18/01/2017 BBC Wales Today


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That's all from the BBC News at Six, so it's goodbye from me,


Tonight, the pressure on the NHS this winter.


It's seen some of its busiest days ever and is facing


There has been an increase in children's admissions. And also the


elderly who can't go back to their home. Staff in this department


adding they are feeling the strain. The NHS government and health board


insist winter plans are holding up. Chelsea Manning was jailed


for 35 years for leaking Her Pembrokeshire mother


says she's overjoyed. President Obama commuted her


sentence, and she'll soon be freed. Farming outside the


Europe's single market. One union warns of a "perfect


storm in the making." The Welsh government is accused


of negligence over the way it handled air pollution concerns


from Wales' largest And jumping or climbing


on buildings, it's a new sport. Why one club is teaching free


running alongside gymnastics. The NHS in Wales is facing


exceptional challenges this winter. That's according to the head


of the health service He says the last month has seen some


of the busiest days ever faced by hospital emergency units


and the Welsh Ambulance Service. Let's get the latest now from our


health correspondent Owain Clarke. Welcome to one of Britain's busiest


A departments at Wales biggest hospital. Since midnight staff have


seen 320 patients. When they're really busy, they can see up to 60


patients each and every hour. The figures out today suggested there


had been a deterioration in the performance of A departments


across Wales in the early part of the winter but what does that tell


us? Especially when the boss of the NHS in Wales warns that the system


is facing exceptional challenges? Winter or summer, rain or shine,


it's rarely quiet here. Staff and Britain's biggest A department I


used to working under pressure but they've been busier than ever. We


have experienced a 2% increase in attendance compared to last year and


that's been predominantly with children. We have seen an increase


in children's admissions and also with the elderly. The elderly that


have fallen but can't go back to their home. They are overrun. And


when the seat you, they are great. I've had no problems and I've been


in and out of this place a few times, I'll tell you. They are


certainly busy but they still have time for you. And introduce


themselves by name. The upshot is described as extraordinary pressure.


Take a look at this map. On Christmas day, most of these places


were quiet, circled in green. Two days later, admissions soared. New


Year's Day was the busiest on record for the Welsh ambulance service.


Look at the red on the map, most hospitals were at the highest state


of alert meaning they were facing extreme pressure. So, how do they


respond? When we moved escalation level format, we look at where do we


have space? Where is the space we wouldn't traditionally use? Let's


use that space, let's ensure we get the discharge process in place, we


are clearing patients by midday. Let's look at the additional


capacity we can use. And we have a large number of plans that we are


already implementing to improve capacity and the flow through the


system. A similar across Wales. Several health boards have had to


redirect patients from one hospital to another at times of spikes in


demand. Many have also reported a big increase in the most urgent


category of patients. But several say they are preventing planned


operations from being spent 400 beds are available across Wales when


things are very busy. Here at the heart of the Welsh government's HQ,


officials can monitor the situation in each and every hospital in Wales


minute by minute. And it happens in this room. When I visited, this was


the situation. Really busy hospitals just about managing. Twice a day,


conference calls take place involving health board bosses to


discuss ways to ease the strain. The boss of the entire NHS in Wales says


system is coping. We remain a system under a lot of pressure. I think the


fact we've come into this winter with an ambulance service that has


been performing more resiliently and has really helped us in our


response, they have maintained a really good level of response. We


have kept our social care delays low, which is positive, but there is


more to go out. Staff have done a great job to manage, whether in GP


settings, in social care or on the hospital site and in A but it is


important we focus on the demands on an ongoing basis. A shortage of


staff and beds is making a difficult situation even worse, bosses say.


We've lost 40% of bed numbers in Wales in the last couple of years.


When there is the surge, you don't have the capacity to cope. That is a


knock on. Even when you're back to more normal levels, you have the


backlog because he can't get people out of hospital because of social


care cuts, because of difficulties of getting people back in their


environment. The priority the staff is to make sure patients get treated


safely, even when the pressure's really on. The problem is the


strain, year on year, shows little signs of easing.


So, Owain, do today's figures tell us anything


about whether the pressures on the Welsh NHS are any different


Well, generally speaking, I think it is fair to say the simple answer is


they are broadly similar. I was spoken to the doctors to the BMA,


and their members, wherever they worked, England, Wales, the rest of


the UK, the same as their message. It's really tough out there. Leaked


figures in England suggested that performance in A deteriorated


quite rapidly there during the first week of the New Year. The very time


the boss of the NHS in Wales is saying that the system had


significant problems. But we won't get to judge the impact of that


until the next set of official statistics are out in February.


