The latest national and international news stories from the BBC News team, followed by weather.
Browse content similar to 20/11/2012. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
The former Editors of the Sun and the News of the World are to be
charged with conspiracy. Andy Coulson and Rebecca Brooks are
accused of making unlawful payments to public officials.
Attacks continue on Gaza, but Israel shelves plans for a ground
invasion as efforts continue to try to broker a truce.
We'll be reporting from southern Israel, where missiles are still
being fired across the border from Gaza.
A senior trader who lost a bank �1.4 billion is found guilty of
fraud. The Church of England votes this
afternoon on whether to ordain women bishops.
Trimming the number of tariffs - the Government tells energy
companies there should be fewer deals.
And scientists warn that 95% of Britain's ash woodland could die
from the fungal disease which has spread across the North Sea.
On BBC London: the mayor is accused of breaking a housing promise as
only 10% of homes at one of the Good afternoon, and welcome to the
BBC News at 1.00pm. Four former journalists at the Sun and the News
of the World are to be charged over alleged corrupt payments to public
officials. They include Andy Coulson, who went on to become
David Cameron's head of communications, and Rebekah Brooks,
News International's former Chief Executive. An employee from the
Ministry of Defence is also facing charges. Mr Coulson and Ms Brooks
are due to be tried next year over separate allegations of phone
hacking. Here's June Kelly. She was the most high-powered woman in the
newspaper business, close to successive Prime Ministers. Now
Rebekah Brooks is facing a fresh charge. She's accused of being part
of a conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office. She's
already due to stand trial on two other counts - phone hacking and
conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, and another charge today
for Andy Coulson, the man who followed her into the editor's seat
at the News of the World, already in court over hacking and perjury
allegations, he's now accused of conspiring to commit misconduct in
public office. Once David Cameron's chief spokesman, these latest
charges against him go right to the top of the British establishment.
They involve the Royal Family. It is claimed while he was at the News
of the World he offered payments to public officials in exchange for
information including a Royal phone directory known as "the green book".
It has contact details for the Royal Family and members of their
household. Today in a statement Andy Coulson denied the new
allegation against him and said he would fight them in court. Accused
with Andy Coulson is Clive Goodman, once the world woorl's Royal editor.
He's already served a jail term for phone hacking. The new count
against Rebekah Brooks goes back to her days as editor of the Sun and
also involves the tabloid's long- standing chief reporter Jon Kay and
administrative defence employee Patina Barber. In a statement, the
Since her evidence to the Leveson inquiry, there has been a focus on
Rebekah Brooks's friendship with David Cameron and the nature of the
charges against Andy Coulson mean more embarrassment for Number Ten.
Let's talk to June, who is here now. What happens in all of these
investigations? What happens in terms of the mechanics of this is
both Rebekah Brooks Jerry Hall and her partner Anton Du Beke and the
others who have been named today will have to attend a police
station either today or in the coming days where they'll be
formally charged. There will then be an appearance at magistrate's
court. In terms of Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks, as we were hearing
there, they're both facing other charges. The phone hacking trial is
due to get going next autumn, but because of these other charges
they're facing, the authorities were already trying to work out the
choreography of all of this. This this morning will only add to their
difficulties. We should say Rebekah Brooks has always denied all the
charges against her, as has Andy Coulson. Of course, politically,
this is difficult for Number Ten, and this morning it was noticeable
that the Prime Minister, when he was thrown a question about this,
didn't respond. June, thank you, June Kelly.
Israel says it has put plans for a ground operation in Gaza on hold as
talks continue in Egypt to try to secure a truce. The UN Secretary-
General, Ban Ki-Moon, has been in Cairo as part of diplomatic efforts
to stop the fighting. Ln the next hour he's expected in Jerusalem for
talks with the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
Overnight, there were further Israeli air strikes on Gaza while
Palestinian groups launched a handful of missiles into southern
Israel. Katya Adler is in southern Israel now.
