The latest national and international news stories from the BBC News team, followed by weather.
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The Prime Minister visits Salisbury,
for the first time
since the poisoning there of
a former Russian spy and daughter.
Theresa May thanks the emergency
and says there is no doubt
who is behind the attack:
We do hold Russia
culpable for this brazen,
brazen act, and
that's taken place on the streets
of what is such a remarkable city.
Russia says it will expel
British diplomats soon,
we'll have the latest
from Salisbury and Moscow.
Also this lunchtime.
Tests on a door from Grenfell Tower
show it held back fire for only half
as long as it was meant to.
The government says the risk
to public safety is low.
Northamptonshire County Council
should be abolished,
a government inspection recommends
a complete restructure,
after the council
struggled with a deficit.
The situation in Syria is described
as a colossal human tragedy,
by the UN Refugee Agency,
as the war exceeds seven years.
In the sport on BBC News.
Ahead of their Europa League
tie with AC Milan,
Arsenal boss, Arsene Wenger,
calls on his players to produce
the performances that will encourage
fans back to the Emirates Stadium.
Hello, good afternoon and welcome
to the BBC News at One.
The Prime Minister is in Salisbury
this afternoon in the wake
of the poisoning of a former Russian
spy and his daughter.
The Kremlin has said British
diplomats will be ordered
to leave Moscow soon,
following the expulsion yesterday
of 23 Russians from London.
The Prime Minister took the action
after Moscow refused to explain how
a Russian-made nerve agent was used
on Sergei and Yulia Skripal.
France says it agrees that Russia
was responsible for the attack
and last night the US government
expressed its full support for
Britain in relation to the attack.
Our diplomatic correspondent
Paul Adams reports.
In the last few minutes, the leaders
of France, Germany and the United
States have joined the UK in issuing
a joint statement, condemning the
use of military grade nerve agent,
saying this constitutes the first
offensive use of a nerve agent in
Europe since the Second World War.
Our diplomatic correspondent
Paul Adams reports.
Theresa May in the quiet English
town where events 11
days ago triggered this
growing diplomatic row.
Visiting for the first time
the scene of the crime,
the first use of a military grade
nerve agent on British soil.
The consequences of
this shocking act now
reverberating around the world.
I'm pleased to have been able
to come down here to Salisbury,
to speak to people who responded
to this terrible incident
that took place.
And, as you know, I announced
in the House of Commons
the action we are taking,
we do hold Russia culpable for this,
this brazen, brazen act,
and despicable act that has taken
place on the streets
of what is such a remarkable city.
Last night at the United Nations,
an emergency session
of the Security Council,
and an emphatic expression
of support from Donald
No two nations enjoy
a stronger bond.
Ours is truly a special
relationship, when our friends
in Great Britain face a challenge,
the United States will
always be there for them.
And from the White House,
confirmation that America agrees
with Theresa May on who poisoned
Sergei and Yulia Skripal,
the United States shares
the assessment that Russia
is responsible for the reckless
nerve agent attack on a British
citizen and his daughter.
But are Britain's allies willing
to go further and take
actions of their own?
President Emmanuel Macron spoke
with Theresa May this morning
and agrees there is no other
for what happened in Salisbury
and he says he will announce his own
measures in the coming days.
There is a global disgust
at what has happened,
and that is very important,
and we will continue to make
the case to our friends and allies
that, as a committee of nations,
we need to stand up to Russia.
But Russia is undaunted.
The government continuing
to deny any involvement and now
threatening to retaliate.
Due to action,
taken by the British
against the Russian Federation,
we are going to talk
about retaliatory measures
that we will take, we're working
on them at the moment
and we will take them
as soon as possible.
At the British Embassy,
diplomats and spies wait
to hear if they too will be
packing their bags;
it seems, inevitable.
In a moment we will hear
from Richard Galpin in Moscow,
but first our home affairs
Sandford is in Salisbury
Very interesting visit, sombre mood,
at this stage two are unwell but no
one has died from the nerve agent
attack and the lot of the focus was
on the businesses here in Salisbury,
she started by going into a
cookshop, then walked past the scene
of the bench where the couple were
found so seriously ill on Sunday,
the Skripals, at ago, then talking
to business owners in the near
vicinity of the bench before going
down to the Mill Pub, the first
place that they visited on the
Sunday, then she went over to the
Guildhall, and we think she is
probably likely to go to the
hospital and visit some of the
patients there in the hospital
before heading back to London. In
terms of police activity, a lot of
activity at the place where cars are
towed away from Salisbury town
centre are, that is where Sergei
Skripal's car was towed and likely
to still be there. A lot of work,
these officers and soldiers wearing
gas masks. New location, military
low loaders turned up to take away
another vehicle, in the town of
older halt, and that is where we
believe Detective Sergeant Nick
Bailey, the police officer who
became very ill after being
contaminated, lives. -- Alderholt.
