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Chief Bakes

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  1. Sajid Javid pledges more funding for overstretched police 23 May 2018 comments Image copyright Reuters Sajid Javid has promised to ensure police officers have the resources they need to meet the challenges they face. The home secretary, whose brother is a chief superintendent in West Midlands, pledged in his first speech to the Police Federation to provide the "tools and powers" frontline officers need. "I've seen the impact the job has had on family life", he said. His predecessors have often been criticised by the federation for cutting police budgets. Mr Javid promised to prioritise police funding during the next Home Office spending review. Reality Check: Is police funding falling? Policing facing a 'perfect storm' New rules to protect police chase drivers He said £1bn more was already being invested in policing compared to three years ago. But he acknowledged police forces were under pressure as violent crime increased and the terror threat evolved. "I'm listening and I get it," he insisted. He leant his support to stop and search powers, saying: "Some of you don't feel comfortable using it - and that's not how it should be. "I have confidence in your professional judgment. So let me be clear - I support the use of stop and search. "You have to do your job and that means protecting everyone." He made a particular commitment to roll out protective equipment to tackle the assault of police officers - including controversial spit and bite guards. Mr Javid became home secretary in April, after Amber Rudd resigned her position amid the Windrush revelations. The federation, which represents rank and file officers across England and Wales, has previously shown home secretaries a frosty reception. As of September there were 121,929 officers across the 43 forces, a fall of nearly 20,000 people compared to 10 years ago. Police cuts have come under scrutiny after figures have shown an increase in knife and gun crime.. In London 52 people were killed in the first 100 days of 2018, which raised serious concerns about a rise in violent crime. Mr Javid insisted that he is "absolutely determined" to end the violence that is "terminating young lives far too soon". Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionIn 2015 Theresa May told officers to stop "crying wolf" Referring to his brother, Mr Javid added: "He's been hurt more times than I want to know from being assaulted on duty. "I've seen the impact the job has on family life. And, as you would expect from a brother, he doesn't shield me from the truth." He said he wanted to bolster the welfare provision, saying "we need to protect the protectors". He concluded: "For those of you who stand in the front line, be in no doubt that I will be standing with you." The BBC's home affairs correspondent, Danny Shaw, says Mr Javid's speech took a different tone to those of previous home secretaries. Image Copyright @DannyShawBBC @DannyShawBBC Report Image Copyright @DannyShawBBC @DannyShawBBC Report Image Copyright @DannyShawBBC @DannyShawBBC Report Image Copyright @DannyShawBBC @DannyShawBBC Report Image Copyright @DannyShawBBC @DannyShawBBC Report Image Copyright @DannyShawBBC @DannyShawBBC Report Mr Javid said he wanted to "reset the relationship between government and the police". He made much of his relationship with his brother to emphasise a new level of understanding in the Home Office. He said that while he knows "you might be thinking 'you're not one of us', as no home secretary has ever served has a police officer", he said he was the first home secretary "with a police officer in my immediate family". View the full article
  2. Manchester Arena attack: Anniversary to be marked in city 22 May 2018 Related TopicsManchester Arena attack Image copyright AFP A cathedral service, a minute's silence and a sing-along vigil will mark the first anniversary of the Manchester Arena attack. Twenty-two people were killed and hundreds injured when Salman Abedi detonated a bomb at the end of an Ariana Grande concert on 22 May 2017. Grande tweeted on Tuesday morning to say she was "thinking of you all today and every day". The national minute's silence will start at 14:30 BST. Prime Minister Theresa May and Prince William will attend the memorial service at Manchester Cathedral at 2pm. Grande, who staged the One Love concert in Manchester less than two weeks after the attack, said on Twitter: "I love you with all of me and am sending you all of the light and warmth I have to offer on this challenging day." Skip Twitter post by @ArianaGrande Report End of Twitter post by @ArianaGrande Who will be at the memorial service? Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Theresa May and the Duke of Cambridge will join families of victims and emergency workers who helped them The Duke of Cambridge and Mrs May will join families of victims and emergency workers who went to their aid. Only those with invitations can attend, but people will be able to watch the service on a big screen in the nearby cathedral gardens, and further afield at York Minster, Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral and Glasgow Cathedral. 'I must've died 200 times in my nightmares' Arena bomb 'injured more than 800' Capturing city's spirit in song Image copyright Various Image caption Twenty-two people were killed in the blast on 22 May 2017 The Manchester Together With One Voice event takes place between 19:00 and 21:00 and will bring together choirs from the city and beyond. The final half hour will be a sing-along broadcast live on BBC Radio Manchester. Families of the 22 people killed were invited to select lyrics, and members of the public were asked to make suggestions online. Attack 'could have been stopped' City finds strength in music and sport Manchester City Council leader Sir Richard Leese said music was "in Manchester's soul", as was shown in the aftermath of the attack when "spontaneous song captured the city's spirit". A crowd sang Don't Look Back In Anger by Oasis at a vigil following the attack. He said: "Coming together in song will once again demonstrate that remarkable sense of togetherness." Bells will toll in tribute Image caption The vigil and sing-along will be held at Albert Square At 22:31 bells across the city centre will ring out to mark the moment of the explosion. Bells at Manchester Town Hall, St Ann's Church and St Mary's Roman Catholic Church will sound in tribute to the victims. Shining a light on city square Image copyright Reuters Image caption Thousands of tributes were left at St Ann's Square after the attack A further event, named There Is A Light, will run between Tuesday and Saturday with song lyrics projected on to St Ann's Church and other parts of St Ann's Square. St Ann's Square became a focal point for tributes in the wake of the bombing, with many thousands of wreaths left by well-wishers. Some of the flowers were later composted and the soil used for the Trees of Hope Trail, where trees were planted around the city centre. Members of the public can write messages on special tags to be attached to the Japanese maple trees until Tuesday evening. View the full article
