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tv   BBC News  BBC News  April 21, 2017 4:00am-4:30am BST

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a very warm welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to our viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is mike embley. our top stories: a gun attack on the champs—elysees in central paris leaves one policeman dead, two more seriously wounded. officials say the gunman, who was shot dead by police, was known to security services. mesdames et messieurs, you have to stay back, please. the area is dangerous because of shotguns. please stay back. a massive security operation gathers pace. the so—called islamic state group claims it was behind the attack. president hollande says all signs do point to terrorism. translation: we are convinced that the investigations will show that this attack was terrorist in nature. the anti—terror group has been deployed, and it will lead the inquiry. hello.
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a major security operation is underway in paris, where a gunman opened fire on a police bus in the heart of the french capital, killing one officer, wounding two others and a passer—by. the gunman drove up to the bus, got out and began firing an automatic weapon, thought to be an assault rifle. officers then shot him dead. it happened on one of the city's best—known streets, the avenue des champs—elysees, which runs between the place charles de gaulle and the place de la concorde. towards the western end, it is thought, about 300 metres, barely 1,000 feet, from the arc de triomphe itself. reports suggest the gunman was known to the intelligence services, and police have been searching his home in the eastern suburbs of paris. the extremist group the so—called islamic state is saying it was behind the shooting, and has named the attacker as a belgian, abu yousif. it is just days before the french vote in the first round of the presidential election. francois hollande, the current president, said he is convinced the attack is related to terrorism. james reynolds reports from paris. in the minutes after the attack,
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the police in paris took every movement as a threat. at this stage, officers didn't know if any other gunmen might still be at large. the shooting happened right in the centre of the city, as parisians and tourists were heading out to dinner. the champs—elysees was already full of police officers, guarding againstan attack on civilians. but it seems that this shooting targeted officers themselves. translation: we are convinced that the track the investigation is on will reveal that the event is of a terrorist nature. late into the night here, the police are still stopping people from approaching the scene of the attack, just a block or so away, in the champs—elysees.
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and everyone around here wants to know exact and what happened. the police want to make sure that all nearby streets are safe. officers kept their handguns drawn. they searched everyone coming out of a nearby building. i was shocked when i came out of the subway. police in riot gear approached me and just put me to the side. i told them my hotel's just right behind you, and they wouldn't allow me to go. the country will now investigate the shooting, and make sure that its plans for sunday's presidential election are in place. james reynolds, bbc news, paris. in a brief statement, the paris prosecutor francois molins said the gunman had been identified. translation: the identity of the attacker is known, and it has been verified. i won't reveal it, as investigations and searches are already taking place to determine whether or not he had any accomplices. walid haddad was in a cafe facing the george v hotel,
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just off the champs—elysees, when the shooting started. i was sitting on a cafe in the... let's save a00m from where everything happens, in front of the famous george v hotel on george v avenue, and i was inside. so i heard several noises. i first was told it was construction, a very high volume construction work. then two minutes after i left the cafe, as i was heading with a friend in the direction of the champs—elysees, then i started to see people running and very frightened. could see it in theirfaces. running and very frightened. could see it in their faces. running the opposite way of mayan. so i quickly asked a person what was happening, and he
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definitely told them that i should definitely told them that i should definitely run with them as they heard a lot of shootings, and they we re heard a lot of shootings, and they were really shocked. so i started to run with them, because of course... and let's say a minute later i could see a helicopter over paris with a camera, so see a helicopter over paris with a camera, so probably maybe for tracking another potential shooter, and quite quickly they started to close the sector, the champs—elysees sector, and after the surrounding streets. and until now, the champs—elysees, i have been less than a kilometre, and we can still hear some sirens and not very far from our place it is still forbidden for all the traffic. the moments after the shooting were chaotic, with reports of more gunfire being heard. those reports turned out to be false, but this clip from our europe editor katya adler shows just how unnerving a situation like this is.
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banging. shots are being fired. is it gunshots? no, no, no. it's not a gunshot. entrez, entrez! everybody in, everybody in! keep the door open. cut the camera, please. as you heard, it turned out that those noises were not gunshots, but it shows how difficult situations like this are for security services. thomas fessy reports now on the security situation in france, just days before the election. well, there is no doubt that this latest attack is putting security issues right back at the centre of the presidential campaign, just in the final hours of the campaign. interestingly enough,
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security issues and terrorism have not been the focus of this campaign so far. it's been a lot more talked about economic issues, unemployment, but also the distrust of the political class, and job losses. and you have hardline candidates, like marine le pen, of the national front, obviously, who are quite — who are talking about these security issues, and radical islam, and migration and terrorism, quite often. but it's not been very much the centre of this campaign. and now, with this latest attack, it will be on everybody‘s minds before the vote on sunday. now, security had already been increased around all the candidates in the last few days, because an attack — a plan for an attack had been foiled in the southern city of marseilles, where two people have been arrested.
