26/01/2017 BBC Newsline


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and on BBC One we now join the BBC's news teams where you are.


Good evening, the headlines on BBC Newsline:


The Director of Public Prosecutions hits back at critics


It isn't something to this office and to the lawyers -- insulting who


do their work daily with absolute integrity.


A former Army colonel says he was a "kind


of torturer" when serving here during the Troubles.


Three people escape injury in a pipe bombing at a house in Londonderry.


Why the price of fruit and veg prices, bus fares


A little bit of Northern Ireland comes to Las Vegas as Carl Frampton


prepares for his world title defence at the weekend.


And the cold wind will ease over the next 24 hours,


but unfortunately we replace it with some rain.


The Director of Public Prosecutions has hit back at critics who have


accused him of treating former soldiers unfairly


by deciding to prosecute some for Troubles related killings.


Barra McGrory says they've insulted him and his team.


Our home affairs correspondant Vincent Kearney asked him to respond


to claims that he's not impartial because, as a solicitor,


he represnted the Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams


Mystified is the mildest way I can put it because anyone who is


informed about these matters would know that as a professional lawyer


you represent anybody who seek the representation from you. I have been


a professional lawyer for 30 years during which period I have


represented many paramilitaries, Republic paramilitaries, members of


the DUP, members of Sinn Fein, I have represented a broad


cross-section of people. Who I have represented in the past really has


nothing to do with it. As Director of Public Prosecutions now, do you


view that criticism as an attempt to influence your decision making, an


attempt to put pressure on you not to prosecute former soldiers? I


can't speak for the motivation of people who say such things but some


of them ought to know better. If you're not trying to influence me,


then the are certainly being personally insulting and the


questioning my integrity. What concerns me more about that is it


isn't something to this office -- insulting and two lawyers who work


here and do their work daily with absolute integrity and to be


bettered ability. I am personally offended by the remarks but I am


more offended on behalf of of the individuals who work for the public


positives in service and who do a fantastic job. I think those making


the comments ought to think a bit more carefully before the speak.


Credit card questioned how you can decide to charge former soldiers


were one of your predecessors said there was insufficient evidence to


merit a prosecution. They have said you have reached a different


conclusion based on the evidence that was considered previously. That


inaccurate, Vincent. In each of the three soldiers cases which this


office has examined there has been new evidence, whether that be


evidence which has been forthcoming, following an inquest and referred to


me by the coroner, the powers available to coroners, or new


evidence obtained by PSN eye in the context of its investigations or in


any other context through forensic evidence which has emerged through a


variety of routes since the original decision was taken. Anyone who has


said that this is the retaking of a decision in respect of which nothing


else has changed is quite simply wrong.


The Director of Public Prosecutions speaking to Vincent Kearney.


Politicians have been divided on what Mr McGrory said.


And the legacy issue. There is a disproportionate evidence --


emphasis. Those people who have suffered as a result of terrorism


engagement aren't having their cases looked at all. As a consequence of


that, when the cases are investigated and sent up to the DUP,


he is making decisions in relation to the evidence that is brought to


him. Meanwhile the other cases aren't being looked at all. There is


a difficulty in terms of proportionality and there is


certainly a difficulty in relation to balance the needs to be


addressed. They are bound to be absolutely without practice and


unbiased, I believe that's 40 years. I don't even know any of the names


of the other people. But you try and attack that institution on the basis


that a small number, less than three soldiers, it may have been charged


and one or two of them, it is a pointless attack. It's not an


accusation, it's the perception on the streets from the large


proportion of this committee and if the perception is that the


investigations are against one particular group then there is an


issue here. That has to be addressed. I had a number of


meetings with Barra McGrory when I was Minister of justice and he was


doing his job as he was supposed to do, in partially considering the


evidence put before him by the police, when the cases were brought


to him. Campaigners for victims


of the Birmingham pub bombings have been told their lawyers will be able


to apply for legal aid. The Government has intervened


to remove legal barriers which had stopped their Northern Ireland based


solicitors from The inquests into the deaths of 21


people who were killed by the IRA in November 1974 are due to resume


later this year. A former army officer has said


he was a "kind of torturer" when it came to interrogating terrorist


suspects during the Troubles. Bob Stewart, who is now an MP,


was reacting to remarks by the US President Donald Trump about the use


of waterboarding when questioning Before entering the world


of politics, MP Bob Stewart The outspoken former army


colonel came to prominence However, it's remarks he made


about his time as an officer serving in Northern Ireland


during the Troubles that have The Conservative MP was speaking


on BBC radio earlier today. I was a soldier in north Belfast.


