09/11/2012 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 Conservative peer Lord McAlpine denies all allegations linking him


to child abuse in North Wales care homes in the 1970s. The former Tory


treasurer calls the accusations wholly false and seriously


defamatory and says he's only been to Wrexham once and never visited


the home. We have to be very careful before casting aspersions


against individuals, and throwing people's names around, without


proper evidence. Everybody has to think carefully about this.


Astonished and excited - the new Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin


Welby, says he never expected to be chosen as leader of the world's


Anglican community. I am utterly optimistic about the future of the


Church. We will certainly get things wrong, but the Grace of God


is far greater than our biggest failures. 4,000 customers of


Britain's biggest bank, HSBC, are being investigated over allegations


of tax avoidance. Britain slashes its aid to India - from 2015, there


will be no new support for the increasingly wealthy country. And


the schoolgirl shot by the Taliban - tens of thousands call for Malala


Yousafzai to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Later on BBC London, a


life sentence for the man guilty of murdering a telephone executive at


Good afternoon and welcome to the BBC News at One. The Conservative


peer Lord McAlpine has strenuously denied allegations linking him to


child abuse at care homes in North Wales, saying they are "wholly


false and seriously defamatory". Last week, a man told BBC Newsnight


he had been repeatedly abused at a home in Wrexham in the '70s by a


senior Conservative politician from the Thatcher era. This morning,


after a week of Internet rumours, Lord McAlpine, who wasn't named by


Newsnight, said he wanted to set the record straight. He said he had


never been to the care home and had only visited Wrexham once in his


life. Chris Buckler reports. There have been days of speculation over


who was involved in the abuse at Bryn Estyn. In last week's


Newsnight report, there were allegations that a senior member of


the Conservative party visited this children's home in north Wales.


Lord McAlpine was not named in the report, but he says that many


Internet blogs have named him. Today, he warned, enough was enough.


In a statement, he described the allegations as "wholly false and


seriously defamatory". He stated... There has been much gossip, and


yesterday, the Prime Minister was handed names of some politicians


who have been accused online. not want this to turn into a sort


of witch-hunt, particularly against people who are gay. One MP has


asked Ofcom to investigate, following claims that some of the


names could be seen on television. We have to be very careful before


casting aspersions against individuals or bandying people's


names around, as was being done yesterday, without proper evidence.


