03/10/2012 BBC News at One

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The latest national and international news stories from the BBC News team, followed by weather.

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The mother of a missing five-year- old break downs in tears as she


appeals to the public to help find her daughter. April Jones was


playing with friends on Monday evening when she was seen climbing


into a car. A man has been arrested We are desperate for any news.


April is only five years' old. Please, please, help find her.


Police are continuing to question 46-year-old Mark Bridger and have


appealed for witnesses who saw him or his car earlier this week.


The West Coast Main Line rail fiasco. The Government scraps


FirstGroup's contract to take over the line after the Transport


secretary says significant flaws from found in the bidding process.


I think what has happened is unacceptable, regrettable. I


apologise. We have made a big mistake and the companies that have


put bids in have done nothing wrong. Hundreds of police officers line


the streets of Manchester for the funeral of Constable Nicola Hughes


who was killed in a gun and grenade attack.


Tesco reports its first fall in profits for nearly 20 years.


On BBC London, paying tribute to the bomber, command but the


ceremony could cost victims their Good afternoon. Welcome to the BBC


News at one. The mother of the missing five-year-old, April Jones,


broke down in tears as she made ang emotional plea for the return of


her little girl. April was last soon by friends climbing into a car


on Monday evening in Machynlleth. Police searching for her say there


is still no news of her whereabouts. They are still questioning a 46-


year-old, Mark Bridgerers who was arrested yesterday. The report


contains flash photography. Despite the efforts of hundreds of people,


there is no sign of April Jones. This lunch time her Des straut


family appeared before the cameras for the first time, to plead for


her safe return much -- distraught. Ch There must be someone out there


who knows where she is and can help the police find her.


We are desperate for any news. April is only five years old.


Please, please help find her. This morning, the police confirmed


that this man is being questioned on suspicion of April's abduction.


Mark Bridger is 46, and from the local area. Detectives have also


released a photograph of his vehicle, an land rover Discovery. -


- Land Rover. Did you see that vehicle between Monday evening and


Tuesday afternoon? Please don't assume that someone else has


already contacted us. Please, even if you have the smallest of


information, it could be crucial to this investigation.


Once again, search teams have been scouring the town and surrounding


area. So far without success. This time it's been without the help of


the hundreds of volunteers. The emergency services preferring to


rely now on specialist teams. Disappointment for some, who


travelled more than 50 miles to be here. We heard about April going


missing yesterday and we have come to see if we could help today, on


our day off. We got here and they have stood down the volunteers.


Frustrating? Veryous straighting, yeah.


-- very frustrating. The town is trying to get back to business as


usual, but it is proving difficult. Alison Jones is used to serving


April and her friends in her sweet shop. The thought that something


awful could happen to any one of these children and in particular


April, is devastating. You know, they are so innocent and at that


age, they are just full of wonder and it's just deep anguish, just


worrying where she is. And until April is found, that anguish is


unlikely to go away. Jon is in Machynlleth now.


Heartbreaking seeing April's mother talking a short time ago. What is


the latest, though, on the police investigation? Well, in terms of


the search, Sophie, there is still no good news to report. There are


specialists teams now in the town itself, in the surrounding


countryside and on the river but so far still no sign at all of the


missing girl. And of course, with every passing hour, the chances of


a happy outcome to this are Dee diminishing just a little bit more.


So a real sense of frustration here at the lack of progress, but they


are still just holding out some hope that she is somewhere, safe


and well and can be returned. Thank you very much.


The Government has apologised after suddenly cancelling the multi-


billion pound West Coast Main Line rail franchise that had been


awarded to FirstGroup. Three civil servants have been suspended after


significant technical flaws were found in the way the bidding


process was handle. The fiasco will cost the taxpayer around �40


million. The existing operator, Virgin Trains lcontinue to run the


service for the moment. -- will continue. In a moment we will speak


to the Virgin chairman, Branson ban but furst the Transport


Correspondent is at Euston train station.


-- but first. It is a seemingly incredible mistake that stopped the


contest to run one of our busiest raillines in its tracks.


