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tv   BBC News  BBC News  March 31, 2018 12:00pm-12:28pm BST

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this is bbc news. i'm shaun ley. the headlines at midday: two british men accused of carrying out beheadings for the so—called islamic state have complained that they won't get a fair trial after losing their citizenship. moscow more than doubles the number of british diplomats it plans to expel in the continuing row over the salisbury poisoning. gunshots the un calls for an independent investigation as 16 palestinians are killed in clashes on the israeli—gaza border. the head of metropolitan police blames social media for normalising violence and leading more children to commit stabbings and murders. creative subjects like art and drama are being cut by schools to save money. that's the verdict of britain's largest teaching union as it begins its annual conference in brighton. more tears and further apologies in the wake of australia's cricket scandal. the former vice—captain david warner says he knows he might never again play for the national team. right now it is hard to know what comes next, but first and foremost... sobbing the well-being
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of my family. coming up in half an hour: click investigates facebook‘s data sharing practices and explores who has your personal data and what is being done with it. a very good afternoon to you and welcome to bbc news. two british men — believed to have been members of the islamic state cell known as "the beatles" — have complained they can't have a fair trial because the uk government has stripped them of their citizenship. alexanda kotey and el shafee elsheikh, who've been detained by kurdish fighters in syria,
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are accused of being part of the group which murdered more than 20 hostages. james waterhouse reports. alexanda kotey and el shafee elsheikh became part of the most infamous gang of foreign fighters within the islamic state group. along with fellow londoners mohammed emwazi — the killer nicknamed jihadi john — who was killed in an american air strike, and aine davis, who was jailed in turkey, the pair are links to a string of hostage murders in iraq and syria during the militants‘ bloody uprising. they include alan henning, the driver and aid worker from eccles, and david haines, a long—time aid workerfrom perth. the pair also claimed the illegal taking of their citizenships left them vulnerable to interrogation and torture. the two men were captured in the country by the american—backed syrian democratic forces, the kurdish—led militia. the home office hasn't commented on whether the pair have been stripped of their citizenship. last month the home secretary amber rudd said she was "absolutely convinced and committed to the idea
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of them facing justice." the defence secretary gavin williamson, however, said the men should not return to britain because they "turned their backs on british values." their interview comes a day after a uk soldier, embedded with us forces, was killed by a roadside bomb in a counterterrorism operation against the militants — making him the first british member of the armed forces killed in combat fighting is. james waterhouse, bbc news. moscow has more than doubled the number of british diplomats it plans to expel in the continuing row over the poisoning of a former russian spy in the uk. in another move this morning, the foreign office said it was considering a request to allow russian consular access to sergei skripal‘s daughter, yulia, who was poisoned along with her father earlier this month. our correspondent simonjones joins us from salisbury. simon, first of all, this request
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for access, what do we know about it? well, yulia skripal is of course a russian citizen, and if someone gets into difficulty abroad they do have the right to seek help from consular staff from their own country. when it emerged earlier this week that yulia skripal‘s condition in hospital here in salisbury had improved, that she was no longer in a critical condition, the russian embassy said that was good news but they also insisted on their right to see her. they also published 27 questions which they said needed to be answered by the british authorities, such as what treatment was she having, why had her condition improved, while apparently was her father's condition condition improved, while apparently was herfather‘s condition not improving? we haven't had any a nswe i’s improving? we haven't had any a nswers to improving? we haven't had any answers to those 27 questions from the foreign office here, but we have had a response to that request to see her. the foreign office said it is considering it under international and diplomatic law but
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the key concern will be the rights and wishes of yulia skripal herself. just on the question of the diplomatic expulsions, you know, simon, from copenhagen to canberra, it seems almost everywhere russian diplomats are packing their bags, preparing to head home. but it looks like the numbers of british diplomats who will have to leave russia may be higher than we originally thought? yes, we already know that 23 british diplomats have been kicked out of russia. that's after britain kicked out the same numberfrom after britain kicked out the same number from london, but after britain kicked out the same numberfrom london, but yesterday after britain kicked out the same number from london, but yesterday we had the british ambassador, in moscow, summoned into the ministry in moscow and told that more would have to go. today we have learned the figures. we understand it will bea the figures. we understand it will be a total of around 50, so that includes we understand the 23 that have already gone, so at least another 27 british diplomats are going to have to leave moscow, and they've been told they have a month to sort out leaving, to get out of
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the country. in terms of that, the foreign office have told us they are considering the implications but they have also said it's reg retta ble, they have also said it's regrettable, they expected this to happen. they say there is no other plausible explanation for the poisoning that happened here in salisbury other than that the russian state was culpable. simon jones in salisbury, thanks very much. meanwhile the russian embassy has complained that uk border force officers searched an aeroflot passenger flight at heathrow yesterday. the embassy claimed the officials refused to give a written explanation for their actions on board the aeroflot plane, and called the search a "blatant provocation". the funerals are expected to take place later today of some of the 16 palestinians killed on friday in clashes with israeli soldiers. hundreds more were injured when violence flared on the border with gaza, on the first day of a planned six—week protest over the right of palestinian refugees to return to their homes in what is now israel. the israeli army accuses the protesters of hurling stones and fire bombs. in new york, the un
