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tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 21, 2016 3:00am-3:31am GMT

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welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is mike embley. our top stories: explosions tear through a fireworks market in mexico — at least 29 people are killed and dozens more injured. so—called islamic state says one of its militants carried out the lorry attack in berlin — which left 12 people dead. police have released a man detained earlier, for lack of evidence. the body of the russian ambassador killed in turkey is flown back to moscow. six people are detained — as the investigation gathers pace. violence erupts in dr congo after president kabila's mandate ends. several cities have seen demonstrations — with reports of more than 20 people killed in kinshasa. a series of explosions has killed at least 29 people
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at mexico's most popular fireworks market, on the outskirts of the capital, mexico city. local police say dozens more are injured. earlier i spoke to our americas editor leonardo rocha for the latest. i saw some of the pitches in the footage. i saw some of the pictures in the footage that have been shown on mexican television and now everywhere else. which are spectacular in a horrible sort of way. it is an open—air market on the outskirts of mexico city. you see one explosion that then triggers a series of explosions. some of them seem to be fireworks and others seem to be blasts that might be gas canisters because people were cooking and selling food there. to be blasts that might be gas canisters because people were cooking and selling food there. it is really shocking.
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the amount of smoke that suddenly goes up as the explosions just go through, it is a vast area. some local media say that up to 2000 people were shopping there. it is a busy time of the year with christmas and new years celebrated in most places but in mexico certainly, with fireworks. very difficult to contain and it looks as though it would be difficult for people to escape. and there have been other instances like this before? twice — 2005 and 2006. this location has traditional fireworks used in religious festivals. i heard there were five other smaller incidents in this locality in recent times because where you have fireworks and lack of control, you end up having accidents. this seems to have just gotten completely out of control. it looks as though there would be no certainty over
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the casualties figures. the authorities said they retrieved 26 bodies from the location that many people had severe burns and taken to hospitals. up to 70, it was said at some stage. i think initially people didn't realise the scale of the disaster, of the tragedy. german police now say the driver of the lorry that crashed through a christmas market in berlin on monday evening may still be at large — and is believed to be armed. a man at one stage suspected of being the driver has now been released because of a lack of evidence but authorities insist they are following other leads. the extremist group, the so—called islamic state, has claimed responsibility for the attack. when the lorry drove at speed through the popular market at breitscheidplatz, near west berlin's main shopping street, 12 people were killed and around 50 injured, half of them seriously. 0ur correspondentjenny hill has the latest. first light this morning and the sheer violence of this attack dawns. the lorry crashed through the christmas crowds here, shattering everything, everyone in its path.
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this footage was taken in the immediate aftermath of the attack. bodies lie scattered under the twinkling lights. moments earlier, these people were eating, drinking, shopping, at one of berlin's most popular christmas markets. it's just amazing how a peaceful festive happy atmosphere just changed instantly and you have this scene of utter devastation. sara and rhys may never forget what they saw. obviously there was people lying on the floor. we weren't sure if it was red wine or if it was blood but we did see — i remember there were people trying to pick up the stalls, we decided to try to lift the stall up with them and we realised, you know, other people unfortunately underneath were already passed. the lorry itself is key to the investigation.
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it appears to have been hijacked, it belongs to a polish firm. today, the owner identified the man who should have been at the wheel. he was found shot dead in the passenger seat. even the police admit they still don't know who was driving. last night, they arrested a pakistani man who came to germany to seek asylum earlier this year. this evening, they released him without charge. the so—called islamic state group have claimed the attack. but tonight investigators say the individuals who did these are still at large. translation: we don't know with any certainty whether we are dealing with one perpetrator or with several. we don't know with any certainty whether he or they had any support. and now, just like nice, paris, brussels, berlin mourns. and the german chancellor must reassure her citizens. angela merkel is under pressure.