Well, of course, there is much talk and speculation here in Israel as
well as in Gaza. I am right here on the border - about this possible
ceasefire. Israeli air strikes into the Gaza Strip, Gaza rockets fired
here into Israel. They are continuing, but with less intensity
than in the last few day, but getting an actual ceasefire
agreement - that's going to be complicated because both sides are
demanding guarantees. Just to give you a sense of how exposed to one
million Israelis feel who live close to the border, this is the
Israeli town of Sterot, when a siren wails warning of attacks,
they only have a few seconds to run for shelter as we found earlier
today. Of course, mean time in gauze Starks more than a hundred
people have been killed since the beginning of this current Israeli
military operation. In Gaza today, there is a sense of cautious relief.
International efforts to broker a ceasefire have meant fewer Israeli
air strikes on and around people's homes here. They're grabbing the
chance to claw back some of their possessions and a bit of a sense of
normality. The United Nations' Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, is
in the region. The United States' Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton
is on her way. Their message is clear. Once again, Palestinians and
Israelis live in the fear of the next strike, and this must stop.
Immediate steps are needed by all to avoid further escalation
including a ground operation. on the border between Israel and
Gaza, and people on both sides are cynical about a ceasefire. They say
they've seen them before, and they never last long. Longer term
solutions are needed. In Gaza, for example, if you reduce poverty, if
Israel lifts its restrictions on the movement of goods and people,
there will be far less support for rocket attacks. Israelis too want
long-term guarantees. The town of Sterot is only a couple of miles
away from Gaza. This will not give us an answer for the reason this is
- this is a possibility not for - this is not for a peace. Sorry.
Then our conversation was interrupted by rocket fire from
Gaza. The missile landed just a few metres away from us. This close to
the border, you have less than 15 seconds to run for cover.
For these Israeli soldiers amassed close to Gaza, it's a waiting game
for now. Israel and Hamas are giving diplomacy a chance, but
there is a keen awareness here that the bloodshed on both sides could
escalate within minutes. We heard that this morning - we
heard this morning from the Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
who said they wanted to exhaust all diplomatic effort, but if a
ceasefire wasn't arounded there could be an Israeli military
incursion into Gaza by the end of the week. In Gaza there have been
I'mors this morning Hamas was about to announce a ceasefire. Instead,
the new mill Friday leader there said they were ready for war and
that it had all just started. International mediators are
determined to pursue this ceasefire to the good, they say, of civilians
on both sides of the border. Thank you for joining us.
There's much more information on the conflict in Gaza and Israel as
well as all the latest developments as they happen on the BBC News
website at bbc.co.uk/news. A trader who lost the Swiss bank
UBS �1.4 billion, has been found guilty of fraud. Kweku Adoboli,
who's 32, was convicted by a jury at Southwark Crown Court. They're
still deliberating on five other charges. Our correspondent Emma
Simpson is at Southwark Crown Court. What happened in court today?
were colossal losses. In fact, it was the largest unauthorised
trading incident the City of London has ever seen, and in this trial,
much of what Kweku Adoboli did was never in dispute. Kweku Adoboli
this 32-year-old trader, racked up enormous one-way bets - �1.4
billion worth of losses. He booked fake bets to hide the real risks
that he was taking. What this jury had to decide was whether he was
dishonest in doing so. In his defence throughout the trial, he
portrayed himself as a guilty - a guilty person that it was the bank
that was - a not guilty person, that it was the bank that was
encouraging him to take risks that management knew what he was up to,
that his other traders on the desk knew what he was up to. As for the
prosecution, they portrayed him as a reckless, out-of-control banker
who wanted to improve his profits, his status and his bonus, and today
this morning he was found guilty on two counts of fraud, but not guilty
on four counts of false accounting, making this the biggest case of
fraud in British history. He'll be sentenced later this afternoon.
Emma, thank you, Emma Simpson. 20 years ago, the Church of England
voted to ordain women priests. Today, it'll decide whether to go
one step further and allow women to become bishops. The plans have to
be approved by all three sections of the Church's parliament, the
General Synod. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and his
predecessor, Rowan Williams, both support the move. But lay
representatives are divided. Emily Buchanan reports.
After decades of discussion, it's crunch time for members of the
Church of England's Parliament, the General Synod. Good morning.
Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, and his successor, Justin
Welby, are pinning their hopes on a yes vote to women bishops, so are
most of the synod members. It means a tremendous lot. I do want to be
still alive when we have women bishops, and I have been fighting
this thing for 45 years. It's an important issue. I hope it gives us
the space to move on and deal with things that are really important,
issues like what's happening in Gaza and world poverty. But there
is a minority of evangelicals and Anglo Catholics who are strongly
opposed. They include women. Actually, it's not a matter of
opinion or what somebody thinks women can or cannot do. It's
actually about obedience to your understanding of what the church
teaches, what's important about the sacraments and what holy scripture
tells us. In 2010 for the first time more women than men were
aDaned, 290 against 273. Nearly a third of all priests are women,
almost a thousand working alongside just over 8,000 male priests. Many
argue those women have a right to be bishops one day. It would be
devastating blow to the morale of many, not the least our female
clergy. It would be a major deterrent to continuing to attract
into the ordained ministry able women and many able men. But others
don't trust the safeguards in the code of practise. The code of
practise cannot enshrine theological conviction. If this
legislation is not clear, then what hope can there be that a code of
practise will ever work? Here, it would seem we have reached an
impasse. The atmosphere in Church House is electric. At stake, the
future role of women in the Church of England. Those in favour of
women bishops say the current compromise is workable and must be
decided on today. Those against want to go back to the drawing
board. Voting is later this afternoon, a two-thirds majority is
needed in all houses. The result amongst the laity will be close.
The BBC News Channel is going to cover that vote live expected to
happen sometime after 5.30pm. In the last few minutes the Foreign
Secretary William Hague has officially recognised the new
Syrian opposition coalition as the sole representative of the Syrian
people. Our diplomatic correspondent has joined us. What
does this mean? It amounts to a considerable endorsement of this
newly formed opposition coalition after months when Britain and many
other countries, frankly, were very wary and suspicious of a deeply
divided opposition which appeared felt they couldn't trust. This is
an investment of trust in the new opposition coalition. William Hague
said it amounted in a sense to major breakthrough, the formation
of the coalition, and he said that they should now be regarded
therefore as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people.
What does that mean in practise? They'll be invited to send an
official political representative to London who won't be an
ambassador. He won't be able to use the embassy or have diplomatic
status, he or she, but nevertheless will have an "in" to the Government.
And William Hague announced today that the opposition would get
considerably more funds and practical and political help in
their fight against President Assad. James, thank you.
Energy companies will be forced to reduce the number of tariffs they
offer under plans to be announced by the Government later today. The
Energy Secretary Ed Davey is expected to say that firms can only
offer a certain number of deals and that they should also switch
customers to the cheapest suitable product. Some consumer groups,
though, are warning that fewer tariffs might mean some of the
cheapest disappear. Here's our With energy prices moving higher,
it is important to be on the right deal and last month the Prime
Minister said he was going to make that easier for everyone. We will
be legislating so that energy companies have to give the lowest
tariff to their customers. Now we know how we will be done - there
will be a simple choice from a supplier of four tariffs for each
field, including a standard variable and fixed rate option, and
people will be moved away from so- called dead on competitive deals.
Ms people don't switch between suppliers, they just want to see
the lights on and the heating working, and that is why to project
the majority of customers, putting them on the cheapest tariff
available is good news. But the government has got a long way to go
to convince customers this is a properly competitive market.
plans mirror those outlined by the industry regulator last month but
they are an admission that market forces alone have failed to make
sure the big energy suppliers deliver the best deals for
consumers. The consumer wants to have a bill which is as cheap as
possible, and they want to be able to see what they can get as an
alternative, and they want to be able to switch. The industry is
entirely committed to that. Labour say the government needs to go
further, reforming the wholesale market, revamping regulation, and
today the Energy Secretary insisted the plans would give consumers a
better deal. We can try to put a cushion between those high global
gas prices and the bills people pay, firstly by these types of methods,
through competition and switching, but also through energy-efficiency.
