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tv   The Firing Line  BBC News  October 29, 2017 4:30am-5:00am GMT

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response to its takeover by the spanish government, calling for democratic resistance. the spanish government said it would welcome the participation of carles puigdemont in new elections, but said he could still be prosecuted. there is continuing gunfire inside a hotel in somalia's capital, mogadishu, which has been attacked by the islamist group al—shabaab. at least 1a people were killed in two bomb blasts outside the building, with many more injured. the pakistani cricket team is preparing to host sri lanka on sunday for the first time since a militant attack nine years ago. eight people were killed when gunmen set upon the sri lankan team bus. ever since, pakistan has been forced to play their home games in the gulf. now on bbc news: firing line. extraordinary scenes from some
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of the most remarkable events of the year. captured, often at great risk, and after much endeavour. who are the journalists who bring us these films? and what motivates them to tell such stories? some of the most striking news footage that we see on screen
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doesn't come from mainstream media and their staff reporters. there is a collection ofjournalists often operating independently, sometimes picking up a camera for the first time, working in places few are willing to visit to bring us some of the most important stories of our time. these freelancers are honoured each year by the rory peck award named after the freelance cameraman who was killed in moscow covering the october coup in 1993. his memory lives on through the trust which works on behalf of freelance camera crews. this year's films have been dominated by the civil war in syria and the grinding and costly campaign against the so—called islamic state. but they've also featured conflict of a different sort in washington and on the streets of la paz. first, the sony impact award for current affairs, for films that really dig into an issue. film—maker patrick wells spent
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months on a painstaking investigation into allegations of torture, execution and sectarian cleansing in iraq. working with a reporter and a producer, patrick spent a year winning the trust of whistle—blowers, to shed light on the actions of iraq's shia militia, suspected of widespread abuses of sunni iraqis. iraq is just such a devilishly difficult country to report from, there are so many restrictions onjournalists, there is so much suspicion of the media, the amount of time it takes to infiltrate a extremely hostile group who may be guilty of war crimes was incredibly difficult. "patrick researches, produces, directs and shoots brilliantly," the judges said, "his film was incredibly impressive". suddenly got quite chaotic they are accusing him
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of being an isis fighter. we weren't allowed to follow him and we don't know where they have taken him. patrick also uncovered evidence of shia militia infiltrating the iraqi government, and running a network of secret prisons to torture and kill innocent people. the most galling scene that we filmed was when we found the women of saqlawia. saqlawia is a town outside fallujah, and when it was taken back from islamic state 615 men and boys vanished in the days following the battle. the women were in a refugee camp which was very inaccessible, when we arrived, this enormous group of women mobbed us and all of them crying. it was the first time the story really became real for me, when i met these women,
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and i thought, how has this not been a story? this huge crime had happened and had received so little coverage. people with disabilities are some of the most marginalised in bolivia. but now they are fighting for their rights. dan fallshaw and violeta ayala tracked the group of disability rights campaigners on a 300—kilometre trek across the andes to la paz where they staged a protest in the capital. the scene is set for confrontation.
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this is a very dangerous moment and i think we have to protect our freedom of expression in bolivia. dan and violeta were singled out for police attention. my colleagues, daniel fallshaw, fernando barbosa and andrea, they have all been assaulted by police, dan was beaten by police. the judges said "the story felt so fresh, highlighting an issue none of us even knew existed. this is committed compelling observational documentary film—making at its best." the protest lasted six months but ultimately ended when two campaigners were run over by a car and the leaders threatened with long prison sentences. aleppo, 2016.
