24/11/2016 Newsnight


24/11/2016

With Kirsty Wark. The Home Affairs Select Committee releases a damning report on the child abuse enquiry. Plus interviews with the Italian foreign minister and a doctor in Aleppo.


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A month ago, this programme revealed that the most senior lawyer

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on the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

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was alleged to have sexually assaulted a colleague,

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but was allowed to resign with no investigation -

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Tonight, a committee of MPs has passed its judgment on how

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the inquiry handled the claim and it's damning.

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how damaged is the inquiry and can it ever win back the trust of those

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It's important to us because it's about us.

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It's supposed to be about what happened to us.

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So excluding us and dismissing us, and letting us see you treat other

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victims really badly, is scaring us.

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The Chair of the committee joins us live.

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Rebel-held Aleppo no longer has a working operating hospital.

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This brave little girl has been tweeting the world

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We hear from a doctor in the city who is still desperately

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Please, do anything to my children, anything to my wife.

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Please, do anything to save them", and I can't do anything.

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To boldly clean where no man has cleaned before.

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The mess in space and the plan to spring clean the solar system.

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Last month this programme reported on disturbing

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developments inside the troubled Independent Inquiry

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The inquiry's most senior lawyer was alleged to have sexually

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assaulted a colleague, but was allowed to resign

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The senior lawyer robustly denied the allegation and the inquiry

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insisted it had not received any complaint about such an incident.

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But tonight, a committee of MPs has sharply criticised the inquiry,

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saying its response to the disclosure of the alleged sexual

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assault, as well as allegations of bullying, was inadequate.

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It would be a troubling charge for any organisation,

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but it is especially so for one that was meant to be

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investigating just such failings in other organisations.

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So, can it now rebuild its credibility?

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It's job is to shine light into dark corners of our past and present. But

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tonight the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse was accused by

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MPs of fail to properly investigate a claim of sexual assault under its

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own roof. Tonight, Newsnight can reveal that the inquiry faces its

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potentially most challenging criticism yet. It was an allegations

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broadcast by Newsnight, four weeks ago. Tonight, the Home Affairs

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Select Committee warned the inquiry's failure to proper

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investigate itself was so serious that it threatened its able to judge

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others. We do not believe that they have taken seriously enough its

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responsibility to pursue allegations of bullying or disclosures of sexual

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assault within the inquiry. One of the inquiries key purposes is to

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assess other organisations procedures for dealing with

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disclosures of sexual assault or abuses of power and institutional

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reluctance to deal with difficult issues that might jeopardise their

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reputation. We believe it's extremely important the inquiry can

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show it treats these issues with appropriate rigour when they affect

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IICSA itself. Professor Alexis Jay announced an independent review. She

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said... I think there has been a lack of

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transparency and, for an inquiry that at its heart is all about

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undercovering conspiracies of silence and things being swept under

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the carpet and by public bodies not properly investigating serious child

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sex abuse, it's really vital that the inquiry itself is as upfront and

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transparent as it can be. So these stories about who did what to whom

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and when and how, within the inquiry, are not absolutely

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strategic to the work of the inquiry itself, but are seriously damaging

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in the way they've been gaining the headlines and overhanging the work

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of that inquiry. It's a very serious and unhelpful distraction.

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Newsnight's report in October revealed the inquiry had dropped an

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investigation into its most senior lawyer, Ed Miliband. This, despite

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being made aware of of a claim of sexual assault against him. A claim

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Mr Ed Miliband strongly denies. -- Mr Emerson denies. He resigned. It

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was agreed he would carry on working for the inquiry for a further two

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months when MPs asked, answers didn't come. Why was Mr Emmerson

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suspended? I cannot discuss anything to do with his circumstances. Of all

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the criticism of the inquiry today, arguably the most came in a letter

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sent by the MPs from the man who had been his deputy. Hue Davies QC is an

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expert in safeguarding. He had never said anything publicly about the

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inquiry and the inquiry had told him not to engage with the MPs. Mr

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Davies ignored them and he accused the inquiry of a cover-up.

