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Beyond One Hundred Days.
A return to Cold War expulsions.
23 Russian spies are sent packing
by the British Prime Minister.
It the biggest number
of diplomats expelled
by Britain in 30 years,
as Europe and the United States come
out in support of London's response.
Poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his
daughter has been formally tied to
the Kremlin which denied the
deadline for information.
traded the use of military grade
nerve agent in Europe with contempt.
Russia says the UK is engaging in a
Also on the programme.
A month on from the school shooting
in Florida, students stage a 17
minute walk out across America
in solidarity with the 17 who died.
Sometime ago I discovered black
holes are not lack after all.
And tributes to the visionary
physicist Stephen Hawking,
who's died at the age of 76.
Get in touch with us
using the hashtag
Hello and welcome -
I'm Katty Kay in Washington
and Christian Fraser is in London.
Forty per cent of the Russian
diplomats in the UK have just been
given their marching orders.
They have a week to leave.
It's the biggest expulsion of known
intelligence agents since 1985,
the year Mikhal Gorbachev
came to power.
And not since the Cold War have
relations between London and Moscow
sunk to such a level.
The Russian Ambassador
to London said Britain
was trying to concoct
'We won't keep you waiting,'
he added 'for our counter measures'.
All high-level diplomacy
between the two countries
is forthwith suspended.
It promises to be a long
confrontation, in which the Prime
Minister will need every bit of help
from her allies.
It was right to offer Russia had the
chance to provide an explanation.
But their response is demonstrated
complete disdain for the gravity of
these events. They have provided no
credible explanation that could
suggest they lost control of their
nerve agent. No explanation as to
how this agent came to be used in
the UK, no explanation as to why
Russia has an undeclared chemical
weapons programme in contravention
of international law. Instead they
have traded the use of military
grade nerve agent in Europe with
sarcasm, contempt and defiance. So
Mr Speaker is no alternative
conclusion other than that the
Russian state was culpable for the
attempted murder of Sergei Skripal
and his daughter. And for
threatening the lives of other which
is systems in Salisbury including
Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey.
So here's what the Prime Minister
has set in motion -
among other measures.
The expulsion of 23 diplomats -
who have one week
Increased checks on private
The freezing of Russian assets
where there is evidence they may be
used to threaten the life
or property of UK
nationals or residents.
ministers and members
of the Royal Family are to boycott
the Fifa World Cup in
Russia later this year.
Russia has been crossing red lines,
at home and abroad,
with growing impunity recently.
There's Georgia, Crimea,
Ukraine, the interference
in the American election,
in European elections,
and the poisoning of not one but two
Russian exiles here in Britain.
Is that why the West
is taking the attack
in Salisbury so seriously?
I have been speaking to the Chair
of the Commons Intelligence and
Security Committee Dominic Grieve
who says it's time NATO allies woke
up to the reality of the threat.
When it comes to the behaviour
of murdering people on other
people's sovereign territory,
it's very serious indeed.
But because we live
within a rules-based system,
we do have a common lawful
and proportionate response
to what Russia is doing.
And if we unite in doing it
and sustain it we have the best
prospect of actually getting them
to change their behaviour.
But I'm not sure at the moment
that we are succeeding
in that as much as I would like.
Can you suggest things that
might be proportionate?
Well clearly more sanctions
would undoubtedly be proportionate.
Visa restrictions on Russian
officials can be proportionate.
In so far as the action
we are taking in expelling Russian
agents in their embassy
here in London, other countries can
also do likewise in respect
of Russian agents who are present
in the embassies in those countries.
So I think we need to be
But you will know that
when the British Government
was pushing for more sanctions,
tighter sanctions, after the enquiry
into the Litvenenko poisoning,
the Europeans were dragged really
kicking and screaming
They have not been
Countries like Italy for instance
get a lot of their gas from Russia.
Even the Germans who do a lot
of trade with Russia.
Not particularly keen.
Yes and I can understand that
but I think that in view
of the seriousness of the threat
and its brazen nature,
I think we really do all have
to think very long and hard
about the collective action we can
take as otherwise it simply
is going to embolden Mr Putin
and he will do more of it.
And he will do it selectively
in whatever country he chooses.
And then trust that with the passage
of time people will want to turn
over a new leaf, reset
the relationship and he
can get away with it.
And seeing that his activities
are extremely dangerous I think
we just need to try to focus on how
we can meet this threat together.
Ordinarily you would
expect our closest ally,
and an American president, to stand
behind the UK but he is not imposing
the sanctions that have
been set why Congress.
And there is not much trust that
President Trump will fall in behind
the UK in any meaningful way.
