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Tonight's headlines: 11 million tonnes of coal are mined at the UK's
Now the United Nations is to call for an investigation into its effect
We've got a case that is so strong, so awful, but if ever it got heard,
I think people would stand up and say for goodness' sake,
how on earth could you allow this to happen to people?
The mine's operator has accused local people
Also tonight: Two decades after she was murdered
by her husband, remains found near Newport are confirmed
Her daughter says she finally has closure.
I'm just relieved that it is her so that we can get closure,
I can finally lay her to rest, which is what she deserves.
The academy set up by former Wales football captain Craig Bellamy
Now concerns are raised following its closure.
No mention of it in yesterday's budget, but today, some hope
It's a mile a day for these children and teachers say it's
improving their health and learning.
11 million tonnes of coal being mined metres from people's homes.
Residents living alongside the Ffos-y-Fran opencast coal pit
in Merthyr Tydfil have long campaigned against it.
Now BBC Wales has learnt that a United Nations report will call
for an independent investigation into claims it may be
The mine's operator has accused those living near the mine
Our environment correspondent Steffan Messenger has
It's a dark scar, cut into the hillside,
This is Ffos-y-Fran, the size of some 400 football pitches.
Since 2007, a private company's been digging here,
Right, what you are looking at on the mountain there,
that there is the bowl of the opencast mine.
Absolutely phenomenal amount of dust.
On a fine day, you will find where the wind is blowing and oh,
it is coming over us, you know what I mean?
These photos some locals claim show how pollution from the mine has
They had been promised when the planning application went
through that modern mining methods would mean they
For more than a decade, they've held protests,
attempted legal action, and petitioned the local
council, the Welsh and Westminster governments.
I have got the posters for the public meeting.
Chris and Alison Austin claimed they've been betrayed
Nobody is interested in trying to resolve this issue.
There have been times we've been sitting here,
We've got a case that is so strong, so awful, that if ever it got heard,
I think people would stand up and say, for goodness' sake,
how on earth can you allow this to happen to people?
How can you allow this to happen to communities such as this?
But now, BBC Wales can reveal that the United Nations,
which has a role in protecting human rights worldwide, is set to make
Following an official visit to the UK, a report by its chief
legal adviser on pollution will criticise the way
local people's concerns in Merthyr Tydfil have been handled
I came across a number of pressing issues but this was definitely
I heard allegations of very high rates of childhood asthma,
cancer clusters among the community, and despite those allegations,
I didn't hear any evidence of a strong intervention
by the government to investigate, any strong reaction
There needs to be an independent and thorough investigation
of what sort of health effects may be linked to the operation
Mr Tuncak said that the case raised many concerns about the UK's
approach to eat environmental regulation, different layers
of government shirking responsibility and not enough
funding being handed down to make sure big companies
In a statement, the mine operator Miller Argent said some local
residents had been spreading fake news about pollution.
It criticised the UN special rapporteur for not visiting
the mind during his trip, accusing him of being biased
The mine, they say, is heavily regulated and has
never been prosecuted for any environmental breaches.
It also supports around 200 jobs in one of Wales' poorest areas.
Merthyr Tydfil Council criticised Mr Tuncak for not
speaking to its officials, claiming his report would be
I think the community years really frustrated and in my view,
is rightfully frustrated by the system.
We showed a video of our interview to some of the local
Finally hearing somebody who has some authority and all the years
There's a basic human rights about clean air, about no pollution,
and he's carefully analyse what needs to be done.
And I've got faith that something will happen now.
The special rapporteur's report is due to be presented to the UN's
human rights Council in Geneva in September.
The UK Government will then formally respond to his recommendations.
A surprising intervention from the UN?