  3. 17 May 2018 Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Fixed-odds betting machines have games similar to fruit machines, as well as roulette and blackjack The government is set to announce new the rules to govern fixed-odds betting terminals later, with the maximum stake expected to be cut to £2. Currently, people can bet up to £100 every 20 seconds on electronic casino games such as roulette. A reduced limit of £2 would be welcomed by anti-gambling campaigners, who have described the games the "crack cocaine" of the betting world. But bookmakers have warned it could lead to thousands of outlets closing. Research by KPMG has estimated a £2 limit would cut revenue for the Treasury by £1.1bn over three years, an annual loss of £45m to local authorities and £50m to British racing. Betting firm William Hill, makes just over half its retail revenues from fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs). Chief executive Philip Bowcock told the BBC a £2 FOBT limit would have a devastating impact on the High Street betting industry, with up to half of Britain's betting shops facing threat of closure and about 20,000 jobs going". But anti-gambling campaigners have condemned them and say they let players lose money too quickly, leading to addiction and social, mental and financial problems. High stakes for fixed-odds betting machines A good bet? The fixed-odds controversy 'I lost £5K in 48 hours on fixed-odds betting machines' Matt Zarb-Cousin is now a spokesman for the Campaign for Fairer Gambling but was previously addicted to FOBTs. "It's no exaggeration to call FOBTs the crack cocaine of gambling," he has told the BBC. "If we had a gambling product classification, similar to that of drugs, FOBTs would be class A." Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionTerry White lost up to £15,000 per day on fixed odd betting terminals The speed with which gamblers can lay a bet - every 20 seconds - and the maximum size of the stake - £100 - make FOBTs dangerously attractive, he said. The Gambling Commission's consultation on FOBTs for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) recommended a £30 limit. But now the government widely expected to go for a £2 limit, after reports last month that the Treasury backs the idea. View the full article
  4. Manchester Arena attack: Bomb 'injured more than 800' 16 May 2018 Related TopicsManchester Arena attack Image copyright PA Image caption Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson says the lives of those injured "have been altered forever" More than 800 people are now known to have suffered physical and psychological injuries after the Manchester bombing, police have said. Police previously reported 500 people were hurt in the Manchester Arena attack on 22 May 2017 in addition to the 22 killed. Salman Abedi detonated a home-made device at an Ariana Grande concert. Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson said the night's events would be "forever" etched in the city's history. "We knew quickly 22 people had been murdered and we now know that there are over 800 people with physical and deep psychological injuries from the attack. "Their lives have been altered forever," he said. ACC Jackson said the investigation team had worked hard to support those affected and had been "consistently moved by the grace and dignity they show in trying to repair their lives". "Of course for many, the loss is too great for them to ever make a full recovery from this terrible event." 'Flashbacks' Image caption Erin said she has had flashbacks and struggled to sleep after the attack One young girl has been left traumatised after seeing the bodies of those injured or killed as she left the concert. Erin said she has had flashbacks and struggled to sleep after the attack. She has since had help and said: "I feel much better having the support... it shows such a difference it makes talking to someone about it." Her mother Annette said the family had a "really tough" few months. "For seven or eight months [she] just refused to talk about what she saw," she said. "I knew she was sad but didn't know she was struggling so much as she hid it amazingly." Meanwhile, Erin's older sister Caitlin said she has had a "very different" reaction to the disaster. She said it has made her want to do more things. "I know life is shorter now and can be taken at any time." He gave an insight into the size and scale of the investigation almost a year on from the suicide bombing. A team of about 100 investigators are still working full-time on the murder investigation "preparing for a trial". Fire crews sent away from scene Theatre play about life of victim Martyn Hett Arena attack could have been stopped ACC Jackson said it was "really difficult" to give an update on the progress of the extradition of Abedi's brother Hashem Abedi who is currently in custody in Libya. Image copyright Greater Manchester Police Image caption A search of a landfill site in Bury failed to uncover any trace of a Salman Abedi's suitcase A warrant for Hashem's arrest over allegations of murder, attempted murder and conspiracy to cause an explosion was also issued before the extradition bid on 1 November 2017. So far during the investigation, 2,000 witness statements have been taken, thousands of hours of CCTV examined, and officers have completed a fruitless search through 11,000 tonnes of rubbish at a landfill site in Bury for a blue suitcase used by Abedi. View the full article