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they were apparently planning an attack either on presidential candidates, or a rally, we don't know exactly, but explosive has been found at their apartment. the security forces were able to search their home in the framework of the state of emergency that has been in place for the past two years in france. and, obviously, that shows that the security services are very much on alert on that kind of threat. today, that latest attack shows that the threat is very much there, and that it may have an impact on the turnout of the vote on sunday. whether people will be fearing to go out and vote,
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or whether they will feel that it is safer to stay home, we'll have yet to see. professorjohn blaxland is acting head at the bell school of strategic and defence studies, in canberra. professor, thank you for your time. it seems this attacker was known to the intelligence services. he had posted his intentions on social messaging service. what more would you say authorities can do to prevent incidents such as this? well, what we are seeing, mike, as this is becoming a new normal. and it's proving very difficult for the security and intelligence services to stay one step ahead of the game. they been additionally resourced, and there will be calls, undoubtedly, for more extreme measures. but we need to be very careful about taking any drastic step. you need to be looking at
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incremental improvement in the strategies that are already in place, the counter extremism forced in france, that is particularly problematic because... communities where people who are disaffected can hide, and fester. of course, the problem here is also the issue of data on the so—called islamic state, and its permutations, if you like, emerging with the defeat of many of the forces in iraq and syria. and we are probably going to see more of this kind of action in the future. but we have got to think about the detection threshold. while there may have been some indications out hear of this act being imminent, it is very hard, given the volume of material the intelligence and security services have to wade through, to be on top of it in a timely matter and then provide direction to the security forces to
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respond to those teapots, which in themselves may not be indicative of an actual event, but might be a spoof, or it might be something to put somebody off the trail. so we are ata put somebody off the trail. so we are at a point now where the security services have done, i think, as much as they can. we are now ina think, as much as they can. we are now in a position where we actually need the community to buy enmore. and this is where most pundits are considering the best approach to countering extremism, is about engaging with society, engaging with minority groups, engaging with schools and communities and community groups, to have a constructive, leavening effect on society, and to be looking for the tips that security agencies can then respond to effectively. let's not forget, the overwhelming majority of the people from minority groups from which these terrorist spring are peaceloving, law—abiding people who wa nt to
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peaceloving, law—abiding people who want to fit in in society. so we need to be very careful not to buy in on the rhetoric of this goading act, this act to evoke an overly strong reaction from the society and from the security forces. it is a conundrum we face, but essentially we need to keep calm and carry on. and just briefly, if you can, even when intelligence services do focus in on when intelligence services do focus inona when intelligence services do focus in on a suspect, many services will tell us, of course, it is so labour—intensive to run a 24/7 surveillance on just one subject, they have to prioritise. indeed, we have to prioritise. but 3? we} 95351; ef'qflilié eu? m? z that large, as to at large, as to intelligence l large, as to intelligence forces}, act , opposed to intelligence forces, act on crimes, versus pre—emptively, in anticipation of an act, based on the box. it is very hard, the fine line
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to be drawn back, between acting overly pre—emptively and actually imposing too much on society, and at the same time providing the level of security that society expect, that expectation has clearly risen. whether the security and intelligence services are able to do more, my senses they can incrementally improve things, but dramatically change things? not without dramatic convulsion in society. we think about the last time we seriously contemplated dealing with this on a massive scale, we talk about internment from the second world war, and that of course is completely untenable and logistically impossible, and would be catastrophic for society. in the absence of the course of action like that, open to us, we need to be looking, as i say, to avoid responding to the goading, to act constructively across society, to encourage a security and
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intelligence services to act, and the incrementally improve their game, to ratchet up the pressure. but all of us, we all have a role here to play in providing constructive effect on society, in ensuring that those people who are law—abiding, well intentioned, don't get caught up in this toxic group thatis get caught up in this toxic group that is so cancerous in our society. thank you very much indeed for that. france has endured a series of attacks in the past three years. the timing of this one is surely significant, just days before the first round of voting in the presidential election. sarah corker has been looking at political reaction to the attack. as news broke of another terror attack in france, all 11 candidates standing in sunday's presidential election were making their final television appearances. as a mark of respect, the three leading candidates have
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called off rallies and meetings. translation: concerning what happened tonight, i want to first and foremost say that the nation stands with the police. we are faced with an act that we can't yet totally make sense of but, sadly, it seems to resemble an act of terror. on the world—famous boulevard, a car pulled up alongside a police bus, a man got out and opened fire with an automatic weapon on police officers. marine le pen of the far right national front tweeted: jean—luc melenchon standing for the far left wrote... sentiments echoed by other candidates. translation: i left the set earlier andi translation: i left the set earlier
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and i heard that the nightmare is starting again. i was gripped by feelings i felt before of sadness and dull anger at the same time. feelings of sadness of course for the law enforcement officers who are once more paying a heavy price in the fight is macro to arm —— against islamic terrorism. france has been in a state of emergency since a string of jihadist terror attacks that began in 2015 and have killed over 230 people. injanuary 2015, gunmen in paris attacked the officers of the charlie hebdo magazine and a supermarket. in the same year in november, the bataclan concert hall and a major stadium were attacked, leaving at least 130 people dead. injuly 2016, a lorry drove through a crowd celebrating bastille day in nice, killing at least 84 people. and this year a man armed with machetes attacked soldiers at paris's louvre museum. and just last month a man was killed at paris's orly airport after attacking a soldier. the nation is once again on high alert.
