18/01/2013 BBC News at One


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18/01/2013

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


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The Algerian hostage crisis continues. A number of British

:00:10.:00:14.

workers are still at risk after the attack by Islamist militants. David

:00:14.:00:17.

Cameron says Algerian forces are still pursuing terrorists and

:00:17.:00:22.

looking for hostages at the gas installation in the Sahara desert.

:00:22.:00:27.

Last night, the number of British citizens at risk was less than 30.

:00:27.:00:31.

Thankfully, was now know that number's been quite significantly

:00:31.:00:33.

reduced. Heavy snow falls across much of

:00:33.:00:37.

Britain, shutting more than 2,000 schools and bringing widespread

:00:37.:00:41.

disruption with more to come. Travel disruption on the roads as

:00:41.:00:46.

trains are delayed, flights cancelled and motorists get stuck.

:00:46.:00:50.

We'll have the latest in some of the worst affected areas.

:00:50.:00:55.

One big lie. After years of denials, the disgraced cyclist, Lance

:00:55.:01:00.

Armstrong, admits doping during all seven of his Tour de France wins.

:01:00.:01:06.

And there was no Christmas cheer for retailers and it's revealed

:01:06.:01:12.

there was a slight fall. With ten centimetres forecast, we have the

:01:12.:01:16.

latest on the snowfall impacting across the region. Hundreds of

:01:16.:01:26.
:01:26.:01:35.

schools are closing early and Good afternoon. Welcome to the BBC

:01:35.:01:39.

News at One. The hostage crisis in Algeria is not over. The Prime

:01:39.:01:42.

Minister says British workers are still at risk, though not as many

:01:42.:01:46.

as first thought. David Cameron told the Commons that the attack on

:01:46.:01:50.

a remote gas installation in the Sahara desert was brutal and savage

:01:50.:01:53.

and he said the Islamist militants were heavily armed and well

:01:53.:01:57.

coordinated. One Briton was killed at the start of the attack when a

:01:57.:02:00.

convoy of workers heading to an airfield was ambushed, but the fate

:02:00.:02:05.

of the others is still unclear. Caroline Hawley reports.

:02:05.:02:09.

This is the Algerian Army in training for just the kind of

:02:09.:02:12.

militant threat they are now facing deep in the Sahara desert.

:02:12.:02:17.

Questions are being asked about why the Security Forces stormed into

:02:17.:02:21.

the Ain Amenas gas plant with such deadly results.

:02:21.:02:25.

We know that on Wednesday the kidnappers attacked the residential

:02:25.:02:28.

compound of the complex, as well as the gas facility. Two days on, it's

:02:28.:02:32.

still not known how many of the foreigners who worked here were

:02:32.:02:36.

killed and injured and how many are safe.

:02:36.:02:40.

David Cameron said Britain had not been told about the military

:02:40.:02:43.

operation in advance, but he has now been briefed by his Algerian

:02:43.:02:46.

counterpart. He said that the terrorists had

:02:46.:02:50.

tried to flee, they judged there to be an immediate threat to the lives

:02:50.:02:55.

of the hostages and had felt obliged to respond. I spoke to the

:02:55.:02:58.

Algerian Prime Minister later last night and he told me this first

:02:58.:03:02.

operation was complete, but this is a large and complex site and they

:03:02.:03:06.

are still pursuing terrorists and possibly some of the hostages in

:03:06.:03:10.

other areas of the site. Last night, the number of British citizens at

:03:10.:03:15.

risk was less than 30. Thankfully, we now know that number's been

:03:15.:03:20.

quite significantly reduced. Mark Grant from Scotland and other

:03:20.:03:24.

Scots survived, as did ste fun McFaul from Belfast. He told his

:03:24.:03:28.

wife he'd had explosives tied around his neck but escaped when

:03:28.:03:33.

the Algerian Army fired on a five- car convoy and the vehicle he was

:03:33.:03:40.

in crashed. She has described to me the circumstances in which he

:03:40.:03:48.

became free. She described the experience that he had as truly

:03:48.:03:54.

horrific. It's clear from what she told me that unfortunately, there

:03:54.:04:01.

are a number of the kidnap victims who have not been as fortunate as

:04:01.:04:04.

