The latest national and international news stories from the BBC News team, followed by weather.
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A stark claim by doctors -
winter pressures have left
patients dying prematurely
in hospital corridors.
They say safety in A&E units
in England and Wales
is being compromised
at a sometimes "intolerable" level.
There is a clear emergency
and what a number of other observers
have clearly described as a crisis.
The doctors' warning comes as A&E
waiting time targets in England
and Wales hit their lowest level
in 14 years.
Also on tonight's programme.
The plastic pollution problem -
the Government lays out plans to cut
out all unnecessary plastic use.
The desperate search continues
for those still unaccounted
for after the California mudslides.
I am 22 years old...
The vlogger punished by You Tube -
after posting film of a suicide
victim for his millions
And which shops sparkled
and who had a takings turkey?
The winners and losers on the high
street this Christmas.
And coming up on Sportsday on BBC
News, Roger Federer is back to
defend his title, but how did
the British hopes fair in the draw
for the Australian Open?
Patients are dying in hospital
corridors in Accident and Emergency
departments in England and Wales
because safety has been compromised
by "intolerable" conditions.
That's the blunt warning made
in a letter to Theresa May,
signed by 68 senior doctors who run
Today there's fresh
evidence of the pressure
those units are under.
Over 300,000 patients waited longer
than they should in December.
85% of patients were seen in four
hours - the 95% target -
the figure equals the previous low
recorded last January.
Our Heath Editor Hugh
Pym has the story.
Serious concerns about patient
safety and an intolerable situation.
Strong words from senior front
line doctors in a letter
to the Prime Minister.
With scenes like this filmed
by a patient in a hospital,
the warnings are echoed
by some medical leaders.
There is no doubt that our emergency
departments are facing the biggest
crisis that we have had
for over 15 years.
We absolutely must work together
as system leaders at every level
in order to find both short-term
and medium-term solutions.
The letter from the A&E consultants
sets out the impact of the pressure
and their own experiences.
Over 120 patients a day
managed in corridors,
some dying prematurely.
An average of 10-12 hours
from decision to admit a patient
until they are transferred to a bed,
and patients sleeping in clinics
as makeshift wards.
They say NHS winter planning failed
to deliver what was needed.
But the Prime Minister insisted that
had been put in place.
For the first time ever,
urgent GP appointments
being available throughout
the Christmas period.
That was a decision taken to improve
the service for people,
but also to ensure that the NHS had
that better capacity to deal
with these winter pressures.
For the opposition, the problem
is really about funding.
The money has to go in now.
But it should have gone in earlier.
Even if the Chancellor announced
billions today, we can't
spend it all by tomorrow.
Is that the one that you want?
While the debate goes on,
Rosie can only reflect
on a humiliating experience in A&E.
She was in severe pain
because of a gynaecological problem
and was bleeding heavily.
But she was examined
in a crowded corridor.
I think I was trolley number 12.
There were trolleys
going all the way up.
You can't see to someone's dignity,
you can't ensure they are having
a private conversation and that
if they break down in tears,
which I think I did,
I think I am pretty sure I cried
as well, but you can't look
into anybody's right to privacy
or anything like that.
At some hospitals, like Ipswich,
they say careful planning paid off
and, though staff were extremely
busy, they coped with the pressures.
At times over the really
busy New Year period,
there were trolleys down
the corridor here.
But at this A&E unit, things seem
to have calmed a little this week,
with fewer patients
coming through the front
door of the hospital.
But no-one is complacent about
what the weeks ahead may bring.
The medical director told me flu
was a significant concern.
We've worked really hard to try
and get our staff vaccinated.
But we are not at all complacent.
I think the next two months
are going to be a challenging time.
We will be looking at flu
vaccination for vulnerable
patients and staff members.
The battle isn't over.
And with the latest figures showing
the highest number of flu cases
in England in seven years,
health leaders have called
for vaccinations for NHS
staff to be compulsory.
Some hospitals have greater than 90%
vaccination of health workers.
Others, less than 20%.
