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tv   BBC News at Six  BBC News  September 17, 2019 6:00pm-6:31pm BST

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today at six — who's right, the prime minister or parliament? an historic case at the highest court in the land. the supreme court has been asked to judge whether borisjohnson‘s suspension of parliament was lawful or not — here's the case against him. no prime minister has abused his powers, in the manner in which we allege, in at least the last 50 years. the judges will consider thousands of pages of evidence before deciding whether the suspension was illegal orjust politics. the government's lawyers say the suspension isjust the government's lawyers say the suspension is just politics. it's quite clear that the reasons for seeking to exercise the prerogative of prorogation may be political. the court was told the prime minister will comply with whatever the court's ruling is. also tonight...
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people across britain deserve a better choice than an entitled etonian or a 19705 socialist. jo swinson makes her first conference speech as the lib dems' leader, saying she's aiming for government. cricketer ben stokes hits out at the sun newspaper — saying its front page story about his family is utterly disgusting. how do you persuade a whole community to get fitter? we've been following progress in the lancashire town of fleetwood. sarah, you must feel ecstatic? i feel a little sick. and no wonder — sarah thomas, just minutes after becoming the first person to swim across the channel four times non—stop. and coming up on bbc news: liverpool get their champions league defence under way later on, as the competition group stages take place. they‘ re in napoli. more coming up later.
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good evening, and welcome to the bbc news at six. the supreme court — the highest in the land — has begun hearing a case that could make history, defining the relationship between parliament and prime minister. the question it's being asked to rule on is whether borisjohnson behaved lawfully when he suspended parliament for five weeks — longer than is usual. today, that decision was described as an "abuse of power". but those arguing for the prime minister believe he was acting in a political capacity, which has nothing to do with the law. our home editor mark easton reports from the supreme court. but the country voted, didn't they, to leave? where does power lie in this troubled land?
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how can you be so stupid? you tell us lie, after lie, after lie! with the brexit rift in noisy evidence outside the uk's supreme court today... all rise. ..inside, the 11 most seniorjudges in the land sat in courtroom number one to consider that question, and make it clear they were not there to judge the merits of brexit. the determination of this legal issue will not determine when and how the united kingdom leaves the european union. a month after becoming pm, was borisjohnson‘s request to the queen that parliament be suspended for five weeks a ruse to silence mps opposed to a no—deal brexit? scottish judges did think it stymied the house of commons, ruling it unlawful. the high court of england and wales disagreed, arguing it was a matter for politicians, not judges. representing the remain campaigner
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gina miller against the government, lord pannick told the justices borisjohnson had acted unlawfully. no prime minister has abused his powers, in the manner in which we allege, in at least the last 50 years. without a written constitution, the relationship between the three pillars of uk governance is always evolving. you've got parliamentary power, of course, based over there. then you've got the government's power, focused on 10 downing street, behind the walls of whitehall. and then you have the power of the courts, ultimately resting here, at the supreme court. and what we're seeing this week is that balance of power being tested. the geography of westminster reveals the triangle of power at the heart of the state. lord pannick focused on the relationship between parliament and government, describing ministers as the junior partner. he also argued the courts were entitled to rule on the legality of downing street's suspending, or proroguing, parliament. the prime minister's
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motive was to silence parliament for that period, because he sees parliament as an obstacle. lord pannick quoted from this bbc interview, to suggest borisjohnson‘s real purpose was not a queen's speech but achieving brexit by halloween. the best way to do that is if our friends and partners over the channel don't think that brexit can be somehow blocked by parliament. i went to bed in a democracy, and i woke up in a dictatorship. you were pointing at parliament rather accusingly there. get rid of it! shut it down. move it to birmingham, out the way, lovely. this afternoon, it was the turn of the uk government, in the form of the advocate general for scotland, lord keen. the prime minister will take all necessary steps to comply with any declaration made by the court. he'd come with an undertaking from the prime minister, but he also referred to westminster‘s balance of power,