  5. Brexit: Jeremy Hunt warns Boris Johnson over customs comments 14 May 2018 comments Related TopicsBrexit Image copyright AFP Jeremy Hunt has warned Boris Johnson his public criticism could undermine the UK's Brexit negotiating position. The health secretary told BBC Radio 4's Today he thought "it's important that we have these debates in private". The UK government is currently deciding which form of future trade relations it wants with the EU before the detailed negotiations take place in Brussels. The foreign secretary called one of the two options - a customs partnership - "crazy", in a newspaper interview. UK needs Brexit 'safe harbour' - Miliband Johnson: No 10's customs plans 'crazy' Reality Check: The government's customs options Mr Hunt told Today: "I do think that it is important that we have these debates in private. Not just because of collective responsibility, which is what democracy depends on, but also because this is a negotiation. On the EU side, if they see divisions in the open, they will exploit that. "I actually think he has a very important role to play in the Government and he is the architect of the whole Brexit campaign and we are listening to what he says and we are doing what he wants. "But I think we have to recognise that we are not the only people who read the papers in Britain - they are read across the world - and we need to give Theresa May some space. "If we are going to have these lively debates, we should have them in private because that will strengthen Theresa May's negotiating hand." Asked if his message would be "Boris belt up", Mr Hunt replied to the interviewer: "You could say that - I would say he's a marvellous foreign secretary but let's work as a team." What are the government's options? Image copyright Getty Images A 'highly streamlined' customs arrangement - This would minimise customs checks rather than getting rid of them altogether, using new technologies and things like trusted trader schemes, which could allow companies to pay duties in bulk every few months rather than every time their goods crossed a border A customs partnership - This would remove the need for new customs checks at the border. The UK would collect tariffs set by the EU customs union on goods coming into the UK. If those goods didn't leave the UK and UK tariffs on them were lower, companies could then claim back the difference. Meanwhile, as debate continues over which type of trade deal the UK wants with the EU post-Brexit, Theresa May is holding three meetings with large groups of Conservative MPs in Downing Street. Assistant political editor Norman Smith described it as a "factual" presentation of the customs options rather than making the case for either of the two. He said those invited - including former ministers Priti Patel, Damian Green, Grant Shapps, Cheryl Gillan and Maria Miller - were told that neither models would work "in their current form". Mr Shapps, who called for Mrs May to consider her position last year, told the BBC he welcomed No 10's "genuine attempts" to keep MPs informed and not to railroad them in supporting one particular route. "It was very much 'here are the advantages and disadvantages of one and the other and you can now see what we are having to deal with'," he said. The UK is committed to leaving the current customs union when it exits the EU on 29 March 2019 and ministers are under pressure to agree soon on a successor arrangement amid divisions in cabinet. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionGove expresses doubts about Brexit customs plan Writing in the Sunday Times, Mrs May promised a solution which ensured frictionless trade, enabled the UK to strike trade deals around the world and which did not result in a hard border on the island of Ireland. Reality Check: Why is the customs union so important? DUP MP hits out at Irish foreign minister Leonard calls for cross-party Brexit talks Environment Secretary Michael Gove has expressed doubts about what is believed to be her preferred option - a customs partnership which would see the UK collect tariffs set by the EU on goods coming into the country. "Because it is novel, because no model like this exists, there have to be significant question marks over the deliverability of it on time," he told the BBC's Andrew Marr show. Damian Green, the former first secretary of state, said he expected a revised version of the alternative "maximum facilitation" model - which would use technology to ensure the smooth flow of goods at the border - would eventually prevail, although he questioned whether this would be up and running in time. "It seems to me overwhelmingly likely that we will and should end up with some kind of compromise, which will take the most practical arrangement and persuade those - whatever they thought during the referendum campaign - that this is the most practical way forward," he told BBC Radio 4's Westminster Hour. View the full article
  6. 14 May 2018 Related TopicsRussian spy poisoning Image copyright PA/Getty Images Image caption Andrew Parker, left, will warn so-called Islamic State still aspires to commit more atrocities in Europe, such as the lorry attack in Berlin in 2016 The head of MI5 is warning that the Islamic State group aspires to commit "devastating" and "more complex" attacks in Europe after losing territory in the Middle East. Director general Andrew Parker will make the warning at a meeting of European security chiefs in Berlin. He will also condemn Russia for the "targeted" Salisbury poisoning. And he will reveal that 12 terror attacks have been stopped in the UK since the Westminster attack in 2017. Mr Parker's speech comes after one person was killed and four others were injured by a knifeman in Paris on Saturday. The attack was claimed by IS. In December last year, Mr Parker reported that nine terrorist attacks had been prevented by the security services and police in 2017. Monday's updated total brings the number of disrupted attacks in the UK to 25 since 2013. In his speech, the chief of the security service will say he is "confident about our ability to tackle these threats, because of the strength and resilience of our democratic systems, the resilience of our societies and the values we share with our European partners". Mr Parker will also accuse the Kremlin of "flagrant breaches of international rules" over the poisoning of a Russian ex-spy and his daughter in Salisbury in March. Former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were exposed to a nerve agent belonging to the Novichok group. The Russian government