Government experts got their sums wrong, failing to take inflation


into account when they judged each company's bid. A mistake that will


cost the taxpayer �40 million. An angry Transport Secretary, who has


only tpwhn his job a few weeks, has been forced into a humiliating


apology. -- only been in his job a few weeks. What has happened is


unacceptable, regrettable. I apologise. We have made a big


mistake as far as this department is concerned and the companies that


have put bids in have done nothing wrong. All a far cry from the


assurances of the last Transport Secretary, after losing boss Sir


Richard Branson accused the Government of not running a fair


contest. It is a fair and established process. It is a very


probust process. The whole point of it actually being so probust is to


Mick shur it is not politicised -- so robust. And that it is handled


fairly for the bidders. It is an unbelievable shambles. I think it


is almost difficult to comprehend how they could have wasted so much


money with such gross mistakes and ministers not noticed. There is


absolutely no chance that this mess is going to be cleaned up by the


time Virgin's contract runs out in December. So, the big question for


customers then - who is going to keep these trains running over the


busy Christmas period and n beyond until they sort this whole thing


out? Ministers have two choices: takeover the line themselves, or


make an Mbeki bars aing phonecall to Sir Richard Branson, asking him


to help Virgin must be delighted. If they had been preparing to


rundown, they have now got to run up again -- make an embarrassing


phone call. I would be happy for Virgin to keep the franchise.


is not broke, don't fix it. It is a good service. Now the whole process


for handing out train contracts is in doubt with more than a dozen


multi-billion pound deals due to be awarded in the next couple of years


There is no doubt that this will raise big questions, not only about


the process itself and how bids are assessed but about the very nature


of franchises. You know, why do we have this railway operated with


this franchising system that no other country in the world actually


uses in this particular way? Three officials have been suspended,


while a review tries to find out how the Government got things so


badly wrong. Richard Westcott with that report.


Let's speak to Sir Richard Branson who is in our New York office. Good


afternoon. Thank you for joining us. First of all your reaction to this


rather sudden news? Well, obviously we're pleased that we don't have to


go to court to try to settle it in court. We are grateful that the


minister has taken it on the chin and been so forth right in


acknowledging the major flaws to the process and we're obviously


hopeful that Virgin Trains can now be back in the process and


hopefully be running the West Coast Main Line and maybe other lines in


the UK for many years to come. said at the time when this was


first given to FirstGroup that it was flawed and insane. What, from


your point of view, went wrong? think the process has been flawed


and insane for some time. As we mentioned at the time, you know we


were runners-up on three different occasions on the East Coast


mainline. The bidders all went bust and the East Coast mainline could


have been running high-speed fast trains today if the process had


been correct. So, obviously the process is flawed. It needs to be


sorted. I'm sure the Government will sort it. And if it is sorted


and we feel - as I'm sure we will - it is going to be a fair process,


we will be in there bidding and hopefully being able to do what we


have done to the West Coast Main Line over the last ten years, for


the next ten years, and this is invest in fantastic new trains,


invest in our staff and increase the number of people who want it


use the train. So you are pretty confident that you will now retain


this line? Well, obviously what we were hopeful for, was when


FirstGroup's bid was found to be flawed, that as runners-up we would


have been given the keys. I don't think that is going to happen. I


think we are going to have to go through yet another bid process but


we are hopeful that in a fair bid process we can win it. We believed


that we won this it this time and we believe we can win it next time


around. There is still uncertainty, so for the meantime you keep


running the West Coast Main Line, just to be clear? I think it is


likely we will continue to run it. It would be madness for Government


to try to, you know, put a team in to run it. We have a great team of


people. You know, we should be able to run it until the bid process


takes place, and then hopefully on a new, you know, seven-year or 15-


year contract, whatever they decide going forward. Thank you very much


for joining us. Hundreds of police officers and


members of the public have lined the streets of central Manchester


for the funeral of PC Nicola Hughes, the 23-year-old officer was


murdered alongside her colleague, PC Fiona Bone in a gun and grenade


attack last mob. Our correspondent, Judith more sits in Manchester.


