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An extraordinary scientist
who inspired millions -
tributes pour in from all over
the world for Professor Stephen
Hawking who has died
at the age of 76.
I'm very proud that I have
been able to contribute
to our understanding
of the universe.
Diagnosed with motor neurone
disease in his 20s -
he defied the odds and pushed
the boundaries with his theories
that scientists say unlocked
a universe of possibilities.
He had a real impact on my life
and I think it is the passing
of a great scientist.
He will be truly sorely missed.
We'll be looking back at the life
of one of the world's most eminent
and famous scientists.
Also on the programme tonight.
The Salisbury nerve agent attack -
Britain expels 23 Russian diplomats
and cuts off all high-level contact
after Moscow refuses
to give answers.
They have treated the use
of a military grade nerve agent
in Europe with sarcasm,
contempt and defiance.
And learning the language -
almost 800,000 people live
here but don't speak English,
will the government's
integration plan work?
And coming up in
Sportsday on BBC News.
Chelsea face a test
of their credentials
if they are to make it three English
Champions League quarterfinalists.
Good evening and welcome
to the BBC News at Six.
One of the greatest
scientists of modern times,
Professor Stephen Hawking,
has died at the age of 76.
He was diagnosed with a rare form
of motor neurone disease
when he was 22 and told he had only
a few years to live.
But he defied all expectations
and went on to become one
of the most famous physicists
in the world thanks to his studies
on black holes and relativity.
Nasa said his theories have unlocked
a universe of possibilities
that they and the world
are still exploring.
The tributes that have poured
in from far and wide speak volumes
about his influence and his reach,
as well as his ability to bridge
the gap between academia
and popular culture.
Our science editor David Shukman
looks back at his life.
There is nothing like the Eureka
moment of discovering something no
one knew before.
Stephen Hawking had
a gift for inspiration, a powerful
spirit overcoming an ailing body to
allow a mind to roam the cosmos.
Earning him a place as the most
famous scientist in the world.
has been a glorious time to be alive
and researching and doing
Who else could
draw crowds like this? The man who
gazed at the stars became one
himself. His story poignant and
uplifting, his career involved
concept is so
concept is so alien and complicated
for most it was a struggle to keep
up but he explored the strangest of
features of the universe, black
holes, drawing together the science
of the largest things in space with
the science of the small, part of a
quest to come up with a theory for
He made these
incredibly original insights that
set up the modern theory of black
holes. And made great contributions
to cosmology, and so he was a huge
I was devastated, really
upset. I met him a couple of times
but he had an impact on my life. It
is the passing of a great scientist
who will be truly missed.
student his intelligence stood out
that at that moment he was given a
warning that motor neurone disease
would cut his life short.
When I was
diagnosed, I was told it would kill
me in two, three years.
kept going. In a high-tech
wheelchair and a synthesised voice.
Communicating first by touch, then
by twitching a single muscle in his
cheek, a daunting burden for anyone.
His children saw him as an example.
People who live in extreme
circumstances seem to find something
inspirational in his example of
perseverance and his ability to rise
above the suffering and still want
to communicate at a higher level.
Life was not straightforward, his
first marriage ending in divorce, as
did a second to one of his nurses.
Claims that he had been physically
abused, the case dropped because of
lack of evidence. His book sold at
least 10 million copies and everyone
wanted to meet him from the Pope in
the Vatican, to the Queen. To
President Obama, who awarded him a
medal of honour. His fame reached
beyond the world of science.
theory of a doughnut shaped universe
is intriguing. Even appearing in The
I did not say that. In an
episode of Star Trek he had the
chance to tease Isaac Newton.
the apple story again!
think the Lord created this in seven
It took 13.8
million years. More recently he was
happy to play along for Comic
Relief. He saw himself as an
ambassador for science and in this
interview told me of his hopes for
the Large Hadron Collider.
He had a
sense of adventure. I am very
excited. I have been
wheelchair-bound almost four decades
and the chance to float free in zero
G will be wonderful.