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just the suggestion that an asylum seeker may have been responsible has reignited a national debate over whether her refugee policy has put the country at risk. it would be particularly hard to bear, she says, if it turned out that the person who did this was someone who sought protection and asylum in germany. it would be particularly offensive to the many germans engaged daily in the task of helping refugees. tonight, a stillness in the heart of berlin. what, after all, is there to say? another terror attack in another european capital and 2a hours later it seems no—one here knows who did this or where they are now. karl kaiser is harvard university professor and an expert
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on german politics. he's in cambridge, massachusetts. good to talk to you. what would you say is the impact of this. not only the attack in the heart of berlin, particularly significant because of christmas but also the idea that maybe the suspect, possibly armed, is still at large? it will certainly fuelled the debate on refugee policy. angela merkel had no choice when in 2015 she opened the doors but by now there is a lot of criticism and there is a right—wing movement that had sprung up which will create quite a problem for her re—election later on in 2017. that of course has to be added to the general problem in europe of right—wing movement springing up
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everywhere and using, like in brexit, the issue of immigration. the formation of a coalition would be no —— more difficult. the formation of a coalition would be no -- more difficult. is it inevitable the right will game, that angela merkel will lose? is it as simple as that? no. at the moment, it reached 20% in regional elections but the fight is still ahead on what to do. angela merkel is not passive. she and the government have adapted to the new situation. basically, two things have happened. a flow of refugees has gone down and second, the government has moved, so to speak, to the right and meeting some
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of the demands. the problem for merkel is that she is attacked not only by the extreme right, the new small alternative the germany but also her sister in bavaria which wa nts also her sister in bavaria which wants and upper limit. last year, 890,000 people came and were registered. this year, around 230,000. the flow is going down although there are now more refugees coming from northern africa across the mediterranean to italy and that will of course increase the pressure on the north of europe but the external borders of european union are much more close than in the past —— closed at the policy of countries, including germany which was quite open, a much more closed. the conditionality for asylum seekers are much tougher will stop
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people get deported who are rejected as asylum seekers and there is a much more forward—looking policy of both german and the european union to help countries, particularly in africa, but also in the middle east, to avoid migration. that means that the turkey deal will have to be continued despite all of the problems with turkey and that much more aid will be given to africa and the european union just more aid will be given to africa and the european unionjust gave 600,000 euros to one country in europe that has —— to make people say. in the long—term, we don't know what the situation will be. no doubt, the right will use all kinds of accusations to increase their vote.
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exa rd accusations to increase their vote. exard but we will be back to the subject. thank you for talking to us. “— subject. thank you for talking to us. —— it sounds like we will be back. turkish police have detained six people after the assassination of the russian ambassador in ankara on monday. it's believed those being questioned are related to the off—duty police officer who opened fire. as the body of ambassador andrei karlov was flown back home, both the kremlin and turkish officials said the killing would not derail their negotiations about the war in syria. from ankara, mark lowen reports. a farewell to russia's ambassador, but in a way nobody could envisage. andrei karlov‘s body was flown back to moscow, the victim of an assassination. his government called him an "eternal symbol of russian— turkish friendship." his widow was barely able to watch. he was opening an exhibition in ankara last night, behind him, smartly dressed, his killer, a turkish policeman having cleared security with his police id. the gunman paces calmly,
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gearing up to strike, occasionally fumbling in his pocket. suddenly, he shoots. at the russian embassy today, tight security and tributes to an ambassador who'd served here for three years as russia and turkey fell out over syria. they back opposite sides in the war, but have recently reconciled. those who knew him called mr karlov a brilliant diplomat. this is a big tragedy for all of us. for all russian people. do you understand why there is anger against russia here? ah... i think i understand, but it is difficult to talk right now. the turkey—russia relationship has always been tricky, but this murder might actually bring them closer against the common enemy of terror. in syria they're helping each other achieve their goals — russian and regime control of aleppo, turkish influence in the north and, lacking many other allies at the moment, turkey and russia need each other.
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andrei karlov was one of russia's most seasoned diplomats, called softly spoken and professional. the russian embassy street here will be renamed in his honour. both countries have painted this as an attempt to derail ties. president erdogan said he and vladimir putin agreed it was a provocation. turkey's foreign minister has even suggested the gunman had links to the plotters behind the recent attempted coup. turkey's pliant press found its own conspiracies. some called it a cia operation, others a job by the west. the russian president said an investigation was under way into a treacherous murder and he urged solidarity. could the killer have been brainwashed in the police? these on line videos seem to show policemen made to chant nationalist, islamist slogans. one theory is that perhaps hatred was stirred up here. was he a lone wolf, a jihadist sympathiser? either way, a 22—year—old policeman became an assassin and russia wants answers.