Every institution, journalist and politician has to think carefully


about this. This morning, one newspaper said it believed that


Lord McAlpine had been the victim of mistaken identity. The Tory peer


himself has called it a media frenzy, and there are questions


being asked about how responsible the reporting has been by


broadcasters and others. Ever since the abuse allegations involving


Jimmy Savile were made public, many have been asking what else had been


covered up. There are inquiry is investigating what happened in


various different places. But before finding the truth, there are


fears about who could be smeared by lives. Our political correspondent


Carole Walker is at Westminster. A very long, strongly-worded


statement this morning from Lord McAlpine - where does this leave


the Government's inquiry announced this week into child abuse at care


homes? That question was put to the Prime Minister's spokesman this


morning, whether in fact the Government had been rather too


hasty to order these inquiries. But he said that there had been serious


allegations made about the police investigation into abuse in


children's homes in North Wales, that there had also been questions


about the subsequent public inquiry, and that it was right to look into


them. He pointed out that the Government has not actually


launched an inquiry into the inquiry, it has simply appointed an


independent figure to look at the scope and conduct of that public


inquiry. But I think it does illustrate the difficulty which


politicians are finding, in framing the right response to this issue,


which has really escalated over the past few weeks. It is clear that


when the allegations surfaced, which Lord McAlpine has responded


to today, allegations which appear to go to the heart of the


Conservative Party, David Cameron has been seen to be keen to be on


the front foot, not to be shying away from the issue, but to be


saying, yes, let's take a serious look at what has gone on. The


problem is that you have now ended up with a whole series of different


inquiries into some very serious allegations. Whilst those police


investigations are continuing, there are good legal reasons for


not naming individuals, because to do so could potentially prejudicial


future trials. But in the meantime, you then get rumours taking hold


and spreading on the Internet, and while that continues, it simply


does not help the very serious process of trying to get to the


bottom of what has happened. The next Archbishop of Canterbury,


Justin Welby, says his new appointment is "exciting and


astonishing". The former oil executive, who has been Bishop of


Durham for just a year, says he never expected to be chosen to lead


the world's Anglican community. Mike Wooldridge is at Lambeth


Palace. Justin Welby has said that his first thoughts, when he was


told that he would be Archbishop of Canterbury, work, oh, no. But today,


this priest from the evangelical wing of the Church, who has been in


the church for just 20 years, but has had a lot to do with


reconciliation of various kinds, and who has been Bishop of Durham


for just one year, was presented to the church, the country and the


world in his new role. Minutes after the formal announcement from


Downing Street, the man who will be the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury


said he was astonished and excited. Well, this is the best kept secret


since the last cabinet reshuffle. He does a strong line in self-


deprecation, but not when it comes to the church itself - often


portrayed as bitterly divided and dwindling in its congregation and


influence. I am utterly optimistic about the future of the Church. We


will certainly get things wrong, I certainly will. But the grace of


God is greater than our biggest failings. We will also certainly


get much right, and we do so already. From Nigeria, a warning


over one of the most challenging controversies he will inherit.


have things which have been promoted, certain agendas, and if


that is the agenda he is coming to promote, we will not be part of it.


Justin Welby acknowledged that there were deep differences over


homosexuality. It is absolutely right for the state to define the


rights and status of people cohabiting in different forms of


relationship. That includes several partnerships. We must have no form


of homophobia in any part of the Church. Bishop will be is a rarity,


with 11 years in the oil industry behind him, before he went into the


church. I think my background taught me that moats -- most issues


surrounding business are more complicated than they appear from


the outside. People are people, in every sector. Currently a member of


the parliamentary commission on banking standards, he says that as


Archbishop, he will definitely not be party political in his


pronouncements, but he says he does believe absolutely that the Church


should speak out in public and political life. Justin Welby made


the point also that the work of the Church of England is not primarily


done on television or here at Lambeth palace, but, he said, in


the more than 16,000 churches across the country. They are the


front line of the Church, and he intends to give due recognition to


them. The tax affairs of more than 4,000


HSBC customers with bank accounts in Jersey are being scrutinised


after their details were leaked to tax and revenue officials. The list


was unearthed by a whistleblower and allegedly includes the names of


serious criminals. Our personal finance correspondent, Simon


Gompertz, has the story. It is one of the world's biggest banks, yet


it has been hurried with allegations that it is lax in


monitoring criminals moving their money, and that its customers are


avoiding tax. Jersey is well known for being favoured by a wealthy


investors as a haven for their money. Tax is not automatically


deducted from bank interest here, as it is in the UK. But today's


allegations are that criminals have also been taking advantage of its


special status. A whistleblower has revealed HSBC's Jersey client list,


containing the names of more than 4,300 Britons with accounts,


including celebrities and London bankers, holding a total of �699


million. The Daily Telegraph alleges that among them are several


who are criminals or wanted by police. But for most, the question


will be whether they have eventually paid tax on the money


earned in the accounts. I would be very surprised if any of those


4,000 were criminals, and had set out to break the law. However, if


someone has hidden money in Jersey, and they have not told the revenue


authorities about it, they really need to get in touch quickly, get


to the Revenue, before the Revenue get to them. HM Revenue and Customs


confirmed that it had received the data and was studying it, and it


said banks had to tell the authorities of any suspicions that


criminals were exploiting one of their accounts. HSBC is expecting


to pay fines of around �1 billion in the United States for breaching


money laundering regulations there. So, these allegations about


accounts in Jersey could not have come at a worse time, because they


add to suggestions that the bank is not vigilant enough in checking


what its customers are up to. HSBC It is perfectly legal to have an


account in Jersey, but the 4,000 people on the list are likely to


have their affairs being scrutinised in detail.