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You can see how an organisation will say, look, things happen on our

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premises. If the two individuals concerned are not going to make a

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complaint, it's not going to go any further. On the other hand, an

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organisation has these days an object ply gays to provide safe and

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appropriate working conditions. It can't condone misbehaviour on its

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premises. It should look into what happened to see whether its behaving

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as it needs to to safeguard the concerns of people who work there.

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It can't just cover the whole thing up because there hasn't been a

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formal complaint. MPs agreed. The lack of preparedness to account

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for something that's gone on, slightly hiding behind HR, keyses,

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this is an internal matter we will deal with, I'm afraid aren't good

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enough. Because of the publicity you are surrounding this, they do need

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to account for what has gone on. The criticism didn't end there. The

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inquiry accused of not yet doing enough to support the abused.

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We want to see the inquiry, we don't want it to stop. We want it to

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succeed, but we want it to be right. It's important to us because it's

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about us. It's supposed to be about what happened to us. If you want our

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faith and confidence, all you have to do is be straight and transparent

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with us and do what you say you're going to do. So far you really

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haven't done that. Release tonight letters between senior figures on

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the inquiry and the Home Affairs Select Committee. Those letters show

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an inquiry fighting for it is independence, resentful of elements

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of the scrutiny MPs have put them under. The tonight's report has

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prompted a personal apology from the Chair of the inquiry, to victims and

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survivors of abuse. An apology for the anxiety caused by recent events.

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The inquiry is battling to retain the support of survivors of abuse.

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Bitter experience means many of them fear institutions will always tend

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to sweep embarrassing issues under the carpet. That is why how the

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inquiry handled their own matters so much.

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We asked for a representative from the inquiry and from the Home

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Office, but no-one was available. The Chair of the Home

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Affairs Select Committee Peter Knox QC, from 3

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Hare Court Chambers worked as junior Rosie Cooper, ir first of all, what

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shocked you the most? I think it was the complete lack of transparency

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and both about the - how they handled allegations of bullying and

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of sexual assault disclosures but also more widely the resistance to

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any form of of scrutiny. They are an independent inquiry. Their work is

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vital. We want this inquiry to be effective, but in order to do so,

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given all of the problems they've had, there has to be much more

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transparency about what's gone wrong. I want to talk about that in

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a minute. Two Chairs so far. Lead counsel, junior counsel, seven

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lawyers gone or going. The biggest survivor group has pulled out.

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Today, as you said, defensive and slow, not responding to the

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inquiries. How much worse could it actually get? Well, I think that's

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the issue that they need to deal with. They need to address to get it

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back on track. We set out some specific things that they need to do

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as well as the the more general things they need to do in order to

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deal with this otherwise they won't be able to build the confidence that

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people need. What about the position of the Chair, Alexis Jay? I think

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this is all got... Become too much focused on - can we solve everything

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by changing Chairs each time. This is the fourth Chair. We have lost,

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you know, Chairs along the way. If you just think this can be solved by

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just changing the Chairs it's missing the point. We didn't look

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specifically at the issue of the Chair, we looked at the wider issues

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around the inquiry, around the way it has got this culture of

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defensiveness it has built up and what are the things it needs to do

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to turn it round. The question Alexis Jay is a question of

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leadership. It is striking that after our report, when we approached

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the inquiry, about these allegations of bullying and sexual assault, what

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they said was flat out - no complaint. Not even disclosure. As

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far as they were concerned they claimed they knew nothing about it?

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The most disturbing thing was not what they said formally, it was the

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report, the unatrickitied report to an inquiry source reported in the

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newspaper being very, very dismissive of the whole thing. What

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we said, they should have done more to distance themselves from that

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source and that briefing as well. Do you think the inquiry was straight

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with the Select Committee and the public about Ben Emmerson's

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departure? We don't know what theishing ises were. Actually, in

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the en, it's not our position as the committee to go into the detailed

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allegations and what exactly happened. You have to hold it up to

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the light, don't you? That should be done by somebody else. It will be

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done by somebody else? Exactly. We called for an an external person to

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come in and look at this case. That could provide more transparency that

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they have followed procedures properly, they have actually taken

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seriously their responsibility to deal with allegations of bullying.

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Do you think that will be enough? Some of the big survivor groups are

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not having anything to do with this inquiry until this is sorted out?

