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Russia expels 23 British diplomats,
in the stand off with the UK over
the poisoning of a former
After Britain's ambassador
in Moscow is told the news,
he defends No 10's decision
to earlier expel Russian
diplomats from London.
We will always do what is necessary
to defend ourselves, our allies and
our values against an attack of this
Police have issued this picture
of Sergei Skripal's car,
and renewed an appeal for witnesses
who may have seen it,
on the day he was attacked.
Following today's Russian
expulsions, Theresa May says Britain
will announce its next move,
after consulting with allies.
Also on the programme.
US officials investigate claims that
a political consultancy mishandled
the data of millions of Facebook
users, to support President Trump's
2016 election campaign.
And it's a perfect St
Patrick's Day for Ireland -
as they beat England
in the Six Nations to
as they beat England in the Six
Nations to win the Grand Slam.
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
reports from Moscow.
He'd 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 for 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
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.
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 doesn't 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.
Our diplomatic correspondent
James Robbins is at the Foreign
Office for us tonight.
James, what do you believe Britain's
options are, in response to the
expulsions announced today by the
While it is clear that
Theresa May and her ministers face a
dilemma. She has made clear they
will consider the issue of possible
further sanctions. Probably next
Tuesday when the National Security
Council has its regular weekly
meeting. The dilemma is, do they
interpret the expulsion of 23
Britons from Russia as a simple
tit-for-tat parody or do they think
the Russians have gone too far by
adding the closure
of the consulate of Saint Petersburg
and perhaps more significantly the
complete closure of British Council
operations in Russia. That is
significant because it is the way
Britain exports its rallies as well
as the English language into Russia.
It has a huge reach, lot of young
Russian teenagers and young adults.
It is seen ever way of appealing to
the post-beating generation, -- seen
as a way of appealing to them,
trying to export values they may
miss it on. So losing the Council is
a major blow, how will Britain
Indeed. Thank you James at
the Foreign Office.
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 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
the Zizzi restaurant.
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 are 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 a team will come
over to Porton Down.
Theoretically they could do the
analysis at the Porton laboratories.
I suspect what is more
likely is they will take
samples away back to The Hague.
Health officials said today
they welcome 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
claims that 50 million
profiles were accessed.
The two companies
deny any wrongdoing.
With me is our Business
Correspondent, Joe Lynam.
Joe what is the background to this?
This is fiendishly complicated, bear
with me. It started with the
creation of an app by the University
of Cambridge which harvested
Facebook profiles and friends of
people. Potentially millions of
people's data was passed to this
company called Cambridge Analytica.
Facebook ordered Cambridge Analytica
to delete all this personal
information but in the last 24 hours
they have said that not all that
information was deleted. This is why
they have suspended this company. A
whistle-blower has alleged that 50
million Facebook profiles were
harvested from this specific app,
used to target very specific
messages during the 2016
presidential election in a river of
Trump and against Hillary Clinton.
-- in favour of Trump. So the
Attorney General for Massachusetts
is investigating. She says the
residents of the state deserve and
is immediately. On this side of the
Atlantic the information
Commissioner's office has said it is
also investigating the circumstances
in which the Facebook data may have
been illegally acquired and used for
political purposes. Facebook has
flatly denied that there has been a
data breach. It says its new users
have knowingly provided all the
information, its systems had not
been traded. And Cambridge Analytica
says any information acquired by the
app is not used in the 2016 election
and that it only receives and uses
data obtained legally and fairly.
Thank you Joe.
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 one hundred flights
have been cancelled
today at Heathrow.
The so called "mini
beast from the east,"
swept in overnight.
This is the scene in Dartford this
evening where snow and ice alerts
are still in place.
The Met Office says snow showers
will become more frequent later,
and weather warnings will remain
in place until tomorrow afternoon.
The former FBI deputy director,
Andrew McCabe, has accused the Trump
administration of acting
with political malice
after he was fired just days before
he was due to retire.
An internal review said that
Mr McCabe leaked information
and misled investigators,
claims he has denied.
President Trump called his sacking
a great day for democracy.
Let's go live now to our Washington
correspondent, Chris Buckler.
Chris, clearly Mr McCabe has decided
he will not go quietly?
McCabe was fired by the Attorney
General, not President Trump
directly. But he says it was a
direct result of presidential
pressure and intended not just to
take him but to discredit the FBI
law enforcement agencies and the
investigation of the special console
into allegations of Russian
interference in the presidential
election M26 Dean. Certainly
President Trump has been celebrating
his dismissal on Twitter. -- 2016.