There were forbidden techniques introduced in 1977, some of which I


had used prior to that. Sleep deprivation. In a way, technically,


as you look at it today, I was the kind of the torturer. Of course, it


was acceptable then. It is no unacceptable. -- now with.


The UK Government authorised the use of five interrogation methods


during the early years of the Troubles, but this


A man who was arrested and claimed he was waterboarding


during questioning spoke to the BBC about it a few years ago.


The water torture, putting a gun against my head and seeing if I


didn't admit to killing a soldier they would have shot me dead.


A group known as the hooded men have been challenging the authorities


here over allegation of torture after they were


And that campaign is still going through the legal process.


Belfast City Council wants 66,000 more people to live here but is a


bigger city a better city? GPs have been saying for some time


that the profession is entering a "perfect storm" over problems


with recruitment and Yesterday their union voted


to ballot members on practices leaving the health service -


a move that would mean As our health correspondent


Marie-Louise Connolly reports, the fact that an increasing number


of doctors are choosing to remain as locums is only


adding to the problem. Conan Castles is typical


of a growing number of GPs. As one of over 400 locums


in Northern Ireland, he doesn't have a permanent position


and instead opts to fill As a locum, I still see patients as


any GP would and it means I can spend most of my time dealing with


their medical problems. But Dr Castles also represents


the growing number of GPs who don't want the same responsibilities


and burdens as their forefathers. Such a move is forcing


practices to adjust. There are a lot of negatives. A


large financial burden, especially people in retirement, spiralling


workload, taking away from tiny could be seeing patients. The


flexibility being a locum allows me to pick and choose when I want to


work and the time I can take off for holiday and see family is a big


plus. The British Medical Association has


been warning of the perfect storm for some time over a lack


of funding and recruitment. They say they're so frustrated that


yesterday they voted to take another step closer to actually leaving


the health service by asking members That means they'd work independently


and charge patients, While that may never


happen as we have already reported, what is unfolding


at Bannview Practice in Portadown is a real sign that


General Practice is in trouble. It's become the first local practice


to be managed and funded by a health trust as opposed


to being owned by GPs. This step away from how things have


been traditionally done is difficult But with 15 local doctors


due to retire in March, This GP due to retire in two years,


he's not confident about finding Young doctor is quite rightly want


to value their worklife balance, devalue their home life, they are


not really willing to commit to the time and work commitment that is


needed to be a partner in practice, particularly when they could earn


more or less the same money working as a locum.


General Practice is facing an uncertain future.


GPs now have to decide whether to support tradition or play a new role


But we will be keeping a close eye on what happens with GPs in the


weeks and months ahead. A man who died in a crash


on the Westlink yesterday afternoon was 69-year-old Victor Shaw


from north Belfast. The accident happened in the lane


out of the city near Roden Street. The road was closed for several


hours during the afternoon Another man died on


the roads last night. His motorbike was involved


in a crash with another vehicle on the Lough Fey Road near


Cookstown. Two men and a woman escaped injury


in a pipe bombing on a house Terrified neighbours say it left


their children deeply traumatised. Here's our north-west


reporter, Keiron Tourish. Police were carrying out an


extensive search of the gardens in the mainly Loyalist Irish street


after this pipe bomb attack last night. Two men and two women escaped


injury after the device exploded at 20 past ten in the garden of a


house. People say they were left badly shaken. The remnants of the


device were removed by army bomb experts. John lives two doors away


with his heavily pregnant wife and their two girls, aged five and


seven. What ever was throwing meet a bang, the rest of it was lying. We


thought the whole thing might have went off so we didn't know what to


do. The children were terrorised and scared to come back to the house


this morning. My wife is pregnant and I thought there was going to be


an early delivery last night. We're going to see if she can see her


doctor today. Up to 40 people were moved to a nearby community centre.


Detectives investigating this attack have issued an appeal for


information, they want to hear from anyone who noticed any suspicious


activity in this area around 10pm last night to get in touch.