It is likely to be a vehicle related
Crossing to Moscow, Richard
Galpin, where you are, absolute
denial of any involvement in this?
Yes, absolutely, that has been the
position for several days, looks
like we are getting closer to some
kind of announcement on what Russia
will do in retaliation, the Kremlin
today, not long before they respond,
and Vladimir Putin will take the
final decision on what the measures
are and how they will be lamented,
and the British government will be
informed first, as to exactly where
it will happen, it seems likely that
British diplomats will be expelled.
Expelled from Moscow. In the British
Embassy. We expect amongst them some
of them to be British spies. We are
still waiting for the full
announcement, from the government,
here. Vladimir Putin is back in
town, knew was down in Crimea, he is
now back, there may be some work
from Vladimir Putin himself in the
Thank you very much.
In the last few minutes,
Britain, Germany, France
and the United States have issued
a joint statement about the attack
Our Assistant Political Editor
Norman Smith is in Westminster
This will be seen as significant,
despite the bulge and other Russian
diplomats and the other measures
announced, it was widely held in
Westminster that there is a limit to
what Britain can do on its own and
if they want to really punish
president Vladimir Putin, they must
pull together a broad coalition of
international countries. That
appears to be taking shape with this
joint statement from Britain, the
United States, Germany and France,
condemning Russia, in very
forthright terms, let me give you
some of the statement: I agree it is
highly likely that Russia was
responsible, we share the UK
assessment that there is no
plausible alternative explanation,
it goes on to say, we call on Russia
to address all questions related to
the attack in Salisbury, Russia
should in particular provide full
and complete disclosure of the
Novichok programme, the nerve agent
involved, and concerns are
heightened against the background of
a pattern of earlier irresponsible
Russian behaviour. Of itself, that
has not mean that there is a package
of sanctions ready to be imposed
more broadly, by international
allies, but it does suggest that
maybe, the British government is
beginning to make some sort of
headway, and I suspect the hope is
that if, as expected, Russia
retaliates, then Britain will be
able to respond, not purely by
perhaps kicking out more Russian
diplomats, but by a much broader
range of international sanctions
involving other countries.
The laboratory where scientists
helped identify the nerve agent
used in Salisbury will receive
what the government has
described as a significant
increase in funding.
In his first major speech
as Defence Secretary,
Gavin Williamson confirmed plans
to create a multi-million pound
centre to counter the threat
of chemical weapons,
at the Ministry of Defence
laboratory Porton Down.
Naomi Grimley reports.
It's a sobering thought, most of the
UK's chemical warfare capability has
been tied up over the last few days
in the small cathedral city of
Salisbury, so how well equipped with
the UK be, if a country such as
Russia launched a larger attack than
this? Today, the Defence Secretary
admitted that ministers should have
thought more about this kind of
State -based dangers are
increasing, back in 2010, we did not
believe they posed us a credible
threat. With the benefit of
hindsight, this can at best be
described as naive.
Russia, he said,
was ripping up the international
Frankly, Russia should go
away, it should shut up...
forward a planned announcement: we
are investing £48 million in a new
chemical weapons defence centre, to
maintain our cutting edge in
chemical analysis and defence.
This is the defence science and
technology laboratory at Porton
Down, shown here in a BBC
documentary. It may be a world-class
facility but since 2010, there have
been painful cuts to the units which
specialise in this kind of research.
Some experts also point to Syria,
arguing the West should have been
forced -- enforced red lines on
chemical weapons there, and not
allow them to be used with impunity.
The rules have changed on the use of
chemical weapons because we have
done nothing about it, and it has
been very salutary that here in the
United Kingdom, we have seen a
weapon of mass destruction, a
chemical weapon attack on our soil,
the first ever. Now, I think that is
bringing it home to the government
that they must act.
It was also
announced today that thousands of
front line troops will be vaccinated
against anthrax, it may be a
precaution but it will start a
debate, are we properly equipped for
all the threats of an unpredictable
The Anglo-Dutch consumer group,
Unilever, has chosen Rotterdam
for its headquarters,
rather than London.
The company, which makes dozens
of household brands,
including Dove soap and Marmite,
currently has head
offices in both cities.
Our business correspondent
Theo Leggett reports.
