20/01/2014 BBC News at One

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Dem peer is set to rejoin the Lords today, despite Nick Clegg's all for


him to apologise first over sexual harassment claims. Meissen -- my


views are clear. If you cause distress to another collie, and that


has been shown to be the case, the most basic and decent thing you can


do is apologise. We will have the latest. Also: The mother of three


old Mikaeel Kular is due to appear in court in the next hour, charged


in connection with his death. -- three-year old.


Peace talks are in turmoil as anger at the UN invites the Iranians to a


summit on ending the civil war in Syria. Shocking CCTV, Lisa Bjork


will help to catch the muggers who kicked and punched this man, then


left him on the road. And an early morning wake-up call for the Rosetta


spacecraft. 500 millimoles from Earth, it is ready for a rendezvous


with a comet. -- 500 million miles. Later on BBC London: The growing


number of people stealing their gas and electricity, and why it's adding


?30 a year to our bills. And a coroner calls for a senior


doctor to be suspended after the death of this toddler.


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


engulfing the Liberal Democrats over allegations of sexual harassment


against Lord Rennard could come to a head in Parliament today. The peer


is expected to rejoin the Lib Dem group in the Lords, but the party's


leader says he must first apologise to the women who have complained


about his behaviour. Lord Rennard, the party's format Chief Whip, said


he had not done anything wrong. Chris Mason reports.


The Lib Dems are being split into macro by this man, Lord Rennard. He


is not a household name, but for years he's been an essential figure


in his party. He has advised leaders, and plotted election


campaigns. Now the current leader is angrily touring TV studio demanding


that he apologises over allegations of sexual harassment. As a matter of


basic reasons you, you say sorry. That has been the recommendation of


an independent process. It is the role eyes-macro Judy party holds --


it is the view I and the party hold. That is why I don't think he should


rejoin the party in the House of Lords until he has made the


apology. This is Alison Goldsworthy, one of four activists who have


accused him of sexual harassment. Bridget Harris is another. The


police concluded there was insufficient evidence to prosecute


the peer. Internal enquiries agreed but said he should apologise. But he


has refused. All of which leaves a stand-off between Nick Clegg and


Lord Rennard. As if this wasn't awkward enough for Mr Clegg, the Lib


Dems are very proud of giving their party members say. Internal


democracy is what they call it. The clue is in the party's name. But


that can leave Nick Clegg as good as powerless while in his party are


sounding off will stop Chris Rennard has been through a year of hell. In


other circumstances, people would have been driven to suicide. He has


had to suffer humiliation through the newspapers comment a after day.


This is a good, decent man who has been punished by the party. The


leadership seems to be showing scant regard for due process. Lord Rennard


and his supporters want him back here in Parliament and back on a


powerful policy committee. At least a third of its members don't. It


would be better if Chris apologised, and it would be better if he went


away and thought about how he would be feeling if he was leading the


campaign with all this going on. At the moment, there is little sign of


compromise between Lord Rennard and Nick Clegg. The challenge now is to


sort this out quickly before Mr Clegg's authority takes a further


hit. Let's speak to our chief political correspondent, Norman


Smith, at Westminster. It is quite the stand-off. How damaging is it


for Nick Clegg? Potentially profoundly damaging. This is high


noon for Nick Clegg. Chris Rennard is not just another Lib Dem. He is


the man who ran the party of the past 20 or so years. He has breathed


life into it at successive elections. He knows where all the


bodies are buried. It is a fight to the finish, it seems, between the


two macro men. Both camps seem unwilling to optimise with


increasingly viral and language being directed in each direction. --


virulent language. Nick Clegg is the money and apology. Lord Rennard is


saying he had nothing to apologise for. Nick Clegg's people is saying


he could be suspended from the party. Lord Rennard's people say, if


you do that, we could take you to court. It matters because it is a


fight that Nick Clegg has to win. He cannot lose or the damage to his


authority would be profound. Already this morning, one Lib Dem MEP said


he heard Nick Clegg on the radio and couldn't understand what he was


talking about. In other words, an open act of defiance and disrespect.


