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Russia says it will expel
23 British diplomats
in response to Britain's decision
to throw out the same number
of Russian officials,
following the nerve agent
attack in Salisbury.
Theresa May says the government had
anticipated the Kremlin's move,
and is considering its next steps.
Our correspondent, Steve Rosenberg,
is live in Moscow now.
It is three days since Theresa May
stood in the House of Commons and
concluded that the Russian state was
culpable for the attempted murder of
Sergei and Yulia Skripal. Three days
since the UK announced sanctions
against Russia. And today Moscow
He had been expecting the telephone
call and today it came.
Britain's ambassador was summoned
to the Russian Foreign Ministry.
And in the skyscraper
that Josef Stalin built
as a symbol of a superpower,
the ambassador was told how Moscow
would retaliate to UK sanctions.
A note of defiance when he left.
We will always do what is necessary
to defend ourselves,
our allies and our values
against an attack of this sort.
Which is an attack not only
on the United Kingdom
but upon the international
on which all countries,
all countries including Russia,
depend for their
safety and security.
The ambassador headed into work,
to tell embassy staff
about the Russian sanctions.
Moscow says they are a response
to British provocation,
Russia has expelled 23
The UK had expelled 23 Russians over
the nerve agent attack in Salisbury.
The authorities here
are shutting down the British
Consulate in St
Petersburg and the British Council
which promotes UK culture abroad
will now be forced to end
all activity in Russia.
Moscow says the language coming out
of London was a factor in deciding
what sanctions to announce.
TRANSLATION: The British
Prime Minister insults
us and threatens us.
Her foreign and defence
secretaries insult us.
They talk to Russia
as if they are drunk in a pub.
So what the UK got from us today
is the result of this loutishness
and their groundless accusations.
Not so, said Theresa May.
Russia's response does not change
the facts of the matter.
The attempted assassination of two
people on British soil.
For which there was no
alternative conclusion other
than that the Russian
state was culpable.
Relations between Moscow
and London have not been this
fractured since the Cold War.
The expulsion of 23 British
diplomats, that was expected.
That is traditional tit-for-tat.
But the shutting down
of the consulate and the activities
of the British Council,
that feels like a challenge
to the British Government.
And the Russians have said that
if Britain responds with more
measures against Moscow,
then Russia will respond with more
sanctions against the UK.
The danger now is a spiral
Steve Rosenberg, BBC News, Moscow.
And police in Salisbury have
renewed their appeal for witnesses,
following the poisoning
of Sergei Skripal
and his daughter Yulia.
Around 400 people have
been interviewed so far,
and investigators are trawling
through 4000 hours of CCTV footage.
Health officials say
Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey,
who was exposed to the nerve agent,
is making progress in
Duncan Kennedy has
the latest from Salisbury.
The tempo and scope of the police
operation across Salisbury remains
intense and widespread.
Today police issued their first
official photo of Sergei Skripal's
BMW whose movements
they want to trace.
In their most comprehensive timeline
to date, the police now say the car
was first seen at 9:15am on Sunday,
March the 4th, in the London
Road area of the city.
At 1:30pm it is spotted
on Devizes Road.
Ten minutes later the car arrives
at Sainsbury's and Sergei
and Yulia go to the Mill pub.
At 2:20pm they visited
And then nearly two hours later
they're found violently
ill on a nearby bench.
It's nearly two weeks
since the Skripals left their home
here and today the police revealed
the full extent of
They've interviewed around 400
witnesses, gathered nearly
800 pieces of evidence,
and trawling through 4000
hours of CCTV footage.
Today the Labour leader
Jeremy Corbyn was in Newcastle
and repeated his call for more
information on the nerve agent.
The origins of the nerve gas
appear to be Russian, yes.
That is why I have said
the issue should be referred
to the Chemical Weapons Convention
and we should challenge
the Russian government on it.
The nerve agent was identified
at Porton Down near Salisbury.
The Russians have
But Downing Street has now invited
chemical weapons experts to carry
out independent tests.
It is likely that the team will come
over to Porton Down.
Theoretically they could do
the analysis at Porton laboratories.
I suspect what is more
likely is they will take
samples back to The Hague.
Health officials said today
they welcomed the progress
being made by Sergeant Nick Bailey
who was affected by the nerve agent.
Sergei and Yulia Skripal remain
in a critical but stable condition.
Duncan Kennedy, BBC
News, in Salisbury.
The Attorney General in the US
state of Massachusetts
is to begin an investigation
into claims that information
from millions of Facebook users may
have been used by a data company,
during the 2016 US
A former employee of the firm,
claims that 50 million
profiles were accessed.
The two companies
deny any wrongdoing.
With me is our Business
Correspondent, Joe Lynam.
What is the background to this. All
a bit confusing, there with me. It
started with an app developed at
Cambridge University which harvested
Facebook profiles and that of all
Facebook friends and then at that
information to Cambridge Analytica
and Facebook over the company to
delete personal information a few
years ago. Facebook is that in the
past 24 hours that all that
information was not deleted. Now a
whistle-blower has come forward
saying that 50 million Facebook
profiles were used in the US
presidential election to target very
specific messages to specific people
in favour of Donald Trump and
against Hillary Clinton. So now we
have the Attorney General of
Massachusetts saying their residence
deserved answers immediately. In
parallel the Information
Commissioner office here has
launched an investigation and says
they may be circumstances in which
Facebook data may have illegally
been acquired and used for political
purposes. Facebook denies any breach
and say that its users knowingly
provided all that information.
Cambridge analytical also denied
wrongdoing saying it only receives
and uses data that has been obtained
legally unfairly put up - legally
Forecasters say snow could cause
further problems, across large parts
of the UK this weekend.
Amber weather warnings have been
issued in England and Wales,
and more than 70 flights have been
cancelled today at Heathrow.
The so called "mini beast
from the east," swept in overnight.
This was the scene in Yorkshire
today, and the Met Office says snow
showers will become more frequent
later, and weather warnings
will remain in place
until tomorrow afternoon.
Ireland beat England 24 points
to 15, to win rugby's
Grand Slam at Twickenham.
And in the other final Six Nations
games, there were wins
for Scotland and Wales.
Joe Wilson now reports
on a very happy St Patrick's
Day, for Irish rugby.
If you missed Ireland's progress
here is a recap.
A last-minute drop
goal and then we thrashed Italy.
Ireland and Wales in Dublin.
scored four tries to beat Scotland.
That just left Twickenham. And here
we where aiming for the grandson,
Arnott left the ball towards the
London snowflakes. Anthony Watson
was under the, or was he. Try for
Ireland and followed. England had to
respond. And here it came. The home
side had something. Something. But
watch Jacob Stockdale. The island
super-clean. He had to reach the
ball for the blue line, coloured in
case of snow. England had extended
the pitch, perfect for this.
Stockdale, his seventh try of the
Six Nations, and that is a record.
England added tries in the second
half and never got close to winning.
Ireland, their Grand Slam, a perfect
Six Nations completed here, never
It is a special day for
everyone involved with Irish rock
and to be here and celebrate that
and to top it off with winning
somewhere like this. This is a
really tough place to go and it is a
sign of a champion team to coming
here and do this.
Irish Rugby union
is now the envy of Europe and not
just because of these scenes of
celebration at Twickenham. A
challenge for these players is to be
world champions next autumn.
Standing here right now, that seems
very possible. Joe Wilson, BBC News,