29/04/2013 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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A police investigation into allegations of child abuse at care


homes in North Wales has found the abuse to be more widespread - and


to have lasted longer than previously thought.


They say 140 people have contacted them to say they were abused. The


Chief Constable of North Wales Police had this message for


offenders whose activities hadn't yet come to light. Defenders quite


rightly should have to look over their shoulders for the rest of


their lives. We'll be talking to Mark Easton


about the investigation in North Wales. Also this lunchtime:


Three British men who say they were tortured by police in Dubai have


been jailed for drug offences. Syria's Prime Minister survives an


assassination attempt in a car bomb attack on his convoy in Damascus.


Six days after the collapse of an eight-story building in Bangladesh,


rescuers say there's no hope of finding more survivors.


Tackling the collapsing bee population. EU states vote on a


proposal to restrict the use of certain pesticides.


And Sir Bradley Wiggins eyes up a new title. This time, his sights


are on the Italian road race title. On BBC London, regular closures for


they Jubilee Line. And a former monastery opens to the


public after more than six and and Good afternoon and welcome to the


BBC News at One. Police say they're investigating


140 allegations of historical child abuse at 18 care home in North


Wales. They say the allegations cover a period of four decades


going back to 1963 and they had uncovered significant fresh


evidence of "systematic and serious sexual and physical abuse". The


number of alleged victims and care homes, and the duration of the


period involved, is much wider than previously thought. The Chief


Constable of North Wales warned the perpetrators that they would be


caught and they would be looking over their shoulders for the rest


of their lives. Before the children who once lived


here, it was home, -- for the children. But some were subjected


to systematic abuse by the very people paid to look after them. The


former residential centres have now been put to other use, but their


names will never be forgotten by the victims whose childhoods were


destroyed. A police investigation more than 20 years ago led to seven


convictions, but in a Newsnight report last November which led to a


Tory peer being falsely accused of being involved in paedophilia, it


was also claimed that child abuse in North Wales had been more


widespread. De Home Secretary Theresa May set up an investigation


into the abuse, and this morning, its preliminary findings were made


public. 140 people have no contacted the Operation Pallial


investigation team. The complainants were aged between


seven and 19 at the time of the alleged abuse. The allegations date


back as far as 1963, and most recently, 1992. They relate to 18


care homes in North Wales. So far, the allegations involved 84 named


individuals. People who commit serious sexual offences should live


with the knowledge that we will always examining new information


and evidence and seek to bring them to justice for their crimes.


Offenders quite rightly should have to look over their shoulders for


the rest of their lives. This inquiry was also set up to look at


how North Wales Police handled the original investigation. This


preliminary report finds no evidence of systemic or


institutional misconduct by members of the force. Last week, police


working on Operation Pallial made their first arrest, a man in


Suffolk was questioned about allegations of serious sexual


offences. It is expected that more arrests will follow.


And Mark Easton is outside North Wales Police headquarters in Colwyn


Bay. This investigation, as we were


hearing, is much bigger than police previously thought.


And that is quite a surprise, isn't it? We have had a huge police


investigation in the 1990s, a public inquiry led by a former


judge and other inquiries conducted as well and here we are all these


years later, we look at this again and we discover that it is, as you


say, far more widespread, other four decades, going back to the


early 1960s. We thought it was from a period of the mid-70s, not just


covering three all four children's homes, but 18. We are talking about


systemic abuse, serious sexual and physical abuse, it would appear


conducted by a large number of people. 84 names, most of those men,


75, but including nine women. If the allegations are true, it is an


appalling scandal and a scandal that, as some victims have been


saying, was left unresolved for far too long.


The Syrian Prime Minister is reported to have survived a bomb


attack on his convoy in the capital Damascus. His bodyguard is


understood to have been killed and his driver seriously injured. Our


Middle East Correspondent Jim Muir reports.


Another big bomb in a heavily secured part of Damascus, patrolled


by government forces. It wasn't as massive as some of the recent bombs,


but it was enough to Wrexham vehicles and set others on fire. --


Rick. State television said there were casualties, including


civilians passers-by. But it is that the main target of what it


called a terrorist explosion, the convoy of Wael Al-Halki. He escaped


unscathed. That version seem to be borne out by later footage on State


TV showing the Prime Minister at an important economic meeting. He is


reported to have told them that what he called such terrorist


attacks only showed the desperation and bankruptcy of the rebels and


their backers, after recent successes by government forces.


