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tv   BBC News  BBC News  February 21, 2019 4:00am-4:31am GMT

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this is bbc news. the headlines: a convoy of trucks has been evacuating civilians, from the last piece of syrian territory still held by the extremist group, the so—called islamic state. the region on the border with iraq a very warm welcome to bbc news — is now surrounded by us backed broadcasting to our viewers syrian and kurdish forces. they say is is now close to defeat. in north america and around the globe. my name is mike embley. our top stories: bangladesh dismisses suggestions shamima begum might be allowed bangladesh has dismissed suggestions to enter the country — that shamima begum might be allowed now britain has removed to enter the country, now britain her uk citizenship. she says she expected more sympathy. has removed her uk citizenship. officials there say the future of the teenager — who fled london to join is in syria four years ago, on the brink — a convoy of trucks is entirely a matter helps evacuate civilians from the last piece of syrian territory still held for the british government. by the so—called islamic state. kurdish forces say a huge fire in a densely—populated area of the bangladeshi capital, dhaka, has killed almost 70 people. is is close to defeat. many others have been injured. fire chiefs fire say it broke out in a multi—storey residential building in the old town — almost 70 people have died in a fire where the ground floor was used to store chemicals. in the bangladeshi capital, dhaka. several other injured people have been taken to hospital. excitement in an irish village where a mystery family has won almost 200 million dollars in the lottery. there's about half past four in the
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a convoy of trucks has brought hundreds of civilians — men, women, and children — out of baghuz, the last village in syria still held by the extremist group that calls itself islamic state. the area, on the border with iraq, is now surrounded by syrian and kurdish forces, backed by the united states. they say is is now close to defeat, on the ground. katie silver reports. it is the last village remaining, and now hundreds of men, women and children are on their way out. five years of isis hold appears to be almost over. the evacuations came after an appeal by the united nations for the safety of civilians trapped inside — though they say not everyone is out, and the fighters are yet to surrender. translation: there are isis
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fighters in the city, and they still hope they can regain control of the area. but we too are preparing to fight them. it is a far cry from the militant group who once held territory the size of britain. 88,000 square kilometres, stretching from western syria to eastern iraq. it imposed brutal rule on almost 8 million people. five years later, the group's territory has been reduced tojust this. 300 militants in half a square kilometre of land. the us—backed coalition plans to wait until civilians are out and then storm the area. it is creating some fear in neighbouring iraq. translation: iraq is concerned because most of the remaining fighters in syria are iraqis, and we are concerned they could try to infiltrate the border. but we can definitely say the islamic state has received a heavy blow at the iraqi—syrian border.
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just outside baghuz, a group of foreign volunteers await those fleeing, providing medical care, medication, food, water and blankets. we have treated wounded children, shot in the head, shot in the leg. we have treated many who lived, but isis is killing people as they try to flee. for the past few days, the sdf has held off the site, waiting for civilians to evacuate. it appears to have all but won, but the long war is not over yet, it says, and it is the most hardened fighters that remain within the town. a teenager who left the uk four years ago to join the so—called islamic state, and has now had her british citizenship revoked — has told the bbc she expected more sympathy from britain. shamima begum's family hope to challenge the government's decision — saying she has effectively been made stateless. bangladesh has rejected the idea that she might have citizenship there, through her mother. this from our home affairs correspondent daniel sandford.