has denied any involvement in the 4 March attack, but has been the subject of condemnation and diplomatic sanctions from the West. Could MI5 have stopped 2017's attacks? What does Brexit mean for Britain's spies? Mr Parker will describe the attempted assassination of the Skripals as a "deliberate and targeted malign activity" which risks Russia becoming a "more isolated pariah". He will condemn Moscow by calling for the need to "shine a light through the fog of lies... out of their propaganda machine". Image caption Yulia and Sergei Skripal were found collapsed on a bench in the centre of Salisbury Mr Parker will add that European intelligence agencies must rely on "shared co-operation more than ever". And he will thank European security services for their support in the investigation into the Manchester bombing last year. "European intelligence cooperation today is simply unrecognisable to what it looked like five years ago," he will say. View the full article
  7. DR Congo: Kidnapped Brits 'very grateful' after release 13 May 2018 Image copyright Bethan Davies and Robert Jesty Image caption The pair were abducted north of the city of Goma, North Kivu province Two Britons kidnapped in a national park in DR Congo have said they are "very grateful" after their release. Bethan Davies and Robert Jesty were among three people to be held when their vehicle was ambushed in Virunga National Park on Friday. They paid tribute to the "excellent support" they had received and said they would not comment any further. Park ranger Rachel Masika Baraka was killed by the kidnappers; a driver was injured and released. The 25-year-old ranger is the eighth to be murdered at the park this year. Park director Emmanuel de Merode said: "Ranger Baraka's life was tragically cut short in service to Virunga National Park. "She was one of the park's 26 female rangers and was highly committed, showing true bravery in her work. "We wish to extend our sincerest condolences to her family, and our thoughts are with all those affected by this incident." Skip Twitter post by @willintune Report End of Twitter post by @willintune View the full article
  8. Train tickets: Rail industry plans fares shake-up 8 May 2018 Image copyright Getty Images Britain's rail companies are to launch a public consultation aimed at making ticketing fairer and easier to use. The Rail Delivery Group (RDG), which represents rail firms, said about 55 million different fares exist in the current system. A passenger group said reform was "overdue". The industry admits passengers are not currently always offered the cheapest fare available due to "long-standing anomalies" such as split ticketing. That means it can be cheaper for passengers to buy several tickets for a single journey than one ticket. Another "anomaly" it highlights is the charging of a peak-time fare when half a trip is on an off-peak service. The industry has pledged that average fares will not rise as a result of any reform. Man buys car 'for less than train ticket' Commuters 'priced off' UK trains Are you joining the '£5k commuter club'? Rules governing how tickets are sold and how fares are set date back to 1995, and have not kept pace with technology or how people work and travel, the RDG said. It said existing laws were based on customers visiting ticket offices to buy tickets and do not reflect the rise in smartphones or the increase in part-time and freelance work patterns. "Long-standing anomalies are becoming locked in... as a result it has become increasingly difficult for rail companies to guarantee the right fare," it said. 'Well-meaning but outdated' A reformed ticketing system could include integrated tickets covering other modes of transport such as buses and trams, and more flexible tickets for part-time workers, the RDG said. It added that a more sophisticated computer-based system of ticketing would be able to automatically offer customers the lowest fare. RDG chief executive Paul Plummer said the industry is committed to reforming "well-meaning but outdated" regulation. "The industry doesn't have all the answers, which is why we want to hear views from passengers, communities and businesses in all parts of the country," he said. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionHow do UK rail fares compare to Europe? The consultation will be launched next month and will run until September. It will lead to a report containing proposals for governments to consider. Transport Focus, a passenger interests group working on the consultation, said the debate on reform options was "overdue". "Rail passengers want a rail fares system they can trust, that is simpler, offers better value for money and is more understandable," said the group's chief executive, Anthony Smith. 'No-one trusts' rail firms Steve Chambers, public transport campaigner at Campaign for Better Transport, welcomed the attempt to improve ticketing, but warned "it will need government support to make it happen". Mick Cash, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union, said that "no-one trusts" private rail firms to "do the right thing by passengers". A Department for Transport spokeswoman said: "We want passengers to always be able to get the best possible deal on their ticket and we welcome the industry's commitment to review fares." Split tickets v single fares Buying split tickets can work out cheaper - but by how much? Exeter Central to Sheffield on 16 June, leaving at 8:53 BST. Split tickets: Exeter Central to Exeter St Davids (£1.40); Exeter St David's to Bristol Temple Meads (£14.70); Bristol Temple Meads to Cheltenham Spa (£7); Cheltenham Spa to Birmingham (£9.90); Birmingham to Derby (£6.30); Derby to Sheffield (£7.50). Total: £46.80 Advance ticket: £70.20 (50% more expensive) Birmingham to Lincoln on 14 May, leaving at 7:49 Split tickets: Birmingham to Long Eaton (£19.30); Long Eaton to Lincoln (£11.90). Total £31.20 Anytime ticket: £43.40 (39% more expensive) Leicester to Edinburgh on 18 May, leaving at 7.52 Split tickets, including advance fares: Leicester to Derby (£6.70); Derby to Sheffield (£8.40); Sheffield to York (£14.10); York to Darlington (£9.10); Darlington to Edinburgh (£45.10). Total £83.40 Advance ticket: £144.10 (73% more expensive) Oxford to Cambridge on 23 May, leaving at 10:01 Split tickets, including advance fares: Oxford to London Paddington (£5.40); London Underground to Cambridge (£27.40). Total £32.80 Off-peak single: £55.60 (70% more expensive) Northampton to Southampton Airport Parkway on 12 May, leaving 8.50 Split tickets, including advance fares: Northampton to London Euston (£10); London Underground to Southampton Airport Parkway (£23.50). Total £33.50 Off-peak single: £51.70 (54% more expensive) View the full article