Whether this will deliver cheaper bills is far from clear, but it
should at least mean millions of households are not paying over the
odds. Our top stories this lunchtime. The
former editors of the Sun and the News of the World are to be charged
with conspiring to make unlawful payments to public officials.
Coming on - how even chimpanzees Europe's leading expert on the
disease that has hit ash trees has warned that it is 95% of British
woodland would eventually fall victim to the fungal infection.
Scientists in Denmark say there is no known way to stop the spread,
but they say the few remaining ash trees which show natural immunity
could hold the key to replacing those which will be lost.
It is an environmentally disaster, and perhaps a nightmare vision of
the future for our Rome woodlands. In Denmark at least 95% of ash
trees have become infected with the Chalara fraxinea fungus. Those that
are not dead are slowly dying. There is no known way of saving our
own trees from the same fate. Already, foresters here are losing
valuable timber. The to is a very big problem, I call it a disaster.
I am losing a lot of trees and a lot of money. In this forest, it is
about �1 million. Here you can get a real sense of the devastating
impact which this disease has. Just short time ago this whole area was
covered with hundreds of mature ash trees 30 metres high. Now because
of the disease they have been chopped down and removed. Amid the
despair stands hope. Very few ash trees, about 2%, seemed to be
naturally resistant to the killer fungus so they are busy collecting
seeds hoping their offspring will also be immune. For Denmark and
Britain, this could be the long- term answer. These trees, we call
them the hope for the future because a small fraction of trees
show no symptoms of the disease and these could be the future for ash
trees. It at the University of Copenhagen, the search is on for
super trees. The saplings are deliberately infected with the
fungus. These trees could replace the millions lost.
In the last hour, the computer giant Hewlett-Packard says it has
made a loss of more than �5 billion on the value of a British company
it bought last year following what it calls serious accounting in
proprieties. What can you tell us about this? It is on the face of it
a very shocking story. Autonomy was perceived to be one of the great
software computer success stories of the UK. It was bought by eight p,
the American computer giant, last year for �7 billion. Now today AHP
is saying that it is writing down the value of the company by more
than �5 billion, in other words saying it overpaid by �5 billion,
but the most astonishing aspect of this is that it says �3 billion of
those losses relate to what it calls him proprieties and the
overstatement by the previous management of the value of the
company. This is in theory extremely serious so HP is taking
the case to the Serious Fraud Office in the UK and to America's
Securities and Investments regulator, and it says that it
wants this investigated from the point of view of possible criminal
and civil wrongdoing. Thank you. The Office of Fair Trading is
investigating several pay-day lending firms which offer short-
term high-interest loans following a review of the sector which
brought about concerns over aggressive debt collection
practices. Pay-day lenders have taken over the
high street, pushing short-term high-interest loans, often with few
questions asked, and with Christmas coming they are expecting a rush.
More than a million a year it is using them, one of them is Megan
who has a job as an airline cabin crew, but carrying �7,000 in pay
day debt from eight different lenders. When she was 19, two years
ago, she got hooked on loans that were granted within the hour. If
they had checked her record, they would have seen she was failing to
pay bills and now she has to faltered. The stress is quite hard
of opening the letters and worrying constantly. Sometimes I would go to
sleep but think I have got to pay this one, and borrow money to pay
that one. I would lay awake at night. Be Office of Fair Trading is
investing eating several firms using aggressive tactics and it is
warning them to check customers' more carefully because around a
third of them can't pay back the money on time. We expect lenders to
behave responsibly, lending responsibly, so I think it is
crucial that they carry out sufficiently rigorous test of
affordability. Calls it helped to the charity National Debt Line have
tripled in the last two years from people trapped with interest rates
which can run to thousands of percent a year. We introduced a
code of practice in the summer which takes effect next week, were
there are proper affordability checks. We don't want to lend to
somebody who can't pay back. Office of Fair Trading is concerned
to many people are taking out pay- day loans which they can't afford
to pay back because the lenders are failing to make the most basic
checks and that is the reason for the clampdown. It doesn't yet have
the power to close them down instantly so it is relying on
warnings to restrain them as some families become desperate for cash
this Christmas. The jockey Frankie Dettori is
facing a horse racing inquiry in Paris today after failing a drugs
test whilst riding in France in September. The three-times champion
jockey could get a worldwide ban of seven months if the is found to
have breached the rules. He is racing's ultimate showman.
