The latest national and international news stories from the BBC News team, followed by weather.
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Heavy know forces the closure of almost 5,000 schools. The icy
weather makes conditions treacherous. It is affecting
northern England and eastern Scotland. Much of Britain is
blanketed, affecting travel on the roads, rail, and at the airports
too. Much of the north has been hit by blizzards, these are the worse
conditions since the winter of 2010. The Algerian siege. At least 80
people are known to have died in the hostage crisis. A year after
the smoking ban, there has been a big fall in the number of children
with asthma. And I am live in Washington, on inauguration day,
where amid tight security, Barack Obama will set out his priorities
and vision for the next four years. Later on BBC London, another day
off school as almost 600 are forced to close in London alone. And fire
chiefs vote on proposals to close Good afternoon and welcome.
Thousands of schools are closed across England, Wales and Scotland
and transport is struggling to cope, as snow continues to cause
disruption in many parts of the UK. There are delays on some rail
services, between London, Birmingham and the north-west, and
Heathrow Airport says more than 180 flights have been cancelled already.
The snow is continuing to affect large parts of southern and eastern
Scotland, and northern England too. Our correspondent join us from
Carterway Heads in Northumberland. If you were down on the coast here
in North East England, there is probably on a few sent metres of
wet slushy know, you get up on -- snow. You getten up on the hills
there has been snow since the early hour, it is roads like the one
behind me tA6 going up over between Darlington and Hexham, where the
ploughs are working very hard to keep the routes open. The wind are
strong, it is causing that snow to drift. As ever, people are
struggling to cope in these conditions. Once again, winter has
swept across a large part of eastern Britain. With heavy show
and strong winds blizzard conditions are widespread, with
people in North East England saying this is as bad as the winter of
2010. Many tried to get to work, but not even was successful. I'm on
my way to work, I have spun up and waiting to be rescued from my boss.
At least you tried to get to wok. am trying, yes. I am an hour and
ten minutes late, but, I'm on my way. If you wanted to go anywhere
in the hills of Durham or Northumberland today, you either
walked or dug the car out first. This is not good for many
businesses. If it doesn't clear, we are stuck. We can't get the van off
the drive. In Consett, it was all hands on deck at the ambulance
station. If call outs were going to be answered emergency vehicles had
to be able to get moving. In parts of northern England nearly all the
schools are closed. Their grounds given over to sledging and artistic
endeavours.. It is good fun sledging and good fun being off
school. I love the snow. It is just great. I love our weather in the
North East. These are tough times for farmer, and livestock too.
Sheep and cattle are having to be fed in the fields as they tough it
out in freezing conditions. And this snow will hang round for some
time yet. Even when it stops falling, the forecast is for
continuing cold weather. There is no sign yet of a thaw. And those
snow levels are mounting up. There is a lot of lying snow up on the
hills in this part of the country. When we got here yesterday, that
has been added to today. It is not surprising that police forces are
urging people to be particularly careful if they do have to venture
out. There are still high routes closed, wide-open stretchs on the
moors where the ploughs are struggling, with the drifting snow
to keep the road clear. That hasn't reopened. The problems are expected
to last for the next 24-hours this this part of the country. We will
turn our attention to travel in a moment, but as we have been hearing
thousands of schools have been closed because of the weather. Many
of those though, are in areas where no new snow has fallen today.
Jeremy Cooke has been in the Midland finding out why so many are
shutment A Monday morning, in term time. If you are a kid, the stuff
that dreams are made of. Across Britain's white out landscape
thousands of schools have shut their doors. The most important
thing is we don't want children or teachers getting injured. It would
be a double tragedy if be were to get sued, but it is bad enough if a
child breaks their arm or a teacher breaks their leg or something, it
is just unacceptable to put them to that risk. In some places the only
chance for snowballs is at break time. This Birmingham academy is
open, while other schools on the same site are closed. They have
played in the snow all weekend. It's a school day. We are back at
work. The roads are open. The transport is running, I want
children here learning. Clearly keeping things open in this kind of
weather takes a lot of hard work. For many parents, there is the
question why are some schools open, while others are closed? The
With much of the country under a blanket of snow, it is likely that
some schools will remain closed for days to come. Fun, of course, to
the kids, not so easy for mums and dads trying to balance work
commitments with childcare. We were hearing about disruption on the
roads. It has been another day of disruption to air travel. Flights
at East Midland, Manchester and Leeds Bradford Airport have been
suspended. There are delays at Heathrow because of poor visibility.
