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The scale of the devastation left by Hurricane Irma as it tears
through the Caribbean is beginning to emerge.
Barbuda has suffered massive destruction to its roads, schools,
The extent of the destruction in Barbuda is unprecedented.
In fact, I'm of the view that as this stands now,
This is the moment it struck St Martin, severing communications
What we experienced, it's like something
Last night was a horrible experience.
My mum cried and my brother woke me up.
As the United Nations warns that as many as 37 million
people could be affected, we'll have reports
MPs begin their scrutiny of the Government's main Brexit
bill, which aims to end the primacy of EU law in the UK.
This bill simply brings European Union law into UK law,
ensuring that, where ever, possible the rules and laws
Tens of thousands of Muslim Rohingya refugees continue to pour
into Bangladesh from neighbouring Myanmar.
And Prince George is dropped off for his first day
And coming up in the sport on BBC News:
An early wicket for James Anderson in the deciding Test
against West Indies at Lord's, as he edges ever closer to becoming
the first Englishman to take 500 Test wickets.
Good afternoon and welcome to the BBC News at One.
One of the most powerful storms on record - Hurricane Irma -
is continuing to devastate parts of the Caribbean.
It has almost completely destroyed the islands
of Barbuda and St Martin - ten people, including
a child, have been killed - and it's feared that
The storm has now moved past Puerto Rico,
where it knocked out power for around a million people.
It is currently heading for the Dominican Republic,
and is due to hit Cuba tomorrow, and Florida in the United
There are fears for the safety of a number of Britons in the area.
This morning, the Government announced it was making ?12 million
In a moment we'll be speaking to our correspondents live
in Cuba and Florida, but first with all the latest,
Hurricane Irma - a storm the size of France -
On the tiny island of Barbuda, barely a building left untouched.
It was seven of us, and all we had to do was to pray and call for help.
I didn't know this was going to happen to me.
Last night was the most devastating experience
I ever had in my life, and I'm almost 60.
Me and my family of seven, including an infant of two months,
Hundreds of families here now find themselves homeless.
My house, I lose my home, I lose my shop, also my vehicle,
And right now, I don't have nowhere to go to sleep.
We had cars flying over our heads, we had containers, 40 foot
containers flying left and right, and the story that you're getting
from most of the residents here is that the eye of the storm
Persons were literally tying themselves to their roots
Barbuda's Prime Minister said the island was now barely habitable.
I would say that about 95% of the properties will have suffered
They would have lost at least a part of their roofs.
Some have lost the whole roof, some properties have
With much of the island's infrastructure destroyed,
aid agencies now face the difficult task of getting help
The damage in Barbuda is none like we've ever seen before.
We're talking about everything being completely destroyed.
It's electricity, it's roads, it's water, it's
it's churches, it's supermarkets, shops, everything.
There is literally nothing that currently exists
And imagine the terror of being caught up in this.
This is the neighbouring island of St Martin, getting hammered.
Sustained winds of 185 miles an hour.
More than 70,000 people live on the low-lying island
which is made up of Dutch and French territories.
Shipping containers tossed around like Lego bricks.
The authorities here are warning the death toll is likely to rise.
And it's not over yet. The UN is now warning Irma could affect 37 million
people. These remarkable pictures,
taken from the International Space Station, show the storm tracking
north-west towards the Dominican Its forecast to hit the Florida
coast at the weekend. Irma is far from finished and
already on the horizon in this brutal hurricane season, are
hurricanes Jose and Katya. Well, let's get the latest
on the path of Hurricane Irma and where it's heading,
here's Chris Fawkes. Thank you. You might remember
yesterday we were talking about this category five hurricane, the second
strongest hurricane outside of the Pacific basin that we have seen on
record. Their strongest was hurricane Alan in 1980. You might
remember it came onshore first of all yesterday, making its first
landfall in Barbuda. It has caused catastrophic damage here. Indeed,
the Prime Minister Gaston Revol described Bermuda as being barely
habitable. We expected winds gusting to 225 miles an hour. This was a
storm at its peak, Barbuda was in the wrong place. From their
networked north-westwards made a second landfall across the island of
St Martin. Again, causing catastrophic damage. One of the
local councillors on the island talked about 85% of the building
being damage. -- 95%. Then it went north-west enduring yesterday
evening time, our time, it went across the British Virgin Islands,
particularly the Northern group, bringing huge falls of rain, really
strong winds and a massive storm surge is expected as well. Since
then, overnight bringing torrential rain to Porto Rico but the centre of
the storm, with the strongest hurricane winds have stayed off to
the north coast. The ring could still cause problems. For Dominican
Republic and Haiti, brain as well. This is heading towards the Turks
and Caicos Islands. About midnight hour time, about seven o'clock local
time, we are expecting it to make landfall once again. We could see
some big damage here because the winds are still gusting to around
220 miles an hour, so is still a very powerful category five
hurricane. As well as that, we talked about the storm surge
yesterday, the big wall of water you get with hurricanes of the storm
surge that will be working into the Turks and Caicos Islands and across
the Bahamas could reach 20 foot high in places. That will cause
catastrophic damage. It is not just about the winds, but the storm surge
and torrential rain to come. As a storm does widespread damage and
then swinging up towards Florida just in time for Sunday.