Stephen. One French survivor's spoken of

:04:04.:04:09.

hiding in terror as militants stalked the site searching for

:04:09.:04:14.

westerners. TRANSLATION: I stayed hidden for

:04:14.:04:18.

almost 40 hours in my room under the bed. I put boards everywhere

:04:18.:04:24.

just in case. I had food, water, to sustain myself, and I did not know

:04:24.:04:29.

how long I would stay there. When the soldiers came to get me, I did

:04:29.:04:33.

not even know that it was over. For some hostages, it appears the

:04:33.:04:37.

ordeal is not over yet, as the militants involved in the worst

:04:37.:04:41.

international hostage crisis for years threatened to attack other

:04:41.:04:46.

facilities where security is now being stepped up.

:04:46.:04:50.

Our Political Correspondent, Norman Smith, is in Westminster. The Prime

:04:50.:04:53.

Minister told the Commons this morning that not as many British

:04:53.:04:57.

workers were involved as first thought, but do we have any idea of

:04:57.:05:01.

numbers? There have been a range of numbers. The Prime Minister saying

:05:01.:05:04.

significantly below 30. There are reports this morning of up to 20,

:05:04.:05:10.

others have suggested ten. I'm being guided that the number of

:05:10.:05:15.

Britons at risk may be nearer ten than 20. At risk includes those who

:05:15.:05:20.

may be dead, may include those wounded or may include those simply

:05:20.:05:26.

hostages, we do not know the make- up of that number because it's an

:05:26.:05:30.

ongoing situation. I suppose there is limited comfort that some of the

:05:30.:05:34.

initial figures which seemed very, very high, those now seem not to be

:05:34.:05:37.

correct and we are talking about a number closer to ten. Briefly, the

:05:37.:05:41.

Prime Minister also confirmed he did not know that this rescue

:05:41.:05:46.

operation was taking place until it was under way? Yes, l. There is

:05:46.:05:50.

clearly frustration in Government that they seem to be kept oupt of

:05:50.:05:53.

the loop by the Algerian government and have been determined to handle

:05:53.:05:57.

this on their own. The Algerian government rebuffed offers of help

:05:57.:06:03.

in terms of negotiators from Britain and intelligent-gathering

:06:03.:06:07.

from the US. Also concern that the Algerians were focused on

:06:07.:06:09.

eliminating the terrorists than necessarily safeguarding the

:06:09.:06:11.

hostages. Thank you. Our Diplomatic

:06:11.:06:16.

Correspondent, James Robbins is here. This is an incredibly remote

:06:16.:06:19.

part of the world in the Sahara desert, there are fears about what

:06:19.:06:27.

is unfolding here, Europe's soft underbelly it was called today?

:06:27.:06:31.

Sir Malcolm Rifkind used this phrase first coined by Winston

:06:31.:06:35.

Churchill in a different context. What he was talking about was vast

:06:35.:06:40.

ungoverned spaces in north Africa, particularly of course in northern

:06:40.:06:43.

Mali. The Prime Minister responded to that and agreed with the idea

:06:43.:06:49.

that space could not be left for terrorists, extremist militants in

:06:49.:06:53.

Africa, whether in Mali or Algeria or neighbouring countries to build,

:06:53.:06:57.

arm or plan, as he put it. There was a real determination from David

:06:57.:07:00.

Cameron to say to the House of Commons, the Western world, Europe,

:07:00.:07:05.

NATO, has to do more actually to help and support all the

:07:05.:07:08.

Governments in north Africa fighting a considerable battle

:07:08.:07:11.

against Al-Qaeda. The Prime Minister said Al-Qaeda in

:07:11.:07:14.