-- last month. The impact of the double police


shooting always meant this was going to be a high-profile occasion


and the grand setting of Manchester cathedral has provided a focal


point for it, although I understhand PC Hughes's family also


wanted to retain an ipbt feel to proceedings. But there has also


been the marked involvement of officers of Greater Manchester


Police. Right now inside the cathedral behind me, the service is


under way and the Chief Constable of Manchester, Sir Peter Fahy has


been talking, giving his recollections and some memories of


PC Nicola Hughes' life and time as a police officer. There are 1,000


members of her family, friends and colleagues inside the cathedral and


many, many hundreds more watching this service on screens outside,


because although many of these officers didn't know PC Hughes


personally, they wanted to be a part of today, too.


Nicola Hughes loved policing Greater Manchester. Today the


city's police came out to return that affection. Thousands lining


the road to the cathedral, as the funeral cortege passed by.


They were joined by officers from each of the 43 police forces of


England and Wales, some there to provide cover to allow their


Manchester colleagues to attend. Police officers are very special


people and they feel it all over the world when their colleagues are


killed in this way. They are showing it by the support they are


giving us today. I work in the Gwent yfrplt I personally wanted to


come. In the Gwent area. I never met the officers but it has touched


me. You expect to come to work and go home at the end of the day. It


is a reminder of the dangerous job we do. From the City of London


police. Obviously it is important to show our respect and solidarity


do our colleagues in another force. Nicola Hughes was just 23 when she


was shot. She died, her familiar polysay, doing the job she loved.


She'd only joined the police three years ago. -- her family say. Last


month she was on shift with PC Fiona Bone when the two officers


were sent out to respond to a reported burglary. When they got to


the house in Mottram they walked into a gun and grenade attack. PC


Hughes' coffin was carried into the cathedral by her close colleagues.


The occasion designed to include them alongside the officer's


friends and family. PC bones' funeral is tomorrow. There are also


plans for a further memorial. will be, later on, probably


sometime in the new year, a sort of civic ceremony, a celebration of


their lives a service of thanksgiving, which will be more a


celebration of what they stand for, Nicola and Fiona and of the whole


work of the Greater Manchester Police. After the cathedral service,


PC Hughes' body will be taken away for a private sermony. Her family


have said that she'd always be wanted to make a difference and


that in doing so, she made a big difference to everyone she knew.


Well as well as the involvement of the Chief Constable, some of the


readings today have been given by the closest colleagues of PC Hughes


who worked with her in the Tameside division here in Greater Manchester


and with Fiona Bonne's funeral tomorrow these scenes will be


repeated again as for a second time all of these police officers come


out to pay tribute to a fallen A British boy was among those who


died when a ferry crash in Hong Kong. 38 people were killed,


including five children, when the boat sank in the busy waters south


of Hong Kong island. Seven crew members have been arrested.


The Hamas government in Gaza is being accused of using torture,


police brutality and arbitrary arrests. The allegations come in a


new report from the grim Human Rights Watch. Hamas have denied


widespread abuse. Britain's biggest retailer, Tesco,


has reported its first fall in profits for nearly 20 years. One of


its rivals, Sainsbury's, saw its like-for-like sales rise slightly


in the first half of the financial year. Tesco's chief executive,


Philip Clarke, said it was proof of difficult trading conditions for


all supermarkets. Emma Simpson has the details.


20 million of us may shop in one of the stores every week, but for the


mighty Tesco the going is tough. Recession has taken its toll, and


sales have slowed over says. Today's saw the first fall in


profits for nearly 20 years, down at 11.6%, but they still made close


to �2 billion. The boss says they took a hit to turn a UK business


around. Back in April, we set out a plan to put that right. We are


investing �1 billion in the first six months, 8,000 new colleagues


into our existing stores, relaunched 2000 products, you know,


we are busy making improvements that our customers will notice.


There are signs that the plan may be working with UK sales growing


ever so slightly for the first time in almost two years. Tesco is still


a hugely successful world-class company. It continues to be the


biggest player by far up here in the UK. But if they have already


got so much of the market, winning more of it becomes increasingly


difficult. Tesco took its eye off the ball and now a smaller


retailers like Sainsbury's are Campaigns like this have helped


Sainsbury's pylon sales, outperforming its bigger rival.


performance is relative. We are growing more than any of our


competitors, and that must mean we are helping our customers better


than they are. It is a fast- changing business, partly because


these days many of us are no longer doing the big trolley shop. Instead,


they are shopping little and often in local stores, buying the big


shop online, mostly to avoid fuel prices, to avoid paying VAT on


prices to go to the out-of-town locations. The battle has never


been rated to win our wallets. For Tesco, the fightback has begun, but


the turnaround is not going to be Our top story this lunchtime: The


mother of missing five-year-old April Jones broke down in tears as


she appealed for the safe return of her daughter. Police are


questioning 46-year-old Mark Bridger.


