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tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 22, 2016 4:00am-4:30am GMT

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a very warm welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to our viewers in north america and around the globe. my name's mike embley. our top stories: a europe—wide manhunt is under way for anis amri, the prime suspect in the truck attack on a berlin christmas market. german officials say the 24—year—old tunisian may be armed, and they've offered a six—figure reward for information leading to his arrest. a convoy of syrian buses leaves rebel held areas, as the evacuation of people from eastern aleppo makes fresh progress. the russian president orders tighter restrictions on alcohol after 65 deaths from toxic bath lotion. hello. police forces across europe are searching for a 24—year—old tunisian man suspected of being behind the berlin truck attack, in which 12 people were killed.
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it's emerged that anis amri had been under surveillance for six months this year, with known links to islamist networks, before the operation was halted. german officials say he could be armed and dangerous, and they've offered a substantial reward for information leading to his arrest. our correspondent, jenny hill, reports from berlin. you're looking at europe's most wanted man, anis amri, the main, the only, suspect in the investigation into an attack which shattered germany. prosecutors warn he may be armed, dangerous, and they are offering a 100,000 euro reward. translation: there's a new suspect. we are searching for him. we'll keep investigating every lead. we issued a issued a warrant for this suspect‘s arrest at midnight. the warrant covers all of germany
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and most of europe. we are learning more about the 24—year—old tunisian. he arrived in germany last year and was refused asylum, but granted temporary leave to stay. the security services admit he was known to them, considered a threat because of his links to one of germany's most notorious to islamist networks. and he will be hard to find. he used six different names, and three nationalities. translation: this person attracted the attention of several security services in germany, through his contact with a radical islamist. the hijacked lorry is yielding grim evidence, documents leading to the suspect, and dna. it is thought amri fought with the man should have been behind the wheel, before shooting him dead. but it was 2a hours before police identified him as a suspect. first they arrested and released an innocent man, giving amri a vital head start. today, flowers for the dead, prayers for the injured. the german foreign minister
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was joined at the scene of the attack by his italian counterpart. among those missing, and feared dead, fabrizia di lorenzo, who comes from l'aquila. dalia elyakim, who is from israel, also hasn't been seen since the attack. her husband, rami, is seriously ill in hospital. a time perhaps for faith. tonight, a spontaneous gathering at a berlin synagogue. the ceremony was extremely important, because this attack was not an attack on berlin or on germany. it was not an attack on jews or on christians. this was an attack on all of us. across the city, a vigil of a different kind. the attack, the arrest warrant, have reignited a national debate. the anti—immigrant party alternative fur deutschland blame angela merkel and her refugee policy for this attack. so does geert wilders. the far—right dutch politician posted this picture today,
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the german chancellor's hands covered in blood. do you blame angela merkel? angela merkel, she says, is a humanitarian woman. she did the right thing a year ago. no—one could know this would happen. we live in a free world. and if we want to stay free, things like this will happen. this country feels nervous. extra security for christmas markets. after all, amri is still at large. but this investigation does now have a face and a focus. that is, for some here, perhaps, a little light in the darkness. jenny hill, bbc news, berlin earlier i spoke to mike pregent who was a former intelligence officer and foreign fighter analyst at us central command. i asked him that it was difficult
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for the public to understand how anis amri wasn't identified as a suspect when he was well—known to the authorities. it seems he is the one guy that should have been off the streets, he'd been in some sort of temporary detention before he was sent back to tunisia. it is interesting that he is one of 550 individuals in germany that the law enforcement and intelligence agencies are tracking. is it possible also that there is too much focus on the threat of a massive planned big scale attack and not enough on these relatively low level, low—tech apparently random attacks which can cause just as much terror? that's the problem. when there is an individual willing to kill and doesn't mind being killed in the process, it is very difficult to stop. this individual, like we found out in other cases, law inforcement was aware of this individual. what is interesting about anis amri is he wanted to survive the attack, he fled the scene.