Afghanistan and Pakistan had been weakened, but it was exploiting now

:07:14.:07:19.

weaknesses in a whole swathe of countries, many of them very remote

:07:19.:07:22.

in north Africa. Heavy snow is causing disruption

:07:22.:07:28.

across many parts of the UK with roads blocked, power cuts, flights

:07:28.:07:31.

cancelled and schools closed and forecasters say there's much more

:07:31.:07:35.

to come. Across many counties, trains have been delayed and

:07:35.:07:38.

cancelled, Southampton and Birmingham Airports have been shut

:07:38.:07:41.

and flights at Heathrow, Cardiff and Bristol are all affected.

:07:41.:07:44.

Energy companies have been struggling to fix faults in the

:07:44.:07:47.

freezing conditions, leaving thousands without power. And more

:07:47.:07:50.

than 2,000 schools have been closed across England and Wales. In a

:07:50.:07:54.

moment, we'll hear from our correspondents in some of the

:07:54.:07:58.

worst-hit parts of the country, but first to South Wales, where a rare

:07:58.:08:03.

red Met Office warning is in place. High well Griffith is in Merthyr

:08:03.:08:05.

Tydfil. Thanks. This is one of those towns

:08:05.:08:11.

in the red zone, the area covered by that special Met Office warning,

:08:11.:08:15.

issued last night, of severe weather. The forecast came true.

:08:15.:08:20.

It's been snowing since the early hours, making conditions very tough,

:08:20.:08:24.

particularly out on the roads. At points today, it was feared that

:08:24.:08:26.

Merthyr Tydfil could be cut off. The council teams have been out

:08:26.:08:33.

trying to keep people on the move. With grit and a fair bit of

:08:33.:08:37.

determination. The town of Merthyr Tydfil is trying to deal with what

:08:37.:08:41.

the weather's thrown at it. Up to a foot of snow has fallen on

:08:41.:08:46.

the heads of the South Wales valleys. Many who battled their way

:08:46.:08:50.

into work quickly turned around. I think it's a nightmare. I own a

:08:50.:08:54.

business in the town and I've come down, I've opened for 30 minutes

:08:54.:09:00.

and closed because it's going to cost me more money to keep all the

:09:00.:09:07.

lights on. Got up this morning, couldn't open up. A weekend off?

:09:07.:09:14.

Yes. Trekking to the car now to hopefully get home.

:09:14.:09:18.

Getting home won't be easy. The main roads north and south have

:09:18.:09:23.

been closed for part of the day. The Met office red warning for this

:09:23.:09:29.

area will remain in place until 9pm. This road goes through the red zone,

:09:29.:09:36.

the main dual carriageway that connects the Wales valleys.

:09:36.:09:41.

Normally it would be busy but there are a few hardy souls just

:09:41.:09:44.

venturing out. Many people have heeded the warnings and stayed at

:09:44.:09:49.

home. Others seem determined to ride out the conditions until the

:09:49.:09:55.

worst has passed. For those people who are at home,

:09:55.:10:00.

sadly some are without power, was understand, some 10,000 customers

:10:00.:10:05.

in west Wales are waiting for power to be returned. For those venturing

:10:05.:10:08.

out, the red Met Office weather warning stays in place for the

:10:08.:10:11.

heads of the valleys and Brecon Beacons, the Fire Service warning

:10:11.:10:15.

people to take extra precautions, taking blankets and mobile phones

:10:16.:10:18.

and even food with them if they are going out on the roads.

:10:18.:10:22.

Thank you very much. That is the picture in South Wales. The South

:10:22.:10:24.

West of England has been badly affected by the weather with

:10:24.:10:28.

transport hit and hundreds of schools closed. Duncan Kennedy is

:10:28.:10:34.

in Stroud in Gloucestershire with the latest.

:10:34.:10:42.

I'm about 60 miles from where Hywell is. It's picturesque and

:10:42.:10:46.

treacherous. With ten plus centimetres of snow falling,

:10:46.:10:56.
:10:56.:11:05.

there's three or four inches. Schools have been badly hit.