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security council condemned the violence but could not agree on a statement. addressing the council, the un's deputy political affairs chief, taye—brook zerihoun, called for an investigation into the deaths. israel must uphold its responsibility under international human rights and humanitarian law. greater force should only be used as a last resort and any resulting fatalities properly investigated by the authorities. we will therefore also continue to urge israeli security forces to exercise maximum restraint to avoid casualties. we are deeply saddened by the loss of life today. we urge those involved to take steps to lower tensions and reduce the risk of clashes. bad actors use protests as a cover to incite violence and endanger innocent lives. these peaceful demonstrators posed no threat whatsoever to israel or its heavily armed soldiers. yet its trigger—happy soldiers used live ammunition, tear gas and rubber bullets, to shoot indiscriminately at those non—violent protesters who were demonstrating
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inside the gaza strip near their side of the well—fortified barrier that separates them from israel. let's talk to kyle orton who's in our liverpool studio. he's an independent researcher on terrorism and the syrian war. —— let's bring you some more on the top stories this hour. that is on the case of two of the men involved in the cell calling itself —— the sale of the group islamic state, accused of executing hostages. we have a state on their complaint of
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being stripped of their citizenship. the foreign office says it does not comment on individual cases but says it is working closely with partners to ensure justice is served. continue to work extremely closely with the us government on this issue sharing our views on a range of security issues and with theirjoint determination to tackle international terrorism and combat violent extremism." let's talk to kyle orton who's in our liverpool studio. he's an independent researcher on terrorism and the syrian war. thanks for being with us on bbc news, kyle. no great surprise from that statement on the british government but there is to say the least some ambiguity on what would happen to these men, given that they now are apparently stateless. yes, the ambiguity, part of that, but it is not entirely clear that the two gentlemen have been stripped of their citizenship because alexanda kotey would have alternet
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citizenship whereas el shafee elsheikh wouldn't, and the government cannot believe people stateless. what you're saying is that because kotey is also a citizen of another country, he has a fallback, so british that britain could strip of that and he would still be a citizen of another country but that would not be the case with el shafee elsheikh. yes, it would be unusual to strip citizenship from el shafee elsheikh but they are both wanted international terrorists and they have both committed crimes against the citizens of other countries as well, including japan and actually syria as it happens, so it would be very unusual to hand over to bashar al—assad's government. there are a number of ways this could go and there is obviously the political problem that hardly other countries with citizens who went to join islamic state would want to take them back. they would prefer them to stay abroad and not pose a security
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challenge internally. and presumably they would like to see them put on trial. they are very straightforward arguments about the fact that they have committed a crime and should be prosecuted, but in a sense the symbolism of it would be quite important, for countries including this one? i don't really think so. the two men have said they wouldn't get a the two men have said they wouldn't getafair the two men have said they wouldn't get a fair trial, which is nonsense. they would be able to have all of the evidence checked and everything else, and there are witnesses to what they did. they have sent videos to themselves —— to their families of themselves about what they are and what they have done. it would be very symbolic to have them tried, especially at some kind of international tribunal, but i think there is a sense from some people that concentrating guilt on a small number of people, and a lot of people will get away with having done a lot of very bad things. but, you're right, the symbolism of doing it would be very useful. given that there has been a relatively successful process with some cases, and particularly in the case of the
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former yugoslavia, do you think there is appetite for some kind of international kind ofjudicial process to deal with islamic state? it's very difficult to tell. i think internationally there are not the block imean, the i mean, the syrian government has committed crimes against humanity and war crimes on a scale far above anything islamic state could even contemplate, but it will not face international justice contemplate, but it will not face internationaljustice because the russian and chinese veto applies to the united nations. islamic state does not have that kind of protection so there is not the kind of political barrier to doing this as there is with states and other actors. it is a question of whether there are enough people to try. a lot of these people tend to get killed on the battlefields so there may be argument about that. there is also the problem with former yugoslavia tribunal, it ground on for nearly two decades and the number of prosecutions actually carried out successfully was fairly minimal. you are right that the rwandan one was a bit more
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successful but it ended up with a lot of people who essentially were forgiven and given amnesty for what they had done, so the record of international justice, they had done, so the record of internationaljustice, to put it mildly, is very mixed. kyle orton, on international terrorism and on the syrian war, thank you very much for being with us from our liverpool studio. more than 100 flights from stansted airport were cancelled last night after a shuttle bus caught fire outside the terminal building. no one was injured but thousands of passengers were told to leave the airport and rebook their flights. a normal service is expected to resume today. we spoke to our news correspondent anisa kadri who is at stansted airport today. sta nsted said they stansted said they expected things to run normally the rest of the weekend and they have also issued a big apology. the passengers i have spoken to in that terminal to my right have been there all night, and they are bleary eyed after flights we re they are bleary eyed after flights were cancelled because a shuttle bus caught fire. it has been put down to an electrical fault as to why it
