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tv   BBC News  BBC News  May 15, 2019 4:00am-4:31am BST

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a very warm welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to our viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is mike embley. our top stories: iran's supreme leader rules out war with the us, but the pentagon raises the threat level in the middle east 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, a 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 iraq 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 also very unusual. here's what major general christopher ghika said, in a videolink briefing to the pentagon from baghdad. iran 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 iran. there's been no increased threat from iranian—backed forces
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in iraq and syria. we're aware of their presence, clearly, and we monitor them, along with a whole range of others. but still, the us secretary of state has been briefing european and russian leaders on the increased threat from iran, as the us sees it. so what does all this amount to? here's our north america correspondent peter bowes. it's these contradictions between a 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 run 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 sees it from iran.
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but that clearly isn't the kind of threat that at least this british commander, who has been talking at some length, sees on the ground. and peter, the thing that makes people rather nervous about the possibility of war is that mr bolton, 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's 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 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
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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's doing. so as to the next step, and of course we heard just now the president referring to "fake news" of moving further troops to the region, the next step really is unknown. peter bowes picking his way through the out there. 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 omar 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 full relations between moscow and washington would be restored.
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but differences remain on subjects including iran, venezuela and ukraine. the british parliament is to vote early next month on legislation to allow any brexit deal to be implemented. at the moment though, there is no brexit deal. the prime minister's proposals have been rejected three times by parliament. 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's thought they're reprisals 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.
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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 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.
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a state of emergency has been in place since the easter sunday bombings, as investigations continue. shuba krishnan, bbc news. this news breaking just in the past couple of hours. alabama's state senate has approved a bill to outlaw nearly all abortions, even in cases of incest and rape , termination would be allowed only if the mother's health is in danger. the bill will now go to the republican governor, kay ivey, for approval. she is known to be a strong opponent of abortion. if she signs it, this would be the strictest anti—abortion legislation in the us. this is part of an effort across several republican—led states to have the supreme court reconsider women's right to abortion. un officials say houthi forces have pulled out of three key ports on the west coast of yemen, partly implementing the peace deal agreed six months ago. the un is urging all parties to put into effect the next stage of the deal. it was agreed in december between the yemeni government, backed by a coalition of arab countries, the us and the uk —
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and the houthi rebels, backed by iran. a cyber attack exploiting a vulnerability in 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. the company maintains while it sells the software, it doesn't operate it. our middle east correspondent tom bateman has been speaking to a lawyer, who says he was specifically targeted by the cyberattack. as somebody who's a lawyer, i'm used to being the person who defends people's rights, not being the victim myself. 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
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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. 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 brings us to total — there's no accountability. there is total impunity. israel is a world leader in cybersecurity exports. start—up firms sold their wares at this recent gathering —
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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 about dozens of events that 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. the debate now is over who is watching its creators. tom bateman, bbc news, jerusalem. san francisco has become the first american city to ban the use of facial recognition technology by police and other agencies. federal facilities such as san francisco international airport would be exempt, as well as private businesses. here's our technology reporter, dave lee in san francisco.
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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 reliability, research has shown that of the technology that exists today that could be used, it's less effective when trying to recognise women accurately. it's also less effective when trying to recognise people of colour accurately, and for that reason, campaigners say, it's 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's simply a case, i think you could say, of weighing up the benefits against the risks. and yet i guess a lot of companies would say, hang on, it is on almost every smartphone you buy now. well, yes, although i think there's 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.
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this is something that, if you're 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's 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 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're going to do with the data, and here's how we plan to use that data or pass it on to various agencies. so i think it's transparency which is set to be 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 it's being used, and how that impacts their lives.
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dave lee for us there. 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 law suit. 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, 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
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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 world news. the latest headlines: as iran's supreme leader rules out going to war with the united states — th pentagon raises its threat level assessment. 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, narendra modi, who leads the hindu nationalist bjp.
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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 the muslims of the nomadic bakarwal tribe. they are outcasts, treated with resentment wherever they go. when they tried to settle in the majority hindu town of kathua in northern india, some locals wanted to teach them a lesson so severe they'd leave forever. what happened in this sacred hindu temple last year sent shockwaves across the country. asifa bano 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, naseem, tells me. "she'd been electrocuted, hit with rocks and strangled. she was only a child." her grieving father, muhammad yusuf, believes his little girl
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was targeted because of their faith. what followed was just as shocking. these people took to the streets, not in support of the victim, but in solidarity with those accused. eight hindu men. two bjp politicians were among the protesters. it took weeks of pressure before they were forced to resign. it's notjust the leaders that we have to look to, but what is happening to the mind of people who are being constantly drip fed this sort of hatred? hatred that has left this market trader terrified. shaukat ali was brutally beaten last month. stripped of his dignity, he was force—fed pork
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bya hindu mob. "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 now leaves them vulnerable. the attack on shaukat ali in this usually busy market was brazen. instead of stepping in to try and stop it, crowds filmed it on their mobile phones. india's had a long history of religious violence, with victims of all faiths. the human rights group say that in the last five years, there's been a sharp increase in hate crimes against muslims, and what they describe as a rising tide of islamophobia. a bjp spokesman told me the party completely rejects claims that its policies have led to the rise in crimes against muslims.