Unilever may not be a household name
but its products can be found in
almost every British household,
including Marmite, Pot Noodles and
PG tips. Unilever is a British
business but it is also Dutch, it is
to companies, one based in the
building behind me, and the other in
Rotterdam and now it has decided
that is too unwieldy, so it will
become one company based in the
Netherlands. Unilever has 169,000
employees worldwide, more than 7000
based in the UK. That is not
expected to change.
having two legal structures we will
simply have one, in the Netherlands,
and that will allow us to run our
business a little bit faster and
The government has
played down the decision and said it
is not connected in Brexit.
only the corporate headquarters that
is moving, a relatively small number
of jobs, it will not impact on the
net of tax that Unilever pays in the
UK, and most importantly, the two
fastest growing divisions within
Unilever household products, and
personal care products will be
concentrated in the UK.
agree that business considerations
will have influenced the company
more than Britain leaving the EU.
It's very easy to view everything at
the moment through the prism of
Brexit but there's a lot of other
factors in play with Unilever, not
least the fact that the heritage
lies both in the UK and the
It had to choose one of
the two. Politically, Unilever's
decision comes at an awkward time
for a government which is trying to
prove that written will be open for
business outside the the EU.
Police say tests carried out
on a door from a flat
in Grenfell Tower showed the door
held back fire for only half as long
as it was designed to.
The Housing Secretary Sajid Javid
told the Commons that the Government
has ordered further tests
but stressed there was no evidence
it's a systemic issue,
and the risk to public
safety is low.
Seventy one people died and dozens
were injured in the fire
in London last June.
Lucinda Adam reports.
Witnesses to the Grenfell Tower fire
and the emergency services were
shocked by how quickly the fire
spread around the tower block, now,
expert test on a glazed front door
taken from an undamaged flat have
found it held a fire for just 15
minutes, not the 30 minutes it had
been designed for.
It is very
important for survivors of Grenfell
Tower and bereaved families to feel
that we can honour the memories of
those who have died, one way we can
bring justice is to make sure that
regulations and progressive policies
ensure that people feel safe in
their homes once again, that means
tightening regulations, that means
honouring what happened at Grenfell,
by ensuring that people all around
the United Kingdom feel safe in
their homes, but that also includes
people in social housing.
months on, the Metropolitan Police
continued frenzied investigations at
the scene, other expert test is
being done off-site. So far, the
cladding and insulation on the
outside of the building has failed
tests by the government. Once again,
the failure of the door to resist
fire has raised questions about
whether people living in public
housing are safe.
but not surprised: we have long
through campaigns talked about the
fact that there has been a legacy of
neglect. It is vital, when we
specified fire doors, it is my will
that we know what the product are,
and that information is validated by
Today, the housing
secretary told the Commons there was
no evidence fire doors were a
systematic issue, but ordered
panel has advised the risk to the
public safety remains low. There is
no change to fire safety advice that
the public should follow. I
nevertheless fully appreciate that
this news will be troubling for many
people, not least those affected by
the Grenfell tragedy, and that is
why based on expert advice, we have
begun the process of conducting
Police say it is too early to say
what these tests and others may
impact upon the criminal
investigation into what happened
here, which will determine whether
corporate manslaughter charges can
be brought, but these latest results
will only fuel the community's
demand for answers about why the
fire was so devastating and why so
The time is 1:17pm.
Our top story this lunchtime:
The Prime Minister visits Salisbury,
for the first time since
the poisoning there of a former
Russian spy and daughter.
Theresa May thanks the emergency
services and says there is no doubt
who is behind the attack.
And coming up...
Pupils taking part in the BBC's
School Report are learning how
to separate real news
from fake news.
Keep on asking because at some point
you may get to the dark secrets.
Coming up in sport, Great Britain
can now not win a medal
in the wheelchair curling
at the Winter Paralympics.
Defeat to South Korea in their
penultimate round-robin match.
And Norway's victory over Slovakia
means Britain failed
to make the medal play-off.
The United Nations Refugee Agency
has described the civil war in Syria
as a colossal human tragedy,
as it passes its
Half a million Syrians have been
killed and 13 million are in need
of humanitarian assistance
because of the fighting.
Here, Cabinet ministers have branded
as utterly abhorrent the Syrian
regime's use of food and medical
supplies as weapons of war.
Martin Patience sent
this report from Beirut.
This is a war with no end in sight.
The rescuer calls to a young boy
buried in the rubble, where are you?