Thank you. The latest from Puerto Rico now,
where at least half of the island's homes and businesses have
been without power. Our correspondent
Laura Bicker is there. How are people coping?
As the hurricane came through overnight, people took shelter.
There was real concern, especially having seen what had happened in the
Eastern Caribbean. Bits of Ruth went flying, there is debris on much of
the road. However, the real concern right now is the power supplies. At
least 22 hospitals without power, running generator power and we're
hearing from the power company could be 4-6 months before full supplies
are restored. We heard from authorities here that are trying to
get in touch the thousands in remote areas of this island, to make sure
they are safe, but there is a feeling here, as they emerge in the
daylight and realise right now many of the structures remain intact,
there is a collective sigh of relief. Remember, the eye of the
Hurricane brushed the top of this island that did not give a direct
hit and that may have saved many lives. Thank you, Laura Bicker
there. Our correspondent Will Grant
is in the Cuban capital Havana. The Hurricane is heading to Cuba,
people must be bracing themselves? They are. They are watching these
images coming out of the eastern Caribbean and listening to those
testimonies we've heard with real trepidation. There is great
nervousness here now. It has picked up over the last 24 hours, as people
have appreciated just how severe this storm will be. People are going
out and trying to find sufficient supplies of clean drinking water,
Petros, to run generators with, to board up their homes as best they
can. The government has issued evacuation orders for part of the
eastern tip of the island from Guantanamo to Matanzas province.
There are thousands of tourists caught up in this as well. Many
holiday-makers from all over the world who are relying on the Cuban
government to help them get away from those low-lying coastal areas,
where the popular resorts are, and on their own embassies as well.
There are questions in Cuba that remain about how severe this storm
will be and how much rainfall it will dump, affecting not just Cubans
on the Cuban government that governments around the world who are
focusing on their people who are here at the moment. Will Grant, many
thanks. CBS Correspondent Meg Oliver
is in Miami, Florida. Hurricane Irma is expected to hit
Florida at the weekend. What sort of precautions are being taken?
Mandatory evacuations are going into effect here along Miami Beach. At
noon today. There are people out along the beach right now and a few
people even in the water, taking a last minute dip but authorities are
urging people to take precautions. People are boarding up, they are
filling up their tanks with gas and hitting the road. The big thing with
this storm, they do want anyone to get stuck on the highway. They are
urging people to do their preparation today, tomorrow at the
absolute latest, and Saturday the wind and rain will start to pick up
before storm makes landfall on Sunday. They don't want anyone on
the road on Saturday or Sunday. Meg, thank you. CBS reporter Meg.
MPs have begun debating the EU Withdrawal Bill,
which will end 40 years of the supremacy of EU law in the UK
and will convert existing EU laws into domestic ones.
Many MPs, including some Conservative backbenchers,
Labour will vote against the bill as it stands, calling it a power
Our political correspondent, Chris Mason, reports.
Take back control, the winning mantra of the Leave campaign in the
EU referendum and now the government's job to make a reality.
That means bringing back powers from Brussels to Westminster, and it's
what the EU Withdrawal Bill is all about.
Secretary David Davis studied up this lunchtime the man responsible
for turning it into law told MPs it was vital, because... It insures on
the day we leave businesses know where they stand. Workers' rights
are upheld and consumers remain protected. This bill is vital to
ensuring that as we leave, we do so in an orderly manner.
And so begins the wrangling in fair, in Parliament, on delivering Brexit.
This planned new law intends to change everything by changing
nothing, cutting and pasting vast swathes of EU law and turning it
into UK law the day after Brexit. It will dominate proceedings here for
months to come. Labour say ministers are trying to
avoid scrutiny of their plans. The decision to leave the EU has
already been taken. What we are concerned with is how that should be
done and the government is essentially saying that is down to
us, we don't need the involvement of Parliament. It is a real power grab.