Let us get the latest from there. What is the picture there Richard?
Dare I say it, but the sun has come out and we are not vbl visibility
issues at the moment, but they expect some later in the day. That
is why, already we have had 180 cancellation of flights here, there
were meant to be 130 but there is a knock-on effect. We are not the
only ones suffering, in Paris and Frankfurt, Switzerland,? Schiphol,
they are having problems with the snow, that is having a knock-on
effect across Europe. I tell you what sums up what has been
happening at Heathrow. It is going on in that building over there in
the distance, Terminal 5. The BBC has been talking to a passenger
called Ian, he is trying to get to Las Vegas for a business meeting.
He has been trying to get there since Friday. He stayed a night in
a hotel, at home, he spent 13 hour s on a plane not going anywhere and
he hasn't seen his bags. This is his story. I arrived at the airport
Friday, checked in, dropped off my luggage, boarded the plane, at
about 3.15. The plane didn't move. We got off at about 9.00 at night.
So about six to six-and-a-half hours when we got off. We had no
luggage, they wouldn't return it and no accommodation. So Sunday,
back to the flight. I got onboard, same time. 3.15 we boarded. Much
less communication this time. We sat there and sat there at one
point the captain apologised for the PA not working, we were de-
iceed after four hour, it got very hot. Some unhappy passenger, and
then, about five hours in, after the deviceing we thought we were
going to go and they announced that the flight had been rescheduled for
Monday. And here we are. Monday. Monday is my rescheduled flight, 11
o'clock in the morning which has been shifted to 2.30 in the
afternoon, and guess what, I don't have my luggage. As you heard there,
he is still there he hopes to take off in an hour and 20 minutes. We
will let you know how he gets on on the news channel. If you are
travelling today, you contact your airline, you contact the train
company, you go on the Twitter feeds, you go BBC local radio,
because this is a quickly changing situation. It is hard to get
information, so go directly to the companys on line. Thank you Richard.
Well, parts of Scotland are badly hit by the weather. One of the
major roads between Scotland and England the A6 has been closed. Let
us get the latest from James Cook who joins us from Forfar. It
stopped snowing, but is there much disruption James? There hasn't been
a huge amount of disruption, but it is bitter, it is cold, and the snow
is coming through in blizzards. You can see the picture here on the
hills. This really is typical of the scene up and down the east of
Scotland this morning. And into lunchtime. If I take you over here,
I can show you it is not having too dramatic effect on the major routes
in Scotland. This is the A90 which runs from Aberdeen to Edinburgh.
Traffic moving along that freely at the moment. As you say, the A68 is
closed, just south of the Scottish -English border. That is the only
major route that has been shut in Scotland. Some schools are closed.
Not a huge number. About 30 or so. Most are in the Borders but some up
and down the east coast. The worry is this snow might continue,
although at the moment it is not as bad as some feared. Thank you. Just
a reminder, the BBC News channel will have all the latest
information on the weather and travel throughout the day. There
are more details on the website. Here is the address. Click on the
live link and the BBC weather website will have comprehensive
forecast for where you live. You can tune into your local radio
station for the latest new, weather and travel in your area too. Other
news now. Algerian forces have found at least 20 more bodies at
the gas plant where they ended a four day siege by Islamist
militantsers the bodies were recovered last night and haven't
been officially identified but it is being reported they were all
hostages. The arsenal of weaponry which the Algerian authority say
the kidnappers had with hem. As estimated of the numbers who died
continue to mount Britain and other countries are trying to piece
together what happened. For the family of Kenny, there is grim
confirmation of what they first learned on the internet. He was one
of the casualties. The police came last night, and informed us that
what was on Facebook was true, that Kenny had been, he was executed.
