16/02/2017 BBC News at Six

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The latest national and international news stories from the BBC News team, followed by weather.

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More misery for hundreds of thousands of commuters as a deal


to resolve one of the country's longest running rail


Southern Rail passengers face the prospect of more


strikes as train drivers go against their union refusing


My husband pays almost ?4,000 a year for his season ticket and he doesn't


know when he turns up at the railway station in the morning, whether he's


I feel it's the job of both the unions and the management


Surely that's what they're there for.


We'll be asking when the next strikes are likely to take place.


We report on the plight of hundreds of thousands of children in the UK


who are forced to care for sick and disabled relatives


Fears for the future of thousands of jobs at Vauxall's UK plants.


Crisis talks are held with the government and unions.


More than 150 thousand million million miles away,


scientists build a telescope to see the black hole thought to be


The new wren is welcomed by a Petty Officer and ushered


into the presence of the Chief Officer.


And the women's Royal Naval Service founded a century ago,


that marked a huge change in women's roles in the armed forces.


And coming up in the sport on BBC News, Arsene Wenger's future will be


decided at the end of the season, after his Arsenal side


were humiliated in the Champions League by Bayern Munich.


Good evening and welcome to the BBC News at Six.


Hopes for an end to the rail misery that's affected hundreds


of thousands of commuters in southern England


Train drivers ignored their own union and voted against a proposed


deal to end the long-running dispute with Southern Rail.


It's one of the country's busiest commuter networks.


Unions have been at loggerheads with the company for more


than a year over staffing and safety issues.


For nearly a year, around 300,000 commuters have


endured overcrowded trains, delays and strikes.


It's been one of the most intractable rail


After two weeks of talks hosted by the TUC it was thought


We are pleased to announce that Aslef and GTR Southern have


For Southern travellers at Brighton that means huge disappointment.


And I pay a lot of money for the train monthly as well,


That's terrible. What can you do?


It's a lot of money on Uber, isn't it?


Disappointed, to be fair, because I pay a lot of money


to travel to Brighton every day and I think the service


Around 900 Aslef drivers who work for Southern voted in the ballot.


There was a turnout of over 72%, nearly 46% voted in favour


of the deal, but over 54% voted against.


This is an embarrassment for Aslef, the deal negotiated


by their leadership has been overturned by their rank


Mick Whelan, the general secretary of Aslef says,


"We understand and support the decision arrived at them


The dispute is over how many members of staff should be on every train.


Could there be driver only trains or must there


always be a second person, a conductor, on-board?


Aslef said they had got a deal where there would always be two


staff members on a train, with some exceptions.


The reality was there was a whole host of exceptions that meant up


to 1800 trains a day would be able to run without the


Southern's parent company Govia said in a statement:


"Naturally we are saddened and hugely disappointed, as will be our


passengers with today's decision by drivers,


particularly as the agreement carried the full support


and recommendation of the Aslef leadership."


The RMT has already scheduled another 24-hour


strike on the Southern network for next Wednesday,


and the same dispute about driver operated only trains is spreading


Ballots are being sent out today to staff on Arriva Trains North,


there's also the prospect of industrial action on Merseyrail.