Even braving a
zero gravity flight. No surprise his
death prompted tributes. Tim
Berners-Lee two ET...
Berners-Lee two ET... Nasa said...
If you reverse time and the universe
is getting smaller.
played him in the film The Theory of
Everything and today said, we have
lost a truly beautiful mind. A
scientist who delved into the realm
of black holes offered an incredibly
engaging story that achieved
something remarkable, it touched a
Professor Stephen Hawking,
who's died at the age of 76.
David joins me now.
He was an extraordinary man on so
many levels. He had an incredible
ability to bridge the gap between
academia and popular culture.
are scientists brilliant at
explaining what they do but he took
it to a superior level. He said
about his own famous book that a lot
of people did not finish it, might
not have understood it that might
have come away with a central point
which was the universe is governed
by rational laws, and that is what
mattered to him. On the sidelines
occasionally there was grumbling
from other scientists about the cult
of celebrity, but because he had it,
he acted as a bridge between science
and the wider world, which meant he
could connect with millions, who
otherwise would not have given a
second thought to science and that
makes him unique.
Britain is expelling 23 Russian
diplomats after Moscow refused
to explain how a military grade
nerve agent was used
on a former spy in Salisbury.
It's the biggest such expulsion
for more than 30 years.
The Prime Minister told Parliament
that the "undeclared intelligence
officers" have just one
week to leave.
The UK has also cut off
all high-level contacts with Russia
and announced that government
ministers and the Royal family
will not attend the World Cup.
Here's our political
editor, Laura Kuenssberg.
It was right to offer Russia the
opportunity to provide an
explanation but their response
demonstrated complete disdain for
the gravity of these events.
midnight deadline came and went
leaving a morning with no new
answers. Theresa May went prepared
to Prime Minister's Questions, ready
to announce the biggest diplomatic
action against Russia since the Cold
They have treated the use of a
military grade nerve agent in Europe
with sarcasm, contempt and defiance.
There is no alternative conclusion
other than the Russia State was
culpable for the attempted murder of
Sergei Skripal and his daughter and
this represents an unlawful use of
force by the Russian state against
The UK will retaliate.
United Kingdom will expel 23 Russian
diplomats, who have been identified
as undeclared intelligence officers.
They have one week to leave. This
was not just an act of attempted
murder, nor just an act against the
UK, it is an affront to the
prohibition on the use of chemical
weapons and an affront to the
rules-based system on which we and
our international partners depend.
23 diplomats suspected of being
spies have seven days to leave, all
high-level contact between the UK
and Russia is suspended and no
minister or member of the Royal
family will go to the World Cup.
Some Russian state assets could be
frozen, with possible laws to crack
down on hostile states. In a tense
Commons, Jeremy Corbyn was not quite
ready to accept the culpability of
the Russian state.
Our response must
be decisive and proportionate and
based on clear evidence.
to rising anger as Jeremy Corbyn
turned some of his fire on the
It is as we have expressed
before a matter of huge regret our
country's diplomatic capacity has
been stripped back with cuts of 25%
in the past five years.
tradition for the two main parties
to stick together on foreign policy.
Not these two. This is not a
question of our diplomacy, of what
diplomatic support we have around
the world, this is a question of the
culpability of the Russian state.
There is continued
disregard for the rule of law and
human rights must be met with
Look, Tories cheering
Labour backbenchers. Jeremy Corbyn's
team, arms folded.
government has behaved with
arrogance, within humanity and with
But does this bother the
Russian strongman? Vladimir Putin
approaching a election, campaigning
in Crimea, unapologetic. A
spokeswoman claiming on TV...
Britain does not understand
diplomacy or the law and is full of
liars, fully fledged liars.
This is not just a straightforward
foreign policy clash but a fight
with a country that ignores the
norm. Number 10 knows this may only
be the start. There are no easy
options for the government, nothing
politically tempting to do next.
