The latest national and international news stories from the BBC News team, followed by weather.
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Freezing temperatures and heavy snow
across large parts of the country.
Hundreds of schools are closed,
roads are blocked, trains
and flights delayed or cancelled -
and there are amber warnings of more
severe weather ahead.
Here on the North York Moors we have
had several centimetres of snow and
it keeps on falling. Snowploughs and
gritting teams have done their best
to keep the main routes open.
We'll have the latest from our
correspondents round the country.
Also this lunchtime...
The International Trade Secretary
says a customs union would prevent
Britain doing other trade
deals after Brexit.
It would be a complete sell-out
of Britain's national interest
and a betrayal of the voters
in the referendum.
A temporary ceasefire in the Syrian
enclave of Eastern Ghouta
appears to have collapsed,
with more air strikes and shelling.
A mother and her two sons are among
the victims after the explosion
in Leicester that left
five people dead.
And a takeover tussle for Sky.
Now an American media giant joins
the fight to buy the TV network.
And coming up
in the sport on BBC News...
Women and men will play together
at a European Tour golf event
for the first time later this year
as the new GolfSixes
event is launched.
Good afternoon and welcome
to the BBC News at One.
Heavy snowfall is hitting parts
of the UK, causing road,
rail and flight disruption
in many areas.
Police say driving conditions
are "treacherous" in places -
three people have died
in Lincolnshire after a crash
involving a car and a lorry.
Many schools are shut,
and forecasters say some rural
communities may be cut off.
The Met Office has issued amber
warnings for swathes
of the country as cold air sweeps
in from the East.
Up to 10cm of snow
is expected today,
and as much as 20cm is predicted
in some parts of eastern England,
Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The transport network has
been badly affected,
with many cancellations and delays.
Robert Hall reports.
The East Coast had time to prepare
but the snowfall sweeping in from
Europe gave travellers a taste of
what this week has in store. Kent
had declared a snow emergency with
the gritting shifts working flat
out. The lack of traffic overnight
meant that salt couldn't do its work
and by the time the morning rush
arrived, accidents and ice had
closed a series of routes including
the M 20 motorway which became in
effect a lorry park. Elsewhere,
conditions added hours to journey
Make sure you are only taking
the journey if it is absolutely
necessary. You can be assured that
the motorways and major trunk roads
are going to be cleared and treated
but other areas are going to have
snow on the ground and it may affect
traction and the way your vehicle
Up to ten centimetres of
snow fell across Kent, Surrey and
East Sussex. Farmers were on
stand-by to keep minor routes open.
Many heeded advice to stay at home
until conditions improved as some
towns stage their own Winter
Olympics. The greater hazards lie
away from main roads where there is
less traffic and the snow has had
time to settle and to freeze. That
brought a series of accidents which
began before dawn and disrupted bus
services and caused the closure of
dozens of schools. In Norfolk, where
36 schools were closed, the freezing
conditions also disrupted rail
services. Greater Anglia trains said
they were forced to cancel services.
Our trains have to go slower, the
points can freeze, the signals can
freeze. That means that if the
points freeze, the train can't go in
the right direction.
warning also covers north-east
England where the problems caused by
snow and ice mirrored those further
south. Crawling traffic, pedestrians
slithering through their daily
routines. But on Tynemouth beach,
the swimmers defied subzero
temperatures for a dip that was
rather more than just bracing. In
East Yorkshire, the snow swept
across York's millennium Bridge.
White and the sands of Scarborough
Beach, scenes that will become all
The wind is going to
change and push the heaviest snow
across north-east England and
Northern and eastern parts of
Scotland. There could be some areas
that 25-40 centimetres over the next
couple of days alone.
Back in Kent,
the snow showers have eased but the
dangers remain. Ice is likely to
form later and further every snow
will bring growing challenges in the
coming days. Robert Hall reporting.