The big question for these passengers travelling home tonight


is, what happens next? In the short term, the Aslef leadership would


have to get back around the negotiating table to get a better


deal if they can to their members. In the long term, there is the


possibility, only the possibility at the moment, of more strike action,


although no dates have been announced. Remember, this is the


train drivers we are talking about here. When they go on strike, the


network is virtually shut down. More than half a million children


and teenagers in the UK are carers who look after their ill


or disabled relatives. Some spend more than 12 hours


a week looking after them. But budget cuts at local councils


are making it increasingly difficult for these young people to get


the support that they need - that's according to the Local


Government Association They say it's crucial for councils


to have better relationships with schools and hospitals


to try to make sure more youngsters Our Midlands Correspondent


Sima Kotecha reports. In Dudley, 17-year-old Alex


looks after his mum, I suppose you could say it's


a big responsibility, but it doesn't really feel like it,


because, obviously It's just the normal thing to go,


have you had your tablet today? How many tablets does


your mum take everyday? It's just trying to


sort out which ones. He's her primary carer


and is one of 700,000 young It is frustrating at times


because you do just want to throw the towel in sometimes and just


go, I've had enough. But then you see at the end


of the day, you just see how happy you make the person or the people


that you care for, and it really Some of these young people do get


support from the local authorities, but the organisation


which represents local councils in England and Wales says,


tight budgets means they are having to make tough choices about who gets


help and who doesn't. There might be some people


watching this thinking, is it fair to have a Child helping


you and being there for you, when actually the adult should be


there for the child. I agree with that,


to be quite honest. I wish that I hadn't got to rely


on Alex, sort of thing. So I've got to rely on him,


sort of thing, to help me. It's not as though I'm somebody


that he doesn't know. Not too far away in Wolverhampton,


ten-year-old Ethan takes care With his mum, he's one


of his primary carers. Sometimes he does things


that makes us angry. But then he does lots of things that


make us happy as well. Noah has complex learning


difficulties which means He needs to be


supervised at all times. The government says later this year


it will publish a strategy that will outline what more it will do


to help vulnerable young carers. There's an argument that


being young and responsible for someone's well-being is a duty


that's just too much. But in many of these cases,


there is little choice. Sometimes he doesn't


listen to anyone else. But if I tell him to do it,


he will listen to me. And when I tell people about it,


it just makes me feel proud. Sima Kotecha, BBC News


in the West Midlands. The president of General Motors -


which owns Vauxhall in the UK - has flown to London to hold crisis


talks with the government and unions, amid fears


that thousands of jobs A rival French company is in talks


with General Motors about taking over its European business,


but there's concern about what that would mean for Vauxhall's plants


in Luton and Ellesmore Port. Our Business Editor Simon Jack


is in Westminster. Those plants employ


more than 4000 people. I think quite worried, because I can


tell you the government is taking this threat of deadly seriously.


After meeting the president of General Motors here today at the


Department of business behind me, this Secretary Greg Clark got an EU


row start train to Paris and is meeting with his opposite number in


Paris, as we speak, the industrial minister. He will then meet the


board of PSA, deep company that owns citron and Peugeot. This may come


down to a 3-way fight between the French, German and British


governments. In that fight, the French government owns 14% of


Peugeot. The Peugeot family on another 14%, so there will be a


distinguished French feel to this company. You have to feel that


sacked in German auto engineers is considered three times more


expensive. With 24 combined plants across continental Europe, with two


in the UK, it's clear Greg Clark the Business Secretary will have to turn


on the charm he did with Nissan to persuade them to stay in the UK. But


that three could fight he has, it's a bit of a mountain to climb.


A suicide bomber has attacked a crowded Sufi shrine


in southern Pakistan, killing at least 50 people


So-called Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack.


It is the largest in a string of bombings by militants


The Islamic State group has also claimed responsibility for a huge


car bomb in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.


45 people died and at least 50 were injured in the blast


which targeted a used car market in the southern district of Bayaa.


It's the third car bomb attack in as many days,


The new US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, has held his first


face to face meeting with his Russian counterpart.


It comes in the wake of turmoil in the White House over alleged


links between the Trump administration and the


Rex Tillerson also held talks with the foreign secretary,


Boris Johnson, as part of a G20 summit in Germany.


From Bonn our diplomatic correspondent, James


Rex Tillerson's first day overseas as Donald Trump's top diplomat,


and it's been the toughest of starts with Washington in turmoil over


links to Russia and much of the outside world worrying


where America's foreign policy could be heading.


Top priority for the new Secretary of State - reassurance.


Russia, he said, won't dictate to Washington.


Where we do not see eye to eye, the United States will stand up


for the interest and values of America and her allies.


And this was the crucial first meeting, America's novice diplomat,


although experienced in commercial dealings with President Putin,


face-to-face with Russia's veteran Foreign Minister,


Sergei Lavrov, eager to deny any Moscow wrong-doing.


You should know that we do not interfere in domestic


But if that was meant to close the issue of alleged


Russian interference in the United States, it didn't.


At Nato headquarters, America's Defence Secretary seemed


REPORTER: Do you believe that the Russians interfered


Right now, I would just say there's very little doubt that they've


either interfered or they've attempted to interfere in a number


So, could Boris Johnson somehow help America out?


The Foreign Secretary came closest to making his new friend,


Rex Tillerson, laugh at their first meeting.


Afterwards, the Foreign Secretary told me they'd had a terrific


conversation, he had no worries at all about the United


We don't want to get into a new Cold War,


that's something that London and Washington are


I think that goes for all our European allies as well.


But nor do we want to allow Russian behaviour to continue


as it is and Rex Tillerson's been very clear about that.


There are plenty of countries represented at this meeting


They remain deeply anxious about the Trump administration,


its policy towards Russia and the Middle East,


over climate change, and the host of this global


gathering, Germany, well, its leader, Chancellor Merkel,


is blunt - no one country, she says, can solve the world's


A 15 year old girl has pleaded not guilty to the murder of a 7 year


Katie Rough was found with severe injuries


on a playing field, and died later in hospital.


