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tv   BBC News  BBC News  August 25, 2019 3:00am-3:31am BST

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are welcome to bbc news, i'm reged ahmad. are our top stories: hundreds of new fires rage in the amazon as international pressure mounts on brazil's president over his environmental policies. all smiles as borisjohnson arrives in biarritz for the g7 summit but tensions simmer over britain's exit from the eu. hello and welcome to bbc news. brazilian troops have begun a major operation aimed at putting out a record number of fires in the amazon rainforest. the government has promised to relax its strict austerity
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policies and release extra funds for the emergency. official figures show more than 78,000 forest fires have been recorded in brazil so far this year — most of them in the amazon region. camilla mota is there and sent this report. this is what remains. after the fire ran its course. large swathes of rainforest cleared to the ground. the wildlife dead all fled. parts of the world's biggest tropical forest reduced to charred remains. and every day for the last few weeks, new fires start and die. across brazil there have been more than 76,000 so far this year. the highest in nine years. under pressure from international leaders, brazil's president has said the army will help stop the blazes. mr bolsonaro has sent in the military to help out the fires after coming under pressure from the international
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community, saying he wanted to protect the amazon. military staff could be deployed to nine different states. they are already acting in rondonia. 0ne one day after bolsonaro said he would send in army troops to help put out the fires, local government here in the state of rondonia, one of the most affected by the blazes, has launched a special operation combining different forces including army troops, firefighters and an elite group from the environment protection agency. the chief of operations told us the aim is to have the fire under control in the next few days. for some, this is not enough. at the weekend, many hundreds turned out to demonstrate in major brazilian cities and outside brazilian embassies all over the world. they say the government was slow to act and the president's rhetoric encourages farmers to burn down the forest, to clear land for agriculture.
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fires in the amazon rainforest are nothing new during summer. but the scale and the speed with which they are spreading has alarmed brazil and the rest of the world. world leaders have been meeting for dinner at the g7 summit in biarritz. the french president said he'll do everything he can to get leaders of the g7 to tackle the world's problems, inluding the fires in the amazon. emmanuel macron said he'd try to convince the g7 that tensions, especially over trade, were bad for everyone. he's one of a number of leaders to urge president trump not to further escalate america's trade war with china. for borisjohnson it's his first international gathering as british prime minister. high on the agenda for him is brexit. the european council president, donald tusk said he was "willing to listen" to his ideas for brexit — as long as they were "realistic". 0ur chief political correspondent, vicki young reports from biarritz.
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landing for his first summit, and it could be a tense one. borisjohnson is determined to leave the eu but says britain won't be walking off the world stage. the prime minister wants to show he's got an important role to play and has strong views on global trade. i'm very worried about the way it's going, the growth of protections, of tariffs that we are seeing. the uk thrives mightily on being an open, outward—looking, free—trading nation. that's what we're going to be promoting because i think it's good for the world. there is a lot on the g7 agenda here in biarritz, but right now for boris johnson nothing is more important than brexit. can he persuade eu leaders to give him a new brexit deal? that's something brussels has said it won't do, even though parliament rejected the withdrawal agreement that theresa may negotiated. so is this man likely to help the prime minister? donald tusk famously said there was a special place in hell for those who promoted brexit without a plan. most saw that as an attack on mrjohnson. he will be the third british conservative prime minister with whom i will discuss brexit. the one thing i will not co—operate on is no deal.
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and i still hope that prime ministerjohnson will not like to go down in history as mr no deal. but mrjohnson is optimistic that it will be the eu who changes direction in the end. downing street's playing down the chances of a breakthrough here in biarritz, but think angela merkel and emmanuel macron are ready for some meaningful conversations about the so—called backstop to avoid checks at the irish border. the prime minister insisted again today that it has to go and says that donald tusk should remember that if he does not want to go down as mr no deal brexit. mrjohnson hopes he can depend on the american president for support. donald trump has said that brussels has not treated the uk well over brexit. tomorrow they will sit down together to discuss a post—brexit trade deal.