This has to be an issue
of leadership, but we need people
in the health care sector
to protect their patients.
We have a duty of care
to our patients.
Flu has been an even bigger problem
for Scotland's hospitals,
with the A&E waiting
time target missed.
It's the same in Wales,
by a bigger margin.
Winter has been bleak so far
for the NHS in the UK,
and there are still a couple
of months to go.
If you want to find out
how your local hospital
is performing you can use the BBC's
NHS Tracker at
Joining me is our political
editor Laura Kuenssberg.
She is at Westminster and the NHS
remains the big domestic challenge
for the government?
politicians of all stripes care
deeply about the National Health
Service because they know voters
cared deeply about the National
Health Service and in no way the
agonising winter pressure plays out
in the health service and every year
a similar political conversation
begins about the health service and
whether it can carry on under the
current model and normally that does
not get far. People say something
must be done but those remarks often
end up with not much changing. This
year there is a sense it might turn
out to be a more significant
conversation, not just because the
statistics are dire, not just
because the experiences for patients
are so awful. But also because Tory
politicians and opposition
politicians are saying in greater
number we cannot avoid having a
bigger conversation about the way
the health service is run and how
much money it requires, we cannot
put that off much longer and even
the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt
told MPs yesterday he would like
10-year funding deals for the NHS
and in the years ahead it will need
significantly more money. The fact
is in Downing Street residence of
number 10 and number 11 do not say
that yet. They do not believe it is
that kind of moment. But with the
situation in hospitals as it is, the
pressure on them is only going one
We are talking about the NHS
but what ministers wanted to focus
on is the environment today.
in 2015 the Tories promised a grand
vision that would look ahead to the
next 25 years but it was only today
that plan emerged. This is a big new
priority. The government say they
have always cared about the
environment but now it is top of the
list and the headline from the Prime
Minister today was a crackdown on
using plastic and she went off to
make her first big speech of the
year to polish her green
What you think I should look for? A
grand vision we were promised, a
plan to look after spaces around us
for years to come and the Prime
Minister trying to spot political
The environment is
something personal to each of us and
also something that collectively we
hold in trust for the next
generation and we have a
responsibility to protect and
Top of the list,
cleaning up plastics that harm
wildlife on land and in C and more
charges for plastic bags, possible
taxes on containers and encouraging
shops to use less. But with no new
law to underline the change.
years to come I think people will be
shocked at how today we allow so
much plastic to be produced
needlessly. It is one of the great
environmental scourges. We will take
action at every stage of production
and consumption of plastic.
talking about ideas taking
talking about ideas taking place
over 25 years with no legal
If actions speak louder
than words, do you believe this
problem is urgent? It is an
inspiring plan, a long-term plan
about the next 25 years. A plan that
speaks to everybody with an interest
in our environment. Everybody who
wants to ensure future generations
enjoy a beautiful environment and
place in which to live.
alongside these white faced
whistling ducks, campaign is pleased
there is a plan. But not quite
convinced that a government that
believes in fracking and building
high-speed rail really means it.
problem talking about a 25 year
plan, in the absence of hard
measures about what they will do
here and now, this is a government
where most commentators question it
will last possibly 25 days. What we
need to know the actions happening
in 28 team to make a difference.
Theresa May says conservation and
conservatism have always gone hand
in hand, but this is not just about
principles, policy, the new
environment plan, it is also about
politics and how the Tories fell
back at the election. Anxious that
millions of younger voters turn to
labour then, the Tories have tried
to green their credentials, banning
microbeads, plans to ban the sale of
25 years is far too long. The
plastic culture has to be
challenged. The pollution of our
rivers and seas by plastic waste is
Minister believes her promise is the
right one to make. Her hope, to
create a habitat more friendly to
her political breeze.
With tackling plastic
pollution a major part
of the Government's strategy,
just how practical is it
to live without the stuff?
Well, they've been trying to do just
that in Penzance in Cornwall,
as Jon Kay has been finding out.
We can remove it, we can recycle it.
A rubbish day at St Hilary's School.
Who has straws in their drinks?