Britain's backlog of immigration and asylum cases in the UK is


spiralling out of control - that's the warning from a group of MPs. In


a highly critical report, they say they are concerned that attempts to


clear the backlog could lead to an amnesty for people who have no


right to be here. Our home affairs correspondent, Tom Symonds, has the


story. In May, it was as big as the population of Cambridge. By July,


the Home Affairs Select Committee said Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Now, the


MPs are measuring the immigration backlog by country. Iceland has a


population of just over 300,000. The total backlog for the last


three months is... It includes what is called the migration refusal


is called the migration refusal pool. These people are still


MPs say more needs to be done. is spiralling out of control, and


they need to take urgent action, to deal with cases quickly, to close


those cases and then remove people from the country who have no right


to be here. The MPs are concerned that the rush to remove failed


immigration applicants will result in rushed decision-making, and in


an amnesty for some applicants. Not so, says the minister. We are not


waiting these cases of, we're not going to give people the right to


stay when they do not have the right to do so. We are working


through these cases consistently, and we will have done so by the end


of this year. But there are concerns that that deadline might


cause different problems. 13 people were granted asylum this year, even


though they had been previously refused it. If decisions are rushed,


there is a higher likelihood that they will be incorrect, which could


have grave consequences, life-and- death consequences, for people, if


their asylum claim is incorrectly refused. The Home Office says this


report raises legitimate concerns, but by restricting access to health


care and financial services, as well as fighting more cases in


court, the Government believes that every day, it is becoming harder to


live illegally in Britain. Britain is to drastically cut its


aid programme to India. All new financial help will stop


immediately, and current projects will finish by 2015. After that,


aid will only be 10% of its current size, and will be limited to


technical assistance as well as help for the private sector.


now? Justine Greening was in India this week, explaining to the Indian


government what she is doing. There will be a sigh of relief across the


British Government. This is the most controversial part of the aid


programme, and it will stop the sniping from the Tory backbenchers,


and sneers from Indian politicians, who see this relationship as


demeaning. The Indian Foreign Minister was speaking to William


Hague this week, and he said there was no discussion about eight


whatsoever, only about trade, and that is going to be the new


relationship. However, Oxfam says it is too hasty, we still have a


third of the world's poorest people living in India. Save The Children


says that a quarter of global children's deaths happen in India.


What happens to the money that is saved? That is a curious political


problem. Britain is committed to the so-called millennium


development goals, trying to relieve poverty worldwide. If it


does not go to India, it has to go to places which are equally


deserving, as it were. Britain has this huge aid budget at the moment,


and is committed to raising it over the next couple of years, so there


are new political issues coming up, as to what priorities they will


have for this vast amount of money which will come back to the aid


Tens of thousands of people have signed an online petition calling


for the Nobel Peace Prize to be awarded to the Pakistani teenager


Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head on her school bus by the


Taliban last month. The 15-year-old, who survived the attack, was


targeted because she had been campaigning for the rights of girls


to have an education. She is recovering in hospital in


Birmingham, as Daniel Boettcher now reports. Malala looks through the


thousands of cars she has received. Her father spoke. I'm utterly


thankful to all the well-wishers who strongly condemn the


assassination attempt on Malala, who pray for her health, and to


support the great cause of all Malala Yousafzai it that his piece,


education, freedom of thought and freedom of expression. It is a mum


thinks -- eight is a month since Malala was shot because of her


campaign for education for girls in Pakistan. There is a growing online


petition calling for had been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize


and tomorrow will see a global day of action inspired by Malala to get


30 million girls around the world into the classroom. It is supported


by Gordon Brown who is in Pakistan to prevent a petition. To have 32


million girls without an education, sometimes prevented from going to


school, if you can see every girl you meet thinks it is completely


unacceptable and they are not going to allow other people to prevent


that right to education from happening. Malala's family say she


is humbled and inspired by the support she has received from


around the world. Our top story this lunchtime: The


Conservative peer Lord McAlpine denies all allegations linking him


to child abuse in North Wales care homes in the 1970s. Coming up: They


may not be England's first 11 - but the British Army's cricket team is


putting a smile back on the faces of cricket lovers in Pakistan.


