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tv   BBC News  BBC News  March 24, 2019 4:00am-4:31am GMT

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this is bbc news. the headlines: in thailand, voting is under way in the country's general election. it's the first since you're watching bbc news, i'm reged ahmad. our top stories: a military coup in 2014. voting gets underway in thailand's general election — the first since a military coup five years ago. syria celebrates as islamic state the mv viking sky issued a mayday militants lose their last stranglehold, but is itjust after hitting bad weather. more than 1,000 passengers and crew a setback for the terror group? are being airlifted from a cruise ship off the coast of norway. the mv viking sky issued a mayday three people are seriously injured after suffering engine problems as bad weather hits a cruise off during bad weather. the coast of norway. five helicopters are helicopters are airlifting more involved in the rescue. at least three people have been seriously injured. than 1,000 passengers to safety. hundreds of thousands of people have marched through central london, demanding that the uk holds another 0rganisers say a million people took vote on its membership part in a rally in london, of the european union. there've been celebrations demanding another brexit referendum. across syria after the so—called islamic state group was defeated in its last stranglehold, baghouz. the kurdish—led syrian democratic forces, which is backed by the us, raised their flag above buildings seized from is fighters. now on bbc news, click looks at the latest in anti—drone
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technology to see what companies and airports are doing to prevent hello and welcome. polls have opened in thailand, where voters are casting their ballots in the first general election since the military ousted the civilian government of yingluck shinawatra in 2014. turnout is expected to be high. nick beake is following events in bangkok. voting well under way here in the heart of bangkok, this is one of the many open—air polling stations they have set up and we have seen a strea m have set up and we have seen a stream of voters come to cast their ballot today and of course they have been waiting a long time, eight yea rs been waiting a long time, eight years since the last election here. there is a dizzying array of candidates to choose from, you can see some of the pictures of the candidates, the parties they represent, however this election boils down to what many people are saying is a simple choice but the status quo, the military toronto, that seized power five years ago, or
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one of the other parties promising change, and we know that in the last couple of years, the ruling junta has change the electoral system so it is hard for the other democratic forces to seize an overall majority. so this is unexpected, lots of excitement and we do anticipate a pretty high turnout today. next, there has been a message from the king as well? —— nick. there has been a message from the king as well? -- nick. this is a pretty unprecedented message from the king, coming on the eve of polling, and he talked about how he was concerned about the security and the happiness of his people and also, he said that it was imperative that all time voters thought about voting for what he spoke about good people, people who could keep from however as he described as bad people —— thai voters that is the message from the king and we have not had something like this before and across the monarchy hugely important, revered in this country, people will be thinking that as they cast their vote and of course they
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will be thinking about all the other things that candidates have been saying over the past few weeks as they are desperate to gather votes. we should get some sort of indication about how the pulse are played out later today but don't expect an overall majority. there will be some behind—the—scenes manoeuvring and we expect some sort of minority government to be formed in the coming days. if the opposition parties have done well but all of that is for later in the day and in the weeks to come. nick beake day and in the weeks to come. nick bea ke and of day and in the weeks to come. nick beake and of course more on the elections on our website. president trump and other world leaders have welcomed the defeat of the so—called islamic state caliphate in syria. after weeks of brutal fighting, kurdish—led forces claimed victory over the hardline group. the final isis fighters had been holed up in the town of baghouz. syrian democratic forces had besieged the town for weeks whilst planes conducted air strikes. thousands of people were forced to flee. aleem maqbool sent this report from north—eastern syria. it is the syrian democratic forces who raise their flag over baghouz today — the final sliver of territory recaptured from the islamic state group.