I think it is a reflection
of the curious way in
which President Trump
conducts his policy.
I think there's no doubt
there are many around him
who are very concerned
about what Russia is doing
but for for a variety of reasons
he doesn't seem to be
taking a measured response
and there is a sense that whilst
he is supportive he does not
seem to have a strategy.
So of course that is the subject
of anxiety but of course that
could change with time.
Well let's pick up
that final thought
with Matthew Rojansky,
director of the Wilson
Center's Kennan Institute.
We are reminded that America matters
in a global response to threat and
the world is looking to Washington.
Do you agree that perhaps they will
not get what they want from
Washington when it comes to
retaliation against Russia.
unlikely Washington will be the tip
of the sphere in retaliation on this
particular attempted murder because
it was in the UK and the UK must be
in the lead. I think there will be
further were coming from Washington
in response to other actions by
Russia including what we are
learning about ongoing election and
other political interference.
Russian behaviour in the Ukraine
etc. The Treasury Secretary
indicated pretty clearly that the
administration intends to respond in
some meaningful way to the
Congressional legislation despite
the public report that rightfully
was cited as being pretty thin.
spend a lot of time in Russia and
you know one thing that could have
an impact is hitting Russian money
in London. One person that could be
targeted as the Deputy Prime
Minister who has apartment buildings
in the middle of London web around
$50 million. If you're Kate wants to
send a message to Putin and those
who support him would it be smart of
them to go after the money.
always felt that sanctions are like
any other weapon and you can fire
that but there is a cost each time.
In the case of the UK we see this
clearly, the UK has benefited for a
long time from the presence of
significant amounts of Russian money
in the British banking system, in
the London real estate market.
Secondary services including
tailors, lawyers. Some of that is
pro-regime, some of it anti-regime
and then hangers on who might
literally be assassins. If the UK is
willing to take on that problem as a
whole and potentially willing to
scare off some of that money then it
can fire the weapon. But having your
cake and eating it is probably not
If the Russian state is
involved then surely no coincidence
that President Putin has provoked a
crisis with the West just days ahead
of an election.
I think the election
cannot not be significant for Putin.
So if he has ordered this and I do
not say this to indicate that the
Russian state is not behind it but
remember there are many actors in
the Russian state that may simply
operate as a matter of course to
take out someone they consider to be
a traitor, if Putin ordered this and
the question of timing is important
for him, one week before an election
he is looking for the narrative that
the West is out to get Russia.
Looking to mobilise his base and to
build Western leaders essentially
into making exactly the kind of
provocative and hostile threatening
statements towards Russia that they
have been doing, even if many
consider them not to be enough, this
is perfect material for Putin. And
after the election if he needs to
roll things back and see better
relations he has two or three fields
of operation. Ukraine, Syria, North
Korea. And the West would have no
choice but to respond in a tough and
Thank you very much for
coming in. So interesting speaking
about the domestic politics in
Russia and what is behind that.
Let's look at domestic politics in
the UK. It would benefit the UK in
or mislead if the body politic in
the UK were united on the issue but
it seems to be clear they're not.
Well a lot of focus today on Jeremy
Corbyn who was loath to criticise
Putin much like the trap is that he
said he wants evidence of the
culpability of the Russian state
before he apportions blame. And
today he added the UK does not have
a good history when it comes to
weapons of mass destruction, the
intelligence not being accurate. But
this time WMD has been found in a
cathedral city here in England and
we are very lucky that more British
people had not been killed. So not a
happy afternoon amongst Labour MPs.
Our political editor in fact said
that this motion was put down today
and use the names scribbled at the
bottom. And I think there is a
possibility that some Labour shadow
frontbenchers could resign tonight
over the statement today from their
leader. So a lot of anger and the
uneasy truce within Labour seems to
have gone. And exactly what Russia
wants. That division within the
Exactly. And that question
about whether the UK is prepared to
withstand the possible impact of
sanctions against Moscow.
Here in the US, students
across the country
left their classrooms today -
in protest at gun violence and to
demand restrictions on gun sales.
The National School Walkout came
on the one month anniversary
of the school shooting in Parkland,
Florida which left 17 people dead.
And today's events were scheduled
to last 17 minutes -
one minute for every life taken
in the attack.
The action came ahead
of an even bigger rally
in Washington later this month,
that will bring students together
from all around the country.
Our North America Editor
Jon Sopel reports.
