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tv   BBC News  BBC News  May 15, 2019 2:00am-2:31am 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: in tehran, the supreme leader rules out going to war with the us, but the pentagon raises the threat level against iran. increased security and a second overnight curfew in sri lanka, in response to a wave of anti—muslim violence. we speak to a lawyer who was a victim of the whatsapp cyber attack and track down the company that developed the software in israel. and why san francisco is banning the use of facial recognition technology by police and local agencies.
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in an unprecedented statement, iran's supreme leader has said there will be no war with the united states. rapidly growing tensions between the two countries have been cited by american officials as justification for a us military build—up. but, in another extraordinary move, the top british general in the us—led coalition against islamist extremism has declared there is no increased threat from forces backed by iran, either in iran or syria. that directly contradicts assertions from the white house, and his view has now been disowned by us central command. such a public rebuke of a senior allied officer is very unusual. here is what major general christopher ghika said in a videolink briefing to the pentagon from baghdad. inrun is no part of our mission. we are here at the invitation of the iraqi government to defeat daesh, not to have anything to do with the
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run. there has been no increased threat from iranians backed forces in iraq and syria. we are aware of their presence, clearly, and we monitor them, along with a whole range of others, because that's the environment we are in. but, as i say, we see no... we have no part of iran in our mission. we are reined — we are monitoring the shia militia groups i think you are referring to carefully, and if the threat level appears to go up, we will adjust our approach accordingly. the us secretary of state has been briefing european and russian leaders on what the us sees as the threat from iran. mike pompeo has said the us fundamentally does not seek war, but will keep applying pressure. we will hear from mike pompeo in a moment. the new york times has reported the white house is considering a plan to send 120,000 troops to the middle east, to counter iran. the president was asked about that.
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i think it's fake news, 0k? now, what i do that? absolutely. but we have not planned for that. hopefully we're not going to have to plan for that, and if we did that, we'd send a hell of a lot more troops that. the united states will continue to apply pressure to the regime in tehran until its leadership is prepared to return to the ranks of responsible nations, that do not threaten their neighbours or spread instability or terror. let's go live to north american correspondent peter bowes for more. there are a lot of unusual things happening, this unprecedented statement from iran's supreme leader and the statements from allies. well, yes, and it is these contradictions between senior commander, british commander and what us officials are saying, that are difficult to explain. they seem to be telling very different stories, and this apparent rebuke by us officials, saying that what the british commander had said randwick
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counter to the identified, credible threats, is certainly, i think, confusing a lot of people. because we've been hearing, haven't we, over the last week or so, mike, about the perceived threat as far as america seesit perceived threat as far as america sees it from inrun, but that clearly isn't the kind of threat that at least this speaker who has been talking at some length sees on the ground. and the thing that makes people rather nervous about the possibility of war is that mr boulton, who is now national security advisor, has for a long time, he has been on the record as saying, that he favours war with iran. he was one of the architects of the iraq war as well, of course. yes, he was. he is a very hawkish character, and of course he is very close to the president. so often, sometimes, you've got to weigh up the weight of individuals that are surrounding the president, and how
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much significance they have in terms of what the president is saying and what the administration is voicing, and it is sometimes a case of two stories, and it is — i think this is a classic example of it being a little bit difficult to assess which way the united states is going, and how to read the message that we've been getting. it's also mike pompeo as well who's been travelling frantically around the world, changing travel plans at the last minute sometimes, which has i think disturbed quite a few people, because in itself that is unusual. but this issue always seems to be central to what he is doing. so as to the next step, and of course we had just now the president referring to fa ke had just now the president referring to fake news, of moving further troops to the region, the nextep really is unknown. thank you very much for that. in sri lanka, a second overnight nationwide curfew has ended. the authorities want to put a stop to violent attacks on muslim—owned homes and shops in areas north of the capital, colombo. it is thought they are reprisals