This is far from the first time there has been a big explosion


inside government controlled central Damascus. In December, a


suicide attack caused heavy damage and casualties at the Interior


Ministry. Officials said then that nobody senior was hurt, but it


later turned out that the minister himself was seriously wounded. This


time, it does seem that the reported target of the attack, the


Prime Minister himself, has survived. But what it shows is that


the violent and bloody confrontation between rebels and


regime drags on, the rebels do seem, if indeed it was then, to be able


to slip through the net and strike in the very heart of the Government


controlled areas. Up to 40 people have been injured


in a powerful explosion in a building in the Czech capital


Prague. Police say that the blast, which blew the windows out of


nearby buildings, was likely to have been caused by a gas leak. The


popular tourist area has now been sealed off and people have been


evacuated from nearby houses. Three British men have been found


guilty of drug offences in Dubai and jailed for four years each.


Suneet Jeerh, Grant Cameron and Karl Williams, who are all from


London, claim to have been tortured by police after they were arrested.


David Cameron says he will raise the issue with the president of the


UAE, who starts a visit to Britain tomorrow. Richard Galpin reports.


The more than nine months after arriving on holiday here in Dubai,


Grant Cameron, along with Karl Williams and Suneet Jeerh, finally


found out what their fate would be. Inside this court, they were found


guilty of taking illegal drugs, and they were sentenced to four years


in prison. Grand's mother Tracy Cameron have little hope they would


be released, despite the allegations they had been tortured


by the Dubai police. She told me how Karl Williams had allegedly


been singled out for the worst treatment. He was laid out on the


bed, his trousers were stripped down and electric shocks were


administered to his testicles while he was blindfolded. I believe all


of them had guns held to their head. They were told they were going to


die. The dream holiday last July soon went wrong when the police


arrested the three men, saying they had drugs on them. Human rights


campaigners say there is evidence to back up the torture allegations


and the men should be released immediately. Given the horrific


allegations of torture, the President and the shake up to buy


need to work together to pardon the men as soon as possible. They have


been imprisoned for nine months, in prison for all of that time, they


have not receive proper medical attention and it is time to send


them home. -- received. Here at the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates,


they are making final preparations for the visit of their President to


Britain, which starts tomorrow. David Cameron has indicated that


the torture allegations will be raised during the visit.


So the issue threatens to overshadow the state visit. As the


authorities in United Arabs have denied all the allegations. --


United Arab Emirates. There is much at stake, the country is an


important trading partner for Britain. Now these three men must


be hoping the talks in London will convince the President to pardon


them. A massive shake-up in the UK


benefits system has begun, with the first claims made for the new


universal credit, which merges several benefits and tax credits


into one monthly payment. The scheme is being piloted with a


small number of new claimants in Greater Manchester, but the


Government says it could eventually affect nearly eight million


households. Our Local Government Correspondent Mike Sergeant reports.


If this is a welfare revolution, it is getting off to a slow start. One


JobCentre in one town and a tiny number of new claimants will be


losing -- using Universal Credit, but for the Government, this is the


beginning of a radical overhaul of the benefits system which ministers


say, people will always be better off in work. It is a big change, a


big positive and it saves money through fraud and error and get


people back to work making them taxpayers, and Britain will grow


and be a strong nation. Government's plan is to combine six


benefits, including Jobseeker's Allowance, tax credits and housing


benefit, into one payment. The process begins today in Greater


Manchester. In October, new claimants in other parts of the


country will start using the system and by 2017, around 8 million


households will be claiming Universal Credit. It Ashton under


Lyne, there has been no press conference or fanfare for the


launch of Universal Credit. Ministers and local officials want


this to be a low-key beginning, so any problems with the new benefit


can be sorted out as it is gradually introduced across England,


Scotland and Wales. Labour says the Government plans are not as bold or


ambitious as ministers claim. were promised a great big welfare


shake-up, what we have is a small scheme starting in the north-west,


three years into this Parliament. Meanwhile, the social security


budget is up more than �20 billion than forecast. So what do residence


in the first time to -- in the first town to try Universal Credit


think? It is a bit confusing, but it will help get people into work.