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That is the responsibility on the inquiry to deal with this now. But I

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think it'ses not just the inquiry into the bullying allegations. Can

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you not have unresolved bullying allegations in an institution that

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has a responsibility... Not why... It's kind... I wonder if, in the

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end, it's going to be possible to put it back together again and get

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the trust of people again? Who is going to scrutinise it? That's the

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other interesting point. The inquiry has to be independent. It was set up

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to be independent as part of establishing its credibility. You

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wouldn't expect people to question the conclusions it comes to or the

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truth finding it does, but there has to be some scrutiny of its approach,

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of the processes and the approach it takes, particularly when so much has

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gone wrong. That's the role that we have tried to play. And public

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money? Yes. To hold it to an account that doesn't challenge the

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independence of the content of their work and the work they do to

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investigate, but does say - look, you have to be accountable to

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someone. Do you want to see the inquiry split into a judicial

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inquiry and a social services investigation? I think that is one

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option. Because the inquiry is so broad, in scope, I think that's been

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one of its challenges for each of the four Chairs, it has been a

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challenge as to you how to focus it most effectively. We came across

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this unresolved tension between those who want a judicial approach

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to past events - With a judge? Not necessarily. But someone who can

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approach that forensic. Get to the truth approach, it could be a judge,

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it could be somebody else. Separately an approach to child

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protection policies today where we know there are considerable

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failures. Those are two different kinds of approaches to two different

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sorts of things. There has been a tension and people worried that one

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is going to dominate the other. That they are not it actually going to

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get to the truth. We have to be absolutely clear about this, who

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this is awful for is the survivors? Exactly. That is who it has to be

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for to deal with the cover-ups that have never been challenged and the

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abuse that scars people today. Law very much. -- thank you very much.

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You are an experienced lawyer and were involved in the enquiry into

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the death of David Kelly, why do you think this has ran into so much

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trouble? There are two major problems, firstly the remit is

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impossibly wide. A lawyer looks at that remit and then she must be

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joking, it is to enquire into whether state institutions and

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non-state institutions have required the duty of care to children under

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protection without limit in time, it could go back 40, 50, 60 years. The

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other problem is there is no time limit in which the report has to be

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made. If you have a time limit of say coming back within a year then

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the people conducting the inquiry can say we can only carry out this

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wide remit within a certain sphere, the intention is that it's a white

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sphere and that has caused a lot of problems. So far we have lost seven

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lawyers, why is that? We have not been told the exact reasons, that is

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part of the problem. But as a lawyer all I can say is it virtually

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inconceivable that lawyers would resign from the inquiry. Really? I

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think one thing which is very striking is that there is no

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provision to work out what happens when you have this position. The

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reason for that is it just doesn't happen, normally. That is the

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problem which the home affairs committee came across, everyone

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effectively clammed up and said I am sorry, I cannot tell you any more.

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But on the question of, this is what lawyers are meant to do isn't it?

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Uncover injustice. So therefore this is actually, it's a very big job for

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lawyers who presumably don't walk away lightly because the very people

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they are trying to help are inevitably let down. Once you take

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on a brief that is it, you do it. You may not want to take it on and

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if you have reasons for not doing so you can, but a case like this I can

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understand why someone might say I cannot commit five years of my life

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to doing it. But I think once you have you are duty bound to carry on

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and it takes the most serious circumstances to drop out. Do you

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think it is fixable? What do you think can be done? I don't know but

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I guess the sensible way forward would be to terminate this inquiry

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and start a new one on a narrower basis with a time limit with which

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the report has to be made and I think I'm not the only lawyer who

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said that. I have seen other people suggesting it as well. Thank you

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both very much indeed. The UN announced today that its aid

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team in Syria has received written approval from rebels in the besieged

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opposition-held parts of the city of Aleppo to allow aid

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in and evacuate the wounded. No food or medical supplies have

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entered East Aleppo, which is home to some

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275,000 people, since July. Bana Alabed is a seven-year-old girl

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who's been tweeting from East Aleppo The heartbreaking pictures

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and footage she's been sharing have gained her over 90,000

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Twitter followers. According to the UN,

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by the end of October, government-led air strikes had

