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tv   BBC News  BBC News  February 20, 2018 4:00am-4:31am GMT

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welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is mike embley. our top stories: explosions, screams and sirens. hundreds dead and scores injured — syria's war in eastern ghuota intensifies, syria's war in eastern ghouta intensifies, as air attacks reign down on the battle for one of the country's last rebel held areas. chant: enough is enough! students protest outside the white house, demanding action on gun control. president trump says he'll support efforts to tighten background checks on gun owners. jailed for 32 years — a british university lecturer is described as one of the worst paedophiles ever found on the web. more than 2.5 million babies a year die before they're a month old. a unicef report on infant mortality says many of the deaths are preventable. the united nations has demanded
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an end to the targeting of civilians in syria as government forces intensify their bombardment of eastern ghouta. syrian activists say that dozens of civilians have been killed over the past 2a hours, in the rebel held enclave on the outskirts of damascus. there was no comment from the syrian military but the syrian government says that it targets militants. a warning, lina sinjab‘s report contains some distressing images. cd's cd's war is intensifying in eastern ghouta. —— syria. scores more debt, hundreds more injured. another desperate search talk survivors here. it is hell. activists have
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told us. the state the final stages in the battle for eastern ghouta is underway. it is one of the last rebel held areas. houses reduced to rebel, children terrified. i want my mum this girl cries, this is what is left of their home. finally they are out. people say barrel bombs and surface to surface missiles were used to target them. today was a very miserable day for eastern ghouta. there were many airstrikes, many bombings. the worst thing in eastern ghouta is helicopters, meaning there are barrels. one barrel can destroy one neighbourhood completely. that is what they are fearing, the civilians here in
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eastern ghouta. syrian government forces and their russian allies are determined to clear the area of opposition fighters and take back full control of the capital, damascus. but with the death toll rising, the debt is, at what price? president trump is now supportive of improved background checks for people buying guns, according to his spokeswoman. since the deadly high school shootings in florida last week, the president has largely focused on mental health issues and criticising the fbi for missing warning signs about the gunman. but a campaign led by school students, survivors of the parkland attack, seems to be gathering pace. laura westbrook reports. cassie bernall, 17. steven curnow, 1a. .. this is their message to those in power. 17 students laid down in front of the white house, the same number of children murdered in the school in florida last week. they are demanding congress take action on gun control.
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one of the survivors of the shooting had this to say to donald trump. he is going to see in our eyes that we're not going to back down, no matter what. we are not going to stop until this country changes. it appears the president is listening. the white house says donald trump supports efforts to improve background checks on those buying guns. it's a shift in position for a president who has the endorsement of the powerful gun lobby, the national rifle association. one of the senators behind the bipartisan bill tweeted the president's support was a sign that politics of gun violence are shifting but this one bill alone isn't enough. the shooting suspect, nikolas cruz, did buy his guns legally. the 19—year—old appeared in court for a status hearing. it's emerged that leading up to the shooting, he had as many as ten rifles in his possession, despite being examined
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by mental health workers. chant: enough is enough! enough is enough! anger among those who are the targets of school shootings is still acute. more marches are planned in the coming weeks. while many of these students can't vote yet, soon they will do and they represent the largest voting bloc in the united states. they are hoping their numbers will get lawmakers to finally listen and take action on gun control. laura westbrook, bbc news. a university lecturer described by us officials as the worst child exploitation offender they'd ever found on the internet has been jailed for 32 years. matthew falder from birmingham in the uk had admitted 137 offences, including sharing extreme child pornography and encouraging the rape of a child. sima kotecha reports. so, what, what — what was it i've done? what is it i'm supposed to have...?