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for the easter bombings that killed more than 250 people. shuba krishnan has the details. mobs of men armed with sticks take to the streets. they're part of a growing number of anti—muslim rioters causing havoc in towns north of sri lanka's capital, colombo. this mosque had its windows smashed, while this one was ransacked, its furniture destroyed. this man says his house was torched, and he feared for his safety. translation: they came suddenly. they went down the road throwing rocks at houses. then they returned and set fire to the place. we couldn't go out because we were scared they would kill us. tyres were set alight and thrown at this pasta factory. its owner says his staff were trapped inside. meanwhile, witnesses say this halal grocery shop was petrol—bombed. in the wake of the violence, sri lanka's prime minister appealed for calm, saying security forces were working tirelessly to apprehend
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terrorists and ensure the security of the country, but unrest would hinder investigations. sri lankan cricket legend kumar sangakkara also took to twitter. he called for unity. a state of emergency has been in place since the easter sunday bombings, as investigations continue. shuba krishnan, bbc news. let's get some of the day's other news: sudan's military rulers and protest leaders have agreed on a three—year transition period for handing over power to a full civilian administration. there were violent protests in the capital, khartoum, on monday which left four people dead and dozens injured. sudan has been ruled by the council since president 0mar al—bashir was toppled last month. vladimir putin has told the us secretary of state he would welcome another meeting with donald trump. the russian president said he hoped
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full relations between moscow and washington would be restored. but differences remain on subjects including iran, venezuela and ukraine. downing street says parliament will vote on legislation to implement any brexit deal early next month. theresa may will urge the house of commons to back the withdrawal agreement bill in an attempt to ratify the uk's exit from the eu before the summer. mrs may's brexit deal has already been rejected three times by mps. a cyber attack exploiting a vulnerability in the messaging service whatsapp is thought to have been carried out using software developed by an israeli company, and there are attempts in israel to stop the firm exporting abroad. however the company maintains, while it sells the software, it doesn't operate it. 0ur middle east correspondent tom bateman has been speaking to a lawyer who says he was specificially targeted by the cyberattack, and he has sent us this report from jerusalem. as somebody who's a lawyer, i'm used to being the person who defends people's rights, not being the victim myself.
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this uk—based lawyer has spent months representing people who claim their phones were targeted using nso's software. now, speaking anonymously to protect his privacy, he believes the spyware has been used against him. on sunday, i received two whatsapp video calls, and i managed to capture the log. so these were hacking attempts, you think? yes. the attempts were passed to whatsapp, who started their investigation. nso says its software is to track terrorists, but it is accused of selling it to countries who want it to spy on dissidents. the lawyer helped alleged victims from saudi arabia and mexico. it is scary, in the sense that now we can see that it feels like the wild west, so any rogue actor or a rogue state, or a state with questionable human rights records, can very easily acquire this system. secrecy surrounds the sale of the spyware abroad, with no public oversight. that's why this israeli lawyer wants nso stripped of its export licence.
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they don't want the israeli public to start a movement against this export licence. so there's a total secrecy, even in israel, and the total secrecy means there is no accountability. there is total impunity. israel is a world leader in cybersecurity exports. start—up firms sold their wares at this recent gathering — a tech boom fuelled by experts fresh from army intelligence. it is a source of strength, says one former general. we are helping some other countries to acquire similar capabilities, and i personally about know of dozens of events where terrible terrorist attacks were intercepted only due to the availability of such an intelligence capability. nso claims its software has saved countless lives, and they take every precaution to avoid abuse. this kind of spyware has the power to watch us all.