Later on BBC London. Remembering veterans of the Russian


convoys during World War Two. And Arsene Wenger's frustrations as


Jack Wilshere is called up for In less than a week's time, 41


police and crime commissioners will be elected to oversee the forces of


England and Wales, excluding London. It has been described as the


biggest change to police accountability for almost 200 years.


Matthew Amroliwala can tell us more. He is in Wolverhampton for us.


Thank you. The idea of these police and crime commissioners are simple.


They are supposed to be the voice of the people, someone who will


lead the fight against crime, some who will set the priorities for the


police and someone who will be held to account if they fail to deliver.


That is the idea. Critics of this plan are already warning about


political interference and there is a more immediate concern and that


is the worry about a record low turnout at these elections. Our


correspondent Mike Sergeant has been finding out more. Most members


of the public care about crime. They want an effective response to


incidents like these. But will people vote in police elections and


do people want a politician governing their force? I think it


will be a constructive relationship. We will work hard to make sure it


works. There are huge variety of people standing. Some have a huge


depth of knowledge already. Others less so, we will have to work hard


with them to get them to understand the complexity. The new


commissioners replace an elected police authority, holding the


police to account with the power to hire and fire the Chief Constable.


They will be paid between �65,000 and �100,000 a year. Robin Mawdsley


has a very clear idea about what he would like as a commissioner. A few


years ago, his pregnant daughter in law was shot in this phone book --


phone box with an airgun. Afterwards, he pressed for the


introduction of CCTV cameras. think the main thing around this


area for our idea is to get more bobbies on the beat. We are very


low on the amount of police here. Others have different priorities.


This canal boat is operated by current and former drug users.


Police have supported the initiative as a way of tackling


drug crime. Peter Ellwood, who has spent much of his life in prison,


once the new commissioners to understand the value of this type


of project -- Pete yoghurt. When one person get better, their


families improve and when their families improve that improves


their community. The issue of turnout in these elections is


critical. I think it would be very disappointing if there is a very


low turnout. I think that would be damaging. I guess one of the real


benefits of this change is that the architects of change will claim


this benefit and I think there is legitimacy in the claim of trying


to engage people more in the police and engage people with governments,


with that sense of setting priorities. Next week we will find


out whether people have embraced the idea of elected commissioners


or remain unconvinced that a new breed of politician can make the


streets safer. We can talk to a former chief


constable who used to run the Gloucestershire force. Thank you


for being with us. If it is a really low turnout, will there be


question marks over the legitimacy? Is if it is a really low turnout,


less than 20 %, a will damage the mandate that the commissioners


claimed. But it is a democracy and everyone has the chance to vote.


You used to run a force, what are the likely tensions, do you think


which lie ahead? There is always the potential for personality


clashes but I think chief constables will work hard to


minimise that. The big tension will be whether they put resources into


visible patrols or detection, investigating serious crimes. That


is where the big tension is likely to live. We heard in the report


what various members of the public want. Do you think this will cut


crime? Crime has been coming down for 20 years. How I do not think


one person getting elected will make that difference but they need


to make the Test against declining resources. There is less money for


policing and not a lot they can do about that.


And there is more on the forthcoming elections for police


and crime commissioners in England and Wales on our website.


The Environment Secretary has admitted that it is impossible to


eradicate ash dieback disease in Britain. He chaired a COBRA crisis


meeting this morning, which examined how to stop the spread of


the disease. Britain's woodlands are under


threat. It is clear that most of the ash trees will fall killer to


this fungal infection. In London, a meeting of the government's


emergency COBRA committee has been working on a plan but without much


optimism. We do not have a magic potion which we can stick in a


helicopter this afternoon and spray. There is no immediate cure. But


what we are confident his that there is a small number of these


trees which can survive. That could be a long-term answer. If DNA


testing can identify the future ash trees are resistant to Chalara


fraxinea, they might be used to repopulate the landscape. But it is


a long-term hope and suggest that many of our 80 million ash trees


will be lost. Some are still hoping for a scientific solution. There


are trees which are in excess of 1,000 years old. He is there


anything we can do to prevent the damage to them? Today's meeting has


stressed the need to monitor the spread of the disease through our


woodland. That is the easy bit. On how to stop the spread, there are


no easy answers. They have been called the forgotten


army - hundreds of men who fought in the fierce battle of Kohima in


India during the Second World War. Now some of the surviving veterans


have been invited to Buckingham Palace by Prince Andrew to be tell


their stories in recognition of what they did. Robert Hall reports.