His personal attorney has given a
statement saying that he feels,
after this firing that the special
counsel investigation should be
brought to an end. Although he did
make it clear that that was his view
and not part of his client.
Nevertheless the inquiry will
continue and we understand it now
has memos capped by Andrew McCabe of
conversations he had with President
Trump and indeed about events
surrounding the firing of his boss,
FBI director James Comey. This has
the potential to get nasty, with
that in mind I'll give you a quote
from the former director Joe
Brennan. He says, you may scapegoat
Andy McCabe but you will take your
place as a disgraced demagogue in
the dustbin of history. Fighting
Thank you, Chris.
With all the sport, here's Karthi
at the BBC Sport Centre.
Good evening, Clive.
Ireland's head coach, Joe Schmidt,
praised his side for their class
and courage after beating England
in rugby union's Six Nations to win
the Grand Slam for only the third
time in their history.
Already Six Nations champions,
a clinical performance saw Ireland
win by 24 points to 15 at Twickenham
as Joe Wilson reports.
If you missed Ireland's
progress, here is a recap.
First there was France
and a last-minute drop goal.
Then we thrashed Italy.
Come on, the boys!
And then Ireland beat
Wales in Dublin.
We scored four tries
to beat Scotland.
And I've just left Twickenham.
And here we were aiming
for the grand slam,
Ireland hoofed the ball
towards the London snowflakes.
England's Anthony Watson
was under it, or was he?
Whose hands put pressure
on the ball to the turf?
Ringrose's for Ireland.
Try for Ireland
and another followed.
England had to respond.
And here it came.
Farrell's kick, Daley's finish.
The home side had something.
But watch Jacob Stockdale.
Ireland's super kid.
Kick and dash.
He had to reach the ball before
the blue line, coloured in
case of snow.
England had extended
the pitch, perfect for this.
Stockdale's seventh try
of this Six Nations,
and that is a record.
Eddie Jones could see his
first Twickenham defeat
with England coming.
England added tries in the second
half but never got close to winning.
Ireland's Grand Slam,
a perfect Six Nations
completed here, never better.
It is a special day for everyone
involved with Irish rugby
and to be here and celebrate it
and to top it off with winning
somewhere like this.
This is a fortress, a really tough
place to go and it is a
sign of a champion team
to come here and do that.
Right now Irish Rugby Union
is the envy of Europe and not
just because of these scenes
of celebration at Twickenham.
The challenge for these
players is to be
world champions next autumn.
Standing here right now,
that seems very possible.
Joe Wilson, BBC News, at Twickenham.
Wales finish the Six Nations
in second place behind champions
Ireland, after just beating France
by one point.
Liam Williams scored the only
Wales try of the game
but their third home win earned
Wales a hard fought 14-13 victory.
Scotland won their final game
of this campaign but it took a 79th
minute Greg Laidlaw penalty to give
them a 29-27 victory over Italy.
It was Scotland's first away win
in the championship for two years.
This is the final Six Nations
table with Ireland as
champions at the top.
Wales and Scotland in
second and third place.
Eddie Jones' England in fifth place,
their lowest finish since
the Six Nations began.
Now, Match of the Day and FA Cup
highlights follow soon on BBC One
so it is time to pop out of the room
if you don't want to
know today's results.
Mohamed Salah scored
four goals this evening
as Liverpool beat Watford 5-0.
Salah is the Premier League's top
scorer with 28 goals so far.
Jurgen Klopp's side is now
in third place in the table.
At the other end of the table,
West Brom are edging closer
to relegation after a 2-1
defeat to Bournemouth.
are just above West Brom in 19th
place but they also lost today,
beaten 2-1 by Everton.
While Crystal Palace moved out
of the relegation zone with a 2-0
win over Huddersfield.
Tottenham have booked their place
in the semi finals of the FA Cup
after a 3-0 win over Swansea City.
Mauricio Pochettino's side
are targeting a first
trophy in ten years.
Kristin Eriksson scored twice and
Manchester United are also through
after a 2-0 win over Brighton.
In the Scottish Premiership,
second placed Rangers were beaten
1-0 by Kilmarnock.
Graeme Murty's side are nine points
behind leaders, Celtic.
Hearts were 3-0 winners over
struggling Partick Thistle.
All three of the Hearts
goals were scored in
the first half of the game.
Elsewhere Aberdeen beat
Dundee, while Ross County
and Hamilton drew 2-2.
The rest of the day's sports news
is on the BBC website
including the latest
from the Winter Paralympics,
with the British team one short
of their medal target and just one
day of the Games left.
Karthi thank you.
You can see more on all of today's
stories on the BBC News Channel.
That's all from me.