Three men, including the Lurgan republican Colin Duffy,


will stand trial later this year on a range of terrorist related


offences connected to a gun attack on police officers in north


49-year-old Colin Duffy, from Forest Glade in Lurgan,


is accused of directing terrorism and belonging to a banned


His co-accused, 55-year-old Alex McCrory of Sliabh Dubh View


In addition, McCrory and a third man, 48-year-old


Henry Fitzsimmons of no fixed abode, are charged with attempting


to murder police officers and possessing ammunition.


The charges are linked to a gun attack on a police patrol


No-one was injured, but at least ten shots struck the vehicles.


The court was told the three accused were secretly recorded


the day after the shooting in a park in Lurgan.


The court also heard that more covert recordings were made of Duffy


They were released on continuing bail.


The trial is expected to begin later this year and will last


A mother refused bereavement allowance because she wasn't married


to her partner who died is to take her case to the Supreme Court. She


is from County Antrim and says she is the victim of discrimination. The


Court of Appeal in Belfast has refused to allow her to take her


case. She said she could petition it directly in London.


We catch up with the local man he was off to London to take up a big


job in the world of music. Belfast City Council wants more


people to live in the city to try to bring the population up


to pre-Troubles levels. They aim to have another


66,000 residents BBC Newsline's Mark


Simpson has more. 50 years ago, Belfast had a lot more


people. They weren't just working shopping in the city, we lived in


Belfast. Around 100,000 more people than live here now. The council is


trying to get people back and it's got a number in mind, an extra


66,000 by the year 2035. It looks ambitious but the council is


confident of reaching its target. That takes Belfast back to where it


was in terms of scale and when you look at other capital cities within


the UK and beyond, there is a general urbanisation and gravitation


towards the city. That is based on its role as an economic driver and


when Belfast succeeds, we would suggest other parts of Northern


Ireland succeed as well. Although there is no detail yet about the


plan, the initial reaction has been positive. Blind we could have been


doing this why this place has been blown apart 2030 years ago. We have


a lot of catching up to do. We lost four decades in this city. I think


it would be welcome, things are changing in the city over the last


few decades and this is an opportunity to link it with the


Belfast agenda and make sure community voices are heard and


people's voices are heard in the future. More houses could mean an


end to some of the wasteland around the city and there is plenty of


that. Questions remain about who is going to paper at all and whether


the infrastructure in Belfast could actually cope with a bigger city.


That is all still to be worked out. A public consultation will begin


soon. With power-sharing at Stormont in jeopardy, Belfast City Council


could soon be the largest elected body in Northern Ireland. It has a


lot of work to do and its role could soon be even more important.


Fruit and veg, bus fares and beer are all getting more expensive -


Some economists are predicating that inflation could hit 4%


Part of the reason is the weakening of the pound, which makes our


Here's our economics and business Editor John Campbell.


Every week, this wholesaler imports at least 20 lorry loads of produce


from mainland Europe. The pay their Spanish, French and Italian


suppliers in euros. Since the Brexit vote, the pound has weakened


substantially against the euro so for a business like this, the costs


automatically increase. It has increased by 15%. We are having to


absorb some of that cost, we have two pass on the cost to our


customers. Bad weather in the key growing areas across Europe has also


pushed up the price of fruit and veg. That is adding even more


inflationary pressure. It is not just the price of food which is


going up. The cost of... Has more than doubled from its record lows


over the last year. That trend of rising prices is likely to continue


to rate this year. The official stats shoe we have enjoyed very low


inflation recently. In 2011, inflation was running at more than


5%. It then headed on a long downward path. It was effectively


zero for all of 2015 and not much higher for most of last year. It is


now heading up. It is currently at 1.6% and could be above 3% by the


end of the year. That will hit living standards. Motor insurance


has risen by 10% year-on-year at the end of last month. Domestic heating


oil is up by 35% over the last year. The more consumers have to spend on


these goods, the less money they are going to have for other things. What


we are going to see is a squeeze on your disposable incomes. The biggest


problem will be for those on low fixed incomes, such as benefit


claimants. That's because of a policy put in place by the last


Chancellor. Worked age benefits for the next year. If you take on


jobseeker's allowance, they got ?73 this year and they will continue to


get that same amount of money up until 2020 and then that person has


to cope with daily living expenses, keeping a roof over their head, food


on the table, that is why year on year they are going to be


effectively worse off. Some of the recent rises in fruit and veg prices


could be reversed as the weather improves. But make no mistake,


across the economy, prices are heading up.