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suggesting the supreme court would be meddling in what were political matters if it ruled against the government. the court is not equipped to decide what is a legitimate political consideration and what is an illegitimate political consideration. the legal arguments may seem dry, but there are deep passions at play, asjudges unpick the complex relationship between legitimate power and political ambition. and mark's outside the supreme court now. there has been a lot of speculation about what the prime minister might do. how important was today's assurance? you heard me talk about that declaration. i think what the prime minister was saying as he would do whatever was necessary to respond to the decision of the court. but the justices then asked a number of questions. they said, would you ask the queen to recall
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parliament? would you potentially prorogue, suspend parliament for a second time? in the uk government's lawyer to that said, i am not in a position to comment. at which point the justices said, position to comment. at which point thejustices said, in position to comment. at which point the justices said, in that case, that undertaking, we would like that in writing if you don't mind. it has also emerged today the attorney general, robert butland, at the cabinet meeting this morning, warned ministers and the prime minister that in these three broiled times, it would be unwise for any politician to question the independence of the judiciary. clearly, i think there is a real concern at the highest level that some dangerous constitutional line may be about to be crossed. mark, thank you very much. the liberal democrat leader, jo swinson, has closed her party conference by saying she has "no limit" to her ambition for the party. she told activists that if they won an outright majority at the next general election,
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she would move to stop brexit "on day one". our chief political correspondent, vicki young, reports from bournemouth. on the march, the liberal democrats have a new young leader, what they hope is a distinctive anti brexit message and a clutch of mps who have joined from other parties. jo swinson is taking a relaxed approach to her first conference as leader but will she take the party in the right direction? cheering and applause there is certainly plenty of ambition. today, i am standing here as your candidate for prime minister. this isa candidate for prime minister. this is a party passionate about staying in the eu. its campaign for in the eu. its campaignfora in the eu. its campaign for a second referendum for yea rs its campaign for a second referendum for years but today there was no mention of that. we must stop brexit. applause and we are crystal clear, a liberal
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democrat majority government will revoke article 50 on day one. she promised a well—being budget, where all government policies measured by its impact on quality of life and an investment bank for green projects and protected spending on mental health. as for her political opponents, she didn't think much of borisjohnson‘s use of language. big girls blouse... girly swot. if he thinks being a woman is somehow in weakness, he is about to find out it is not! cheering and applause as for the others... nigel farage might be brexit by name but it is very clearjeremy corbyn is brexit by nature. and she is hoping other remain voters will agree with that. jo swinson wants voters to see the liberal democrats as the strongest
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anti—brexit party faster she thinks politics are so volatile, there is no reason why she can't be prime minister. here, they love the ambitious talk but too many it's sounding like an unrealistic message. so, in the places the lib dems want to win back at an election, is their strategy hitting the right note? mid dorset is conservative and voted leave. among these choir members in wimborne, brexit is as desired divisive as everywhere else. i'm in two minds about the lib dems and what they actually want. they tend to say things just for the votes are not necessarily follow through on it. her husband steve backed brexit. i feel that, you know, it. her husband steve backed brexit. ifeel that, you know, we it. her husband steve backed brexit. i feel that, you know, we should leave because that's what we decided in the referendum. across the road, businesswoman linda is likely to abandon the conservatives because of
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brexit. i feel the abandon the conservatives because of brexit. i feelthe only abandon the conservatives because of brexit. i feel the only party that really does have a very clear picture is the liberal democrats and i believe that, as things stand today, that is what i would be doing, voting liberal democrat.“ an election comes in, brexit will dominate and success for the lib dems will depend on traditional party allegiances shifting. vicki young, bbc news. the england cricketer ben stokes has described a front—page article in the sun newspaper about a family tragedy 31 years ago as "immoral" and the "lowest form ofjournalism". in a statement, he said the paper's decision to publish the story would have "grave and lifelong consequences for his mother in particular". the sun has told the bbc that the events it describes were a matter of public record. here's our sports editor, dan roan. from world cup winner to ashes hero, this has been a season to savour for ben stokes, but just this has been a season to savour for ben stokes, butjust two days after the final test of the summer,