A lesson in pollution and waste.
We pick up, again, hundreds
of toothbrushes from beaches.
If Theresa May wants
to reach out to the young
with her green strategy, well,
these kids will be 30 at the end
of her 25-year plan.
What would you say to those
politicians in London?
Stop using plastic,
and stop making it.
If a turtle is swimming and it
sees a plastic bottle,
which is shaped like a jellyfish,
he could see it and then swallow it,
and then he could drown.
Here in Penzance, they are
trying to be Britain's
first plastic-free town.
And they're making some progress.
Businesses like this
cafe have signed up,
and it's backed by the council.
Well, there's plastic
on that, and the apples.
But at the local supermarket,
the challenge is clear.
Apples, wrapped in plastic.
Sausages in a carton and in plastic.
You could put that
in a paper bag, say.
John likes the Government's
new strategy but wonders if it
can make much difference.
Frozen stuff in plastic, apples -
plastic, leeks - plastic.
You just can't get away from it.
Most shoppers told us they would try
but some, like Roxy,
worried it might not be practical.
It wouldn't necessarily be the most
hygienic route to go down, maybe?
Having the meat next to the eggs,
or the cheese, for example.
Well, this is why people around
here are so concerned
about the long-term
impact of plastic.
Look, found on a local beach
recently, a lollipop stick
from when I was growing up
in the 1970s.
It hasn't broken down at all.
And a packet of peanuts,
best before 1983.
We've got some takeaway
cutlery in the bottom here.
Rachel was behind the Penzance
campaign, and she says
all communities can do the same.
Litter is all over the UK,
no matter where you live.
It's exactly the same issue,
it just looks different.
If it's not a beach,
it's by a river, it's
in a hedge, it's by the road.
The Prime Minister insists her plan
has a wider vision.
She says it's about more than
plastic, about more than the coast.
Jon Kay, BBC News, Cornwall.
Search teams in California
are still trying to find
eight people missing
following mudslides on Tuesday.
17 people are known to have died
after a torrent of mud carrying
boulders the size of small cars
smashed through the
town of Montecito.
More than 500 homes have been
damaged or destroyed.
James Cook is there for us.
You do not have to walk far in
Montecito to see something shocking.
There are homes like these behind
me, either smashed to pieces, or
simply swept away, all over the
town. Hopes of finding anyone alive
are very slim and more harrowing
details of how this started have
been urging, and it started in the
dead of night.
The flash flood is right there!
Get out of here, go!
This is the moment it began.
Oh, my God!
And then panic.
Close the door!
It was 1 million miles
an hour in slow motion,
if that makes sense.
I clicked into survival
gear, survival mode.
Every second, it is just roaring
and banging against the house
and the most vicious and violent
sounds you have ever heard.
Montecito has only just grasped
the scale of the disaster
which will bear its name.
For this idyllic little town
of just 9,000 people,
recovery will be long and hard.
This was somebody's driveway.
There are three cars destroyed.
Buried inside that trouble.
Looking at this house,
it is difficult to believe anyone
on this street survived,
but many did and their
stories are remarkable.
People walked the dogs through here,
there are trails my kids have grown
up riding their bikes.
Noelle fled with her three children
just before the storm.
But many of her neighbours did not.
Really young boys were
swept out of their home,
along with their mother.
In the middle of the night.
And the dog is gone.
And they are lucky to be fine.
It is like a war zone here.
There are homes that
are just missing.
And I walk down the street and I see
balls and toys and bicycles
and shoes and socks.
And knives and hammers.
It looks like people's lives
or just lost to the ocean.
Much of the wreckage ended up
clogging the main coastal motorway.
The mountains above are scarred
by rivers of debris.
Southern California was once famed
for its agreeable climate.
These days, it reels
from drought, fire and flood.
James Cook, BBC News, Montecito.
The time is 17 minutes past six.
Our top story this evening:
Doctors claim some patients
are dying prematurely
because of winter
pressures on the NHS.
And still to come...
We talk to Steven Spielberg
about speaking truth unto power
in his latest film, The Post.
