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tv   BBC News  BBC News  April 24, 2019 3:00am-3:31am BST

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welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is mike embley. our top stories: sri lanka's president admits he wasn't told of prior intelligence on the easter day attacks and promises a shake—up of security services. the grieving say goodbye, at the first funerals. dozens of children are confirmed among the 321 dead. translation: i didn't expect they would die. i'll never see them again. i can't have children like them anymore. in other news: he's packed up and on his way, the north korean leader kim jong—un sets off to russia for his first summit with president putin. one man, one vote, one trip through lion—infested jungle.
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the story behind this indian priest casting his ballot. the president of sri lanka is replacing the chief of police and security services in response to sunday's suicide bombings, which it's now confirmed killed at least 320 people. he's also promised action against those who didn't share warnings, received beforehand, about likely attacks. the prime minister has said lives were lost because intelligence tip—offs were not passed on to the government. the bbc‘s shara njit leyl is in colombo. thank you. that is right. it is a new day here today. the third day of mourning and grief for many sri lankans and mourning and grief for many sri lanka ns and others mourning and grief for many sri lankans and others who have lost families and loved ones. more as a
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set to continue later today. tuesday, of course, we know was a national day of mourning. we saw a lot of the mass funerals take place, of course many others are due to happen to take place over the next few days. we know the government has blamed a small terrorist group here in sri lanka for these attacks but the so—called islamic state has also claimed responsibility. let's get some of the day's other news. there in the afternoon breeze they dancers as if heralding a fatal celebration. —— fete or celebration. but in sri lanka, white signifies death. they pray. a meditation on the life of christ and remembrance of the dead. in this house, open caskets contain four members of one family, murdered as they prayed on easter sunday. a mother, two girls
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and a boy aged seven. then the quiet reflection is broken. she shrieks. "my golden daughter, my small son, why are you like this?" she wails. "get up, get up!" overcome, this grandmother still can't believe two generations of her family are gone. and next door, another house of sorrow. she shrieks. "i lost my family," says anusha kumari. and all around, her heartbreak is shared. nearby, more bodies. her husband and teenage son. this room is now a shrine.
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and close by, a 21—year—old daughter to be laid to rest. so—called islamic state has claimed responsibility and anusha demands that the government gets tough on local extremists. translation: the people of this country are mad. they are fools. we need a strong leader to run this country. sri lanka needs a strong man for it to rise. it is clear that the sense of shock and grief and loss that this woman is feeling, so many are feeling here in sri lanka is now turning to anger, real anger at the authorities for not protecting them. as he calmly walks past a child, cctv captures the bomber who destroyed anusha's life and so many others. he walks into st sebastian church. it's packed, this is easter sunday. seconds later, he detonates.
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on this day of national mourning, sri lanka's prime minister warned that some extremists are still on the run and may be returnees from syria. there are a few people on the run, some are on the run, so we have to apprehend them... with the explosive. he was asked how many are on the run. no, i don't know. back in negombo, excavations for mass burials. the burning question after sunday's barbarity — will the killings bring this country together in grief, or see the delicate balance of ethnic and religious fault lines here tear apart? it wasn't just in it wasn'tjust in colombo or the area around it that was targeted, more than 25 people died, most of them children in his own church in
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buttock lower, that's on the east of the country, where we have our next report —— fete or celebration. —— batta coloa. saudi arabia has executed 37 people in a single day in the town of batticaloa, they're grieving. at almost every corner, pictures hang in memory of the young lives that were lost. forjerusham, who'd just turned 13. forjohn, who loved basketball. for amsika, who was two. for the other children killed at church. they'd been attending sunday school. this footage was filmed 20 minutes before the bomber struck. after class, some of them went outside for snacks before easter service. 12—year—old niruban was one of the children who stayed inside. "suddenly, we heard loud noises," he told me. "we looked out and saw glass and motorbikes flying around, and heard screams and shouts." at least 25 people died in the blast here in zion church. 13 were children. niruban‘s mother, krishanthi, was one of the sunday school
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teachers. her husband ramesh was at the church, which was packed with worshippers, when he spotted a stranger with a backpack. "the man told my husband he was carrying a camera and wanted to film inside," she told me. "my husband said he couldn't enter and forced him to leave. as i went into the church, the bomb exploded." ramesh died, but his actions saved lives. niruban and his sister now have to live theirs without a father. i love myjesus only. and for krishanthi, now a widow, her pain is all too familiar. her parents were brutally murdered in sri lanka's civil war. her aunt died in a tsunami.