His home was hit by an air strike,
but the boy survived. Where is my
mother, he cries.
mother, he cries. Eastern Ghouta is
the latest front line of Syria's war
and nowhere is safe. Hospitals in
the rebels's stronghold are
overwhelmed by the injured.
overwhelmed by the injured. Some of
the most vulnerable have been
allowed to leave eastern Ghouta for
medical treatment. Among them, this
farmer. But he's lost in his own
I don't know anything
about my family until now. I haven't
heard from them in ten days. I hope
I can return to my family and see my
The war began when Syrian stuck to
the streets demanding the fall of
President Bashar al-Assad. They
didn't know it then, but it was the
start of a failed revolution. The
Syrian regime launched a brutal
crackdown. In 2013, it carried out a
chemical attack in eastern Ghouta,
killing hundreds. America said it
crossed the red line and was poised
to attack. But at the last minute,
Washington pulled out. That was a
major turning point in the war. Two
years later, Russia entered the
conflict but on the side of the
Syrian government. Moscow's support
of President Bashar al-Assad has now
tilted the war in his favour. Amid
the chaos, the Islamic State group
seized control of large parts of the
country but it has now been largely
defeated. Today the Syrian army
appears closer to re-taking eastern
Ghouta. An extraordinary exodus of
thousands of civilians is under way.
For years, these people have
survived a siege and bombardment.
They have now left behind their
homes and have no idea what lies
A 44 year old man has been jailed
for at least 30 years,
after admitting stabbing to death
a woman while she was at work
in an Aldi supermarket in Skipton
just before Christmas.
Neville Hord pleaded
guilty to murdering
30-year-old Jodie Willsher,
who was the daughter
of his former partner.
The mother-of-one died at the scene.
Prosecutors described Hord's motive
for the killing as 'revenge'.
The Crown Prosecution Service has
ruled out a further review
by prosecutors into the death
of 13-month-old Poppi Worthington in
Barrow-in-Furness in December 2012.
A coroner concluded in January that
Poppi had been sexually
assaulted by her father,
Paul Worthington, before
she died of asphyxia.
He denies any wrongdoing.
The CPS said no new evidence had
emerged that could change
its decision not to prosecute.
Today Poppi's mother
said she was "extremely
disappointed" by the decision.
Government inspectors have
Northamptonshire County Council,
and replacing it with two
new unitary authorities.
The council has been facing
serious financial problems.
Our correspondent Jo Black
is at the council's headquarters.
Explain what has happened here and
what it means.
This council here in
Northampton has been dubbed the
worst run authority in the country
by one of the local MPs and it's
facing severe financial pressures,
and has been doing for quite a while
now. I can confirm that in the last
few minutes it's been announced the
leader here, councillor Heather
Smith, has quit as leader so that is
coming through in the last few
minutes. There's a press conference
going on across the road is reacting
to this report, which has been
published today by an independent
inspector. Like I say, they have
been facing financial woes here for
some time and this report won't make
many people very happy. Let me give
you a run-through of what's been
going on, earlier this year they
imposed emergency spending controls
because they thought they would run
out of cash. They put the budget
together for year and there's £40
million worth of cuts so things like
bus subsidies will go, libraries
will close, trading standards will
have their budgets cut. This
brand-new building which is worth
around £50 million, the council only
moved into its six months ago and is
now thinking of selling it to raise
cash. If you look at this report,
the inspector says the council could
be abolished and replaced by two
unitary authorities, that's one
recommendation, and it also says it
is up to the Secretary of State
Savage of it to consider whether to
sending government Commissioner to
run the services here. There is a
press conference going on and we
will get more efficient -- official
lines, but there has been alarmed --
and ongoing demand for extra
Thank you, apologies with
the problems with Jo's microphone
The World Health Organisation
is to carry out a review
of the potential impact of plastic
on human health.
The move follows the release
of a new study that found tiny
particles of plastic in major brands
of drinking water.
The motor industry should
finance a clean air fund,
and new laws should be passed
to clean up the poisonous
air in parts of the UK.
These are among the conclusions
reached by MPs who sit on four
and who've joined forces to call
for a new Clean Air Act.
Here's our Environment
Analyst, Roger Harrabin.
The air in many of Britain's cities
is officially unfit to breathe. MPs
are angry that despite a series of
court defeats the Government still
hasn't cleaned it up. The young and
old are particularly at risk and the
UN children's organisation Unicef is
demanding Britain's children get
The evidence shows the
impact is extremely severe, we are
seeing children's lungs are not
developing as they should, we are
seeing a risk to children's immune
system and even the deterioration of
children's brain development and
these impacts children throughout
Vehicles produce 80% of
nitrogen -based pollution. The
Government aims to end sales of new
conventional diesel and petrol
vehicles by 2040 but India will do
it ten years earlier.
successive years over many
governments, this issue has not been
given the priority it deserves and
everybody has a right to breathe
clean air so we want to see the
Government put health at the heart
of this issue.
