04/03/2018 BBC Weekend News


04/03/2018

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Good afternoon.

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Sir Roger Bannister,

the first man to run a mile in under

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four minutes, has died

at the age of 88.

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He set the record on a track

in Oxford, in 1954, later winning

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gold at that year's Commonwealth

Games.

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After retiring from athletics,

Sir Roger became a distinguished

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doctor and neurologist.

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His family said Sir Roger died

peacefully in his sleep.

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Joe Wilson looks back at his life.

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25-year-old Roger Bannister,

third from the left...

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There are some moments of sporting

history which become part

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of the world's history.

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He's decided that this

is the right moment...

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What Roger Bannister achieved

in 1954 was like a lunar landing

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for 20th-century sport.

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Bannister's old friend and rival

Chris Chataway is in third place,

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waiting his time to take

over as pacer.

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To run a mile and stop the clock

before it reached four minutes.

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In 1954, this was a magical number,

a barrier of human achievement,

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a feat that would redefine

what was humanly possible and it

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would fall to a young medical

student to achieve it.

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Brasher gives way to Chataway.

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Bannister, a superb tactician,

has suffered some criticism

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in the past for adopting his own

rather unorthodox training methods,

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but they are paying dividends now.

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At this point, it

becomes quite painful.

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I overtake Chris Chataway

and begin the finish.

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And here he comes, Bannister

goes streaking forward

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with about 250 yards to the tapes.

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Every stride counted -

the tape broke at three

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minutes 59.4 seconds.

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And Bannister has done it,

though he is out on his feet.

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His coach and team manager tell him

he has achieved his ambition.

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There was certainly a feeling of it

being a national event,

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something of a landmark

for the country.

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It might have felt like the world

stopped when that clock stopped.

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The four-minute mile was a sporting

catchphrase everyone recognised.

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All I can say is that I'm absolutely

overwhelmed and delighted.

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It was a great surprise to me

to be able to do it today

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and I think I was very lucky.

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Sir Roger Bannister

was knighted in 1975.

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Athletics was only

a small part of his life.

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He regarded his work as

a neurologist as more significant.

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When he was diagnosed

with Parkinson's disease,

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he described the gentle irony that

a neurologist should find himself

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with a neurological condition.

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Training for Roger Bannister

in athletics had been half an hour

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a day on a cinder track.

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The world's first four-minute

miler was also perhaps

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sport's last great amateur.

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Sir Roger Bannister who has

died at the age of 88.

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Let us talk more about his life.

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And we're hearing moving

tributes to Roger Bannister.

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Andy Moore is here.

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An extraordinary achievement, but

also an extraordinary life.

That is

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right. The tributes to Sir Roger

have been led by the Prime Minister

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who said he was a great British

sporting icon whose achievements for

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an inspiration to us all, he will be

greatly missed. Sebastian Coe said,

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this is a day of intense sadness for

our nation and all of us in

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athletics. There is not a single

athlete of my generation who was not

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inspired by Sir Roger. From Roger

black, he said, wonderful, always

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around athletics, always this iconic

figure. Lots of touching tributes

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from members of the public, some

words keep cropping up, legend,

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gentlemen, a source of inspiration.

From his family, he died surrounded

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by his family, loved by them, they

went on to say, he banked his

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treasure in the hearts of his

friends.

Thank you very much indeed.

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Ireland's Foreign Minister has

suggested that the EU is likely

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to reject Theresa May's plan to keep

a soft border between

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Northern Ireland and

the Republic after Brexit.

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Mrs May says the UK will leave

the single market and customs union

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but insists there will be no return

to barriers and checks

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on the border.

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Here's our political

correspondent, Suzana Mendonca.

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It's 310 miles long,

30,000 people cross it every day,

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and more than £1 billion a week

is done in trade across

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the border between the UK

and the Republic of Ireland.

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When Britain leaves

the European Union, this

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currently invisible border

will become its frontier

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with the EU and all sides

want to keep it invisible.