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50,000 members of the security forces have been deployed for sunday's ballot. we'll have more on the paris attack in a moment. and don't forget there's plenty of background and analysis on our website,, plus the latest developments and pictures and video from the scene, that's all at the stars and stripes at half—mast outside columbine high. the school sealed off, the bodies of the dead still inside. i never thought they would actually go through with it. some places have already had nearly as much rain as they would normally
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expect in an entire year. for millions of americans, the death of richard nixon in a new york hospital has meant conflicting emotions. a national day of mourning next wednesday sitting somehow uneasily with the abiding memories of the shame of watergate. and lift—off of the space shuttle discovery with the hubble space telescope, our window on the universe. this is bbc news. the latest headlines: a gun attack on the champs—elysees in central paris has left one policeman dead and two more seriously wounded. officials say the lone gunman, who's been killed, was known to security services. a police search is under way at his home near the capital. well, let's stay with the news.
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but speak with a member of the foundation for defence in washington. isis is claiming credit for it. obviously we don't yet know whether the claim of credit is credible or not. it certainly has the hallmarks of a terrorist attack and isis has in fact provided enough early information that we should be able to have a good assessment as to whether they were ahead of time. i suspect that if they did it is likely that they have some statement from the attacker himself that they will be able to push out through their media in the next couple of days. there were thousands of people on the champs—elysee as usual. it is clear this was a deliberate
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targeting of people in uniform, as at orly airport with the attack on a soldier. that's correct. the attack, if it went for longer, who knows what would have happened? there may have been a transition to more targeting of tourists or the like but he obviously went straight for the security services right at the very outset. and in fact in a number of attacks linked back to isis security services have been targeted. in the wake of the charlie hebdo attacks, there was a targeting ofa hebdo attacks, there was a targeting of a policewoman. there was the awful attack where an attacker went on to facebook live after it was done where a couple with a policeman being one of those killed and their child, a four—year—old, was on the facebook live video. so the security services have been a special target for a variety of reasons and, sadly, today was no exception. only one attacker at the scene, police say they are checking for accomplices. i
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think it was reported that an arrest warrant was issued for one possible accomplice. the phrase lone wolf, lone attacker, gets used. there isn't really any such thing, is it, there is always a trail. there are some true loan wolves but he has that they are not by far the exception. people tend to throw that around too much —— lone wolves. when an individual is able to get isis a tape ahead of time, it is usually a good sign that it is not a lone wolf attack. with the boom in social media and encrypted communications, especially end—to—end encryption, which is very hard to crack, isis has taken advantage and is in touch with more terrorists than ever before. earlier my colleague martine croxall spoke to sir peter ricketts who was uk ambassador to france between 2012 and 2016 and began by asking for his reaction to events in paris. well, this does have all the hallmarks of another terrorist attack, doesn't it? it's a deliberate, targeted attack on police on one of the highest profile streets in france, with thousands of tourists and people around, as there
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would be on any evening. so this clearly was intended to attract the maximum attention at a very sensitive time in france just before the elections. how significant then is the location? well, it's highly symbolic. i mean, you can't think of a more symbolic french target, i suppose, than the champs—elysees. this was calculated to have maximum impact, and it inevitably has done. some of the eyewitnesses we've spoken to have said that they felt that the police were very much the target, here, when there were of course probably many other people out on the street. as far as we're aware, they're unharmed. so the police being a target another significant factor here? initial reports suggest the vehicle pulled up alongside the police van and opened fire on the policemen thatjust happened to be there. of course, there are a lot of police on the champs—elysees at any time. so yes, there are a lot
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of enquiries to be done, but it looks like a targeted attack on the police force in france. you were clearly the ambassador in paris during some very tumultuous times. there has really been a state of emergency in place for some time. what more can the french authorities do in terms of providing more security? i don't think there is much more. they were already planning on an extra 50,000 security forces out and about in france for the elections on sunday. so i don't think there's any more in terms of security they can do. the experience in paris from a year and a half ago, the bataclan attacks, was that people were very determined not to let the terrorists change their way of life or block them off what they were intending to do. so i think the reaction in paris will be one of resilience and determination not to be cowed by this attack. but obviously it will increase anxiety and tension.
