:18:41

out of the competition. Holly

Hamilton reports. For Antonio Conte

0:18:410:18:45

the FA Cup hasn't always been a

priority but out of Europe and

0:18:450:18:49

outside the Premier League top four

silverware would be a silver lining.

0:18:490:18:52

Chelsea took the lead just before

half-time, Morata claiming his first

0:18:520:18:58

goal of 2018. After the break

Leicester searched for an equaliser,

0:18:580:19:03

four tries in three seconds, Jamie

Vardy eventually scoring. Into extra

0:19:030:19:08

time and as the mercury dropped,

temperatures rose. A questionable

0:19:080:19:13

decision by Kasper Schmeichel gifted

Pedro and empty net and Chelsea a

0:19:130:19:17

place in the semifinals. In Wigan

the first test for new Southampton

0:19:170:19:21

manager Mark Hughes. While the

League 1 side dominated the first

0:19:210:19:25

half the visitors capitalised on

their chances. With the clock

0:19:250:19:32

ticking and the Saints set to march

on to Wembley they made sure,

0:19:320:19:36

doubling their lead and ceiling

Southampton's first FA Cup semifinal

0:19:360:19:40

in 15 years. Great Britain has won

its first and only God medal of the

0:19:400:19:45

Winter Paralympics on the last day

of the games, Menna Fitzpatrick and

0:19:450:19:49

her guide Jen Kehoe got the visually

impaired slalom gold so the British

0:19:490:19:53

team has met its target. Kate Gray

reports from Pyeongchang. It was the

0:19:530:19:58

golden moment they had been waiting

for. Menna Fitzpatrick and her guide

0:19:580:20:03

Jen Kehoe saved their best for last

to take gold in the slalom on the

0:20:030:20:07

final day of the games. They were in

silver medal position going into

0:20:070:20:11

their second run and displayed a

perfect performance, the time it was

0:20:110:20:16

unbeatable. COMMENTATOR: She's in

front. Their fourth medal in

0:20:160:20:21

Pyeongchang to become Britain's most

successful Winter Paralympians.

It

0:20:210:20:26

has been absolutely astonishing, the

way this week has gone from quite

0:20:260:20:30

low to extremely high.

Further

success as merely knight and her

0:20:300:20:36

guide bred wild took the bronze in

the same race which meant

0:20:360:20:40

ParalympicsGB have reached their

target of seven medals. Or dependent

0:20:400:20:45

however on one sport, one

classification and a small number of

0:20:450:20:48

athletes. So the games due to a

fitting close with Britain's golden

0:20:480:20:52

girls carrying the flag. And the

International Paralympic Committee

0:20:520:20:56

could also celebrate with more

nations taking part than ever and a

0:20:560:21:00

record number of tickets sold. They

now call these games the greatest

0:21:000:21:05

Winter Paralympics to date. Kate

Gray BBC News Pyeongchang. In the

0:21:050:21:10

last few minutes Rory McIlroy has

won we Arnold Palmer Invitational.

0:21:100:21:14

His first title victory since 2016.

He won the tournament in Florida by

0:21:140:21:19

three strokes by the final round of

64, the Masters was the only major

0:21:190:21:26

he hasn't won will be less than two

weeks ago -- the Masters, the only

0:21:260:21:30

major tournament he hasn't one is in

less than three weeks. More

0:21:300:21:34

information on the BBC sport

website. Thank you. An art teacher

0:21:340:21:38

from London has won a million-dollar

prize recognising an outstanding

0:21:380:21:42

contribution to the teaching

profession. She works in a school

0:21:420:21:45

with a high proportion of individual

pupils. We watched the ceremony in

0:21:450:21:49

Dubai. The big secret, who is the

best teacher.

0:21:490:22:05

Ghouta! An art teacher from Brent in

London Ghouta was centre stage as

0:22:050:22:10

winner of the global teacher price.

Good morning girls.

Working in a

0:22:100:22:16

deprived inner-city community she

was praised the going the extra mile

0:22:160:22:20

to build links between school and

parents and structuring activities

0:22:200:22:24

around students's individual needs.

To all the students all over the

0:22:240:22:29

world I say whatever your

circumstances, whatever your

0:22:290:22:32

troubles, please know that you have

the potential to succeed in whatever

0:22:320:22:37

your dreams maybe. And that is a

right that nobody should take from

0:22:370:22:40

you.

Ghouta ending that report in

Dubai. That's it from

0:22:400:22:49