The last time we saw children
pouring out of school it was with
their hands up in terror after the
Florida shooting. Today they came
out across America at this time with
their fists clenched demanding
change on gun control. In Washington
at ten o'clock on a bracing cold
morning with their backs turned on
the White House 's students fell
silent for 70 minutes, one minute
for each of the people who died at
the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas school
in Florida last month. There's no
doubting extraordinary success these
young people have had in changing
the whole terms of debate on the
subject of gun control. Their
problem is that the man who lives on
the other side of that offence seems
to have got cold feet. When Donald
Trump met youngsters on the Florida
School at the White House he seemed
to offer his support for tougher gun
control measures like raising to 21
the age at which you can buy a
rifle. And he later tried it
lawmakers for being frightened of
the National Rifle Association.
of you people are petrified of the
But he is now backed off those
proposals and so the end people are
intensifying their campaign.
them to pass common-sense gun
reforms and ban assault rifles. We
do not want to be scared in school.
We are tired of being scared. We
This is a curtain
raiser to a mass demonstration in
Washington in ten days' time. They
are a long way from getting what
they want but the power of youth
protest has got them further than
anyone could have imagined and then
not in any mood to surrender. Dashed
they are not in any mood.
Plenty of anger around the country.
After six months of coalition talks,
Angela Merkel has been
sworn in for a fourth term
as German chancellor.
She'll lead a coalition of
conservatives and Social Democrats.
In Italy, 223,000 people
have been evacuated
from a town on the east
coast after an unexploded
World War Two bomb was found
during the construction
of a drain in Fano.
Officials say the 225 kilogram
bomb was British-made,
and there was panic
when it was accidentally activated.
The device was removed
and dropped into the sea.
He bridged the gap between academia
and popular culture -
an extraordinary scientist
who inspired millions.
There have been tributes
from all over the world today
for Professor Stephen Hawking
who has died at the age of 76.
He was diagnosed with a rare form
of motor neurone disease
when he was just 22 and told he had
only a few years to live.
But he defied expectations and went
on to become one of the most famous
physicists in the world.
Our Science Editor David Shukman
looks back at his life.
There is nothing like the Eureka
moment of discovering
something no one knew before.
Stephen Hawking had a gift
for inspiration, a powerful spirit
overcoming an ailing body to allow
a mind to roam the cosmos.
Earning him a place as the most
famous scientist in the world.
It has been a glorious time to be
alive and researching and doing
Who else could draw
crowds like this?
The man who gazed at the stars
became one himself.
His story poignant and uplifting,
his career involved concept
so alien and complicated for most
it was a struggle to keep up
but he explored the strangest
of features of the universe,
black holes, drawing together
the science of the largest things
in space with the science
of the small, part
of a quest to come up
with a theory for the universe.
He made these incredibly original
insights that set up the modern
theory of black holes.
And made great contributions
to cosmology, and so
he was a huge figure.
I was devastated, really upset.
I met him a couple of times
but he had an impact on my life.
It is the passing of a great
scientist who will be truly missed.
As a student his intelligence stood
out but at that moment he was given
a warning that motor neurone disease
would cut his life short.
When I was diagnosed at 21,
I was told it would kill me
in two, three years.
Somehow he kept going.
In a high-tech wheelchair
and a synthesised voice.
Communicating first by touch,
then by twitching a single
muscle in his cheek,
a daunting burden for anyone.
His children saw him as an example.
People who live in extreme
circumstances seem to find something
inspirational in his example
of perseverance and his ability
to rise above the suffering
and still want to communicate
at a higher level.
Life was not straightforward,
his first marriage ending
in divorce, as did a second to one
of his nurses.
Claims emerged that he had been
physically abused, the case dropped
because of lack of evidence.
His book sold at least 10 million
copies and everyone wanted
to meet him from the Pope
in the Vatican, to the Queen.
To President Obama,
who awarded him a medal of honour.
His fame reached beyond
the world of science.
Your theory of a doughnut shaped
universe is intriguing.
Even appearing in The Simpsons.
I did not say that.
In an episode of Star Trek he had
the chance to tease Isaac Newton.
Not the apple story again!
Astounding to think the Lord
created this in seven days.
It took 13.8 million years.
More recently he was happy to play
along for Comic Relief.
He saw himself as an ambassador
for science and in this interview
told me of his hopes
for the Large Hadron Collider.
He had a sense of adventure.
I am very excited.
I have been wheelchair-bound almost
four decades and the chance to float
free in zero G will be wonderful.
Even braving a zero gravity flight.
No surprise his death
Founder of the world wide web
Tim Berners-Lee tweeted...
And Nasa said...
If you reverse time and the universe
is getting smaller.
Eddie Redmayne played him
in the film The Theory
of Everything and today said,
we have lost a truly beautiful mind.
A scientist who delved
into the realm of black holes
offered an incredibly engaging story
that achieved something remarkable,
it touched a global audience.