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dr matthew falder being arrested at his workplace last year. the 29—year—old spent years posing as a female artist online to trick his victims into sending him naked pictures of themselves. it sounds like the rap sheet from hell. distributing indecent images of children. he then researched their profiles on social media and used that information to blackmail them into sending him more obscene images. he even installed secret cameras in people's homes to film them in the shower and using the toilet. falder contacted more than 300 people worldwide. one of his victims told us she can no longer trust anyone. i was ashamed of what i've done. all relationships broke down. you can't be friends with someone that doesn't trust you and i didn't trust them. even though they did nothing wrong and i did nothing wrong, there was no trust anymore. last year, he pleaded guilty to 137 charges,
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including encouraging the rape of a child and possessing a paedophile manual. today, he was sentenced to more than 30 years. the feeling of helplessness that he embodied in the victims and then took them to a place where they never wanted to go is truly horrific. and, i mean, you know, those videos will be with me and the team probably for the rest of our lives. falder was under surveillance for several months during a 4—year investigation. the cambridge graduate was identified by the national crime agency. it worked with partner agencies across the world, including the australian federal police and homeland security in america to find the man who was behind the messages. falder was one of the most prolific child exploitation offenders and blackmailers we'd ever seen in the uk or even in the us. so it just became. .. the volume of victims and the techniques that were employed and the discipline that was employed by falder on the internet to not be identified and not be caught
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was something we had never seen before. falder lived in this block of flats. he worked at birmingham university. now, officers say his motivation was power and control. he wanted his victims to feel embarrassed and humiliated and he was confident he could outwit the authorities. he contacted vulnerable people seeking work on websites. he then used names such as ‘666devil‘ and ‘evilmind' on the dark net to communicate with other paedophiles. have you sent pictures of your blackmail victims to the parents... no comment. ..of the victim, the grandparents? no comment. when questioned, falder didn't co—operate. today, thejudge called him an "internet highway man" who robbed his victims of their security and dignity. the paedophile showed no remorse or emotion throughout the proceedings. sima kotecha, bbc news, birmingham.
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every year at least 2.5 million newborn babies around the world fail to live for more than a month. and many of those deaths are preventable, according to a report published by unicef. rates of mortality vary dramatically — it just depends where those babies are born. in a moment, a report from rajini vaidyanathan, in india. and our correspondent lebo diseko in malawi. but first rupert wingfield—hayes in japan. this is a beautiful 4—day—old baby girl. in the lottery of birth, she has just hit the jackpot. injapan, the chance of a baby dying in its first month of life is the lowest in the world. hello. please come in. it helps that her mum lives in a rich country with excellent health care. but there are two things
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that set japan apart. the first is this little book. every baby injapan gets one. it will trace her development from the womb until she is six years old. second, she gets lots of mandatory checks. the first stage, until six months of pregnancy, i go — it's about once in four weeks. after that, i go two times in a month. and now, i'm the last month of pregnancy, and i go once a week. this is a truly remarkable success story for japan because just 70 years ago, in 1950, japan's infant mortality rate was 50 deaths per thousand live births. today, for the first time, with these new figures being published, japan is the first country ever recorded to go below one death per thousand live births. in india, where a fifth
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of all the world's babies are born, the chances of survival are much lower than injapan. on average, 60 newborns die in this country every hour. this woman gave birth to a baby girl three weeks ago. she's been in this specialist unit in bhopal ever since. many babies end up here because their mothers are malnourished and don't get proper medical care during their pregnancy. the situation is worse in remote areas. six hours north, i meet this mother with her young son. last month, she gave birth to his sister. "when she was born, she would vomit every time i tried to breast—feed her," she told me. "one hospital turned us away. another asked for more money. by the time we went back to get the payment, she died." it was the second baby she had lost.
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access to quality health care is a key factor when it comes to newborn deaths here in india. for many people, it's still simply out of reach. you only have to come to rural areas to see the impact that's having. doctors say these specialist units are improving survival rates, but in a country where so many babies are born, too many are still dying. this is agnes. being born in malawi means she has a much better chance of survival. newborn deaths have nearly halved in 16 years. simple changes have helped, like discouraging woman from giving birth at home. translation: the difference is huge. here, you are supported. because at home, you could be losing blood. but here, if you are losing blood,
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they give you an injection and if there are any other problems, the doctor can help. premature babies are especially at risk. here, doctors are teaching mothers the kangaroo method, which helps keep these underweight babies warm using body heat. child marriage and the resulting pregnancies are a particular problem and can lead to early birth. 80% of malawians live in rural areas, which means if you are going to have your baby in a clinic, you've got to walk. but the bigger picture is things have got better. unicef says it's because malawi has been open to new ideas. and other developing countries may want to follow that path to give newborns a better chance in life. lebo diseko, in malawi, ending that series of reports on infant mortality. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: the priest undertaking a daily test of faith in the ethiopian mountains.