For others, dramatically beter news. Alan Wright is Health and Safetyly
home with his family and a story of 24 terrifying hours in hiding
before local workers cut an escape route through a fence. I initially
said no. I sat tight, thinking I am going to stay and not be uncovered,
but as I said, the first, as soon as they cut the first wire, it
changed my mind completely, and I thought, well, we are going, there
is no option, we are going to go and make a run for it. Senior
ministers gathered for another meeting of the COBRA emergencies
committee, chaired by the Prime Minister, to to receive the latest
update as they continue to assess the fall out from a crisis that Mr
Cameron has described as part of a global challenge. The sudden new
security focus on northern Africa is because the attack in Algeria
has highlighted the challenge of taking on extremists who can
exploit the vast remote difficult to defend spaces in the region. The
French intervention in Mali, enough of which has fall on the extremists
has underlined the fear that militant safe havens here and local
terror threats in other countries could pose a threat to the west and
its interests. For Britain its allies and the Governments of the
region, the issue is how to work together to prevent a repetition of
this deadly hostage stand off. The Prime Minister is to make a commons
statement about the Algerian hostage crisis this afternoon. Let
us get the latest from Westminster. Norman, David Cameron spoke of the
difficulties in trying to tacking terrorism in north Africa, what is
his message likely to be today? There is no disguising the
seriousness with which the Prime Minister views the terrorist threat
from north Africa. He warned how they posed an xis ten shall threat
to the west and would require ion resolve from western capitals. Said,
there is a determination in Downing Street, not to have an Afghanistan
mark two, which is why Number Ten was stressing again and again there
will be no combat role for British forces, instead we will provide
diplomatic support for Government, we will provide humanitarian aid,
intelligence, logistical support. We will fund, train African forces
but we will not provide boots on the groan. Why? Because burned on
the very soul of ministers is the Iraq, Afghanistan experience and a
view we cannot impose solutions and there is to be peace, it will have
to be provided by African troops and politicians. The danger of
course is of mission creep, which is Prime Minister is bound to be
pressed about when 4 answered questions this afternoon N the
meantime he has to turn his attention to his big Europe speech,
which was delayed on Friday because of the Algeria hostage crisis, we
learn that will be this Wednesday morning, in Central London, ahead
of Prime Minister's Questions, when the Prime Minister will set out
exactly what sort of referendum he might offer us after the next lebg
Snow has forced the closure of almost 5,000 schools. Much of
Britain is blanketed, affecting travel on roads, rail and the
airports too. Coming up: We are in a nether world.
We are demons. Why the world of gaming is not just
for the young. Later in the hour: I have the sport
on the BBC News Channel. Including a look ahead to a new match against
pot teenow. -- Juan Martin Del Potro.
President Obama is to give his inaugural address today, to mark
the start of a second term in the White House. He was sworn in at a
private ceremony yesterday as the US constitution akier that the US
President take oath of office on the 20th of January. More than half
a million people are expected to be there for the swearing in. There
will be a parade and a special evening of events. Including
Beyonce singing the American National Anthem.
Jon Sopel joins us there now. Thank you. Well, Barack Obama's
position in history is guaranteed. That was assured four years ago
when he became the first African American President, but he is
legacy will be shaped by what he does over the next four years, at
home and abroad. The great inaugural addresses, they tend to
become a part of American history. So what can we expect from a
serbgd-term Obama? -- second-term Obama? An early start for those
planning to witness the key day in the life of a nation, when partisan
politics are put aside and Americans come together to
celebrate their democracy. 800,000 are expected to gather on the
National Mall in the front of the Capitol.
The souvenir stalls are hoping for a brisk trade.