Historically speaking, it's fair to say that the performance in Wales


has been worse than in England. The Nuffield trust, an independent think


tank, says there might be a mismatch between the number of beds in


hospitals and the demand for them. But part of the reason might be that


the Welsh population, as a whole, is older, poorer, and less healthy than


across the border. Thank you very much.


Chelsea Manning's family in Pembrokeshire say they're


overjoyed by the news that she will be freed in May.


Barack Obama has announced that Manning's 35-year sentence


for leaking military documents will be commuted, or reduced.


Tonight President-elect Donald Trump's Press Secretary has said


Mr Trump is troubled by President Obama's decision.


With the reaction, here's Teleri Glyn Jones.


With three days left before he leaves office, President Obama has


commuted the sentence of Chelsea Manning, the former Army private who


gave thousands of military documents to WikiLeaks. The leak was one of


the biggest breaches of classified material in US history. For some,


Chelsea Manning is a hero who expose wrongdoing in the military. For


others, she is a traitor that could encourage other acts of espionage.


She was born Bradley Manning in Oklahoma but spent most of in


Pembrokeshire. James went to school with Chelsea. She was very


interested in computers and very political. A lot of people are and


you don't expect them to stand up and make that big step forward but


themselves out there in that sort of position. After leaving school,


Chelsea Manning joined the US Army and was posted to a rock in 2009 but


was found guilty for years later of espionage by leaking three quarters


of a million documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.


Private Manning was sentenced to 35 years and a maximum security


military prison. Last night, that sentence was commuted by Barack


Obama in one of his last acts as president. And the family home, the


news that Chelsea Manning will be released in May has been welcomed.


I've spoken to Kevin Fox, Chelsea's uncle, who said they are over the


moon. In a statement, Susan Manning, her mother, says she now hopes


Chelsea will be able to get on with the rest of her life and added there


will always be a welcome for higher here. Family and friends have kept


in close contact with Chelsea Manning throughout her imprisonment


in the USA. One school friend visited her in prison and has always


aborted her. When I heard the news last night that President Obama has


commuted Chelsea's sentence, my personal reaction was utter joy.


When you're faced with a 35 year prison term, it is an incredibly


daunting prospect. I cannot imagine being in Chelsea's shoes. The


priority now is when Chelsea is liberated is to make a plan for her


welfare. Nobody is seeking to downplay the enormity and zero and


solve a crime but anybody looking into this can see this is far from


straightforward, it is complicated. There have been can serious concerns


about Chelsea Manning's emotional and physical well being expressed by


family and friends and I think President Obama has taken a very


human decision. It isn't the pardon some campaigners have hoped for but


having been expected to be in prison until 2045, Manning will now be


released in May. BBC Wales understands Wrexham's


new prison, HMP Berwyn, will accept its first inmates


on the 27th of February. Work began on the category C


men's prison at Wrexham When full, it will house up to 2,000


prisoners and will be The unemployment rate


in Wales has risen slightly It's up 0.1% since


December to 4.4% %. 66,000 people over the age of 16,


are out of work here. The UK rate has remained


the same at 4.8%. A sex offender from Clydach


in the Swansea Valley who poses a risk to young girls has been


spared a jail sentence. A judge said it would not


properly protect the public. 52-year-old Bernard Merrells


was arrested after being caught sending explicit messages online


to who he thought was a 13-year-old girl, but he was actually speaking


to a member of the public posing Bernard Merrells arrived at court


today. And and and and after pleading guilty to inciting sexual


activity with a child. In March 2015, the former supermarket worker


sent sexually explicit messages online. He believed he was


contacting a 13-year-old girl. In fact, he was talking to a member of


the public, posing as a child, cold Roxy. The conversation took place on


a dating website. The chat log was later posted on an online blog which


claims to expose suspected paedophiles. In the messages,


Bernard Merrells asks the girl if she has any photos. When the request


is refused, the 50-year-old man offers to be her boyfriend. As the


chat continues, Bernard Merrells asks if she's ever seen a nude man.


She says no. He promises to send pictures of himself naked. The court


heard Bernard Merrells sent a number of naked photos and indecent video


of himself. We know from the requests we've had, in terms of data


and evidence, the grooming process which in the past has happened in


ways that could have been in a local park or school in the past, we are


learning most grooming, the majority, is taking place online.


