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tv   BBC News  BBC News  February 17, 2019 12:00am-12:31am GMT

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this is bbc news. i'm tanya beckett. our top stories: the battle to claim the last piece of territory held by the so—called islamic state stalls due to the presence of trapped civilians. the us says it's about more than just taking back land. the united states will continue to work with all our allies to hunt down the remnants of isis were ever and when ever they rear their ugly heads. —— wherever. eight illegal gold miners have been pulled alive from flooded mines in zimbabwe — but more than 20 bodies have been recovered — it's feared many are still trapped underground. mourners have been paying their respects to footballer emiliano sala in his home town in argentina. the newly—signed cardiff city striker died in a plane crash last month. and, how scientists hope gene—edited farm animals could offer more disease—resistant livestock for low—income farmers in africa. hello and welcome to bbc news.
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the battle to claim the last pocket of territory from the group calling itself islamic state is being held up because thousands of civilians remain trrapped there. us backed kurdish forces launched an attack on is‘s last remaining stronghold last week. the american vice—president, mike pence, says is in iraq and syria has been decimated. he was speaking after a commander with kurdish forces fighting is claimed that within a few days they'd be able to announce the end of the group's existence. just four years ago is controlled vast areas of syria and northern iraq. it had taken control of raqqa and mosul. but the group's so—called caliphate has continued to shrink since then, and is now less than one small square kilometre on the euphrates river.
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the last militants there are reportedly retreating and hiding among the local population. the us vice—president made his comments about progress on the fight against is at the munich security conference, from where our chief international correspondent, lyse doucet, sent this report. the caliphate has crumbled. its last piece in this small syrian town of baghuz. and this, their last stand. these pictures are said to be filmed by islamic state fighters, but they are under fire on all sides, from kurdish forces, backed by american firepower. translation: the area that is is still in is around 700 metres and they are surrounded. the delay to us storming the neighbourhood is due to the presence of civilians, who the terrorists use as human shields. as local forces advanced, frightened families flee. amongst them are believed to be is fighters on the run.
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a far cry from when they ran their cruel caliphate. here in munich, us vice president mike pence tried to reassure allies. us troops are coming home, but america isn't leaving. the united states will continue to work with all our allies to hunt down the remnants of isis wherever and whenever they rear their ugly head. the end of the caliphate matters, but it's not the end of is. thousands of its fighters have already slipped back into syrian and iraqi society. they're again feeding on local grievances and already conducting attacks and assassinations. america's allies here, and in the region, worry about what's coming next. the caliphate has been a magnet for foreign fighters. that's over. but is's extremist ideas still pose a powerful threat far beyond the region.
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lyse doucet, bbc news, munich. the uk government says its main priority has to be the safety of the public when considering the case of a british teenager who left britain to join the islamic state group in 2015. the family of shamima begum, who's now 19 and pregnant, say they'd welcome a police investigation into her actions but want the government to help bring her home. sophie long reports. this is the al—hawl camp in northern syria where the 19—year—old from east london is living as she awaits the birth of her third child. shamima begum says both her son and daughter died, and she wants to come back to britain so her unborn baby doesnot suffer the same fate. herfamily, who had feared they would never see her again, have asked the government to help them get her home. but the justice secretary says there are risks to allowing people like shamima begum to return to britain, and they would look at her case very closely.
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what has to be the priority of the british government is ensuring the protection of the british people as a whole. we do have a number of powers in this area. we have to act within those powers. but we need to make sure that the british people are not put unnecessarily at risk. in a statement, shamima begum's family says... her child, who will also be british, has every right as a total innocent shamima begum's case is not unique. some 850 people left the uk to join so—called islamic state. around half have already come back. some working against extremism say there needs to be more focus on what caused her to go, to prevent others from doing the same.