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that to me shows he wanted to survive, maybe build some sort of status with isis as he got credit for this attack based on leaving his documents in the vehicle. it was necessarily a help or it is not necessarily help when police get information from the public that is misleading, that may have happened after this attack? the pakistani that was detained allowed anis amri to actually move about, but it may have been a tactic by police, claiming to have somebody in custody hoping he makes a mistake when he thinks the heat is off of him. we do not know yet why or whether he took advantage of this or police got tips based on him thinking that the police had their man. difficult to have confidence if we know that police are having such trouble tracking possible suspects.
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very difficult to know what they can do? they had him under surveillance and they dropped the surveillance. did it become too difficult with these different aliases? the way he was moving about? or was it a manpower issue? most likely a manpower issue and a resource issue. it is very difficult and at times like this in public tends to inundate law enforcement with tips that further constrain the resources and manpower. the un general assembly has approved the setting up of a body to help prosecute the most serious human rights abuses and war crimes from syria's civil war. it was an overwhelming vote despite objections by syria and its russian ally. separately, a un inquiry has failed to pinpoint who was behind an air strike on an aid convoy that killed ten people as it was heading to aleppo in september. however, the inqury says only syrian, russian and us—led coalition forces had the capability
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to carry out the bombing, and it was unlikely to have been coalition aircraft. its been an anguished, stop—start process, in sub—zero temperatures, but the evacuation of eastern aleppo seems to be making fresh progress. a convoy of buses has now left the rebel held areas and aid groups say the last hospital patients have departed. 0ur correspondent, james longman, is monitoring events in syria, from beirut. we've heard in the last few minutes that the critically injured and the very ill have all been evacuated from east aleppo. now it is just a question of the remaining civilians and rebels who are still in east aleppo. it has always been very difficult to have a true idea of the numbers of people who are in that part of the city. the united nations estimates something in the region of 50,000 need to come out. the red cross, who are managing
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evacuations, tell us that as long as people want to come out they will send buses back in for them. they don't have an accurate number. we are watching the pictures to see how much longer the buses go in and out. i think it is fair to say we are coming towards the end of this evacuation process. these people arejoining the thousands who have already been evacuated, heading to the medical evacuation point in the west of aleppo. they were given all the things they were missing out on while living in east aleppo, food, water, medicalsupplies. a lot of people were in a very bad way. remember, east aleppo was under siege for months and months, cut off from everything people needed. a lot of people got severely injured, if not physically, then mentally. people in a very bad way. the turkish army says 14 of its soldiers have been killed in fighting with extremists from the islamic state group near the northern syrian town of al—bab. it's thought to be the heaviest losses turkey has sustained in a day since intervening directly
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in syria in august. here's our arab affairs editor, sebastian usher. these are by far the worst losses turkey has suffered in a single day since it launched its dramatic military intervention into the syrian conflict in august. turkish forces and the rebels they back achieved quick and resounding victories over both islamic state fighters and kurdish militants. their sights have since been set on the town of al—bab, the next big is stronghold in the region. the battle has been going on for weeks as is has used its most destructive tactics in response, suicide bombers and vehicles laden with explosives. the turkish military says its operations brought heavy losses on is and that it is close to breaking the group's resistance in al—bab. if ankara succeeds, the question remains as to how far it wish to go in syria and whether it will play a role in the eventual operation to drive is out of its defacto capital in the country, raqqa. that report from sebastian usher.
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in other news: authorities in mexico have identified 18 of the 32 people killed in a series of explosions at a fireworks market on tuesday. rescue workers are still searching for bodies and survivors in the wreckage, near mexico city. president—elect donald trump has chosen peter navarro to head the newly formed white house trade council. the economist has written a number of books describing china as a threat to the us economy, and mr trump has threatened to hit china and mexico with high tariffs once he takes office. senators in north carolina have voted against repealing a law that requires transgender people to use a public toilet matching their sex at birth. supporters of the measure argue it upholds family values and public safety. the legislation has led to sporting and economic boycotts. please in australia are
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investigating a blast at a christian lobby group in australia, and now believe it was not politically motivated. the driver of the van, filled with gas canisters, is in a critical condition. he christian lobby believed was against same—sex marriage, they believe the attack was deliberate —— the. president putin has ordered the russian government to restrict the sale of alcohol not intended for human consumption, after more than 60 people died and a0 more were hospitalised in siberia. the victims drank bath lotion containing toxic methylated spirit. andy beatt reports. the mass poisoning in the snowy siberian city of irkutsk is the worst in modern russian history. dozens of people seeking a cheap high bought this bath oil with an advertised ethanol content of 93%, they did not know it also contained highly toxic methanol. translation: i went to the shop and bought, i am ashamed to say what it was, and drank it with my husband and his mother. she unfortunately died.
