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tv   Witness  BBC News  April 1, 2017 8:30pm-9:01pm BST

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in a very bright show of support. here's alice bouverie. it was a day to celebrate all things yellow. an act of solidarity. over 100 yellow cars driving through the cotswolds, coming from as far afield as north yorkshire tojoin in the rally. they came in support of local pensioner peter maddox, who until earlier this year had parked his beloved yellow car outside his home. until, that is, someone vandalised it. it was apparently spoiling the view of the picture postcard village. it was a sad moment for him. he got up early in the morning and found the car with broken windows and scratches. peter is not a man to make a fuss, so he sold his car and replaced it with a grey one, one that blends in with the background of this famous view. but other indignant yellow car drivers took up the fight on his behalf. quite simply, when i saw that his car had been vandalised, it made me so angry and upset
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because of the reasons why and they said it was a blot on the landscape. and the fact that he is a pensioner, i felt something had to be done. ijust had a little idea and i put it forward to a few friends and it has mushroomed from there. and it clearly made peter's day. how do you like yellow cars? lovely. do you have a favourite? i have. the lovely finale to this is that a car company has agreed to name a paint after peter, so he will forever be immortalised in maddox yellow. we have had a fair number of april showers today, but tomorrow looks drierfor showers today, but tomorrow looks drier for the majority. showers today, but tomorrow looks drierfor the majority. there are still a few sharp showers to come, particularly across eastern parts of england and scotland this evening. that process will continue through the night. as a consequence, under
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the night. as a consequence, under the clearing skies, it will be a cold night. we should see some showers lingering in the north—east, but for most of us under those starry skies, temperatures will fall, with frost in scotland and northern ireland. there will be fog patches in the valleys and possibly in southern england to start our sunday morning. it looks as though the best of the sunshine will be through the morning hours, with the north—east of england perhaps an exception. some of the best sunshine through the afternoon could be found around our coastlines. very similar for england and wales as we head into monday, but more cloud and some rain in the west. hello, this is bbc news. the headlines at 8.30pm: gibraltar‘s inhabitants are facing renewed uncertainty over their future because of concerns that spain may use brexit to pursue its territorial claims. the foreign secretary, boris johnson, tweeted:
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"the uk remains implacable and rock—like "in our support for gibraltar." a hate crime investigation is launched after a teenage asylum seeker was attacked by a gang of youths at a bus stop in south london and left in a critical condition. we believe it is the hate crime. prior to the attacks taking place, the youngster was asked whether they we re the youngster was asked whether they were from and then when he said he was an asylum seeker, that is when the frenzied attack took place. at least 100 people are reported to have been killed by a massive mudslide in southern colombia. the mud engulfed homes and roads. hundreds of families are missing. now on bbc news, witness. hello, i'm tanya beckett
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and welcome to witness, here at the british library, in london. this month, we have anotherfive people who witnessed extraordinary moments in history first—hand. we will hear from this woman who volunteered with mother theresa in the slums of calcutta, the worst crash in aviation history, and the environmentalist behind the world's first bans on cars. but first but first, in 1972, us president richard nixon's travelled to china for a historic meeting, rebuilding relations between the countries after 22 years of cold war. winston lord was one of the american aids on the trip. radio announcer: today, president nixon is visiting china, the first american statesman to set foot on chinese soil since
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chairman mao came to power in 19119. frankly many of us were a little disappointed in the arrival arrangements. this was a huge geopolitical event, and we na vely thought that they would be big crowds. in fact, there were just a few people, but then we recognised again that this was in keeping with the realistic fact that we had been enemies for 22 years, and you can't turn the page immediately. and so these two great countries, the most powerful nation on earth visits the most populous nation on earth. i was special assistant to henry kissinger the national security advisor and i was in charge of orchestrating and putting together the thick briefing books for the president, for his trip to china. my first impressions that beijing was that it was a very bleak, rather depressing place. it was very drab. everybody was dressed the same. very few cars. mostly bicycles.
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we arrived at the guesthouse and to our surprise, they announced that chairman mao would like to see president nixon right away. this was chairman mao acting like a traditional chinese emperor, not giving you any warning as to when you're going to be summoned to his presence. i worked for many presidents, including several close—up. president nixon was by far the most well—versed and strategic in international relations. he was extraordinary. whatever his flaws, one has to grant him that. as a person, he was quite shy. he was always somewhat ill—at—ease and engaging in banter, or small talk. both sides had clear reasons for trying to reopen communications after 22 years of mutual enmity and indeed fighting each other in korea. when you meet someone of historic significance you have to figure out whether you are impressed with the personality because you know he is important, or whether you would be impressed
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if you did not know who he was. kissinger and i agreed that even if we went to a cocktail party and chairman mao was there and we did not know who he was, he would have exceeded some power and attraction. this is not to glorify him. he was a monster in many ways. the meeting itself, at first, puzzled us. it was only about an hour with translation. but it was declared a success from the very beginning. at the conclusion of the meeting, the chinese came in with photographs of all of us at the meeting. president nixon and kissinger looked at each other and said that mr lord was never at this meeting. please cut out all the photos. adviser i was sitting right here, next to kissinger. it was a ready humiliating for the us secretary of state not to be the meeting while the national security adviser was. but to have in addition to that some punk in his early 30s also sitting in on the meeting...
