17/03/2018 BBC Weekend News


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17/03/2018

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Russia expels 23 British diplomats,

in the stand off with the UK over

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the poisoning of a former

Russian spy.

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After Britain's ambassador

in Moscow is told the news,

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he defends No 10's decision

to earlier expel Russian

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diplomats from London.

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We will always do what is necessary

to defend ourselves, our allies and

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our values against an attack of this

sort.

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Police have issued this picture

of Sergei Skripal's car,

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and renewed an appeal for witnesses

who may have seen it,

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on the day he was attacked.

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Following today's Russian

expulsions, Theresa May says Britain

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will announce its next move,

after consulting with allies.

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Also on the programme.

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US officials investigate claims that

a political consultancy mishandled

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the data of millions of Facebook

users, to support President Trump's

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2016 election campaign.

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And it's a perfect St

Patrick's Day for Ireland -

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as they beat England

in the Six Nations to

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as they beat England in the Six

Nations to win the Grand Slam.

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Good evening.

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Russia says it will expel

23 British diplomats,

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in response to Britain's decision

to throw out the same number

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of Russian officials,

following the nerve agent

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attack in Salisbury.

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Theresa May says the government had

anticipated the Kremlin's move,

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and is considering its next steps.

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Our correspondent Steve Rosenberg

reports from Moscow.

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He'd been expecting the telephone

call, and today it came.

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Britain's ambassador was summoned

to the Russian Foreign Ministry.

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And in the skyscraper

that Josef Stalin built

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as a symbol of a superpower,

the ambassador was told how Moscow

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would retaliate for UK sanctions.

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A note of defiance when he left.

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We will always do what is necessary

to defend ourselves,

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our allies and our values

against an attack of this sort.

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Which is an attack not only

on the United Kingdom

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but upon the international

rules-based system

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on which all countries,

all countries, including Russia,

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depend, for their

safety and security.

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Thank you.

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The ambassador headed into work,

to tell embassy staff

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about the Russian sanctions.

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Moscow says they are a response

to British provocation.

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Russia has expelled 23

British diplomats.

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The UK had expelled 23 Russians over

the nerve agent attack in Salisbury.

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The authorities here are shutting

down the British Consulate in St

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Consulate in St Petersburg,

and the British Council,

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which promotes UK culture abroad,

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will now be forced to end

all activity in Russia.

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Moscow says the language coming out

of London was a factor in deciding

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what sanctions to announce.

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TRANSLATION:

The British

Prime Minister insults

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us and threatens us.

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Her foreign and defence

secretaries insult us.

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They talk to Russia

as if they are drunk in a pub.

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So what the UK got from us today

is the result of this loutishness

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and their groundless accusations.

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Not so, said Theresa May.

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Russia's response doesn't change

the facts of the matter.

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The attempted assassination of two

people on British soil,

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for which there was no

alternative conclusion other

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than that the Russian

state was culpable.

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Relations between Moscow

and London have not been this

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fractured since the Cold War.

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The expulsion of 23 British

diplomats, that was expected.

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That is traditional tit-for-tat.

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But the shutting down

of the consulate and the activities

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of the British Council,

that feels like a challenge

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to the British Government.

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And the Russians have said that

if Britain responds with more

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measures against Moscow,

then Russia will respond with more

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sanctions against the UK.

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The danger now is a spiral

of confrontation.

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Steve Rosenberg, BBC News, Moscow.

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Our diplomatic correspondent

James Robbins is at the Foreign

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Office for us tonight.

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James, what do you believe Britain's

options are, in response to the

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expulsions announced today by the

Kremlin?

While it is clear that

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Theresa May and her ministers face a

dilemma. She has made clear they

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will consider the issue of possible

further sanctions. Probably next

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Tuesday when the National Security

Council has its regular weekly

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meeting. The dilemma is, do they

interpret the expulsion of 23

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Britons from Russia as a simple

tit-for-tat parody or do they think

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the Russians have gone too far by

adding the closure

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of the consulate of Saint Petersburg

and perhaps more significantly the

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complete closure of British Council

operations in Russia. That is

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significant because it is the way

Britain exports its rallies as well

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as the English language into Russia.

It has a huge reach, lot of young

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Russian teenagers and young adults.

It is seen ever way of appealing to

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the post-beating generation, -- seen

as a way of appealing to them,

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trying to export values they may

miss it on. So losing the Council is

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a major blow, how will Britain

respond?

Indeed. Thank you James at

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the Foreign Office.

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And police in Salisbury have

renewed their appeal for witnesses,

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following the poisoning

of Sergei Skripal

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and his daughter Yulia.

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Around 400 people have

been interviewed so far,

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and investigators are trawling

through 4000 hours of CCTV footage.

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Health officials say

Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey,

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who was exposed to the nerve agent,

is making progress in

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hospital.

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Duncan Kennedy has

the latest from Salisbury.

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The tempo and scope of the police

operation across Salisbury remains

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intense and widespread.