And joining me now is
theoretical physicist -
Dr James Gates, Jr.
You met Stephen Hawking is several
On many occasions. I would
have loved to be there for these
conversations. Talking about things
I would not understand? Or just two
men who shared a passion.
more a conversation of people
sharing the same passion for
science. Stephen was an amazing
person with a I referred to him once
is the bravest physicist of all. I
first met him in 1980 and there was
a conference and I was attending and
we interacted with Stephen and he
gave a speech and I was amazed that
he rose to the challenge and just
What about is
what was that the fact, if Stephen
Hawking had not been banned to a
wheelchair he would still have been
one of the greatest physicists ever?
Absolutely. He said the foundations.
The disease did not stop his mind
from working at the highest levels
that human minds can work and that
was something to be admired.
body to one extent limited what he
could do. He could not set out like
other scientists mathematical
derivations and equations and long
form explanations so we had to be
more concise and abstract in the way
he explain things. Is that what
ought to the masses, you think?
think it is a story for the ages. It
is the prototypical story of a hero,
enormous odds against success,
succeeding and then retaining his
humanity and reaching out to people.
Something I think is a universal
Lots of people have got in
touch saying could you explain what
he actually did for the common man,
what he did that was so good for
mankind. I know you are made of the
same matter Stephen Hawking so I
brought along my son and I will set
you a little challenge. Can you as
concisely as he did in say 45
seconds explain the 1971 black hole
Can you do that? I will
make the attempt. So in the 1971
paper Stephen pointed out something
no one thought about before, there
are these things, black holes, come
the Einstein theory of general with
Nativity and Stephen looked at those
and other physicists did as well. -
dashed general relativity. And they
figured out that these things are
not exactly black. Stephen figured
out if you believe in a quantum
mechanical universe that it has got
to spit something out a bit like the
sizzle of bacon or the sizzle of
space time if you like.
getting stressed with the clock
ticking, you handled it brilliantly.
Doctor Gates is a great mind but I'm
not. But it sounded really good to
me. We did not even managed to get
the clock ticking, that is how
limited we are! If you were to say
there was one thing that the world
understands now that it did not
understand because of Stephen
Hawking, if he had not lived amongst
us, what would it be.
I like to call
them the black hole whisperer. He
brought this piece of madness into
the realm of reality and when it is
finds it means that perhaps someday
humanity will use these strange
objects perhaps to our benefit.
Thank you very much. He gave a
something that we might be able to
use in the future, not necessarily
today because we do not yet have the
technology but if we can develop
that one day we may be able to use
these things for the benefit of
Extraordinary how many
tributes have come forward today
especially in a society that does
not easily celebrate its finders. It
is not something you talk about
often. But he certainly crossed the
divide. A man with such unbounded
This is Beyond 100
Days from the BBC.
My timing is all over the place
today! We still have one minute
until the break so let's just keep
talking about Stephen Hawking!
rare that I get extra time from you
so I will use it all up. What is
remarkable about him coming here
this interesting persona, clearly he
was very humble about the work he
did and everyone described in in
terms of that humility. But also he
was someone had clearly liked
celebrity readings and none that
respect he became an ambassador for
science. We have a different view of
physics, even if we do not
understand it, he gave us something
by popularising complicated notions
of physics. 45 seconds!
good explanation, well done.
Coming up for viewers
on the BBC News Channel
and BBC World News -
the Democrats are claiming victory
in a special congressional election
seen as a referendum
on President Trump's performance -
should he be worried?
And one of the founders of Facebook
thinks super-rich people
like him should pay working people
a guaranteed income.
We'll be asking him why he wants
to give his money away.
Once again it has been a day of
mixed weather fortunes across the
UK. Across the western side you have
had some pretty wet and that times
windy weather as well. Thanks to the
area of low pressure the rain has
come as this weather front has
gradually come to dominate many of
those western areas. But eased it
has been a much more acceptable sort
of day, quite breezy but at the same
time some sunshine and some spring
one. Through the evening the weather
front still all over the South West,
accompanied by gale force wind. The
rain just keeps on coming into
Northern Ireland and becomes a
little bit more of a feature perhaps
across the western side of Scotland.
Further east underneath those clear
skies and for some in the Far East,
the greater part of the night
temperatures will fall away. Down to
three or 4 degrees or so. Up towards
the West rain just keeps on coming
in Northern Ireland, becoming ever
more present through Wales and into
the Midlands and South East. Making
for a pretty miserable start to the
day. The weather front makes
progress further north, and
following on behind we have brighter
skies but there will be occasionally
some sharp showers. Underneath that
front temperatures struggling.