These are the men whose lives changed on a battle-scarred


landscape deep in the Indian jungle. They eat defended a tiny settlement


called Kohima. In it is not a fact that this particular campaign has


been forgotten, it has never been brought out in its horror, more


than anything else, that we don't know about it. Kohima lay in the


path of the Japanese advance into India. 15,000 of their troops


surrounded 1,500 British and Indian defenders. The most savage fighting


took place around a tennis court high on the ridge where the


landscape was torn by explosions and littered with the bodies of


those who could not be buried. of my troops got a burst of machine


gun fire and I tried to get him out. He looked me in the face and said,


it is no use Sir, I am finished. So I left him. It has been on my


conscience ever since. The battle for Kohima lasted more than a month,


10,000 lives were lost. At a time of remembrance, the veterans have


thought not for themselves, but for the Naga people who lost lives and


livelihoods in a conflict which was not of their making. If that


educational trust is going to have a legacy, that I would have


expected it to be probably on the grounds that we should remember who


we are, where we are, what our places in the world and how


important each and every one of us is to making sure that we live


sodium prosperous and happy and free world. The survivors of that


forgotten army grow fewer but they are still repaying what they regard


as a debt of honour. Millions of cricket lovers in


Pakistan have been deprived of top- class action for years, because of


security concerns. That is why crowds have been flocking to see


the British Army's team, who have been on tour there. They have


become a sporting sensation, making front-page news across the country.


Aleem Maqbool went to their last match, against Pakistan's Army.


They have been no international matches in Pakistan since the Sri


Lankans got was attacked here in 2009. These cricketers, all serving


British Army personnel have had an apparently safe tour, albeit under


tight security. I think this is a good initiative by the British Army.


They are going to come here and play. The English players should


come and play in Pakistan. None of us ever thought it could be so good


that here in Pakistan and get the chance to play in Rawalpindi


Stadium. You have been on the front pages of the newspapers, you took


the wickets of three Test players yesterday, that is something else,


isn't it? It is a bit surreal. I was today Yesterday and you have to


take a step back to let it all sinking a bit. The amount of


coverage this tour got with all the matches being shown on live


television if he is an indication of just how hungry Pakistanis are


for international sport to return here. The cricket authorities will


be hoping that the British Army team have played some part in


ensuring that happens. Finally, while we have been on air,


it has been announced the Coronation Street star Bill Tami


died this morning. He lost the -- he left the long-running show two


years ago. Now a look at the The weekend is approaching. Sunday


will be the drier day of the two but it will be chilly. We have


today's rain to clear first of all. This huge sweep of cloud has given


a lot of wet weather in the north. It is sweeping into England and


Wales. It will persist through the afternoon. This is the rainfall


chart. Those showers, blown along by blustery winds and there could


be hell, rumbles of thunder and wintry nurse across Scotland. The


rain band will come and go, probably intensifying into the


evening. To the south and east, it is a largely dry picture but even


here the sunshine is fairly limited. Temperatures are around average for


the time of year. As we head through this evening and overnight,


the strong wind will blow the rain further south and east what with


some rain to brush into the Far East as well. Further north,


following the rain with the showers continuing and a touch of frost, we


could have some icy patches. Some patchy frost further south and some


mist and fog. It will be very grey and murky underneath the rain


banned. Really reluctant to clear. Dragging its heels. Brighter for


northern England and Wales but a real rush of showers. Feeling


cooler than has done recently. Not brilliant weather for our first


autumn internationals but not too bad. Perhaps a shower at the


Millennium Stadium. You can catch that coverage across the BBC.


Overnight, where we have the complication of the showers with a


greater frost risk tomorrow night, maybe more ice on the morning of


Remembrance Sunday. It is still looking light the brighter, drier


day to the weekend. We will not be without showers. In the north and


west of Scotland, some showers around here. More bright, dry


weather after the fog clears the way. It is business as usual with