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mark lowen, bbc news, ankara. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: out of the stratosphere — and into history: we hear from the man who made a fifteen minute freefall to earth. we saw this enormous tidal wave approaching the beach, and people started to run, and suddenly it was complete chaos. united states troops have been trying to overthrow the dictatorship of general manuel noriega. the pentagon said the operation had been 90% successful, but it's failed in its principal objective, to capture general noriega and take him to the united states to face drugs charges. the hammer and sickle was hastily taken away. the russian flag was hoisted over what is now no longer the soviet union, but
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the commonwealth of independent states. day broke slowly over lockerbie, over the cockpit of the pan—am's maid of the seas, nose—down in the soft earth. you could see what happens when a plane eight storeys high, a football pitch wide, falls from 30,000 feet. christmas has returned to albania after a communist ban lasting more than 20 years. thousands went to midnight mass in the town where there were anti—communist riots ten days ago. this is bbc news. i'm mike embley. the latest headlines: at least 29 people have been killed and dozens more injured after explosions tore through a fireworks market in mexico. the extremist group, the so—called islamic state has claimed one of its militants carried out the lorry attack in berlin which left 12 people dead. police have released a man detained earlier for lack of evidence. earlier media reports that the attacker may have been
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a refugee raised difficult questions for chancellor angela merkel. with elections in germany due next year, our europe correspondent, damian grammaticas, looks at the political reaction to the berlin attack. this evening a time of mourning, instead of advent celebrations. just yards from where the so—called islamic state claims it killed a dozen berliners, germans of all faiths gathered for this memorial. translation: we stand here together to send a strong signal that hate and terror will not drive us apart. 0ur unity is stronger than hate. angela merkel said she had no simple answers why a murderer brought death to a christmas market. nearby the city's main shopping street is cordoned off. the attack was a blow to the very heart of germany, that's why it is felt so deeply here. searching for clues
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about their suspect, this is where police raided at 3.00am, berlin's biggest asylum centre, the old airport. ahmed shared a room with a man who was woken and questioned for two hours. i am very angry, angry about what's happened yesterday. and i am very angry today about what's happened to me. what happened to you? i didn't do anything. treat me like a criminal man. germany has taken in over a million people since the migrant crisis began. before this week, three lone individuals had carried out attacks. no germans had died. angela merkel personally identified with the refugee policy has until now stuck to her welcome. from an afghan refugee she received thanks last month but today she was blamed for the attack by germany's far—right, hoping to turn successes in recent regional polls into national votes next year, they want tough new border controls. this chaotic migration policy is one of the factors because something
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like this can happen. we don't know who is in our country, of many, many people. we don't know what background they have, we don't know if terrorists are in germany and we have to stop this. here in germany a lasting impact of this attack may be political. questions of security seized op by those seeking to drain support from angela merkel in federal elections next year. further afield across europe, it serves as a reminder to political leaders that their support remains vulnerable to acts of terror and violence. a majority of germans have supported the welcome policy, provided it's for refugees fleeing war, voicing it even today. when people flee their countries and you see the danger there, we are obliged to help them, she says. 0thers worry about the threats. 0ur politicians need to wake up, he adds, fear is growing but they're not spending on security. it all means the question of who carried out the attack, whether it was someone
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welcomed as a refugee, is crucial for angela merkel and her vision of a free, open germany. in one of his final moves to protect the environment before leaving office, president 0bama has banned new offshore oil drilling in the arctic, and off much of the atlantic seaboard, for at least five years. the incoming trump administration favours more drilling and more use of fossil fuels, but mr 0bama invoked a 1953 law which will be difficult for the president—elect to reverse. over 20 people have been killed in kinshasa, the capital of the democratic republic of congo. gunfire has also been heard in lubumbashi. there's anger after presidentjoseph kabila refused to stand down when his term ended on monday. tomas fessy is in kinshasa. they are blowing whistles to remind
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presidentjoseph kabila of the end of his term. these young congolese want him step down. and so they are occupying the streets and mountain barricades to show their anger. translation: we will be out on the streets until he leaves. we are not afraid of him and his forces. he has got to go. there was no election as planned this year. it has sparked a political crisis. translation: we are not here in support of the opposition either. we are here for our own rights. we have seen similar scenes around the city. people are out in the streets shouting "kabila, out, kabila, out," and defying forces. there is no mass demonstration because of heavy security at the moment but we have seen running battles because of protesters and military forces in many parts of the city. the threat is ever present.
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the security forces are firing live rounds. and they are also sweeping the neighbourhood, making arrests. earlier on, one of the main opposition leaders, this 84—year—old, atiene, posted a video on social media. translation: i launch a solemn appeal to the congolese people, do not recognise the legal and legitimate authority ofjoseph kabila, and peacefully resist his coup d'etat. protests were also recorded in other cities across the country. there were demonstrations in lubumbashi, and boma, where four people were killed. mobs attacked the electoral building.
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they burnt a tribunal as well. fighting broke out near kananga when a local militia attacked the army. back in kinshasa, the newly appointed prime minister read a short declaration to the press, but he did not take any questions. translation: for the youth, i reiterate my commitment to respond to their expectations and aspirations for the improvement of their own being and i urge them not to succumb to despair and manipulation. coming from the opposition, he was expelled from his party five years ago. he recently signed a deal with the ruling coalition to accept thatjoseph kabila remain in power. the roads of the main capital were deserted for a second day. but in a city where millions struggle to scrape together daily necessities, how long can it remain a ghost town? bbc news, kinshasa. if you're scared of heights perhaps you should look away now.