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undoubtedly a moment of triumph for the local forces who've sacrificed so much in the fight. "we are gathered here, sons of this great country," says kino gabriel from the sdf, "to confirm our total victory over the islamic state group and their fall." but throughout, while marking the significance of the achievement, have been the voices of caution. we still have much work to do for an enduring defeat of isis. —— we still have much work to do to achieve an enduring defeat of isis. we have been clear that the campaign is not over. isis, or daesh, remains a significant threat in the region for the united states, our partners and our allies. but the land has been won back after a major offensive earlier this week with syrian forces advancing on the ground,
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backed by air strikes from the us—led coalition. in the end, this is what the so—called caliphate was reduced to — unused suicide vests, crumpled flags, and the squalid remains of a pitiful camp. horns blare. well, there have been parades and cavalcades in towns and cities up and down this region on the news, but it has all come at a huge cost to people here. and while they celebrate now, they also recognise thatjust because the territory has been taken back from the islamic state group that doesn't mean the fight is over. aleem maqbool, bbc news, in qamishli in northern syria. let's get some of the day's other news. there have been at least two explosions in the somali capital mogadishu. eyewitnesses say gunmen entered a building housing two government ministries and exchanged fire with somali security forces. it is not yet clear how many people were killed but officials say policemen were amongst the victims.
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the jihadist group al—shabab said it carried out the attack. over 40,000 demonstrators have taken to the streets for the 19th consecutive weekend of gilet jaunes protests in france. protests in paris were considerably less violent than last week with military units deployed to back—up police. the movement, which started with calls to scrap a fuel tax, has morphed into a wider arena for political and social grievances. germans are calling on eu lawmakers to save the internet in protests to changes to 2—decade—old copyright laws. proposed rules would force google and other online platforms like facebook and instagram to sign licensing deals with artists to catch copyright violations. the reform will be voted on early this week. an operation to rescue more than 1,000 people from a cruise ship in the sea off south—west
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norway is set to continue through the night. more than 200 passengers have so far been airlifted to safety. norwegian authorities say at least three people have serious injuries, mostly broken bones. eliza philippidis has the story. from this point on the coast, you get a real sense of a ship in trouble. all but one of its engines failed, not enough to drive it to safety. inside, passengers were tossed about as this ship pitched back and forth in winds of 70 kilometres per hour. this woman was struck on the head when part of the ceiling collapsed. rescue helicopters have been deployed, airlifting around 15 passengers at a time to shore. but with more than 1,300 people on board, this will be a long rescue operation. the very bad weather is going to be
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very difficult to make the evacuation proceed but also, as we've seen in other cases, the effectiveness and hard work of the crew is going to be vital in making sure that this evacuation operation is a success. crew on board viking sky have issued passengers with life vests. those that have been rescued are being accommodated in local hotels. very frightening. we went up on a helicopter with a sling, the two of us together, and it was quite scary. the ship is currently moving away from the shore very slowly a freighter which was trying to help the cruise ship was also in trouble and sent a mayday signal because of engine problems. the cruise ship is currently moving away from the shore very slowly in an attempt to get into calmer waters. helicopters will continue to rescue passengers but, in high winds, this is a stressful
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and complex operation. eliza philippidis, bbc news. joining us now is kelsey leighton, whose parents mark and nancy are currenly onboard the viking sky. kelsey, thank you for your time, it must be distressing to have your pa rents must be distressing to have your parents caught up in this situation. what have they been telling you? yes, they have been in pretty co nsta nt yes, they have been in pretty constant contact with us via text message, you know, unfortunately because they don't have any battery, you know, in their phone, it isjust really relying on the other passengers' kindness to help them charge their phone and communicate with us and it is frightening to see all of the videos and just know that my parents are on board and i want them home safely. what have they told you about what has been happening on board and what they have been seeing? so they have been seeing a lot of injuries, a lot of minor cuts, bruises, falls, you know, a lot of passengers because
