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tv   Witness  BBC News  July 31, 2017 2:30am-3:01am BST

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against a controversial election to choose a new parliament. opposition groups boycotted the vote which will give the assembly the power to rewrite the constitution. the us called the reform a ‘sham'. president putin has confirmed that some us diplomatic staff will be expelled and that 755 diplomatic personnel have been asked to stop working in moscow. he added that further sanctions were being considered. the new measures are in retaliation for proposed new us sanctions on moscow. the united states has stepped up its response to north korea's latest missile launch. two us air force bombers have flown directly over the region. and america's missile defence system in south korea has also been tested. president trump said china is doing nothing for the us on north korea. the scottish government has called for scotch to be defined in uk law in order to protect whisky exports after brexit. holyrood is concerned that any future trade deal with the united states might
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allow american firms to brand their whiskies as scotch. our business correspondent joe lynam reports. under eu rules of origin, any spirit described as scotch whiskey must be aged released three years and matured in scotland. but the scottish government says the us negotiators during the recent trade talks with the eu had wanted this definition to be relaxed to accommodate its whiskey makers. so now holyrood wants the eu definition of scotch to be incorporated into uk law after brexit. that is because whiskey making supports 20,000 jobs and is worth £4 billion to scotland. we have to make absolutely certain that any deal done with the us protects scottish jobs. if that deal does not protect the definition of whiskey as a spirit matured for three years or more, it weakens that definition and we will lose scottish jobs in the whiskey industry. 10,000 jobs depend on it, another 10,000 in the supply chain. so we tell liam fox, don't tangle with the scottish
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whiskey industry, protect it. don't sell it away. a spokesperson for the department of international trade which co—ordinates future deals says that scotch is a uk export success story and will support the industry so it continues to thrive and prosper post brexit. whiskey may be the water of life but it might also give london and edinburgh a headache — in trade terms at least. joe lynam, bbc news. let's take a brief look now at some of the morning papers. the lead in the times is the insistence by the chancellor, philip hammond, that britain won't be turned into a tax haven after brexit. the guardian says that senior conservative mps are urging cabinet members to stop publicly setting out competing visions on issues, like free movement, as part of brexit. the ft reports that japan's largest bank has chosen amsterdam for its banking headquarters as a result of uncertainty over brexit. the top story in the metro is the decision by president putin to expel 755 us diplomats
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from russia, in what it calls a "new cold war". the express claims that workers, who are cashing—in their hard—earned pension pots early, are being overtaxed to the tune of millions. the daily mail says that british tourists are routinely charged hundreds of pounds for scratches and dents on hire cars they use abroad. the sun criticises channel four over its plan to broadcast a controversial documentary, the diana tapes. and that's the lead too in the mirror — the story is summed up in its headline "diana tapes will hurt her boys". now on bbc news, it's time for witness. hello, i'm lucy hockings.
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welcome to witness, here at the british library in london. this month, we have anotherfive people have witnessed extraordinary moments of history first hand. we'll be talking about the legalisation of homosexuality in britain 50 years ago. a breakthrough for women in the men's world of racing, and, in a moment, the russian ballet star rudolf nureyev defected to the west. but first, we go back to a turning point for china. china was wracked with a civil war between communists and the nationalists. translation: i never even thought about joining the communists. i followed the nationalist party all the way. i'm 99 years old, and i still haven't changed my mind about that. for most people, life was wretched.
