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tv   BBC World News  BBC America  January 1, 2015 10:30am-11:01am EST

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hello, i'm david eades with "bbc world news." our top stories. after a year in jail, a retrial is ordered for three al jazeera journalists convicted of aiding the muslim brotherhood in egypt. >> if you work for al jazeera, automatically, you are a member in the muslim brotherhood, it is not true, and it is illegal. china's president demands an immediate investigation into new year celebrations in shanghai, which left 36 people dead after a stampede. the first victim from the crashed airasia flight has been released back to the family. nine bodies have been recovered so far. and south korea welcomes
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north korea's proposal to hold talks. it hopes for a dialogue to be open soon. hello, thanks for joining us. egypt's top court has ordered a retrial of three al jazeera journalists jailed for spreading false news. the decision is the result of an appeal by the three, the former bbc correspondent peter greste, mohamed fahmy, and baher mohamed. they all deny collaborating with the banned muslim brotherhood. they say they were simply reporting the news. mohamed fahmy's fiancee said she was disappointed that they were still being held in custody. >> when i first arrived to the court, i was having hope that he might be released, that it might be a miracle somehow, and it's
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out with us, but unfortunately it didn't happen. the retrial is a very long and very lengthy process. it might take up to a year. >> the three journalists were sentenced to between seven and ten years in prison. they've now spent a year in jail. and with no bail granted, they must stay in custody until their new trial, which defense lawyers say could take place within the month. now, the high-profile case has also led to a high-profile international campaign driven by fellow journalists, colleagues and friends of the three on social media and elsewhere, calling for their release. lisa hamperley has this. >> reporter: waiting for the decision. there were hopes that the three journalists would be released on bail. their convictions in the summer for spreading false news were a vindictive farce, said amnesty international. it's a year since their arrest. now they're being told they'll
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have to stay in custody until a new trial. >> they assumed that if you worked for al jazeera, automatically you are a member in the muslim brotherhood. it is not true and it is illegal. and because of that, i think the court will have the decision of retrial, because it's against the logic that if you work in any media, you are a member in any community. >> reporter: there were hopes of a presidential pardon, but egyptian law says that can't happen while the case continues. >> according to the lawyers, they're saying that the retrial should start within a month, and that the only chance for bail, which we were hoping for today, a release today, the only chance would be from the first retrial session. so we just have to wait and see. >> i have mixed feelings. i don't know what to feel. if i should be optimistic, or scared from what will happen. but we will keep fighting until
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the end. it's a long battle. and i'm very concerned about mohamed's health. >> reporter: al jazeera says the proceedings are a step in the right direction. >> it shows the whole process and trial was actually flawed, and this is a situation that we maintain from the beginning, and we demand that all the charges should be dropped, and our journalists should be released now. that's including the people who were sentenced in absentia. >> journalists around the world continue to campaign for their freedom. peter greste's family say today's decision is not as good as hoped. lisa hamperley, bbc news. >> with me is the senior correspondent for al jazeera english, a colleague of the three imprisoned al jazeera journalists. thanks very much for coming in. i'd like your reaction first of all to the word of a retrial. >> in a way, i'm not surprised. there has been so much pressure
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on egypt, so i think there was no other way of going forward other than a retrial. in another way, it's actually slightly disappointing, because if there hadn't been a retrial, that would have been the end of the legal process and the president of egypt has always said he won't consider a pardon unless the legal process has come to an end. so now we're looking at an open-ended situation, that we still don't know how long they're going to be incarcerated and how long this is going to take. >> do you think a pardon would be enough from the perspective of these three as well? they just want out. or do they want justice? >> i think in the end, egyptian justice is what it is. we need to get them out of prison. this is over a year now. and i don't just mean peter greste, who could well be sent to their home countries to carry out their sentence. but of course baher is egyptian as well. we need to get all three of them out. but we all want the conviction quashed. >> i want to come to your position in just a moment, which is more complicated, in many ways.