We made get more of that shortly at around 2pm, when, if, Lord Rennard


decides to go to the House of Lords in an open act of defiance of Nick


Clegg. The mother of three-year-old Mikaeel Kular, who is due to appear


-- is due to appear in court this afternoon. Rosdeep Kular was charged


at the weekend. Our correspondent is in Edinburgh. Rosdeep Kular could


appear in court within the next couple of hours. In Scottish courts,


it is known as the appearance in petition. It is the first time in


defendant appears in court and it is always in private. No media or


members of the public will be on court to hear the charges she faces.


Shortly before midday, a large police presence for a van arriving


at court. It is believed it may have been transporting Rosdeep Kular,


head of her appearance to face charges in connection with her


son's death. Mikaeel was reported missing on Thursday morning. Within


hours, hundreds of volunteers had joint police to search for the young


boy. But at midnight on Friday police announced they had found his


body. 20 miles away, he has former home in Cork D. 24 hours later, they


charges mother. -- they charged his mother in connection with his death.


Support is being offered to children at his school. Just about to take my


school -- childhood nursery now. Just devastated. It is horrible.


Police are continuing to guard the house in five close to where his


body was found. How long Mikaeel had lain there remains unclear but the


tribute outside continue to mount. People are deeply affected by what


happened to him. It will only be a basic charging this afternoon. More


specific details will only become available once an indictment is


placed and when Rosdeep Kular appears in open court at a later


date. Syria's main opposition group has threatened to pull out of


forthcoming police talks in Switzerland unless the UN Secretary


General, Ban Ki-Moon, withdraws and invitation to Iran. He asked the


Iranians to attend the opening discussion because he believes they


should be part of a solution to the crisis. America has also called for


the invitation to be withdrawn unless Iran backs titillation of a


transitional government in Syria. -- backs the creation. This is a rebel


held area of Damascus. For months, it has been under siege and


bombarded by Syrian government forces. Now a trickle of aid has


arrived. These people can't wait much longer for a peace deal. This


woman says have received nothing from our children are dying of


hunger. Are we animals? Now, head of long anticipated talks, the UN


secretary-general has dropped a diplomatic bombshell. An invitation


to Iran. We agreed that the cause of the negotiations is to establish,


and mutual consent, transitioning body. Washington seemed shocked as


Iran haven't signed up to last year's Geneva peace agreement. A


spokeswoman said: Iran's relations with the West have


thawed under the country's new president. Only today, the country


began to impairment and nuclear deal to stop enriching uranium. But


concern is fuelled by decades of this trust and Iran's backing of


President Assad. -- this trust. As the fractured rebels battle on,


Syria's main opposition group has now threatened to pull out of the


talks which already are precarious. President Assad says they should be


about fighting terrorism, not a change of government. TRANSLATION:


Be logical thing that we have been talking about continuously is that


the Geneva conference comes out with clear results in relation to


combating terrorism in Syria. Especially in terms of pressurising


the country -- countries that export terrorism to Syria. Everyday,


desperate Syrians flee their country. He talks may yet go ahead,


but for these people, relief seems distant. -- the talks. The police --


Police Federation of England and Wales, which were business officers


from constables to chief inspectors, should be changed from top to


bottom, according to an independent review commissioned in the wake of


the so-called plebgate affair. It says the Police Federation needs to


be much more open and accountable and must adopt the kind of standards


of behaviour and conduct which the public expect of police officers.


Our home affairs correspondent is in central London. A damning report,


Tom. It certainly is. This is a report by a former senior civil


servant into a body that he says, is very important police officers can't


strike. So they do need an organisation to represent them. He


says have an organisation that is very badly affected by political


infighting. It attacks those inside and outside the Federation,


officials say. There is barracking at their conference every year. It


is something that has become a fixture in the political conference


season. Civil servants and ministers have been handled by the police. He


says there is widespread dismay and the damage being done to the Police


Federation, but also to the image of the police outside. He is also


particularly concerned that he was unable to find details of how much


money was in some local Police Federation accounts. He said that


shouldn't happen, there should be much better openers. So,


recommendations? He says there should be new standards of


professionalism, new guidelines for expenses and new annual road --


reports. One final thing, having found a surplus in the Federation's


account, he says that every police officer who subscribes should have a


25% reduction in their fees for one year. Police have released shocking


CCTV images of a man who was mugged on the street in Birmingham as he


walked home from a party. The 51-year-old was knocked unconscious


by one of his attackers. Another then repeatedly kicked him while he


was being robbed. More than a dozen cars drove past without stopping.