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Today police issued their first

official photo of Sergei Skripal's

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BMW, whose movements

they want to trace.

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In their most comprehensive timeline

to date, the police now say the car

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was first seen at 9:15am on Sunday,

March 4th, in the London

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Road area of the city.

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At 1:30pm it is spotted

on Devizes Road.

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Ten minutes later the car arrives

at Sainsbury's and Sergei

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and Yulia go to the Mill pub.

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At 2:20pm they visited

the Zizzi restaurant.

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And then nearly two hours later

they're found violently

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ill on a nearby bench.

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It's nearly two weeks

since the Skripals left their home

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here, and today the police

revealed the full extent of

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their investigation.

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They've interviewed around 400

witnesses, gathered nearly

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800 pieces of evidence,

and are trawling through 4000

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hours of CCTV footage.

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Today the Labour leader

Jeremy Corbyn was in Newcastle

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and repeated his call for more

information on the nerve agent.

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The origins of the nerve gas

appear to be Russian, yes.

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That is why I have said

the issue should be referred

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to the Chemical Weapons Convention

and we should challenge

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the Russian government on it.

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The nerve agent was identified

at Porton Down near Salisbury.

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The Russians have

denied involvement.

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But Downing Street has now invited

chemical weapons experts to carry

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out independent tests.

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It is likely that a team will come

over to Porton Down.

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Theoretically they could do the

analysis at the Porton laboratories.

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I suspect what is more

likely is they will take

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samples away back to The Hague.

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Health officials said today

they welcome the progress

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being made by Sergeant Nick Bailey,

who was affected by the nerve agent.

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Sergei and Yulia Skripal remain

in a critical but stable condition.

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Duncan Kennedy, BBC

News, in Salisbury.

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The Attorney General in the US

state of Massachusetts

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is to begin an investigation

into claims that information

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from millions of Facebook users may

have been used by a data

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company during the 2016 US

presidential election.

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A former employee of

Cambridge Analytica

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claims that 50 million

profiles were accessed.

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The two companies

deny any wrongdoing.

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With me is our Business

Correspondent, Joe Lynam.

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Joe what is the background to this?

This is fiendishly complicated, bear

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with me. It started with the

creation of an app by the University

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of Cambridge which harvested

Facebook profiles and friends of

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people. Potentially millions of

people's data was passed to this

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company called Cambridge Analytica.

Facebook ordered Cambridge Analytica

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to delete all this personal

information but in the last 24 hours

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they have said that not all that

information was deleted. This is why

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they have suspended this company. A

whistle-blower has alleged that 50

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million Facebook profiles were

harvested from this specific app,

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used to target very specific

messages during the 2016

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presidential election in a river of

Trump and against Hillary Clinton.

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-- in favour of Trump. So the

Attorney General for Massachusetts

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is investigating. She says the

residents of the state deserve and

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is immediately. On this side of the

Atlantic the information

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Commissioner's office has said it is

also investigating the circumstances

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in which the Facebook data may have

been illegally acquired and used for

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political purposes. Facebook has

flatly denied that there has been a

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data breach. It says its new users

have knowingly provided all the

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information, its systems had not

been traded. And Cambridge Analytica

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says any information acquired by the

app is not used in the 2016 election

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and that it only receives and uses

data obtained legally and fairly.

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Thank you Joe.

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Forecasters say snow could cause

further problems, across large parts

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of the UK this weekend.

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Amber weather warnings have been

issued in England and Wales,

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and more than one hundred flights

have been cancelled

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today at Heathrow.

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The so called "mini

beast from the east,"

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swept in overnight.

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This is the scene in Dartford this

evening where snow and ice alerts

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are still in place.

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The Met Office says snow showers

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will become more frequent later,

and weather warnings will remain

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in place until tomorrow afternoon.

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The former FBI deputy director,

Andrew McCabe, has accused the Trump

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administration of acting

with political malice

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after he was fired just days before

he was due to retire.

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An internal review said that

Mr McCabe leaked information

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and misled investigators,

claims he has denied.

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President Trump called his sacking

a great day for democracy.

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Let's go live now to our Washington

correspondent, Chris Buckler.

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Chris, clearly Mr McCabe has decided

he will not go quietly?

Yes, Andrew

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McCabe was fired by the Attorney

General, not President Trump

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directly. But he says it was a

direct result of presidential

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pressure and intended not just to

take him but to discredit the FBI

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law enforcement agencies and the

investigation of the special console

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into allegations of Russian

interference in the presidential

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election M26 Dean. Certainly

President Trump has been celebrating

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his dismissal on Twitter. -- 2016.

His personal attorney has given a

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statement saying that he feels,

after this firing that the special

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counsel investigation should be

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brought to an end. Although he did

make it clear that that was his view

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and not part of his client.