:11:05.:11:09.

these schools are closed... School's out for winter. Hundreds

:11:10.:11:14.

in the south-west are closed with pupils and teachers told to stay

:11:14.:11:18.

off the roads. Everywhere you go around here, it's

:11:18.:11:22.

like this. Treacherous snow conditions. I'm on an A-road just

:11:22.:11:27.

off the M5 in Gloucestershire. Luckily in a 4X4. I wouldn't want

:11:27.:11:31.

to be battling these roads in normal vehicles. It's white-out

:11:31.:11:34.

wherever you look. Even though the gritters have been through here,

:11:34.:11:40.

the snow covers it all over again in a few seconds.

:11:40.:11:45.

Here at this school in Stroud, some students had to get in, as they're

:11:45.:11:49.

sitting GCSE and A-level exams. Classrooms were kept specially warm

:11:49.:11:54.

for those taking the physics and English tests. The weather adding

:11:54.:11:57.

unwanted pressure. Got here half an hour early luckily,

:11:57.:12:02.

warmed up my hands, took the exam and have got an hour-and-a-half

:12:02.:12:06.

walk back. A lot of friends won't be able to make it in and will have

:12:06.:12:10.

to resit in the summer which is quite annoying really. Trudging

:12:10.:12:13.

through the sludge, these pupils have a welcome day off. The nearly

:12:13.:12:19.

800 schools closed in this region alone.

:12:19.:12:24.

Whilst at Bristol's heated Lido, they were giving an object lesson

:12:24.:12:30.

in strong constitutions, a few winter lengths in the face of this

:12:30.:12:34.

climatic adversity. Very brave people indeed trying to

:12:34.:12:37.

attempt a swim in this kind of weather. So far as the schools are

:12:37.:12:40.

concerned, the education authorities are already looking

:12:40.:12:43.

ahead to Monday because of the uncertain weather over the weekend

:12:43.:12:46.

and they are telling us either to check with their own individual

:12:46.:12:49.

websites or with the schools themselves.

:12:49.:12:53.

Thank you very much. Let's get the very latest on the

:12:53.:12:56.

disruption to transport. Here is Ben Ando.

:12:56.:13:00.

Most could hardly move, though some couldn't stop.

:13:00.:13:03.

Heavy snow causing severe disruption to roads here in Bristol

:13:03.:13:09.

and across the west of England and South Wales.

:13:09.:13:13.

During the night, gritters had been deployed, but in the worst hit

:13:13.:13:17.

areas, hazardous driving conditions caused difficulties on minor and

:13:18.:13:22.

major roads, a large section of the M4 was closed.

:13:22.:13:27.

And, falling snow isn't the only danger. You might be driving along

:13:27.:13:30.

in relatively calm conditions, all right it's a bit snowy, you think

:13:30.:13:35.

you are OK. All of a sudden a gust of wind cuts down visibility, but

:13:35.:13:38.

can also blow snow into a lane you thought was clear. For those

:13:39.:13:42.

wanting to take to the air, conditions on the ground have

:13:42.:13:46.

caused problems. At Heathrow Airport, numerous flights were

:13:46.:13:51.

cancelled as snowploughs battled to keep runways and taxiways open.

:13:51.:13:54.

Southampton Airport's been closed until at least mid afternoon while

:13:54.:13:58.

Cardiff and Bristol Airport halted flights for a while.

:13:58.:14:01.

Rail travellers fared a little better. Some train companies in

:14:01.:14:06.

Wales, the south of England and the Midlands are operating a reduced

:14:06.:14:12.

service but the network is largely open and running for now.

:14:12.:14:15.

Getting commuters to work is only half the battle and there are

:14:15.:14:20.

concerns that more snow today will cause greater disruption and

:14:20.:14:24.

greater frustration this evening when those who made it in want to

:14:24.:14:27.

get home for the weekend. Because tomorrow isn't a working

:14:27.:14:32.

day, it's hoped more poor weather will cause less disruption. In

:14:32.:14:36.

Gloucestershire, a sliding car knocked another down into a garden.

:14:36.:14:40.