The excitement is fantastic, though. The atmosphere is fantastic. We are
just having a ball. I think it is great to see the next President to
be re-elected for the next four years. Some say that the
celebration will not be as large, but I think we should still
celebrate. Last time, almost 2 million turned
out to see the nation's first black President sworn into office. This
time there is not the same level of excitement but there is still a
strong sense of history. Not least as this inauguration falls on
Martin Luther King Day. But this inauguration sees idealism
replaced by determination. President Obama, now 51, and vis
ability more grey, had a tough first time, battling a hostile
republican Congress and shoring up a struggling economy. Second terms
about securing legacies. President Obama has laid out his priorities.
They include continuing to heal the economy, reforming immigration, and
tightening gun control. I,... He has already set a
different tone. More challenging, the republicans than courting them
and shown a robust approach to fiscal negotiations on the deficit.
More battles lie ahead there, and there are foreign policy challenges
in the Middle East and beyond that could de-rail his domestic agenda.
Today, though, is about pageantry and parties. Politics begins again
tomorrow. Well with me here overlooking the
capital is the historian, Kenneth Mack. What should we expect from
the speech, this, the second address by President Obama? Well, I
think that we should expect the normal themes of a President
inaugural address. The greatness of America. The founding traditions of
liberty and equality, and to attempt to update the traditions.
Also an attempt to rebut rhetoric mobilised by opponents, call --
calling him a socialist for trying to introduce a national healthcare.
I think that there will be an update for his own vision for
America. When we say you expect it, you are
well informed, you and Barack Obama are friends. You were at college
together. You know him well. Do you have an inside track of what he may
be saying? Eknow from people around him what expect, but I think what
we should expect is a bold agenda but really updating the nation's
founding principles of liberty. Four years ago, everything was hope.
Since then, there has been the banking crisis, the terrible
inheritance he had because of that. Do you think it will be more
pessimistic, the tone? No. No. I think, the first inaugural
addresses are always optimistic, no matter what the times. Even if the
time are hard, even Abraham Lincoln, FDR, they try to show a hopeful
address for the future. I said you were friends of
President Obama, is it slightly odd being a friend of the President?
little odd. He is the President of The United States but he is also
Barak. It is a weird thing, both familiar and unfamiliar. My kids
came to the White House a coup of years ago. They were shy it was
daddy's friend but he is also the President of The United States. The
oddest thing. Thank you very much.
Back to you in the studio. The BBC News Channel is broadcasting the
President's inaugural speech live this afternoon. A special programme
with Jon Sopel live this afternoon at 4.00pm. The first alleged victim
of a group of men charged with grooplg girls for sex in Oxford has
begun to give evidence. Nine men face more than 50 charges,
including rape and child trafficking, which they deny. Our
correspondent is at the Old Bailey. Now, what happened in court, Mik,
e? Well, before a packed court, the first prosecution witness gave her
evidence. She was 14 at the time of the alleged incidents. She
describes running away from a children's home.
She said that the men were K dog, identified at Kamar Jamil. Another
man was Anjum Dogar, together with his brother, Akhtar Dogar. She
described how she and friends would dress up in skirts and pretend they
were going clubbing. She said that the men were nice at first but then
became thing. The man she called Jammy, threatened her with a gun.
She described an occasion when taken in a car to a field in the
dark. The man known as K-Dog, told her to go in the field. She was
asked if she had a problem going with him.
The judge, Noel Lucas, said could you stop him? She said no. She did
not have a choice. The number of children admitted to
hospital with asthma has fallen sharply, fabling the -- following
the introduction of a ban on smoking in public. The study shows
that the figures were down 12% in the first year after the law was
changed and they have continued to fall.
Before the smoke-free law came into force, critics warned instead of
lighting up in public places, smokers would have more cigarettes
at home, harming the health of families. Second-hand smoke can
trigger asthma attacks. This research adds to earlier evidence
that the fears were ill-founded. Before the law change, hospital
admission fos children with severe asthma were rising by two percent a
year. The study found that the admissions fell by 12%. After three
years, the impact was equivalent to nearly 7,000 hospital admissions.
The authors say it has been an unexpected but welcome change in
behaviour. We think that as people are
adopting smoke-free homes, when the laws are introduced, it is because
of the benefit that they see in public and want to adopt them in
their home. This benefits the children. They
are less like will to be introduced to second-hand smoke.