Lucy, this is a very unusual story. I have been asking around today and
it is almost unheard of for the United Nations to comment on a UK
environmental issue. What is interesting is actually the
responses we have had back to this story from the different authorities
across the UK because they almost seem to underline what he has been
saying. The UK Government told us that this is a matter for the Welsh
Government two Duo. The Welsh Government said we are supporting
the local authority. It could be argued we have somehow been shifted
round the houses as it were on this today and that is the criticism from
the United Nations. They say someone somewhere needs to stand up and take
responsibility and react to the allegations. This is the most senior
adviser from the United Nations on the environment. He comes at this
from a human rights perspective. The council says he should have come to
talk to us. There will be pressure on Welsh and UK ministers to
initiate some sort of investigation or response. Already today we have
had reports from environmental charities, calling for that to
happen. Police have confirmed tonight that
a body found in a reservoir in Monmouthshire last month
is that of Sandie Bowen, Her husband, Mike Bowen, was jailed
for her murder but never revealed This is where Sandie
Bowen was found. In a now near empty
Wentwood Reservoir. Her body had been
there for two decades. Anita Giles, Sandie Bowen's
daughter, never gave up hope She is now being supported
by trained police officers. I am just relieved that it is her
so that we can get closure, I can finally lay her to rest,
which is what she deserves, Sandie Bowen went missing in 1997,
from her home in Monmouthshire. Her husband, Mike Bowen,
said he dropped her off at Newport railway station
where she was catching a train to Folkestone in Kent,
to visit her daughter. Hours earlier, he had found out
she was having an affair. Police later discovered he had also
been having an affair. Her daughter, Anita,
reported her meeting when she failed to arrive in Kent and made
an emotional appeal. I just want my mum to find me,
just to let me know she's all right. Or contact the police
station, anything, just Police carried out a huge search
of the Monmouthshire countryside, At the time, police divers probed
a then fuller Wentwood Reservoir. But there was no sign
of the 53-year-old. Eventually, police found her blood
at the home she shared A year later, he was convicted
of the murder of Sandie Bowen. He's never said what
he did with her body. Mike Bowen has recently been
released on licence. I don't think he should
have been given parole. I don't think anyone
should be given parole, I am supporting Helen's law
where the person that's convicted of murdering someone should not be
allowed parole until they've given Had mum not been found
and he hadn't been given parole, he may well still be
in prison today. After two decades, the search
for Sandie Bowen is over. Murdered by Mike Bowen, he then
dumped her body in this reservoir. He believed it would
never be discovered. Now, police are looking
into what further action 17 men have been sentenced
at Newport Crown Court, following the largest drugs
operation ever carried The men were arrested following 14
police-raids involving 300 officers They admitted a variety of offences,
including possession with intent to supply class-A drugs,
including crack cocaine and heroin. The sentences range from 16 months
to four years in prison. 12-year-old boy remains
in a critical condition after he collided with a minibus,
when he was cycling in Trefriw He was airlifted to a hospital
in Liverpool with serious injuries following the incident on Crafnant
Road. North Wales Police are
appealing for witnesses. Job losses at a newspaper site
in Newport are to be reviewed BBC Wales understands Newsquest had
been given ?245,000 in grant aid to expand a sub-editing hub
and protect jobs until 2020. But the company announced
it was closing the hub, It says improved workflow across its
papers has cut the workload. The Charity Commission has
confirmed its looking at concerns about Welsh footballer
Craig Bellamy's football academy in Sierra Leone which has
been forced to close The Craig Bellamy Foundation,
set up in 2008 offered five-year scholarships to children
as young as 11. The former Wales Captain is said
to be devastated by the news and is co-operating fully
with the authorities. Just amazed by the warmth of the
people but also their thirst for football. This is a promotional
video for the foundation when it launched back in 2010. A few years
earlier, the Wales international striker had visited the area and was
struck by their love of football. He set up an academy in a small fishing
village which offered five-year scholarships to children and created
a youth football league which at one point docking around 2500
youngsters. Interviewed at the time, he said it was one of his proudest
achievements. It gave me an opportunity to give something back
to people that needed more than anyone. It has been very rewarding
for me as a person and hopefully I can change 's lives. Craig Bellamy
came to my house and visited me. But now the foundation has closed. It
stayed open recently but despite Craig Bellamy putting in a reported
?1.4 million of its own -- his own money but it has got into financial
difficulties. In a statement, the Charity Commission have said... The
former Wales captain is now a youth coach at Cardiff city and was
unavailable for comment today. However his solicitor has told me he
is devastated by what has happened to his foundation in West Africa. A
statement released on his behalf says Mr Bellamy has recently
appointed a new legal team to investigate any irregularities in
the management of his financial affairs. It says that team will
assist all government agencies in their investigations and if
necessary, take action against those responsible for any wrongdoing.
Still to come in the programme tonight: Turning the tide
I like running because it is healthy.