In a moment we'll speak to Ben Ando,
who's in Colchester in Essex,
and to our Transport Correspondent
at London Bridge Station.
First to North Yorkshire
and our correspondent
there - Phil Bodmer.
What is the picture there? The snow
keeps on falling, it comes in waves.
We have an hour or two without it
and then a real downfall. Several
centimetres here on the North York
Moors. This is the a 170 between
Pickering and Whitby. It is normally
busier than this. Drivers are not
using it like they would ordinarily
but gritting teams and snowploughs
have been doing their best to keep
this route over the North York Moors
clear. There has been disruption
across the region. The police have
been busy in Lincolnshire, three
people died in a crash between a car
and a lorry. They dealt with half a
dozen accidents before 6:30am. There
have been reports from Merseyside
Police dealing with collisions on
icy surfaces and on the M 62, the
Northwest Medway police have had a
busy day. If you are heading to the
airport, regional airports are
operating but the airlines advise is
to check in early if you can and
allow extra time for your journey
from home to the airport. Here in
Yorkshire, several hundred schools
are closed today. The disruption
wasn't perhaps as bad as initially
anticipated but nonetheless with
more snow anticipated tonight,
conditions could deteriorate and
drivers are being warned to take
Phil Bodmer in Levisham
in North Yorkshire.
Ben Ando is in Colchester in Essex.
How much disruption has there been
there? There has been a fair amount.
Greater Anglia who run trains from
this station into London normally
packed with rush-hour commuters were
running barely half the number of
services. The snow levels weren't as
high as anticipated but the
temperatures were very cold. Some
commuters were asking if the beast
from the East was the least from the
East. The difficulty for the rail
network is they need to plan for the
worse. Snowy conditions can cause
signals and points to fail and all
sorts of difficulties and they can't
run as many trains and those that do
run have to run more slowly. They
are looking to reinstate some
services, particularly to rural
lines. They are aware that tonight
the forecast is for more snow and
there could be more disruption to
come over the next few days. Staff
here have been helping out. There
have been engineering workers,
people who normally work in
Administration coming down to help
passengers. Although passengers were
frustrated most appreciated the fact
that there was an early warning of
problems and they could plan
accordingly. They understood
pragmatically that there were
difficulties. Thank you very much
Our Transport Correspondent Victoria
Fritz is at London Bridge Station.
One of the busiest stations in the
country. How are things there? It
has been a busy day at many of the
main hotspots for travel because
resource has been chucked at the
arterial routes in and out of major
cities, London being one. As we've
been hearing, the bulk of the snow
has been hitting the eastern flank
of the country so the services that
have been affected the most are in
Essex, Kent, Sussex and Surrey, for
example. Some of them come through
here at London Bridge. There have
been services disrupted and
cancelled. Lots of customers coming
and saying, what is the fuss about?
Surely, this is just the great
British flake out, rather than the
beast from the East, to quote a
newspaper this morning. The real
problem is the cold weather, not
necessarily the snow. Although
drifts and falling icicles do cause
problems. The low temperatures mean
the tracks can stick and the points
can't move and that means signals
stay red and trains cannot pass
through. Network Rail, amongst other
things have been trying to heat the
points, they have massive heaters
that they are trying to use to keep
the points want to keep signals
green. They have been running trains
through the night to keep the lines
clean. We have seen more disruption
as the beast from the East heads
West. Thanks to all our
And you can keep up to date
with the weather and travel
situation in your area,
by visiting the BBC News Live page.
The International Trade Secretary
Liam Fox has been delivering
a speech about Brexit.
He talked about future trade
opportunities and restated
the government's intention to leave
the customs union.
He also claimed it's not
in the interests of the UK or the EU
to put in place barriers to trade.
Our Political Correspondent Alex
Forsyth reports from Westminster.