When police closed the road, residents were left with little

:14:40.:14:47.

choice but to start enjoying their weekend early.

:14:47.:14:50.

Birmingham and Southampton Airports are closed, there are problems at

:14:50.:14:55.

Heathrow Airport as well. Let's get the latest from Luisa Baldini who

:14:55.:14:59.

is there now. There have been 220 flight

:14:59.:15:04.

cancellations so far out of the usual 1300 or so flights which

:15:04.:15:08.

operate every day here at Heathrow Airport. That is partly due to

:15:08.:15:12.

reduced visibility. If I just show you the scene, you can see what I

:15:12.:15:16.

mean. You can barely make out the tail fin of the aircraft there at

:15:16.:15:21.

the stand, but cancellations also due to the fact that this runway

:15:21.:15:25.

just here, the northern runway, was closed for about an hour so that

:15:25.:15:32.

they could clear the snow and deice. That's re-opened and is being used

:15:32.:15:36.

for landings and take offs because they have now had to close the

:15:36.:15:46.
:15:46.:15:47.

Heathrow has invested millions in their winter resilience programme,

:15:47.:15:51.

and more snow clearing vehicles, for example. They are doing as much

:15:51.:15:56.

as they can to keep the airfield open and running, but there's not

:15:56.:16:01.

much they can do about the poor visibility. In this situation, air

:16:01.:16:04.

traffic control will have to reduce what they call the flow rates, that

:16:04.:16:09.

is the number of planes coming in to land and take off. Cancellations

:16:09.:16:16.

are inevitable and there may be more throughout the day. The time

:16:16.:16:21.

is just off the 1:15pm. There will be a full weather core cast at the

:16:21.:16:26.

end of the programme and you can get regular update on line or tune

:16:26.:16:30.

into the local radio station for the details on trouble where you

:16:30.:16:35.

are. The top storey this lunchtime. A hostage crisis in Algeria is

:16:35.:16:39.

continuing. David Cameron says British workers are at risk are not

:16:39.:16:49.
:16:49.:16:50.

as many as first thought. It is a sad day. I feel quite emotional.

:16:50.:16:53.

One of the best loved voices on Radio Four says farewell after a

:16:53.:16:56.

quarter of a century behind the microphone. Later on BBC London:

:16:56.:16:59.

The very latest on how heavy snowfall is making travel across

:16:59.:17:02.

the region difficult. We'll give you the latest information to plan

:17:02.:17:12.
:17:12.:17:14.

your journey home tonight. Plus a full weather forecast in 15 minutes.

:17:14.:17:16.

After years of denials, the disgraced American cyclist Lance

:17:16.:17:19.

Armstrong has admitted, for the first time, that he did use

:17:19.:17:25.

performance enhancing drugs. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey,

:17:25.:17:28.

Armstrong said he had used banned substances during all seven of his

:17:28.:17:33.

Tour de France wins between 1999 and 2005. He said it had been "one

:17:33.:17:37.

big lie, repeated a lot of times" and he was there to say sorry. Our

:17:37.:17:47.

Sports News Correspondent Andy For years, he had deceived, and now

:17:47.:17:52.

he confessed. For the moment, among wants a global hero admitted his

:17:52.:18:01.

success was down to drugs. Did you ever take banned substances? Yes.

:18:01.:18:06.

In all seven of your Tour de France victories, did you ever take banned

:18:06.:18:13.

substances or blood dope? Yes. Armstrong said the battle against

:18:13.:18:17.

Council -- cancer had given him a win-at-all-costs mentality, and

:18:17.:18:22.

hoping to win the titles never even felt like cheating. And to keep on

:18:22.:18:28.

winning, you had to keep on using banned substances. Yes, but, and

:18:28.:18:34.

I'm not sure that this is an acceptable answer, but that is like

:18:34.:18:40.

saying that you have appeared in your tyres, or water in our bottles.

:18:40.:18:46.

-- having your tyres. In my view, that was part of the job.

:18:46.:18:50.