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i realise that she is a bit of a poster girl of that phenomenon of those young girls going off tojoin daesh. but if we take stock of what is happening, we need to see how she got there and we can stop other people from going down that route. the home secretary has said he would prevent people in terrorist organisations returning to britain. it is unclear what that will mean for shamima begum, who was just 15 when she left the uk for syria. if she is allowed to return home, she will have to answer for her actions. let's get some of the day's other news: the disgraced former catholic cardinal, theodore mccarrick, has been dismissed from the priesthood over charges of sexual abuse. mccarrick, who's a former archbishop of washington dc, resigned last year and has been living in seclusion. he'd said he could not remember an alleged case of sexual abuse of a 16—year—old boy,
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which took place more than 50 years ago. us airforce transport planes carrying humanitarian aid for venezuela have landed in the colombian border, where food and medicine is being stock—piled for distribution. president maduro has refused to allow the aid in, accusing the us of trying to organise a coup. us officials said the aid had been requested by the venezuelan opposition leader, juan guaido, who declared himself interim president last month. eight illegal miners have been rescued from two flooded mines in central zimbabwe. at least 22 bodies have also been retrieved from the mines to the west of the capital harare. authorities believe up to 70 people were trapped underground near the town of kadoma, when heavy rains flooded mine shafts on tuesday night. the bbc‘s zimbabwe correspondent shingai nyoka has the story. no—one expected there would be
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survivors. families, mostly wives with young children, had camped, watching, waiting, hoping. an unusually risky operation unfolded here. it legal miners working shoulder to shoulder with police and the company. as the days wore on, hope was fading. translation: we have never experienced such floods in this area and it is so painful to lose our friends in such a way. but then these, one by one some miners we re then these, one by one some miners were pulled out off the shaft. mahdi, exhausted but, thankfully, alive. —— mahdi. they found their pockets underground. the grim task
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of retrieving the dead continue. trapped in a vast lebron of —— labyrinth of minds. many of the dead at young men. the tragedy highlights the dangerous conditions. the backbone of the gold economy, they produced more than 40% of the country's gold with little or no assistance. the celebrations are intermixed with grief. the family is the events of the last few days will force authorities to act to prevent future tragedies. international observers have jointly appealed to nigerians to back the democratic process, after the electoral commission made a last minute decision to postpone elections there. the group, which includes the african union and commonwealth, has called for calm, while the electoralcommission says politics played no part in its decision to delay the election,
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blaming logistical problems. 0ur correspondent tomi 0ladipo is in the capital abuja. the electoral commission has blamed operational reasons, logistics, logistic problems for them changing their minds and putting off or postponing the vote. tomi 0lapido reporting from abuja. former us secretary of state, john kerry, has slammed the climate change record of the current us government, personally criticising president donald trump and vice—president mike pence. kerry was speaking at the munich security conference which, as we've reported, was also attended by the vice—president. mr trump's administration opposes action on climate change and favours boosting us production of oil, gas and coal. john kerry says he feels ashamed of the current policies, which he says will end up costing more in the long run.
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iam i am ashamed that our vice president of the united states stood up here and never mentioned the word climate change. i wish there was a way to hold the president of the united states accou nta ble for hold the president of the united states accountable for the loss of life that will take place every day, for the displacement of people, the trillions of dollars we will have to spend because we are not getting the job done. stay with us on bbc world news, still to come: british based flybmi airline announces it has ceased operations and is filing for administration. 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 has been murdered. it has a terrible effect on the morale of the people,
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i'm terrified of the repercussions in the streets. one wonders who is next. as the airlift got under way, there was no letup in the eruption itself. lava streams from a vent low in the crater flowed down to the sea on the east of the island, away from the town for the time being, but it could start 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: the us vice president says america will remain in the middle east to help hunt down the remnants of so—called islamic state, even after the miltants's territory
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has been reclaimed. more on that story now. cbs correspondent charlie d'agata was there to send this reports from the front line in syria. the final battle is in its final days, with isis pin down to an area around a quarter of a square mile. that is the update we got from the commander here in baghuz. he says the final phase had not yet fallen but they were holding fire because civilians were trapped as human shields. military officials said they severely under estimated the number of civilians in the village when they wanted to crush the last caliphate of the so—called islamic
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state. many isis families were included. hundreds of isis fighters we re included. hundreds of isis fighters were about to be making a last stand. when we last visited the front line on thursday, we found fighters on a more relaxed 14, apart from sporadic gunfire, relative calm suggested the battle might be coming to an. today the commander broadcast to an. today the commander broadcast to the world that in the coming days will be the military and of isis. we stress military. isis will remain a threat as an underground insurgency which raises the question when america's 2000 troops will be withdrawn. a memorial service has taken place in argentina for the football player emiliano sala, who died in a plane crash last month.