There was rank are on display in the
Commons, anger and concern. The
government has taken what they
believe his decisive action into
events that happened a few days ago,
but they are aware they could be
retaliation from the Russian side
and know only too well to take
bigger action, while Britain would
need the support and backing of
other international friends around
the world to do so. A meeting is
scheduled at the UN tonight that
might give a first taste of whether
or not there could be support for
more significant action for Britain
and partners around the world to
take against Russia, but this is a
real moment of decision for Theresa
May, her first significant foreign
policy test as Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister has announced
a series of sanctions against Russia
and Russian state assets.
Our diplomatic correspondent,
James Robbins, has been assessing
the scale of today's announcement.
Here at the Russian Embassy in
London, to get an idea of the scale
of the expulsion you have to crunch
numbers. 23 diplomats are being
kicked out, which might not see many
but there are only 58 accredited
diplomats from Russia in the UK, so
that is 40% sent home. Compared with
what would seem a bigger expulsion
at the height of the Cold War and
you can see proportionally this one
is bigger. In 1971, around 100
diplomats were kicked out, a huge
number, but compared
number, but compared to the 550
Soviet diplomats in London it was
small in proportion to today's
action. Interesting that Theresa May
made clear in her view the 23 being
sent home all of them spies. In the
City of London it is harder to see
the impact of Theresa May's
announcements. The Prime Minister
announced a freeze on Russian state
assets where it is believed they
threaten British life or property.
The anti-corruption organisation
transparency international estimates
a fifth of all properties bought in
Britain with criminal money are
owned by Russians, so expect to see
more use of existing legal measures
to bring back down. It really is the
expulsions on an unprecedented scale
from the Russian Embassy that is the
big story today. The Prime Minister
was clear, saying, we will degrade
Russian intelligence capability in
the UK for years to come. Whatever
the effect of today's action, the
Prime Minister was bowled in claims
and said if the Russians seek to
rebuild their intelligence
capability, we will prevent them
from doing so.
Britons travelling to Russia
are being warned that they could
now face 'anti British
sentiment or harassment'.
The Foreign Office says Britons
should remain vigilant and avoid
on political developments.
Our Moscow correspondent,
Steve Rosenberg, joins us now.
What has been the reaction to this
Anger and Moscow has been
dismissive of what Theresa May said
in the House of Commons. I have just
come from an interview with the
official spokesperson of the Russian
Foreign Ministry and she told me
this about Theresa May: she said it
was a political show, bad theatre,
nonsense, she said it was a shocking
piece of international provocation,
and of Theresa May, the spokesperson
of the foreign Ministry said that
the British Prime Minister was
destroying international law. She
even went as far as to say this was
the end of Theresa May's career,
because she was involved in a dirty
story. Moscow will definitely
respond shortly, she said, probably
not today. And as you mentioned, the
Foreign Office has updated its
travel advice, its advice to people
travelling to Russia, saying that
because of heightened political
tensions people should be very
careful and be aware of the
possibility of anti-British
sentiment and harassment.
Steve Rosenberg in Moscow, thank
you. The time is just after 6:15pm.
Our top story this evening.
Tributes pour in from all over
the world for Professor Stephen
Hawking, who has died
at the age of 76.
Scientists say his theories will
inspire countless generations to
Stephen Hawking was really unique
in the sense that he wanted to do
things differently and he wanted
to contribute things in a different
sense and I was really
inspired by that.
We've been talking to some
of the young people
at the science fair in Birmingham
about the great man
and his influence.
Coming up on Sportsday on BBC News:
Altior underlines his billing
as the best horse in National Hunt
racing with a commanding
Champion Chase win but there
was a potentially serious injury
for jockey Ruby Walsh.
Almost 800,000 people
who live here in the UK
speak little or no English.
Now the government is planning
to spend £50 million
to try to change that
and to encourage social integration.
Five councils in England have been
selected for special help -
and Waltham Forest in London.
Judith Mortiz sent this
report from Bradford.
What about this one?