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i called an ambulance for my husband but ended up here myself. i don't know what's happened to him. translation: i woke at dawn with a severe headache and i realised i was losing my vision. when i was looking at the light it felt like i was blinded by car headlights. a0 people are still receiving treatment. according to russia's health ministry, half are not expected to live. translation: the large number of fatalities can be explained by the high concentration of methanol in the liquid they drank. 30—50ml of methanol is considered a lethal dosage. those people consumed much more than that. a massive police operation is now underway, raiding premises and seizing bottles. 12 people have been detained. translation: investigators along with police officers are performing searches at markets.
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they have already confiscated about 2000 bottles. everything has been sent for analysis. the case has prompted nationwide soul—searching, putting russia's relationship with alcohol firmly under the spotlight. previous measures to curb its abuse by raising taxes and banning late licences have only fuelled bootleg sales. up to 12 million russians are thought to turn to alternatives like perfume, aftershave, or antifreeze. moscow has demanded action. president putin ordering tougher laws on the sale and production of many alcoholic products. despite the risks, for now at least, heavy drinking remains part of many people's lives. andy beatt, bbc news stay with us on bbc news, still to come: we meet an academic who's not ready for the end of term, the 102 year old professor who's won a battle to keep on working. we saw this enormous tidal wave
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approaching the beach, and people started to run, and suddenly it was complete chaos. united states troops have been trying to overthrow the dictatorship of general manuel noreiga. the pentagon said the operation had been 90% successful, but it's failed in its principal objective, to capture general noreiga and take him to the united states to face drugs charges. the hammer and sickle was hastily taken away. the russian flag was hoisted over what is now no longer the soviet union, but the commonwealth of independent states. day broke slowly over lockerbie, over the cockpit of the pan—am's maid of the seas, nose—down in the soft earth. you could see what happens when a plane eight storeys high, a football pitch wide, falls from 30,000 feet. christmas has returned to albania after a communist ban lasting more than 20 years. thousands went to midnight mass in the town where there were anti—communist riots ten days ago.
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this is bbc news, i'm mike embley. the latest headlines: a europe—wide manhunt is under way for anis amri, the prime suspect in the truck attack on a berlin christmas market. a convoy of syrian buses leaves rebel—held areas, as the evacuation of people from eastern aleppo makes fresh progress. 2016 has seen a series of tough challenges for the european union, with brexit, the rise of nationalist parties, and the continuing migrant crisis. our special correspondent allan little considers what impact the momentous political changes in the uk and america might have on europe. in prague, the christmas markets are glittering symbols of a remarkable transition, from dictatorship, foreign occupation and poverty, to one of the fastest growing economies in the eu.
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the country's wealth has more than quadrupled in a generation. the anti—communist revolutions of 1989 changed the shape of europe. somewhere in this crowd of 400,000 is a much younger me, watching as the dissident playwright vaclav havel gave voice to the hopes of half a continent. it was a really thrilling thing to stand here beneath that balcony and watch an entire nation rise up to take back control of its own destiny. it wasn't just about democratic transition. at the heart of that revolution lay the idea that they were returning their country to where it properly belonged, to the heart of europe. is it still so? some here now argue that having taken control of their national destiny from moscow, the former communist states then gave it away again, to brussels. to speak about independence is a joke.