One of the biggest jobs in British music is being taken up by the man


who's been in charge of opera here for the past six years.


Oliver Mears is leaving Nortnern Ireland Opera


the youngest ever director of London's Royal Opera House.


Our arts correspondent Robbie Meredith caught up with him


Final rehearsals for Northern Ireland Opera's new show


Powder Her Face at Belfast's Lyric Theatre.


But also the last act for their director Oliver Mears.


Fittingly, for a man who once put an opera singer among fans


at Cliftonville football ground, he's leaving Northern Ireland


for the music world's equivalent of Manchester United -


the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.


We start with the staff of two, over the years we've gone up to five.


It's a small staff and the scale was considerably bigger. The entire work


for it is just over 1000 people and not all of those people work for the


opera, some of them work pretty badly as well. A huge technical


department, the chorus, the orchestra, it is a huge jump in


scale. He came here as the first


head of Northern Ireland And in that time he's


tried to rid the art By taking work to places like


Belfast zoo and to places like football grounds, it makes it clear


that Opera can happen anywhere and can appeal to any kind of audience.


Powder Her Face is an opera all about an aristocrat


A fitting finale, as Oliver will face much more


The principles are the same. It's about communicating, passion for


this great artform and it's about conveying this idea that Opera is


for everyone, it doesn't matter if it's small or big scale.


It's his final curtain here, but Oliver Mears is set


The Belfast boxer Carl Frampton says he's expecting between four and five


thousand of his fans to be Las Vegas for his defence of the WBA title.


He meets Leo Santa Cruz this weekend.


Following their initial encounter last summer Frampton


was named the prestigious Ring Magazine's Fighter of The Year.


Head lining here on the world-famous Las Vegas strip is reserved for the


biggest names in boxing and following his historic victory over


Leo Santa Cruz in July, Karel Frampton joined that elite band of


fighters. Over the next 48 hours, thousands of fanatical fans will


arrive here in Nevada for what could prove to be a career defining night


not just for the Belfast boxer but also for his Mexican opponent. Leo


Santa Cruz lost his undefeated record and world title in the


previous contest, but the Irish boxer maintains he learned more from


their bite and his ability to adapt his tactics, the result this round


will be exactly the same. If I can beat Leo Santa Cruz, that's even


more impressive if I can do it in style. I can't wait to get going.


How much of a bearing will the first might have on this one's it how will


have an effect psychologically, I will have the edge. When I fight


different opponents the second time I always improve. I believe I'm


better at boxing them Leo Santa Cruz and I want to use that on the night.


We will have all the big fight build-up on tomorrow's programme as


the countdown continues to Frampton against Leo Santa Cruz part two, you


can listen live on radio Ulster and BBC radio five live.


Strong wind in places today. It was also pretty choppy in Ireland as


well, big winds as well along parts of the east coast. Very cold gusty


wind will still be strong in places tonight, especially towards the east


coast, keeping the frost away but still feeling cold. Generally try


tonight, mostly the rain will stay in Donegal tonight. It is going to


come eastwards through the course of tomorrow. When the rain arrives, the


wind will drop out and overall it won't feel just as cold. First


thing, it can could still be breezy and not as windy as it was this


morning. Some damp weather across parts of Tyrone and up to the


north-west. Splashes of rain will come eastwards. You should get into


work or school dry if you live in Belfast, County Antrim are County


Down. The rain will move steadily eastwards as the morning early


afternoon goes on. Expect if you hours of wet weather tomorrow. The


wind drops out and temperatures will be higher than today. Overall, it


will feel less cold than it did today and it will dry up across


parts of the west before the day is finished. Tomorrow night, that rain


clears away from the east coast. One hour to share is close to the east


coast and the few showers in the west. Temperatures dropped to around


freezing so one hour to icy patches. The weekend is trite bright and


breezy on Saturday, a future risen the north-west. A bit of hail mixed


in. On Sunday, it looks like it will start dry and chilly, some sunshine.


Perhaps some rain from the site later in the day. Hopefully it will


stay to the south. If you would like to comment on our


stories, particularly on the one on the cost of living, join the


conversation on our Facebook and Twitter pages if you can.


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