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killed more than 700 citizens in the east of this city,

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whilst rocket fire had left Before the war, travellers

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to Aleppo would have read in their guidebooks

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about a beautiful The street speaks a rhythm

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of sounds, from horse-drawn carts over cobblestones to the more

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frenetic pace of donkey riding couriers, still the fastest way

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through the atmospheric labyrinthine souq, that's fragrant with olive

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soap, exotic spices, roasting coffee Today, the city is almost razed

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to the ground. After a three-week moratorium,

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the assault on the area has resumed. The bombardment has left the streets

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deserted and people trying The Syrian Observatory

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for Human Rights says the strikes have been so massive that residents

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are frightened to use The last operating hospital

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in Eastern Aleppo has been destroyed, leaving up to 250,000

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residents of rebel-held districts without access

:19:09.:19:11.

to surgery or specialist care. Earlier, I spoke to

:19:12.:19:17.

a surgeon in the city, I asked him what the

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situation was like there. Aleppo right now is completely under

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siege and under shelling. There are more than 2000 shells in 24 hours,

:19:37.:19:46.

including parachute rockets and shells and barrel bombs and a lot of

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weapons actually. The whole situation, actually, it is a

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holocaust here in Aleppo. You say it is a Holocaust, tell me the kind of

:19:59.:20:03.

injuries you are seeing? As a surgeon I see all the casualties.

:20:04.:20:17.

They are shelling, the patients are full of fragments and shrapnel from

:20:18.:20:22.

head to toe. There are a lot of children and women, they are all

:20:23.:20:31.

casualties, they are civilians. You have a lot of people but you are

:20:32.:20:35.

seeing who need medical help but what can you actually do for them

:20:36.:20:41.

now? Actually, as you know, all trauma centres and all trauma

:20:42.:20:49.

hospitals have been destroyed completely. They are out of service.

:20:50.:20:53.

Now we don't have an operation room so we can't do anything to the

:20:54.:20:58.

patients. All patients and all casualties will be, will die. Or

:20:59.:21:07.

they will die later, because we don't, we cannot do anything. All we

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can do is such a small incision. Doctor, you send us pictures of the

:21:19.:21:22.

most desperate injuries which were too desperate for us to show. From

:21:23.:21:28.

your point of view as a doctor how frustrating is this that you have so

:21:29.:21:32.

little we are able to do? The most difficult moment to me, to a

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surgeon, I am a surgeon and I cannot do anything for these patients are

:21:39.:21:47.

these casualties. The patient's family appeal me and they say,

:21:48.:21:53.

please, doctor, please do anything for my children, anything to my

:21:54.:22:00.

wife, do anything to save them and I cannot do anything. They cry and I

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cried. Is there any chance you can get any of these children out? We

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plead, the international community, the Security Council, the United

:22:15.:22:17.

Nations, all the free world and Britain is one of them, England is

:22:18.:22:24.

one of them, we plead, we appeal them, open humanitarian corridor and

:22:25.:22:33.

entered humanitarian aid. And change the medical staff, medical staff are

:22:34.:22:42.

so tired. We are exhausted. We need evacuation of wounded and injuries

:22:43.:22:46.

and complicated cases. If there was a humanitarian corridor which got

:22:47.:22:49.

some people out over a short time span would you go would you stay to

:22:50.:22:57.

help the ones who are left behind? It's a big question, actually. I am

:22:58.:23:03.

a surgeon. Health care worker here, to see these patients, to save these

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people, I cannot go and leave all the civilian people here in Aleppo.

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Do you accept this is the death of Aleppo, the death of the city you

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are facing? We do not want to die here. There is not any fuel, any

:23:18.:23:25.

electricity or food, that is not any baby milk. There is not any fruit,

:23:26.:23:35.

there is no electricity generator. It's a horrible situation. A surgeon

:23:36.:23:39.

in Aleppo. The Chancellor, Philip Hammond,

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has spent the day defending Touring the studios this morning

:23:43.:23:44.

with the message that he's taken the first steps to ensure the UK

:23:45.:23:48.

economy is prepared for Brexit. He may have to go further to placate

:23:49.:23:51.

families who are struggling This afternoon, the Institute

:23:52.:23:54.

of Fiscal Studies published data suggesting the outlook for wages

:23:55.:23:57.

is "dreadful" and that workers will earn less in real terms in 2021

:23:58.:23:59.

than they did in 2008. Also, it predicts,

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the biggest losers will be... Yes - those lower income families

:24:04.:24:06.

the government has been Our political editor,

:24:07.:24:08.