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in this small christian community, entire families have been wiped out. this woman lost her son, her daughter—in—law, and her 18—month—old grandson. just around the corner, we found another memorial poster of two smiling children. yesterday brother and sister sharon and sarah were buried. side by side. they were just 11 and i2. both loved to study. still on the wall in their house, their homework calendar. "i'll never see them again," their mum told me. "since they've been gone, all i can remember are their smiles and laughter. they won't come back again. that's the reality." ten years after the civil war ended, this community is once again burying its dead.
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these graves have barely been dug, just like the lives lost had barely been lived. rajini vaidyanathan, bbc news, batticaloa. of course the grieving still continues and many more memorials are said to take place. in fact, government schools and universities remain closed. there is a state of emergency nationwide in force, that essentially gives the government sweeping powers to detain or arrest anyone they think is a suspect without a court order. we know they have already arrested some a0 sri lankan nationals, all local, but as we mentioned earlier at the start of the programme of course, the president has been speaking. he said a lot of the intelligence reports that were apparently shared by intelligence services from roy that an attack was due to take place, he says he was not privy to those
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reports either and that he plans to change the heads of the defence forces over the next 2a hours. we've been hearing from the prime minister as well, he essentially says that yes, as well, he essentially says that yes , even as well, he essentially says that yes, even though everyone who has been arrested is sri lankan and they do think that they know the group behind it, this is the nt], a local extremist group, the prime minister essentially thinks that they were able to do this attack, these co—ordinated suicide attacks with the help of outside influences, of course we know in the last day or so the so—called islamic state has claimed responsibility for these attacks. the co—ordinated nature of them taking place within a space of minutes of each other across the country suggest there was external help —— islamic state. so a curfew tonight, this country remains on a
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state of high alert and there is still a lot of morning and grieving to do. that's quickly round up some more of the main news for you to keep you up—to—date. saudi arabia has executed 37 people in a single day on terrorism charges. all were saudi citizens and most, it's reported, were from the country's shia minority. the body of one was crucified after execution. amnesty international says one of the men was 16—years—old when arrested, and that many of the trials violated international standards and relied on confessions extracted under torture. members of hong kong's occupied movements have been sentenced for public nuisance charges, they could face up to seven years. rescue teams
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are trying to preach up people in manila, philippines. an appeal court in brazil has voted to reduce a 12 year jail sentence in brazil has voted to reduce a 12 yearjail sentence for in brazil has voted to reduce a 12 year jail sentence for former president luiz inacio lula da silva. he will now serve a term of 8 years and 10 months. he was convicted of accepting a seaside flat as a bribe to help a construction company get lucrative deals. he is also appealing against a second sentence of almost 13 years in a separate bribery case. north korea's leader is heading to russia for his first meeting with president vladimir putin. security and protocol staff for kim jong—un have been spotted making final preparations in vladivostok, for the summit. the kremlin has confirmed the two will meet on thursday in the city, which isjust over 100 kilometres from the border with north korea. the bbc‘s sarah rainsford reports:
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they have been sprucing up vladivostok, preparing for a summit that russia wants to reflect its status as a serious global player. vladimir putin will host the leader of north korea at this college campus to talk nuclear weapons, among other things. kim jong—un‘s armoured train will roll into this station. though the special service from pyongyang isn't being announced here and there is no obvious fuss yet among the locals. 17 years ago kim's father made the same journey to see the same man. then vladimir putin was trying to renew an alliance that had flagged after the soviet collapse. now he wants russia to help negotiate an end to its neighbour's nuclear ambitions. two months ago donald trump's efforts to do that collapsed, but analysts here argue mr putin is looking to revitalise the diplomatic process, not undermine it. i don't think putin would try to pour fuel into this fire. i think putin wants russia to be a constructive and responsible player. russia... it is not in russia's interests
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to see another crisis surging on the korean peninsula. seven time zones east of moscow, it isn't hard to see why. this place is full of visitors from china and crowds of tourists from south korea. the border with the north is just over 100 kilometres away as the crow flies. from here in vladivostok, north korea is very close and russia definitely doesn't want a nuclear—armed state right on its border. but these talks are important politically, too. they're about vladimir putin stepping in and engaging with pyongyang after donald trump's efforts have stalled. people here welcome that, worried about an unpredictable nuclear neighbour. yeah, it is a bit unsettling and it does make me a bit uncomfortable i guess when i think about it.
