18/03/2018 BBC Weekend News


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18/03/2018

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Boris Johnson accuses Russia

of making and stockpiling deadly

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Novichok nerve agents.

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Two weeks on from the collapse

in Salisbury of a Russian

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spy and his daughter -

the Foreign Secretary

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attacks Moscow's attitude.

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Their response has been a sort

of mixture of smug sarcasm

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and denial, obfuscation and delay.

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His comments come as a senior

Russian diplomat suggests the nerve

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agent could have come

from the British

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facility at Porton Down.

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In Russia - Vladimir Putin casts his

vote in the Presidential election -

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as he seeks another six

years in power.

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A Sunday white-out as driving snow,

biting winds and ice affect

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much of the country.

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And joy for Britain as the Winter

Paralympics come to an end -

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winning gold for the first time.

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Good evening.

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The Foreign Secretary says

the Government has evidence that

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Russia has been creating

and stockpiling the nerve

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agents known as Novichok.

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Speaking to the BBC,

Boris Johnson accused the Kremlin

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of 'smug sarcasm' in its response

to the attack in

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Salisbury two weeks ago.

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A senior Russian diplomat has

suggested that the substance used

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in Salisbury could have come

from the British research

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laboratory at Porton Down.

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Here's our Home Affairs

Correspondent Daniel Sandford.

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Today, despite the bad weather,

troops and police officers continued

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the delicate and dangerous work of

decontamination and preserving the

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scenes in Salisbury.

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It is clear now that the focus

of this investigation

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is Sergei Skripal's burgundy BMW

car, with detectives still seeking

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more information on its

movements on the day

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of the nerve agent attack.

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This morning, the Russian ambassador

to the EU, chose to hint that

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Britain might have been responsible

for the whole thing.

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Porton Down, as we now

all now, is the largest

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military facility in the

United Kingdom that has been dealing

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with chemical weapons research.

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And it's actually only eight

miles from Salisbury.

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You're not suggesting that

Porton Down is responsible for

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this nerve agent?

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I don't know.

I don't know.

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Immediately afterwards,

on the same programme, this was the

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Foreign Secretary's riposte.

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This is not the response

of a country that

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really believes itself

to be innocent.

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Their response has been a sort

of mixture of smug sarcasm and

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denial, obfuscation and delay.

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And with 23 diplomats

due to leave the

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Russian Embassy this week,

after being expelled as spies,

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the Foreign Secretary made his most

direct

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accusation yet that Russia has been

doing recent nerve agent research.

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We actually have evidence

within the last ten years that

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Russia has not only been

investigating the delivery

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of nerve agents for the purposes

of assassination, but has also been

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creating and stockpiling Novichok.

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However, the Foreign Secretary then

had to concede that a wife of a

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former minister under Vladimir Putin

had paid £160,000 in a Conservative

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Party auction to play

tennis with him.

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Did the tennis game actually happen?

It did.

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It did.

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But the Labour leadership's

position on the

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Salisbury attack now seems much

closer to the Government's than it

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was in the middle of last week.

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Putin has questions to answer

because this is highly likely this

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could have been a state execution.

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But what we don't do in this country

is that we don't leap to conclusions

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without the evidence.

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Tomorrow, international

specialists from the

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Organisation for the Prohibition

of Chemical Weapons will arrive at

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Porton Down to start their own

independent analysis of what left

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Yulia and Sergei Skripal

fighting for their lives.

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Daniel Sandford, BBC News.

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In Russia, polls have closed

in the presidential election,

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with President Putin seeking another

six years in power.

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Seven other candidates

are also standing.

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The indications are that Putin has

won by a significant margin.

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Our Moscow Correspondent,

Steve Rosenberg at the Kremlin.

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Thank you. According to the latest

results of Vladimir Putin has won

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more than 70% of the vote in the

election, not a surprise, many

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Russians support him. But crucially

it's the political system Mr Putin

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put in place in Russia that

virtually guaranteed he would emerge

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the winner.

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It looked more like

a show than an election.

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Russian polling stations providing

free entertainment to

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boost the turnout.

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Inside, you could cast a ballot

and cast an eye at the art.

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Pride of place here reserved

for a legendary Russian ruler who

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had battled the West.