Coming up, he is back, Kevin Pietersen is reinstated to the


England cricket team after apologising for sending provocative


text matches. -- text messages. Later on BBC London, a story of


love, mistaken identity and revolution, choreographer Katie


Prince talks about Some Like it Hip Hop and the company's Olivier


It is called the Bloodhound, it is powered by a rocket, and British


engineers are hoping the car will break the land speed record and the


sound barrier by travelling at more than 1,000 mph. The engine has been


fired up for the first time today. Robert Hall is in Newquay.


Sophie, tense times for the Bloodhound team, inside a concrete


hangar, about 100 metres from where the rocket test will take place.


They are completing the fuelling process. It is a tense time because


this is the moment that will test whether the drafting and design


stage will bear fruit. Over my shoulder, is the control centre,


and expect to push the button On a windswept Cornish hill top,


shrouded by a relic of the Cold War, the sounds which herald a milestone


moment, Europe's largest hybrid rocket burning a fuel which needs a


Formula One engine just to supply it fast enough. From the outset,


the team set out to confront the seemingly impossible, the kit of


parts laid out in this Heine might just be the key. The rocket will


combine with the power from this, the engine from an RAF Typhoon.


They will fit one above the other in the body of the car that is now


being built. The object is to get a seven-ton vehicle down a measured


mile in just under 3 1/2 seconds. Building a thousand mph car is an


extraordinary technical and engineering challenge, and to make


it work is going to be huge amount of pressure from five years ago


when we started with a blank sheet of paper, all the way through to


This is a project which aims to draw us all in, to inspire


engineers of the future, whether they are from the UK or from the


communities that surround the chosen track near the Namibian


border. That they carry out their dry runs, Blood and's engineers


know they will have a worldwide audience. This is the first time we


have put all the elements of the rocket system together. We have


tested the Allen and separately, but we will be bringing the whole


system together for a complete test. -- the elements. Bloodhound should


go across the 1,000 mph barrier in 2014. The countdown to that moment


is well under way. Well, it is not just the


engineering team who are monitoring what is going on. I talked about


accessibility, there is an application so anyone can watch the


performance of the rocket engine on their mobile devices are any sort,


computers at home. There are already 100,000 people who are


watching what is going on. The latest I have on the timing, Sophie,


is that they expect to fire the Rock shortly after 2 o'clock if you


want to join those viewers. -- the rocket.


Lawyers for Abu Hamza have told the High Court he has diabetes,


depression and high blood pressure. He is fighting extradition to the


United States on terrorism charges, but one of the judges hearing the


case said the sooner he stands trial, the better and that he did


not see how a delay was in the interests of justice.


The new women's minister, Maria Miller, has said the leap in


abortion limit -- the legal abortion and it should be lowered


by four weeks because of advances in medical science. She said it was


common sense because care for extremely premature babies has


improved. Nearly half of all state schools in


England have no girls taking A- level physics, according to a new


report. The Institute of Physics says the situation is shocking and


unacceptable. Science correspondent Pallab Ghosh reports.


Today we are talking about velocity... The pupils of Lampton


School in west London love their physics lessons, especially the


girls. I like learning about different things, especially as I


am into Formula One, and that has quite a lot to do with it. I enjoy


science in general, but in physics you see how things used every day


have a lot of science included. Many of the girls here are likely


to go on to do A-level physics, but that is not the case in most state


schools. In England, half of them do not send a single Goole to Delhi


A level physics. -- girl. Campaigners say they are interested


in A-level physics but have their curiosity driven out by the


attitude in many schools that it is not for girls, and so the thought


too many highly paid jobs is slammed shut simply by their choice


of secondary school. The disparity is much greater for physics than


any other science subjects. Slightly more A-level entries for


biology from girls, in chemistry the numbers are equal. But for


physics, it is much less, just 20% are girls. While at NASA, this


astrophysicists discover atmospheres around the world's


orbiting distant stars. She hopes girls will be inspired by her


example. I wanted to be a physicist, and I am very happy at 42 have done


those choices, so I would like to see female students like me who


take the same path. At Lampton School, it helps that the physics


teacher is a woman. She organises girls-only workshops and brings in


female scientists as well models. It is an approach that the


Institute of Physics would like more schools to follow.