  9. Gun violence on London's streets 'must stop' 7 May 2018 Related TopicsLondon violence Image caption Rhyhiem Ainsworth Barton was "trying to make a difference" by learning to work with children, his mother said The mother of a 17-year-old boy who was killed over the weekend has called for an end to violence on London's streets. "Let my son be the last and be an example to everyone. Just let it stop," said Pretana Morgan, whose son Rhyhiem was shot in Southwark on Saturday. The teenager was one of four people shot in the capital over the bank holiday weekend. In Wealdstone, two boys, aged 13 and 15, suffered head injuries, and a 22-year-old was shot in Lewisham. None of them have injuries which are considered to be life-threatening. In the latest incident, a 43-year-old man was stabbed in Ealing after a dispute over a man's driving on a residential street. Scotland Yard said the victim, who is in a stable condition in hospital, was believed to be attacked after questioning the driving of the suspect - who then drove away. Image copyright Reuters Image caption Pretana Morgan (r) is comforted at the scene of her son's death Rhyhiem Ainsworth Barton, who was found in Warham Street, Southwark, was reportedly shot while playing football with friends and died at the scene on Saturday evening. Witnesses told the BBC a number of shots were fired, including one that missed a woman and went through a window. No arrests have been made as part of the murder probe. His mother, Pretana Morgan, said she "couldn't have asked for a better son". She said he was not in a gang and aspired to be an architect. No easy answers to London's killings Looking behind London's murder statistics London killings: Why are they happening? Reality Check: Has London's murder rate overtaken New York's? Southwark Borough Commander, Simon Messinger, said the violence had "rightly caused concern" and the "fast-paced" investigation was "progressing all the time". He said additional officers would be on patrol for the rest of the weekend, supported by armed response officers on motorcycles, dog units and air support. London Mayor Sadiq Khan said his thoughts went out to the "loved ones of the teenager who was tragically killed". Image copyright PA Image caption A police team is searching the scene outside Aberfeldy House in Camberwell New Road Rhyheim's death came less than 24 hours before two other teenage boys were shot in broad daylight - around Sunday lunchtime - on a street in north-west London. A 13-year-old boy suffered a shotgun pellet wound to the head within minutes of another teenager, aged 15, also being injured in a gun attack. Both boys remain in hospital. A Scotland Yard spokeswoman said they were investigating whether the incidents, which occurred at two separate locations on Wealdstone High Street, were linked. Image copyright PA Image caption The two boys were shot on Wealdstone High Street In a separate attack, a 22-year-old suffered non life-threatening wounds in a shooting in New Cross Road, Lewisham, at about 18:30. There have been no arrests in any of the cases. Around the UK, two men died in stabbings in Liverpool and Luton across the bank holiday weekend. A 20-year-old man died after being stabbed in Liverpool city centre early on Sunday, while another victim, also aged 20, was killed in Bishopscote Road in Luton on Sunday evening. Labour MP David Lammy tweeted: "Enough. Enough. My heart goes out to families grieving children and teenagers. So many shattered lives, families and communities." 'Glamorisation of violence' Official statistics released in April showed the number of homicides in London had surged by 44% in the last year. More than 60 people have been killed in the capital this year - about half were the result of stabbings. A former Met Police Superintendent, Leroy Logan, said the "growing crisis" had seen "younger and younger people" being groomed by negative peer groups and gangs. He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that education was the key to stopping young people buying into "the thug life and all the glamorisation of that sort of violent lifestyle". Criminologist Anthony Gunter, from the University of East London, said the government's strategy around gangs over the past eight years "has not been correct" and it didn't "have a real handle or understanding of what's going on and what to do about it." View the full article
  10. Iran nuclear deal: Johnson tells Trump 'don't walk away' 7 May 2018 Image copyright EPA/AFP Boris Johnson has urged President Trump not to give up on the Iran nuclear deal, saying "at this delicate juncture it would be a mistake to walk away". The foreign secretary is in Washington to persuade the US president to remain a part of the international accord. The deal saw Iran agree to limit its nuclear activities in return for the easing of sanctions on its economy. The UK and its European allies have until 12 May to persuade Mr Trump to stick with the deal. Mr Trump has strongly criticised the agreement, which he calls "insane". Britain, France and Germany have been working behind the scenes for weeks in an effort to preserve the deal, which was orchestrated under the Obama administration, and includes Russia and China as signatories. 'Handcuffs are in place' Writing in the New York Times, Mr Johnson argued "only Iran would gain" from abandoning nuclear restrictions. "Of all the options we have for ensuring that Iran never gets a nuclear weapon, this pact offers the fewest disadvantages," he wrote. "It has weaknesses, certainly, but I am convinced they can be remedied. "Indeed at this moment Britain is working alongside the Trump administration and our French and German allies to ensure that they are." Mr Johnson said the deal had put restrictions on Iran's nuclear programme and "now that these handcuffs are in place, I see no possible advantage in casting them aside". He added: "The wisest course would be to improve the handcuffs rather than break them." What is the Iran nuclear deal? Is Iran's economy better off since the nuclear deal? Could the deal collapse? While in Washington, Mr Johnson will meet US Vice-President Mike Pence, National Security Adviser John Bolton and foreign policy leaders in Congress. He will not meet President Trump, but is expected to appear on the Fox & Friends morning news, which Mr Trump is known to watch avidly. Both German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron have lobbied Mr Trump directly in recent weeks. The UN also warned Mr Trump not to walk away from the deal. But Mr Trump has threatened to withdraw unless the signatories agree to "fix the deal's disastrous flaws". The president believes the terms of the agreement are too lenient. