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tv   BBC News  BBC News  October 19, 2017 3:00am-3:31am BST

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welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. i'm duncan golestani. our top stories: you'll be held accountable — the us warns myanmar‘s army over the deepening rohingya refugee crisis in bangladesh. donald trump denies a congresswoman's claims that he was insensitive during a phone call to the widow of a soldier killed in action. fears of food shortages in cash—strapped zimbabwe after it bans fruit and vegetable imports. and the dark arts under the spotlight at a museum in milan. the us has said it holds myanmar‘s army accountable for the deepening rohingya refugee crisis in bangladesh. hundreds of thousands of people have left their homes in myanmar,
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where they'd faced a military offensive after claims that militants were guilty of attacking police checkpoints. more than 500,000 rohingya muslims have now fled across the border. 15,000 of them have been stranded for three days with limited food and water. from the border, clive myrie sent this report. in the distance in myanmar, where rohingya villages have burned in recent weeks, and the people have been driven out, there is another fire. it's ethnic cleansing, says the un. and the purged are fleeing for their lives into neighbouring bangladesh. translation: in my village, many were killed. but my son had just been born, so we have only now been able to escape. we haven't had time to name him.
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what is going on in myanmar, why have you had to flee? another man we came across spoke of violence and murder. translation: on the way, we saw many dead people, their heads and limbs chopped off. the slaughter took place house by house. as we drew closer to the border, nothing had prepared us for the full extent of the day's exodus. almost as far as the eye could see, left and right, a tide of humanity. between 10,000 and 15,000 people had crossed the border in one night. young and old, hungry, exhausted, traumatised. and, for the weak, it is a painful journey into exile, with the searing heat stinging the skin infection of this child, beneath an unrelenting sun. they'd been hiding out for close to a week to avoid detection along the border.
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this, a first meal without having to watch their backs. a man makes a call to tell relatives he's made it, while others, parched and desperate, take their chance with the filthy water all around. well, as you can see, they're carrying with them whatever they could salvage from their villages, their homes, that they say they were burnt out of by the myanmar military. look at that little baby there in a basket, and there is another one here, on the other side. so many young children we're seeing here today. this has to be one of the biggest single—day influxes of refugees from across the border, just over there, in the whole of this crisis. manyjust don't have the strength to walk, including this woman. she gave birth to a healthy baby boy just hours before crossing into bangladesh. born on a river bank, he first opened his eyes to see
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a cruel world, in which it seems there is no place for him or the other rohingya muslims. "i begged god to save us", her husband, mohammed, tells me. "we hadn't eaten for two days, and she went into labour. i don't know what will happen to my baby now. he's so fragile." the new arrivals could end up in one of these — the giant, tented camps, built in a matter of days, on hillsides freshly stripped of trees. the largest will soon become the biggest refugee camp on earth. i've seen a lot of these crises around the world, and i really wasn't quite prepared for the degree of suffering and despair.
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and yet these people are very resilient. they have not lost hope. they still think they can make a life again in their home country. and it simply doubles our resolve to go back and find more resources for them until we can bring them home. but some have died seeking sanctuary. this week, a boat carrying 60 rohingya muslims escaping myanmar capsized. 1a perished, most of them children. for the bangladeshis, the mass influx of so many refugees is difficult to control. after a delay, these rohingya muslims should begin moving to an established refugee camp in the coming days. the border remains open, but for those still wanting to escape myanmar, the fear is that soon the gates could shut. tens of thousands are already massing on the frontier, ready to make their dash for survival. president trump has found himself at the centre of a continuing controversy involving his treatment of a widow of a fallen soldier. the mother of sergeant la david johnson has backed a democratic
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congresswoman's claim that mr trump displayed insensitivity towards his pregnant wife when he phoned to offer his condolences. the president has flatly denied the claim and says he has proof that he did not make the remarks. 0ur north america correspondent gary 0'donoghue reports. an all—too—familiar picture, the return of a fallen hero, the grief of a family that will never be the same again. sergeant la david johnson was killed along with three other soldiers in an ambush in niger two weeks ago. but his family and his local congresswoman say the president disrespected his memory in a phone calljust before the body arrived back home. i was in the car when president trump called. he never said the word "hero." he said to the wife, "well, i guess he knew what he was getting into." how insensitive can you be?