The judge said if Bernard Merrells were to receive treatment for sex


offenders in prison, he'd need to give him an immediate four-year


sentence, something which she said the legal guidelines don't allow for


in this case. The judge said it would be more constructive to give


him a suspended sentence and a rehabilitation and to register as a


sex offender. This is Wales' largest


coal-fired power station. The Welsh government is accused


of negligence over the way it And it's a newly recognised sport,


how free running is being taught alongside gymnastics,


in the hope of increasing That's how one Welsh farming union


has described a combination of Brexit and a trade deal


with New Zealand, they're worried, of course,


about the possibility of competition But what will leaving


the European Union and the single Could there be opportunities,


as well as challenges? Rebecca Roberts is 23 and has her


future mapped out in front of her. At least she thought she had. Taking


on in time the family's sheep and beef farm. Brexit has brought new


uncertainties. It may well be your generation that will have to sort


this out. What do you make of that? I don't know if I will be able to


stay on the family farm. I'll probably have to diversify or go out


to work. I don't know. It's worrying but we have to do something. And the


whole of the Welsh farming industry will have to do something, one way


or another quiz Brexit poses questions. There's no doubt Brexit


will challenge every sector of the Welsh economy, and agriculture more


than most. The Common Agriculture Policy is one of the pillars on


which the common market and the EU was built. In the future, Welsh


farmers will have to learn to live without it. 90% of Welsh


agricultural exports go into the EU, with a value of more than ?270


million. Under the EU's, agriculture policy, Welsh farms get ?336 million


in direct subsidies. For nothing to change, we will have to have


unfettered access to European markets and guarantee UK or Welsh


government subsidies at the level currently paid by Europe.


Uncertainties which farmers here know would prompt some tough


talking. Most of our produce is going into Europe. Theresa May and


her negotiating team will have to have this in mind. Nobody knows what


is going to happen, do they? Everybody is working day to day.


Challenges, but what about opportunities? Brexit backers talk


about winning new markets away from Europe, and shaping a British or


Welsh agriculture policy rather than one which also has to suit France,


Greece or Italy. Rebecca's father is president of the National union of


farmers in Wales. Getting a trail deal with a country is one Dale.


Getting a proper market is another. We have to look at helping us. The


British government has made it clear it will be positive going into the


negotiations with the European Union because we do need the broadest


possible access to the single market. Don't forget the reach of


Welsh agriculture goes way beyond those who are directly employed in


it. Culturally, linguistically, the industry is bound into the fabric of


rural Wales. There is a lot at stake here.


The Welsh government has been accused of "negligence"


in its handling of concerns about air pollution from Aberthaw


In September last year, the European Court of Justice ruled


that the plant had been emitting illegal levels of air pollution.


Now Plaid Cymru says it's found out there's been no correspondence


between Welsh ministers and Natural Resources Wales


Our environment correspondent Steffan Messenger reports.


It is one of Wales' largest power stations. For over 40 years,


Aberthaw has been generating electricity from burning coal.


Enough to meet the needs of some 3 million homes. But in September last


year, EU judges ruled that it was also pumping out too much air


pollution. Double the legal amount of toxic nitrogen oxides which can


harm people's health. The case was brought against the UK with the


Westminster government ordered to pay legal costs. As the plant in


Wales air quality measurement lies with the Welsh government. Now Plaid


Cymru says it has discovered via a Freedom of information request there


hasn't been a single letter or e-mail sent between Welsh ministers


and an RW on this issue since the court ruling. I'm flabbergasted.