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caught fire, but hearing that their flights are cancelled, as you can imagine, neverfun flights are cancelled, as you can imagine, never fun to flights are cancelled, as you can imagine, neverfun to hear. you only have to go on to twitter to help them and praised other passengers as well, for sharing food and water, all these stories you hear when people end up stranded at airports in this way. i have been speaking to people from germany and spain who had a lovely holiday here in england, but this news that their flights were cancelled because of a fire at the airport, well, it was unwelcome news, let's see. ijust want airport, well, it was unwelcome news, let's see. i just want to divert your gaze quickly actually to the top of the terminal building. you may be able to see it is very black, and that is because the smoke was hanging thick in the air when the fire broke out. the advice today is to check online, just to make
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sure flights are running, but sta nsted says sure flights are running, but stansted says things are returning to normal. anisa kadri there at sta nsted to normal. anisa kadri there at stansted airport for us. let's take a look at the headlines on bbc news. two british men believed to have been members of the islamic state cell known as "the beatles" complain they can't get a fair trial after losing their citizenship. the head of the un calls for an investigation into the deaths of at least 16 palestinians, during clashes with the israeli army on the gaza border. moscow more than doubles the number of british diplomats it plans to expel in the continuing row over the salisbury poisoning. britain's most senior police officer, the metropolitan commissioner cressida dick, has suggested that social media is partly to blame for some violent crime, including a rising number of knife attacks. in an interview with the times, ms dick said the websites were being used by gangs to glamorise violence and allowed trivial disputes to escalate quickly. the commissioner says she sees a connection
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between incredibly abusive language used in social media meaning that it makes it "more likely, faster, and harder for people to cool down." she goes on to say that social media allows people to show off and she is "sure it does rev people up." in the article the commissioner also announced a new task force of about 100 officers to tackle violent crime in london. joining me now is roger grafe who's a criminologist. he is also, in his time, very distinguished film—maker as well. thanks very much, roger, for being with us on bbc news. you have been exploring the world of policing for a long time now, the best part of a0 yea rs, a long time now, the best part of a0 years, perhaps more. what do you make of this suggestion from cressida dick that social media is a new and unwelcome competent in the violence she is having to deal with? well, i've also written a book and spent a lot of time with young offenders, and i was struck by the fa ct offenders, and i was struck by the fact that, and i made a series in
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fa ct called fact that, and i made a series in fact called murder blues about black—on—black gun crime, and it was astonishing how much crime was based on people taking personal offence, what was called dissing, when i started doing that. this respect is much more motivation than almost anything else that leads to, literally, to outrage instantly, and then violence, if there is a weapon and so on. i think she is right about this. it has been amplified. there is the sort of megaphone affect on social media. if you go back to the beginning of romeo and juliet, that is the 16th century, and it was true then, it is true now, almost ha rd—wired and it was true then, it is true now, almost hard—wired into teenagers to try to assert ourselves, and i think social media amplifies that. it may be part of the exclamation but presumably even she wouldn't claim it is the whole
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expedition. of course not. and she is dealing with the murder rate in london which has seen some pretty horrifying incidents. we have had 29 people knifed to death just in london alone so far this year. a succession of mayors of london saying they will get a grip on the level of in particular knife violence but also the gun crime you we re violence but also the gun crime you were talking about. there will be those i suppose who will be a bit sceptical and see this as the police just finding sceptical and see this as the police justfinding an sceptical and see this as the police just finding an excuse for their inability to crack down on these crimes? no, i don't think she would see the whole thing is caused by social media. what she is saying and i agree with, that it amplifies the intensity of the offence. if you only have 1a0 characters or text fired off, and you don't have to be in the same room where at least possibly you could have some mediator, so in gang wars, for example, the insults that are traded, the mock videos, the use of social media, and you mirror member there was a terrible killing of a
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homeless person —— you may remember, just on the south bank. it was immediately put on youtube. showing off, by committing acts of violence. there is plenty of evidence to support that. it is not the cause but it is a further incentive and it exacerbates what is a normal problem. it is with us and there is no sign of it going away. so i suppose then the question comes to be how do you manage this problem?” think you do the same thing you a lwa ys think you do the same thing you always do with young men who have a lot of energy to use up, as it were. you have to involve them, engage them, find a way for them to feel good about you don't off the playing fields, don't sell off the playing fields, don't abolish their weekend clubs, that youth clubs, all the things that engage people. one of the most stupid things that american congress did with one of the crime bills, it was to abolish midnight basketball. in fact which would you rather have, a bunch of guys in their teens or
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20s restless wandering around the streets at midnight or ‘ the mentmmds , blue5.€.'£i' if]: ..f: mar“? 'ibiues;€f§; if]: ..ffi mental; '1‘ at“, 'ibiiues;ffft if]: ..f: gif, eff? u 4l- —*
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