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what's more, according to the congresswoman, the call left the widow in tears, as the president didn't seem to know her husband's name. in characteristic style, donald trump responded on twitter: the white house later said there was no recording of the phone call. and in the cabinet room, he was asked, just what did you say to sergeantjohnson's widow? i did not say what she said. and i'd like her to make the statement again, because i did not say what she said. i had a very nice conversation with the woman, with the wife, who sounded like a lovely woman. did not say what the congresswoman said, and most people aren't too surprised to hear that. earlier in the week, the president had to respond to claims that he had been slow to call and write to the families
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of fallen service personnel, particularly as almost two weeks had passed since the niger incident. that led him to lash out at his predecessor, accusing president 0bama of neglecting to contact families. more than many other countries, america displays a deference and respect for its military, which makes this a controversy the president could well do without. gary 0'donoghue, bbc news, washington. for more on this our north america editorjon sopel was asked who was responsible for politicising this. if you were to imagine there was a single issue that could be hermetically sealed away from the political dogfight politics it would be a a widow... but not in today's washington. -- washington. the white house has reacted furiously and blamed a democratic who was in the car with
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the widow in the car with a widow and it's her account which has been made public, also backed up by the mother of la david johnson and the white house said it was deplorable but the president politicised this issue first by making false accusations about his predecessors in the way they dealt with families of fallen heroes. the president stands accused of all of this but in the middle of it all, you have a woman grieving over her husband and yet under the political spotlight in a way she could never have imagined. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news. the us attorney general, jeff sessions, has denied lying to congress about his contacts with russia during the 2016 election campaign, saying he had no improper discussions. appearing before the senate judiciary committee, mr sessions also refused to answer questions about his discussions on russia with president trump.
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ican i can neither assert executive privilege nor disclose today content of my confidential conversations with the president. under the administration of both parties, it is well—established that a president is well—established that a president is entitled to have private confidential communications with his cabinet officials. the president of the spanish region of catalonia is expected to announce whether or not he is declaring independence, by 10am in the morning local time on thursday. the deadline was set by the spanish government, after carles puigdemont said he was making a suspended declaration of independence. google says it's developed an artificial intelligence programme that can learn without human interaction and do it faster than earlier ones. the new alphago zero learnt and mastered the chinese game,
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go, with no data other than a blank board and the rules of the game. the previous version has already beaten two of the world's best go players. the chinese communist party congress has entered its second day in beijing. the meeting is held once every five years and dictates the direction the country will take for the next few years. the bbc‘s robin brant has been following the congress and joins us now live from tienanmen square. robin, what should we expect from day to? far less pomp and ceremony, we don't get yesterday's bit of epic theatre really when xi jingping, the general secretary of china's commonest party, was on his feet for some 3.5 hours, delivering a mammoth speech that looked back to some of the pledges and promises he made in his first five years, but more importantly looked ahead to the next five years and there's no question he will be anointed at the end of this meeting and will continue
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to lead china for a further five years. he had a huge smile on his face when he walked away from the rostrum and put down his notes, not very often do we get to see xi jingping with a big natural smile on his face but clearly he felt happy and pleased with what was a confident, strident address from a man who believes he is very much in control of this party, in control of this country, and is very confident about the future. he painted china as a country that by 2050, with the communists in charge, that will be one year passed its 100th birthday, he wants to see china takes centre stage and be a great nation, a great socialist nation, and that's about this country's economy,
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it's about its position in the world, and also about its continued dominance of domestic politics here in china. robin, this week will also be important for who is promoted into the party hierarchy. when can we expect to see those faces and just how important is it? well, it is important because on the one hand there is no change at the very top. xi jingping stays at the top, there's even some speculation he may to try to break convention of recent decades and go for a third term, but that speculation is probably for another day but there is power plays and factionalism and rivalry going on behind—the—scenes, because the politburo standing committee am currently seven strong, are the most senior figures within the communist party and therefore the most senior decision—makers within china, five of those men, and they are always
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meant for the time being, they are retiring and moving on, just xijingping and his hernia will remain, five men will come in and that will be important because it shows to the extent the president is getting his people, his allies, people that are allied to him in those positions of power, and we will see significant change at the next level when dozens of new faces will fill some of those places in the committee as well. —— premier. it's an important moment, not just symbolic in terms of a transition of power but it's an important moment because it's a barometer as to the extent xi jingping is managing to cement his control over this party. robin brant in beijing, thanks very much. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: is america in need of an unprecedented constitutional intervention? some people think so. we explain why the 25th amendment is getting a lot of attention. a historic moment that many of his victims have waited
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for for decades. the former dictator in the dock, older, slimmer and, as he sat down, obedient enough. dawn, and as the sun breaks through the piercing chill of night on the plain outside korem, it lights up a biblicalfamine, now, in the 20th century. the depressing conclusion — in argentina today, it is actually cheaper to paper your walls with money. we've had controversies in the past with great britain but as good friends, we have always found a good and lasting solution. concorde bows out in style after almost three decades in service. an aircraft that has enthralled its many admirers for so long taxis home one last time. this is bbc news.