Nevertheless the inquiry will

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continue and we understand it now

has memos capped by Andrew McCabe of

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conversations he had with President

Trump and indeed about events

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surrounding the firing of his boss,

FBI director James Comey. This has

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the potential to get nasty, with

that in mind I'll give you a quote

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from the former director Joe

Brennan. He says, you may scapegoat

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Andy McCabe but you will take your

place as a disgraced demagogue in

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the dustbin of history. Fighting

words.

Thank you, Chris.

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With all the sport, here's Karthi

at the BBC Sport Centre.

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Good evening, Clive.

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Ireland's head coach, Joe Schmidt,

praised his side for their class

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and courage after beating England

in rugby union's Six Nations to win

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the Grand Slam for only the third

time in their history.

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Already Six Nations champions,

a clinical performance saw Ireland

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win by 24 points to 15 at Twickenham

as Joe Wilson reports.

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If you missed Ireland's

progress, here is a recap.

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First there was France

and a last-minute drop goal.

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Then we thrashed Italy.

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Come on, the boys!

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And then Ireland beat

Wales in Dublin.

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Yay!

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We scored four tries

to beat Scotland.

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Four tries!

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And I've just left Twickenham.

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And here we were aiming

for the grand slam,

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Ireland hoofed the ball

towards the London snowflakes.

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England's Anthony Watson

was under it, or was he?

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Whose hands put pressure

on the ball to the turf?

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Ringrose's for Ireland.

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Try for Ireland

and another followed.

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14-0 down,

England had to respond.

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And here it came.

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Farrell's kick, Daley's finish.

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The home side had something.

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Something.

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But watch Jacob Stockdale.

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Ireland's super kid.

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Kick and dash.

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He had to reach the ball before

the blue line, coloured in

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case of snow.

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England had extended

the pitch, perfect for this.

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Stockdale's seventh try

of this Six Nations,

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and that is a record.

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Eddie Jones could see his

first Twickenham defeat

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with England coming.

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England added tries in the second

half but never got close to winning.

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Ireland's Grand Slam,

a perfect Six Nations

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completed here, never better.

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It is a special day for everyone

involved with Irish rugby

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and to be here and celebrate it

and to top it off with winning

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somewhere like this.

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This is a fortress, a really tough

place to go and it is a

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sign of a champion team

to come here and do that.

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Right now Irish Rugby Union

is the envy of Europe and not

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just because of these scenes

of celebration at Twickenham.

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The challenge for these

players is to be

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world champions next autumn.

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Standing here right now,

that seems very possible.

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Joe Wilson, BBC News, at Twickenham.

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Wales finish the Six Nations

in second place behind champions

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Ireland, after just beating France

by one point.

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Liam Williams scored the only

Wales try of the game

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but their third home win earned

Wales a hard fought 14-13 victory.

0:14:500:14:55

Scotland won their final game

of this campaign but it took a 79th

0:14:550:15:00

minute Greg Laidlaw penalty to give

them a 29-27 victory over Italy.

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It was Scotland's first away win

in the championship for two years.

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This is the final Six Nations

table with Ireland as

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champions at the top.

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Wales and Scotland in

second and third place.

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Eddie Jones' England in fifth place,

their lowest finish since

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the Six Nations began.

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Now, Match of the Day and FA Cup

highlights follow soon on BBC One

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so it is time to pop out of the room

if you don't want to

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know today's results.

0:15:280:15:29

Mohamed Salah scored

four goals this evening

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as Liverpool beat Watford 5-0.

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Salah is the Premier League's top

scorer with 28 goals so far.

0:15:340:15:37

Jurgen Klopp's side is now

in third place in the table.

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At the other end of the table,

West Brom are edging closer

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to relegation after a 2-1

defeat to Bournemouth.

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Stoke City

are just above West Brom in 19th

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place but they also lost today,

beaten 2-1 by Everton.

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While Crystal Palace moved out

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of the relegation zone with a 2-0

win over Huddersfield.

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Tottenham have booked their place

in the semi finals of the FA Cup

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after a 3-0 win over Swansea City.

0:16:010:16:06

Mauricio Pochettino's side

are targeting a first

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trophy in ten years.

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Kristin Eriksson scored twice and

Manchester United are also through

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after a 2-0 win over Brighton.

0:16:160:16:19

In the Scottish Premiership,

second placed Rangers were beaten

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1-0 by Kilmarnock.

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Graeme Murty's side are nine points

behind leaders, Celtic.

0:16:220:16:25

Hearts were 3-0 winners over

struggling Partick Thistle.

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All three of the Hearts

goals were scored in

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the first half of the game.

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Elsewhere Aberdeen beat

Dundee, while Ross County

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and Hamilton drew 2-2.

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The rest of the day's sports news

is on the BBC website

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including the latest

from the Winter Paralympics,

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with the British team one short

of their medal target and just one

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day of the Games left.

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Karthi thank you.

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You can see more on all of today's

stories on the BBC News Channel.

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That's all from me.

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Goodnight.

0:16:550:17:03