There is a call for further action to stop children and young people
taking up smoking. Five men accused of raping and
measurering a young woman in Delhi have appeared in court. They are
being trailled in a special fast- track court set up to deal with
rape cases. A sixth suspect is expected to be tried in a youth
court. The student was assaulted on a bus in an attack that caused
outrage across India. A Taliban assault on Kabul's
traffic police headquarters is over. Five attackers were killed. Three
policemen died in the assault. It lasted about eight hours. The last
two attackers killed after a fierce gun battle. The second major attack
against a government building in the Afghan capital in the space of
a week. It seems that the image of the
teenager on the sofa, glued to the latest computer console game may
not be the whole story. More older people are getting into the world
of gaming. To the point that companies are coming up with
products designed to attract a wider age rage.
Why not get out this game? With age comes experience. In this case,
video game experience! I played this one with my aunt that is now
94. We had a hilarious time. Hilda Knott is set berating her
86th birthday next month. She's been playing video games for 40
years. What do you enjoy about it now?
Finding something new in the day. Getting to the next stage.
Do you think that it keeps you active, mentally? Definitely. Yes.
A lot of them are puzzles, working out how to do something, when to do
Today, she plays on the giant 65- inch screen, mainly to help with
her eye-sight, a far cry from this... In the 1970s, Pong was the
first mainstream video game. In the 90s, we saw the rise fr Super Mario,
a game that transcended age with its design and format and in the
naughties, Wii Sport, helping with fiscal agility.
-- physical. Blitz Studios in Leamington, one of
the world's largest independent games video developers. They are
designing new games for tablets and smartphones s with mass market
appeal. The market is huge. There is no
reason why middle-aged women and older people may not want to play
the video games. Hilda, who plays puzzles on her
iPad now enjoys games that are less fast-paced but don't be fooled,
after serious playing time, she has still got game! There you are, I'm
drowning, that's it. Poor old Hilda! Sport and Andy
Murray has cruised into the quarter-finals of the Australian
Open. Andy Murray is yet to drop a set in
four matches. He won 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 over an hour-
and-a-half against Gilles Simon. He plays Jeremy Chardy on Wednesday.
Now a look at the weather. Well, it is cold and will be cold
for the rest of the week. There is a risk of disruption through the
afternoon on into the evening across parts of northern England
and Scotland. The Met Office has an amber warning in force. So be
prepared for disruption. We are looking at fresh snowfall over
parts of the north country in the parts of the north country in the
evening. It will be a little quieter over
the north-east of England later in the day but not before we have seen
snow over the Pennines. Heavier snow in Kinross and the
Grampians. This evening turning wintry with a
risk of disruption. Wintry flurries to the east of Northern Ireland.
And to the north a strong wind driving the snow home so, blizzard
conditions are possible. In comparison it is quieter across
Wales and to the south-west of England, but there is cold air
around. There is a lot of lying snow and ice is the biggest hazard
this afternoon and into the evening. In the evening, a few breaks in the
cloud but the temperatures falling quickly.
The snow is out in the east of England and the winds piling into
the north-east of Scotland. By the end of the night, we have to cast
our eye to the south-west. There is a bit of uncertainty for Tuesday
here, at the moment it could be a weather feature is approaching the
south-east of England and Wales bringing in fresh snow, the amounts
are difficult for us to be exact about. It could cause disruption
here if you live in these areas, keep up to date with the forecast.
There could be fresh snowfall getting into the southern counties
of England on Tuesday as well. Quieter day in the north. A lot of
cold lying snow around. A reminder that there could be problems with
ice. So the advice remains, travelling
anywhere, bear in mind that you may well encounter problems. Keep up to
date with the BBC local radio stations and the website.
For the rest of the week, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, staying cold but
quieter. A lot of frost and ice around, but a mainly drier picture.
When will it send in -- end? It could be the weekend.
Raise ray now the toip: Heavy snow has forced the closure of almost
5,000 schools. Much of Britain's blanketed, affecting travel on the