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but in terms of a retrial, what would your understanding be of how long it might take before it even starts? we were getting word of possibly within a month. >> that was a surprise to me. when i've been talking to our lawyers in egypt before now, they said it could be anything between 12 and 18 months between the appeal and the retrial actually starting. so we could be looking at late 2016, if that's the case. but you would hope now with the focus on egypt and so much pressure behind the scenes and of course in the media, that they would want to get on with this as quickly as possible. >> a real worry about being too optimistic about these thing. your position is that you have a ten-year jail sentence hanging over your head. put there in absentia. and this trial has no bearing on that, does it? >> no. indeed, my sentence won't start unless i actually turn myself in in egypt, or if they manage to get me to egypt in some way. but they have basically made it clear that the retrial has nothing to do with those that
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were tried in absentia. so even though they're saying the conviction no longer stands against the three guys who are in prison, and it's the same conviction against them as it is against us, they won't recognize that we also should be looking at a retrial, unless we turn up on egyptian soil, get arrested, get put in prison, and turn up at trial. >> the logic might be that if they're cleared, then you should feel you're cleared as well, but presumably, you need political help to get there. >> we do. and all of those who have been tried in absentia need to be calling on their governments, and that's what i'll be doing with the british government. we talked to them before about how important it is that they are involved in this and that whenever they have relations with egypt, whether in person or with any kind of investment, military help, whatever they're doing, we always get mentioned on the table that this has to be brought to an end, because we are two britons involved here, and the british government are the only ones that can be doing that for us. >> we wait to see what develops. thanks very much indeed.
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the arrest and subsequent jailing of the three led to outrage on social media, as i was saying earlier. also a huge campaign for their release. over the course of the year, journalists across the world staged silent protests in solidarity. this was outside the bbc headquarters here, in fact, in june. the point of which they were convicted. global days of action have been held. there have been thousands of messages of support. hash tights like #freeajstaff and #journalismisnotacrime. they've been trending on twitter. since the announcement today, plenty of reaction again on social media. the three men all have their own twitter accounts. this was the message which appeared on mohamed fahmy's site. says, a retrial is a milestone toward victory in our free press battle. our spirits are bulletproof. we'll keep across that story, of course, here on "bbc world news" and on the website, bbc.com/news. let's catch up on other stories.
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people in shanghai have been placing flowers at the site where new year celebrations turned to tragedy. as 36 people were killed in a stampede, another 40 or so were injured. the crush happened in shanghai's historic river front area known as the bund. this report from the bbc's john sudworth in shanghai. >> reporter: because of safety concerns, this year, shanghai's celebrations were meant to be smaller in scale, but photos show a major public order disaster unfolding. the stampede reportedly caused by someone throwing paper money from a window. the injured were taken to a number of hospitals where relatives faced a distressing wait for news. >> translator: i just want to know what's going on inside the hospital. many relatives had asked to go inside and asked the hospital to give us a list of the injured,
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including the conscious and unconscious ones, but nobody got back to us. >> reporter: shanghai, one of china's showcase cities with 24 million residents, traditionally celebrates its new year on the bund, and once again, thousands packed on to the historic waterfront. one of the injured says people were trying to move in opposite directions. >> translator: we were down the stairs and wanted to move up. those who were upstairs wanted to move down. so we were pushed down by the people coming from upstairs. all those trying to move up fell down on the stairs. >> reporter: this year, the public fireworks display had been cancelled in a desire to limit numbers, but the force of the crowd is clear from this footage showing the damage caused by the crush. china's president xi jinping has ordered a speedy investigation and for lessons to be learned. john sudworth, bbc news, shanghai. you're watching "bbc world news." let's bring you some other news from around the world now. in nigeria, a bomb has exploded at a military barracks in gombe.