The teenager accused of killing her appeared


at Leeds Crown Court this


morning via videolink - charged with murder,


This month we've been focussing on the pressures


on the health service - particularly the crisis


in social care brought about by the Uk's ageing population.


Many say the key to solving it is greater cooperation


between health and social care services - an approach that has been


in place in Northern Ireland for many years with care provided


for some patients at home rather than in hospital.


Here's our Ireland correspondent Chris Buckler.


Hour after hour, people arrive at hospitals looking for treatment.


And to ease that constant pressure, staff need to find ways


of keeping some patients away from this building.


In his living room, Thomas Wright is seeing a doctor.


In his kitchen a nurse is preparing his antibiotics.


Yet in the past, and even now, many 97-year-olds would be


on their way to hospital for this kind of care.


We actually got the call from the paramedic when he was in


the back of the ambulance on his way to hospital.


They rang us first and we said, look, why don't we see him at home?


So we came straight out and saw him here with his son.


He was delighted not to have to make that journey.


In Northern Ireland, like elsewhere around the UK,


operations are regularly having to be cancelled because beds


Now we have all year round pressures.


And we have such a stretch on beds that we are often unable


Waiting lists in Northern Ireland are already among the longest


in the UK, and in recent months politicians have warned the health


At the end of last year they published this,


a 10-year plan to try to change the way services are delivered.


And with this report came a stark warning -


currently, of the total amount of money that Stormont


has for public spending in Northern Ireland,


health and social care takes up around half.


Ministers say unless there is significant change,


that figure will rise to 90% of the total budget within a decade.


It's already showing signs of struggle, financially


showing signs of struggle, showing signs of struggle


in terms of waiting times, and those will both exacerbate


Unlike other parts of the UK, for decades here there's been one


budget for both health and social care.


It can make it easier to offer joined up services.


Mervyn has been waiting years for a kidney transplant


but with support he's able to look after his own dialysis


It's different to the treatment he would get 20 miles away


at hospital in Newry, but there are advantages


It's probably at least a third, maybe in some


cases half as expensive to deliver home dialysis.


And money is a concern for the busy health service in Northern Ireland.


Where the collapse of the power-sharing government has


created uncertainty, not just for politics


More misery for Southern Rail passengers as drivers go


against their union and refuse to accept a deal to end the dispute


Still to come, we'll be live here in Portsmouth Naval dockyard to mark


100 years of the Wrens. Swapping the Premier League


for the Middle East. After taking charge of three


major finals in 2016, referee Mark Clattenburg quits


English football to take up It's more than 150,000 million


million miles away from earth - now an international team


of scientist is determined to try to photograph


the supermassive black hole that they believe is at


the centre of our galaxy. So they've built what's effectively


the world's biggest telescope. Our Science Correspondent,


Pallab Ghosh has had exclusive access to this ambitious project


underway in America. A swirl of stars and planets


including our own Earth. At its centre it has


a heart of darkness, It's an object with immense gravity


that pulls in everything around it. It's so strong that it


even sucks in light. In a few weeks' time,


researchers here will try So, there's a tonne of excitement


around getting this picture. We are all really looking forward


to getting the data in April And not only because it's


going to be super cool to take the first picture of a black hole,


and see it looks like, the immediate environment


around a black hole, So how are scientists down


here on earth going to see the black No single telescope is powerful


enough, so 12 of them, all around the world,


will be linked together, and the images they collect will be


fed into a computer in Boston. Now, our galaxy is a vast


spiral with the earth here on one of the arms,


and the black hole is right at the centre,


153,000 million million miles away. It's four and a half million times


the mass of our sun. No one has ever seen it


but scientists think it looks And very soon they'll find


out if they're right. It's a mind-boggling amount of data


stored on dozens of hard drives flown in from telescopes


all across the world. It will take the team here months


to go through all the information. The project is the brainchild


of Professor Shep Doeleman, who has waited 20 years


for this moment. Black holes have been


mysteries forever. It's been almost a holy grail


for astronomers to be able to image and probe the area right around


the point of no return, What we're going to learn is how


black holes feed and swallow some The scientists here may


have their first image by Christmas. And it'll help them discover how


galaxies are created and what the centre of our own


Milky Way is really like. While we've been on on air,


Donald Trump has been giving his first solo


press conference since He's used it to launch another


attack on the media, The press has become so dishonest


that if we don't talk about it, we are doing a tremendous disservice to


the American people. Tremendous disservice. We have to talk about it


to find out what is going on because the press, honestly, the level of


dishonesty is out of control. Our Washington correspondent was


listening, more sharp words for the media, what else did he have to say?