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nine years and 15,000 deaths after going into afghanistan, the last soviet troops were finally coming home. the withdrawal completed in good order, but the army defeated in the task it had been sent to perform. malcolm was murdered. that has a terrible effect on the morality of the people. i'm terrified of the repercussions in the streets. one wonders who is next. as the airlift got under way, there was no let—up in the eruption itself. lava streams from a vent low in the crater flow down to the sea on the east of the island, away from the town for the time being, but it could start
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flowing again at any time. the russians heralded their new generation space station with a spectacular night launch. they've called it mir, the russian for peace. this is bbc news. the latest headlines: hundreds are killed and scores injured, as syria's war in eastern ghuota intensifies. air attacks reign down on the battle for one of the country's last rebel—held areas. well, let's stay with the war in syria. there, syrian state media is reporting that pro—government forces are going to enter afrin, in the north of the country, to support kurds fighting turkish forces. there's no sign yet they've been deployed. the turkish government regards the kurdish fighters, just across its border, as terrorists and launched a big offensive last month. a bbc arabic crew are the only international broadcasters to reach the area. rami ruhayem reports. inside afrin, the newest front line
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in syria's civil war. the city is the focus of an attack by the turkish army. as they vent their anger, protesters carry pictures of abullah ocalan, he's jail leader of the pkk, the kurdish group which has waged a decades—long war inside turkey. the syrian kurds have been pushing for autonomy and turkey has grown increasingly nervous — invading northern syria was their response. a bbc arabic crew travelled through territory controlled by the syrian army, before arriving here. there was no attempt to stop them. despite its own misgivings about kurdish separatism, it seems damascus is even more incensed by turkey's actions. it has just announced it will send troops to help repel the invasion. as turkish warplanes attack border villages, civilians flee towards afrin. this dark cellar is all the shelter
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this woman could find for herself and her children. translation: on that day there was bombing. the planes came over our village, it bombed the area. we were frightened and we left. my daughter was crying. we came here to this cave. you can see, it is dark and scary. the kurdish fighters are resisting the turkish advance. they have been putting out videos showing their attacks on turkish positions. translation: so far, militarily, the turkish army is in crisis. yes, they have entered syrian territory, there are clashes in border villages, but they cannot say they have consolidated their presence anywhere. but the turkish military is presenting a very different picture. these shots show a kurdish unit tracked by a turkish drone, and then destroyed.
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turkey's aim is to prevent the creation of a continuous kurdish region on its southern border. for the moment, the fighting is concentrated around afrin. turkey's next objective is further east, but it is notjust kurdish forces based in manbij, the us is there as well. it has supported the kurds in their fight against is, and that put a strain on its relationship with turkey. this has pushed it to breaking point. we have all this been clear with turkey that the weapons provided to the syrian democratic forces would be limited, mission—specific and provided on an incremental basis to achieve military objectives only. as to afrin, we call upon turkey to show restraint in its operation to minimise the casualties to civilians and avoid actions that would escalate tensions in that area. back inside afrin, the conflict was taking its toll. 21 fighters are being laid to rest.
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help may be on the way, but at a cost. the regime will be fighting to extend its sovereignty while the kurds will be fighting to defend their dream of self—rule. rami ruhayem, bbc news. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news. senior oxfam executives will be questioned by british members of parliament on tuesday, as the charity apologises, formally, for the first time, to haiti's government over the prostitution scandal involving its workers. the bbc has been told how oxfam drivers were forced to deliver prostitutes to the charity's compound in haiti, after the 2010 earthquake, or risk losing theirjobs. now, what if you could change time in a photograph?
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that's what national geographic photographer and explorer stephen wilkes wanted to achieve in his series day—to—night, melding all the events of a single day into one image. the results are now on display at the national geographic museum in washington, where the bbc caught up with him. art that's powerful is emotional, and so i want you to have some kind of an emotional response to what you're witnessing, to what you're seeing. i try to capture images that have a certain kind of scope, a breath at the same time. the day to night series is something i started about nine years ago and i started with this kind of crazy idea of if i could compress a single day into a photograph. i take pictures from a single point of view, usually elevated, almost always elevated, about 50 feet in the air, and i never move my camera. ijust photograph specific moments through the day and the night. and then what i do is i get back and i edit anywhere from 1200 to 2200 images and it takes me a month to edit them all down and then i decide where day begins and night ends.