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so far so good. weather is perfect and the guests are fantastic everyone is getting along. we hope to accomplish a lot this weekend and i look forward to it. friendly words but they may not be able to disguise the serious differences between leaders here. vicki young, bbc news, biarritz. and you can find more about the g7 summit on our website. just go to bbcnews.com. queen elizabeth's second son, prince andrew, has released a statement about his friendship with the disgraced financierjeffrey epstein. it's the first time he has spoken directly about his links since epstein took his own life in a new york prison cell earlier this month. prince andrew said "at no stage" did he "see or suspect" any criminal behaviour. epstein had been awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges when he killed himself. here's our royal correspondent
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nicholas witchell. what was prince andrew doing at the home of a convicted paedophile in new york in 2010, peering out through the door as young women came and went? the questions about andrew's friendship withjeffrey epstein have shown no sign of abating — and so, from the prince today, a statement in which he says he is eager to clarify the facts. he states... "i met mr epstein in 1999. during the time i knew him, i saw him infrequently and probably no more than only once or twice a year. i have stayed in a number of his residences." the prince goes on... "at no stage during the limited time i spent with him did i see, witness or suspect any behaviour of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction." andrew does acknowledge that it was, in his words, "a mistake and an error" to see epstein after his release from prison. this photograph of them together was taken in 2010. andrew expresses regret that what he knew of epstein was not, as he puts it, "the real person".
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and yet epstein‘s behaviour was a matter of public record. two years earlier, in 2008, he had been prosecuted for procuring an underage girl for prostitution. he was sentenced to 18 months in prison. but andrew was one of his friends, emerged, when this photo was published. it had been taken at one of epstein‘s parties in 2001. it showed andrew with a then—17—year—old girl — virginia roberts. andrew has always emphatically denied any impropriety. in today's statement, the queen's second son expresses tremendous sympathy for all those affected by the actions and behaviour of his former friend, jeffrey epstein. and nicholas has been telling us where this leaves prince andrew. i think he clearly feels the need to establish his version of events after a difficult and, frankly,
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damaging week in terms of media stories about him. let's look at what he says. he asserts that between 1999 when he said he met jeffrey epstein and 2008 when epstein was convicted, he never saw any evidence of suspicious behaviour. that may seem slightly surprising but take it at face value. paedophiles haven as secretly as possible. what is difficult for andrew is that he resumed the friendship with jeffrey epstein after his release from prison. he was then a convicted paedophile and yet andrew saw him in new york and went to his home as we saw from that video. andrew now acknowledges that it was a mistake, an error he regrets. one area he has not commented on in this statement is whether he will now co—operate with the us authorities and lawyers for the victims who are very keen and are desperate to find answers and to establish the truth.
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let's get some of the day's other news. north korea's state media has released images of its leader kim jong—un personally overseeing saturday's test of a very large multiple rocket launcher. mr kim said his country must step up the development of new strategic and tactical weapons. he said that young scientists who developed new missiles were a precious treasure. israel has launched airstrikes on targetsjust outside the syrian capital, damascus. the israeli military says it targeted iranian forces inside syria, which were preparing to launch killer drones at israel. unidentified gunmen have reportedly fired on a tourist bus injordan near the ancient city of petra. ajordanian news agency said the bus was not carrying any passengers at the time and there were no injuries. british airways has apologised after wrongly telling some passengers their flights were cancelled, and telling them to book new ones. the mistake, which caused
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confusion for passengers, came after pilots announced three strike dates for next month — and the airlines advised some people with flights on non—strike days to rebook, or get a refund. our business correspondent katy austin reports. josie spent time and thousands of pounds planning a september trip to florida, catering to the needs of her disabled mother. then last night an e—mail saying their flight was cancelled. we don't know whether it's the outbound flight or the inbound flight, as well. we've called british airways 67 times since 6am. we got through once after a 44 minute wait on hold. some of the thousands who received cancellation messages overnight expressed confusion and frustration on social media that they had been unable to rebook online or get through on the phone. in a statement, british airways said that affected customers could get
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refunds and will be rebooked for a different date. but that was not the end of the confusion. this evening, the airline confirmed that some customers were wrongly sent cancellation e—mails about flights on non—strike days. some people told the bbc they already paid for alternative flights. ba has apologised and said that anyone who has incurred expenses should get in touch. this strike action is the first ba has ever had, the result of a stand—off with the balpa union over pay and conditions. passengers have already felt disruption, some of it avoidable, before a walkout has even begun. katy austin, bbc news. an employee at the british consulate in hong kong who was detained in mainland china has been released. china says simon cheng was detained for visiting a prostitute. but his supporters have dismissed that claim and suggested his case was linked to the political crisis in hong kong which erupted again today,