Around six, 7 degrees or so. Through
into Friday the onshore flow keeping
things cool and we could see some
wintry showers overnight on the
hills of northern Britain. And
following on behind still relatively
mild at this stage but still the
prospect of some sharp showers and
even a rumble of thunder. If you're
getting used to this relatively mild
spell of weather I urge you to
cherish it because as we get towards
the weekend as the passion starts to
look familiar, feeding in much
colder weather across all parts of
the British Isles eventually. You
can imagine if you fully exposed to
that easterly wind it is going to be
one of those and there will be more
Archive stores. The British premise
or expels 23 Russian diplomats after
blaming them for the poisoning of a
former agent and his daughter.
Russia denounced pushed denounces
the expulsions, calling the move
hostile and short-sighted.
up, an emergency meeting of the UN
Security Council is being called,
will be live there in just a moment.
And what President Trump's choice of
the next Secretary of State tells us
about American foreign policy going
forward. Democrats declare victory
in Pennsylvania, and should
Republicans be nervous?
Let us know your thoughts
by using the hashtag #Beyond100Days.
More on our top story now,
the state of relations
between London on Moscow.
Arguably Theresa May's best hope
for hitting Russia in a way that
actually hurts is to make this
an international issue.
IF she can get the US,
the EU, even NATO on board
the power of the response
will be much stronger.
One forum for making this global
is of course the United Nations,
which upholds that the use of nerve
agents is unlawful.
Today the UN Secretary General
called the attack on Sergei Skripal
an unacceptable violation
of international law.
So, what's the UN actually
going to do about it given that
Russia sits on the security council?
Nick Bryant is at the UN for us.
What kind of discussions of the
having there, and what action will
that lead to?
The discussions had
just gotten under way, they were
delayed for an -- 30 minutes, the
Russians were involved in some
wrangling time wasting, and the
ambassador here has just started his
speech in front of this global
forum. The British are trying to
internationalize this, looking for
solidarity from other members of the
Security Council, not least are the
European here -- European Union
members and the United States. We
understand the key Haley will be
delivering a very hard-hitting
speech. -- Nikki Haley. I'm just
struck by how extraordinary this is.
Here the United Nations, what I
normally talk to you both, we are
talking about Syria and places like
North Korea. But today we are
talking about Salisbury, an English
cathedral town, and Salisbury being
linked with a chemical weapons
attack. Again, something we normally
talk about only in connection with
places like Syria. This is an
extraordinary event at the United
We will talk to Jonathan
Allen, the UK Deputy permanent
Representative to the security
council, and he is talking, as you
We can conclude that Russia
is in serious breach of the Amoco
weapons convention. This fact alone
means you should discount any
arguments you hear about the
possibility of other companies --
countries having access to this
technology. At Russia at -- declared
and destroyed their own programme,
there may have been some truth to
this. Mr President, on the 4th of
March, a weapon so horrific that it
is banned from use in war, was used
in a peaceful city and my country.
This was a reckless act, carried out
by people who disregard the sanctity
of human life, who are indifferent
to where this whether innocents are
caught up in their attacks. They
either did not care that the weapon
used would be tracked back to them,
or mistakenly believed that they
could cover their traces. Russian
officials and media channels have
repeatedly threatened those they
consider traitors, even after the
fall -- March four attack. Russia
has a history of state-sponsored
attack -- assassinations, including
that of Alexander lived up...
Poisoned by radioactive materials in
my country a decade ago. Russia has
a history of interfering in other
countries, whether the botched coup
in Montenegro, repeated cyber
attacks on other states, or seeking
to influence others's Democratic
processes. Russia has a history of
flouting international law, most
egregiously in Crimea, eastern UK,
and Georgia. Russia shows disregard
for civilian life, we all remember
flight MH 17, shutdown but the shot
down by Russian proxies supplied
with weapons. Russia has shown in
its repeated protection of Asad's
chemical weapons use that it has
different standards when it comes to
the use of these terrible
substances. We have not jumped to
conclusions, we have carried out a
thorough, careful investigation
which continues. We are asking the
OPC W to independently verify the
nerve agent used. We have offered
Russia the chance to explain, but
Russia has refused. We have
therefore concluded that the Russian
state was involved, and we have
taken certain measures in response.