Nick Watt, is here. Pretty dramatic sounding

:24:09.:24:22.

intervention? Absolutely, by Paul Johnson, a former Treasury civil

:24:23.:24:27.

servant, quite a cautious man using strong language, dreadful. They have

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produced a graphic, look at this. If you look, let's get it up on screen,

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there it is, look at that red line along the bottom, that is average

:24:38.:24:40.

earnings and it is bumping along and that is showing what you are saying,

:24:41.:24:48.

even by 2021 wages will not have recovered with a where in 2008 at

:24:49.:24:51.

the beginning of the global financial grass. -- crash. We can

:24:52.:25:00.

look at this any historical context, this has been produced by the

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resolution foundation and look at the far right, look at that red

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depth. Forecast at Autumn Statement 2016. Paul Johnson is saying we have

:25:11.:25:14.

not seen this since the Second World War and he also makes the point that

:25:15.:25:20.

some, although not all of this, has been caused by the consequences of

:25:21.:25:25.

the Brexit referendum. So what do the government say? It is not great

:25:26.:25:33.

for Theresa May, she said the Autumn Statement be aimed at those just

:25:34.:25:36.

about managing and I think what this shows is that it is 2-1 to Philip

:25:37.:25:40.

Hammond. He directed some measures towards those people but most of the

:25:41.:25:44.

spending in the Autumn Statement was about boosting infrastructure, that

:25:45.:25:48.

is where the megabucks went. If we look at that graphic again, Theresa

:25:49.:25:52.

May has a point in one of the things she said today, we are doing some

:25:53.:25:57.

measures, look at the national living wage, look at that blue line,

:25:58.:26:02.

up it goes. It is denoted beer because it has to get to ?9 by 2020.

:26:03.:26:09.

But I'm hearing an echo from the Treasury, a bit of a told you so in

:26:10.:26:13.

the direction of the Brexit crowd but they are seeing it under their

:26:14.:26:17.

breath because they know that the Eurosceptic Tories are turning their

:26:18.:26:21.

fire at the moment on the experts, the officer budget responsibility,

:26:22.:26:25.

and they wonder when it might be their turn. But let's end on a

:26:26.:26:30.

health warning. Forecast? Sometimes they are wrong. Thank you very much

:26:31.:26:32.

indeed. The issue of sales of Prosecco

:26:33.:26:34.

was exercising Boris Johnson when he met the Italian Economy

:26:35.:26:36.

Minister. Our Foreign Secretary opened that

:26:37.:26:41.

Italy would want to grant Britain access to the EU because Italy

:26:42.:26:43.

wouldn't want to lose out on sales of the fizz -

:26:44.:26:46.

which we apparently drink Mr Calenda shot back that the UK

:26:47.:26:49.

would sell fewer fish and chips. "I'll sell less Prosecco

:26:50.:26:53.

to one country. The serious side to this is that

:26:54.:26:56.

we're relying on countries to engage with the Foreign Secretary to sure

:26:57.:27:01.

Brexit goes smoothly. We know that the Chancellor

:27:02.:27:03.

and the Prime Minister seem to take great delight

:27:04.:27:06.

in ripping Boris Johnson. Earlier this evening,

:27:07.:27:08.

I spoke to the Mr Johnson's Italian counterpart, Paulo Gentiloni,

:27:09.:27:13.

and asked about the future of Europe, populism and how

:27:14.:27:15.

seriously he took our I started asking if he had

:27:16.:27:26.

confidence in Britain's Brexit negotiation team. As far as I know

:27:27.:27:37.

there is different roads in the UK Government. We are now in our

:27:38.:27:42.

waiting position. I am sorry about that but this is the only thing that

:27:43.:27:48.

we can do in the EU. There may be no formal negotiations but we know the

:27:49.:27:52.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson had a conversation with your colleague,

:27:53.:27:57.

the economy minister and Boris Johnson said Italy would grand

:27:58.:28:00.