You need an incentive, you need to get encouraged to work. Some people


do not have enough money, they need various things and they will spend


it on those other things before they probably by what they actually


need for the children to survive. Some concerns have been raised


about whether a new on-line system for claiming the benefit is going


to work, but the Government says there will be plenty of time to


resolve any issues. Norman Smith is in Westminster. It


may be a small scheme to start with, but the stakes are rather high.


The stakes are huge, Simon, that is why Iain Duncan Smith is so


cautiously proceeding, dipping his toe in the water with a limited


trial, because he knows this is not some sort of one mind tweet, this


is -- week, kisses responsible for 5 million claimants, real families


and real claimants and if it goes wrong, there will be a real tales


of hardship and woes and media backlash. The stakes are also high


because Iain Duncan Smith has raised the bar so high, talking


about reshaping the entire benefits system, and we know successive


secretaries of state have talked B on welfare reform, but delivered


little. -- talk to beat. Why? Because of the complexities of


people's lives and the quagmire of reform. But the stakes are high


overall because the success is predicated on the IT system working


and we know, Whitehall is littered with the detritus of the failed


schemes. Iain Duncan Smith says this will be different, saying


there is a universal jobs scheme already on Lyne, receiving 6


million hits a day. But the Universal Credit and the fate of


Iain Duncan Smith may hinge not on politics, politicians will benefit


groups or even us in the media, but on the IT department.


Norman Smith, thank you very much. And you can find out more about the


new Universal Credit and how the changes might affect you on the BBC


raping a 14-year-old boy, who was attacked in the toilets of a


Debenhams store in Manchester City Council. The court heard how the men


approached the teenager when he was visiting the Arndale centre last


year. This attack took place during a busy


shopping day right in the city centre of Manchester. Once inside,


the two men came and approached him. They stood either side of the


teenager, threatened and grabbed his arm. They said to him, you are


coming with us and you will do what we say. He was marched from the


Arndale Centre over market Street, one of the busiest streets in


Manchester, and into the Debenhams store, where he was sexually


assaulted and raped. The men who carried out the attack work


42-year-old Alex Wilson Fletcher and an Iraqi attack -- Iraqi asylum


seeker. The judge said that both men would expect substantial sentences


in June this year. Before then there will be a presentence report carried


out to assess how dangerous these men are and what threat they pose to


teenage boys. Before the end of proceedings, the judge turn to the


jury and thanked a free single member for their consideration


during this very difficult case -- and thanked every single member.


Our top story: An investigation into allegations of child abuse at care


homes in North Wales has found the abuse to be more widespread than


previously thought. Will an EU vote to ban pesticides


halt the decline of the European bee population?


I will have the sport on the BBC News Channel, including former Black


and Rovers manager Henning Berg has won over �2 million in compensation


against the club. Rescue work on a collapsed building


in Bangladesh has entered a sixth day. Officials say they no longer


expect to find any survivors. At least 380 people are known to have


died when the factory complex caned our money outskirts of the capital,


Dhaka, and huge cranes have been used to remove the debris. Anbarasan


Ethirajan is there for us. The heavy machinery was suppressed


into service to remove the rubble from the building behind me after


rescue workers lost hope of finding any survivors after midnight.


Still, there are hundreds of people thought to be trapped inside and


this has generated widespread anger in this country.


The eight story building fell like a pack of cards last week, trapping


hundreds inside. The country years yet to recover from the shock. For


the first time, the Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina wet --


witnessed the disaster site in person. Her government has been


under intense pressure. Five days after the disaster, the


owner of the building was arrested on charges of negligence. Rescue


teams have been frantically working to find survivors, but the price of


those trapped became weaker through the night. -- the tri- -- the cries


of those trapped. Fire broke out as the rescue workers were attempting


to free a girl. It started from the sparks of cutting equipment, forcing


rescuers to pull out. Heavy lifting gear has been brought in to aid the


clear up, effectively signalling the end of rescue operation. Anguished


relatives are waiting for news of those still trapped.