Armstrong admitted he was a bully whose Bix -- behaviour was

:18:50.:18:54.

inexcusable. He said he would be apologising for the rest of his

:18:54.:19:04.

life. This is too late. It is too late for probably most people, and

:19:04.:19:14.
:19:14.:19:19.

You know, I view the situation as one big lie. But his audience

:19:19.:19:23.

seemed unmoved. At his home town in Texas, they watched the former

:19:23.:19:26.

heroes confession, only disappointed that he did not reveal

:19:26.:19:32.

more. I thought it was kind of sad, actually. I think he danced around

:19:32.:19:40.

some issues, avoided a few things. It's kind of what I expected. Not

:19:40.:19:45.

much was revealed. I would have expected more. Armstrong says he

:19:45.:19:49.

will now co-operate with the authorities. It has been a shameful

:19:49.:19:53.

saga for cycling. The current riders believe the sport can move

:19:53.:19:58.

on. He have to remember it is one man, one part of the sport, not a

:19:58.:20:02.

whole sport. The vast majority of cyclists are clean and we are

:20:02.:20:09.

showing you can win gold medals and be proud of your sport. And so the

:20:09.:20:12.

demise of one of sport's most famous fairy tales is now complete.

:20:13.:20:17.

It was this myth, said Armstrong, this perfect story, and it wasn't

:20:17.:20:22.

The Chairman of the Police Federation in England and Wales,

:20:22.:20:26.

Paul McKeever, has died suddenly. The 57-year-old was admitted to

:20:26.:20:29.

hospital a few days ago, and died last night of an embolism. Mr

:20:29.:20:32.

McKeever had been chair of the organisation, which represents rank

:20:32.:20:40.

President Obama has told David Cameron that he wants Britain to

:20:40.:20:43.

remain a member of the European Union. He made the comments in a

:20:44.:20:46.

telephone conversation last night before the Prime Minister postponed

:20:46.:20:49.

a speech on Britain's relationship with the EU because of the ongoing

:20:49.:20:52.

crisis in Algeria. Our Political Correspondent Iain Watson is at

:20:52.:20:57.

Westminster. Plenty of journalists had been briefed on what the Prime

:20:57.:21:02.

Minister was going to say today. Any idea on when or if that speech

:21:02.:21:07.

will now take place? The latest thinking is that the speech will

:21:07.:21:11.

probably take place very early next week. But, of course, that has not

:21:11.:21:15.

been officially confirmed, and for good reasons it was rightly delayed

:21:15.:21:20.

today. Any further delay could be politically damaging, but we do

:21:20.:21:24.

have a clearer idea of some of the things that will be in it. Some of

:21:24.:21:28.

the extracts were briefed to the press in advance on the assumption

:21:28.:21:32.

it would happen today. It does seem clear that the Prime Minister is

:21:32.:21:35.

raising up -- at least the possibility that Britain could be

:21:35.:21:39.

outside the EU. He does not one that happened at once a

:21:39.:21:42.

relationship where we can stay in it, but there is a danger that the

:21:42.:21:46.

British people could drift towards the exit. His message to his

:21:46.:21:50.

European partners is blunt, unless you allow me to renegotiate my

:21:50.:21:54.

relationship, then I cannot guarantee that Britain will remain

:21:54.:21:58.

in membership. He talks about frustration towards the EU, but

:21:58.:22:03.

it's also pretty clear that there is a lack of consent that he would

:22:03.:22:08.

put any renegotiated deal to way referendum, much as we anticipated.

:22:08.:22:11.

Some members of his own party would say it is good and he is rising to

:22:11.:22:15.

the challenge, but some of his coalition partners would say it

:22:15.:22:18.

would be damaging to use the word exit at all in difficult economic

:22:18.:22:23.

circumstances. He also briefed Barack Obama yesterday on the

:22:23.:22:31.

speech, and a White House spokesman said that the President spoke to Mr

:22:31.:22:36.