He came to explain which way Brexit
is heading. In front of business
leaders, the international trade
secretary restated the government's
case, arguing that staying in the
customs union would bind the UK to
EU rules and limit trade
It would be a
complete sell-out of Britain's
national interest and a betrayal of
voters in the referendum. Then there
is the issue of constraints on the
ability to negotiate independent
range arrangements. A customs union
would remove the bulk of incentives
for other countries to enter into
comprehensive free trade agreements
with the UK.
But only hours earlier,
this man who was until recently be
most senior civil servant in the
Department for trade warned that
leaving the customs union would
damage the economy.
access through Europe and
preferential trade deals against
bilateral trade deals with smaller
markets, it's like giving up a three
course meal for the promise of a
packet of crisps.
A customs union
means a single set of tariffs are
charged on goods moving from outside
the EU. They can move freely around
the block but members cannot trade
independently with other countries.
The government says that leaving
gives scope to trade deals outside
the EU. But that's not to everyone's
taste. Labour says that the UK
should stay in a customs union after
Brexit so there is a clear
difference between them and the
government and some conservative MPs
agree with Labour, making the
politics of this as tricky as the
practicalities. One of the questions
is what happens with the Irish
border. It will be the frontier
between the EU and UK. The question,
how to avoid border checks. The
Foreign Secretary claimed a solution
was possible but was criticised for
com pairing it to the London
When I was Mayor
of London, we and is politically and
invisibly took hundreds of millions
of pounds from the accounts of
people travelling between the
borough 's without the need for
border checks whatever.
For him to
say that the Irish border is similar
to two London boroughs is grotesque.
The arguments on both sides continue
as this complex negotiation about
Britain's future heads towards
Our Assistant Political Editor
Norman Smith is in Central London -
What did you make of the trade
Secretary's speech? I think we
learned that the customs union is
shaping up to be one of the key
battle grounds over Brexit.
Probably, most others had never
heard of the customs union before
this blew up. Now it is a central
plank of the government's case for
leaving the U. Leaving it will
enable us to forge new trade deals
with countries in different parts of
the world where the growth in the
global economy is. Essential to our
economic future. However, we then
heard from the man who used to run
Liam Fox's department until March
last year saying pretty much the
exact opposite. It's such a bad idea
that we'll have two as to rejoin the
customs union and the single market
and will place the British economy
at a competitive disadvantage,
discourage inward investment and
turned Britain from one of the most
open economies into one of the most
bureaucratic economies. Why this
intervention matters is because it
follows a series of other
interventions on the customs union.
Yesterday we heard from Jeremy
Corbyn saying Labour was going to
back staying in a customs union. The
CBI, the bosses organisation, said
that they would really like to stay
in the customs union. A number of
Tory Remainer is also signalling
they want to stay. After Easter, the
likelihood is that there will be a
vote in Parliament on whether we
should stay in a customs union.
should stay in a customs union. Le
crunch is looming. Thank you,
The ceasefire in Syria
is feared to have collapsed -
with reports of continued fighting
in Eastern Ghouta,
the enclave of Damascus
controlled by Syrian rebels.
The brief pause was ordered
by Syria's ally, Russia,
which said it would be repeated
daily to allow civilians to leave.
An estimated 400,000 people
are trapped in Eastern Ghouta,
and in the last week more than 560
people have been killed.
Martin Patience is in Beirut,
in neighbouring Lebanon.
Does it look like the ceasefire has
Yes, I think it
does. At last -- it lasted briefly,
a brief period of relative calm, but
it broke down with counterclaims on
both sides, the government accusing
the rebels of firing mortar shells
on a fluctuation corridors which was
meant to be used by civilians trying
to flee the besieged area. In the
end, not a single civilian left
Eastern Ghouta this morning. We also
have not seen any access,
humanitarian access. Hundreds have
been killed, hundreds injured.