Extraordinary moment. We got about one hour notice this was going to


happen, it came pretty much out of the blue. He's not given to doing


press conferences, he's controlled them very, closely. We had a sort of


meandering account of his first almost four weeks in government,


almost a mixture of what he did in the campaign and some of the things


he's done since. He said he'd done more than any other president had


done in the amount of time. He rejected claims that the White House


was in chaos. He said it was a fine tuned machine that was running in


the White House at the moment. He introduced the new Labour secretary


nominee, one of those pulled out last night, and that is in a week


where he lost his National Security Agency. He also told us that the


controversial executive order that banned people from those seven


predominantly Muslim countries from coming into America for 90 days has


been caught up in the courts, has been put on hold by the courts. He's


promised to redraft that and issue a new one of those next week, as he


puts it, to protect the American people. He promised that would


happen this week. It's going to happen next week now. He's just


about to start to take questions from reporters. We'll see whether he


takes any from unfriendly organisations or those who are less


friendly towards him. The first question he answered, he said that


Michael Flynn had effectively lost his job because of the actions of


the media. Gary O'Donoghue with the latest from the White House, thank


you. In Wales more patients are having


to wait over 12 hours at accident and emergency units -


than a year ago. In January 4,000 patients


were left waiting compared The proportion of patients waiting


less than four hours held steady, according


to the latest monthly figures. Plans by former footballers Ryan


Giggs and Gary Neville to redevelop areas of Manchester would erase the


history of the area. Historic England said the area which includes


two skyscrapers and a five story hotel threatens the area history.


The former Manchester United players claim the development would


transform the area. They're famously known as the Wrens


- the women's royal naval service - which was founded 100 years ago


during World War One. It was the start of a huge change


in the role women played Wrens initially served as cooks,


stewards and dispatch riders but they went on to play other


key roles in the Navy, during the Second


World War, and beyond. Our Correspondent Duncan Kennedy


is in Portsmouth, where events You know the story of the Wrens has


never really been told in a full major exhibition like this,


especially their lives and achievements. Royal Navy was of


course the first of the three services to officially recognise


women like this. And now 100 years after the formation of the Wrens,


their story has been told in full. At 90 years old, Win Price still has


an affection for the sea. And the Wrens who hold sway


over her maritime memories that first began when she joined


as a 17-year-old in 1944. They had cooks and


stewards they wanted. Well, I couldn't cook,


so I opted for a steward. Proud then, and honoured now to be


celebrating 100 years of the Wrens. No, the ones before


me were pioneers! The Women's Royal Naval Service


was formed in 1917. By the Second World War they had


become the home front force that Now a century of achievements


are charted in this new exhibition. The strength of this exhibition lies


in its detail and the telling This is the leave permit


for a Jane Rossiter, it's dated December 1918,


was obviously going But then we know that Jane


subsequently left the Navy and then re-enlisted at the outbreak


of the Second World War. Here we have her


identity book for that. In 100 years women sailors have gone


from medics to Marines, They had to prove themselves,


which they did really well. After that it was for the other


women to embrace that change, and they took it forward,


and it's continued to go forward. Now called sailors, not


wrens, women's have seen And for those like Win Price,


the exhibition is a proud salute Duncan Kennedy, BBC News,


Portsmouth Harbour. Not a huge amount of sunshine today


but some amongst the showers in Scotland, a rainbow looking out


towards Perth and sunny spells in Essex. In Northern Ireland it turned


wetter and we've seen outbreaks of rain through Wales, north-west


England, edging through the Midlands towards East Anglia. As the night


goes on, some of that showing up in south-east England. You can pick up


the dam zone here overnight. North of that becoming dry, clearing skies


in Scotland, chilly overnight, top shelf frost for some, and fog


patches developing in southern Scotland could be slow to clear. We


still have this damp zone tomorrow morning but by the afternoon any


rain left will be patchy in nature into western Scotland, and the rest


of us will have a mainly dry Friday afternoon. The best of the sunshine


in Scotland will be in the east and I stayed to north-east England.


Increasing clouds in Northern Ireland. Lighter winds across the


northern half, so although temperatures a degree or so down it


will not feel different to today. Outbreaks of rain reaching West


Wales and the far south-west of England. Brightening up, south-east


England staying rather cloudy. A week weather front coming as we


start off on Saturday, when speaking up across the northern half of the


UK again. Quite wet in western Scotland at Saturday begins but it


will ease as the rain edges further south. To the south of that the bulk


of England and Wales staying dry. On Sunday breezy across-the-board and


wet again in north-west Scotland. Some sunny spells elsewhere. Mild,


potentially the start of next week very mild.