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there have also been reports of gunfire. it's not yet known if there are casualties. the explosion itself follows an attempted attack at another barracks on wednesday. a tropical storm that passed through the philippines this week has left more than 50 people dead. the storm hit the south and the center of the country. winds of up to 80 kilometers an hour gusting. authorities have criticized some people for ignoring the storm warnings. in his first public ceremony of the new year, pope francis has prayed for blessings for the entire human family, as he put it. thousands of people crowded into st. peter's square to see him and to listen to him. celebrating mass in the morning in st. peter's basilica, francis asked that god grant peace to our days. a passenger aboard the airasia flight which disappeared last week has become the first victim to be returned to her family. nine bodies have been recovered so far.
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this comes as search crews struggle against wind and heavy rain to find all those still missing. 162 people in all were on that flight. it disappeared en route from surabaya to singapore. indonesian officials in jakarta, who are running the search and recovery operation, have given us an update. >> translator: air operations have been carried out this morning. aircraft have been to the area, and up until now, there has been no report of the discovery of bodies or plane parts on the site. hopefully, with the operation from the air and sea, more can be found again today. now, south korea has welcomed an offer by the north korean leader kim jong-un for high level talks. they've described it as meaningful and suggested that dialogue could resume soon. kim jong-un's rather sudden announcement was made during his traditional new year message.
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he said he would even be prepared to hold a summit with the south korean president if pyongyang's conditions were met. for more, we spoke to the bbc's kevin kim in seoul. >> yes, for kim jong-un, the new year's day speech has become somewhat an annual ritual. here in seoul, officials do keep a close watch about what is said. this is his third new year's speech since he took power after his father's death. in the first speech he gave two years ago, the main topic was trying to improve the economy. last year, after the purge of his uncle, he spent a lot of time emphasizing stability and the importance in the role of the worker's party. today the focus was clearly on improved relations with the south. today, kim jong-un said through increased dialogue and exchanges with the south, a great
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transformation and reform would take place this year in ties with its neighbor. he said if conditions were met, a summit meeting with the south korean president could also be considered. >> kevin kim in seoul. do stay with us here on "bbc world news." a lot more still to bring you, including -- well, it's 2015 everywhere now on this planet of ours. we'll have a look at some of the wonderful celebrations you've been enjoying. discover brookside and discover an exciting combination of tastes. rich, dark chocolate covering soft centers. flavored with exotic fruit juices. it's chocolate and fruit flavors like you've never experienced before. discover brookside.
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you're watching "bbc world news." i'm david eades. the latest headlines. egypt's highest court has ordered a retrial of three al jazeera journalists convicted of spreading false news. new year celebrations in shanghai turn to tragedy after 36 people were killed in a crush. afghanistan has officially taken full control of its own security from today after united states and nato combat missions formally came to an end. some foreign troops will stay in
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the country, mainly in training and support roles. all this, though, just a day after a rocket hit a wedding party in the southern helmand province, killing at least 20 people. >> as of today, some 350,000 afghan troops will now responsible for the security of the entire country. there was a ceremony at the palace this morning where the new president ashraf ghani addressed his troops, congratulating them on the new role, saying how proud he was of them and how the country was firmly behind them. but as you say, the challenges ahead are many. the attack you referred to on the wedding party last night in the province of helmand interestingly took place in a district sanguine, which had been handed over to the afghans more than six months ago, and since then has seen fierce fighting between the afghan security forces and the taliban, and we understand that a stray rocket hit the wedding party just as they were about to enter
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the house in which the wedding was due to take place, and unfortunately, most of the victims are women and children, but as you said, perhaps a sign really of how unsettling things could be from now on. >> and we're bound to be focusing on that and looking very carefully and attentively to see what impact the taliban might yet have now in afghanistan. how much emphasis would be placed now on relations between afghanistan and pakistan, of course, to try to bring some sort of sense of the not closure, at least stability to the situation? >> well, interestingly enough, david, soon after the attack on that school in pakistan in the city of peshawar last month, pakistan's army chief general was here in kabul the following day to hold talks with his afghan counterpart, general karimi, and a few days later, general karimi was in pakistan to hold talks again with the pakistani army, and both times,
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john campbell, who's the general in charge of the nato troops here, which were in charge earlier, and of course now is merely a supporting force. and the discussion centered around possible counterterrorism cooperation, and therefore a lot of people think that perhaps that's the key to what lies ahead, how much these two countries, which have had significant differences in the way they view these things, can put aside those differences and perhaps join forces to try and target what's increasingly being seen by some as a common enemy. now, if you're as old as i am, you may once upon a time had a brick at your disposal. that's what the earlier mobile phones were called. it's a full 30 years now since the first mobile phone call was made here in the uk. our technology correspondent has this report. >> reporter: remember when this was the only way of making a phone call if you were out and about.