Britain access to the EU single market because you do not want to

:28:01.:28:04.

lose per sec or imports. He is right isn't he? --

:28:05.:28:13.

Boris was joking a little on that subject but the issue is does the UK

:28:14.:28:23.

want to remain in the single market? It is rather strange that if you

:28:24.:28:27.

want to remain in the single market you vote for a leave in the

:28:28.:28:34.

referendum. But if the UK wants to remain in the single market we are

:28:35.:28:39.

happy. Obviously the single market has rules. Unfortunately there is no

:28:40.:28:45.

cherry picking. Let's look at Italian politics, you're having a

:28:46.:28:48.

referendum on the constitution and your government is one of the few

:28:49.:28:52.

central left governments in the EU and by Minister Matteo Renzi is

:28:53.:28:55.

trying to tap into the anti-politics going around just now, Donald Trump

:28:56.:29:00.

talked about draining the swamp and Matteo Renzi says he is not going to

:29:01.:29:05.

remain in the swamp. Why is he looking to Donald Trump for

:29:06.:29:12.

direction and inspiration? Well, I assure you he is not looking to

:29:13.:29:18.

Donald Trump as an inspiration. They use the same language. Obviously

:29:19.:29:28.

not. Absolutely not. If you mean that the Prime Minister having a

:29:29.:29:34.

language and values completely different and common to the European

:29:35.:29:44.

centre-left has also a special characteristic to be a young and

:29:45.:29:49.

antiestablishment leader, yes, you are right. And yet that would be

:29:50.:29:53.

exactly what the populist movements are saying, that they are the ones

:29:54.:29:58.

who are antiestablishment, you have your own 5-star movement, there is

:29:59.:30:02.

popular is in Hungary and France and Sweden. For sure we have a populist

:30:03.:30:10.

movement as we all have in Europe. I am rather confident that these

:30:11.:30:19.

populist movement in Italy will not be considered a movement capable to

:30:20.:30:27.

have, to offer an alternative as a government.

:30:28.:30:30.

This is I think the specific strength of our position.

:30:31.:30:40.

We are a government force, pro-Europe, very serious

:30:41.:30:50.

in its reform and its position, but also, understanding

:30:51.:30:54.

what our public opinion want to be changed in the establishment,

:30:55.:30:57.

If the central left is not aware of the changes that are necessary

:30:58.:31:02.

in the globalisation and in the establishment,

:31:03.:31:07.

I think that they risk, the centre left risk

:31:08.:31:09.

Do you fear for the future of Europe?

:31:10.:31:17.

Yes, because I think that if Europe is not able to give answers,

:31:18.:31:27.

especially to two main subjects, one is economic growth and the other

:31:28.:31:29.

These two issues are so urgent that if there is no European answer,

:31:30.:31:46.

I think that Europe is seriously risking.

:31:47.:31:51.

But we have now also a chance, after Brexit, Brexit was also

:31:52.:31:54.

But, finally, first the UK, who'll be next to want out?

:31:55.:32:03.

I think that UK's already sufficient.

:32:04.:32:10.

It's a very important country and I don't think

:32:11.:32:14.

we will have someone next, at least I hope.

:32:15.:32:20.

Paulo Gentiloni, thank you very much indeed.

:32:21.:32:25.

If you've ever thought, "I'll get round to cleaning that up later",

:32:26.:32:32.

then imagine the job that scientists are facing.

:32:33.:32:34.

Space debris is at crisis point and there's so much of it

:32:35.:32:39.

floating around the Earth, that future missions

:32:40.:32:41.

So, with a new era of satellite technology ready to be launched,

:32:42.:32:45.

Our science correspondent, Rebecca Morelle, has been looking

:32:46.:32:48.

at how to give the Earth's orbit a spring clean.

:32:49.:32:50.

It's incredible to think that we've been space bound

:32:51.:32:53.

We've achieved amazing advances, made countless scientific

:32:54.:33:02.

discoveries and made the world more connected than ever before.

:33:03.:33:07.

But for every advance, we've left something behind - waste.

:33:08.:33:13.