Cameron about the close alliance with the UK, and that he values a

:22:36.:22:40.

strong UK in the European Union. Any delay to the speech doesn't

:22:40.:22:44.

make it any less controversial. Christmas was even more

:22:44.:22:46.

disappointing than expected for UK retailers, according to the latest

:22:46.:22:54.

figures. In December sales rose by just 0.3%. But there was a boost

:22:54.:23:04.
:23:04.:23:07.

for many retailers in online sales. Creat -- High Street. Overall,

:23:07.:23:11.

retail sales have fallen in the last three months, with festive

:23:11.:23:17.

trading tough. Read tales sales rose on the year by 0.3%, and fell

:23:18.:23:22.

by 0.1% compared to 20th November 12. What we have seen in the

:23:22.:23:25.

December results is that year-on- year growth is the slowest we have

:23:25.:23:31.

seen since December 1998, when you exclude the snow hit December of

:23:32.:23:41.
:23:42.:23:42.

2010. As ever, there are winners and losers. A best-ever Christmas

:23:42.:23:50.

for Aldi. Discount supermarkets are benefiting as they change the way

:23:50.:23:56.

we shop. It may be a small discount firm, but it is attracting affluent

:23:56.:23:59.

shoppers and stealing all-important market share from the big

:23:59.:24:04.

supermarkets. But what about the rest of retail? These are some of

:24:04.:24:07.

the big names that did well in the current climate. They are all

:24:07.:24:12.

reaping the benefit of investing in online business, where sales are

:24:12.:24:16.

continuing to grow. This whole point of consumer convenience and

:24:16.:24:22.

the consumer wanting to shop online and maybe picking up in-store, but

:24:22.:24:25.

also liking to shop in the store, means that companies with deep

:24:25.:24:28.

pockets can afford to invest in that, which is why we are seeing

:24:28.:24:31.

some of the larger retailers generally doing better than the

:24:31.:24:37.

smaller. Christmas didn't bring much cheer on the whole for

:24:38.:24:41.

Britain's retailers, and it's not set to get better any time soon.

:24:41.:24:46.

These latest figures will also fuel the fear that the economy may have

:24:46.:24:56.
:24:56.:24:56.

For a quarter of a century, she's been the reassuring and trusted

:24:56.:24:59.

voice of BBC Radio 4, but today the newsreader Charlotte Green will be

:24:59.:25:02.

hanging up her headphones after her last day behind the microphone. As

:25:02.:25:04.

David Silitto reports, millions will miss her impeccable diction,

:25:04.:25:14.
:25:14.:25:15.

unflappable poise, and her very With the BBC News, Charlotte Green.

:25:15.:25:20.

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled in favour. Oh the last 25

:25:20.:25:25.

years, millions of us have woken up with Charlotte, that calm, warm,

:25:25.:25:32.

yet authoritative voice has stirred feelings. They send me Valentine's

:25:32.:25:38.

cards, and rather sweet letters. There is a certain wistfulness in

:25:38.:25:42.

them. We have been very lucky. People have been lovely in the

:25:42.:25:46.

things we have said to them. Nine men have gone on trial at the Old

:25:46.:25:51.

Bailey. This is a very radio type of fame. She needed a good deal a

:25:51.:25:55.

gentle coaching to even agree to appear on camera. But even on Radio

:25:55.:26:02.

we sometimes get a glimpse of the Real Charlotte. She is professional,

:26:02.:26:08.

classy, smooth, unflappable, with an iron grip, except when it fails

:26:08.:26:12.

completely and she breaks down. The American historians have discovered

:26:12.:26:21.

what they think is the earliest The award-winning screenwriter

:26:22.:26:27.

Abbey man has died at the age of 80. Excuse me, Surrey. He also warned

:26:27.:26:34.

that several Emmys -- excuse me, sorry. That was including one in

:26:34.:26:44.
:26:44.:26:47.