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someone had to rescue china from these miserable conditions. there were two men willing to try. one was chiang kai—shek, who was leader of the nationalist troops. the other was mao zedong, who wanted to turn china into a communist state. the two men were to become bitter rivals. translation: chiang kai—shek was a patriot. we worshipped him back then. we were probably influenced by germany's worshipping of hitler. we worshipped our leader too. i was a head of a battalion in nationalist army and fought against the chinese communists in the civil war. chinese people fighting each other, it was a complex situation. it was all about which path china should take for the future. we thought they were the chinese traitors. in the civil war, chiang kai—shek
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made many mistakes. mao zedong also made mistakes, but chiang kai—shek made more than mao did. i was involved in one of the last big battles. we suffered 200,000 artillery shells, but i survived all of that. the nationalists had the military advantage, but our soldiers were too spread out. so mao zedong won, and chiang kai—shek lost. but mao didn't win completely, and chiang didn't lose completely. by the autumn of 1949, the communists had driven the nationalists out of all the major cities. they fled to the island of taiwan. translation: you could say leaving mainland china was the lowest moment
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in his life, but he never accepted defeat. i worked with chiang kai—shek very closely for five years. i really respected him. he was very strict, but he was always very good to me. chiang kai—shek‘s life was very orderly. he'd get up at six in the morning every day. he didn't smoke or drink. he was very disciplined. he issued a lot of orders — to be honest, so many that it was hard to keep track of them. some people say chiang kai—shek was a dictator. but this is unfair, and it's slander. but because we were still against the communists in mainland china, he did impose martial law. obviously, that is antidemocratic, but it was to protect taiwan. his goal wasn'tjust
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to make taiwan independent. he wanted to achieve freedom and democracy for the whole of china. he never gave up. he told us, "don't ever think we've lost the mainland." "marxism will eventually fail." history proved him right. chiang kai—shek died in taiwan ini975. general hau pei—tsun went on to become the head of taiwan's army and eventually became the country's premier. next, injulyi96i, rudolf nureyev, one of the world's greatest ballet dancers, defected to the west while on tour in europe. i remember him as a great dancer — as a great personality in many ways. he had enormous technical prowess
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and enormous charisma. this kind of stylistic dancing, with unique movements and fantastic stage presence, is something we have not seen before and very rarely since. it shows you, typically, the choreography and the genius of rudi. i travelled to russia a lot in those days. when i went to leningrad, when i went to the performances at the kirov theatre, he was there, of course. he was recognised in russia, the ussr, as one of the great dancers, no question about that.
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when i went to london and i started to negotiate with the russians, and they agreed to send this company to england for a season. this is an original poster for the first appearance of the kirov ballet, or the mariinsky ballet. among the stars you can see nureyev. no, he never turned up for this one. they went to paris and, of course, from paris, they were coming through to london, and we didn't expect anything, we just went to the airport. on 16th june 1961, rudolf nureyev set off for the airport to fly to london with the rest of the company on the next leg of their tour. he didn't know that soviet authorities had decided he was a security risk and were planning to send him back to russia instead. at the last minute, rather than board the plane to russia, nureyev broke away from his minders
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and asked the airport authorities for asylum in france. he jumped over the barrier and decided to defect. nureyev‘s defection caused a worldwide sensation. he became known as the man who had pierced the iron curtain. i think a simple question of being by nature, by temperament, wild, and being provoked into going back to moscow when he was looking forward to going to london. he was totally disinterested in politics. he was interested in art and his own glory. but the idea of communism is... it was not a factor for him. at the tender age of 23, nureyev found himself of the centre of a media spotlight, which would not dim for years to come. what sort of parts do you want to dance most of all? actually, i am a romantic dancer, but i would like to try modern things — to try every different way.
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he was able to mesmerise the world of ballet. he transformed the whole aspect, the whole scene of ballet. it's impossible to overestimate the influence — it was unique, certainly, to this very day. rudolf nureyev died of complications from aids in 1993. victor hochhauser is still working as a ballet promoter. now, in july 1990, indigenous canadians spent months in a stand—off with the country's
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security forces over plans to build a golf course complex on top of a burial ground. mohawk activist ellen katsi'tsa kwas gabriel was there. to see the tanks coming in... we even had the fighter jets fly over us. the mood was very tense. this is all for a golf course. this was all for some group of rich people, the elite, and their playground. like many other indigenous peoples, we call the earth our mother. the place where our ancestors rest is extremely important. they wanted to extend their nine—hole golf course into an 18—hole course. but at the same time, they also wanted to dig up our burialground to extend their parking lot. we set up a blockade on a secondary dirt road. at that time, the majority of people at the barricades were women. we are matrilineal, our lineage