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with the worst violence in more than a week. 0ur china correspondent john sudworth is there. hong kong's protesters have become battle hardened. with the crisis well into a third month. what began as opposition to a proposed extradition law is now a full—scale pro—democracy movement, fuelled by fears that the city's freedoms are being eroded under chinese rule. just before the barricades went up, news came that a staff member at the uk consulate in hong kong had been released from custody in mainland china. but the claim that simon cheng was detained for paying a prostitute has been met with disbelief. they faked the picture. they photoshopped the picture which
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he was with a so—called prostitute just to detain him for 15 days. some suspect a political motive. protests are the biggest challenge to chat minutes party rule in decades and china has been accusing the uk of meddling. hong kong's political stand—off descends once again into violence as police fired tear gas and rubber bullets, pushing the protesters away down the street. pushing the protesters away down the street. it continued late into the night with the protesters already planning further battles in the days ahead. around 40,000 people have turned out in the german city of dresden for a rally against far right extremism, ahead of state elections in saxony next weekend. 0rganisers said the response far exceeded their expectations. john mcmanus reports: a colourful march and rally in dresden but with a serious message.
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the state of saxony has seen a rise in anti—immigrantfeeling the state of saxony has seen a rise in anti—immigrant feeling ever since angela merkel allowed tens of thousands of refugees to enter the country in 2015. resentment at that decision and poor economic prospects has spurred support for the alternative for germany party. if the afd does well here next week it could break the polish in between china chancellor merkel‘s party and the social democrats. a similar outcome could occur in brandenburg. but the adf‘s political opponents believe it is racist. i think it is very important that we understand ourselves as a country which is indivisible and takes its strength from diversity. it is important to show a one week ahead of regional elections, that many people in this country stand against far right ideology and want to show that we fight for an open society. not everybody agrees, however. ‘s march
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against immigration and specifically is lame took pays —— place in dresden four years ago. and the adf leaders reject the charge of racism, saying it is time other parties talk to them. after this week's election, they may have to. this is bbc news. the latest headlines: hundreds of new fires continue to burn in the amazon as international pressure mounts on brazil's president over his environmental policies. emmanuel macron has called for a de—escalation of trade tensions at an informal dinner ahead of tomorrow's g7 talks. more now on the fires in the amazon. 0liver stuenkel is professor of international relations at the getulio vargas foundation in sao paulo. he says, at the moment, brazil's president is keen to give the impression, he's not concerned about criticism from the international community. i think the situation to the brazilian president
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is about much more than just climate change or deforestation. the president who does not believe in climate change has made very clear that he considers the issue to be an internal issue, that the amazon belongs to brazil, and that this is seen by him as an attempt to weaken the brazil's sovereignty, to question brazil's control over the amazon and while some hope that international pressure may moderate the president's stance, it also does create a rally around the effect on the president ‘s populist who likes to engage in controversy, in confrontation, also enjoys this moment were international pressure seems to support his views that the international community seeks to weaken brazil, 60 keep reserve from developing so i think it remains uncertain to what extent threats by the eu, for example, the threat to not ratify the recently signed trade agreement, will actually help the situation because so far
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at least the president has been very clear that he does not seek to moderate his stance, does not plan to moderate his terms in response to international pressure. we talk about the president, being very supportive of celine farmers and agriculture, he wants to expand in that area. if the international community brings in sensations or pulls out of that huge trade deal you are talking about, or that actually hurt farmers, effectively his base in the country? absolutely. so i think we see now the integration of two blocks emerging to explain this internal political dynamic at first, the idealogues of climate change, the military, which is hearing concern about international engagement in the president has
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authoritarian tendencies, it questions the role of ngos, it is critical of them receiving foreign money, the one side, the other is interestingly enough business aligned in civil society, indigenous populations, who are now starting to be concerned. agibusiness in particular, of course, would be hurt if we ended up having boycotts so this might be perhaps the only thing as you rightly point out, this is part of bolsonaro's base. many of the fires are suspected to have been started by farmers who are less concerned about international consequences. there is a big farming companies are concerned about brazil's reputation.