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The question is how,

considering Britain doesn't

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want to stay in the single market

or customs union.

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We are committed, the Irish

government, all the parties

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in Northern Ireland,

to making sure there

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is no hard border.

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The Prime Minister says a soft

border could be kept intact

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through the use of technology and no

new trade restrictions

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on smaller businesses,

but in its first in-depth response

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to her plan, the Republic

of Ireland has cast doubt

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on whether the EU would go for it.

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I'm not sure that the European Union

will be able to support

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a situation whereby 80% of companies

that trade North-South

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and South-North would actually

protect the integrity

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of the EU single market.

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That Irish leader met the Prime

Minister last year to discuss

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solutions to the Irish border

question which has been a sticking

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point in the Brexit negotiations.

The EU wants Northern Ireland in a

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customs union while the DUP and the

UK Government do not. Mrs May says

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her speech moves the issue forward.

It sets out some ways particularly

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on the issue of customs across the

border in which we can resolve that

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and I am pleased to say that

Taoiseach has agreed the UK and

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Irish governments and the commission

can look down in more detail at the

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proposals we have put forward.

The

future of financial services is

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another crucial area for the UK

economy and the Prime Minister has

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made clear the City could lose some

access to European markets. She

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knows the deal Britain is after in

this and other sectors is a vast

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departure from the kinds of trade

deals that EU has done before.

It is

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very broad, so it is covering issues

like industrial goods, cars, but

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also financial services, energy,

transport, science, agriculture,

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fisheries.

Tomorrow we will get a

clearer idea of what the EU thinks

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when it responds to Mrs May's plans.

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Large number of people are reported

to be fleeing the Syrian region

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of Eastern Ghouta as government

forces continue a ground

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assault against the last

remaining rebels there.

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There are suggestions rebels

in some areas may be

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negotiating a surrender.

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The UN has cancelled

plans to deliver aid

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to civilians in the area today.

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Around 40 trucks had

been due to go in.

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Voting is under way

in Italy's general election,

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following a divisive

campaign dominated by immigration.

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The centre-left government is facing

a stiff challenge from both

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a right-wing coalition

and the populist Five Star Movement,

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which could emerge

as the largest party.

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An independent report

given to the board of

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the construction giant,

Carillion, four months before it

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collapsed has now been published.

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It said the firm had been

aggressively managed

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to make its balance sheet look

better than it was.

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The document has been published

by two Commons committees

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which are examining why Carillion

went out of business in January

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with debts of almost £1 billion.

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Work is continuing to clear snow

from roads and railway lines

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after days of disruption.

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15 flood warnings are still

in place in the south west

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and north east of England.

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Andy Gill is at Scotch Corner

on the A1 in North Yorkshire.

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Andy.

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What is the latest?

The snow is

still continuing to fall, as you can

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see. This is the main A66 linking

Scotch Corner to Cumbria. It had

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been closed for five days because of

the snow but in the last couple of

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hours, it has reopened. The Highways

Agency has said crews worked hard to

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clear the snow. Driving conditions

still very poor, not just because of

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the snow, but because of fog. The

weather affecting trans-Pennine

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railway routes too. No trains

between Newcastle and Carlisle, the

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Leeds to Carlisle rail route also

affected. So far as the Maine coast

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links between England and Scotland

go, the East Coast Main Line did get

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trains running again yesterday, but

no trains on the west Coast line

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today. There is a replacement bus

service. Rail companies across the

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UK so the weather has been so bad

they are making cancellations and

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delays throughout the country and

that will continue to be the case

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tomorrow. You should check before

you try to make any rail journeys. A

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number of minor roads in rural and

hilly areas in England, Wales and

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Scotland still completely blocked by

snow drifts as well. There is a thaw

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on the way but tomorrow's rush-hour,

because of power cuts as well, it is

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unlikely to be anything like normal.

Many thanks.

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You can see more on all of today's

stories on the BBC News Channel.

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The next news on BBC

One is at 6.05pm.

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Bye for now.

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