In taking these measures, we have
been clear that we have no
disagreement with the people of
Russia, who have been responsible
for so many great achievements
throughout history. It is the
reckless acts of their government
that we oppose.
making his opening remarks at the UN
Security Council. Let's bring in
that pride again. There is the
chemical weapons convention, I
suppose with the Security Council
would like is for the organisation
to go into Russia, so the load test
laboratory, which we are told is in
central Russia, and see what
The British were talking
about giving the OPC W some of the
substance use, so they can
independently verify what the
British have found. Of course the
UN's hands are tied on this, because
to take action would require a vote,
and the British will not vote
through the Security Council while
the Russians have their veto. So
with the British are looking for,
not sanctions today, they're not
necessarily looking for action. What
they're looking for is a show of
solidarity, and international
shaming of the Russian Federation on
the world's biggest diplomatic
Thank you. That is one issue
that will land on the desk of the
new Secretary of State.
What will the appointment
of Mike Pompeo as secretary of state
mean for US Foreign Policy
in the Trump administration?
As CIA Director he aligned
himself with the President
and earned his trust.
He is tougher on Moscow
than Mr Trump but on other issues
has shown he is in lockstep
with the President and,
critically, he has his ear.
He's confrontational on Iran,
unlike Tillerson, and on North Korea
he is also more hawkish
than his predecessor.
It's a topic that Robin Wright has
written about in the New Yorker
and she joins us now.
I want to get your reactions to what
we just heard in the United Nations
from the deputy Burnet
representative of the United Kingdom
there. Very tough language coming
out of the United Kingdom, will they
get back up from a Pompeo and the
new Secretary of State?
Will be very
hard for the trumpet administration
not to go along with its British
ally. The question is, what will the
United States do in the product --
broader issue of its own problems
with Russia? Neither the president
nor his new Secretary of State had
indicated they will take a tougher
line or follow on sanctions voted on
by our own Congress. So this is an
extraordinary development, to have
this play out in the West, the use
of chemical weapons. It will put
extra nerve pressure on the
administration to at least be seen
to say something, if not do
Say something, not do
something, that maybe you where the
appear on the issue of Mike Pompeo,
at various points, Rex Tillerson has
acted as a buffer for some of the
President's more radical
foreign-policy on the states. But
Mike Bob -- Mike Pompeo Lisicki will
not play the same role?
are two men and a policy pot. They
think a lot alike on similar issues.
When he was in Congress, he called
for a regime change in Iran, not
just the scrapping of the nuclear
deal. Last summer at the security
forum, he talked quite openly in
front of a group, and I was there,
about the need for a regime change
in North Korea. So it will be very
interesting to see not only him
backing of the president, but what
he suggests after the Iran nuclear
dear -- nuclear deal is scrapped and
You have to look at the whole
national security team, and the
president is deftly shaking it up.
The word on the Hill is that HR
McMaster might not be long for that
job, and we don't know yet who will
replace them. But it is obviously
someone who will be in lockstep with
the president. So what do you think
that means? Is it going to isolate
Secretary Matus, the defence
secretary, who has at times been a
break on some of the more hardline
approaches by the president?
one of the adults in the room, the
rumours that John Bolton, the former
hardline UN ambassador, is likely to
replace HR McMaster. The striking
thing about this shake-up is that
the president now seems very self
confident about making those
decisions himself. He brought in a
lot of establishment figures to give
him advice, and they warned him
against things like declaring julep
-- Jerusalem the capital of the
Israeli state and moving the US
Embassy there, and when there was
not a reaction in the Arab world, he
felt he was right. So he is feeling
very much that he wants people who
think like him, not wanting to
challenge him or offer alternative
Thank you very much for
joining us. A lot going on in
Washington and in the White House,
as well as the country.
election on Tuesday.
Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional
District was the bellweather
in a bellweather state.
And Democrats are giddy
with excitement today
because they say they have
just taken it.
The special election
on Tuesday became a symbol
of opposition to Donald Trump.
And the reason they are so happy,
is because this district was one
of the most conservative
in the country.
The Democrat Conor Lamb looks
like he has snatched an area
of the country which Trump won
in 2016 by a whopping 20 points.
Mr Lamb's opponent has yet
to concede but Republicans
are calling this a wake up call
for their party as they head
into mid term elections in November.
Here to help us break it
down is Ron Christie,
former advisor to George W Bush.
How do Republicans go in the space
of a year and a bit, from winning a
district in the country by 20 points
to losing it?
I will break from
conventional wisdom here and say
this is not that big of a deal.
Connor Lamb ran as trouble light, as
a Democrat. He is pro-life, which
many Democrats are, he said he
opposed Nato policy being the
leader, he came out and supported
President Trump on tariffs. In a
race that many Republicans thought
they might actually lose by five
points, if we lose it by one point,
that is not such a bad deal, but it
is a wake-up call and indicates that
many people are looking at this as
the first referendum on President
It also suggests that if
Democrats can find candidates who
are matched to the districts, and in
this case, they needed someone who
was conservative, although he is
prounion, prolabor, he has some very
early classic Democratic positions
as well, but if they can find the
right candidates for the district,
they can overturn a 20 point
majority, that is still a pretty
important indication for what
Democrats can do around the country?
