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tv   Life in the Shadow of the Wall  BBC News  August 14, 2017 2:30am-3:01am BST

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nuclear and missile threats in south korea, north korea says it has the right to have nuclear weapons for what it calls "a legitimate self defence measure for its survival from the vigor of the united states." a day after violence erupted in charlottesville, the virginia state governor is trying to defuse the tension. governor terry mcauliffe denounced the people who attended the "unite the right" rally. it was the biggest gathering of white nationalist groups in america for decades. the afp news agency is reporting that three people have died after an attack at a cafe in burkina faso‘s capital. suspected jihadists fired shots and the centre of ouagadougou has been sealed off by the army. witnesses say three gunmen drove up to the cafe and opened fire on customers seated outside. after weeks of public divisions between members of the cabinet over brexit, the chancellor and the international trade secretary have made a joint pledge, saying that a transition period will not be a backdoor to remaining in the eu. here's our political
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correspondent, ben wright. he's the brexit—loving trade secretary itching to do deals, but liam fox, seen here in the us last month, has been in a dispute with the man in charge of the economy, philip hammond, over what should happen after britain leaves the eu in march 2019. today, though, a united front. writing a joint piece in the sunday telegraph, they say there must not be a cliff edge break when britain leaves the eu in march 2019. they will seek a time—limited transition period with the eu — a victory for philip hammond. but during this period, britain will leave the customs union and the eu single market and the customs union — a win for mr fox. i think it is actually very encouraging because over the last three or four weeks we have seen conflicting signals sent out by various numbers of the cabinet, and now it does look as if someone has said to mr fox and mr hammond, we need to see unity.
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the customs union sets eu—wide import tariffs. the single market allows free trade and the movement of people. ministers say the uk can leave both while still giving business confidence during our departure from the eu. it sounds worryingly to me as if the price that philip hammond has had to pay for a transitional arrangement has been to sign up to us leaving the single market and the customs union. i think that is a dreadful mistake for the future of our economy, forjobs, and prosperity in britain. it's in brussels all this will have to be hammered out. the eu insists progress must be made on sorting out the terms of the divorce before the uk's future relationship can be discussed. and one issue the eu wants clarity on is how the border between northern ireland and the republic will work after brexit. this week, the government will publish its formal position paper on the issue, expected to include plans to give irish citizens the right to move freely into the uk after brexit. this week, ministers will also set out their thinking on how
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a new customs arrangement with the eu could work, and more position papers will follow in a clear effort to scotch criticism that ministers are divided and lack a brexit strategy. it is also intended to put pressure on brussels to crack on with talking about britain's future relationship with the eu sooner rather than later. ben wright, bbc news, westminster. and now on bbc news, life in the shadow of the wall. crowd: build that wall! build that wall! yeah, 0k, 0k. we'll build the wall. we need to build a wall. a big, beautiful wall. build a wall. it was one of his main campaign pledges — to build a wall all along the us— mexico border. a third of it already has some sort of barrier, but what are the challenges of trying to seal it off completely?
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i'll be travelling the entire length of the us— mexico border to try to find the stories of the people who call the borderlands home, to see how the fence that's already in place has affected their lives, and to try to find out what impact the wall that president trump wants to build could have. and the journey starts here, at the very beginning of the border, where the gulf of mexico meets the rio grande. this is the kind of place that, to the americans, justifies a wall is. it is the most dangerous city on the border, a battlefield to control a key route for migrants and drug traffickers. we are on a patrol with the special forces that regard this place.
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long gun battles between government forces and drug cartels are common in this city, with people often caught in the middle. it's a place where localjournalists have been attacked and threatened for reporting on the drug cartels. the presence of international media is rare here, and that's why we have to take these security measures. it has been a quiet shift, but it is not long before they are called into action. so, the officers just spotted two cars. one of them seems to be abandoned. and they have just got off the pick—ups to check what's going on. the police believe something suspicious is going on. here, different factions of cartels are at the heart of a long and violent feud to dominate a profitable business. according to the us government, drug trafficking is a $61; billion industry in the country. the police can't find anything,
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so the suspects are not arrested. then, proof of how difficult it is to deal with the cartels. the colonel is listening in to cartel members. these hawks are a constant menace. the migrants who arrive from the south, and those deported from the north, they are also targets for the cartels. this refuge offers them a respite in the middle of uncertain times. these men havejust been sent back from the us,
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where there are an estimated 11 million unauthorised immigrants. this year, on average, the us authorities have apprehended nearly 600 people a day trying to cross the border. sister maria has seen more deportees in the last few months. jorge torres was deported twice in the last three weeks. he experienced this threat first—hand. we are on our way to interview a high—ranking official, to find out how the goverment is coping with this new influx of deportees.
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we also want to ask him what they are doing to prevent these people from becoming easy prey for the powerful cartels that terrorise the city. this is the most dangerous state along the whole border, and we need an armed escort to travel to the capital, where the government has its offices. this place has the nation's highest number of disappearances — close to 6000 people. it is a disturbing figure that could be much higher, since only a fraction of all cases are reported. the government is in a tough position. the local police was so corrupt, it was dismantled years ago. the cartels take advantage of this.