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the 28—year—old was killed two days after signing for cardiff city, when his plane came down in the english channel. from progreso, natalio cosoy reports. applause emiliano sala's body leaves the grounds of his childhood football club, san martin de progreso, in central argentina. his relatives, friends and neighbours came to say goodbye to the local hero at a private funeral. translation: he never forgot his roots and that means people have a very fond memory of the kid, of emiliano. sala spent his early years developing his football skills here. he left, aged 14, to pursue bigger opportunities. he was flying from france to cardiff when his plane disappeared over the english channel on january 21st. the bluebirds had paid a club record of £15 million for the player's transfer from ligue1 nantes. two weeks later, the wreckage
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was found and shortly afterwards, sala's body was recovered. the pilot, david ibbotson, is still missing. representatives from his new club travelled to argentina for today's service. people say, well, he's never played for you or — but he was my player, you know? and the feelings i had, i chased him, iwanted him, and he said to me, "i will get you the goals that keep you up in the premier league". and i said, "i know you will." the whole club feels very sad and cardiff, in general, feels very sad after the incident. and today, i think it's good for the family to have some closure. no cameras were allowed inside the building where the funeral took place. the mourners sat in front of emiliano sala's coffin. they were silent. some of them were praying. the coffin was surrounded by wreaths. and there was a banner that read, "your legacy will be eternal." ahead of today's service,
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sala's boyhoood club, san martin de progreso, posted a message on social media saying: "we are waiting for you, like the first day you left, but this time to stay with us forever, eternally in our hearts." natalio cosoy, bbc news, de progreso. an expected visit to china by the british chancellor will now not go ahead. it follows reports that beijng pulled out of trade talks, after the uk's defence secretary indicated that his country may be willing to deploy a warship in the pacific. the government says that trip had never been confirmed. ben wright reports. theresa may courting china last year. as the government looks to life after brexit, beijing is important to its plans. the uk wants closer trade links and eventually a new deal, and plans had been made for the chancellor, philip hammond, to make an imminent visit
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to see chinese officials. the treasury says nothing was ever confirmed, but now the trip is off. why the hiccup? well, it comes days after a pretty bellicose speech by the defence secretary. china is developing its modern military capability and its commercial power. i can announce the first operational mission of hms queen elizabeth will include the mediterranean, the middle east, and the pacific region, making global britain a reality. pledging to send a british aircraft carrier to china's backyard in the pacific, and possibly create a permanent british presence in the region, are remarks that will have been noticed in beijing. an mod source said it was completely untrue to say the speech had anything to do with philip hammond's trip not happening. but the former chancellor, george osborne, who was aggressively pro—china during the cameron government, today said the current british approach was confused.
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you've got the defence secretary engaging in gunboat diplomacy of a quite old—fashioned kind, at the same time as the chancellor of the exchequer and the foreign secretary are going around saying they want a close economic partnership with china. and ultimately, it's the responsibility of theresa may as prime minister to sort this out, ‘cause at the moment, it looks all at sea. it's a challenge, balancing the need to have close economic ties to china with security and strategic concerns. philip hammond's trip may well be rescheduled, but the uncertainty around it is another reminder of how sensitive relations between the uk and china can be. ben wright, bbc news, westminster. the british based flybmi airline has announced that it has ceased operations and is filing for administration. all flights have been cancelled with effect from today. the airline operates 17 regionaljet aircraft and covers routes to 25 european cities. the carrier had seen a dip in profits in recent months. our business correspondent
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rob young reports. flybmi, no longerflying. it's cancelled all flights with immediate effect. the company is also filing for administration. the carrier flew more than half a million passengers last year. its smalljets operated on routes from aberdeen, bristol, newcastle, east midlands, sta nsted and others, to 25 european cities. passengers who've been affected are anxious. i'm in belgium at the moment and ijust got the bbc alert that flybmi have gone into administration. all the flights for me to return home are really expensive and flybmi have said they won't return the £134 that i initially spent, so i don't know how i'm going to get back. flybmi, based here at east midlands airport, says its collapse was unavoidable. it's blamed a spike in the price of fuel and changes in the cost of carbon permits. it said these had undermined efforts to turn a profit. a company statement said: today's news was a surprise
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to passengers and staff, but the airline is just the latest carrier to get into difficulties. we are now most of the way through what's been a miserable winterfor a large number of airlines. we've seen failures, including germania, small planet, cobalt of cyprus, primera air of iceland, all these small airlines have been collapsing and i'm afraid that flybmi has flown for the last time. passengers booked to travel with flybmi are being told not to go to the airport unless they have booked an alternative flight, but with school holidays at the moment, the airline's collapse comes at an inconvenient time for many families. the deactivation of a second world war bomb recently discovered in paris could cause major disruption to eurostar services on sunday. five trains between london and the french capital have been cancelled, one will be diverted, and others are expected