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it is worth coming 16,000 milesjust to stand here and see the wall. join me in raising your glasses to chairman mao and to the friendship of the chinese and american people. we were in the middle of a geological earthquake. there was a combination of nurses deal working on this, but also a sense that we were frankly in the midst of making history. and winston lord went on to be the ambassador to china and was involved in the country for the rest of his career. next, in march, 1997, catholic nun mother teresa stepped down from her charity work with the poor in india due to herfailing health.
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mari marcel thekaekara volunteered at her orphanage, as a young girl. it was known as one of the poorest cities in the world. you would see people who were lying in a pool of their vomit, in their own excreta, in filthy clothes, covered in lice. so to go and lift of those people and taken to the home and clean them, it took a lot of kindness to do the kind of work they did. mother teresa and her sisters of charity live in one of calcutta's poorest slums. in addition to the traditional vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, the sisters take one of service and obedience to the poor. we saw her every morning on the way to school.
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we had a mother teresa nun who came and said if you would like to come and help come you can come to the babies' home. it was quite overwhelming. they had rows and rows of cots. so we went and spent a morning helping to give the babies a bath. it was nice to hold the bottle and feed a baby and these children, they needed affection a lot, so the babies liked to be cuddled. my sister went around with mother teresa's nuns
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and they used to regularly visit abortion clinics and pick up live babies from abortion buckets. we once saw a baby thrown in a garbage dump. i found the very authoritarian way in which the order was run not something that i would ever be able to agree with. i remember thinking that the nuns lived such an austere life. she said you should suffer for christ and offer your suffering to god. and i could not bear that, because i thought we should try to fight poverty, and that people don't fight poverty, and that people don't have to suffer so much on earth. i saw mother teresa again many, many years later.
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she was that much older, more wrinkled. my mother asked mother teresa to bless her grandchildren. and my mother said to her, my daughter used to come and volunteer. then she said very, quite arrogantly, i felt, at the time, she said yes, yes, you used to do these things when you were little. what do you do now? i have never doubted for a second that i have done the right thing and this was the will of god. it was his choice. there were millions out for her funeral. things like sense, that is not my thing at all, but since millions of people wanted her to be a state, i did the work she did was exceptional. and if she has to be a saint, she has to be a saint.
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mari speaking at home in bangalore. in march 1970 seven, two jumbo jets collided, killing 583 people. it was the worst crash in aviation history. captain robert bragg was the co—pilot on the pan am plane that was one of the few who survived the collision. the jumbo swept out of the mist at more than 150 miles an hour. it crashed into the plane straddling the runway. the fog came in and the visibility was just about nil. and the captain was taxiing the aeroplane only at about three knots, because that was as fast as he felt like it was safe to go. the pan am aircraft was given permission to leave the standard had done the taxi to the takeoff point. now, the pan am pilot says
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that he was told to proceed down the main runway, and to leave the main runway and back onto the taxiway, at the next junction. he was never able to do that, because that was the point of impact. we looked up and saw him coming down the runway at us. i saw his landing light shaking, and that is how i knew he was moving. i could not believe that man was taking off. i started yelling to get off the runway and the captains started turning the aeroplane. i looked back out my right side window, and saw him lifting off the runway. so i close my eyes and ducked. and basically said a very short prayer that he missed us. when he does, all that was, was a short bump. no big noise, no big shaking.
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i thought, thank god. then i looked up for the fire control handles. and that is when i first noticed that the top of the aeroplane was gone. so ijumped to the ground, which was a0 feet from the cockpit floor to the ground. and i thank the lord that i hit on some grass. there were about 50 people that had already gotten out on be left wing of the aeroplane. and i started yelling at them to jump off. and one poor lady, shejumped first, and everybody elsejumped right on her and broke her back and both legs and both arms. after we had been out there probably five minutes, the centre fuel tank blew up.
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and that sent a flame probably 250 feet in the air. and then the air plane just fell apart. we only had like 65 that got out of our plane altogether. the plane burst into flames and carried on down the runway, disintegrating as it went, until the main piece of the fuselage came to rest more than half a mile away from the point of impact. no one survived the klm crash. i always from day one believed it was the klm captain's fault. he disregarded all procedure when he went to take the takeoff. nobody will ever know why he was in such a hurry and to go the way he did.