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there was already one plot disrupted in marseille a couple of days ago, so this does show that france is that a very, very high level of threat at the moment. francois fillon has according to reuters called for the election campaign to be suspended. how likely is that in the light of what he said, paris and france wanting to show that normal life can carry on? i think he talked about suspending his campaign. i mean, it is now really only one more day of campaigning anyway in this election campaign, because saturday, the day before the election, is a day when no campaigning is allowed. so, in practice, the campaign for the first round is almost over anyway and i think it is hard to see that they will postpone the actual voting on sunday and i think the logic would be indeed that france should carry on and show
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that they are not going to be frightened away from this hugely important democratic exercise that they are now on the point of conducting. and in terms of the timing of this, i mean, how coincidental that this presidential debate was taking place this evening? i don't think we know the answer to that by it surely no coincidence that this attack has happened just a couple of days before, you know, the first round of the presidential elections, a major democratic moment in france in the five—year cycle. so it seems to me the timing was deliberate in that sense. sir peter ricketts there. much more on that and all of the news on the bbc news website. thanks for watching. hello.
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if you think we're finished with winter weather, think again. next week it will turn much colderfor a time. frost and even some wintry showers around for some of us. we'll talk about that weather change in a moment. but this is the fairly quiet picture as friday begins. i say fairly quiet because we have got rain affecting parts of scotland with a stronger wind. it'll be a mild start for much of the uk and where we'd like some rain across those parts of england, wales, into the channel islands that have been so very dry, it is looking mainly dry as the day begins. variable cloud, a few bright or sunny breaks. now, from the thickest cloud in wales, more especially north—west england, northern ireland and south—west scotland, a bit damp and drizzly in places, especially coasts and hills. some more persistent rain with the stronger wind across the northern half of scotland. that's cleared away from the northern isles at this stage, so we're left in a colder, showery air mass throughout the day. quite windy, some of those showers might have a wintry flavour. through the day we take outbreaks of rain southwards across scotland, eventually reaching into parts of northern ireland. we'll keep plenty of cloud, north—west england and wales, into the west midlands,
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maybe the odd spot of light rain or drizzle. we'll keep some sunny spells, though, east of the pennines, east midlands, east anglia, southern england often cloudy but some bright or sunny spells and some warmth in that sunshine when it makes an appearance. some of us 18 or even 19 celsius. now, on through friday evening, a lot of dry weather to come going into saturday morning. just this zone of thicker cloud, patchy light rain or drizzle edging southwards. to the north of that, colder, colder start to saturday, parts of northern england, especially scotland with a touch of frost. on through the weekend, no significant change any time soon. that's confined to next week. for the weekend it will be mainly dry. there will be a lot of cloud around at times but some bright or sunny spells. close to this weather front, still a bit of damp and drizzly weather edging its way southwards during saturday. north of that, sunny spells, a few showers running into northern scotland. south of that, we're keeping temperatures up here, so a bit of warmth if the sun makes an appearance. but it will be a cooler feel across many parts of the uk, and particularly where you've got the breeze. but as ever, if the sun makes an appearance it will feel quite pleasant.
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similarly so on sunday. a lot of dry weather for england and wales, for northern ireland until late in the day. but parts of scotland, especially the further north you are, turning windier and wetter as the day goes on. looking fairly promising for the london marathon, there will be some warmth as the day goes on but for the start, single figure temperatures, and if it's overcast, that's pretty much ideal i think for the runners. now, going from sunday to monday, particularly by the time we get to tuesday, that weather change i was talking about, colder air pushing south across the uk and a stronger wind and some of those showers will be turning wintry. the latest headlines from bbc news, i'm mike embley. a major anti—terror operation is under way in paris where a gunman opened fire on a police bus, killing one officer seriously wounding two more and a passer—by. it happened on the busy champs elysees in the heart
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of the city. the attacker tried to flee the scene but was shot dead by police. officials have confirmed he was known to the intelligence services and a police search is under way at his home near the capital. the so—called islamic state group says it carried out the shooting, naming the attacker as a belgian — abu yousif. it is not confirmed though. french president francois hollande has held crisis talks with his prime minister and interior minister and is set to convene his security cabinet on friday morning. the incident comesjust days ahead of the first round of the french presidential election. some of the candidates have suspended their campaigns in light now on bbc news, hardtalk.
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