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that does not apply to the small—scale farmers who are seen as some of the responsible people who have started the fires. just very briefly can already see this going? as i said, i think it is unclear to what extent the international unity can exert pressure on brazil, some people have said that the president doesn't want the trade deal with the eu, he's done it to win the election, his adopt a more liberalising rhetoric but in fact, he is an economic nationalist. is he not in favour of international trade. to some extent, some may say that he enjoyed the moment of confrontation. everything will now depend on the capacity of agricultural businesses to pressure the president to adopt a more moderate stance. but it's a board to point out those fires are just the tip of the iceberg. we've seen over the past eight months are systematically getting of watchdogs, the president has adopted a strategy which has led to the suspension of the amazon fund, which is a large—scale scheme financed by norway in germany to help preserve the amazon. this is not something that has just come up.
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this is an integral part of the president's policy, and environmental policy, farming policy, he does regard the amazon not as something to be protected, be but something to be economically exploited. so i'm very sceptical, unfortunately to what extent the community is able to moderate the stance of the brazilian president. 0liver stuenkel there. it's notjust brazil's amazon rainforest that's ablaze. fires in bolivia have burned over 800,000 hectares in the province of santa cruz. exacerbated by strong winds and lack of rain, the fires have burned for 20 days. local lawmakers have blamed farmers for starting the fires a 16—year—old girl and a 21—year—old man died in a car crash in the early hours of this morning in essex. two teenage girls are also in a critical condition. a man was arrested in loughton.
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leigh milner reports from the scene. well, this is goldings hill in loughton and as you can see behind me is a long stretch of road which runs through epping forest, and if you just look over my right hand shoulder you can see where the silver bmw m3 collided into a tree just after two o'clock this morning. a 16—year—old girl and a 21—year—old man died at the scene and two girls, aged 16 and 17 are currently in hospital with life—threatening injuries. earlier today, i spoke to counsellor michael stubbings who gave me his reaction. i'm very sad, very sad that young people had to lose their lives and you don't know what happened at the time or what went on. and what caused it. have you seen things like this happen before on this road? yes, many times i've driven down here and i've seen cars in the forest where people have
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missed their turning and come off the road for whatever reason. it is a road that has to be taken cautiously. a 21—year—old from left and has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and causing injury by dangerous driving and perverting the course of justice. he's currently in hospital with minor injuries. we've all had that terrifying moment where you're getting ready to go on holiday and you think you've lost your passport, but new technology could make remembering to carry your travel documents a thing of the past. instead, the passport would be saved on your phone and detected by a biometric scanner at the border. our business reporter simon browning has been, to try it out. sunshine, holidays, city breaks. we all love our trips away. and it's the time of year when flights are full, airports are bursting, and there can be lots of waiting around. now, we all know what it's
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like to arrive on holiday at your destination, to arrive in the passport hall and be greeted by queues to get your passport scanned. they're a nightmare — 30 minutes, an hour. well, new technology means that could be the thing of the past when our passports go onto our phones. this kiosk is called protect. it's the start of a contactless id system designed by a group of companies and academics to speed up our transition across borders. after downloading an app to your phone, you register your passport with it just once. now it's going to ask you just to look into the camera and this is just simply to make a match between the passport photo and your live image. so your identity has been now verified, so that's been — the link has been established. in a moment, this will be confirmed on the screen. this has now been done. and your mobile phone now says you've been enrolled. 140 million passengers arrived at the uk border in 2017 and that is expected to double by 2050. but airports cannot double in size, so they need to process us faster
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so we arrive and leave much quicker. the advantage of this is that passengers can choose to use it, and if they are low—risk and eligible — that's to say you can come through too much examination — then they can go through and not stop — they can just keep walking. whereas the rest of the passengers who have to be seen can go to the normal control. the security of our data has never been under such scrutiny. the designers of protect insist safeguards are in place and information is encrypted. but other questions remain. what if your battery dies? what if you have bought the wrong smartphone? and can the biometric tunnel be fooled ? i'm going to test whether the passport application works, but i'm going to try and trick it with this mask. the developers say the system is ready for implementation, and the home office says it continues to investigate the application of new and emerging technologies at uk borders. we'rejust gonna see.