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captain robert bragg continued to fly until he retired. he spoke to us in 2016 and has since sadly passed away. remember, you can watch witness every month on the bbc news channel, or catch up on over 1,000 radio programmes on our online archive. just go to the website below. next, we are going back to 1989, when mexico city took the unprecedented step of severely restricting private car use on its streets. roman 0jeda mestre was the person behind the effort to cut pollution. another miserable, choking day in mexico city, undoubtedly the most polluted capital on earth. the smog slowly poisons the 20 million inhabitants. just breathing is like smoking a0 cigarettes a day. mexican traffic is
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the worst in the world. millions of large, thirsty american cars criss—crossing the world's second largest city without a thought for fuel conservation. and he still campaigns on environmental issues in mexico. finally this month, we're going all the way back to prerevolution russia. pioneering photographer sergei mikhailovich prokudin—gorskii travelled to the furthermost corners of the russian empire and recorded a disappearing lifestyle in magnificent colour. michel soussaline is his grandson. my grandfather was one of the pioneers of colour photography. it's a unique example of this quality of colour.
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this is close to 100 years old. at that time you have to realise that the only photograph in colour were taken indoors. he was probably the first to do a lot of work outside. this is a very nice picture on the mariinskii canal, where he did a lot of shots. you really feel something extremely natural. you can really feel that this guy was very pleased to be taken and at the same time the composition of the picture is great. he was able to travel anywhere in the empire. he got permission from the tsar to travel everywhere, even the areas that were very
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difficult to access. bukhara today is uzbekistan. it's in the south—east of the empire, bordering iran, afghanistan and china. my grandfather was somebody who was extremely open—minded. he was really a renaissance man and in his work he tried to show the different categories of people, in terms of religion, origin. this is a jewish school.
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a teacher and some pupils. the image was obtained by projecting the free negative on glass, in black and white, through a colour lens for the projection, recreating the colour. this is the original notebook of my grandfather, with a lot of technical description and some documents, like with free pictures in colour. it's a kind of eccentric renaissance man. i like that, because i'm a little bit like that, also. i try to be. and the more you learn, the more you find this person
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extremely attractive and quite fascinating. sergei prokudin—gorskii left russia shortly after the revolution. he died in paris, in 19114. that's all from us this month. i hope you willjoin me next month, from here at the british library. we will have five extraordinary accounts of history through the eyes of the people who were there. for now, from me and the rest of the team at witness, goodbye. hello, there. we have had a fairfew downpours today in the april showers with hail and thunder and lightning as well. this is called a hairy top, basically a thunderstorm of tumour no limits allowed —— cumulonimbus cloud. this was the bottom of the cloud. this was the bottom of the cloud in worcestershire. we have
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seen sunshine between the showers and tomorrow we shall see more sunshine than today, much more in stark contrast, there will be a fuchsia was around, it will be quite warm. the east will hang on to a few showers until dawn but under the starry skies for most bus, it will bea starry skies for most bus, it will be a chilly night. temperatures low enough for frost in scotland. a little bit nippy if you are up first in tomorrow morning. a bit of mist and shallow fog around in the river valleys to watch out for if you are travelling. 0therwise, valleys to watch out for if you are travelling. otherwise, the best of the sunshine for wales, southern england in the morning. showers will hang on in the north—east of england with quite a bit of cloud. still perhaps the chance of a shower but largely dry for northern ireland and scotland. there could be badly fog,
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too, but it will break quickly. —— valley fog. through the day, the fair weather cloud will build up, not necessarily producing showers, very small risk for eastern parts of england, it will be bright rather than funny inland but pleasantly warm with light winds and sunshine. the best of the sunshine around the coast with gentle onshore breezes. shaping up well whether wise. a light breeze so choppy on the thames last week, no repeat of that. nice, sunny skies for swansea, but a little bit more cloud around further east in london. monday, as we go through the night, a lovely day for england and wales. however, we've got the weather front coming into
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the west which means that northern ireland, we will seem rain. try in edinburghafine ireland, we will seem rain. try in edinburgh a fine day and continues finality stint at hughes day across southern and eastern areas. —— until tuesday. this is bbc world news, broadcasting in the uk and around the world. i'm alpa patel. the headlines: landslides kill more than 150 people in southern colombia — many others are missing or injured. the supreme court in venezuela does a u—turn and reverses its decision to strip the congress of its powers. britain says it will protect gibraltar from any sovereignty claims by spain during brexit negotiations. and find out why hundreds of yellow cars have flooded this english village.
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