They should have been in there straightaway after the decision was


made, this was illegal commissions and Wales, polluting the air,


polluting people in Wales. Natural Resources Wales told the commission


today it is assessing Aberthaw's permit, which it needs to operate


the plant. We will vary the permit, based on the European Court


judgment, and we seek information from them to allow us to do that, so


we are currently waiting for that information. Environmental groups


say all involved need to pick up the pace. This is causing about 400


premature deaths every year. It really is not good enough to be


leaving it as long as this. It needs to be treated with a level of


urgency that doesn't seem to be being shown. The Welsh government


told us it was committed to improving air quality across Wales


and it was urging RW even to cut emissions from this site. It has


said it plans to downgrade its operations here from April focusing


on generating electricity at times where there is peak demand. The UK


government wants to see all coal-fired power stations closed by


2025. It's a test of extreme


individual endurance, the challenge for one Welsh sailor


is nearly over, Tomos After 73 long days alone on the


ocean, Alex Thomson is now within hours


of finishing the round-the-world race, the Vandee Globe, and is


Within the last few hours, he's speaking to the French Navy


French Navy aircraft, this is Hugo Boss. We want to check everything


was OK and your ship is all right. Everything is fine, looking forward


to getting to dry land again. He hasn't got long to wait,


he's expected to finish The sailor, born in Bangor,


is now just 33 nautical miles behind the leader,


with less than 300 miles to go. It's remarkable that Thomson


is still in this race, he's been competing with a damaged


boat for weeks, and has made-up nearly 900 miles


since the end of the December. Organisers of the Champions League


final in Cardiff in June are looking Cardiff hosted the Uefa Super Cup


three years ago, now the Football Association of Wales


wants people to help with transport, marketing, ticketing


and dealing with VIPs. Another 500 volunteers could also


perform in a pre-match ceremony at the Principality Stadium,


which will be re-named the National Stadium


of Wales for the game. Cardiff City have signed Scotland


international goal-keeper, Allan McGregor, on loan


from Premier League side Hull City But the club's had a second


bid for Aberdeen winger Snooker, and the only Welshman


at the Masters, Mark Williams, has been knocked out in the first


round by the World Williams took the match to the final


frame, losing narrowly 6-5. It's a newly-recognised sport,


where people jump over improbable obstacles and move


from rooftop to rooftop. Elements of free-running are now


being taught alongside gymnastics, it's helped boost numbers


at the Valleys Gymnastics It's an idea praised by seven-time


Commonwealth Games medallist, Frankie Jones, but some are warning,


combining both sports Run, jump or climb freely over


any type of terrain. This is parkour, or free running,


now a recognised sport in its own right, taught and trained


for at a custom-built Similar elements to the sport


of free running have been introduced at this gymnastics club


in Crumlin near Newbridge. Attendence here is up,


particularly amongst boys, most of whom, they say,


would have otherwise lost interest. Probably 200 young people coming


through every week that we know wouldn't be coming through these


doors if it were only offering If people said, come


along and try gymnastics, You have to put loads


of effort into it. Would you recommend


it to your friends? I've got a few of my


friends coming here. Frankie Jones won gold for Wales


in rhythmic gymnastics She has praise for the work here


in appealing to more young people. It's just kind of a different


mindset for them to buy And then actually realise


how much fun it is. I think gymnastics has a level


for any person to get As soon as you get through the door


and you see the bouncy floors So, seeing them all go


mental and having fun One of the coaches here has


a background in free running but they're keen to stress this


is freestyle gymnastics, albeit with a few extra tricks,


not something they encourage Back in Cardiff, professional free


runners say there is an important distinction to be made


with their sport and Knowing how to do it safely


and with respect for the outdoor environment is what they teach


here with separate It's all about learning risk,


and figuring out what you can do, And you kind of can't quite do


that in an environment What both sports do agree


on is encouraging more young people to take part in exercise,


whichever of these two Let's get the weather forecast,


Derek is with us tonight. Snow on the beach at Havea


on the Costa Blanca. The settled weather set


to continue into next week. Pressure is high abut high pressure


doesn't always bring sunshine. Grey and cloudy in Porthcawl


today with a high of 6. A few spots of drizzle


otherwise dry. And in the south and south-east,


the cloud may clear with temperatures falling as low


as 2 or 3. Under the cloud, temperatures


a few degrees higher. So here's the picture


for 8 in the morning. However, parts of the south


and west may be brighter During the day most


of the country cloudy and dry. Some sunshine in the south may


spread a little further north 10 on the north and west coast


with light or gentle winds. In Flintshire tomorrow,


grey and mostly dry. Dry, bar the odd spot


of drizzle in the north. Sunny in parts of


the south and west. As we head into the weekend, high


pressure still the dominant feature. Drifting away to the east but then


another high develops So the outlook for the weekend


mainly dry and settled. Mind you, it will turn colder


with overnight frost. It now looks as if the dry, settled


spell will last until next Tuesday. A reminder of tonight's


top news stories. Boris Johnson has warned EU leaders


not to give the UK, what he called, "punishment beatings,


in the manner of some world war The Foreign Secretary's comments


come after Prime Minister Theresa May set out her Brexit strategy


in a speech yesterday. It included leaving


the EU single market. From all of us here,


thanks for watching,


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