Today's debate is generating international attention. The biggest
change in how we are governed for over 40 years. Unprecedented,
complicated and the source of many a row still to come. Chris Mason, BBC
News, at wet -- Westminster. Our assistant political editor,
Norman Smith, is in Westminster. How big a battle is Mrs May facing
over this Brexit bill? You get a sense of just how high the stakes
are by listening to the Brexit secretary David Davis, who told MPs
this bill is crucial, essential, vital. Why? Because it paves the way
for our departure from the EU. It is the legislative gangplank to
quitting Europe, because it repeals the legislation which took us into
the then European Common Market, way back in the 1970s. For that reason
it is a big green brute of a bill. More than 60 pages, which means
there is ample opportunity for critical MPs to tackle numerous
amendments for staying in the single market, the customs union, demanding
MPs have more say over the shape of legislation. It provides many
possibilities to delay, to dent or even derail Brexit. And that means
Mrs May has to tread an extraordinarily precarious path,
because she has a tiny majority. I think the truth is we are at the
start of possibly months of attrition or tussle here in the
House of Commons, with endless late-night debates, knife edge votes
as Mrs May tries to steer through the Commons the legislation taking
us out of the European Union. Norman, thank you.
So, what are the details of the bill being debated and why
are opposition parties threatening to try to block it?
Chris Morris, from our Reality Check team, can tell us more.
It began life in a Prime Ministerial speech as the Great Repeal Bill,
then it became simply the Repeal Bill and now we're
working with its official title, the rather more prosaic
Here's where it'll end up - with all the other vellum scrolls
in the Houses of Parliament going back centuries.
Well, it's a complex mix of constitutional change
Firstly, it repeals the 1972 European Communities Act that took
the UK into what was then known as the European Economic Community.
The repeal would come into effect on the day of Brexit -
which, until anyone decides otherwise, will be March 29th, 2019.
Secondly, the bill will transfer EU rules and regulations
wholesale into UK law to avoid legal and financial
We're talking here about an estimated 19,000 separate
pieces of legislation, a vast body of law that has
So, a new category of domestic law will be created
After Brexit, any of it could then be amended or repealed
Thirdly, and perhaps most controversially,
the bill will channel this man, Henry VIII, who knew a thing or two
about trying to take back control from Europe.
This is all about what are known as Henry VIII clauses,
named after the Statute of Proclamations of 1539,
which gave Henry the power to legislate by proclamation.
The modern-day equivalent gives ministers and officials the power
to make changes to some laws without full parliamentary scrutiny.
This has set alarm bells ringing in many quarters.
There are those who argue that it will undermine the ultimate
sovereignty of parliament, and those who worry that EU laws
that cover things such as workers' rights or environmental protection
The Government says none of that is going to happen,
but there is another point of contention - the role
of the devolved parliaments and assemblies in Scotland,
The first ministers of Scotland and Wales have described
the Withdrawal Bill as a naked power grab because it returns
all powers from the EU to the UK Parliament,
rather than to the devolved administrations.
All in all, then, there are massive challenges for the Government,
as it embarks on the daunting legislative task of turning Brexit
Well, let's cross now to our correspondent in Brussels,
Damian Grammaticas, who's been listening to a news conference
Yes, there are a couple of highlights to pick out from this.