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from up here, it's striking to see how close mexico is to the us. that river, is called rio bravo by the mexicans, and rio grande by the americans, is the flowing border dividing and uniting both countries for hundreds of kilometres. in most of texas is the place where the next phase of the wall will be built.
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for many, that's a threat to their properties and to the landscape itself. building the wall will be difficult, and money may not be the biggest hurdle. getting the land is a major issue, because over 90% of the border in texas is privately owned. under the bush administration, many landowners receive letters saying they would have to sell their land to the goverment. noel first received a letter in 2008. for nine years, nothing happened, but he recently got another one. he is realistic about the situation. why do you think there is no point in fighting the goverment on this? on fighting the sale? yeah. because homeland security has all the... power in the world right now. they can do and not do whatever they want. the land has been in his wife's
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family for more than 250 years, since it was granted by the king of spain, before it was mexican territory, long before it became the us. so, where are we, exactly? right now, we're on the second bank of the property. this is the flood plain, and this is all going to be... supposedly, this is where the wall‘s going to be. so, your land will be on the other side of the wall? yes, part of the property will be on the other side. it'll probably be approximately 20 acres, maybe a little more. will you be able to access your property? how will that work? they tell me that there's going to be openings where we can access the property. but i mean, like, it would be a continuous wall, or you have like a key?
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that's a good question. more than likely, it'll be just an opening, which would defeat the purpose of the wall, but that the goverment for you. let's go and see what the river looks like. ultimately, congress has two approved president trump's budget before construction can begin. if and when it comes, noel doesn't believe the wall will do thejob. do you think the wall will serve its purpose is? well, the wall‘s supposed to keep people out, and i don't think it's going to do that. in the history of mankind, i don't think a wall has kept anything or anybody out. i think a virtual wall would be more effective than any wall made out of mortar, brick and what have you. this virtual wall that noel is talking about already exists, and my next meeting is with the people who defend it. this is a training exercise.
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border patrol agents practice how to deal with drowning migrants. the rio grande valley is popular with people trying to enter the country. 45% of all the apprehensions on the border take place in this sector. but patrols of the river are just one part of the strategy. we have sensors, cameras, agents on patrol, different types of infrastructure — bridges, roads — that give us easier access to, like i said, those points that are breached on the border. we have different vehicles — cruisers, horses, bicycles and the bikes — so we have a multilayered approach to border security. agent castro believes fencing deters some, but the key is more people on the ground, something president trump has promised to deliver. the main needs are personnel, technology and infrastructure.
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the technology so we can have situational awareness of what's coming in. the infrastructure to get to that detection or that breach in the border. and of course, you need the personnel. you can have all the technology and infrastructure, but if you don't have the personnel to respond efficiently and effectively, then it becomes useless. i'm making a short detour from the border itself. we are on the outskirts of a town where a border patrol checkpoint has created a second frontier. don white is a volunteer, and he's looking for migrants. more often than not, he only finds there remains. you look for the paths that they travel, and then backtrack those to see if anybody‘s been left behind.
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this toothpaste was probably left behind by migrants hiding in these ranchlands. many of them die here. and what is striking is that we are more than 100 kilometres north of the actual border with mexico, and you can hear the cars passing along the highway. this is a major corridor used by people smugglers and drug traffickers. the migrants who made it across the rio grande must still avoid detection as they head to their final destinations. to circumvent the checkpoint, migrants are forced to walk through the surrounding brush for up to a0 kilometres. this is not the place where the migrants expect to die, but they do. it's also dangerous for don. i'm not worried about encountering the border crossers, i'm worried about the drug smugglers.
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that's why i carry what i carry, because that's for the drug smugglers. they are carrying arms, and i want to make sure i can equal that. don works with the missing migrant initiative, a multi—agency project led by the border patrol. theiraim? to recover those left behind. it's easy to get lost, and many migrants die of heat and exhaustion. more than 550 in the last seven years. the leaves around here, this one. so, that was dropped three or four months ago. half an hour into our patrol, don finds something. a rancher found a skull one time, called it in, it was collected. and the sheriff asked if i could do a follow—up search of the area with some anthropologists. we went out there, toward some rat mounds, and these are big rats. towards the rat mounds,
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a huge cactus, but we found several more bones, a cellphone, a photo id, so that was an excellent follow—up search. it was really good. why does don, who lives three hours away, often spend days here? decades ago, his niece was kidnapped and killed, and it took two months for her remains to be found. if you've lost somebody in your family and you don't know where they are lost, you don't know where they are at, where they are even buried, you have nothing that you can bury, nothing you can go and worship to, nothing you can visit or put flowers on... that's. .. that's a pretty harsh way to die. it's hard on the families, really hard on the families. so, i guess that's why i do it, just for the families that
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are still alive. my next stop is in laredo, where almost 60% of the trade between mexico and the us passes. jose san antonio garcia is a trucker who takes cargo across every week. today, he's starting out on a trip to tennessee that is going to take him 27 hours. jose's job comes with risks. this is also a lucrative smuggling point. jose antonio just told me that many of his colleagues have been forced by the cartels to carry drugs into the us, and there's nothing they can do about it. 850 trucks cross this bridge every hour, making it the busiest commercial crossing on the border and in the western hemisphere. many of them are inspected over there.