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the debate now is over who is watching its creators. tom bateman, bbc news, jerusalem. san francisco has become the first us city to ban the use of facial recognition technology by police and other agencies. federal facilities such as san francisco international airport and the port of san francisco would be exempt, as well as private businesses. let's get more from our us technology reporter dave lee in san francisco. dave, tell us what is the thinking here. well, the thinking here from the people backing this measure is that the technology simply isn't good enough right now to reliably do its work, and that the wider implications of what it would mean to have facial recognition used across the city are yet to be fully explored. now, when it comes to the reliability, research has shown that of the technology that exist today that could be used, it's less effective when trying to recognise women accurately. it's also less effective when trying to recognise
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people of colour accurately, and for that reason, campaigners say, it is simply not ready to be used, even though they admit there are some benefits to agencies that are trying to keep the public safe or fight crime. it simply a case, i think you could say, of weighing up the benefits against the risks. and yes, a lot of companies would say, hang on, it is honest every smartphone you by now. well, yes, although i think there is an important distinction, isn't there, between public agencies making use of this technology and people deciding to buy a smartphone that has that feature. this is something that, if you are a citizen of san francisco, you are a citizen of san francisco, you have no choice but to adhere to whatever policy the city puts in place. i think one of the other interesting parts of this new legislation is that, as well as facial recognition, there is also going to be tighter controls on every type of technology that can be used for any type of surveillance or any type of data gathering. if an agency wants to buy a new system of
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cameras, for example, they will have to go to the city administration and say, this is what we plan to do, this is what we are going to do with the data, and here's how we plan to use that data or pass it onto various agencies. so i think it is transparency which is set to at the core of these calls, and when you speak to those that have backed these new measures, they say that's what it's about, making sure people know what is being collected, how being used, and how that impacts their lives. thank you very much for that. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: from sweet to sour. how an instagram post left singer ariana grande facing a $50 , 000 copyright lawsuit. the pope was shot, the pope will live. that was the essence of the appalling news from rome this afternoon, that, as an italian television commentator put it, terrorism has come to the vatican. the man they called the butcher of lyon, klaus barbie,
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went on trial today in the french town where he was the gestapo chief in the second world war. winnie mandela never looked like a woman just sentenced to six years injail. the judge told mrs mandela there was no indication she felt even the slightest remorse. the chinese government has called for an all—out effort to help the victims of a powerful earthquake, the worst to hit the country for 30 years. the computer deep blue has tonight triumphed over the world chess champion, garry kasparov. it is the first time a machine has defeated a reigning world champion in a classical chess match. america's first legal same—sex marriages have been taking place in massachusetts. god bless america! this is bbc news. the latest headlines:
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as iran's supreme leader rules out going to war with the united states the pentagon raises its threat level assesment. sri lanka's security forces have enforced a second overnight curfew in response to a wave of anti—muslim violence. hundreds of millions of people across india have been voting in the general election, with results due next week. divisions between the hindu majority and india's 172 million muslims have grown under the current prime minister, nerandra modi, who leads the hindu nationalist bjp. the united nations is concerned about a rise in attacks on muslims. it's become a key election issue, as our south asia correspondent rajini vaidya nathan reports. these are muslims from a nomadic tribe, outcasts, treated with resentment. when they try to settle in the majority hindu town in northern india, some locals wanted to teach them a lesson so severe
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they would leave forever. what happened in this sacred hindu temple last year sent shock waves across the country. this girl was eight when she was held captive for a week, drugged, gang raped then murdered. "when we found her body, it was black," her mother tells me. "she had been electrocuted, hit with rocks and strangled. she was only a child." her grieving father mohammed yusuf believes his little girl was targeted because of their faith. what followed was just as shocking. eight hindu men were charged. these people took to the streets, not in support of the victim but in solidarity with those accused. two bjp politicians were among the protesters, and it took weeks of pressure before they were forced to resign. tensions are growing in many