Michel Barnier first talked about the issue of Ireland. The EU has
released a new paper which says it is determined to try to minimise
impacts to the people of Ireland, north and south of the border, but
interestingly, the EU says the onus is on the UK to come up to that --,
with the solutions because it is the UK's decision to quit the customs
union and single market. The UK wants to use Ireland as a kind of
test case for the future of that EU- UK customs relations. This will not
happen. Creativity and flexibility cannot be at the expense of the
integrity of the single market Michel Barnier basically saying they
would be flexible on Ireland, that would not extend to the rest of the
deal on board as elsewhere. But interestingly on the financial
settlement, I have been very disappointed by the UK position, it
appears to be backtracking on commitments made at the start of the
negotiation process to honour its financial obligations and he urged
the UK to go back, look at the legal argument, because that EU position
as the financial commitment was approved by David Cameron as Prime
Minister, approved by the UK Parliament and must, as things
stand, he cannot recommend there is sufficient progress to move on to
the interim position deal either future trade deal. Thank you. Our
top story this lunchtime... Hurricane Irma has left Ireland is
destroyed and at least ten people killed. The extent of the
destruction in Barbuda is unprecedented. As it stands now, it
is barely habitable. Birmingham has been named
as the English candidate to stage They beat Liverpool to the honour,
but the Government must now decide 164,000 Rohingya Muslim
refugees have now fled into Bangladesh from neighbouring
Myanmar, which was formerly Burma. They say they've been escaping
an upsurge of violence against them. In a moment, we'll hear
from our correspondent, But first, this report
from Sanjoy Majumder on the Bangladesh
side of the border. More Rohingya refugees have come
into Bangladesh today from Myanmar. And you can just see how
congested it has become. Now, over here, they have
brought in bamboo. This is to construct new tents
for the fresh arrivals. The existing camp itself
is in dreadful shape. Extremely crowded,
conditions unhygienic. Now, aid agencies
are very concerned. They say, apart from food,
there is an urgent need MSF, the humanitarian agency,
says many of the new refugees have gunshot wounds,
injuries, and therefore, they need Earlier, our correspondent,
Jonathan Head, sent this account from Rakhine State,
in Myanmar, from where the Rohingya It does not normally allow
journalists or any foreigners into this region without special
permission because it wants to challenge the narrative
that the rest of the world is hearing from the many refugees,
the tens of thousands who have been So they have been taking
us to various sites, showing us examples of destruction
and letting us talk to people and all of them
are sticking to the same story which is that it is the Muslim
militants who have infiltrated Of course, they don't
use the word Rohingya. It is pretty much banned
in this part of the world. But they are saying
that the Muslim communities were infiltrated by these militants
and it was the militants themselves What you can see here is the remains
of perhaps four or five houses, apparently lived in by Muslim
inhabitants who are now being looked after next door in the Buddhist
temple that you can see behind me. It is very hard for us
to challenge this narrative. Everyone we are speaking to,
we are doing so while in the company of police, heavily armed police,
and government officials. We have heard some dissenting views
when we have been able to talk quietly to people,
but this is the message the government wants to get across,
that it is not their fault. The security forces have
denied any abuses at all, all those allegations of rape
and shooting, and they are saying that all of the burning,
the hundreds of villages that have been burnt down, every part
of it is the responsibility of the militants themselves
and nothing to do Jonathan Head there reporting from
Myanmar. Universities in England could face
fines if they fail to justify paying their vice-chancellors more
than the Prime Minister's Universities Minister Jo Johnson
says he wants to see greater Gillian Hargreaves is
at Brunel University Is this effectively a cap
on vice-chancellors' salaries? Well, it certainly sounds like a
government minister trying to clip the wings of vice chancellors. This
morning Jo Johnson went eyeball to eyeball with some of the leaders of
our universities and said he wants them to show leadership and
restraint when it comes to their own pay packages. He went further and
said he was tired of opening newspapers and reading about
salaries thinks are perhaps too generous or unjustified in some
cases. The plan is they will be fined if they cannot prove there is
a very justifiable reason for a vice Chancellor to get a generous salary.
On average, vice chancellors get something in the region of ?250,000.
For some universities that can go much higher. The Vice Chancellor of
the University of Bath owns a salary of ?415,000. That of course in the
face of rising student debt, people going to university this September
will be charged ?9,250 in many cases per year for their university
course. The ministers are trying to say, restrain yourselves a bit, draw
your horns in a bit, but in practical terms, what he will be
able to do right now, we're not sure, because of the university can
say, we are worth it, we are worth hundreds of thousands of pounds to
this country, then I think the status quo will probably remain.
Thank you. One in five people who are gay,
lesbian or bisexual have experienced a hate crime -
that's according to But more than 80% of
the victims don't report Stonewall say that three out of five
gay men don't feel comfortable holding their partner's hand
in the street, so today, they are launching a campaign -
"come out for LGBT". England have begun their third
and deciding Test against Jimmy Anderson began the day just
three wickets away from becoming only the sixth bowler in history
to take 500 Test wickets. Our correspondent,
Joe Wilson, is there. The floodlights behind me at Lord's
has been used already today, reminding us of the first Test match
of the series, and lights that adjusts them with the pink ball when
the West Indies were overwhelmed. -- under the lights at Edgbaston.