With less than two months until the local elections,
there are questions tonight about who is in charge
The party's former chairman in Wales has quit, telling BBC Wales that
Our political correspondent Daniel Davies has this report.
A breakthrough in last year's assembly elections, and in June,
the moment Ukip longed for, Brexit.
Ukip leader Paul Nuttall came a disappointing second at the recent
The party's former chairman in Wales has had enough.
Chris Smart is quitting and hopes to rejoin the Conservatives.
I took his claim that Ukip is unravelling to some party big
guns, opening an office in Pontypool today.
Well, the party is certainly not unravelling.
Chris has had various frustrations with the party
organisation in Ukip, as have I.
I have got a lot of sympathy for him.
But in Wales, we are going forward and in the assembly,
we are there every day the assembly sits, making waves and I hope
changing things for the better in Welsh politics.
Mr Smart says he is disappointed by feuding at the top of Ukip.
Their only MP, Douglas Carswell, knows something about that.
He was here today, so a chance to ask...
Is there any truth to these rumours that you tried.
It is absolutely not for me to decide who gets a knighthood.
You know, people ask me if it was me who stopped Nigel
I have as much say in that as I do to say who becomes
The council elections in May will be the first Wales wide vote
Places like this, Torfaen, voted to leave.
So can Ukip harness that support and get councillors elected?
But I just think Labour is just totally lost its way completely.
With Brexit won, the question, what is Ukip for, just won't go away.
But opponents have written them off before and have come to regret it.
What are Ukip's prospects for the local elections?
Well, Chris Smart thinks they will struggle to get off the ground. He
declined our invitation to come on the programme and expand on his
views, saying, I do not want to slack of Ukip publicly, which makes
a change from some in the party who have specialised in slapping each
other off in recent times. Ukip does not have a separate structure in
Wales. We are told this weekend, they will appoint a full-time
official to coordinate their election campaign. They will be
fewer campaign candidates than the other parties. They are not geared
up to contest elections everywhere. But in communities like this, they
say they can give a good account of themselves. The Welsh Government has
been accused of vetoing the new candidate. The UK garment has
reopened the points process after its choice of candidate was rejected
by ministers in Cardiff Bay. The new board begins in April but it will be
some months before a replacement is in the post.
The fall out from yesterday's budget continues.
One project not mentioned by the Chancellor was a city
Many in the area had been expecting it to be given the thumbs up.
Well today Phillip Hammond confirmed that it could be agreed this month.
Our economics correspondent Sarah Dickins is here.
It is quite interesting because many people in Swansea involved in this
?1.3 billion deal did expect it to be announced in the budget. They
even thought that morning. We have heard talk about the northern
powerhouse for Manchester in the past and this year Chancellor Philip
Hammond did mention what he called the Midlands engine. No mention of
Swansea. Plaid Cymru 's Jonathan Edwards was unhappy and now the
Chancellor has written to him saying he thought he was overoptimistic and
expecting it but the Chancellor did say the UK Government is committed
to the plan. They hope to get it finalised by the 27th of March. And
there has been a reaction from the director-general of the CBI. Yes, he
has been in Wales today talking to businesses. She was really pleased
that the Chancellor in the budget was trying to improve the UK and
Wales' productivity and she particularly liked the fact that
what he wants to do is to give equal status to vocational training, if
you like, as academic and this is how she put it.
The Chancellor yesterday mentioned this idea of parity of esteem.
The idea that it's just as good to go down the vocational route
I do hope that the Welsh Government embraces those principles
and certainly, I think our business members, our members here,
will be hoping to work with the government here to see how
that can be not necessarily replicated.
I think Wales can do things differently but those principles
are enshrined in whatever you choose to do here.
You will have noticed she was very careful there not to tell the Welsh
Government what to do but you know, we at the moment have a situation
where there are A-levels in England and Wales and while the curricula
might be different, employers and universities understand the standard
of A-levels. These vocational training is will be called T levels
in England. The decision for Wales is whether to follow that for the
sake of ease of understanding or whether to do something different.
Football and Newport County have sacked their manager,
Graham Westley, after five months in charge.
It follows a string of poor results which have left the exiles 11 points
from safety at the bottom of the Football League.