What sound does that give?
One sound at a time these women
are learning English.
Whilst their children
are at school they're
studying too, wanting
to improve their language
for lots of reasons.
It would be easier for me
and my husband to establish our own
I've got four children.
Need to help the children.
You want to help your children?
To do homework.
To do their homework.
I'm really clever and I'm good
at my work and I can do anything.
But I can't be my 100% if I don't
have my skill of English.
Empowering marginalised women and
boosting language skills are amongst
new government plans
to tackle segregation.
Bradford is one of five areas
which have been selected.
We've got florists, we've got
artists, we've got tailors, we've
got women with a plethora of
experiences that they come with but
unfortunately they can't engage
in the local society because of the
lack of the language.
Now, if the language
is there, just open one
barrier, we'll open a whole field
full of opportunities for these
Bradford was at its lowest ebb
in 2001 when race riots erupted
and segregated communities were
shown to be leading parallel lives.
17 years on, tackling segregation
here is still a work in progress.
But what Bradford has
achieved has now earned
it extra funding and
chance to show other
areas how to improve.
Two years ago, a report warned that
segregation and social
exclusion were at worrying
levels in Britain.
Its author has long been calling
on the government to take action.
Some of these communities that
we're worried about,
these very isolated
communities, have abject
poverty and that will take
I'm not sure that 50 million over
two years will be enough.
The government says its plans are
designed to get more people to mix
together, live together
and play together.
Judith Moritz, BBC News, Bradford.
Toys R Us is closing
all 100 of its UK stores
in the next six weeks -
failed to find a buyer.
3000 jobs will be lost as a result.
Some 25 stores have either already
closed in recent days or are due
to be closed tomorrow.
Students walked out of classrooms
across the United States this
afternoon to remember the victims
of the Florida school shooting
and to demand tighter
gun safety laws.
Pupils left their classes for 17
minutes - one minute for each
person who was killed
at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas
High School in Parkland
exactly a month ago.
West Mercia Police say they're
currently dealing with 46 young
people in Telford in Shropshire
who are victims of child
or are at risk of being abused.
It comes after an investigation
by the Sunday Mirror suggested that
up to 1000 girls could have been
sexually assaulted in the town
over the last 40 years.
Sima Kotecha reports.
Night-time in Telford.
Recent reports say up to 1000 girls
could have been sexually
abused in the town over
the last four decades.
The police here say
at the moment they're dealing
with less than 50 cases.
We know that we currently
are working jointly with the local
authority with 46 young people
between the age of 13 and 19.
And they are people we have
identified as being at risk,
not necessarily being offended
against, but we're working
with them to prevent them
from becoming victims.
In 2013 seven men including these
two brothers, Adil and Mubarak Ali,
were jailed after police launched
an investigation into child
prostitution in the town.
Some believe white, vulnerable girls
are still being targeted
by mainly Asian gangs.
However this local social worker,
who doesn't want to be identified,
says not every victim is the same.
We have females, we have
males that we support.
We have young people
from all different backgrounds.
It is not around targeting just
young girls through working-class.
Politicians across the region are
calling for an independent inquiry.
Police here say they welcome
any scrutiny into what
they're doing and why.
However, there are some
deep concerns that
they're not doing enough.
I think we've all been shocked
by the horrific case that
we have seen in Telford...
Today, the Prime Minister
said the most vulnerable
in Telford have been preyed
on by ruthless criminals.
The authorities here don't deny
there's a problem with child
They say it's happening
all over the country.
However, the scale of the problem
is what is being contested.
Seema Kotecha, BBC News, Telford.
The comedian Jim Bowen -
best know as the presenter
of the darts-based game show
Bullseye - has died
at the age of 80.
One. Can't do it. I'm sorry, boys.
Look at what you could have won.
Jim Bowen was inspired
to try stand-up comedy
after seeing Ken Dodd perform.
Bullseye ran for 14
years on ITV until 1995.
"Look up at the stars
and not down at your feet.