Frankie Dettori, bubbly, charismatic and successful, but
today he faced the toughest battle of his career - a hearing at these
headquarters in Paris. At stake his reputation and future. In September
he competed at Longchamp racecourse a few miles from here. He didn't
win any of his former Crone races, but whilst there he tested positive
for a banned substance. Ever since he won all seven races at Ascot in
1996, he has been sports biggest celebrity, from it even captain on
this TV show to a touch bearer at the Olympics. Did he was banned how
racing would miss him. He has also run restaurants, his name is on
products, in magazines, he is on TV shows. No other jockey in the
country is doing that and that is why he is so important to racing.
It has been a tough year for Frankie Dettori, splitting with
Sheikh Mohammed, the man who provided so many of his winners.
The successes have become sparser and now he could face a lengthy
suspension for racing's brightest star, these are dark times.
David Beckham is leaving LA Galaxy next month after six years at the
club. He said he wanted to experience one last challenge
before the end of his career. There is speculation he plans to move to
Australia's A-League. The study of great apes has found
evidence that like many humans they may suffer a mid-life crisis. The
study of chimpanzees and orangutans discovered that their sense of
well-being was highest in youth and old age but it dipped in the middle.
The authors say it suggests evolutionary and biological factors
may play a part in the mid- life dip.
In humans, the phenomenon of mid- life crisis is well known. Men
might get themselves a new sports car, women might go for a makeover,
but no one really knows what triggers this change of behaviour.
Now new research shows that apes undergo the same thing. Hundreds of
zoo keepers were surveyed about the well-being of animals in their care.
The results showed that the eight who were halfway through their
lives were the least happy. The observation is important because it
shows that mid-life crisis might have evolved and so might even have
a positive biological role. If you are dissatisfied with life, you are
going to want to do something about it, and at that point in mid-life,
you might be at the top of your game in terms of the resources you
have, in terms of your status, and that may be a really good time to
push yourself and kind of strike out and be a bit older than you
normally would be. In the natural world, the mid-life crisis might
motivate apes to make improvements to their lives, the question is
whether the same might be true in humans.
Now let's have a look at the We have got more heavy rain to come
this weekend, but today we have found the number of flood warnings
in Scotland has been falling, but the river levels in the south-west
of England have been rising. Let me show you what has been happening
with the rain so far - it has been wettest in the south-west of the UK.
Elsewhere, the rain has been hit and miss. The rain is moving away
more quickly, heading up towards the north-east, much of Scotland
becoming drier later this afternoon. North Wales may see some sunshine,
but for the bulk of England and Wales a lot of cloud and some
outbreaks of rain. Gradually overnight the wind will ease, but
we will be stuck with this rain turning heavier and more persistent.
Clearer skies though, and wind turning milder for England and
Scotland. Temperatures could get down to four degrees early on
Wednesday morning. Heading into the rush-hour, apart from a few showers
brushing the north-west of the UK, most of Scotland and Northern
Ireland should start with sunshine. For England and Wales, a cloudy
start to Wednesday with some showers around the western side of
Wales, but for most of Wales, and possibly the far south-west, it
will be dry. Further east it is wet with a lot of water on the roads.
This rain could be steady and heavy, and not moving away quickly.
Eastern parts having a wet morning, and even to the east of the
meridians it stays wet. It is much better further west and north, that
is where we will see some sunshine. The wind will not be a strong
tomorrow and temperatures should be reasonable but we are not finished
with the rain just yet - we will all be getting some later in the
week, driven on by a strong to gale force winds for some time. This win
will be driving the rain into England and Wales. The south-east
and East Anglia probably staying dry through the day. Thursday night
and into Friday, the rain band still works East words. As the wind
drops on Friday, the rain grinds to were hauled over England and Wales.
Elsewhere, a brighter day with some sunshine and showers. This rain can
lead to some disruption as the day goes on. Now, a reminder of the top