International organisations are
saying they need to get into Eastern
Ghouta to provide assistance. In
terms of the government's part,
monitoring group said the Syrian
government itself also carried out
air strikes. A brief pause but a
collapse under the weight of
What happens next? What
are the prospects for a lasting
It is very difficult to
see. I think we will see all sides
trying again tomorrow, but the big
issue in Syria, the story of the
country is a complete lack of trust
and a complete lack of consensus in
the international community about
what to do in Syria and on the local
ground. We hear talks are under way
between... Negotiations between the
rebel factions and the Syrian
government. Whether that leads to a
ceasefire tomorrow or the day after,
we simply do not know.
The Foreign Secretary,
Boris Johnson, says the Government
won't fund any aid agency that
allows the exploitation
of women in Southern Syria.
It follows evidence given to the BBC
that some women in the south
of the country have been exploited
by men delivering aid on behalf
of the United Nations
and international charities.
Here's our diplomatic
correspondent, James Landale.
The fighting in Syria continues.
Here, in rebel-held
Eastern Ghouta and elsewhere.
And it has now emerged that some
refugees fleeing the conflict have
faced demands for sex from local
Syrian officials delivering aid on
behalf of international charities.
They were withholding the aid that
had been delivered and then
using these women for sex.
So, this was a range
of women, there were women
of different ages in the group.
Some had experienced it themselves.
Some were very distraught.
an experienced aid worker.
She heard these stories from women
who had fled to Jordan
and they told her that many refused
to go to distribution centres
because people would assume they had
offered their bodies for aid.
Two charities, Care and
the International Rescue Committee,
warned about this abuse three years
ago and tightened
up their procedures.
But a report from the UN
Population Fund late last
year confirmed that sex
was still being traded for aid.
Sexual exploitation and abuse
of women and girls has been ignored.
It's been known about and it's been
ignored for seven years.
This war is seven years old.
The UN and the system,
as it currently stands,
have chosen for women's bodies
to be sacrificed.
The Department for International
Development said it was not aware
of any cases like this involving UK
aid, and if there were,
the Foreign Secretary said
the funding would be stopped.
Obviously, we have talked a great
deal about this in the last few
weeks, since the whole business
broke with Oxfam and so on,
and Penny Mordaunt and I are
to a zero-tolerance approach.
Can it be stopped?
Well, we will not support
agencies that engage
in that kind of activity.
UN agencies and charities said
they had zero tolerance
of exploitation but were not aware
of any cases of abuse
by their own partner organisations,
and one UN spokesman played down
the reports, saying
they were incomplete,
fragmented and unsubstantiated.
James Landale, BBC News.
Our top story this lunchtime...
Freezing temperatures and heavy
snow cause disruption
across large parts of the UK,
with amber warnings of more
severe weather ahead.
And still to come...
Penguins in peril -
why global warming is threatening
the survival of these birds.
Coming up in sport...
Manchester United fan and eight-time
Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt
will play at Old Trafford in June,
as captain of a World XI
in the Soccer Aid match.
The emergency services say
there are no more survivors
in the ruins of a building
in Leicester that was destroyed
by an explosion on Sunday.
Police have now named the five
people who died in the blast,
including a mother and her
two teenage sons.
It's not yet known what caused
the explosion, which some residents
said sounded like an earthquake.
James Waterhouse is in Leicester.
What is the latest?
Quite a lot of
activity on this quite fortified
police cordon at the moment. A press
conference taking place. Police have
announced they no longer expect to
find survivors from within the
rubble of the blast site. They are
using specialist cameras and sniffer
dogs to look for other human
remains. We have lent their names of
those who are thought to have died.
46-year-old Mary Ragoobar and her
two sons, Shane and Sean. It was
thought they lived in the flat above
the supermarket. And Leah Beth Reek,
Shane's girlfriend, and Viktorija
Ljevleva who worked in the
supermarket. Five other people are
still being treated in hospital and
one is described as having
life-threatening injuries. The
cause, until this point, the
priority had been search and rescue,
looking for survivors. The
authorities are not saying the
information as to the cause at this
stage. Vehicles have been signed in
and out, and active scene, and this
operation has a different emphasis.