Try to make sense of what you see
and wonder about what makes
the universe exist.
Those were the words of Professor
Stephen Hawking - who died today.
It was advice that he gave
to his three children.
Our correspondent Jon Kay has been
to the science fair in Birmingham
today to talk to school children
about Professor Hawking
and his influence.
Stephen Hawking would
have loved this.
20,000 young British scientists
Do it again!
Do it again!
He told young people
to be curious and
today, as they studied trajectories
and force, many were thinking
of their scientific superhero.
How would you describe him?
motivationally engaging, phenomenal.
I read A Brief History Of Time.
I thought it was very interesting.
Did you read all of it?
I did actually read all of it.
And it got me into black holes
and I went on to a series of
lectures about them so, yeah,
it fuelled a lot for me.
On display at the Big Bang
Fair, inventions from
the scientists of tomorrow.
These A level physicists
from North Wales
regard Professor Hawking
as a modern-day genius.
He's the intellectual follower
of Einstein and Newton.
These amazing, amazing figures
that we read about in
physics books, he was
getting to that level.
He was incredible.
His legacy will live on.
Inside an inflatable
black hole, teenagers
studied Hawking's space and time
theories while taking selfies.
It's a lot in one
lifetime for anyone.
I think he's encouraged
science as a field as well.
I think more people
are more invested in
science nowadays because of him.
It would navigate you to the nearest
At 15 he has invented an app
which could help people
escape a tower block fire
using virtual reality.
He admires Hawking's
He was only one man who did such
great things and I was really
inspired by that, because usually
you see people follow the same paths
and try and do the same things.
But Stephen Hawking
was really unique in
the sense that he wanted to do
things differently and he wanted to
in a different sense.
I was really inspired by that.
Perhaps the next Stephen Hawking
was in this room today.
Jon Kay, BBC News, Birmingham.
Time for a look at the weather.
Of course, the weather is all
physics, just to remind you, we have
one type of dynamic engine, the one
pumping in from the Atlantic, so it
has been mild since the weekend in
the UK, but we are going to see the
Danan exchange into the weekend with
the easterly wind returning, do you
remember that one? Bitterly cold
weather and the prospect of some
snow. But right now the influence is
coming in off the Atlantic, this
huge area of low pressure dominating
much of Western Europe, bringing in
rain with it, strong winds, gales
blowing in the western extremities
at the moment continuing to pick up
further east. The good news is about
strong winds overnight is
temperatures should remain above
freezing and arrest the following
temperature along with the cloud and
rain creeping eastwards. It tends to
pivot and stick around over Northern
Ireland, so here is the main concern
for some flooding. A different
complexion for the weather tomorrow
with the weather system across many
areas, three or four hours for most
of us as it moves northwards, the
strong winds easing in the
south-west, as the sun returns some
sharp showers in the afternoon and
by that stage the rain will clear
from Northern Ireland and it is
still relatively mild, only single
figure temperatures in Scotland.
Roll the clock forward 24 hours and
into tomorrow evening and overnight
we started pick up more snow in the
showers as we establish more of a
south-easterly wind as opposed to
the southerly right now, so the
increasing risk we will see some
snow over the hills of Scotland
during Friday initially but possibly
at lower levels late in the day, the
start of the blast from the east.
Again, further south there will be
showers but we are still relatively
mild. Through Friday night and into
Saturday we will to see the weather
front sinking southwards again,
bringing a risk of some snow into
the eastern side of the country. And
then, perhaps, later in the weekend
a significant risk of snow in the
south with this blast from the east
again it is open to question. We
will keep you
That's it from us.
In a moment the news where you are,
but first we'll leave
you with the words and images
of Professor Stephen Hawking -
one of the greatest scientists
of modern times.
theoretical physics is one of the
few fields in which being disabled
is no handicap. It's all in your
I hope my example will give
encouragement and hope to others in
I hope my example will show
disability can be no barrier. One
can achieve anything if one is
Never give up.