No question about that. People I
spoke to earlier this morning, they
are worried, the Democrats only need
23 or 24 seats to flip the House of
Representatives, and we already have
40 -- 30 members who have indicated
they will not run for reelection,
Republicans. Don't let any
Republicans flew by saying this will
be locked up and in the majority
after the November election, there
is lots for them to worry about and
lots of time for the Democrats to
raise the money to be competitive.
will put my pen down and challenge
Ron Christie's unorthodoxy on the
selection. I get that we lost to by
one point, but they spent $10
million in this district to a seat
which he will not do it -- be there,
because they will redraw the
electoral map and Pennsylvania. And
now surely, when you are circulating
among friends on the Hill saying
that they will have to spend a lot
of that war chest defending suburban
districts, we would have to defend?
Several astute observations, let me
unpack them for viewers and
listeners. One thing as absolute
certain, to spend $10 million on a
seat at the Pennsylvania legislator
is going to drop out again is a body
blow to Republicans. Now you have
the prospect of not only having to
find another candidate to run in
several months, but that is millions
of dollars that Murphy, the
candidate who was the representative
that left in scandal, he won the
district by 20 plus points. Now we
need to spend more money, get more
candidates, and we should be on the
offence and not defence. And this
will be seen across United States
instantly districts, Republicans
were feeling confident that now
they're looking over their shoulder,
the object in the rear-view mirror
seems a bit closer, and that is a
Democrat winning that seat.
get to technological about this, but
if Connor Lamb scares the goodness
out of the party because he is
conservative, they can also breathe
a sigh of relief to some extent
because he did not have to go
through a Democratic primary
process. So he was not pulled to the
left by ten other Democrats wanting
to win and prove their left wing
liberal bona fides, he could just be
appointed. So they could tailor make
the candidate for the district, they
will not have a Democrat with a
luxury -- luxury with the Democrats
and other races?
They will not, and
that is something that gives
Republicans confident that this was
a blip, and aberration. We see the
press trying to receive an pub --
Republicans, but they will have to
run in a very crowded primary,
spending lots of resources. And one
thing important to realise is
incumbent members of Congress do not
like supporting candidates in a
jumbled primary, so these folks will
have to battle it out on the own and
raise money on their own until they
become the eventual Democratic
nominee. To a Republican in many
cases that is running unopposed in
Thank you. Quickly
before we get onto the next Tory,
there is press this news coming out
of the UN, Nicolet -- Nikki Haley
has said that Russia's crime is
worthy of United Nations Security
Council action, and C but she
actually means by that action. That
is coming out of the UN.
One of those people is Chris Hughes.
What if the solution to income
inequality was very simple,
give poorer people cash?
It's an idea that's
The gap between rich and poor
is growing throughout the West
as the wealthy make more and more
money from investments.
One of those people is Chris Hughes.
His life was changed when he went
to Harvard and became room mates
with a young man called Mark
Together, they founded Facebook
and made their fortunes.
Now Mr Hughes is working
on a project to redistribute that
wealth, he writes about it
in his new book Fair Shot,
and spoke to me a short
time ago from New York.
I started by asking him how
he made his fortune.
I was one of the co-founders of
Facebook, alongside Mark Zucker
Bernard. We started in 2004, and the
company took off, I was the
nontechnical co-founder responsible
for things like marketing and
product, communications. For three
years worth of work, I ended not
making nearly half $1 billion, which
is indicative of a fundamental
unfairness in the economy, in a
economy that we have created that is
about winner take all economics,
where a small group of people are
getting very fortunate, while
everyone else really struggles to
make ends meet. I think it is
historically without precedent, we
have a responsibility to fix that.
You have become interested in this
issue of income inequality, and you
have come up with a plan to give
people earning under $50,000 a year
$500 a month. Had with the plan
worked, and is it politically
feasible, given we just had a huge
tax cut reform in this country,
which has given the wealthiest
people a tax cut, not an increase,
which is what you are proposing is
blue I think it is feasible because
of that. But let me step back, here
is what we know.