So if we want to keep on blasting off into orbit,

:33:14.:33:15.

The space around our planet is so full of rubbish orbiting

:33:16.:33:32.

at menacingly high speeds, it's seen as a threat to future missions.

:33:33.:33:37.

Space debris is made up of lots of things,

:33:38.:33:42.

but any space mission, any space craft, can

:33:43.:33:44.

Many people would say that low Earth orbit has already exceeded the kind

:33:45.:33:50.

of capacity that it has for space junk and that we'll see

:33:51.:33:53.

I think the evidence for that is a bit uncertain,

:33:54.:33:57.

but it's nonetheless something that we really need to take

:33:58.:34:00.

Low Earth orbit is about to get even more crowded.

:34:01.:34:08.

This is Clyde Space in Glasgow, one of several companies

:34:09.:34:13.

spearheading a new satellite revolution, were size matters.

:34:14.:34:17.

This little thing is the size that we're talking about,

:34:18.:34:20.

it's 10 centimetres cubed, and it's transforming

:34:21.:34:23.

They're not only designed to be small, but plentiful.

:34:24.:34:31.

Cost effective missions will see hundreds of them in orbit, working

:34:32.:34:33.

together in vast constellations and bringing great benefits.

:34:34.:34:41.

CubeSats are going to help change our understanding

:34:42.:34:43.

of the planet so we can take an image of the Earth every day,

:34:44.:34:47.

but also data from moisture content of the atmosphere.

:34:48.:34:50.

We'll be looking at the temperature of the oceans in a lot more detail.

:34:51.:34:54.

This will give them much better understanding of actually what's

:34:55.:34:57.

But there are concerns about CubeSats becoming

:34:58.:35:03.

And with so many joining the market, from schools to the military,

:35:04.:35:08.

it will be tricky to ensure that everyone's following the rules.

:35:09.:35:12.

International space guidelines require that satellites should

:35:13.:35:15.

If we build spacecraft, we don't want to shoot

:35:16.:35:23.

ourselves in the foot by making space unusable.

:35:24.:35:25.

Most CubeSats are launched into variable orbits

:35:26.:35:27.

and they have an orbital life of about three to five

:35:28.:35:30.

years which means, at their end of mission,

:35:31.:35:32.

There are other spacecraft up there that are quite large

:35:33.:35:37.

that are not functional, that could potentially cause a lot

:35:38.:35:39.

of damage if they were to collide with another object.

:35:40.:35:55.

We've been invading space for more than half a century,

:35:56.:35:59.

now though the brightest minds are trying to work out how

:36:00.:36:02.

we can clean up our act, but who's going to be the first big

:36:03.:36:05.

player in this special mission and who's going to be willing

:36:06.:36:07.

Let's first get the score on how bad our galactic

:36:08.:36:13.

Scientists are currently tracking more than 22,000

:36:14.:36:19.

pieces of space junk, more than 10 centimetres wide,

:36:20.:36:22.

that's 7,000 tonnes of trash to take out.

:36:23.:36:25.

But blowing the stuff up would just create a bigger mess.

:36:26.:36:29.

Instead, would-be cosmic cleaners need to bring pieces

:36:30.:36:32.

out of orbit to burn up in the Earth's atmosphere.

:36:33.:36:38.

But first, you've got to catch them, otherwise...

:36:39.:36:41.

At the University of Surrey, scientists are getting ready

:36:42.:36:53.

for the world's most ambitious refuge collection.

:36:54.:36:55.

So the remove debris mission is an exciting mission that we're

:36:56.:36:57.

It's going to be one of the world's first missions to actually test

:36:58.:37:02.

Fortunately though, there are animations.

:37:03.:37:09.

This is what their spacecraft will look like.

:37:10.:37:13.

First, it will jettison some junk made especially for this mission.

:37:14.:37:17.

Then it will fire a net to see how easy it is to snag

:37:18.:37:21.

The second experiment involves setting up a target to test

:37:22.:37:27.

the accuracy of firing the harpoon in the weightless

:37:28.:37:29.

Last up, to test future deorbiting tech and, to clean up after itself,

:37:30.:37:38.

it will deploy a sail designed to upset its orbit and drag it down

:37:39.:37:43.