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and that's what i call my time vector. this is kind of how it works. in this photograph, day begins on the far right side of the photograph and time tracks in this way, so it literally goes across. in the morning, i was very blessed. we had an amazing rainbow that happened. this is actually happening right now. and then, as time changes, you get the afternoon light and the rotation of the light and then, of course, sunset. photography's always been an evolution, it's always been part alchemy, part science, part magic, right, andjust luck, really, right. one of the things that's really special about this image, of course, is the elephants. this is one frame, that's one moment. i created a photograph in the serengeti where i was able to witness for 26 hours amazing communication between all these competitive species feeding in a watering hole. honestly, it felt almost
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biblical when i was there. it felt like noah was about to drop the arc and they were going to load the animals in. and it was through that experience that, really, my work changed. i sort of saw something in animal communication that i don't think i'd ever read in a book or any scientist ever described. it's really important. this is not a time lapse. you know, people think i set up a camera, have a cappuccino machine and the camera shoots every 30 seconds. it doesn't work that way. i'm actually hand—cocking on a conventional large—format lens. each time i take a picture, i have to cock the shutter and i photograph in the most traditional of manners. i'm just capturing on a digital back. but everything i do is traditional and there's no alteration in my process. it's essentially, i'm a street photographer, almost, if you imagine it, from 50 feet in the air. and i am constantly looking and constantly scouring the scene.
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and i never get bored because i'm just so afraid of missing a magical moment. at the national geographic museum. finally, if you think you have a hard time commuting to work, think again. in the remote mountains of northern ethiopia, a lone coptic priest scales a 250 metre cliff each day to reach his church. so, what motivates him to undertake this test of faith for nearly two hours, twice a day, every day? how was your day? that is it now. thank you for watching. once again, ijust want to bring you up to date with how we see the weather developing right across the british isles in the coming days. and i think there will be something of a transformation for many of us as early as today. a much brighter day for central and western parts compared to monday, simply because monday's weather front slowly but surely is easing its way over towards the north sea but not quite
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completing the job, and that's quite important because it gives leaden skies for tuesday. the last of the mild air trapped with that weather front, slowly just becoming confined to the east. out towards the west, underneath clear skies, tuesday will start fairly cool. western scotland, northern ireland, parts of wales too. there could be a touch of frost if you're very prone. now, let's see how we're going to do for the school run and the morning commute. as i say, with the weather front making its progress over towards the east, there will be brighter skies. just putting the detail model on here, to show you there's a speckling of showers, particularly over the high ground. they could be wintry across scotland. but dry to start with to the western side of the pennines, through northern ireland, the west midlands, wales and the south—west of england. but go that bit further east, anywhere really from about yorkshire down to the far south—east, and you're looking at a fair amount of cloud and the prospect
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of some rain as well, which could, for some, hang around for the greater part of the day. you've got an onshore breeze as well, along these eastern shores. that combination of the cloud, the lack of sunshine and that breeze, 7—9. but further towards the north and the west, where you get some sunshine at last, will push those temperatures up nicely — 10, 11, 12 degrees or so. now, with high pressure building in across that old weather front, we're left with just a residue of cloud which helps to keep the temperatures up as we start the new day on wednesday but either side of it, where the skies are clear, we will end up with a touch of frost and that is the shape of things to come as we move into the latter part of the week and indeed on into the weekend. high pressure trying to build in and starting to connect us to a really cold continent. we will not be looking to the atlantic, as we have done through monday and tuesday, we will be looking towards the continent and scandinavia. so here is wednesday, with a high—pressure close by to us, keeping the atlantic fronts at bay, but there will be sunshine, yes, there will be a lot of dry weather, but notice
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the temperatures, after that coolish sort of start - it's 7-9d. no more the 10—12, if indeed you ever saw that. here, we are into thursday and indeed towards the tail—end and of the week, and here is the mechanism that eventually draws that cold air towards the british isles. the high pressure. dry, yes, but the temperatures set to drop quite markedly as we get through to the weekend. this is bbc news, the headlines: syria's war in eastern ghuota has intensified as air attacks have rained down in the battle for one of the countries last rebel held areas. hundreds have been killed and scores injured. the united nations has demanded an end to the targeting of civilians in the damascus suburb. students have been protesting outside the white house, demanding action on gun control, and are planning a march on washington. president trump has signalled he is now "supportive" of improved background checks for people buying guns, in the wake of the florida school shooting that killed 17 students and staff. the turkish government has said it will confront syrian forces if they enter the north
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western district of afrin, to help the kurdish ypg militia repel a turkish offensive. turkey regards the kurdish fighters, just across its southern border, as terrorists. now it's time for hardtalk.
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