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the latest headlines: the us says it holds myanmar‘s army accountable for the deepening rohingya refugee crisis in bangladesh. president trump denies claims that he was insensitive during a phone call to the widow of a soldier, sergeant la david johnson, killed in action. there are fears of food shortages in zimbabwe after it banned fruit and vegetable imports to help preserve its dwindling money reserves. the new orderfollows one injune that banned maize imports. most of the supply of groceries in the capital harare come from neighbouring south africa. andrew plant reports. fresh fruit and vegetables on sale in zimbabwe. much of this food is imported, and now there are fears the shelves here could soon run short.
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landlocked in southern africa, zimbabwe relies heavily on imports, mainly from south africa. traders here say cutting them out will only damage demand. "this ban will kill our business," he says, "even though we produce apples, our customers prefer imported ones, which we sell because they're better quality." the zimbabwean dollar was abandoned in 2009 when hyperinflation meant money earned one day was worthless the next. at one time, a $100 trillion note couldn't even buy an apple. now people here use us dollars or government bonds. president robert mugabe's ban on foreign imports is designed to help domestic farmers sell more and save precious foreign cash from leaving the country. but many fear the move to boost the economy will have the opposite effect. people are now hoarding theirforeign currency, distrustful of government bonds,
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and trading heavily on the black market, fearful that zimbabwe's hyperinflation could one day return. andrew plant, bbc news. in the us, the 25th amendment is the ultimate constitutional check, a mechanism that grants legal authority to those closest to the president. it enables the vice president and cabinet members, and then members of congress, to stage an intervention if the president is deemed unfit to lead. the bbc‘s rajini vaidyanathan has been taking a closer look. chanting: usa! will donald trump's presidency last a full four years? well, one of his closest former advisers believes there's only a 30% chance of him lasting until 2020. and that's because of something called the 25th amendment. well, it's one way a president can be removed from office. we often hear about impeachment, a process which gives congress
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the power to oust a president, but with the 25th amendment, it's the president's own cabinet colleagues who can stick the knife in. well, a majority of president trump's cabinet would need to come together, plus the vice president, and sign a letter declaring that the president is unfit to govern, or in the official words, "is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office." well, that's a good question. but many say that's when a president is mentally or physically unable to do thejob. of course, that is open to interpretation. once that letter is delivered to congress, then the vice president automatically becomes acting president. the president will then be offered the chance to give a written response in defence of himself. then it's up to congress to decide, and it would take a two—thirds majority in both the senate and the house for any change in power to actually go ahead.
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well, the odds of it happening are fairly slim. even though president trump's cabinet seem to be dropping like flies, he's still very much got the public support of his vice president, mike pence, who is unlikely to sign any letter trying to get rid of him. and then there's congress, which is republican controlled and also unlikely to get rid of their president. and lastly, history. never before has the 25th amendment been used to depose a sitting president. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news. a second us federaljudge has blocked president trump's latest travel ban. hawaii and maryland have now issued restraining orders on the bill which bars citizens of eight countries from entering the us. both judges say that despite the inclusion of venezuela and north korea, the order still resembles a muslim ban. nfl commissioner roger goodell says all players should stand
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for the national anthem, but the league won't make them do it. speaking after a meeting of nfl owners, goodell told reporters that they would try to deal with the underlying issues behind the protests. philip pullman's fantasy trilogy, his dark materials, was a global success, selling millions of copies. now readers will be able to return to that parallel dark universe first created more than twenty years ago with the publication of la belle sauvage. it's the first volume in a new trilogy. 0ur arts editor, will gompertz, has met the author. "the inn was an old stone built, rambling, comfortable sort of place. there was a terrace above the river, where peacocks, one called norman and the other called barry, stalked. philip pullman, reading from his latest book la belle sauvage, in which he returns to the fantastical world of dust and demons he created in his dark materials.