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opposition fighters holding the east of the city are losing their grip as syrian forces and their allies close in. four young journalists record their final days in the city in a remarkable story that has won the impact award for current affairs. together they dodge snipers, suffered daily bombardment, and the terror of living under siege. now, scattered around the middle east, siraj explains the origins of the film. the group also demonstrated
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ingenuity and resilience and dignity, in the face of extraordinary challenges. as the end neared, the group documented the painful transfer
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of civilians and fighters from rebel areas. thejudges said this is the most intimate, gripping and moving work of these last days in aleppo. it's like a love story to their city. goodbye aleppo, winner of the impact award. next, the news feature category, for more in—depth films. every president in american history has disliked the press coverage
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that he got, but what is unusual is none before this has declared war in the first week. he needs an enemy. ollie lambert‘s film follows a week in washington at the beginning of donald trump's presidency. we always have an adversarial relationship and sometimes that is healthy and natural, but this is beyond adversarial. ollie paints a portrait of the press corps which covers the us president and how they respond to donald trump tearing up the rule book. it was perfectly clear walking into that briefing, that the whole battle was being waged in this tiny little bit of real estate in one corner of the white house and i set up camp for as long as i could and tried to get under the skin of the journalists who were on the front line of that war
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for the truth, really. the judges said ollie gives a totally different vantage point on the story that everyone else is telling. we are going to get a call soon. wow. the russia crisis is threatening to engulf the white house, at the last minute, sean spicer‘s daily briefing is cancelled and donald trump announces his first solo press conference as president of the united states. to actually see it play out, where very professional, thoughtful truth—telling journalists were being mercilessly attacked for trying to do theirjob and try to tell the truth, that felt like a very serious issue and i wanted people to really feel, notjust understand, but really feel how serious that was. quiet, quiet, quiet. i don't have to do that, i don't have to tell you what i'm going to do in north korea. waita minute.
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i don't have to tell you what i'm going to do in north korea. and eventually, you guys are going to get tired of asking that question. we keep doing ourjob. you know, no—one became a reporter to be loved. if he wants to go after us, that's his decision. i'm not sure that's a smart long—term decision for building support in the country. our next finalist is a shocking expose of the torture of innocent iraqis. award—winning photojournalist ali arkady was embedded with an elite iraqi army unit. he was planning on making a film celebrating their exploits on the battlefield, but he discovered a much darker side to their story. entering the home of a family,
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they ignore a crying mother and her children. you're scaring the children, she says. they pull the husband outside and begin to beat him. claiming he and his wife once helped isis. and it gets worse. the very next day, arkady and his camera was present when the unit methodically prepared to torture this man, a sheep herder whose teenage sons were suspected of working for isis. as a senior officer gives the directions — when i tell you to kick, he says, you let him go. the soldiers close the curtains, but allow arkady to continue filming the ugly scene. at first, ali felt conflicted. he even admits he twice obeyed commands
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by the unit's officers to strike detainees. but, the more he saw, the more he realised he had to tell a different story. i didn't have any choice, any option, to try to stop this violence. but i thought, in another way, i can, and i try in the future to stop what these forces are doing for the civilians. and, if i can get more evidence, approval, that i can show, maybe we can stop what they did. now in hiding, following death threats to his family, ali says his film has already produced results. the judges described his film as truly ground—breaking journalism. "ali couldn't challenge what he saw," they said, "the only thing he could do was shoot the material and get it back."
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the winner of the news features award was olivier sarbil‘s film. the erstwhile children of saddam's iraq, now in the battle to save iraq. he lived alongside a unit of the iraqi special forces for five weeks, as they pushed into isis territory. thejudges praised its raw emotion and authentic life, bringing us incredible footage and intimate insights into the real life in the city. to get the footage, olivier first had to win the trust of the soldiers he was with. for two weeks, i just sit, sleep, eat, with those guys, you know?
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and try to get their trust, try to get some sort of common understanding, to a point where i would be invisible, and the camera would be invisible, also. as a former french soldier, olivier had combat experience. but as a freelancer who was on his own, with no support network. i had no—one with me. i didn't have a fixer. i didn't have a translator. the commander of the unit spoke a bit of english but most of the men spoke arabic. but day by day, they learnt to know me, they knew why i was there, and we managed to build trust between us, and they wanted me to stay with them. but he also had to trust them with his own life. i knew those guys were well—trained.
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i would not have been in bed with, maybe, the regular army. i knew those guys were good, well equipped, and i trust them. he was keen to show another side to life on the front line. i wanted to be a bit more intimate with those guys. i want to have a chance to know them better, the people, to know them better. i was very surprised to see how much they were confident with me and then how much they would let me film them in any kind of circumstances. but danger and death are never far away. the battle for mosul, winner of the news feature award. and, finally, the news category, awarded for films that capture the immediacy of a story. the attack happens
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shortly after dawn. the conflict in syria has set new standards in the horrors of war. be warned — this footage of a chemical weapon attack is upsetting. adam was one of the first to arrive, but was himself knocked unconscious by the gas. one of the survivors describes the moment the gas hit him. translation: i fell down and couldn't feel a thing.