The most powerful
way that lift people out of poverty
and stabilise the lives of the
middle-class is through cash. With
no strings attached, we have
enormous programmes and our country
called the earned income tax credit,
which provides tens of billions of
dollars to tens of millions of
families to use that money smartly,
to invest in themselves, kids, their
health outcomes, education outcomes
improve, etc. We know that when you
give people money, they user
smartly. In my view, it also is a
promise for a much more efficient
way to provide economic mobility to
people who need it. So I think if
you are making less than $50,000 in
the United States and you are
working in some way for your family
or community, then a guaranteed
income of $500 a month every single
month is one of the most powerful,
if not the most powerful way to
combat income inequality and
The counter argument
would be supporters of the welfare
state saying let's boost the welfare
state. You don't give them access,
you give them better access to
health care and education, so they
don't have to spend so much?
the older traditional idea, and the
research base over the past few
decades has suggested something
different. People can be trusted
with cash, and once more, if it is
much more efficient than creating
new government bureaucracy and an
new administration to adopt a
paternalistic system that forces so
many people to go here and there to
qualify for a particular government
-- government benefit. But instead
if we provide people with cash that
they can choose how to spend, what
we know is that they go out and they
work just as much as they work
before, and their kids do better.
Dizzy to the political question, I
think we're in a transitional moment
when we have the opportunity to make
a very different case than the one
that was made by Trump and
congressional Republicans to pass
last year's tax bill. That bill gave
cuts as we know on corporations in
the 1%, but there is an -- another
way. As the movement grows to repeal
and replace, I think a modernisation
of the entered the earned income tax
credit cannot just help the poor,
but also help tens of them -- tens
of millions of American families. I
don't know if you'll be next year,
but I think it will come.
answered by blood question. Thank
you very much.
Thank you for having
That is the question, whether
Republicans would be prepared to see
a hike in taxes on the wealthy in
order to give hard cash to people
who are poorer, given that there has
been quite a lot of suspicion among
some Conservatives about what
happens to money when he just handed
over to him at this idea of trust in
people to spend their money well
that Chris Hughes talks about so
clearly, that is something that is
missing from people who are in
control that might have to give
their money away.
The problem is
when it goes against the orthodoxy
of any financial ministries, but
when you tax the Ritz -- Rich, when
in France they put a higher tax on
rich people, the wealth left the
country. That is the fear, if you
tax the whip -- Rich people, they
simply disappear, not everyone wants
to be a benefactor, and that is the
Half $1 billion in three
years, we should have done that.
are in the wrong job, aren't we?
Talking adopt that would be suited
to us, Stephen Hawking had a
singular galaxy sized intellect.
They prove that all matter within a
black hole collapses to a gendered
-- geometric point in space and zero
Nine easy concept airhead
around, but Sir Roger Penrose is
here to suggest -- explain what
happens. In 1965 he came up with
this mathematical theorem on black
holes, and you collaborated with
Stephen Hawking at a time when his
disability was starting to take
It was not taking over that
time, it was known that he had it,
but we can still communicate. He was
like a normal person at that time...
Well, normal in that respect.
would you collaborate? You obviously
make giant strides on this theory
about black holes, what was it about
Stephen Hawking that made you want
The thing was that the
idea of black holes came about from
spherically symmetrical model
studied in the area, and you know
they have a single point where
densities and everything are
infinite right at the centre. But
everything focuses to that point, is
also surprising. People argue that
-- my theory showed that even if it
was irregular, it would still become
singular, so that was the result. I
did a talk on this, it was in
London, and according to the film,
Stephen got Sparks coming out of his
head, but he was not actually there.
But it's not so far off because I
gave a repeat in Cambridge where he
was. I talked privately with George
Ellis about the techniques that I
was using, and he did something
similar but more general than George
Ellis. Very quickly, he even showed
how you could apply the result that
I have the cosmological situations.
He adopted it very quickly, and we
collaborated on a much more complete
I have a question for you,
it is obviously not easy for two
geniuses to work together, but is
not a problem that Christian and I
have. But I can imagine you have two
people of the calibre of you and
Stephen Hawking can have a
competitive relationship. As a
person, what was he like to work
You won't believe this, but
the collaboration in detail was done
almost entirely over the telephone.
We got along very well, I don't
think it was competitive in that
respect at all. The thing we did
later was mainly independent. We
proved an extension of what was
known before, and in week
communicated and found we did the
same thing. We wrote a paper
together which we got published in
the Royal Society.
Do you miss him?
That was a long time ago, and we
were friends for a long time. And we
parted our ways, we that we
separated, we just got different
views about things.
I wish we could
talk longer, but we are always out
of time. We will leave you with some
of Stephen Hawking's more memorable
physics is one of the few fields in
which being disabled is no handicap.
It is all in the mind.
I hope my example will give
encouragement and hope to others in
I hope my example will show
disability can be no barrier. One
can achieve anything if one is
Never give up.