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they are a bit older have some mobility challenges, many have fallen over in the rough seas, they have said that the rooms are trashed, they are not able to go to their rooms. many broken wine bottles, causing injuries. and what my mum exactly said was a lot of mess everywhere. she did not even wa nt to ta ke mess everywhere. she did not even want to take pictures of. are they very worried? are they going to be airlifted at all? so they have just sent through another text message, five am local norway time, that the captain has come up over the loudspeaker and said that they are planning to ride into malta on the ship and all four engines are working so i was very relieved to hear that. but is interesting news. what is the plan then for the ship? are they explaining a plan to dock, basically? it sounds like they are trying to get everyone into port on the ship. it sounds like the helicopters are still doing
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evacuations for those who are severely injured or, you know, in need of assistance. and what have your parents been telling you about the updates they have been receiving from the crew? have they been getting enough information? have you been getting enough information from the company? you know, the four -- they have been receiving information from the every hour and they have said nothing about the crew, they have been professional and keeping things orderly, they have been calm, however when i called viking crews, they did not give me any information, i did not tell me when my parents would be, if they would be, you know, evacuated in any sort of, you know, any kind of estimated time to you know, that was frustrating for me to hear. your pa rents frustrating for me to hear. your parents must have really been looking forward to this trip. do you think that they will be going on another cruise after this? well,
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this was my mum's retirement celebration cruise! i was very much hoping for something much less exciting for her. i wanted it to be rewarding but not quite this exciting. i do not know if they will go on another cruise, i think they are probably very apprehensive and just want to get off the boat safely at this point. kelsey, we hope your pa rents at this point. kelsey, we hope your parents do get off the boat safely and continue to be healthy on that cruise. that was kelsey lleyton, whose parents were on the viking sky. thank you. 0rganisers of a march in london to demand another eu referendum claim more than a million people turned out. a petition calling for brexit to be stopped has now been signed by approaching five million people, making it the most popular ever submitted to the parliament website. it's believed theresa may is coming under increasing pressure to announce her resignation. 0ur political correspondent iain watson reports.
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brexit is at a crossroads. no support yet for theresa may's deal, but no agreed alternative. crowd chant: hey, hey! theresa may! give us all a final say! the organisers claim that a million people took to london's streets to call for a new referendum. the people's vote campaign say this would bring the country together. but so far, brexit has caused our big political parties to splinter and opponents of another public vote say it would only deepen divisions. some people are worried it would be very divisive, given the state of the country. and it's not now? we weren't told what brexit would actually look like because they didn't know what brexit would actually look like. i think now we actually know what brexit might be, we should be able to make an informed decision. we want to have another referendum so people can voice their latest view, i think. would you accept other options — a softer brexit, some
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people call it? i think anything is better than the current options of either theresa's deal or no deal. i bring with me today solidarity from scotland. the snp and most opposition leaders at westminster have publicly pledged their support for a new referendum. jeremy corbyn is not here but has said it's an option the labour leadership would vote for in parliament, and the party's deputy leader says he could back theresa may's deal, but with a rather large and important caveat. i will help you get it over the line to prevent a disastrous no deal brexit but i can only vote for a deal if you let the people vote on it too. theresa may is not yet confident enough to guarantee that she will bring her deal back to parliament for a further vote next week. campaigners here hope that will give them an opportunity to push their case for a new referendum. but that decision will not be taken
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by thousands of people on the streets, it will be taken by fewer than 650 mps and, so far, they have resisted all calls for a public vote. mps are likely to discuss alternatives to theresa may's deal next week. some want a closer relationship with the eu, similar to norway, others back a more distant free trade agreement like canada's, and some say no deal could still be the best option. but these campaigners have been accused by long—standing leave supporters of trying to stop brexit altogether. this march portends to be in favour of a second referendum but that is only a means to an end. this is a march to try and stop brexit, to reverse the decision that the majority took in 2016. parliament is still in deadlock over theresa may's deal. it is still not clear how or exactly when the uk will leave the eu. campaigners here are hoping that politicians can still be persuaded to give that decision back to the people. iain watson, bbc news, westminster.
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stay with us on bbc world news, still to come: winning the fight to save indonesia's wildlife from being smuggled out of the country.. let there be no more war or bloodshed between arabs and israelis. very good. applause so proud of both of you. applause with great regret, the committee have decided that south africa should be excluded from the 1970 competition.