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english cricket's biggest star finds himself embroiled in a bitter row with the sun newspaper over what he condemned as an immoral and heartless article about a family tragedy more than 30 years ago. in a statement today, ben stokes said, it's hard to find words to adequately describe such low and despicable behaviour disguised as journalism. to use my name as an excuse to shatter the privacy and private lives of in particular my pa rents private lives of in particular my parents is private lives of in particular my pa rents is utterly private lives of in particular my parents is utterly disgusting. the decision to publish these details has grave and lifelong consequences for my mum in particular. this is the lowest form ofjournalism. ben stokes' heroics here at headingley this summer, where he produced one of the greatest innings ever seen to win the third ashes test elevated him to the status of national hero. with that, of course, comes interest into every aspect of his life, but he clearly feels that this story has gone well beyond what is acceptable. in a statement, the sun said it had the utmost sympathy for ben stokes and his mother but
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the story was told with the cooperation of a family member. added the tragedy is also a matter of public record and was the subject of public record and was the subject of extensive rampage publicity new zealand at the time. often what happens is an individual, they become high profile or become a celebrity. it becomes almost carte blanche that everything about them, their private life, their family, their private life, their family, their old friends, anything from their old friends, anything from their history, almost becomes fair game and many would argue that is not fair game and many would argue that is notfairand game and many would argue that is not fair and that the family and friends of that individual have a reasonable expectation to keep that information private. today, stokes received support from the ecb, his employer adding they we re the ecb, his employer adding they were appalled and saddened by the story for some thanks to his performances with both bat and ball, the all—rounder has become one of the all—rounder has become one of the most famous faces in british sport. now he's taken a stand off the field, too. dan roan, bbc news. police investigating the murder of an officer in berkshire have made a new arrest, and re—arrested three teenagers.
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pc andrew harper, who was 28, was killed near the village of sulhampstead last month while responding to reports of a burglary. he had married his wife lissiejust four weeks previously. a fifth man has already been charged. a former us marine — accused of spying in moscow — has told the bbc that he hasn't committed any crimes and that he was set up. paul whelan, who also has british, irish and canadian citizenship, was arrested in a moscow hotel room last year, when the russian government said he was caught receiving state secrets. today, his appeal against his detention was denied. the trial of four people accused of murdering the girl scout jodie chesney has begun. the 17—year—old was fatally stabbed in an east london park in march, while listening to music with friends. 20—year—old manuel petrovic, 19 year old svenson ong—a—kwie, and two youths, aged 16 and i7, all deny the charge against them. dan johnson reports from the old bailey.
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jodie chesney was described to the jury as a talented, popular, fun young woman who judged no one and loved everyone. those words came from her grieving family, who were at the old bailey today to hear those tributes read out at the start of this trial, to establish why she was killed so suddenly and by who. but at times today, some of the details were just too upsetting. jodie was in this park in east london with a group of friends one friday night back in march. one of them bought some cannabis from a local drug dealer and they were listening to music. cctv footage shows a car pulling up over there and two young men getting out, then heading across this field to the play area. one leapt this fence, one came through here. they went straight up tojodie and without exchanging a word, she was stabbed in the back. it was an attack apparently without motive.
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today, the jury heard the car belonged to manuel petrovic, who's 20. also on trial is svenson ong—a—kwie, i9, alongside a 16 and 17—year—old we can't show because of their age. even though the prosecution says only two of them left the car, they're all accused of and all deny murder. the prosecution barrister described jodie as an entirely blameless individual who got caught in a row between drug dealers. he said her murder was a terrible but predictable consequence of an all too casual attitude towards knives. dan johnson, bbc news, at the old bailey. the time is 6:16pm. our top story this evening: the supreme court is being asked to make an historic judgement — who's right, the prime minister or parliament. a victory toast — how sarah thomas swam non stop for more than 50 hours to cross the channel four times. coming up on sportsday on bbc news —
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wales backs coach rob howley has been sent home from the world cup injapan for an alleged breach of world rugby‘s laws covering betting and anti—corru ption. how do you improve the health of an entire community? that was the challenge facing a gp in fleetwood in lancashire three years ago. he could see how unemployment, poverty and a lack of opportunity was affecting people's health. since then he's led efforts to turn things around. our correspondent dominic hughes has been following what's known as the healthier fleetwood initiative and here's his report from the coastal town. fleetwood, it's an old fishing town, you know what i mean? men are men. aq lot of men would rather step of the quay then turn