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The current leader is

facing international

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pressure after Salisbury.

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Still, Vladimir Putin

was relaxed as he voted.

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"I believe in the programme I'm

offering my country," the

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President said.

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And his supporters agreed.

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"He's a genius," he says.

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"Putin wants Russia

to prosper and for Russians

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to live in happiness."

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"It's thanks to Putin," she says,

"That Russia still exists."

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But critics of the Kremlin says

the election was fixed.

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But critics of the Kremlin say

the election was fixed.

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That only those candidates

who stood no chance of

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unseating Vladimir Putin

were allowed to run.

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The problem with Russia

is there is no such thing as

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Russian politics.

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Politics has been eliminated

in Russia altogether.

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There is only one political

institution in Russia and this is

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the physical body of Vladimir Putin.

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Which is why the results of this

vote was never in doubt.

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This election is less

about choosing a

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new President and more

about reappointing the old one.

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The political system,

which Vladimir Putin has built,

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ensures he faces no serious

challenge and he's set for a

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fourth term in the Kremlin.

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But these images will

embarrass the Kremlin.

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Caught on CCTV, a woman stuffs

the ballot box at a polling

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station near Moscow.

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Suddenly, there are two of them

at it, and something

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suspicious in Siberia.

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During the vote count,

someone moves a tricolore

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of Russian balloons

so they cover over the camera.

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Election officials say

they will investigate

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alleged violations.

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But that won't change who will be

running Russia for the

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next six years.

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You know, there is a joke doing the

rounds in Moscow right now. In

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Russia there are two things of which

you can be sure. That the winters

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here will always be long and that

Vladimir Putin will always win an

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election. STUDIO: Steve Rosenberg,

thank you.

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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

travelling this weekend.

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Frankie McCamley reports.

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As the snow gave no sign of giving

up, neither did those trying to

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clear it away and keep

traffic moving.

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But with strong winds causing

blizzard conditions, here in

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Devon driving became treacherous.

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Some clearly struggling

to keep control.

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In Newcastle, for those just trying

to leave the house, it

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wasn't an easy task.

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I've been here for an hour

and I've done about a

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quarter of this road,

so I'm making headway.

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We're not equipped here for

the snow, it's not like if you live

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abroad and you have a lot of snow.

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I think some of the

biggest problems is

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the drivers themselves,

they are not used to driving,

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if it looks like two

flakes of snow, they're stuck,

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some of the people.

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I don't think it's been too bad.

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Railway stations across

the country have also seen

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delays.

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In Newbury all trains

were stopped in their tracks.

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Staff doing what they can to help.

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And as snow hit the South

West, Bristol Airport

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stopped flights this

morning with Exeter

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cancelling flights for

the

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rest of the day.

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Even for those wanting

to brave the weather and

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support their local team, football

and rugby fixtures were called off,

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including the Anglo Welsh Cup

final at Gloucester.

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Throughout the day the snow

gates on the A66 remained

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closed between County Durham and

Cumbria, keeping one family apart.

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Basically, I'm trying to get a draft

pick my daughter up.

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Basically, I'm trying to get

to Brough to pick my daughter up.

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She's been stuck there

since last night.

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So, it's just a question

of getting round.

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With around 11 centimetres of snow

already falling on higher

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ground is like here in

West Yorkshire, more snow is still

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expected.

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But the majority tonight

and tomorrow morning will be in the

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south-west of England.

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With amber weather warnings

in place until 9am

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tomorrow morning.

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Go!

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It's not all doom

and gloom, though, the

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so-called Mini Beast From The East

has brought some fun with it too

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with all sorts heading out

to enjoy the weather.

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As for when temperatures

will get back to

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normal, things should be

warming up by Tuesday.

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Frankie McCamley, BBC

News, West Yorkshire.

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The head of Cambridge Analytica,

the data firm used by Donald Trump's

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election campaign has been called

back before a committee of MPs.

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They believe Alexander Nix has

fresh questions to answer

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about the way his company used

the personal details of up

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to 50 million Facebook users.

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The social media giant

will also be asked to appear.

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Both deny any wrong doing.

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Here's our business

correspondent Joe Lynam.

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The idea that all women should

receive the same message...