The mission will cost 15 million euros and the idea is that each

:37:44.:37:50.

future mission would target one key piece of space junk.

:37:51.:37:53.

Well, the thing is, I like to think of space junk a bit

:37:54.:38:03.

It's a problem that no-one really wants to pay for,

:38:04.:38:07.

If you have $100 million satellite, it gets wiped out by a piece

:38:08.:38:13.

of junk, then you start thinking - well, maybe I should have done some

:38:14.:38:17.

of these missions to actually get rid of these pieces because it

:38:18.:38:20.

would have been cheaper to begin with.

:38:21.:38:22.

There's another consideration - a diplomatic one.

:38:23.:38:25.

There are legal issues with capturing space junk.

:38:26.:38:28.

You can't just go up there and grab anybody's junk.

:38:29.:38:31.

For example, a lot of the items that are worthwhile getting rid

:38:32.:38:35.

If we just went up there and try and grab those that would

:38:36.:38:41.

effectively be stealing them, it would be theft or interfering

:38:42.:38:44.

It's not only about reducing hazards for future missions,

:38:45.:38:50.

but preventing collisions that may themselves generate more junk.

:38:51.:38:54.

Look at the damage that can be caused by the millions of pieces

:38:55.:38:57.

British astronaut, Tim Peake, took this photo while on board

:38:58.:39:04.

the International Space Station, a chip in a window thought to be

:39:05.:39:06.

caused by an object a few thousand times smaller than a millimetre.

:39:07.:39:11.

The fear is that, in a few generations, low Earth orbit

:39:12.:39:17.

Navigation, Earth observation, weather forecasting, communications,

:39:18.:39:21.

all those things that we take for granted would be gone.

:39:22.:39:25.

There's already been one or two collisions between objects in space

:39:26.:39:28.

so far and there is a lot of objects up there.

:39:29.:39:32.

Space is pretty big, but it's something we need to be

:39:33.:39:36.

mindful of and I think we should be doing something about it

:39:37.:39:39.

now rather than waiting for there to be a problem.

:39:40.:39:42.

But efforts to make the world think collectively about our environment

:39:43.:39:45.

can be particularly challenging, even more so when that

:39:46.:39:48.

environment is hundreds of kilometers above the Earth.

:39:49.:39:53.

We may not be able to take out space's trash quite

:39:54.:39:56.

as literally as we'd like, but with a new era in satellite

:39:57.:39:59.

technology looming, experts think it's high time

:40:00.:40:03.

However, with so many decades of waste that's out of this world,

:40:04.:40:08.

we won't be able to get the lid on all of it.

:40:09.:40:20.

Now, just before we go, we are getting news of what could be a

:40:21.:40:25.

significant story in France. At least one person is dead and armed

:40:26.:40:31.

police are surrounding a retirement home for monks in the country after

:40:32.:40:35.

a masked man burst in carrying a knife and a sawn-off shotgun. It's

:40:36.:40:40.

thought 70 monks live at the home. At the moment there is no indication

:40:41.:40:43.

that the incident is related to terrorism. There will be more though

:40:44.:40:46.

on the BBC News Channel overnight. We leave you tonight

:40:47.:40:52.

with the haunting work An exhibition of his photographs

:40:53.:40:54.

of homeless people from around the UK and the world goes on show

:40:55.:40:58.

at the M Saatchi Gallery in London As hundreds of people sleep out

:40:59.:41:01.

on the streets of London and Bristol tonight,

:41:02.:41:05.

as part of a campaign to end homelessness, it's a timely

:41:06.:41:07.

reminder to appreciate that A lot of dry weather to come over

:41:08.:42:00.

the next few days. Plenty of sunshine on offer through tomorrow

:42:01.:42:03.

as well after a frosty start across many northern areas. A lot of cloud

:42:04.:42:08.

across the far north of Scotland might produce the odd spot of rain.

:42:09.:42:11.

. Pay cloud further south across

:42:12.:42:12.

The Home Affairs Select Committee releases a damning report on the child abuse enquiry. Plus interviews with the Italian foreign minister and a doctor in Aleppo, more Autumn Statement reaction and a discussion of space junk.


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