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he said the bjp represents 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, amit shah, calls them "termites" and "infiltrators". he's promising to remove every single one of them from india. it's notjust the leaders that we have to look to, now indian muslims born and bred our living in fear that this government wa nts to living in fear that this government wants to drive them away as well. earlier, these people were asked to provide papers to prove that they we re provide papers to prove that they were indians. this woman and her children were born here but did not appear on the citizen database. 4
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million residents, mostly muslim, did not either. i'm scared the police will come at night and take oui’ police will come at night and take ourfamily police will come at night and take our family away. muslims are living infear our family away. muslims are living in fear here and across india. the right of all religions to coexist is enshrined in this country's constitution. but there is concern that if the bjp wins a second term, that if the bjp wins a second term, that basic secular principal will be eroded. venezuela's pro—government constituent assembly has removed parliamentary immunity from five more opposition politicians so they can be put on trial, for treason and conspiracy. they're accused of involvement in a failed uprising against the government. juan guaido, who's declared himself interim president, says the government is trying to shut down parliament. earlier security forces formed a ring around the national assembly building preventing the lawmakers from holding a session. the former manager of the comic book creator, stan lee, has been charged with elder abuse.
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kyle morgan is facing five counts of abuse against stan lee, including false imprisonment, fraud and forgery, all stemming from an incident last summer. stan lee died in november last year, aged 95. the singer ariana grande is being sued for copyright infringement by a photographer, who claims she posted two of his pictures on her instagram — without permission. robert barbera, who's based in new york, took pictures last year of ariana grande carrying a bag that read "sweetener." she shared the photos with her 154 million followers on the day she released her album ‘sweetener‘ captioning it "happy sweetener day". kj matthews is a freelance entertainment reporter in los angeles. she told me why the photographer is suing grande. what it boils down to is money. isn't it always the case? it's about money. and these are photos — you know, ariana grande was sued this week, before that it was gigi hadid, before that it wasjennifer lopez. what is happening is this
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photographer is saying, look, you did not have the rights to use this photo. i took this photo of you and i am not profiting financially at all so why should you? so photographers are saying, you know, we are losing money, then we're going to take you to court. as you say, this is a specific instance but it is an illustration of a wider topic? absolutely. you know, before the advent of social media, really the only place to see these pictures were either on line or you had to buy your tabloid magazine to see them. now photographers are fighting with celebrities — a—list celebrities that is — with their social media accounts. a lot of social media accounts have over 150 million followers. so you have the] lo, you have will smith, you have kevin hart, you have the kardashian clan, who can speak to their fans directly and that's what they'd rather do. and so they are cutting out the middleman, which is the tabloid magazine or the tabloid sites that are used
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to posting these pictures, where the photographer licensed these photos to these agencies and then they make money that way. well, if the celebrity is going to repost all those pictures and they are being cut out of it, they're saying the only way they can make up that difference is to take them to court. social media is not going away. what is your betting, they will be some kind of a deal? i definitely think there'll be some sort of a deal. look at the people that they are hitting — they are multi— multi— millionaires. gigi hadid,] lo, the kardashian west family and especially ariana grande — they have way too many followers and my instinct is, he will probably settle. he's only asking for $25,000 for each photo she posted. or some of the profits. it is easier to pay them off because of social media is not going anywhere and, guess what, neither are the papparazzi photographers. as shipper has set a new world
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record for the most summits of mount everest. the sherpa reached the summit of mount everest for 23 times. a town in canada's western province of british columbia is being plagued by a rather cocky menace. wild peacocks have flocked to the area in such large numbers, some local people say living with them has become unbearable. authorities have taken steps to remove the birds, but it's not at all clear how effective that's going to be. caroline rigby has the story. with stunning plumage, peacocks are often seen as symbols of vanity and pride but, for one community in british columbia, these noisy birds are increasingly seen as pests. "fowl" in more ways than one. rumoured to have escaped from a rural property more than a decade ago, they now overrun sullivan heights. so within the next two or three
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weeks, you're going to see lots of eggs everywhere around the house. that is what happens this time of the year. at times more than 100 peafowl have been reported in the area and with spring they appear to be on the march again. last year, the city council agreed to trap and remove the birds. we have had success with residents who've offered up the garages, for the birds. we set up some food in the garage. we wait for the birds to enter, shut garage. but many continue to evade capture. yeah, they're smart. they are really smart. that has led some locals to question the effectiveness of the plan and even take matters into their own hands. one resident faced fines for cutting down this healthy tree without a permit because he grew tired of the birds nesting in it. noisy, messy and at times aggressive, for some peafowl are clearly a nuisance, but others here count them as feathered friends and,
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as long as they continue to divide opinion within this community, they are sure to carry on raffling feathers. caroline rigby, bbc news. pitch invaders still make the occasional apperances disrupting matches. and this is a game between two amateur australian rules football teams in victoria. keep an eye on the bottom right of the screen, where a little girl wearing a red jacket is about to make an unexpected entrance. she's two—year—old pippa biggs — and she was in danger of being flattened until one of the players, alex mclead, stepped in. he ignored the ball, picked up the toddler, and carried her to safety on the sideline. 17 acts have now become ten and the first semi—final of eurovision and they include san marino, which has qualified for the final and only the second time in its history.
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it joins nine other countries, including the bookies‘—favourite greece, as well as iceland's leather—clad anti—capitalist hatari and australia's kate miller—heidke. the second semi—final will be on thursday and the successful acts will compete in the grand final on saturday. 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
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done over recent nights. our area of high pressure 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,
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eastern parts of england. that will tend to knock 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 it's 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. but the pentagon insists the threat level has been raised because of what it describes as an escalation in iranian activities. earlier, contradicting the american line, a senior british officer played down the risk from fighters, backed by iran, in iraq or syria. in sri lanka, a second overnight nationwide curfew has just ended. authorities want to put a stop to violent attacks on muslim—owned homes and shops in areas north of the capital colombo. they're thought to be reprisals 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 omar al—bashir was toppled last month.


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