Meet

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Alexander Nix, he is the Eton

educated boss of the data mining

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company Cambridge Analytica, which

specialises in something called

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Psycho graphics.

That is an

understanding of your personality,

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because it's personality that drives

behaviour and behaviour that

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obviously influences how you vote.

But now a committee of MPs thinks he

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might have given Parliament false

statements about what his company

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did with millions of Facebook

profiles. He has been recalled for

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more questions. The Facebook boss

Mark Zuckerberg will also be called.

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It looks like Facebook were trying

to avoid difficult questions about

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this and people will rightly be

concerned, are there other data

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breaches we don't know about? How

effective our Facebook actually at

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stopping people taking data from

their platform and then using it in

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a way that suits them that Facebook

can control.

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can control.

At the heart of this

was an app designed in Britain in

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2014 supposed to tell you a lot more

about your own personality, but if

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you login using your Facebook

profile it allowed the app and its

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owners access to some very personal

data held on Facebook, most

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astonishingly, though, it allowed

the app access to all of your

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friends' personal data without their

explicit consent.

We are going to

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make America great again.

It has

been claimed Donald Trump's campaign

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used personal data acquired from

Cambridge Analytica to try and

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influence the election, something

flatly denied by the company. And it

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was also at the top table when the

Leave.eu campaign was launched in

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2015. But now denies it did any work

at all on the Brexit referendum. But

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it does raise the issue, though, of

what happens when we click OK

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online.

We see these quizzes pop up

in our Facebook timelines, we think

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it would be a bit of fun to be

matched with which they must start

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and I? But what doing is handing

every bit of your profile data onto

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a data collection service.

Much of

this has come to light because this

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former Cambridge Analytica employee

Chris Wiley has now claimed Facebook

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knew what data the company held and

how it could be used. Facebook

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strongly denies his claims and

suspended his own Facebook account.

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-- Christopher Wylie. The social

media giant said it was doing so

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because Christopher Wylie exploited

Facebook to harvest millions of

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people's profiles. Joe Lynam, BBC

News.

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On the final day of the Winter

Paralympics in South Korea,

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Britain has won its first and only

gold medal at the Games.

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It was thanks to Menna Fitzpatrick

and her guide Jen Kehoe

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who triumphed in the women's

visually-impaired slalom.

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Kate Grey reports.

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It was the golden moment

they'd been waiting for.

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Menna Fitzpatrick and her guide

Jen Kehoe saved their best

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till last to win gold in the slalom

on the final day of these games.

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The pair were in

silver medal position

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going into the second run

and displayed a perfect performance.

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The time was unbeatable.

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COMMENTATOR:

She's in front!

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Their fourth medal here

in Pyeongchang to become

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Britain's most successful

British Paralympians.

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It's been absolutely astonishing

the way that this week

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has gone from quite low

to extremely, extremely high.

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To finish on a gold

medal and put in one of

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our strongest performances this

week is beyond words.

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It hasn't sunk in and I think

probably won't until they

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It hasn't sunk in and I think

probably won't until we

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get back to the UK and are back

in our own beds and have a lie in.

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There was further success as Millie

Knight and her guide Brett Wild

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managed to sneak the bronze

in that same race, which

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means Paralympics GB have reached

their target of seven medals.

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But all dependent on one sport, one

classification and a small number

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of athletes.

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I'm proud of every single one

of the 17 athletes that came

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here to Pyeongchang

to represent Paralympics GB.

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Yes, the medals came from snow

but every one of those

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athletes did give it their all.

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So, these Games drew

to a fitting close

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with Britain's golden girls carrying

the union flag, and the

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International Paralympic Committee

could also celebrate with more

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nations taking part than ever

before, and a record number of

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tickets sold.

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They now call these games

the greatest Winter

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Paralympics to date.

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Kate Grey, BBC News, Pyeongchang.

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Just before we go -

a teacher from London has just

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won a $1 million prize.

0:14:210:14:22

Andria Zafirakou -

who teaches art and textiles

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at Alperton Community School -

was awarded this year's Varkey

0:14:280:14:31

Foundation Global Teacher Prize

at a ceremony in Dubai.

0:14:310:14:37

The money works out

to more than £700,000.

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