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chants streaking across the sky, the white—hot wreckage from mir drew gasps from onlookers on fiji. onlooker: wow! this is bbc world news, the latest headlines: voting gets underway in thailand's general election, the first since a military coup five years ago. three people are seriously injured as bad weather hits a cruise off the coast of norway. helicopters are airlifting more than a thousand passengers to safety. an attack on the fulani ethnic group in central mali has left more than 100 people dead. local officials say armed men dressed as traditional donzo hunters surrounded a village in the mopti region before attacking people
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in their homes. senior un officials have visited the country, calling for an immediate end to the violence. we clearly and firmly condemn the attacks against civilians. i called foran attacks against civilians. i called for an end to the spiral of violence. as soon as we learned of this attack we sent un peacekeeping forces to the scene of the attack. you'll find much more on our website, including analysis of the security concerns in the area and what the un and other agencies are doing to help. that's all at bbc.com/news, or you can download the bbc news app. the us attorney—general, william barr, has spent the day at the department ofjustice examining the report by the special
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counsel, robert mueller, into russia's role in the 2016 presidential poll when donald trump was elected. mr barr is considering whether to release the main findings to congress on sunday. republicans claim it vindicates president trump. here's our north america correspondent chris buckler. for months, the special counsel, robert mueller, has been investigating the election of a president to the fury of donald trump. but as he made his way to the golf course today, mr trump's mood seems to have improved considerably. it is now known that robert mueller has not recommended any further indictments and the president's supporters seem to be celebrating and taking that as backing for what he has always claimed. there was no collusion, there was no obstruction, everybody knows it. everybody knows it is a hoax, one of the greatest hoaxes ever perpetrated on this country. during the 22 months of robert mueller‘s investigation,
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there were prosecutions and convictions. traitor, traitor! of among others, the president's former campaign chairman, paul manafort, the former national security adviser michael flynn, and mr trump's one—time personal lawyer, michael cohen. but none of those cases directly address the key questions of whether the president tried to obstructjustice and whether russia colluded with the trump campaign in the 2016 election. i don't know what's in the report, nobody does. democrats already have their eyes on 2020 and those out campaigning to become mr trump's opponents in next year's presidential election have a new rallying cry. that report needs to be made public. the american people have a right and a need to know. the decision about what is released rests in the hands of this man, the us attorney—general. bill barr went to work this morning with the intention of publishing
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the main findings of the report before the end of the weekend. but while the special counsel's probe is at an end, other investigations are still taking place and democrats are determined to push their own inquiries here at congress. chris buckler, bbc news, washington. harry litman is a former deputy assistant attorney general. he is now executive producer of the podcast talking feds. i asked him what us attorney general william barr would actually be doing with the mueller report. i have worked in the department ofjustice, i've worked with bill barr, who was previously the attorney—general. but it arms me less than i might like with exact, precise analogy of your question, because this is someone unprecedented, who's going through a report that i believe he's probably seen before friday, and deciding what so—called principle conclusion that mueller made, he will turn over.