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around and openly admit that they've got a problem. this is a town where unemployment, poverty and a lack of opportunity have taken a terrible toll on health. hi, kev. but this breakfast club is a sign of positive change, of hope. service! the men's shed group in fleetwood was set up in response to a spate of suicides in the town. founder tony o'neill has struggled himself and he knows how hard it can be to seek out help. we think, well, we're men, we can't tell people that we're struggling or, we're hurting, we've got these thoughts. so, we keep them up here. and the more you keep them up here the more they build until there is nowhere for them to go, until you act. now, there's two ways you can act. you can either blurt it all out and ask for help and breakdown, or you can do, like i wanted to do, and walk off the end of the north pier. the men's shed gives men the space to talk if they want to. it's one of dozens of groups here supported by the healthier fleetwood initiative and led by local people that are
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beginning to make a difference. i'd underestimated how long this will i'd underestimated how long this would take, and i was expecting results within a year. it's now starting to happen and i think we've now got to that critical mass of numbers of people that are taking control of their lives. the signs of change can be seen in a reduction in the number of fleetwood residents turning up at the local a&e, or being admitted to hospital in an emergency. yes, i still have copd, yes, i still have angina... lives have been transformed. those like pauline, once very overweight, isolated and depressed, now taking control. it was about time i did something and i accepted responsibility for my own health, for my own well—being. i used to say healthier fleetwood has changed my life. but on reflection, healthier fleetwood has empowered me to change my life. for yea rs, fleetwood has been a town that's really struggled with the effects of ill health, both mental and physical.
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but the problems that are faced here are shared by communities right across the united kingdom. and so the success of efforts to improve the health of this community really matters. there are lessons here for all of us. as people live longer with lots of very complex conditions we can't just keep giving people more and more medicines and more and more appointments. there's not enough money and there's not enough staff to do it. so, finding different ways of tackling those problems is going to be absolutely critical, otherwise the nhs would fall over. three years in, healthier fleetwood seems to be making a difference. for those who take up the challenge, this project has the potential to be life changing and life—saving. dominic hughes, bbc news, fleetwood. a shortage of nurses in england is putting patient safety at risk according to a new study. the royal couege according to a new study. the royal college of nursing is warning that the rising rate of hospital admissions is dwarfing the recruitment of extra nurses to the
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nhs. the department of health says 52,000 nurses are in training. the assistant coach of the welsh rugby team — rob howley — has been sent home from the world cup injapan, for an alleged breach of laws covering betting and anti—corruption. the welsh rugby union says he's returned to wales to assist with an investigation and has been replaced by the former fly—half stephen jones. wales' opening game is against georgia in six days' time. voting is taking place in israel's general election, with prime minister benjamin neta nyahu fighting to hold on to power — that's after failing to form a governing coalition following a nationwide poll earlier this year. mr netanyahu has pledged to annex part of the occupied west bank — a move that critics say would do further damage to any prospect of peace between israelis and palestinians. our middle east editorjeremy bowen is in tel aviv this evening. jeremy. thanks very much. mr netanyahu has a
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reputation for making election promises and then not keeping them. but this time round, if he wins, he may keep that promise to annex land that palestinians want for a state. he has dominated israeli politics for the last generation and more than anything else this election is a referendum on mr netanyahu's record. in a feast ofjerky video, prime minister benjamin netanyahu has barely been off israeli social media. scoring selfies in hotspots of support and injerusalem's central bus station, urging his followers to get out to vote. he warned them that israel's palestinian citizens, around 20% of the population, were voting against him. his main opponent, benny gantz, a retired general, has been on his own election day tour. every vote counts in what both
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leaders expect to be a close election. mr gantz was army chief of staff, israel's senior general. that's worth trust and votes here. but some of his supporters fear he has shown political naivete by not pressing harder on corruption charges faced by mr netanyahu, which the prime minister denies. in opposition strongholds in tel aviv, queues of voters were waiting and hoping to end mr netanyahu's political career. what's wrong with netanyahu? everything. what's not wrong with him? he's corrupted, he hates everyone, he rules in fear, he is too much right wing. the netanyahu message, on the other hand, is that he's the only one, with his powerful friends, to protect israelis.