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it sees the return of lyra, who is now sheltering in a priory from her own father, in a story that pits liberals against totalitarian oppressors. i think the greatest menace to the world is the point of view that says one size fits all. there's one answer and we have it and if you don't believe it, we're going to kill you or torture you, or imprison you, or burn you you or whatever. the book is set in oxford, one of the world's great centres of education. a subject, as an ex—teacher, on which the author has some views. i think the way in which we educate children now discounts, greatly discounts, the importance of the imagination, and overemphasises a culture of getting things right and getting you can see when a child is actively and imaginatively engaged in the world, and you can see the sad results when they're not, when they haven't been. when all they've had to do is look at a screen. are you watching what's going on? oh, yes. and adjusting your writing and your story along
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with what's happening? well, i'm not describing our world, so there's no direct commentary on brexit, for example. no, but it's not a million miles away, the sort of themes and outcomes. the world is in the most extraordinary state. i've never known things so desperately confused, people so bitterly angry, solutions so far away. and naturally, if you're a thinking person at all, if you reflect on what you see in the news and read in the paper, that's going to colour your understanding of things. la belle sauvage might be set in an alternative reality, but the themes and conflicts played out in its 500—plus pages reveal an author deeply concerned with and very connected to the here and now. will gompertz, bbc news. let's head to italy now, and the northern city of milan. the famous brera art gallery has been offering visitors a slightly unusual experience. you get to see all the museum's great works, except you do it
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at night, with the lights switched off. the bbc‘s tim allman explains. at milan's brera art gallery, interesting things can happen after dark. a small select group of visitors are given the chance to experience something a little out of the ordinary. provided with torches, they move through the museum at night, viewing the paintings from a completely new perspective. translation: in the dark, it seems we are blind, but that's not true. we see better, especially with the help of the flashlight. we see the pictures much better than when the room is lit because we can choose the details and look for what we want to see in the picture. in the dark, our eyes are wide open. this gallery contains some of the great works of renaissance
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art, paintings of raphael, bellini and caravaggio. seeing this all at night, the theory goes, will allow people to interact with the exhibit, picking out specific parts of each portrait. translation: i think this exhibit should be organised much more often because it gives a unique emotion you cannot have during the day. translation: it is surprising, the atmosphere, the environment, and especially following the paths of every painting through the flashlight. it's amazing. this was a short—term experiment only last in three days, but it has been so successful there are already plans for more nights at the museum. tim allman, bbc news. backin back ina back in a moment, stay with bbc news. hello.
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if you want to see what the weather has in store for the british isles in the coming days, you basically just have to take a look towards the atlantic, because low pressures are queueing up. here's one out towards the west at the moment. it will come into play thursday evening and into friday. and this innocuous looking area of cloud will explosively deepen into an area of low pressure on the weekend. more on that in a moment. first thing, a lot of cloud across the british isles. low cloud and misty and murky conditions for the majority to get thursday under way. grey skies, and a mild start. rain to go with the cloud in central and southern england for a time on thursday morning. to the east, with a bit of brightness, it could turn out to be a warmish afternoon. highs of 18 or 19.
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to the west, early sunshine. replaced by cloud and rain in the south of england and wales. northern ireland, getting quite a lot of rain really throughout the course of the day. it is throughout thursday evening and into the small hours of friday that area of low pressure starts to whip up the winds, especially for the cornish coast, but anywhere for the channel coast for the small hours of friday. cloud and wind and rain in the night. definitely not the prettiest of starts to friday. most areas getting off to a grey and wet start. northern ireland seeing the best improvement through the morning. elsewhere, though, give it a few hours, and most of the rain does clear as you can see by lunchtime. the wind will be light. 0vercast, but a great improvement from the start of the day. 15—16 in the afternoon. temperatures just about right for this time of year. towards the west, though, the first signs of what awaits for the weekend. explosively deepening low pressure set to bring rain and wind to almost all parts of the uk at some stage on the weekend. here you go, look at all of those isobars. particularly strong wind as it gets near to us. the worst should stay in the atlantic and start to weaken on saturday.
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nonetheless, the risk of gales again, especially for exposed coasts. but inland gales too. heavy rain for northern ireland where we have already seen plenty, that could cause some problems. rain in the south—west of england, wales, part of scotland as well. eastern areas not having too bad a day on saturday but rain moving in on sunday. most areas picking up showers at some stage. still some strong and gusty winds around as well. and, quite sorry, temperatures of just 12—15 degrees. this is bbc news. the headlines: the us has said it holds myanmar‘s army accountable for the deepening rohingya refugee crisis in bangladesh. hundreds of thousands of people have left their homes in myanmar, where they'd faced a military offensive after claims that militants were guilty of attacking police checkpoints. president donald trump is at the centre of a controversy
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involving his comments to a widow of a us soldier killed in action in niger. mr trump has denied telling myeshia johnson that her husband "knew what he was signing up for". there are fears of food shortages in zimbabwe after it banned fruit and vegetable imports to help preserve its dwindling money reserves. the new orderfollows one injune that banned maize imports. most of the supply of groceries in the capital harare come from neighbouring south africa. now on bbc news it's time for click. this week, japan's love of robots laid bare.
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