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the suggestion is that the principle conclusions concern mueller‘s decision to prosecute or not to prosecute people. that's a bit — i wouldn't say perplexing, but limited because the charge that mueller had also concerned a lot of investigation other than just simply criminal indictment due to what happened, a narrative if you will. and what that part of the report consists of and whether it will be turned over is, for now, mysterious. now, william barr has said that he wants to be transparent, but he's constrained by rules and laws. but some analysts have said he's got quite a bit of leeway as to what he releases, so which is it? count me among those latter a nalysts. the regulations do give a ceiling, but they are far from a floor. i think bill barr will have to think about material that might implicate national security, but there's
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a mechanism for providing that to certain leaders in congress. he might also have to think about material that was revealed in the grand jury, which normally remains secret, but there's a mechanism even for giving that over to the public with a judicial approval. so, i think he does have a lot of leeway, and by the way, i take him at his word that he will be looking to use it. that, in his letter, suggested that is not what is happening this weekend, but the coming days in consultation with the deputy attorney—general and mueller himself. a russian man has been arrested in bali, accused of trying 0ne one of britain's most wanted
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fugitives has been apprehended. he is suspected of the murder of 21—year—old josh hansen, who was stabbed to death in a bar in hillingdon in west london in 2015. a russian man has been a russian man has been arrested in bali, accused of trying to smuggle a young orangutan out of indonesia. the two year old ape was allegedly found drugged inside a basket, along with two live geckos and five lizards in other bags. tiffany wertheimer has the story. safe in the arms of a safari park vet, this 2—year—old male orangutan has had quite an ordeal. on friday night, to the surprise of security at bali's denpasar airport, he showed up on the x—ray machine as they checked passengers' luggage. translation: last night, when we found him still sleeping, we did not know if he had been anaesthetised or given sleeping pills. but finally, we found some sleeping pills. security officials stopped and detained 27—year—old russian national
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andrei zhestkov, who was flying home to russia. he told officials the animal was a gift from a friend who'd bought him at a java market for $3,000, and convinced him it was ok to take the ape home to russia and keep as a pet. but orangutans are a protected species, and mr zhestkov could now face up to five years in prison and a $7,000 fine if he is convicted, although the exact charges he is facing are still unclear. two live geckos and five lizards were also allegedly found in his luggage. illegal wildlife trade is rampant in indonesia despite efforts to crack down on smugglers. for now, this young orangutan is safe. translation: we will continue his treatment here at the safari park until he finishes at the quarantine facility. whether he's ever released into the wild will be up to indonesia's conservation agency. tiffany wertheimer, bbc news. stay with us here on bbc news.
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hello there. this weekend isn't looking too bad pretty much for all of us, but for scotland, it will be quite showery and even windy as we head through sunday. now, the wet and windy weather across the north is attributed to this deep low—pressure system, which is skirting to the north of scotland. and on its southern flank, we're seeing those gales. so the winds continuing to pick up during the early hours of sunday here. lots of showers, some of them merging together to produce longer spells of rain. yes, there will be some wintriness over the high ground too. but the further south that you are, closer to the area of high pressure, lighter winds and clearer skies. so it's going to be a chilly start to sunday. temperatures in low single figures for many. and out of town, across central northern areas, there will in fact be a touch of frost in places. so, sunday will be a chilly start,
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but many places starting dry and bright, plenty of sunshine. but there will be showers from the word go, windy conditions across scotland. some of these showers pushing their way southwards. but i think through the afternoon, the showers become a bit more scattered, so there should be some sunshine in between. but it will be very windy with gales and quite chilly, 6 or 7 degrees across the far north. a few showers pushing into northern ireland and into northern england. but south of here, it's actually a glorious afternoon. more sunshine than what we had on saturday. same too for the channel islands, temperatures ranging between 12 and 1a celsius. now, as we head on into next week, this area of high pressure really exerts its force across the uk. slap bang on top of it, in fact. a few weather systems trying to skirt around it, may affect northern scotland at times, a little bit of rain. but for most places throughout next week, it's going to be largely dry with variable cloud and some sunshine. we could see quite a bit of sunshine in places. but nights will be chilly. also with this area of high pressure, as it moves a little bit further eastwards, it will start to scoop up some milderair and brings it towards our shores and that will be quite noticeable across southern and eastern parts of the country later in the week.
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for monday, this is the picture, again, it's another chilly start. but we should have plenty of sunshine around. a bit of cloud just toppling around the area of high pressure, into the north and the west of scotland. perhaps a spot of rain or two on western hills. those temperatures reaching double figures across the north. a little bit milder for scotland on monday, closer to 12—13 degrees across southern parts of the country. into tuesday, it's a similar picture. plenty of sunshine around after a fairly cool start. could see a little bit of cloud just bubbling up into the afternoon, but it should be fair—weather cloud. and this weather front may bring a little bit of rain, more of a breeze to the far north of scotland. those temperatures creeping up across the south — 13, maybe 1a celsius. and, in fact, as we end the week, it looks like it could turn very mild again across southern and eastern areas. you could be looking at the high teens celsius. but nights will continue to be cool with a bit of mist and fog.
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