Kevin Pietersen has signed a new England contract but must undergo a


reintegration period before he returns to international action.


The 32-year-old batsman was dropped for sending provocative text


messages to opposing players during the Test series against Africa.


Speaking at a press conference in Colombo, he expressed regret for


the controversy. I would just like to take this opportunity to


apologise to my team-mates, all the England supporters and the EC


before the situation that has arisen over the last couple of


months, but thankfully we have drawn a line under it and it is


time to move forward. Although it has already been covered in my


statement, at no time did I ever share tactical information with any


of the South Africans or management. Playing for England is the pinnacle


of any cricketer's career, and I want the opportunity to do it again


as soon as possible. Some of the proudest and best moments of my


life have been in an England shirt, and I want that to continue for as


long as possible. I am entirely completed to completing the


reintegration process that we have agreed and resuming my England


career in all forms, hopefully until the World Cup in 20 will stop


-- in 2014, as long as my body allows.


We can speak to cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew, who


was at that press conference in Colombo. What does this


reintegration process mean? Well, I will try on a rather difficult line,


but I have never heard of one in 35 years of cricket! It means he is


going to have to show commitment and loyalty to his team-mates. The


text messages are very central to this. Basically, his colleagues


felt he had become treacherous in sending text messages to the South


Africans. It is clear that the board take his fear that he did not


send the first one, it was not instigated by him, but he will have


meetings with his team-mates and the management, a process overseen


by Andy Flower, and will he then go on tour to India and the Test squad


next month? That is the big question. England have been beaten


badly without him, and I think that the first sign of loyalty and


commitment, he will be back in that Test side again.


A look at the weather now with Nick Quieter weather for a time this


weekend, but I have also got more heavy rain in a forecast. All those


details coming up, but today it is a mixture of sunshine and showers,


not evenly spread across the UK, some of us getting more than our


fair share, others largely dry with sunshine. The showers are mostly


focused on the south coast, the Bristol Channel, north-west England,


northern and western Scotland. Away from these areas, you may well stay


dry and get the sunshine. Frequent showers in the North West,


particularly in Lancashire, some drifting into West Yorkshire, and


where the ground is saturated there will be some local flooding. It is


wet in Shetland, showers in northern and western Scotland, very


few to the East Stand in Northern Ireland. Drier weather in Wales,


but showers will gather this evening, some brushing the south


coast, running through the Bristol Channel and into south-west England.


With any showers today, you could get a rumble of thunder and see


some hail, further heavy downpours. Few are inland across England and


we have seen today, plenty of sunshine across East Anglia, the


winds easing. The showers in the north-west and Wales continue this


evening, starting to break up. An area of potentially heavy rain


running along the south coast from the Isle of Wight. Away from these


areas, lots of dry weather overnight, clear spells, cold in


the countryside, particularly from the north of the UK we could see


ground frost. A chilly start to Thursday, a bright start, and fewer


showers on the way. There will be one or two that drift further east,


but many of us will avoid them, staying dry with sunny spells and


lighter winds. Temperatures not a great deal higher, but feeling


warmer. If you think that is the start of quieter weather for the


weekend, think again! Thursday night, more heavy rain coming into


England and Wales, heavy showers to the north-west of the UK. When the


ground is saturated, we do not need his reign and it could cause


problems. One area of heavy rain clears eastwards on Friday, another


potentially coming into the southwest later in the day. A lot


of uncertainty about timing and positioning, we will keep you


updated. Into the weekend, quieter weather on Saturday, a cold night


on Saturday night, some of us holding on to the fine weather on


Sunday, but more wet and windy weather coming in to the west later


in the day. There are weather Our top story: The mother of the


missing five-year-old April Jones has made an emotional appeal for


the safe return of her daughter. Police are still questioning 46-