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionA timeline of what Trump's said about the Iran deal In a call with Theresa May on Saturday, Mr Trump "underscored his commitment to ensure that Iran never acquires a nuclear weapon". Iran's President Hassan Rouhani says the US will face "historic regret" if it pulls out. In remarks carried live on state television, he said Iran had "a plan to counter any decision Trump may take and we will confront it". The UK-US talks come after Israel revealed "secret nuclear files" accusing Iran of having run a secret nuclear weapons programme, which was reportedly mothballed 15 years ago. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the documents were authentic and show the 2015 Iran nuclear deal was "built on lies". Iran, in turn, accused Mr Netanyahu of lying. Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said the documents produced by Israel were a rehash of old allegations already dealt with by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN's nuclear watchdog. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionWhat is the Iran nuclear deal? The UK's ambassador to the US Sir Kim Darroch said the Iran agreement was "a good deal" but efforts were ongoing to "find some language, produce some action that meets the president's concerns". "We think we're making progress. We haven't got there yet. We have a few days left to see if we can find a way through," he said. He added that Britain and its European partners were also looking at how a deal would work even without the US. View the full article
  11. Trump's London knife crime comments ridiculous, says surgeon 5 May 2018 Image copyright EPA A senior London surgeon has hit back at US President Donald Trump for criticising the level of knife crime in the city while defending US gun laws. Prof Karim Brohi, a trauma surgeon at the Royal London Hospital, said it was "ridiculous" to suggest firearms could help combat knife violence. He said the capital faced a "serious issue" but gunshot wounds were at least twice as lethal as knife injuries. Mr Trump's comments came in a speech to the National Rifle Association (NRA). Addressing the firearms lobby's conference in Dallas, Texas, on Friday, Mr Trump referred to reading a story "that in London, which has unbelievably tough gun laws, a once very prestigious hospital right in the middle is like a war zone for horrible stabbing wounds". Has London's murder rate overtaken New York's? No easy answers to London's killings Nine charts on rising knife crime in England and Wales It is unclear where Mr Trump sourced his information. However, leading London trauma surgeon Dr Martin Griffiths, who also works at the Royal London Hospital, told BBC Radio 4 a month ago that his hospital was likened to an Afghan war zone. The interview was the basis for a Daily Mail article. Prof Brohi is the head of London's major trauma system directorate, which has responsibility for co-ordination and policy development between hospitals dealing with serious injuries. In a statement released by Barts NHS Trust, he said: "We are proud of the excellent trauma care we provide and of our violence reduction programmes... "There is more we can all do to combat this violence, but to suggest guns are part of the solution is ridiculous. Gunshot wounds are at least twice as lethal as knife injuries and more difficult to repair. "We are proud of our world-leading service and to serve the people of London." Dr Griffiths had earlier responded to Mr Trump on Twitter with an image suggesting the president had missed the point, adding that he was "happy to invite Mr Trump to my prestigious hospital". Skip Twitter post by @martinpgriff Report End of Twitter post by @martinpgriff He had told the BBC last month about treating stabbing victims "on a daily basis". Dr Griffiths said: "Some of my military colleagues have described their practice here as being similar to being at [Helmand province's former Camp] Bastion." He added: "We routinely have children under our care, 13, 14, 15 years old are daily occurrences, knife and gun wounds." Skip Twitter post by @BBCr4today Report End of Twitter post by @BBCr4today Mr Trump is due to visit the UK on 13 July, after previously cancelling a trip amid calls for mass protests. Referring to London in his NRA speech, Mr Trump, had said they don't have guns. They have knives and instead there's blood all over the floors of this hospital. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionTrump: Blood on London hospital floor "They say it's as bad as a military war zone hospital. Knives, knives, knives, knives." He mimed a stabbing motion. "London hasn't been used to that. They're getting used to it. It's pretty tough." 'Totally spurious' At least 38 people in London have lost their lives to knife crime so far this year, the Met Police has said. But Marian Fitzgerald, a criminologist at the University of Kent, said although there had been a spike in knife-related deaths in London, it was a separate issue to gun control. She told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "It's just politically convenient, in a speech to the gun rights lobby, to try and make those comparisons and they are totally spurious. Image copyright Getty Images The Met Police and London Mayor Sadiq Khan declined to comment on Mr Trump's latest remarks. Last year Mr Trump criticised Mr Khan for his handling of terrorist attacks in the city. Trump's other controversial claims about the UK The US president was criticised by Prime Minister Theresa May after he retweeted anti-Muslim videos posted online by the deputy leader of the far-right Britain First group. Mr Trump told her to focus on "destructive radical Islamic terrorism" in the UK, rather than on him Mr Trump linked a rise in recorded crime in England and Wales last October with the "spread of radical Islamic terror". The statistics covered offences ranging from burglary to fraud, prompting politicians to describe his comments as "inflammatory" and "ignorant" During his campaign for the US presidency in 2015, Mr Trump told MSNBC police were afraid to enter certain parts of London because they were "so radicalised that the police are afraid for their own lives". Then prime minister David Cameron's official spokeswoman said the view was "wrong" It was Mr Trump's fourth address to the NRA and his second in office. The last president to do so was Ronald Reagan in 1983. The lobby supported Mr Trump during his 2016 presidential election, spending more than $11m (£8m) in advertisements for him, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. After a high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, left 17 dead in February, Mr Trump said he would "fight" the NRA on gun control. But he later said there was "not much political support". His administration, however, has taken steps to ban bump stocks, which allow a rifle to shoot hundreds of rounds a minute. More on guns in the US Why is US gun lobby NRA so controversial? America's gun culture in 10 charts US gun lobby breaks fundraising record View the full article
  12. Local elections 2018: Polls close in elections across England 3 May 2018 Related TopicsEngland local elections 2018 Image copyright PA Image caption About two thirds of the results will be declared overnight Polls have now closed in council and mayoral elections across England. A total of 4,371 seats are up for grabs in 150 councils, spanning metropolitan and district councils, unitary authorities and London boroughs. The elections are the first England-wide test of political opinion since last year's general election. Watford, Hackney, Newham, Lewisham and Tower Hamlets will elect mayors while the first-ever mayor for the Sheffield City Region will also be chosen. There are no local elections in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. However, a parliamentary by-election for the Westminster seat of West Tyrone is taking place. Live updates: English local elections Declarations times and what to watch out for Polls close in West Tyrone by-election About two thirds of the results will be declared overnight on Friday. The rest are being counted during the day on Friday with results expected during the afternoon. There will be rolling BBC News coverage online, with BBC TV election specials running overnight from 23:45 BST on BBC One and on Friday afternoon on BBC Two. There will also be full coverage on the BBC News Channel and, on radio, on 5 live. What are the results in your council election? Enter your postcode or council name to find out Search for councils RESULT NOT IN YET In most cases, the seats being contested were last fought in 2014, when Labour, UKIP and the Greens made gains, while the Conservatives and Lib Dems lost seats. Labour is defending the highest number of seats - more than 2,200 - and will be hoping for a strong showing in London, where it made gains in last year's general election. The Conservatives, who are defending about 1,350 seats, will hope to pick up votes in Leave-backing parts of the country. Conservative Party chairman Brandon Lewis has said he is expecting the results to be "difficult" for his party. Tests for the parties Image copyright EPA Analysis by the BBC's political editor Laura Kuenssberg The Labour Party is almost certain to make big advances in London, potentially taking some of the Tories' totemic councils like Wandsworth and it's not impossible they'll take Kensington too. But London is already a Labour city. The harder test for them to pass is to show that they can advance, in parts of the country where there are marginal Westminster constituencies - Swindon, Southampton, Watford. For the Tories, it is a case of stopping the rot. They dropped back, relative to Labour, in the general election. Traditionally, the governing party loses significant numbers of seats in local elections. But Theresa May is vulnerable. Her supporters have been fighting to stop the slide. It's possible though that the results may not see swathes of the country change hands. Read Laura's full blog Eyes will be on long-held Conservative councils in London, such as Wandsworth and Westminster, to see if Labour can win control. Fifty seats are being contested on another Conservative stronghold - Kensington and Chelsea Council for the first time since the Grenfell Tower disaster, which killed 71 people. The council has faced much local anger over its handling of the tragedy. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionLocal elections 2018: Timing of some council results All parties will be hoping to pick up seats from UKIP. The Eurosceptic party picked up 161 seats in 2014 - the same day it topped the European elections. But since the 2016 EU Referendum it has seen a decline in popularity and is only putting up candidates in 540 seats - compared with 2,193 in 2014. The Lib Dems will be hoping to regain councils they lost to the Conservatives in 2014, as well as picking up seats lost when they were in coalition. They will be hoping to appeal to Remain voters in parts of London they used to control but leader Sir Vince Cable has warned against expecting "spectacular progress". The Greens are defending 31 seats, including in Norwich, Oxford, Solihull and Sheffield and will be hoping to make gains in the South Yorkshire city, where the Labour council has come under fire for felling thousands of trees in public areas. Image copyright PA Image caption There were reports of voters being turned away for not having the correct ID There were reports on Thursday of some people being prevented from voting after turning up without the required identity documents, in areas which are trialling voter ID. Swindon, Woking, Watford, Gosport and Bromley were running the trials. One Bromley councillor said on Twitter that five people had been unable to vote and that long delays were putting more off. And in Woking, a councillor said a voter was turned away because his form of ID, a Surrey County Council document with his picture on it, was not accepted. Labour said the government had been warned by charities, academics and the equalities watchdog that it would have a "disproportionate impact" on older people as well as black and minority ethnic communities and transgender and disabled voters. But the prime minister's spokesman said the "vast majority" of people had voted without a problem. "This is a pilot, an evidence-based approach, and obviously we will consider the pilot and decide the best way to go forward," he said. View the full article