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in the al—hawl refugee camp in syria, a clearly deflated shamima begum, the 19—year—old who left school to join is and has just given birth, had appealed for help to return to the uk, but learned today that the government was instead taking away her british nationality, though her baby, who she was carrying under her clothes, will still be british. i thought they would be a bit more sympathetic, because of my situation. i did explain that i didn't know fully what i was getting into and i made a mistake and i was hoping that they would have some sympathy and understanding, but clearly not. speaker: secretary sajid javid. in parliament, the home secretary explained why the government has deprived so many people who went to join is of their nationality. where they pose any threat to this country, i will do everything in my power to prevent their return. this includes stripping dangerous individuals of their british citizenship. this power is only used
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in extreme circumstances, where it is conducive to the public good. it has been suggested that sajid javid made this decision partly for political reasons, which he denies, but look at this counter—terrorism strategy, which he published just last year. it discusses what might happen to a woman who went to join is in 2013 and then turned up, some years later, with a newborn baby. it says that the government would manage her return to the uk and the police would then launch an investigation into the woman's activities in syria. it says nothing about depriving her of her citizenship. shamima begum left britain as a 15—year—old schoolgirl. at the time, police said she had been groomed. now, four years later, she is losing her british citizenship and being told to rely on her possible bangladeshi nationality through her mother. it kind of feels unjust and i don't think they can do that, because like i said,
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i don't have that citizenship, i only have one citizenship and if they take that one thing away from me, i don't have anything. i don't think they're allowed to do that. some immigration lawyers question the fairness of the decision, which would not even have been legal if she had been of completely british heritage. if there is evidence of wrongdoing, she should be prosecuted in a court of law in this country. and if there is insufficient evidence to prosecute her, then how on earth could you inflict the severest penalty upon her, without any recourse through a court of law? shamima begum's appeal is likely to take months to go through the courts and tonight the bangladeshi foreign minister said she was not a dual citizen, she had never been to the country and there was no question of her now being allowed to enter bangladesh. daniel sandford, bbc news. president trump is saying a woman who left the united states to join
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the islamic state extremists in syria won't be allowed to return. hod—aa mutan—aa says she made a mistake and now wants to go back to herfamily in alabama with her 18—month—old son. the us secretary of state has said she is not an american citizen, even though she was born in newjersey. hoda muthana hoda mutha na was hoda muthana was born in newjersey in 1994. months and months after her father ceased to be a diplomat. she is a us citizen. she has a valid passport. she may have broken the law. she is asking for due process. we cannot get to the point where we simply strip citizenship on those who break the law. that is not what america is about. we have one of the greatest legal systems in the world and we have to abide by it. you'll find more background on the so—called islamic state and the efforts being made to destroy it, on our website. simply head to you can also download the bbc news app. the information available includes this report by our security correspondent frank gardiner about whether is could rebound from the brink of defeat.
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let's get some of the day's other news. supporters of venezuelan opposition leader, juan guaido, have taken control of the country's embassy in costa rica. police intervened when backers of venezuela's president, nicolas maduro, gathered outside the building in sanjose to protest. costa rica has recognised mr guaido as venezuela's interim president. joseph kabila, former president of the democratic republic of the congo, has sought to assert his political influence by ordering leaders of his alliance to sign a pledge of loyalty. nearly a month ago he handed over power to felix tshisekedi, who won the disputed presidential election. the actorjussie smollett has been charged with filing a false police report. there's been much publicity around his claim that he'd been the victim of a racist and homophobic attack. police in chicago say the star of the tv show empire will also face disorderly conduct charges. the first extinction of a mammal caused by human—induced climate change has been officially recognised by australia. a species of tiny rodent called the bramble cay melomys hasn't been seen since 2009. it lived only on a low—lying sand island between australia and papua new guinea, and seems to have been overwhelmed by rising sea levels.
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at least 69 people have died in a huge fire that's torn through buildings in the bangladeshi capital, dhaka. the area is one of the oldest in the city. firefighters are still battling the blaze, as gail maclellan reports. dozens of people chat in the buildings, unable to escape into narrow streets filled with traffic. the multi—storey buildings in an old part of dakar contained chemical warehouses and many homes. the area is densely populated, and the buildings are only metres apart. firefighters from 30 stations are attempting to control the blaze, a job made more difficult by the presence of highly combustible chemicals, including plastic granules and body sprays.
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it is not yet clear what caused the fire or how long it will take to get under control. but it is likely that the number of victims will increase as searches continue. another round of defections in the uk parliament, this time from the ruling conservative party. three of its mps have joined the independent group set up this week by former labour members. the three have criticised what they call the government's ‘disastrous handling' of brexit and say the process has undone ‘all efforts to modernise' the conservative party. anna soubry is one of the defectors. brexit is a catalyst, i think. and actually, brexit shows that all the main parties are broken. and there is much work to be done in our country, about the future, about the causes of brexit, and also healing the great divides that have come out of it. britain's prime minister, still trying to secure a brexit deal that could win parliamentary support, has been talking again in brussels with european commission presidentjean claude juncker.