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one man who isn't is alan eustace, a senior google executive, who in 2014, broke the world record for the highest parachute jump. he took a balloon more than 135,000 feet into the stratosphere and skydived back to earth. the space suit he wore is now on display at the smithsonian's national air and space museum in virginia. jane o'brien kept her feet firmly on the ground and went to take a look. what goes up must come down, but simply reaching the earth's stratosphere was the first challenge for alan eustace. it took more than two hours to ascend 25 miles and around 15 minutes to parachute back to earth, at times travelling faster than the speed of sound. previous explorers used complicated platforms and capsules, mr eustace used a balloon and a very special suit. what was really unique about this is we tried to build a space suit that was equivalent to scuba diving, where the tanks were included so that i didn't have to disconnect from a capsule, i didn't have to have a heavy capsule to go up. all i had to do was like scuba diving. ijust went up in a suit
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in an environment that was capable of sustaining me during that period of time. that suit is now on display at the national air and space museum in virginia, home to many other artefacts of space exploration which in the 1960s inspired mr eustace. everyone i know dreamed of being an astronaut. everybody i know dreamed of being above the atmosphere, to be able to look at the curviture of the earth, the darkness of space, the beautiful thin atmosphere. and i guess in my case, that dream never really went away. even at 57 years old, i'm stilldreaming. remarkably, the record—breaking suit was made relatively cheaply, using exhisting technology and materials. mr eustace and his team simply discovered new ways to apply it. such as how to heat thermal underwear with the water system. the hot water just circulates around my chest and then on my legs and then goes back to be reheated. why do you need to be kept warm? because it is cold up there. the higher that you go through the troposphere, the colder it gets, and eventually, we'll get up to minus 110—120 degrees fahrenheit. mr eustace, a keen skydiver
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and pilot did not have to spend years at nasa learning how to be an astronaut. so, could anyone do this? could i do this? you could certainly do this. the way we designed the system was, you know, if everything went wrong, if i was unconscious, they had to be able to get me from 135,000 feet down to the ground safely if i did nothing. so, if you are capable of doing nothing, i think you could do it. with many sights set on the moon and mars, the earth's stratosphere remains largely unexplored. but this suit, or something like it, puts it within reach of scientists and one day it might even be adapted to bring people back from the international space station. how are you doing? i am tired but healthy. jane o'brien, bbc news, virginia. that is it for now. thank you so
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much for watching. hugh isa hugh is a message you might want to pass on, wouldn't you know it, things might turn stormer, especially in the northern half of the british isles. wednesday looks like a good day. two weather fronts. quite a few isobars. there will be many more. it will be strong winds by the end of the week. wednesday, we have got a wet start and a breezy one in east anglia and the south—east and the midlands. than a second front will drag rain down across initially the north of england. come mid—afternoon, my word, it will get dark quickly given the cloud and rain. in the latter pa rt the cloud and rain. in the latter part of the afternoon, the leaden skies will appear. it will be mild compared to the north where you have
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brighter skies in the afternoon in the north of england and the north of wales. but look at this. a raft of wales. but look at this. a raft of showers coming in on a strong wind from the west and south—west. not overly warm, two, three, four degrees. that will bring snow to low levels. there may even be some fund. they keep on going through the evening and overnight. further south, we get rid of the rain. that allows us to see sunshine across a good part of england and wales to start the day. yes, some showers will pop up, but they would not be as intense as showers we will see in northern ireland and scotland yet again. there will be wintry and down to low levels. wind will be a noticeable feature. nowhere near as strong as what we expect to see as the second main storm of the season rattles in from the atlantic. it is cold storm barbara us. that is because of the winds. and that is
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why we have the amber warning. 70 miles an hour in the north of england. further north, as strong as 90 miles an hour. that is disruptive and certainly could well be damaging. as we move on towards christmas itself, it looks like that second feature good in its own right produce severe gales, especially in northern parts of britain. —— could. take care. goodbye. latest headlines: at least 29 people have been killed and dozens more injured in a series of explosions at a fireworks market on the outskirts of mexico city. similar blasts destroyed parts of the market in 2005 and 2006. the extremist group, the so—called islamic state, has claimed one of its militants carried out the lorry attack on a berlin christmas market which left 12 dead. police say the driver may still be at large, and armed. they've released a pakistani asylum seeker, detained earlier, saying they have insufficient evidence to link him to the crime. at least 20 people have been killed
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in clashes in kinshasa, capital of the democratic republic of congo. there's anger over presidentjoseph kabila's refusal to stand down — his term officially ended on monday. elections have been postponed until 2018. not all opposition groups have agreed to the new date. now on bbc news, it's panorama. loud explosion this is war as i've known it all my career. it's rarely been armies fighting armies. for the most part, it's been guerrilla warfare. explosion suicide bomber and the sniper on the one side, tanks and planes on the other. gunfire ‘my producer and i are on the road in northern iraq.‘
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there's not an awful lot of room. this is the kind of thing i've been doing for virtually all my 50 years, heading off to some front—line in an armoured vehicle

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