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parts of the country. one of the latest cases, in a north—eastern state, has left this market trader terrified. this man was brutally beaten last month. stripped of his dignity, he was force—fed pork bya hindu mob. translation: i had to eat it because i was scared they'd kill me. it was an attack on our entire faith. this community is worried, every face in this room wondering if their very existence leaves them vulnerable. the attack in this usually busy market was brazen. instead of stepping in to try and stop it, crowds filmed it on their mobile phones. india has had a long history of religious violence, with victims of all faiths. human rights organisations say that in the last five years, there has been a sharp increase in hate crimes against muslims, what they describe
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as a rising tide of islamophobia. a bjp spokesman told me the party completely rejects claims its policies have led to the rise in crimes against muslims. he said the bjp represent all faiths. but faith is being used as the hindu nationalist party chases a second term. in a thinly veiled attack on illegal muslim immigrants from neighbouring bangladesh, its president, ahmed shah, calls them termites and insects. it is not just the leaders we have to look to but what is happening to the minds of people who are being constantly drip fed this sort of hatred. the right for all religions to coexist is enshrined
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in this country's constitution. but there is concern that if the bjp wins a second term, that basic secular principle could be eroded. rajini vaidyanathan, bbc news. two very different things for a moment. the american singer ariana grande is being sued for copyright infringement by a photographer, who claims the pop star posted two of his pictures on her instagram without permission. robert barbera, a new york—based photographer, took pictures of grande last year carrying a bag that read "sweetener". grande shared the photos with her 154 million followers on the day she realeased her album sweetner captioning it "happy sweetener day". let's speak to k] matthews, a freelance entertainment reporter based in los angeles. what is really going on here? what it boils down to is money. isn't it a lwa ys it boils down to is money. isn't it always the case! ariana grande was
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sued this week, before that it was jennifer lopez. this photographer is saying you did not have the right to use this photograph. i took this photograph and i am not gaining financially so why should you? if we are losing money, photographers are saying we will take you to court. are losing money, photographers are saying we will take you to courtm is an illustration of a wider topic? absolutely. before the advent of social media, really the only place to see these pictures was on line or you had to buy your tabloid magazine to see them. now photographers are fighting with a list celebrities with that social media accounts and a lot have over 50 million followers. you have aj lo, kevin hart, will smith, the g'day ——
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followers. you have aj lo, kevin hart, will smith, the g'day -_ and others who can speak to millions of fans. they are cutting out the middleman, the tabloid magazine and sites. the photographer license these photos to these magazines and they make money this way. but they are being cut out of it and they say the only way they can make up the difference is to take them to court. the complication is the photographers are not there by chance. can you believe that something staged in hollywood! that is often the reason why you see exclusive photographs appearing on certain websites. it is of a people tipping off photographers to take the pictures. however, it is usually some sort of agreement that they will split the profits of how many clicks it gets on line.
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photographers are saying already social media is cutting into our profits, please do not steal them from websites you have not paid them before. whether it is ariana grande oi’ before. whether it is ariana grande orj lowe, they have many more followers coming to their twitter or instagram account. you can see where they may have a problem in the. social media is not going away. what is your betting, they will be some kind of a deal? i definitely think so. kind of a deal? i definitely think so. they are hitting multi— multi— millionaires. they have way too many followers and my instinct is, he will probably settle. he's only asking forfor each will probably settle. he's only asking for for each photograph she posted. it is easier to pay them off because of social media is not going anywhere and neither are the
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papparazzi photographers. i7 acts have become ten in the first semi—final of the eurovision song contest in israel, including san marino, who have qualified for the final for only the second time in their history. they join nine other countries, including bookies favourite greece, as well as iceland's leather—clad anti—capitalist hatari and australia's kate miller—heidke. the second semi—final will take place on thursday and the successful acts will compete in the grand final on saturday. so those were events in tel aviv but there's been a very special performance has been taking place in russia. the bbc‘s moscow correspondent, steve rosenberg, is a eurovision super fan and every year he performs requests of eurovision songs. here he is speaking, and performing, to my colleague christian fraser. we have chosen our favourites. i like brotherhood of man, save all