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many of them are not, so goods and drugs flow into the us, goods and guns flow come into mexico. would a wall be able to stop all the illegal trafficking? so far, we've been through a lot of built—up areas, but our next destination is a bit more remote. i'm at the big bend national park, a place with mountains, canyons, where the desert meets the rio grande. it's a stunning, dramatic and desolate landscape. let's take a look. an indian legend says that after the creation, all the remaining rocks were left in the big bend. walls from another era, hundreds of metres high, in a place for the border bends,
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and from which the park takes its name. the river turns frequently, and it's not always easy to see which side is mexico or the us. at this tiny border crossing point, i've arranged to meet park ranger janette. she tells me the park has the border‘s fewest illegal crossings. routinely, the border patrol tells us that here in the park we have the lowest statistics for any section of the us— mexican border, and within the park, we protect i2% of the us— mexican border, so it's a significant piece. in this vast, remote and lonely place, the binational cooperation is essential, and borders are hard to distinguish. just on the other side of our river, well, we only have one half of the river, to begin with. the other half is preserved by mexican national parks, so we have canyons here,
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but we can only preserve one half of the canyon, one half of the river. and then to have a partnership with mexico to make sure this landscape is preserved as part of a larger ecosystem, that our vistas don't enter that political boundary, right in the middle of the rio grande, is a truly beautiful thing that we have done here. many people who come here don't even realise that the other half of our canyon is mexico, for example. the river is sometimes so shallow you don't even need a boat. mike davidson has been visiting this area for over a0 years. as a river guide, he knows this place intimately, and he's agreed to take me downstream. in terms of the number of people coming to the area, and a certain amount of development, there's been quite a few changes in that time. for me, when you still get into the national park and go on the river, you can go places where you feel like you're the only
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person that's ever been there. that's what i really like about this area. as with other people that visit and work in this area, he's concerned about the future. you know, the whole experience of big bend, with a big, tall, strong, beautiful wall, as they say, would severely degrade the visitor experience here. this is a lot of our national treasures. we can't just throw it away. on the mexican side is a small town called boquillas del carmen. months after the 9/11 attacks, the port of entry was closed. it wasn't reopened until four years ago, and boquillas suffered. you know, that was a big change. it really ruined this town. and this is one of these one size fits all so loosens, —— solutions, where they treated the whole border like a big danger a big danger zone.
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and it really didn't deserve that. so, now, with all this talk about building a border wall and really cracking down, you know, we worried that the gains we've made in international relations here, we fear that that may be left behind if they build this wall. i have now completed the first half of the trip, and so far, i have travelled along a border where the river is the natural barrier. but from now on, i'm going to be visiting places where fences have been in place for years. so, we're going to be seeing much more of this. join me next time when i will be with a mexican who is helping the americans build the wall. what have your friends or relatives told you about building this, this fence? theyjoke with me, tell me to leave just a little open
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for them to cross. and we visit the tunnel capital of the border. good morning. the weather is set to change the some is today. weather is pushing to northern ireland scotland. some of that will be quite heavy first thing in the morning. this is going to be story to greet you when you wake up. that rain pushing out of northern ireland and into scotland. they dressed up for much of eastern,
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central, and south—eastern england. but things will start to change. the early morning rush hour through scotland, some rain heavy and persistent, gradually pushing eastward. we'll see the clearing of some showers in northern ireland. it will be a dry start to the east of the pennines. at the rain, albeit a little lighter, will sit through the west of wales and down into south—west england, as well. they dressed up, not a cold one, in the south—east of england. 1617 degrees in the morning. the sunshine will stay to muster the day through eastern and south—eastern england. this ramble we get a little, but there could be some sharp, thundery downpours developing in the north—west by the afternoon. it says guardian wet and murky out to the west. whites valley is in the south—east yet again our 2a degrees, 75 fahrenheit. the weather front moves through monday night into tuesday. it peps up was heavier
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burst of rain across wales and northern england for a time before easing through. into tuesday, it will be a case of sunny spells and scattered showers into the afternoon. some showers heavy and possibly thundery. if you don't see showers, it will feel pleasant, 17— 34 showers, it will feel pleasant, 17— 3a overall. moving out of tuesday into wednesday, every fridge of high pressure builds, quoting things down, albeit briefly. —— 24. wednesday it will be predominantly dry, albeit on the cloudy side, without rain showing the first signs of pushing through on wednesday, thursday it will be windy and charity as well. they messi story this week. sunny spells, rain clearing to some pretty heavy showers and cooler a little later on. “— showers and cooler a little later on. —— a messy. welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. i'm duncan golestani.
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our top stories: america's top general prepares to meet south korea's president, as the north says it has the right to develop nuclear weapons to defend itself. the white house defends president trump's response to the attack on anti—racism protestors in virginia. 70 years on from partition, we're in pakistan to find out what people think of the founding father's vision for the nation. and protests against plans to build a road through a bolivian national park.
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