Coming up on Sportsday on BBC News:
The NBA comes to London tonight
for a regular-season game
but watch chances of having a team
in the capital for good?
Our Christmas shopping choices have
had some retailers rejoicing,
but others have reported rather
frugal festive trading figures.
Tesco says it had a record
Christmas, but M&S suffered falls
in both its food and clothing sales.
Here's Emma Simpson.
The show's over, we've moved on.
But the Christmas story
for retailers is only
now becoming clear.
So who are some of
the winners and losers?
Tesco has done well,
with sales up today,
so have many of the other grocers.
But food sales, usually a bright
spot for Marks & Spencer,
went into reverse, and there have
been profit warnings at Debenhams,
Mothercare and Moss Bros.
Things are certainly more
challenging here on the high street.
Take House of Fraser,
a business under pressure.
It saw another fall in sales today.
And you don't have to go
far to see how the gap
between the weaker and the stronger
players is widening.
Here at John Lewis, it's had no
problem pulling customers in.
It's one of the winners today.
There's a sort of slight air
of caution about people's attitudes,
for all sorts of perfectly
but there is demand there.
You just have to go
and find it, and you have
to create the conditions
where people want things,
and of course that comes down
to having fabulous product.
And it actually means you have to be
outstanding at online and shops.
This small but fast-growing
online retailer is doing
very nicely with shops.
very nicely without shops.
And is expecting to grow
sales by 90% this year,
but some are predicting problems
for the high street ahead.
This is going to be the year
of retail distress.
We've already seen bits
of distress percolating
through even before Christmas,
and I think that the weaker players
are going to find it too
tough to really survive.
It's been a season of mixed
fortunes for retailers.
The new year heralds the clearance
sales and some uncertainty
about what 2018 will bring.
Emma Simpson, BBC News.
A lingerie company has lost its most
prestigious customer - the Queen -
after its director wrote a book
revealing details of
royal bra fittings.
Rigby & Peller had held
the royal warrant since 1960,
and said it was "deeply saddened"
by the decision to cancel it.
Company director June Kenton
published her book
'Storm In a D Cup' last year.
YouTube has cut some business ties
with a popular video blogger -
Logan Paul - after he was criticised
for posting a video
YouTube has cut some business ties
with a popular video blogger -
appearing to show the body
of a suicide victim.
The 22-year-old said he felt ashamed
after filming at a location in Japan
known to be a frequent
site of suicides.
Logan Paul's channel has more
than 15 million subscribers.
Here's our Media Editor, Amol Rajan.
We are going to take a break from
vlogging and each other.
confessional and often astonishingly
popular. This couple announced they
were breaking up on YouTube in a
video seen 15 million times. They
are part of a phenomenon called
vlogging or video blogging, very
often on YouTube. The industry has
created a vast new fleet of online
celebrities. Many vloggers have a
prolific following. This 22-year-old
American is a YouTube star or
I think this definitely
marks the moment in YouTube history.
This morning YouTube cut business
ties with him after he posted a
video from Aokigahara Forest,
intimate as a suicide spot. He
issued an apology to his subscribers
I have made a severe and
continuous lapse of my judgment and
I don't expect to be forgiven. I'm
simply here to apologise.
statement, YouTube said:
Vlogging is now hugely popular
business with the likes of Logan
Paul making money in a variety of
ways. They get paid up to £3 per
1000 clicks and can top up their
income through merchandising and
deals with brands and they do all of
that without the more stringent
controls apply to traditional media.
The boss of Britain's biggest media
agency wants to see smarter
I would definitely like
to see vloggers with this much reach
and influence to have the sorts of
regulation traditional broadcasters
have got to adhere to, particularly
around content that can be
dangerous, can be glamorising or
condo owning anti-social behaviour,
dangerous behaviour, that can be
copied by children.
I'm going to be
the biggest entertainer on the
Logan Paul is a new kind
of celebrity. For all of the glory
of the open work, the danger is that
his kind of immaturity exposes
audiences to material that is in
I'm just getting
The Oscar-winning director
Steven Spielberg has told the BBC
he believes President Trump
is using the same tactics
as Richard Nixon used
during his presidency
to "try to silence the press."