This report contains images that some viewers may find distressing.


It was the early hours of December the 15th and the CCTV footage shows


the victim turning around after an object, later found to be a Saronic


plate, was thrown. A second man appears from the shadows and throws


a punch. It looks into ground, unconscious. As the 51-year-old lies


helpless in the street, the men rifled through his pockets, stealing


a watch and a mobile phone. In an act of islands, which is too


sickening to show, the first attacker then is taking the -- begin


in the head. It is now more than a month since the horrific attack was


carried out on this street in Birmingham. West Midlands Police say


they need the public's help. More than a dozen cars passed by as the


assaults took place, and they urgently want the drivers of those


vehicles to come forward. Police say their latest figures show the number


of robberies in this area of the city has fallen. But this was a


particularly vicious attack. A collapse of that nature, let alone


the punch, could easily have resulted in this being a murder


investigation. The alarm was eventually raised by a passer-by,


who called the emergency services. The 51-year-old man was seriously


injured and needed stitches to his face and head. He still too shaken


to speak about his ordeal. The time is coming on to a quarter


past one. The top story: The Deputy Prime Minister's authority is


brought into question by Lord Rennard. The Lib Dem peer is set to


rejoin the laws, despite a call for him to apologise first over sexual


harassment claims. Still to come: Getting ready for the Winter


Olympics, Team GB get kitted out for the Russian cold.


Later on BBC London News: Two International medical gains are


called off after an event causes damage to the floor. And across well


could bring an additional 160 million passengers to the West and


every year, according to a new report. At 10:00am this morning, an


alarm clock sounded 500 million miles from earth on a spacecraft


that's been in hibernation for two and a half years. The European Space


Agency is hoping it will have woken up the Rosetta probe ready for the


final stage of its mission. The aim is to put a robotic lander on a


comet later this year, something that has never been attempted


before, to provide more information about how the solar system came into


existence. Our science reporter, Rebecca Morelle, has more details.


The Rosetta spacecraft launched a decade ago, the start of the


journey. And this is its target, Comet 67P hails from the dawn of the


solar system, a mass of ice and rock hurtling through space, but first


Rosetta needs to wake up. The last two years it has been in deep space


hibernation to save energy for the final phase of its mission. Right


now, Rosetta is more than 800 million kilometres away from Earth.


First of all internal alarm clock goes off, triggering heaters so it


can warm up. The craft then stops spinning by firing thrusters. Once


it is stabilised it uses navigational instruments to find


Earth and angles towards it. Only then can it send its message back


home. Absolutely everything rides on this particular stage of the mission


being a success. We have to get control back of the satellite so we


can start it on its journey to rendezvous with the comment. -- the


Comet. Rosetta should catch up with a comet later this year, then starts


the perilous stage, dropping a lander onto the Comet as it travels


at speed. It will have to bolt itself down on the icy surface so it


does not fly. Nothing like this has ever been attempted before. Comments


act as a time travel Capshaw from the start of the solar system --


comets. They contain all of the earliest water and organic material


that was there before the planet was formed. Understanding these comets


could understand -- answer some of the biggest questions in science. If


Rosetta can pull it off it could shed some light on how our planet


came to be and how I'd started here on earth. -- and how life started.


The Labour Party says it will make all people claiming jobseekers'


allowance sit a test to prove they can read, write and do maths within


six weeks of them signing on. The measure was set out by the new


Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Rachel Reeves, in her first major


speech since her appointment. The Conservatives claim the opposition


is copying a policy that already exists. Our political correspondent


Ross Hawkins reports. Talking tough on benefits, for the


unskilled, for European immigrants, because they say things must change


because they know it is what many voters want to hear. It is our


responsibility to make sure the training is there, but it is your


responsibility to do the training you need, to get off jobseeker's


allowance and into work. Labour is promising tests for new job-seekers.


Those without basic skills in maths, English and IT will have to take


training will lose benefits. The government says they have already


offered a pilot scheme offering tuition, and they also say this.