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mps want changes to the agreement theresa may spent around two years negotiating, so the so—called irish "backstop" would not bind britain into keeping indefinitely to european union rules. the eu has repeatedly said it won't renegotiate the accord. well, i've had a constructive meeting with presidentjuncker this evening. i have underlined the need for us to see legally binding changes to the backstop to ensure it cannot be indefinite. that's what is required, if a deal is to pass the house of commons. we've agreed that work to find a solution will continue at pace. time is of the essence, and it is in both our interests that when the uk leaves the eu it does so in an orderly way. so we've made progress, and the secretary of state for exiting the eu — the brexit secretary — and the attorney general will be in brussels tomorrow for further talks. the bbc‘s europe editor explained how the talks are going.
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in private, eu officials are tearing their hair out. with only 37 days to go until brexit day, there is still a big political impasse between the two sides over the backstop, that guarantee to avoid a hard border between northern ireland and ireland after brexit. the eu points to what it sees as mistaken complacency among many mps, this assumption that it will be all right on the night, and as time runs down, the eu will blink on the backstop rather than face a no deal brexit. but it is important to remember that the eu only blinks when it is in its own interests, and in the backstop, the eu leaders see not only the protection of the northern ireland peace process, but the protection of their lucrative single market. don't forget, after brexit, the land border between the eu and the uk will run those more than 300 miles between northern ireland and ireland, and eu leaders want to avoid goods being smuggled into the single market through the back door. so legally binding changes that the prime minister has said she wants to ask for, which would fundamentally weaken the backstop, that is a blink that eu leaders say they won't make. in fact, they want theresa may to blink and be more realistic and her demands. the reality is that the two sides are as far apart as ever over the backstop, so those hoping for a negotiated brexit deal are right to be concerned.
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stay with us on bbc world news, still to come: the archbishop of mumbai admits that he could've handled allegations of sexual abuse better and faster, after a bbc investigation — we'll bring you that full report. 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. that has a terrible effect on the morale of the people, i'm terrified of the repercussions in the streets. one wonders who is next.
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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 flowing again at any time. the russians heralded their new generation space station with a spectacular night launch. they've called it mir, russian for peace. this is bbc world news. the latest headlines: a convoy of trucks has evacuated civilians from the last piece of syrian territory still held by the extremist group, the so—called islamic state.
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almost 70 people have died in a fire in the bangladeshi capital. several other injured people have been taken to hospital. president emmanuel macron has described the recent rise in anti—semitism in france and other western countries as the worst since the second world war. a day after thousands took to the streets in protest at the latest attacks onjewish sites in france, he promised new laws to deal with hate speech. lucy williamson reports. just a warning, there is some flash photography. president macron arrived at the annual dinner forjewish leaders amid a spate of anti—semitic attacks in france. he said the country would vote on a new law to tackle hatred on the internet, dissolve extreme right groups, —— dissolve three extreme right groups, and set up specialist teams to deal with anti—semitism complaints, and he made a key announcement that many had been waiting for.
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translation: for several years, and the situation has further worsened in the last few weeks, our country and the rest of europe — and nearly all western democracies, in fact — have been confronted with a resurgence of anti—semitism, probably unprecedented since the second world war. anti—zionism was a modern form of anti—semitism, he said, and france would apply the definition adopted by the international holocaust remembrance alliance. applause in the past few months, graves and memorials have been vandalised and shops daubed with graffiti, including the german word ‘juden‘. officialfigures suggest there was a 74% increase in attacks last year, from just over 300 reported incidents, to 541. last saturday, a well—known social commentator, alain finkielkraut, faced a barrage of anti—semitic abuse from several members
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of the gilet jaunes protest in paris. few g fc few gfc the movement is anti—semitic at heart. —— few here see the movement as anti—semitic at heart. but it is not the first time there have been questions over its tolerance of anti—semitic views. earlier this week, thousands took part in a national protest against anti—semitism. the perpetrators of anti—jewish violence here are thought to be shifting from the extreme right to radical islamists and far left groups. some fear that new social movements like the giletjaunes could bring them together. lucy williamson, bbc news. one of the most senior cardinals in the catholic church has admitted he could have handled abuse allegations brought to him better and faster. oswald gracias, archbishop of mumbai, is one of four men organising a vatican conference this week on how to reform the way the church deals with child abuse. he was speaking after a bbc investigation revealed claims he did not handle allegations of sexual abuse appropriately. priyanka pathak reports.