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but this could be the politician the prime ministerfears most, going walkabout in tel aviv, building on his power base of fellow immigrants from the former soviet union. this man, avigdor lieberman, may become the kingmaker after the election. his party might control the balance of power when it comes to forming the next governing coalition. one important factor, though, he used to be a major ally of the prime minister benjamin netanyahu and now they're opponents, even enemies. election days are national holidays in israel. leaders have begged their supporters to take a break from the beach to vote. a long night of counting awaits. jeremy bowen, bbc news, tel aviv. a woman who survived cancer has become the first person to swim across the english channel four times in a row. 37—year—old sarah thomas began the challenge in the early hours of sunday morning and finished after more than 5a hours. the swim was due to be about 80
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miles, but because of strong tides ms thomas ended up swimming closer to 130 miles. robert hall reports. exhausted but triumphant, as the first rays of the sun lit the shoreline ahead, sarah thomas reached out towards the end of her journey. here she comes. friends who had willed her to succeed during moments when her spirits ebbed were there on the pebbles to greet her. well done, sarah! what you've done is incredible. i was throwing up, i was sick. she said," you got this." my was sick. she said," you got this." my husband said, "keep going." this story of determination and stamina began in the early hours of sunday morning. sarah thomas said she used swimming to cope with her cancer treatment. she dedicated this challenge to those who have survived the disease. 5a hours and ten
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minutes crossing the world of‘s busiest shipping lanes. the biggest blow was definitely when i turned around at the halfway point here in dover. i was expecting to land on the beach and we had to touch the wall instead. i wasjust the beach and we had to touch the wall instead. i was just totally devastated. ijust go to a really quiet place in my head. when i was struggling through the second night, ijust kept struggling through the second night, i just kept repeating just struggling through the second night, ijust kept repeating just over and over for hours, i can swim through this night, i can swim through this night, ican this night, i can swim through this night, i can swim through this night. i almost didn't but ijust did, any! night. i almost didn't but ijust did, any i wanted to quitjust that affirmation, i can swim through this night. the four legs of the journey should have totalled 84 miles but the channel currents forced sarah to swim ina the channel currents forced sarah to swim in a series of loops so the actual distance was closer to i30 miles. kevin murphy, a cross—channel swimmer himself, was one of the official observers aboard the sarah's support boat. he says this
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new record is an extraordinary achievement. you can train as much as you like but if you haven't got the power to withstand the demons, the power to withstand the demons, the demons in your head which say you do this, if you can't fight those you never will do it. sarah thomas has been known to sleep for 24 hours after her swims. the physical and mental effects of this one will determine whether she can set her sights even higher. robert hall, bbc news, at sandgate in kent. amazing. time for a look at the weather. here's ben rich. the channel coast had the highest temperatures today, close to 21 degrees in some places, lots of sunshine, beautiful day across many parts of the uk but as you can see we have seen more cloud working in across scotland, you can see that cloud here on the satellite picture just rolling in around the top of an area of high pressure. but the cloud across the north—west of the uk is going to hold temperatures up as we going to hold temperatures up as we go through this evening and tonight, whereas further south across and
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wales where we keep hold of largely clear and starry skies, there may be a few mist patches but the temperatures will dip away, even towns and cities will get down to three or 4 degrees. newcastle for example. some spots in the countryside may get lower. northern ireland and scotland in the west are not quite as chilly because of the extra cloud. tomorrow the cloud will feed across scotland and into northern ireland, parts of northern england. any rain really confined to the north and east of scotland, caithness and sutherland to aberdeenshire, the odd spot over the hills in the west. the further south you come that's where we have the best sunshine, temperatures not far from where they have been today, 12 in aberdeen but 19 or 20 in the south. there could be some patchy fog around on thursday morning but that should lift and a clear and again we will see sunshine. northern areas might have patches of cloud floating around at times. temperatures on thursday showing signs of creeping upwards, 17—22 degrees. that sets the tone for the end of the week. high pressure is
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still weather is keeping things largely settled but as that high slips eastwards we start to waft some warm air in from the south, temperatures are likely to peak on saturday, in the south getting up to 25 or 26 degrees. edinburgh will be into the low 20s, a sign of a change on sunday, some showers and thunderstorms spreading from the west. thank you very much. on bbc one we canjoin the thank you very much. on bbc one we can join the news team is where you are on the bbc. goodbye.
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this is bbc news. the headlines: lawyers give evidence at the supreme court on the first of three days of hearings to determine if boris johnson broke

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