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i'm hoping it did not recognise me. that's right. it is a big negative. none of us like to queue, even though we are so good at it. but are we ready to replace them with a hassle—free biometric future? simon browning, bbc news. a spacecraft carrying the first russian robot to be sent into space has failed in its attempt to dock at the international space station. the spacecraft was unable to lock onto its target, but another attempt will be made on monday. it's hoped robots will eventually be able to carry out complex tasks in space, like spacewalks. let's have a look at the weather with ben rich. hello there. the weather we had on saturday really sets the tone for the rest of the weekend. so good news if you like sunshine and you like heat. it was a beautiful day for the beach on cornwall on saturday. i think there will be more
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beach weather in places. and the temperatures on saturday afternoon got very close to 31 degrees just to the west of london. 29 there for aberystwyth, making it the warmest august bank weekend on record for wales. but notice, northern scotland, it was a little bit cooler because of some extra cloud. you can see that rope of cloud on the satellite picture. it brought some rain across the far north west of the uk. that now clearing away northwards. but you can see some of this cloud also has been filtering in over recent hours into wales and the south—west. so these western areas will generally see some patches of cloud as we go through the day on sunday. further east, one or two mist patches early on. they should tend to clear and then we are going to see a lot of sunshine. more sunshine then we had during saturday across the north of scotland. although shetland could see some extra cloud rolling its way through the afternoon. as far as the temperatures go, well, 28 in glasgow, 32, possibly 32 and parts of the south—east. and it's going to feel increasingly humid as well. ans, actually, as we go through sunday night into the early hours of monday, that humidity could well cause some areas of mist and low cloud and fog to form in western areas. could be some quite poor visibility, actually, in parts of the west as we go into the first
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part of monday. further east, some clear spells and just the odd mist patch. and those temperatures 111—15 as we start the day. so through monday there will again be plenty of dry weather and some spells of sunshine. but remember, that early mist in the west, some of which could take a little while to clear. we'll see this frontal system getting quite close to northern ireland and western scotland. maybe some rain into the western isles and some of the western fringes could see the odd showers. turning cooler in the west by this stage. but still the high 20s or low 30s across parts of eastern england. things though will be changing as we head into the coming week. through monday night into tuesday, could see some showers on this little weather front here pushing eastwards, then a more meaningful front starts to make some progress into the west. that'll start to thicken up the cloud into parts of northern ireland, western scotland, could see some splashes of rain here. the chance for the odd shower to break out elsewhere. if you do see a showers during tuesday could be heavy, could be thundery. but still the potential for some really warm weather, especially across eastern areas. however, wherever you are across the uk things will cool off as we head deeper into the week. there will be some outbreaks of rain around at times as well, particularly across
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the north and west.
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the latest headlines: this is bbc news, the headlines: emmanuel macron has called for a de—escalation of trade tensions at an informal dinner ahead of sunday's g7 talks. leaders will also try to resolve differences over climate change and brexit. the european council president donald tusk says it may be the last chance to restore harmony among leading industrial nations.

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