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comes from our mothers, and we are the ones who are supposed to protect the land. it is the duty of the men to protect the people. we said we would go to the front, and the men said they would watch us and protect us if anything happened. on the morning ofjuly11th, we were interrupted at 5:15 in the morning by a swat team, and so we went towards the front of the barricade — towards the highway — with our hands in the air to make sure that they saw we had no weapons. but they still matters with a lot of aggression and a lot of force. what i said to them was that this is our land and we have every right to be here. they were not too happy with that — that is why they wanted to talk to a man, because i guess the women were being very unreasonable to them. originally, people said they would be no weapons, originally, people said
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there would be no weapons, but there were individuals who carried their weapons. we couldn't do anything about it. we said it was a peaceful barricade. around 8:30, the police started firing tear gas and concussion grenades at us. concussion grenades — for those who do not know — sound like gunshots. they're quite a loud noise. "let's run for cover." it was scary because we didn't know if anyone was killed — on both sides. it was scary because we didn't know if anyone was killed — on both sides. the police force continued to block the roads of people coming in or out. they prevented food, medicine. they were quite aggressive and always provoking. it was a siege, a 78—days siege. well, we did decide to end it. we just had enough and we said, "we're going back to our homes." september 26th is when it was supposedly finished. a big melee happened. some of the soldiers
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had their bayonets on, because they were totally afraid of the people who were coming out. there were a lot of arrests on that day. this ain't a surrender either! we're still not surrendering, because the land dispute is still in full force, it's not been settled. i mean, the golf course sparked a discussion about the real issues that indigenous people have been fighting for for centuries, which is land dispossession, protection of our languages and culture, our way of life. so it woke up people. i would say it woke up people. and she is still campaigning for indigenous rights. 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. next, we're going back tojuly 1967,
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when the british parliament passed a bill to decriminalise homosexuality. before then, being gay in this country was notjust illegal — it was widely seen as a disease. witness has been to liverpool to meet the radio presenter pete price, who was sent for aversion therapy to try to cure him of his homosexuality. it was very difficult growing up in the ‘60s as a gay man, because to touch another man, to hold, to feel, to have emotions, you could go to prison. archive: for many of us, this is revolting — men dancing with men. homosexuals in this country today break the law. it was very dangerous at that time as well, because queer bashers were out and people were getting blackmailed and people committed suicide. it was a very sad time. i was 18, going on 19, when my mother found out that
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i was a homosexual, and she took it badly, then went to the doctors. and the doctors told us, "there is a cure." i've now since found out it was called aversion therapy. didn't know anything about it, so mum said, "will you do it?" i said, "yeah, for you, i'll do it." they put me in a mental institute. in those days, it was called a loony bin. they weren't psychiatric wards, this had bars on the window. i was very, very frightened. so i went in to see the psychiatrist, and he had an old—fashioned tape recorder, reel to reel, and he described all the sexual acts that gay people did, using graphic language, graphic language, to make you feel disgusting. then they put me in a room. i still didn't know what was going to happen to me,
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i really didn't know, except they asked me what i drank, and in those days i drank stout, guinness. i had a male nurse in there, there was no windows, and they had a stack of what they called "dirty books". they were men in bathing costumes. there was nothing erotic about it in any shape orform. so i'm supposed to look at the books, listen to the tape, which the nurse was operating, with his vile conversation that i had with the psychiatrist, and he was giving me guinness. halfway through the hour he injected me, which made me violently ill. so i asked, "could i use the bathroom?" he said, "no, just use the bed." i was violently sick and defecated in the bed, and i'm lying in own faeces, my own vomit, feeling incredibly ill. i was a frightened young man, i was 18 going on for 19. i was very, very scared. i wasn't thinking of a cure, ijust thought i was going to die cos this was torture. at the end of 72 hours,
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i had nothing left. i just wanted out, and i decided i'd had enough. "i volunteered to come in, i'm volunteering to leave." i rang a pal of mine to get me out, and i stank, i stank of filth. i got a bath, and i must have got eight hours of trying to scrub the filth off me. after the treatment, i decided enough was enough, and i woke up one day and said, "i am what i am, i've got to be who i am and accept who i am." i channelled the way i was through my entertainment. all the big stars i've worked with. and i learnt to be who i was, and i became outrageous, and that was the way i got acceptance. isn't she lovely? got a brother? i think i've been happy with myself as a homosexual, but i actually don't believe
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that i belong anywhere. i can never forgive what they did to me, ever. pete price still presents a popular evening radio show in liverpool. finally this month, in 1977, racing car driverjanet guthrie became the first woman to compete in the prestigious indianapolis 500 motor race. she spoke to witness about competing as a driver in a male—dominated sport. archive: race drivers are a special breed of american folk hero. they have always been men — until janet guthrie. i had no house, no husband, no jewellery, no insurance. i had one used—up race car. i was playing in a millionaire's sport from the very beginning, and not having been born with a trust fund, i learned how to build my own engines and do my own bodywork. i thought there was a reasonably good chance that i would be successful at it, because i wanted it a lot, i loved the sport.