TRANSLATION: I was on the third floor. After the accident I was


inside the building for three days unconscious lying on the floor, then


I was rescued and taken to hospital. When I got my senses back I saw my


mother was missing. She was working alongside me in the factory.


Officials say they don't expect to find more survivors. Bangladesh's


worst ever industrial disaster has come as a wake-up call for the


clothing exporters and the authorities.


As the renovation work and clearing workers going on, hundreds are


waiting to hear about friends and relatives in the building, like


these people. They were working inside the building earlier and they


still have no answer and they don't know how long they have to wait to


hear about their loved ones who were working in this building.


Anbarasan Ethirajan, thank you. The Greek parliament has approved a


bill which will see 15,000 state employees lose their jobs by the end


of next year. Greece had to introduce the new law to receive 9


billion euros, the latest instalment of an international bailout, but it


has prompted protests outside the parliament in Athens.


Civil servant in the line of fire. They burned an effigy of the public


sector worker, protesters angry at plans to lay off 15,000. The


demonstrator was smaller and -- demonstration was smaller and more


peaceful than before, but passions were still high. Inside parliament,


the bill was passed with a clear majority. It is the first time that


the sacred cow of the Greek constitution, civil service jobs for


life, will end, a condition for more bailout money. The Prime Minister


was visibly relieved. We are going through a very difficult patch. This


will be a success story. Less so are those who think they will be laid


off. This town Hall worker already has a salary of just 600 euros a


month. With a family to support, she is worried she will be among those


sacked. Of course I am fearful. My contract is not you for renewal for


three years. My family will be starving. On a political level,


Greece is, than last year. The talk of a Euro exit has faded and the


country no longer feels like it is falling off a cliff, but the


situation is dire, with unemployment over 27 %, one in three below the


poverty line, and many say the new measures will make things worse. The


public sector is already tearing up the seams, the cuts have hit


hospitals hard, a vital resource. Conditions are very harsh at the


moment, the impact of the austerity on public hospitals is a matter of


life and death, meaning we have had a shortage in wound dressings and


medical gloves and the doctors need to inform patients they need to buy


them themselves from the pharmacies. The government says tackling an


unwieldy public sector is long overdue. It now expects almost 9


billion euros of bailout money within the next few weeks, but that


won't calm the social unrest as Greece desperately seeks a way out


of its pain. The Chief Inspector of Constabulary


for England and Wales, Tom Winsor, is calling for police to focus more


on preventing crime than catching criminals. He wants them to target


would-be offenders and crime hotspot 's, saying such a strategy would


save the criminal justice system money.


A European commission spokesman has confirmed that the commission will


go ahead with the temporary ban on neonicotinoids, the pesticides


linked to a dramatic decline in the numbers. But a formal decision will


only be made in a few weeks time. John Maguire is at an apiary in


Chippenham. This apiary has eight living hives


going into the winter, but only two survived intact. I would not be able


to get so close to a hive were the bees inside still alive and flying.


Bees are famously industrious, busy, hard-working but they are says that


double to their environment, to changes in the weather, to


infections and diseases like any other farm animals. The key is


whether this group of pesticides is making the bees' life even tougher


than it already is. In common with so many of the


beekeepers, Pete Douglas has seen his colonies on this organic form in


Wiltshire declined drastically -- organic farm. This is one of the


colonies which has died over the winter. If we look on this frame,


usually this would be absolutely covered in bees, there is a very old


patch here of brood where some of the bees should have emerged, they


are just dead. We know bad weather and disease have hit hard, and some


believe the pesticides called neonicotinoids are making matters


worse. Many of the scientists are showing that there is a huge problem


in terms of the impact of neonicotinoids on particularly


honeybees but also wild bees as well. At the food and environment


research agency near York, they say the issues are more complex. Weather


conditions play the most important role, the impact of pestilent


diseases, colony management. The more stresses you add to colonies,


the worse it will be. Despite concerns raised by the European Food


Safety Authority, the belief is that far more research is needed. They


have studied bumblebees and found no adverse effect. There is more work


to be done. If we can't find the harmful effects in the real world,


we know we will not be able to measure any benefits resulting from


a ban on neonicotinoids. And these are a very useful group of


pesticides for farmers and growers used to control a Hugh -- a whole


range of pest. Honey production was devastated last year. The bees are


vital pollinators. Look at the pollen caked on their legs as they


return. It is a huge help to the very farms that those supporting a


ban believe are worsening the plight of the honey bee.