The story of 1970s battle
between the media and the Nixon
administration is the subject
of his latest film, The Post.
He spoke to our Arts
Editor, Will Gompertz.
This is a devastating security
breach that was leaked
out of the Pentagon.
Before the Watergate Scandal,
there were the Pentagon Papers.
The first expose a of a cover-up
in the Nixon government
by the Washington Post,
led by its legendary editor Ben
Bradlee and publisher Kay Graham.
Do you have the papers?
Set in 1971.
But you have described
it as a timely movie.
Well, obviously if you flip the 1
and the 7, or the 7 and the 1,
you really get to see the great arc
of the pendulum that has brought us
right back to the same tactics
that Richard Nixon used
to try to silence the press.
I'm talking about the current
administration and their absolute
broadsiding of media,
social media, news,
anybody that offends.
You know, there is a label
that is immediately attached
to them, well, that can't be true,
because they're all fake news.
I mean, it's a lot more
insidious today, by the way,
than it was in 1971.
If you publish, we'll be
in the Supreme Court next week.
We could all go to prison.
There's been another massive press
expose the last six months,
it looks like the endemic sexual
harassment and exploitation
of women in Hollywood.
I mean, you're a really senior
figure in Hollywood and you've
been around a long time.
Do you ever think, you know
what, I think I could
have done a bit more to stop this?
Well, you know, I can only basically
react to that question
within my own workplace environment.
Within my organisation,
there weren't incidences,
except for a couple of years
and years ago, that I would say
gave me the experiences
to be the authority
on that question you ask.
What happened in those incidences?
Just a couple of incidences, I don't
want to go into detail on them,
but they happened years and years
ago, where we had
to let somebody go.
People are concerned about having
a woman in charge of the paper.
Think she doesn't have the resolve
to make the tough choices.
Thank you for your frankness.
My prediction is that this
watershed moment for women,
in extolling the courage of women
who, like Katherine Graham,
with the Pentagon Papers,
with her decision to publish or not
to publish, so many women have
found their voices and they have
been given so much support.
Not just by other women,
but also by certain men.
I think this is not just
another news cycle.
I think this is a permanent
change in the culture.
But as Kay Graham showed
with her courageous leadership
of the Washington Post,
exposing deeply rooted corrupt
behaviour is one thing -
changing it is quite another.
Will Gompertz, BBC News.
Time for a look at the weather.
Here's Helen Willetts.
It's been a tale of two halves
today, such contrast in the weather
so let's start with the western side
of the UK, the sunnier parts.
Further east we have the remnants of
all weak weather front which has
brought rain to Scarborough. The
rain is tending to peter out but
there's an awful lot of cloud. Where
we have had clear skies the fault is
beginning again and in Northern
Ireland for the second day the fog
didn't clear. It should clear more
readily tomorrow. There will be for
in western parts of England and
dance was the south as well, and
given that temperatures in cities
could be freezing it could mean
freezing fog tomorrow. Again, it is
going to be an issue for the rush
hour, Scotland and north-west
England, for a time Northern
Ireland, parts of eastern Wales into
many parts of the Midlands and
Central and southern England. It
will be widespread but more patchy.
It eventually clears from most parts
but we have that complication of the
weather front with its cloud around
and the drizzly showers again, so
yes of course there will be some
sunshine and some breaks in the
cloud, lifted by the freshening
breeze, but it is then starting to
change weather-wise. This comes
through tomorrow night, rain from
Northern Ireland and a fairly stiff
breeze as well so we shouldn't have
as much frost going into Saturday
morning. But we have that rain
stagnating in the west, a lot of
cloud further east so I think we
will keep a lot of cloudy and grey
weather this weekend. But then it
all changes into next week because
once the weather front fizzles out,
we have this one coming in from the
Atlantic. Firstly heavy rain and
gales, then rather wintry weather on
That's all from the BBC News at Six
so it's goodbye from me