Thank you very much, James
An armed police officer who failed
to confront the gunman at last
week's Florida school shooting has
spoken out after being called
a coward by President Trump.
Scot Peterson said he believed
the shots were coming
from outside the school,
rather than inside, and claimed
he was following his training
by taking up what he called
a tactical position.
But at a meeting on gun
control at the White House,
Mr Trump said he would have
acted more bravely.
You know, I really believe,
you don't know until you are tested,
but I think I really believe
I would run into it,
even if I didn't have a weapon,
and I think most of the people
in this room would have done that
too because I know most of you.
But the way they performed
was really a disgrace.
Police in Northern Ireland say
at least three people have died
in a house fire in County Fermanagh.
Emergency services remain at the
scene at the property in Derrylin.
Police have arrested a 27-year-old
man on suspicion of murder.
German cities will be
allowed to ban older diesel
vehicles from some areas,
following a landmark court ruling.
The court said the cities
of Stuttgart and Dusseldorf
could legally ban particularly dirty
diesel cars from zones worst
affected by pollution.
Both the government and the car
industry have opposed the move.
Diesel emissions containing nitrogen
oxide have been linked
with respiratory disease.
America's biggest cable operator
is trying to buy Sky television.
Comcast, which owns the US TV
network NBC and Universal Pictures,
has put in a bid of £22 billion.
The offer challenges an existing bid
from 21st Century Fox,
which has a minority stake in Sky.
Our media editor,
Amol Rajan, is here.
Quite the takeover tussle looming
There are now three
separate bids involving Sky, the
British broadcaster. The bid by 21st
Century Fox, Rupert Murdoch's
company for the 61% of Sky it does
not already own. That has taken a
long time, stuck with regulators
concerned about media plurality, the
Murdochs having too much power. Now
there is a fresh bid from Comcast,
which owns universal studios and
NBC, the broadcast network, and it
is a cash offer and it is the £22.1
billion. This will be attracted to
the shareholders because it is not
likely to have
likely to have the same regulator
considerations. And there is a
separate bid by Disney for the whole
of Fox. There is massive disruption
going on in the media, the internet
has changed the game, traditional TV
broadcasters are struggling and this
is a desperate bid for scale and the
people who own the content, they are
desperately trying to get together
with the people who own the pipes
and the distribution, in that
context, Sky's customers in Europe
What does it mean
for Sky customers?
It is an
endorsement of Sky as a company, if
you are one of the 22 million Sky
customers in Europe, it is good
news, it means people are continued
to continue investing in new and one
of these companies, Fox, Comcast,
Disney, with huge libraries of
content, they want to give you more
stuff. If you are Sky customer,
reasons to be cheerful this week.
Thank you very much.
The retrial is under way
of the director of a yachting
management company charged
with the manslaughter
of four sailors who died
when the Cheeki Rafiki capsized
in the North Atlantic in May, 2014.
The jury has been hearing how
Douglas Innes carried on drinking
after receiving an email saying
the yacht was in trouble.
Duncan Kennedy reports
from Winchester Crown Court.
This was the Cheeki Rafiki
long before the incident
at the centre of this retrial.
She was a 15-tonne racing yacht,
but one that had not been inspected
for the three years before
she capsized in May, 2014.
Four men died when she sank -
Andrew Bridge, the skipper,
James Male, the first mate,
Steve Warren and Paul Goslin.
Their bodies were never found.
The prosecution say Douglas Innes,
whose company manage
the Cheeki Rafiki, was responsible
for their deaths because he had
failed to carry out proper
maintenance and didn't provide
enough safety kit.
The court heard he had been
in the pub when he received e-mails
and calls from the yacht,
saying they were taking on water
1,000 miles off the Canadian coast.
A huge search was launched
and combed thousands
of square miles of ocean.