Anybody who wants to come there needs to be looking for work, taking


work, and making contributions, not to come because the benefit system


is more generous. New European immigrants will not get housing


benefits if they get jobseeker's allowance. Today we learned those


will be the rules from April, the policy was first announced last


year. But on this, the politicians don't mind repeating themselves. And


you don't need a spin doctor to understand why. Many viewers are


programmes like this one action on benefits bill that amounts to ?170


billion per year. -- want action. When we ask people if they want


cutting, benefits are way ahead of health, transport, defence. People


think a lot of welfare money goes to the wrong people. For many voters


keen on welfare cuts, the argument is simple. Whether you turn up at a


job centre without basic skills or freshly arrived from abroad, you


should be finding work and not making claims. And yet almost half


of the overall benefits bill goes on the state pension, and politicians


are much less enthusiastic about squeezing that. So they have not cut


the cost of welfare today, but they will hope that voters have heard


them worrying about it. A coroner in North Wales has


concluded that a man with heart problems would probably have lived


long enough to receive hospital treatment if an ambulance had


arrived promptly after he collapsed. Fred Pring, who was 74 and from


Flintshire, died more than 40 minutes after his wife first called


999 in March last year. Let's speak to our correspondent Richard Lister.


What more was said, Richard? As you say, Fred Pring suffered from


chronic heart and lung problems, and early in the morning of the 21st of


March last year he had such bad chest pains that his wife Joyce


dialled 999 and was assured help was on the way. What she was not told


was that none of the ambulance crews was available. They were taking


mandatory rest breaks all were delayed outside hospitals where they


were trying to deliver patients. In one case that was almost five hours.


She dialled 9993 more times but it took 48 minutes for an ambulance to


arrive, by which time her husband was dead. The coroner said today


that had an ambulance arrived on the target response time of eight


minutes he probably would have survived long enough to be treated


in hospital. He has written to both the Welsh Ambulance Service and the


health board to review their procedures in the way they allocate


resources and the question of delays in getting patients to hospital.


They both said that improvements are being made and they have offered


their condolences to the family, but Mrs Pring said she was let down was


considering legal action. The coroner said unless her concerns


were acted upon their work real dangers facing other lives.


Violence has continued in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, with


protestors throwing missiles and police firing plastic bullets.


Yesterday, dozens of people were injured during running battles


between police and anti-government demonstrators, who'd gathered to


denounce a new anti-protest law. President Yanukovych has promised


talks with opposition leaders to try to resolve the crisis. Our


correspondent Daniel Sandford sent this report from Kiev.


The stonethrowing and tear gas that began in Kiev yesterday have never


stopped. This morning, police were using plastic bullets as well to


defend their position below Parliament. Although very isolated,


the fighting is the worst of the country has seen in decades and has


to dozens of injuries. The most serious clashes were in the night.


Petrol bombs turned the police front line into an inferno, and protesters


made missiles from cobblestones. Two months ago these started as


demonstrations in favour of joining the European Union, but now they


have boiled over into anger, directed at Ukrainian president,


Viktor Yanukovych, and the Russian president, Latimer Putin. There are


only a few hundred truly violent protesters, but overnight they have


burned a dozen or so police buses and trucks -- Vladimir Putin.


Through the morning the violence has continued. After two months of


protests against the country's drift towards Russia and the rampant


corruption here, it was new laws passed last week that restricted


demonstrations and produced this explosion of anger. It is not a


peaceful demonstration any more. I am upset about the situation, but I


can say that the government is the cause of what is here now. I do not


like that that has happened, but something had to happen. This is a


response to the new law. President Yanukovych has set up a commission


of ministers and opposition leaders to deal with the crisis, but the


violent protesters who seem to be mostly supporters of far right


groups, have lost patience with politicians from the main parties.


Andy Murray is through to the quarter finals of the Australian


Open after a four-set win over France's Stephane Robert, who's


ranked 119th. The British number one will now face Roger Federer.


Katherine Downes reports. This was supposed to be easy for


Andy Murray, a safe bet for his supporters against a man who


describes his style as casino tennis. Andy Murray held all of the


cards in the first set as Stephane Robert, the first lucky loser to


reach last six in the grand slam, it seemed his luck was running out.