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we wanted to be integrated in the eu, but not unified. i think that the role of the national government is now rather limited. most of the decisions come from brussels, not from prague here. so this is not independence. the former communist bloc has its own rust belt. this steel factory outside prague collapsed under market forces. its workforce fell from 20,000 to 300. but openness to europe has given the czech economy far more than it has taken away. it has one of the lowest unemployment rates in europe. there is, even in this dereliction, little appetite to walk away from that success story. translation: i think most people would vote to stay in the eu, at least i would. i look at my family and i think, for the sake of my children, my grandchildren, for their future, it's better to be in the eu.
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germany is europe's centre of gravity now. pianos from this factory sell around the world because they are among the best in the world, and that is germany's economic strength. the pursuit of unity in europe has been germany's way of turning the page on its own dark past. the eu has been germany's act of contrition and of redemption. the pianist saleem ashkar is a palestinian, now settled in berlin. what i do see is a country here that has been traumatised by its past, and as a result has become extremely thoughtful about politics. in a way, germany has used its traumatic past for the good. and it is now a very — what do we say in german,
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very awakened. it's not sleepwalking anywhere, or careful, very careful of sleepwalking. 2016 has given germany a new responsibility, one it did not seek — how to lead in europe without rousing the ghosts of german domination in europe. germans are incredibly neurotic about world leadership, 01’ even about european leadership. they don't like to think of themselves really having a foreign policy. so, you know, the idea that germany would somehow lead is very disturbing for many germans. so no, i don't think they're prepared for this moment well at all, although things in germany are changing, and there's beginning to be slowly a sense of, if we don't do it, nobody will. for 70 years, leadership of the west has been english—speaking. 2016 has upended that assumption. now germany, as it grapples with a security crisis of its own, finds the burden of leadership thrust upon it. allan little, bbc news, berlin.
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now, this might not be a story for you if you live below a flightpath, or maybe it is a warning to keep an eye out. india is trying to stop airlines releasing human waste from toilets while planes are in the air. our correspondentjustin rowlatt braved a trip to the airport. so, the claim is that planes are regularly discharging their toilets over the indian capital. a retired indian army officer claims his balcony, very near where i'm standing now, is regularly splattered with human excrement. now, he cannot prove that this is from planes, but his complaint was taken up with the national green tribunal, an environmental court, and it has ordered that india's aviation regulator makes sure that airlines do not dump human waste in this way. the plan is that there are still going to be spot checks on plane toilets.
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if the special tanks used to store human waste are suspiciously empty, the airline could face a fine of up to 50,000 rupees. that is $800, or £600. so how plausible are this guy's claims? well, an indian — a senior indian pilot told the bbc today that planes do sometimes have to discharge waste from their toilets. he said this is a very rare, emergency event, a bit like when they discharge fuel to reduce the weight of a plane. there is, however, another way in which human waste can be as discharged from a plane. these are known as blue ice falls. what happens is this. there are overflow pipes from these tanks. waste can build up around those pipes. because planes fly at a high altitude, it is very cold. that can build up into a block of ice, which can fall from a plane and occasionally cause real damage. in fact, earlier this year i reported on a woman here in india who claimed she had almost been killed by a blue ice fall. britain's civil aviation authority
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says that 25 blue ice falls are reported in britain every year, from 2.5 million flights. so whether the measures introduced today will do anything to reduce the risk of being dumped on in this way remains an open question. uber has removed its self—driving cars from san francisco streets, after a week—long battle with california regulators. the california department of motor vehicles revoked the registration of 16 uber self—driving cars. the regulator has been insisting uber obtains a permit to test them on public roads, just as 20 other companies, including tesla and ford, have done. uber said it wasn't obliged to do so. they say you are only as old as you feel, and one academic in australia has just won an age discrimination battle, to keep on working at 102. professor david goodall was told he was a health and safety risk by his employer, edith cowan university in western australia. hywel griffith reports. after seven decades as an ecologist, david goodall says his natural environment is here, on campus,
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surrounded by academic life. in august, the centenarian was told it was no longer safe for him to come in to work at the edith cowan university, and he was asked to stay at home. but, after his case won international support, the management has now relented, and found him this new office. i have only been here one day, so it's a bit difficult for me to express any particular concerns, but i think that they will try to make me at home. the journey from home will be much quicker. reaching his old office involved a 90—minute commute, on a train and two buses. the university says they have always had his interests at heart. first of all, it's closer to his residence, so it's easier for him to commute. secondly, there's an office very close to it, manned most of the time, so we'll be able
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to keep an eye on him and make sure he is ok. having forced to give up his other love, of acting, professor goodall is determined to keep his mind active. at 102, he is not out yet. and before we go, let's just show you these pictures from canada. christmas came early for this giant panda. keepers at toronto zoo put a snowman in his enclosure. apparently he wasn't enjoying the winter weather. well, he is now. all was going well, till he got a little too excited, and his new friend ended up in a heap. even that didn't stop him, and he kept on attacking the remaining giant snowball, or maybe just loving it to death. the zoo posted the entire affair on youtube, and since then, millions from around the world have been entertained. that's it for now. thanks so much for watching. hello there.