1973. For a film which featured... A police detective, called....

:26:47.:26:53.

is a sad day. I feel very emotional insight. I didn't think I was going

:26:53.:27:03.
:27:03.:27:05.

to, but the end of the day, when I Never again will bedtime be Coco,

:27:05.:27:14.

the shipping forecast. -- the Now, before weather forecast and a

:27:14.:27:19.

moment, but we are being blanketed in snow, although in Sydney,

:27:19.:27:28.

Australia they have had their hottest day on record. Here, of

:27:28.:27:35.

course, a different situation, with widespread destruction --

:27:35.:27:40.

disruption. Let's speak to Louise Hubble, who was in Leicester.

:27:40.:27:44.

Sophie, a lot of people enjoying the snow, but it is causing

:27:44.:27:47.

widespread disruption. Hundreds of schools are closed across the

:27:47.:27:55.

Midlands, and as the snow moves east, the real concern is icy roads.

:27:55.:28:01.

Rail passengers are being advised to check for their trouble. 300

:28:01.:28:11.
:28:11.:28:11.

schools. There is of course more snow forecast in the east as week

:28:11.:28:14.

move through the week many businesses are considering closing

:28:14.:28:18.

early for people to get home because of the disruption, and a

:28:18.:28:22.

lot of schools are closing early. But there is one heart-warming tame

:28:22.:28:27.

-- tale, one bride in Shropshire was so determined to get to her

:28:27.:28:32.

wedding, she decided to travel to the judge by tractor. More snow to

:28:32.:28:36.

come, as we have been saying. Louise is here with the fall

:28:36.:28:43.

I I hope you have been well-worn. We still have a red warning in

:28:44.:28:52.

force because there is heavy snow. It is starting to ease away. We see

:28:52.:28:58.

we have got this no pushing north and east, and it does fragment

:28:58.:29:04.

slyly. The red warning is in force for South Wales, and there are 10

:29:04.:29:10.

centimetres. And if we are not snow in the morning, there is still the

:29:10.:29:14.

potential for another three or five centimetres of snow, perhaps driven

:29:14.:29:21.

by the strong easterly wind. A cold afternoon, and the Snow sits across

:29:21.:29:26.

North Wales and the south-east corner. Starting to fragment

:29:26.:29:32.

somewhat, so showers for the rest of the afternoon. They could be a

:29:32.:29:41.

bit of a wintry mix. Snow showers continued, and it is bitterly cold.

:29:41.:29:48.

Temperatures were below freezing. There is increasing chance of

:29:48.:29:52.

further snow to come through the evening. The same in the north-east

:29:52.:29:56.

of Scotland, driven in by the strong winds. The threat of snow

:29:56.:29:59.

continues for north-east Scotland, and for Northern Ireland

:29:59.:30:03.

potentially overnight. And amber warnings are continuing. Snow

:30:03.:30:07.

showers across the peaks and Pennines. A cold night to follow,

:30:07.:30:13.

with temperatures falling below freezing. Yes, it will be a frosty

:30:13.:30:18.

and icy start to Saturday. Widespread ice is likely, snow

:30:18.:30:22.

covering freezing solidly, so take care in the morning. The winds will

:30:22.:30:29.

swing around to an easterly breeze, but as the day continues this snow

:30:29.:30:33.

showers he's away, but if cold prospect for the weekend.

:30:33.:30:38.

Temperatures just a degree or so it might -- a degree or so. The start

:30:38.:30:42.

of the week, bitterly cold, frost and ice, but there is also the risk

:30:42.:30:47.

of further snow on Sunday. It is this area of low pressure and the

:30:47.:30:50.

front that will drift up through the Continent affecting eastern

:30:50.:30:55.

England during the early hours of Sunday, so risk of heavy snowfall

:30:55.:30:58.

for eastern England. If you are travelling on Sunday, keep watching

:30:58.:31:03.

the weather forecast. This may be subject to change, but a bitterly

:31:03.:31:11.

cold day in prospect on Sunday for A reminder of the top storey. The

:31:11.:31:14.

hostage crisis in Algeria continues. David Cameron says British workers

:31:14.:31:19.

are still at risk, but not as many as first thought. We understand

:31:19.:31:23.