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your kisses for me. can you play that one for me. winner in 1976 from the uk. (music playing). i cannot see you but i imagine you were standing in the dark. i watched a video this morning. imagine how much they put into the set design and dancing. for people back in 1976 doing a bit of this. katie says the first one she
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can remember and i am not giving any secrets away was 197a. she was ten yea rs secrets away was 197a. she was ten years old. do you know what it was? it was aber, waterloo. 0ne years old. do you know what it was? it was aber, waterloo. one of the classic eurovision wins. —— abba. (music playing) nothing at all surreal about that. if you are not careful we will get rico hizon to sink. keep an eye on the bottom right of the screen where a little girl in a red jacket is making an unexpected entrance. she is two years old. 0ne
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making an unexpected entrance. she is two years old. one player, alex mclean, stepped in, ignored the ball and brought her to safety. he is now and brought her to safety. he is now a bit ofa and brought her to safety. he is now a bit of a social media hero. that's it. thank you for watching. hello again. we have got another fine sunny day coming up today before the weather begins to change. now, on tuesday, the warmest spot in the country was again scotland, where we had temperatures of 2a degrees celsius in drumnadrochit, which is by the shores of loch ness, in highland. but by the time we get to the end of the week those temperatures are on the way down. it's going to turn cooler and cloudier. we'll be looking at highs at best of around 18 degrees for friday. so you will notice the change in the weather for sure. for the time being, after what has been a warmer day, those temperatures are slower to fall. it will still turn fairly cool across parts of east anglia but otherwise those temperatures holding up a little better than they have done over recent nights. 0ur area of high pressure
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is still with us and it is going nowhere fast. just slipping a little bit further northwards. the isobars tending to ease apart. so if anything, there will be less of a wind blowing across east anglia and south—east england, where coastal areas were kept a little bit cooler on tuesday. but for wednesday those winds a little bit lighter. again, with the winds circulating in a clockwise sense, we will get the warmest air pushed up to the north and west of the uk but it's another one of those days where for many of us there will be sunshine from dawn to dusk, perhaps just a little bit of cloud developing and bubbling up across the pennines and maybe also the mountains of scotland. in the best of the sunshine, the warmest parts again likely to reach 2a degrees celsius although fairly widely we're looking at temperatures into the high teens to low 20s. so another fine looking day coming up on wednesday. looking at the charts then towards the end of the week, we start to see some changes. an area of low pressure that has been bothering central europe recently, sneaks a little bit closer. the isobars get a little bit close together as well. so we wil have a stronger easterly breeze blowing across these eastern shores of scotland, eastern parts of england. that will tend to knock
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the temperatures down. but as well as that there's likely to be a little bit more cloud around, maybe a few showers dotted around across the north and west. otherwise it's mainly dry. but the temperatures, you'll notice, generally into the high teens rather than the 20s. that trend into slightly cooler weather continues on into friday. still quite a bit of cloud around. there could be a few splashes of rain here and there. probably the best of any dry weather and sunshine towards the north and west of the british isles. scotland probably having the best of it. those temperatures, well, quite a bit cooler. looking at highs between 13 and 15 degrees celsius for our towns and cities. now, on into the weekend, it looks like is likely to be quite an unsettled kind of weekend, cooler and cloudier. there will still be some sunshine around but i think there will also be spells of rain for some at times. that's your latest weather.
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this is bbc news. the headlines: in an unprecedented statement, iran's supreme leader has said there will be no war with the us. the pentagon says the threat level has been raised because of what it described as an escalation in activities. earlier, a british officer played down the risk from iranian—backed fighters in the region. in sri lanka, the authorities have imposed a countrywide curfew. they want to put a stop to violent attacks on muslim—owned homes and shops in areas north of the capital, colombo, in what is believed to be a reprisal for the easter bombings that killed more than 250 people. sudan's military rulers and protest leaders have agreed on a three—year transition period to ensure civilian rule. there were violent protests in the capital, khartoum, which left four people dead and dozens injured. sudan has been ruled by the council since president 0mar al—bashir

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