11/01/2017 BBC Newsline


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The Secretary of State has conceded that an Assembly election now looks


highly likely after Sinn Fein said they weren't interested in any more


Talks were held throughout the day at Stormont to try to find a way


Here's our political correspondent, Gareth Gordon.


This is the man whose job currently looks less like Secretary of State


for Northern Ireland and more like mission impossible.


I do see the situation here as being grave.


I think an election is likely to be divisive and the issues of bringing


parties together again at the end of that election.


But I am also very clear on the responsibilities that I hold


and that if there is no reappointment by the start of next


week, it is incumbent upon me to call an election


within a reasonable period of time, and that is what I will do.


If an election does not lead to an executive being formed


within a relatively short period of time, around a week follows


on from that election for the Assembly to meet,


another two weeks to form an executive within that time period.


The potential option at that stage would be another election.


Never mind a second election - a first one would not be


But it may be his only one after hearing what Sinn Fein had


What needs to happen next is an election.


We're not interested in trying to get into negotiations now.


This has now gone beyond just Stormont.


Last night the Prime Minister spoke to the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny.


The progress that has been made in Northern Ireland has been hard-won.


And we must all recognise that we don't want to put that


That is why I think it is so important for the government


and for all parties to work as hard as we can to see a resolution


to this issue so we can see a return to the power-sharing institutions


and ensure that the progress that has been hard-won can be continued.


We need to see at that point joint authority


in Northern Ireland, the Dublin government having a key


The Secretary of State said speculation of that


The tensions were all too obvious at a meeting


of Stormont's Public Accounts committee this afternoon.


This whole place is falling to pieces...


I have done it before and I will do it again.


It's a year to the day since Arlene Foster was sworn


I'm tired of Stormont being a watchword for arguing


and that is not why our people elected us.


They did so to produce a better future for us all.


Now she's facing a brutal election, and after that - who knows?


The Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, said after talking to members


of Sinn Fein he remains hopeful there could be talks.


Rising from this situation, which is very serious, today I spoke to Sinn


Fein, Gerry Adams and Mary Lou McDonald and also Martin McGuinness


and I spoke to Arlene Foster. Add arising from Arlene Foster's


statement yesterday evening, that she is willing to talk to the


parties, Sinn Fein have confirmed they would be willing to accept an


invitation to those talks and Martin McGuinness confirmed he would like


to attend that meeting. If that happens, and I hope it does, we will


offer every support we can from here in Dublin, government buildings, and


the same from the British Prime Minister.


Tonight, Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams said in a statement


that the party is open to discussions but as yet doesn't


see any basis for credible negotiations this side


The Economy Minister has submitted plans to cut costs associated


with the controversial Renewable Heat Incentive scheme


Mr Hamilton has sent a business case to Finance Minister Mairtin O


Muilleoir which will reduce the RHI overspend to "effectively zero".


It is believed to propose reducing tariff rates paid to around 1,800


people as well as a public consultation on a


The Finance Minister says it will now be assessed by his officials.


A primary school caretaker who pleaded guilty to having more


than 28,000 indecent images of children has been given


a three-year sentence, most of which he'll spend on licence.


35-year-old Gary Carruthers from Victoria Street in Belfast


also admitted having two paedophile manuals.


Some of the children in the images were as young as two years old.


Gary Carruthers was arrested in September 2015 after


National Crime Agency officers uncovered images and videos stored


on more than 20 devices hidden in a safe in his bedroom.


They also found what were described in court as "paedophile manuals"


which gave advice on how to groom children.


The judge told Gary Carruthers that the harm was all too obvious.


She said downloading such images from the internet maintained


the industry which exploits and abuses children for the sexual


The court heard Gary Carruthers abused his position of trust


by superimposing pictures of children from the school


at which he worked onto images of children being abused.


At a previous hearing he admitted the charges.


The judge told him that entering guilty pleas would normally earn


substantial credit but in this case, she said that the evidence


against you is overwhelming, you were effectively caught


She said the methods set out in the manuals


and the images depicted in them were utterly shocking.


He has been put on the sex offenders' register indefinitely


and because of time already served, he is now due to be released.


A senior police officer says all sections of the criminal justice


system here need to reflect on how bail conditions are managed.


It comes after a man charged in connection


with the killing of prison officer David Black went missing.


40-year-old Damien Joseph McLaughlin of Kilmascally Road near Ardboe


was due to stand trial next month but he hasn't been seen


Mr Black's family have said they feel betrayed


I feel that amidst what is a very stressful situation for the family,


what I can say is the police are going to reflect on this, we will


look at our systems, we have commenced a review and we will that


our processes, look at how this process is very limited and whether


it could have been better. That is what we're doing as the police and I


would urge that all sections of the criminal justice system take this


opportunity to reflect. Six homes were evacuated


in West Belfast overnight because of a fire at a nearby


filling station complex. The blaze was at this property


on the Stewartstown Road 45 firefighters and seven vehicles


dealt with the fire, which was contained


to a single building. An investigation has started


into the cause of the fire. When the crews arrived,


they were faced with They had to work


to contain the fire. Through their hard work,


they were able to stop it spreading to adjacent premises and private


housing to the rear. Snow and high winds have been


forecast for the next few days. It is a very chilly and wintry night


with possible disruption due to snow In fact, the Met Office has issued


a weather warning right Most of the snow we get is expected


to fall over hills and mountains. But for some low-level areas,


we could see some accumulations, and as we all know in this part


of the world, that could be enough Tonight, as temperatures fall


to freezing and below, those showers Tomorrow will feel bitter and raw


when you factor in those north-westerly winds,


which will continue to drive in scattered wintry showers


right throughout the day. To begin with tomorrow those showers


pretty much affecting anywhere And those wintry showers


will continue to affect parts of Ireland and Scotland,


maybe into parts of For the bulk of England and Wales,


here we see rain but where that rain meets cold air it could turn


wintry as well. Across Scotland and Ireland,


bitterly cold temperatures struggling into the low single


figures. For us for the mid-afternoon,


the showers continue to come and go, you'll want to wrap up warm,


it will feel very cold, especially if you get any


of those wintry showers The showers will continue


through tomorrow evening and tomorrow night as the winds


begin to come into the north so feeling very cold


if you happen to be outdoors. Some of the snow will build up


and it could cause some disruption Fewer showers around on Friday,


largely dry but a few wintry showers Temperatures on the rise this


weekend so not quite as chilly. Our next BBC Newsline


is at 6.25am in the morning You can also keep updated


with News Online.