Andy Murray laid his aces on the table in the second set. So far, so


good for the Wimbledon champion. The tables turned on the third set.


Robert refusing to give up, and a mistake from Murray handed the


tie-break to the Frenchman. The racket felt his fury. A shirt


change, composure returned, Murray made light work of the fourth set to


win it 6-2. These are tricky guy to play -- he is a tricky guy to play.


He goes for broke, takes it up the line on the forehand. Murray may


have won but it is a day that Stephane Robert will not forget. A


taste of what it is like to play a big name on the big stage. He will


even take Andy Murray's broken racket. Up for him next is Roger


Federer, inform, in the quarterfinals. Team GB are hoping


for their most successful Olympic games ever by winning at least three


Olympic medals. They have been getting kitted out for the Russian


winter as they collected more than 100 items each needed for the games.


Getting dressed for success, or so she hopes. Amanda Lightfoot is one


of the first to be fitted for her official Winter Olympics kit. Over


the next few days, more than 100 athletes from Britain will be suited


and booted here, with Sochi firmly in their sights. It is a reality


now. It got announced a week ago that I was selected, and I was


overwhelmed. Now my dream is coming true. It is one step closer to being


in Sochi. I'm really excited. Each athlete will get more than 100


pieces of kit, everything from jackets, to this hat which they will


wear at the opening ceremony. The big question is, can this help them


to success in Sochi? Optimism has never been higher. Over the last few


days we have seen a slide to a victory in the skeleton, and the


speed skaters retaining their European titles. Britain's medal


target in Sochi is as many as seven, their biggest tally in Winter


Olympic history. We are presenting probably our strongest team ever and


we hope they will be prepared and have everything at their feet to be


able to do the job as best they can on the day, and we will see what


happens. It would be lovely to bring some medals home. What I want is


that everyone to go out there and say they could not have done any


better and gave it their all. Amy Williams, going for gold for Great


Britain. Four years ago Britain returned home from Vancouver with


just one medal, albeit a gold medal, for Amy Williams. In Sochi they will


expect greater success and in some style. Time for a look at the


weather. Here's Stav Danaos. Plenty of sunshine at the start of


the week for the country. Mainly dry, one or two showers in the


forecast and it does start with mist and fog. If you look at the latest


satellite picture you can see the sunshine, little bits of mist and


fog lingering on in southern areas and the cloud a bit thicker across


Scotland and Wales. We might still see one or two showers through the


afternoon. For Northern Ireland and much of England and Wales, a lovely


afternoon. The north-east corner of Scotland doing the best with the dry


weather and sunshine. The high lands -- the Highlands may be seeing one


or two showers, as across north west England and West and Wales. Away


from here, a glorious afternoon, lots of sunshine. We could see a bit


of low cloud or stubborn fog patches, but where it has cleared we


are looking at an average temperature between five Celsius and


eight Celsius. Going overnight, with light winds and clear skies, we see


fog reforming and it will be more extensive and widespread than last


night. Some very dense fog patches in central and fog clearing as the


rain advances. It could be stubborn to clear, but then very slowly we


will see the band of rain pushing in, and snow over the Scottish


mountains. A heavy burst likely, especially across Wales and


south-west England. It will be dry for central and eastern parts of


England until the evening, and the reason for this front moving slowly


is we have an area of high pressure in Scandinavia which is presenting


the fronts moving from west to East. -- preventing the fronts. By


Wednesday the front will be through central and eastern parts of the UK,


pushing out into the North Sea. Producing a fair amount of rain in


places, wintry nets over the hills. Behind the sunshine and showers


could be heavy. The rain clearing away from the East on Thursday with


most laces seeing sunshine. Sunshine more in abundance across Northern


Ireland. By the time we reach the end of the week it starts to turn


wet and windy from the north-west. From mid week onwards, wet and


unsettled. Now a reminder of our top story this


lunchtime: The Deputy Prime Minister's authority is brought into


question by Lord Rennard. The Lib Dem peer is set to rejoin the Lords


despite Nick Clegg's call for him to apologise first over sexual


harassment claims. That's all from us. Now on BBC One, it's time