  13. 28 April 2018 Image copyright Getty Images Merger talks between British supermarket chains Sainsbury's and Asda are at an "advanced" stage, Sainsbury's has confirmed. The two brands are expected to be retained should a merger go ahead. Sainsbury's and Asda - the UK arm of Walmart - are the second and third largest supermarkets in the UK. The combined group would comprise 2,800 stores and would represent around 30% of the UK grocery market - similar to that of market leader Tesco. 'Game changer' "Sainsbury's confirms that it and Walmart Inc. are in advanced discussions regarding a combination of the Sainsbury's and Asda businesses," a statement from its holding company, J Sainsbury plc, said. A further announcement is expected on Monday morning. Richard Lim, from economics research consultancy Retail Economics, said the merger would be a "game changer in the UK grocery market of epic proportions". "The potential tie-up would see the combined business take Tesco head-on," he added. Aldi tops supermarket satisfaction survey Thousands of jobs at risk at Sainsbury's Tesco profits up as turnaround continues George MacDonald, editor of Retail Week, said the grocery industry had been shaken up by low-cost supermarkets such as Aldi and Lidl. "So maybe this type of mega deal will get the go ahead by the Competition and Markets Authority," he said. "This is quite audacious by Sainsbury's - given it has only recently bought Argos. It's symptomatic though of the restructuring of the supermarket industry." Sainsbury's took over catalogue retailer Argos and Habitat for £1.4bn in 2016. In 2017, Tesco merged with Booker - the UK's largest food wholesaler. 'Different customers' Analysis, by BBC business editor Simon Jack Image copyright Reuters The two parties realise that the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will have some serious questions to ask. Sainsbury's concedes that some store disposals will be required to satisfy them, so the 30% market share figure may well go down. Having said that, sources close to the deal say the market has changed in the last few years and point to the Tesco Booker merger as evidence that the CMA understands that. Sainsbury's is continuing to integrate Argos into its network and sees an opportunity to roll out Argos in Asda stores. The two brands will be retained as they appeal to a different customer but they see a good geographical fit, with Asda stronger in the north and Sainsbury's in the south. Asda was founded in Yorkshire in 1965. It was bought by US retail giant Walmart in 1999. The first ever Sainsbury's store opened in 1869 in London's Drury Lane. View the full article
  14. 27 April 2018 Home Secretary Amber Rudd has apologised for not being aware of "specific" migrant removal targets. The Guardian reported a June 2017 leaked memo from an official, copied to Ms Rudd, that referred to targets. Ms Rudd tweeted on Friday that she had not seen the memo and apologised for not being aware of the targets. Ms Rudd added that she would make a statement to the House of Commons on Monday in response to "legitimate questions" about illegal migration. View the full article
  15. 26 April 2018 Image copyright PA Knife crime rose by 22% in England and Wales in 2017, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The figures - which cover crimes recorded by the police - also showed an 11% increase in firearms offences. A separate survey on the public's experience of crimes in the two countries said there had been no change in overall violent offences. The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) said most types of crime stayed at similar levels to 2016. It added that eight-in-10 adults had not experienced any crimes asked about in the survey throughout 2017. 'I realised I don't need to carry a knife' Knife-related hospital admissions rise How can we solve violence at a local level? Whilst some of the increases in recorded crimes are explained by changes in the way police report them, the ONS warned that some of the statistics showed a genuine rise in the offence - such as the 9% increase in burglaries and the 33% increase in robbery. Recorded homicides were also up by 9% in 2017 to 688 - including the victims of terror attacks in London and Manchester. In 2016, the number of homicides - 697 - included the 96 cases of manslaughter from the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, which were recorded by a coroner that year. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionKnife crime: What's it like to be stabbed?Alexa Bradley, who focuses on crime statistics and analysis for the ONS, said the two sets of figures showed the "picture of crime" had been "fairly stable", with levels much lower than the peak seen in the mid-1990s. But she said the "high harm" offences, such as homicide, knife crime and gun crime, were on the up, which was "a trend that has been emerging over the previous two years." Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said the rise in these violent incidents was "unacceptably high", and they were "a national problem that required national solutions from the government". Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption'Young people don't want to talk to police' Key statistics from police recorded crimes in 2017 39,598 offences involving a knife or sharp instrument - up from 32,448 in 2016 6,604 offences involving firearms - up from 5,864 in 2016 688 homicides, including terror attacks in London and Manchester, compared to 697 - but when the terror attacks and Hillsborough are excluded, there was a rise of 9% from 601 homicides to 653 74,130 recorded robbery offences - up from 55,824 in 2016 SOURCE: ONS The CSEW showed a significant fall in computer misuse cases - which were only introduced as part of the figures last year. The 28% drop in incidents, apparently down to a reduction in computer viruses, led to an overall fall in the number of crimes estimated by the survey. But both the CSEW and police recorded figures showed a rise in vehicle crime, with the former estimating a 17% rise in vehicle-related theft and the latter recording a 16% increase in vehicle offences. View the full article