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i felt myself lying on the ground and my hands were hitting the ground, and then i fainted, it was as if i was hitting myself, i had no control. i couldn't see anything with my eyes. the victims are moved to a nearby hospital where fadi continues to film, as danger still lurks. suddenly there is panic as news comes in of more fighterjets heading that way. a localjournalist is in the middle of delivering a report. the scenes were so shocking that at first fadi froze. the judges said "this work is chronicling a war crime.
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to be unflinching and keep your head in a situation like that is so impressive." most are treated peacefully on the floor as distraught relatives look on, powerless to help. news award finalist mstyslav chernov was another freelancer who spent time in mosul with the iraqi specialforces. this was urban warfare, fought one street at a time. a former aid worker and award—winning photographer, he has covered other conflicts, in ukraine,
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syria, and iraq. working alone without the local language, mstyslav is very conscious of the risks this kind of journalism involves. and you try to understand how far you need —— you try to understand how far you can go, and you try to understand how far you need to go to show what is really going on, it is a constant search and balance between the safety and what you need to do. everyone who goes to war, i think they realise that danger is imminent, there is no way you can escape danger, when showing what is the reality of war. thejudges praised his camerawork. all of mstyslav‘s images are captured so clearly and cleanly. every sequence is a vignette, and shot after shot after shot gives the complete story without narration. i think it always feels like a paradox to me.
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every cameraman tries to make their shots as beautiful as possible. but to show the reality of war, to show the brutality of everything that's going on, it contradicts our wish to make the shot beautiful. so that is a struggle. that is where the cameraman gets stuck. how to show the reality of war, how to show how terrible it is, but also make the shot appealing, because when you make the shot appealing the viewer starts accepting the war and that is the contrary of what we are trying to do. tender words for a child that can't find its own.
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the winner of the news award is a searing film about life in the last functioning hospital in aleppo. it was shot by waad al kateab, a marketing student at aleppo university, before she picked up a camera to become a journalist. fatima is the only adult left of three families whose apartment block was obliterated by a russian or syrian bomb. she comes across a neighbour, a teenage boy named mahmoud, he used to live upstairs. the baby boy he is holding is his little brother, ishamel muhammed, one month old. his face is the only restful thing in this bedlam. but this is the sleep of the dead. ishmael was suffocated in the ruins. currently in hiding, we are unable to show
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pictures of waad. i filmed a lot of events and details inside aleppo. the most interesting thing for me was the hospital, and when i turned the camera on i was just focusing on showing the ward, the suffering and what is happening inside aleppo. maybe the world will show the al—assad crimes of the regime against the civilians there. it is all still in my mind. i couldn't forget anything happened from the first moment until the end. a nurse leads in a brother and sister. they go from room to room.
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we don't know their names and they don't know yet if they are orphans. the judges said "in waad's work, you are in the present — in the midst of the event. she uses techniques which reach out and move people." "not one shot is fired, but waad shows us so powerfully the horrors of war." brother and sister are still waiting for news of their mother. exhausted beyond words by a life beyond description. inside aleppo: the last hospital, winner of the news award. that's it for this year's edition of the firing line, a year in which the human cost of the war in syria and the bitter battle against against islamic state militants in iraq defined the rory peck awards. goodbye.
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hello there. good morning. gusty westerly winds are being replaced by a northerly wind overnight and into sunday, our air coming down from the arctic. much colder air spilling our way, but the promise of more sunshine. there are skies across northern parts of the uk dropping —— there are clear skies across northern parts of the uk dropping temperatures. further south, more cloud and maybe a little light rain or drizzle around south wales and southern england first thing. this should clear away last of all from the far south—west later in the morning, then some good spells of sunshine. a few showers running down those north sea coasts, where the wind will be strongest and it will feel quite a bit colder
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in the north—east of england and north—east scotland, compared with yesterday. not so bad towards the south—west, where the winds are lighter and we've got some sunshine. but a frosty start on monday morning, particularly in the countryside. it will gradually turn milder into next week, because westerly winds will bring in more cloud and a little rain. welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is lewis vaughanjones. our top stories: thousands call for spanish unity at a mass rally in madrid, but catalonia's sacked leader vows to resist direct rule. at least 23 people die after twin explosions and a gun battle at a hotel in somalia's capital. cricket returns to pakistan, nine years after a terror attack forced the national team to play abroad. mixed dancing, make—up, and the first marriage. a new reality for raqqa after islamic state.
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