Eventually, the Cheeki was found,
overturned, with its keel missing,
and no sign of the men.
The prosecution say the keel came
off because some of the bolts
holding it to the hull were rusty.
The prosecution say that
Douglas Innes was so negligent that
he created the conditions for death.
They say what he did was criminal.
They say his errors and omissions
were exceptionally bad and that
the Cheeki Rafiki was broken.
The prosecution also say
the Cheeki Rafiki should never have
taken a northerly route
across the Atlantic
because of bad weather.
Douglas Innes denies four
counts of manslaughter
by gross negligence.
The trial is due
to last until Easter.
Duncan Kennedy, BBC News,
at Winchester Crown Court.
Scientists are warning that global
warming could have a devastating
impact on king penguins.
Researchers say climate change
is shifting the ocean currents
the penguins depend on for food.
70% of them may be forced
to move from their current
nesting sites or die.
Here's our science
correspondent, Jonathan Amos.
Splashing ashore after another
successful outing to find food
in the Southern Ocean.
These are king penguins,
one of the biggest of
the 17 penguin species.
The animals are currently doing
well, but their notoriously fussy
habits could soon get them
into trouble, say scientists.
The birds will only nest on smooth,
sandy or pebble beaches,
away from sea ice.
That restricts king
At the moment, their nesting sites
are limited to a specific
series of islands that
surround the Antarctic.
That is fine, for the moment,
because these islands are close
to nutrient-rich upwelling waters
that support lots of fish and squid.
The problem is that as the climate
warms, these foraging waters
are moving southward and away
from current nesting sites.
In a few decades, the penguins
could have to swim too far to feed
themselves and their chicks.
French scientists are warning that
unless the birds can
adapt and find new homes,
their numbers will see a dramatic
fall by the century's end.
Jonathan Amos, BBC News.
Time for a look at the weather.
Here's Darren Bett.
You have even got snowflakes on your
The severe weather this morning, the
amber snow warnings, they have now
expired. Some heavy snow in the
south-east of England, notably Kent.
Sevenoaks, and around
Sevenoaks, and around Maidstone, a
lot earlier. Snow coming and going
through the rest of the day as well.
And through the rest of the week.
More severe weather to come, more
weather warnings from the Met
Office, more travel disruption,
significant wind-chill. If you think
it is called now, wait until
tomorrow. The winds from Siberia,
the beast from the east, heading our
way. These are the snow showers we
have seen over the past few hours.
Temperatures barely above freezing
in most areas. The snow in Wales
should move away. The snow pushing
west. Overnight, more Eastern areas
seeing more frequent snow showers.
Some further west but also clear
skies as well. The snow easing in
the south-east of England, heading
through the English Channel to parts
of Devon and Cornwall later in the
night. Other widespread frost. Down
to -8 last night. The focus of the
heavy snow shifts north, Met Office
amber snow warnings into Thursday
and tomorrow in eastern Scotland and
the central Belt and north-eastern
parts of England, significant snow,
particularly over the hills. Snow
shower after snow shower for this
area is driven by strong to gale
force easterly winds. Snow showers
elsewhere. The temperature is a bit
lower than today. Add on the
strength of the wind, significant
wind-chill. It will feel more like
-9, minus ten. Really cold day to
come. It stays that way into
Thursday too. Low-pressure coming
up, into the cold air. Snow showers
overnight in the north but we will
find snow developing in the south,
pushing its way across the
south-western corner of the UK,
south-west England, Wales, another
snow warning, amber warning, from
the Met Office through the latter
part of Thursday. That is where the
heaviest snowfall will be in England
and Wales. Those are the
temperatures, but we still have the
bitterly cold easterly winds, so
again, wrap up well, if you have to
go out, it will feel like -9, minus
The weather is the main story this
lunchtime. Causing disruption across
large parts of the UK, with amber
warnings for more severe weather
That's all from the BBC News at One,
so it's goodbye from me.