Westley will be replaced by first-team coach Mike Flynn
Ben Davies has signed a new contract with Tottenham Hotspur. He has made
43 appearances for Spurs since leaving Swansea in 2014.
The roof at the Principality Stadium will be closed
for Wales' Six Nations clash with Ireland tomorrow night.
Alun Wyn Jones and his team have had a final run-out at the stadium.
Wales will be unchanged from the team that lost to Scotland
Ireland are more than happy to go with our decision so in fairness,
for the supporters, that will add to the occasion. It will be a fantastic
atmosphere and that is what it is all about. Teams coming to Cardiff
and wanting to play at the stadium, make it as great an occasion as
possible. It is closed, so I am really looking forward to that. We
have got to be confident in what we feel we can achieve. The last time
we were here, 65 minutes against England, if we can match that, you
know, and just build on that, and learn from that experience against
England then we are not going to be far off.
We've heard lots in recent years about obesity and a lack
Well, a growing number of schools here in Wales are hoping to turn
the tide by encouraging pupils to run or walk a mile every day.
They say it's having a big impact on the children's health
and improving their learning, as our Education Correspondent
It is two o'clock at this primary School and it is time for the daily
Mail. Everyday, all 114 children run or walk a mile around the school
playground. The Daily Mail began five years ago and the idea has
spread across the UK. -- the Daily Mile. Does running make you happy?
Yes, I like running with my best friend. Can you run very fast? Are
you going to show me? Why do you like running the Daily Mile at
school? Because it just makes you fit and healthy and it is just fun
to do. But the Daily Mile is not just about improving health and
fitness, the teachers here tell me that running or walking a mile every
day at school also improves their concentration and even their
behaviour in the classroom. And if the children's behaviour and
concentration is good, they are more likely to learn and that is good
news for everyone. Children are much more focused and definitely more
eager to work after having that time out from lessons. They are much more
engaged coming back into class. A really big difference. Most
definitely. Both of my children have got asthma. It keeps them fit and
healthy. It is brilliant for them. Exercise. And they really enjoy it.
Fabulous. Healthy. And good exercise for the children. With more and more
schools across Wales taking part, in time, the Daily Mile could be as
important a part of the school day as maths and English.
Time for the weather forecast now and Behnaz is here.
It is going to get much cloudier through tomorrow. It was a lovely
afternoon. These were the scenes. Temperatures reaching a high of 17
Celsius. The warmest day of the year so far. We will start to see the
cloud increasing tonight. The potential for some missed as well.
Initially, it will be chilly with clear skies but the cloud is pushing
up from the south-west and with that we will see some and Merck,
especially across Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion. The odd spot of rain on
the hills. Temperatures no lower than six Celsius. The winds are
light and going from a south-easterly direction. Tomorrow,
high pressure is controlling our weather. We do have this Weatherford
nearby and we will see quite a bit of cloud around but it should be a
largely dry day again. First thing tomorrow morning, poor visibility. A
lot of cloud. The odd spot of rain on the hills. Most of us getting
away with a dry day. Some limited amounts of bright weather. The best
of sunshine for Powys, Wrexham, Denbighshire and Flintshire.
Temperatures ranging between ten and 14 Celsius. It will be a bit
blustery along those coastal areas. If you are going to the rugby
tomorrow night, some good news. Temperatures around 10 Celsius.
Battlefield quite comfortable as long as you are wearing plenty of
layers. For the rest of Wales, lot of cloud around. Some mist and fog
Tembi is not dropping too much. Those are the type of temperatures
we would expect in the daytime in March. And on Saturday, yes, we will
see in that cold weather front just eating in. Bring a little bit of
rain across Bath and and. Of the bulk of the country, yet again, a
dry story. We will see quite a bit of cloud on. A little bit of rain
for Anglesey in the morning. But it will be rather grey with
temperatures getting up to around 13 Celsius. Winds are light and coming
from a westerly direction. A little bit more cloud to come, turning
cooler as we head into Sunday. BBC Wales has learned
that the United Nations is to call for an investigation into the impact
the UK's largest opencast mine, in Merthyr Tydfil, is having
on the health of local residents. Also, human remains found
in a reservoir in Monmouthshire have been confirmed as being
Sandie Bowen, who was murdered He had never said what
he did with her body. I'll have an update for you here
on BBC 1 Wales at 8 and again From all of us on the