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to be delayed. travellers are encouraged to change their plans. the unexploded bomb was discovered during engineering work at the railway station served by eurostar. a group of american researchers has announced a plan to develop gene edited animals to help farmers in africa. they'll work alongside scientists in scotland, looking at ways to develop animals that are more resilient, productive and resistant to diseases. here's our science correspondent, pallab ghosh. just a few hours old, these are among the world's first gene edited pigs. they are immune to a lethal lung disease. the animals have been created from fertilised eggs, surgically removed from a pig. around 20 per annum and a more flushed out. the plan is to develop farm animals for subsistence farmers
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in africa, that are resistant to a range of diseases. engineering disease resistance in the animals will have a huge impact in a farming community in africa, where people have much smaller population sizes and the death of one or two animals is disproportionately catastrophic for that community. so how does it work? the virus latches onto a specific part of the pigs sells. gene editing is used to cut out the section of dna that is responsible for making that part of the cell. the virus now has nothing to stick on to, so the animals are immune. these pigs are likely to be among the first in a new generation gene edited farm animals, and the technology can be used for more than just disease resistance. groups elsewhere are trying to create livestock that are larger, lina, and more productive. this is a gene edited calf, engineered by us company. the firm's smartphone
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footage shows that she has a thin coat and sweats more, giving her slip coat that makes her more resista nt to slip coat that makes her more resistant to heat. their breed produces much more milk than african varieties. they are also investigating whether the so—called gene could be engineered into a high milk producing western varieties and introduced into africa, transforming the lives of his small farm farmers. professor appolinaire djikeng leaves the african genetic livestock project in edinburgh. he grew up on a small farm in western camera and. 0ne a small farm in western camera and. one year, his father's animals wiped out by african swine flu. —— cameroon. fortunately, his mother had chickens to sell, enough to pay for his school fees for the year. this has what has strongly led me to
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believe that genetics and innovations that exist here in the uk can actually be used in the context of smallholder farming is, including the village where i come from. many campaign groups are opposed to the use of gene editing to boost production in large industrial farms in the worst. some though see the technology could be used to safeguard the futures of the very poorest in the world, if there really is no other option. pallab ghosh, bbc news, edinburgh. the swiss actor bruno ganz has died aged 77. ganz rose to prominence as the star of german movies such as wings of desire and nosferatu. in 2004, he played adolf hitler in the movie downfall. it was nominated for an oscar for best foreign language film, but since then, it's become almost as famous for a wave of internet parodies. that is it for me.
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hello, after hitting a high of 17 degrees on friday, saturday could only manage 1a. of course, did not help, it felt cooler. but there is still some springlike sunshine to be found here and there. in fact, parts of eastern england could see 16 degrees on sunday because we all going to see a bit of sunshine. either side of an area of cloud with a chance of rain spreading east across the uk. we have got low pressure to the west of us, this world and the satellite picture here. it is this cloud which is going to move on the day, a weakening system and some of us will just about stay dry throughout. this is how we are starting the day, nowhere particularly cold and for most of us, it will be a sunny start that that is away from this area of cloud and some showers to the west. it moves into wales, western england, knocking on the door of north—west england, there are still
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some heavy bursts affecting parts of north—west scotland. there is a stiff southerly wind out of this as well, it is going to be windy day with saturday. so what we have then isa with saturday. so what we have then is a fairly thin area of cloud and the chance of seeing some rain, that is gradually going to push its way further east. going from northern ireland, we will still have the sunshine back western scotland, wales and western england as well and dryfor wales and western england as well and dry for much the day, aside from the odd shower. the cloud reaches scotla nd the odd shower. the cloud reaches scotland and in the eastern england, it is really hard to pick out any rain because most of it has just fizzled out. it is essentially drive. it is a windy day, these average speeds. west scotland could be gusting up to around 70 miles an hour or so going to the evening. some sunshine here, 16 celsius could well be seen. we could well hold on toa well be seen. we could well hold on to a bit of cloud for east anglia and the south—east of england onto sunday night and into monday, delivering a bit of rain at times. still quite easy and windy going
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into monday, so no frost and further showers moving into the north—west. this line showers just pushing its way further south is well into parts of northern england and wales is monday starts. —— line showers. many of us will get to see sunshine in the south—east of england, plaintive showers on the brisk wind coming into the north—west. they hail and thunder possible coming out of this as well, some longer spells of rain, and temperatures are just taking a small step backwards and another weather system coming in the tuesday could well just keep weather system coming in the tuesday could welljust keep that cooler field goal and fall while before it could well become very mild again late the week. —— caller feel this is bbc news, the headlines: us vice president, mike pence, says the united states will stay in the middle east to help hunt down the remnants of the so—called islamic state. the battle for the last pocket of is territory is being held up
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because civilians remain trapped there. eight illegal gold miners have been pulled alive from flooded mines in zimbabwe but officials fear dozens more are still trapped underground. more than 20 bodies have been recovered since the incident happened on tuesday night. the government has declared it a national disaster. international observers have appealed to nigerians to back the democratic process after the electoral commission postponed presidential and parliamentary elections at the last minute. the commission denies coming under external pressure to delay the poll. thousands of criminals in england and wales will be tagged with gps trackers, to allow authorities to constantly monitor their wherabouts.
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