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sexual abuse in the church has been called the most urgent challenge of our time by pope francis. but a bbc investigation has found claims that one of the church's most senior cardinals, oswald gracias, a key organiser of this week's summit, did not handle allegations of abuse appropriately. his role raises questions for some about whether the church is really changing. we've been told about a culture of fear and silence amongst india's catholic community, and how religious leaders would not listen to those who said they had suffered abuse at the hands of priests. two years ago, a child returned home and told his mother he had been raped. —— four years ago, a child returned home and told his mother he had been raped. after two days of calling his office, cardinal gracias agreed to meet them briefly.
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when we put the family's allegations to the cardinal, he agreed to an interview. that same night, you left for rome? yes, yes. without informing the police? no, i, i... you had said to the family that now that this matter had been brought to your attention, it was your duty to notify the police. i mean i don't remember having said it, but that's true, that's true. i do not know the conversation. but i must reflect on that — i admit belatedly — the police should be involved, i'm sure. although they did suspend the priest, he said he would tell the police and he never did, and neither did anyone else in the church. he said he rang from rome the day
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after the meeting and was told by his bishop that the family had now informed the police. the priest was subsequently arrested. this failure to personally inform the police means the cardinal could have breached the law. a different priest spoke to us anonymously. he told us that he had reported the priest to the cardinal over five years ago. i told him that there were strong rumours about this priest and then the cardinal told me directly that he is not aware of anything. we realise that when things are reported, nothing seems to be happening. in fact, you are marked. cardinal gracias says he cannot recall this conversation taking place but says he was certainly never aware of there being a cloud of suspicion over the man. we were also told of an allegation of sexual assault against women by a different priest, where it was claimed the cardinal was slow to act. he said the case was complicated but admitted they could have moved faster. the challenges of reporting abuse mean it is impossible to know
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the extent of the problem. i hope there are not predators, i mean, i hope. i don't know, i won't say. there is a culture of silence all over asia. now, this should not prevent us from taking any steps to prevent such acts. in the summit, the pope is promising reform and to put the victims at the centre, but with lingering doubts at home, can the cardinal lead the church's effort to deliver change globally? priyanka pathak, bbc news, mumbai. from the skies over afghanistan, kosovo and most recently iraq, the tornado has been the british raf‘s frontline plane. now, after 40 years, it is finally being retired. to mark the end of an era, three tornados have been making a series of farewell fly—pasts. our defence correspondent jonathan beale was offered an exclusive, and a little unsettling, trip. once more to the skies.