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the timing suggests kim jong—un is travelling here because he now needs russia to push his case with america. russia has always argued that maximum pressure on pyongyang won't work, so this is vladimir putin's chance to explore that first—hand. i spoke to herjust after she file that report. i think there's a lot of signalling in all of this, both from russia and from north korea. the timing is key, bear in mind that is actually a year since russia invited the north korean leader here and it's only now that this meeting is taking place. the first one between vladimir putin and kimjong—un. i think, as i said, the timing is not an accident,
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this is happening two months after those talks between the north korean leader and donald trump broke down in hanoi. that was a surprise collapse of those talks. i think now, north korea is looking for allies, it's looking to tell washington that it does have friends here in russia, an important ally. i think for russia it's about inserting itself into the political and diplomatic process. we've heard from the kremlin after they finally confirmed that this visit was taking place, the kremlin said they see this as critical to resolving the political and diplomatic stand—off on the korean peninsula. i think a lot of signalling, but there will be some substance too. plenty for the two men to talk about as they meet for the first time here on the far eastern coast of russia. we are seven time zones here, from moscow. talking about substance, what you expect to come out of it? how much are we likely to know? at the moment we have been told there won't actually even be any statements made after this. i think it will be difficult to know what has gone on behind closed doors. in fact, it's been difficult up till now to get details of where this is going to take place. we have been guessing the last couple of days looking for signals, we now know the meeting will take
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place on that college campus that you saw in my report there, just over on an island here, across the water. i think a lot of this is about personal relationships, it's about looking each other in the eyes, i think one former diplomat of north korea told me that kim jong—un is not going to trust vladimir putin, he doesn't trust many people. but perhaps he will distrust russia less than any other potential partner it is talking to about its nuclear programme. here in russia as well as many other countries, that's what people are worried about when they look at north korea. so i think that relationship could be important going forward. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: thirty years in development, now an experimental vaccine against malaria is launched in malawi. the stars and stripes at half—mast outside columbine high. the school sealed off,
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the bodies of the dead still inside. i never thought that they would actually go through with it. one of the most successful singer songwriters of all time, the american pop star prince has died at the age of 57. he was a great musician and, you know, a genius. for millions of americans, the death of richard nixon in a new york hospital has meant conflicting emotions. a national day of mourning next wednesday sitting somehow uneasily with the abiding memories of the shame of watergate. mission control: and lift-off of the space shuttle discovery with the hubble space telescope, our window on the universe.
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this is bbc news. the latest headlines: sri lanka's president promises a shake—up of security and police services. he's admitted he was kept out of the loop on intelligence tip—offs ahead of sunday's bomb attacks. sudan's new military ruler has told the bbc he will not allow his troops to use force against civilian protesters. it's just a day since the military ordered demonstrators to dismantle their barricades on roads leading to the army headquarters. the bbc‘s zeinab badawi is in khartoum. the protest which removed omar al—bashirfrom power are now stuck in a groove. everyone wants to know what the next chapter is. many people out on the streets, they say they are intensifying their sit—ins and their protests because the next stage hasn't happened. the military council led by general abdel fattah al—burhan, has not indicated exactly when it's going to hand over power
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to the civilians. and they say, they will step up the demonstrations until that happens. so everybody wants to know what general al—burhan has on his mind. and i spoke to him in his first interview to the international media. and i put it to him that the situation has now reached a stalemate. people are aware of the current state of the nation. the state could have descended into chaos and the authorities were negligent. therefore, the armed forces decided to take over control. but we don't pose a threat to the people, we just want the situation to calm and for things to return to normal. but protesters have the right to demonstrate anywhere and anytime. so, general abdel fattah al—burhan there, an army man reassuring me in my hardtalk interview that he is in control of all the factions in the army
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and that he is determined to make sure that the military remains subservient to the people. but still, no clear resolution on when or what is going to happen next. for the first time a new malaria vaccine is being tested in the field. it's the culmination of more than three decades of work and cost $1 billion to develop. malaria kills a35,000 people every year, the majority of them children. a large—scale pilot has been launched in malawi. but it will also be rolled out in ghana and kenya in the coming weeks. victoria wahonda reports. the world could finally be getting closer to winning the fight against malaria. it's all thanks to a new vaccine, the first of its kind, which is undergoing a large—scale pilot in malawi. the rts,s vaccine works by training the immune system to attack the malaria parasite. with initial testing indicating it reduces cases by a0%. the world health organization, expect it to be a crucial step in combating the disease.