So this is a complex issue and there is little agreement, really. No real


consensus. The EU ministers voting this morning did not manage to reach


a qualified majority. Because the European commission is minded to


bring forward this ban, it will take place. It will come in across Europe


later this summer, proudly in July. The moratorium will take two years.


The key thing will be to make sure there is more and more research, the


ultimate objective being to better protect such a vital pollinators.


Last year Sir Bradley Wiggins became the first Briton to win the Tour de


France, catapulting him to global fame. Olympic Lawrie follows, a


knighthood and the BBC Sports Personality of the Year. This year


he is hoping to add another honour, by winning the Giro d'Italia. Andy


Swiss is in Wigan. For Sir Bradley Wiggins, his journey


starts in Wigan but it will finish on the streets of Naples. The tour


of Italy, his first big race of the summer. Can the man who wrote to


glory last year rise to his latest challenge? He is Britain's knight in


shining like red, Sir Bradley Wiggins, for many the man who


defined 2012, a world of speed and sideburns who captured the Tour de


France, Olympic gold and the public imagination. How on earth do you


follow that? You go for the next biggest prize, the tour of Italy, a


relief to get back to Britain. My saving grace is I have not gone out


and tried to cash in on the Olympics and got my face everywhere. Gone on


game shows and all this stuff like most of them have done, dancing


programmes. I went back to work on the 1st of January, that has been my


fate -- my saving grace. Wiggins was expected to support Chris Froome --


Chris Frew in the Tour de France. Today Bradley Wiggins said he is


also still out to win it. The Giro d'Italia comes first, then it is not


a case of getting fat, it is getting back them to it, where will we be?


Then into the tour. The challenge is the Giro d'Italia. It will be a long


and intriguing summer, last year's king of the road has no intention of


giving up his crown. The two of Italy starts on Saturday,


interesting to hear him say that he still wants to win the Tour de


France, too. A remarkable double is still on the cards.


If you think spring has been slow to get going, spare a thought for the


people of Spain, who have been blanketed in snow for the last few


days. 18 provinces have extreme weather warnings, with temperatures


hovering around freezing. Some smaller roads have been blocked, and


near Valencia, the coastal region is one of the many faces of spring that


we will see. We will see sunshine at times in the South, but rain at


times in the North. We will all season quite chilly nights. Here is


the satellite from so far today, 20 of sunshine across southern areas,


some fair-weather cried -- fair-weather cloud developing. The


best of the sunshine is across areas of southern England and South Wales.


Fair-weather cloud developing, but you will be unlucky if you catch a


shower. Temperatures not feeling bad in the sunshine. Some showers in a


fuel areas, across Scotland some of them will be heavy with hail and


thunder and a little bit of snow over the highest ground. The showers


have blown in on a pretty brisk north-westerly wind. Showers across


Scotland continue. In some spots we could see some snow to quite low


levels. It should not be too disruptive, just for the far north


of Scotland. Elsewhere, Shell is fading away, largely clear night.


Towns and cities are not so far away from freezing, out in the


countryside, some countryside areas in England could get close to


freezing, some sheltered glens of Scotland even a bit below. A


widespread ground frost and some as frost tomorrow morning, but then


better weather. There will be extra cloud through Northern Ireland,


Scotland and northern and eastern areas of England, producing the odd


isolated shower but Shell is nothing like as heavy as today. The highest


temperatures are in the South. That sets us up for what looks like a


north-south split for the middle of the week. High pressure keeping


things largely settled. Cloud and patchy rain across Northern Ireland,


Scotland and northern England across Wednesday. Temperatures at 15 or 16


Celsius in the south, you will be lucky to get that in the north. The


north-south contrast to continue. Just six degrees in Fort William on


Friday, parts of the South could get up to 15 or 16 with more sunshine


and more dry weather. Many different faces offspring as we head to the


next few days. The driest, brightest weather will probably be in the


South. Our main story: An investigation