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but not for much longer. here we go — and we are off. the bbc onboard one of the last flights of the raf‘s tornado. it's been in service for 40 years and is now being replaced by more modernjets. here we go. this is cottesmore airfield coming up. the tornado was originally designed to fight the cold war and to carry nuclear weapons. but it first went into combat over the desert in 1991. what was your mission? to attack an iraqi airfield. several were lost in the hail of iraqi anti—aircraft fire. john nichol among those who lived to tell the tale. the tornado's 45 years of flying, its near 30 years on operation, i think you can absolutely put it up with the spitfire in an iconic status on that level. just a few weeks ago, pilot wing commanderjames heeps
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was conducting air strikes on is. now, it's a chance to enjoy the tornado's final goodbye back home. it's been an utter privilege. bestjob anyone could have. but for his passenger, it's been more of a challenge. i think i'm a land—lover. laughs. soon, there'll be no more rides in one of the raf‘s most iconicjets. this is the end of an era. jonathan beale, bbc news. i have been on one of those trips, a lwa ys i have been on one of those trips, always a bit of fun for the flyer to test how strong the journo's stomach it. ——is. a family syndicate in ireland has come forward to claim this week's euromillions jackpot, worth more than 175 million euros — just under $200 million. it's the biggest win ever claimed by an irish ticket holder. but their neighbours and friends are doing their best
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to keep their identities a secret, as ramzan karmali reports. you'd think they had won the big one, but this is only the shop where the winning lottery ticket was bought. the ticket, worth a life—changing 175 million euros, has caused quite a stir in this village in dublin. the shop owner was delighted to have sold the winning ticket, and even had a small win of his own to celebrate. we do a local syndicate — there were 112 people in it. we got 34 cents each, and then, about 10am, 10:30am, got a phone call to say we had sold the biggestjackpot ever in ireland. some details of the real winners have begun to emerge, but the 500 or so villagers are remaining fairly tight—lipped. i think they might be keeping it quiet now. i think they are inside maybe. if i know the people that had won it outright, more luck to them.
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they are a lovely family — they are brothers and sisters. 0k? so i'm not saying any more. a spokesman for the winner said that it was a dream come true and they plan to share their winnings with children, grandchildren, and extended family. no way that will be secret for long, will it? before we go, just time to bring you the winners from one of the biggest nights in british music. among those attending the brit awards on wednesday night in london were dua lipa and calvin harris. pink was honoured with this year's brits outstanding contribution to music. but the band the 1975 were the big winners, taking home the awards for best british group and album of the year. stay with us here on bbc news. in a few minutes, we will have the latest headlines and also bbc hardtalk. you can keep in touch with me on twitter. thank you for watching.
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hello. as advertised for several days, temperatures are now on the up and there will be sunnier days to come, but we're not there yet. for thursday, expect a good deal of cloud around. it's reallyjust later in the day it starts to brighten up. regardless of cloud or sunshine though, it will be milder. it's all about where the air is coming from. there's a bit of caribbean air coming our way on through thursday. by the end of the week, the start of the weekend, looking to north—west africa, the canaries, for the source of our milderair. but temperatures will be several degrees above normal for the time of year. nowhere particularly cold as thursday begins, but this chart gives you an indication ofjust how much cloud there's going to be, damp and drizzly as well in places to begin the day, could still see a bit of patchy rain in western scotland and north—west england into the first part of the afternoon, before it eases away. now, you canjust pick out more of the land appearing among
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the cloud into the afternoon, these are gradually some sunny spells developing. now, we've established this is a feed of mild air coming from the south. it's fairly breezy. these are average speeds, there'll be a few stronger gusts the further west you are, you're closer to the low pressure, as in the atlantic. but again, it is a feed of mild air, temperatures are above normal, and with some decent sunshine in north—east scotland, 16, 17, maybe 18 degrees is possible, but widely temperatures in the midteens. clear spells around on thursday night, although this weather front just edges closer to northern ireland and western scotland, with a strengthening wind. so you could start to see a few spots of rain out of that, and this is fog developing across parts of east anglia, the midlands, southern, especially south—eastern england. as ever, it'll be patchy in nature, but some of it could well be quite dense as we start the day on friday. there isn't much wind here because you're closer to this area of high pressure. still though this weather front close to northern ireland and western scotland, so here more cloud around at times on friday, maybe a few showers, more breeze in the west as well
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compared with elsewhere. some of the fog towards the south—east may linger into the first half of the afternoon in some spots, but for many on friday, for more places, it's blue sky and sunshine, and of course, when you've got the sunshine, it willjust contribute to that very mild feel to the weather. some snow affecting parts of south—east europe, with low pressure close by. elsewhere, for many, it's dry, with high pressure notjust here but elsewhere in europe, and there's your feed of air coming from the canaries, from north—west africa into the uk over the weekend. and whilst most will be fine and dry, could be some rain affecting parts of northern ireland and western scotland at times, and still some dense fog patches across parts of england to start the day.
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