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children will receive the vaccine in four stages before they are two years old. the aim is to immunise 120,000 infants to reduce the number of deaths. currently, a child dies from malaria every two minutes. the pilot will roll out to ghana next week, while kenya will follow suit in the next weeks. victoria wahonda, bbc news. polls have now closed in the indian election‘s super tuesday, the third phase of the country's marathon seven—stage general election. with nearly a billion eligible voters, the logistics can be quite daunting. but as the bbc‘s tim allman explains election officials are determined everyone, and i mean everyone, can take part.
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bharatdas darshandas is a man who takes his civic duty very seriously indeed. a priest who lives in a remote forest temple, he walks nearly a kilometre to his polling station. a polling station set up for him and only him. it's often described as the world's biggest exercise in democracy. 900 million eligible voters, around 1 million polling stations. officials had to travel through nearly 70 kilometres of lion—infested jungle to set up shop at banej, in the western province of gujurat. bharatdas was given a warm welcome. he's been the sole voter here for nearly 20 years. and then he got down to the business at hand. he wouldn't say who he'd voted for, but when the returns come back it shouldn't be too hard to figure it out.
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translation: i live here, deep inside the gir forest. there is just this one polling station here. and the government spends a lot of money on it. i've voted here today and hence this station has a turnout of 100%. i ask everyone to cast their valuable votes so there's 100% voting everywhere. job done, he returns to work at the temple. but two words are do spring to mind — postal vote. tim allman, bbc news. a reminder of our main news — the sri lankan president has promised to restructure the country's police and security services following the suicide bombings at churches and hotels on easter sunday. mass funerals have been taking place and there's been a three—minute silence held across sri lanka. the government intends to reintroduce a measure from sri lanka
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civil war and set up security at district doubles. but the president and prime minister have denied they had prior knowledge to intelligence reports and two puffs that there would be attacks. it has been confirmed that 321 people have died. dozens of them are children. the government is investigating a crime of responsibility. we will leave you with these images. singing. in this small village almost every house has one funeral.
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you cannot find a single person who is without tears. everybody is crying. there is a change on the way, it's certainly going to feel a lot cooler, but not really until the end of the week. today, wednesday, it's actually not going to be too bad. temperatures could still get up to around 20 degrees but some of us will need our brollies. there are showers on the way, there could be some thunderstorms too. a lot of cloud on the satellite image, these are weather fronts, they are heading in our direction and for the rest of the week, we will see a succession of weather fronts approaching us and those will be giving showers. we can still see quite a lot of orange and yellow, that is basically the temperature of the atmosphere. it's what we call the air mass. some warmth there but the colder current of air across the north atlantic, that won't reach us until probably friday, that's when we will really notice the temperatures tumbling.
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here's first thing in the morning on wednesday, temperatures of ten in the south, six in the north. showers going right from the word go across cornwall and devon. much of the west country into wales as well. some just about nudging into the midlands by around lunchtime. but by two or three in the afternoon, notice that the south coast is actually clear of the showers so the sun may come out again. quite a changeable day from showers, back to sunshine. those showers will continue to drift northwards into the lake district, eventually later on in the afternoon. those temperatures still managing to get up to around 20 degrees but where you have the cloud and the showers, it's going to feel quite a bit cooler. maybe around 1a or 15 degrees. you can see those blobs of blue, the showers move northwards as we head into wednesday evening. eventually, that warmth or what is left of it will waft away towards the east and this colder air will reach us.
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thursday and friday, that's where we see those temperatures tumbling away. here is thursday, again showers in the forecast, a little bit more widespread, and some of us that didn't have the showers on wednesday may get them on thursday. temperatures only 13, 1a, 15 degrees. throughout the country, whether you're in the south or the north, may be some sunshine thrown in there. here is friday's weather forecast. breezy as well, showers, could be the odd crack of thunder as well, really feeling quite cool, i suspect by the time we get to the weekend some northern areas might be struggling to even make double figures. the outlook into saturday and sunday is a showery one. temperatures in the south of around 12—1a degrees. maybe 10 or 11 in the north.
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this is bbc news, the headlines: sri lanka's president says he will replace the heads of the police and security forces after admitting even he was kept out of the loop over prior warnings ahead of sunday's bombings. some of the victims have been laid to rest as the number of those killed reaches 321. north korean leader kimjong—un has set off for his first summit with russian president vladimir putin. the two will meet in the russian city of vladivostok. it comes just two months after the breakdown of talks between kim jong—un and us president donald trump. nine activists who helped to organise mass pro—democracy protests in hong kong in 201a are in court to be sentenced. the nine — who were convicted earlier this month — could face up to seven years in prison. they were found guilty of breaking rarely—used public

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