Many want to see a
clean air fund. In a statement, the
But car engines are not the only
source of vehicle emissions. Tyres
creating friction on the road make
dust pollution too, so do breaks.
The Government says air pollution is
getting better, which it is. It is
promising a new air strategy later
in the year but it may be aiming at
a moving target because the latest
science suggests, no proof yet, but
suggests air pollution at very low
levels could be linked with
Alzheimer's and attention deficit in
children. This is no easy problem.
Across the BBC, today is the day
when thousands of pupils around
the country find stories
in their local area,
and produce news bulletins
for their own School Report.
The focus of this year's project
is helping young people
identify real news and filter out
so-called fake news.
And a game has been launched that
challenges young people
to spot false stories.
Our correspondent John Maguire has
been meeting some of the students
involved in its development.
Sometimes it's difficult to tell
what is real and what is not.
Fake news is a major issue
in this internet age,
especially for children.
These students at Whitley Academy
in Coventry have been helping
to create an online game to teach
youngsters how to detect
when news is made up.
Like I said, what I can say,
it's too early to say.
But that doesn't mean we don't know,
it's just that we don't know yet.
The scenario involves a major
problem with a social media company.
I'm dealing with a
major incident here!
The students act as journalists,
trying to find out what is happening
and deciding how and when to
publish their story.
Always keep on asking,
because at one point,
you might get to the bottom of it,
the dark secrets that the CEO wants
to keep from their users.
I think it teaches you how
to make the right decisions
about what is happening.
And I think that really helps,
because now in social media
and stuff, they give out a lot
of fake news on the Internet,
and some people believe a lot of it,
and that can get them
into a lot of trouble.
The game is being released online
by the BBC on School Report day.
It is created in partnership
with the animators and
Here at their headquarters,
media students from the City
of Bristol College have also been
involved in the process.
So, what do you think
of the characters that
were put in there?
Yeah, I really like them.
Personally, my favourite is Sly Fox.
Before this, I didn't know
about fake news at all,
so this has brought
it to my attention.
It might encourage younger kids,
if they hear anything
on the news to research it.
And see if it is true or false.
Part of this game is about trying
to find the sources,
finding out if it is real
and if it is safe to share it,
if other people are open to finding
out about it as well.
30,000 students take part
in School Report each year,
helping them to understand
what is going on in the world.
And this game is designed
to inform and protect them
from malicious fake news.
Teaching them to question, to ask
what, how, and crucially, why.
You made it.
Welcome to the social media team.
The weather forecast is all true,
I'm sure, even if we sometimes don't
like it, Helen.
I'm sure, even if we sometimes don't
like it, Helen.
That is the point, many people will
be asking why is winter returning
this weekend! Rain under the weather
front but it is now clearing
northwards. It is raining we are
concerned about at the moment, we've
had almost two inches in Northern
Ireland but it is clearing away. As
the evening and night wears on it
will turn progressively to snow.
More rain falling behind so with the
cloud again it will be particularly
cold, perhaps a little more chilly
than last night and missed and cloud
to greet us as well as rain tomorrow
morning. Friday looks like it will
start on a grey note with snow
falling over the hills to start with
but initially, sorry through the day
it will fall at lower levels as
well. Temperatures around 7 degrees
in Scotland, the west holding onto
brightness. There are issues with
flooding because it has been raining
today, will be tonight and tomorrow.
Further south still relatively mild
with sharp showers to contend with
tomorrow. Then tomorrow night look
at this, as that easterly wind takes
effect the rain showers will turn to
snow and it will be much colder
tomorrow night, quite widespread
frost, especially in the east,
accentuated by the wind. Let's talk
of the wind, the reason for the
change. This Scandinavia high
pressure allows the wind to blast
once again across our shores so any
of the showers falling through
Saturday will fall as snow except
the far south and west. They will
continue to fester central and
eastern areas, temperatures will be
8-10d lower than today and tomorrow
a real shock to the system when you
add on the effect of the wind.
Winter is definitely returning.
Obviously we need to give you more
details with regard to time of the
snow but there's an added
complication across the southern
half of the UK on Sunday with
several centimetres of snow falling.
Snow and ice, hazards to be
concerned about, and bitterly cold.
So please do keep your eyes on the
forecast, don't make this on the
list you see if you do have plans,
but it looks like a nasty wintry
but it looks like a nasty wintry
weather to -- returning to our
Thank you, Helen. A reminder of our
main story - the primers to visit
Salisbury -- the Prime Minister
visit Salisbury for the first time
since the poisoning of a Russian
That's all from the BBC News at One
so it's goodbye from me -