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all of that changed just after midnight on new year's day, 1985. michael harrison sneaked out of his family's party in surrey and made his way to london's parliament square. there he made the uk's first mobile phone call to his father, sir ernest harrison, chairman of a new firm. >> my father was at his home down in surrey. when he answered the phone, i could say to him, hi, dad, mike here, happy new year, this is the first call ever made on a uk mobile network. >> reporter: and what was the signal like? >> it was just like making a normal telephone call. it was very clear. it was just a very normal, natural thing to do, it seemed. >> reporter: exciting new technology, but at first only for the few. the first phones cost a fortune and were really meant just to be used in cars. you didn't want to take one of these out with you. then a few years later, this
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little beauty came along, and the mobile revolution could really get under way. hello. hello? >> now the telephone has evolved into the vodafone. there's nothing unusual about seeing phones on the road. ror. vodaphone was competing with another new mobile phone company run by b.t., and the engineers testing the network knew they were under pressure to get there first. >> we made the decision on christmas eve that we would go live on the first of january, because we wanted to be first in the field, and we wanted beat b.t. with their cell network and be first on the scene. >> reporter: by the late 1980s, the mobile phone was already a status symbol, an essential yuppie accessory, and 30 years on, it's hard to remember how we got on in the days when we weren't constantly connected.
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now, if you ever wondered what you would take with you if you were leaving your home for the very last time? all this week, we've been hearing from people who have had to make that decision. debbie epstein left south africa in 1962 when the government was targeting anti-apartheid activists. this is her story. >> i'm debbie epstein. i'm originally from south africa. and my piece of home is my mother's saucepan. >> 156 people nearly all africans have been on trial since december. >> i can't remember the exact number. i think it was something like 156 anti-apartheid activists were arrested and charged with treason. most of them were black. among them were nelson mandela, water sissulu. and there was no provision for
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them to be fed or anything like that in the middle of the day. so a group of white liberal women, one of whom was peter hain's mother, and one was my mother, fed the people on trial. so the saucepan the two saucepans, which were used to cook the enormous stews, used to often pick me up on the way to the court with the stews. and we would go to the courthouse and we would feed the people who were on trial. she was a very good cook in that particular tradition of, you know, eastern european, baltic, jewish cookery. and the saucepans were important to her partly for practical reasons because she was a very
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practical woman, but partly because they had this link back to -- i think she purchased them specially for feeding the people on the treason trial. and when they were leaving south africa under a political threat, that was -- it was important to them. yeah, it was difficult. it was a difficult time. and i was very distressed for some years. so when i cook with the pot, it always makes me think of my mother and of those times. >> debbie epstein from 1962. let's have a look at 2015, as it is very fresh at the moment. from sydney's harbor bridge, to the beaches of rio, cities all over the world have been marking the start of the year with their explosion of fireworks, as is traditional, and that sense of competition coming with it.
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the union between between king henry of england and catherine of aragon is declared null and void. henry: i want to present you as my future wife and the future queen of england. we are gathered here together to join in holy matrimony this man and this woman. now, my love let me conceive, and we will have a son. here's to the boleyns. england's new queen! what of this girl, this putan, the king's whore? anne boleyn. why doesn't someone just get rid of her? i will never agree to be judged by the pope in this matter.

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