Anderson chasing history. A classic Lord Smith jar of novelty and
nostalgia. Perhaps we value the sunshine more in September, a late
burst of energy at Lord's. The last match for Test Match Special
commentator Henry blow felt, dressed to stop the traffic, you will know
him by his voice. Very good to be here. How are you feeling this
morning? Pre-match nerves? No, I am waking up still, I have not been
through a full infantry of how I am. We're hoping for a revival for West
Indies? It would be lovely if they won the series. These players are
sporting representatives of the Caribbean and at a time of deep
distress and much of that region, they know their role, to inspire.
But they had to face James Anderson. Bull-macro, he has put another down!
That should have been his 498 Test wicket, his old pal there, Alastair
Cook. Sorry, mate. You cannot keep Anderson down for long. Someone has
got to hold a catch. Gone, 11:45am, and the unprecedented 500th wicket
in reach. One opponent of cricket that you can never overcome. Rain
interrupted play but only briefly. At 12:39pm, 499. Anderson intends to
keep going, not just here, but for years. West Indies will resume
shortly on 35-2, needing more of the concentration and conviction we saw
in the second Test match. James Anderson just about finishing his
lunch right now and he will come back and he will be as hungry to
bowl again as ever in his long career, I think. Thank you. Joe
Wilson there. This morning was his
first day at school. He was taken there
by Prince William. His mother, the Duchess
of Cambridge, couldn't attend as she's pregnant with her third
child and suffering Our royal correspondent,
Nicholas Witchell, reports. It is a daunting day
for any four-year-old, no matter who you are,
and George arrived looking, well, understandably a little nervous
for his first day at the new school in south London his parents
have chosen for him. Dad was there to take his hand and
carry his schoolbag, but not Mum. She had to remain at
Kensington Palace, suffering Each day at Thomas's School
in Battersea starts with a handshake George knew what was required,
as did his father. And then it was time for those shiny
new school shoes to head for the classroom to find the peg
for George Cambridge and to meet the 20 other four-year-olds,
boys and girls, who will be For William, it may have prompted
memories of the day 30 years ago when he was taken by his mother
for his first day at school. Back then, it was all
rather more formal. A boys only school complete
with a school cap. Fast forward 30 years and George's
school offers a broad curriculum with a strong emphasis on sport
and human values. It is a choice of school
which represents a bit of a break Nothing too radical, of course -
it is still private and fee-paying, but it is coeducational
and the school has a strong George will find that "be kind"
is one of the guiding principles for pupils here,
together with courtesy and humility. All useful qualities
for a future king. Nicholas Witchell,
BBC News, Battersea. Hurricane Irma first making landfall
in Barbuda, leaving the island barely habitable. A direct hit to
sign more than, 95% of buildings destroyed according to locals. Not
heard much about the British Virgin Islands yet, they took a direct hit
yesterday evening, the northern islands. The latest satellite
picture, Irma offshore from the Ricoh and the Dominican Republic.
Torrential rain. There is an island here and I think it could be hit by
Hurricane Irma and it could make landfall here as we get on towards
midnight. The damage from the storm is not done. It is not just the 220
mile an hour gusts of wind, but it is the massive storm surge. Up to 20
foot high in places, that will cause further catastrophic damage over the
coming days. It is then heading to Florida later this weekend.
Satellite picture in the UK, showing quite a bit of cloud across the
north-west. Slippery slide to something rather more unsettled the
next few days. A band of rain sinking south into northern England
from Scotland and Northern Ireland. Turning down with patchy rain in
Wales and the south-west. The odd shower for the Southeast and East
Anglia. Feeling cool in the winds. Overnight tonight, this band of rain
sinking south. Heavy rain for a time in northern England, pushing across
Wales, the Midlands, reaching southern counties of England by the
end of the night, when strengthening. Plenty of showers
working into the North and west of the country. The forecast for
Friday, a day of sunshine and showers for many, not much in the
way of sunshine perhaps between the showers, coming in thick and fast on
the brisk winds. It will feel cooler times in the Northwest. A band of
rain in the south accompanied by a fairly strong winds and potentially
some rumbles of thunder. Temperatures easing back. Looking to
the weekend, low pressure still in charge, staying unsettled. Showers
continuing to be widespread, often quite cloudy and it will turn
increasingly windy as we get towards the latter part of Sunday, even with
the risk of burials. I will keep you up-to-date with the latest on
Hurricane Irma, on the BBC weather website or on Twitter. Back to you.
A reminder of our main story this lunchtime.
Hurricane Irma has ploughed a devastating path through the
Caribbean, leaving islands destroyed and at least ten people killed.
That's all from the BBC News at One, so it's goodbye from me.
On BBC One, we now join the BBC's news teams where you are.