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well, the run—up to christmas is looking unsettled, as you have probably heard. spells of wet and very windy weather on the cards, certainly very windy weather across the north of the uk. and it is going to be very windy overnight across scotland and northern ireland. frequent showers here, particularly for scotland, with some snow over the higher ground. a few showers across western britain as well, but i think for the midlands, the south and the east, it should stay dry. quite chilly, though, with temperatures not far off freezing by the end of the night, and there will be some mist and fog forming, too. but across the north it will remain very windy. some icy patches to watch out for as well. these showers will be wintry, some snow over the high ground, maybe down to lower levels as well. there will be plenty of showers across northern ireland, some of these moving across the irish sea into north—west england, for wales, and into south—western england as well. now, for the midlands eastwards, though, it is a dry start, really chilly, but at least it will be bright through the morning, with some sunshine around. but watch out for the mist and fog across the south—east corner. some of it could be quite dense.
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but i don't think it will last that long, because the breeze will continue to pick up all the while, so that should clear. showers, though, will continue to move eastwards, but i think many southern and eastern areas should remain dry. and those showers becoming fewer as we head on towards the afternoon. but frequent across the north, further heavy ones, with hail and thunder mixed in, some snow to the high ground, feeling really cold and raw because of the strong wind. and then itjust gets worse as we head on in towards friday. met office amber "be prepared" warnings are being issued for the second named storm of the season. storm barbara will impact the united kingdom as we head on in towards friday. it will bring all of us a spell of rain, very windy for us all. but it is the north of the uk, closer to the storm centre, which will be battered by exceptionally strong winds. now, we are looking at gusts up to 90 miles an hour across the north mainland of scotland, to the northern isles, 80 mph for the western isles, 70 mph for northern ireland and 60 mph, potentially, for northern wales and north—west england. so this is likely to
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be very disruptive. keep tuned to the weather forecast. as we head through christmas eve, it remains very windy indeed. best of the weather across the south, will be fairly mild, with some sunshine, but we will still see gales and showers across the north, with a wintry mix over the high ground. for christmas day, we are also looking at some very windy weather, particularly across the north, with a spell of rain which will spread right across the uk. another pretty deep low moving through to bring us those strong winds, and also that spell of rain. but it will be exceptionally mild across the south. in fact, we could see record—breaking mild temperatures across the south—east. the latest headlines on bbc news: a europe—wide manhunt is under way for the prime suspect in the truck attack on a christmas market in berlin. german officials say anis amri, a 24—year—old tunisian already known to the security services, may be armed and dangerous. a six figure reward is on offer for his capture. amri's identity card was found in the cab of the truck that was driven into the market, killing twelve people. german officials say he had been
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refused asylum and monitored by security services, because of his links to islamist networks, but they couldn't deport him because his documents were missing. hundreds of rebel fighters and civilians have resumed their evacuation from eastern aleppo. a convoy of buses has now left the rebel held areas, and aid groups say the last hospital patients have now left. now on bbc news, it's hardtalk‘s review of the year.
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