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it was the passion of my life, really. part of the fun is to accept the risk and deal with it gracefully and well. you have to have an interest in what it's like out there at the limits of human capability. i was saying to myself, you know, "you really must come to your senses and make some provision for your old age." and that was the point at which the phone rang and a voice completely unknown to me said, "how would you like to take a shot at the indianapolis 500?" it was sometimes said that the indianapolis 500 wasn't the most important race — it was the only race. that's how most of the united states feels about it. over 400,000 people showed up. you can't imagine how many people that is until you see them in person. when i got my big chance at the top levels of the sport, it made a huge commotion. they simply hadn't had
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the experience of running against a woman, and they were sure i was going to kill them all. all i had to do at the beginning was open up a newspaper, and there was some other driver saying that his blood was going to be on the official‘s hands. seriously, when i say commotion, it was big. oh, i was so happy. i was happy that i had put a car in the field for the indianapolis 500. i think a lot of drivers would tell you the first time you make the field at indianapolis is a moment you will never forget. of course, then you figure out that what you really want to do is win the thing. you're thinking who's behind you, what are their driving habits, who's ahead of you, what mistakes are they likely to make? on the first lap, you just really want to keep yourself out of any trouble.
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in that race, i had a mechanicalfailure. when we finally decided the car was not going to be fixable, i left the pits and headed back to the garage. there was a lot of enthusiasm in the stands at that point. janet is not a newcomer to car racing. my best finish at indianapolis was ninth in 1978, with a team iformed and managed myself. my best finish in indycar racing was fifth at milwaukee. i wasn't racing to prove anything about women, because the fact that i was a woman, in my opinion, had nothing to do with it. a racing driver was what i was, right through to my bone marrow. in 2006, janet guthrie was inducted
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into the international motor sports hall of fame. that's all from us this month. i hope you'lljoin me next month, back here at the british library. we'll have five extraordinary accounts of history through the eyes of the people who were there. for now, from witness, goodbye. hello there, good morning. with all the energy and the instability in the atmosphere over the past 2a hours, we have seen a lot of heavy
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and thundery downpours. northern ireland for one has been battered by some storms earlier on, so too across parts of scotland, some fierce looking clouds, here. we've had about a months worth of rain at okehampton, in devon, due to some peninsular showers. now, there will be some more showers over the coming few days. we still have got this ever—present area of low pressure to the north—west of the uk. the closer you are to that, the more showers there will be but gradually, over the next two days, whilst there will be some showers and some sunshine, the showers should become fewer. let's head into the morning, though, and we still have some showers left over from overnight in scotland. quite a cloudy start here. maybe the north—west of england. sunshine and showers into northern ireland. the other side of the pennines, across the midlands, it may well be a bright and sunny start but already a few showers running in to western fringes of wales. perhaps the far south—west of england, towards the coast, this time. whereas you move towards
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the south—east and east anglia, those earlier showers will big gone and it will be a bright sunny start. this picture was actually taken yesterday at the oval. good day for martin, there. and if you're going to watch the cricket, it should be exciting and it should be dry, actually, just a very small chance of a shower, not quite as breezy as today. there'll be some sunshine and it will be warm into that sunshine too. for many southern parts of the uk, there will be very few showers around at all. wales, up across the midlands, northern england, catching a few showers running through, not as widespread as we saw yesterday. but there will be some slow—moving heavy thundery downpours across northern ireland and into scotland. maybe some hail as well. 17—18 degrees here, at best 23 towards the south—east of england. tuesday sees some further showers across the uk. but even further north, those showers not as wide spread. one or two heavy ones around
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but very much hit and miss, again towards the south—east likely to stay dry with some sunshine. the jetstream is all—importa nt, of course, and normally it is sitting at this time of the year between scotland and iceland but right now it's much, much further south and hence this very unsettled weather. as we head towards the middle part of the week, the jet stream will pick up another area of low pressure, rush it across the atlantic, heading towards the uk. things turning wetter from the south—west, slowly but surely, on wednesday. many areas ahead of that seeing some sunshine, a few showers perhaps in scotland. rain arriving across northern and eastern areas during the evening and on wednesday night. goodbye. welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is gavin grey. our top stories: violent clashes as polls close in venezuela's divisive election. the us calls it a step towards a dictatorship. president putin confirms 755 us diplomatic personnel must stop workng in russia — must stop working in russia —
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many will be expelled by september the first. us bombers fly over the korean peninsula in response to pyongyang's latest missile test. and british royals lead commemorations to mark 100 years since the start of the battle of passchendaele.
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