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tv   World News Today  BBC News  September 29, 2017 9:00pm-9:31pm BST

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this is bbc world news today. i'm geeta guru—murthy. our top stories: crunch time in catalonia. tractors roll into barcelona as the region ploughs on with an independence referendum that spain has banned. these are the scenes at the pro—independence campaign's closing rally. washington is also pulling most of its diplomatic staff out of cuba after a string of mysterious "sonic attacks". panic at a railway station in mumbai during rush hour leaves 22 people dead. plus the dust descends in yosemite as california's national park is hit by another massive rock fall. hello and welcome.
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spain is braced for a divisive weekend with a vote on independence for catalonia apparently due to go ahead, despite opposition from madrid. however, the high court in catalonia has now stepped in. it's ordered google to delete the computer app being used for the poll. related emails must also be blocked. these are live pictures from barcelona, where a pro independence rally is taking place. separatists have called on people to turn out early at polling stations in a mass statement of "peaceful resistance", even if they are prevented from voting. the bbc‘s jon donnison has the latest. horns blare. as the moment of truth comes for catalonia, a show of force from those supporting independence. crowd chant. they're calling it a tractorada — an armada of farmers
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rolling into barcelona. cheering. determined sunday's referendum should go ahead. translation: we've come in peace and we don't want to provoke any kind of confrontation with the people of spain or anyone else. because we and the spanish are like stepbrothers, but people want to decide for themselves, not have someone else, above all madrid, deciding what happens in their own home. today, catalan officials raided the ballot boxes, determined the referendum will proceed. but that won't be easy. spain's national government has already confiscated millions of ballot papers and arrested a number of pro—independence figures. speaking to the bbc, though, the catalan president said if the referendum produces a yes vote, independence could be declared within days. translation: after results are officially published, which could be a matter of a few days, there will be a period of 48 hours to declare independence.
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but this does not exclude that on the night of the first, we will not make yet another call for us to sit down and talk to resolve this politically. what is not illegal is the catalan people and their will. the spanish government, though, disagrees. it says independence supporters are trying to steam roller through an unconstitutional and illegal referendum. in spain, we vote. in catalonia, we vote. they vote on local elections, on european elections, on regional elections, legislative elections — according to the law. and the national government is drafting in thousands of extra police with orders to stop polling stations from opening on sunday morning. it knows that if it can keep the turnout low, it will delegitimise any eventual result. this referendum has been divisive. its outcome could determine if spain remains united. the journalist guy hedgecoe
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is in barcelona, hejoins me now. are we expecting a big turnout and what will happen after this vote? well, it is very hard to tell at the moment what the turnout will be but there is a feeling that the clamp—down by the spanish government and the courts over recent days and weeks on the preparations for the referendum is likely to galvanise people. we have seen a few polls today that have suggested that the turnout might be between 50 and 65%, but polls do not necessarily tell you the full story. and the real question is what will happen after the vote takes place? the catalan government has said after 48 hours of the results coming through, the majority has said they want
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independence, then there will be a declaration of independence. but many people feel that what we are more likely to see is some kind of negotiation, the start of a possible negotiation, the start of a possible negotiation but with so sides both —— so negotiation but with so sides both —— so entrenched, that is likely to be difficult. once you have raised the hopes for the separatists it is difficult to put that back into the box, presumably? yes, people on the pro—independence i'd feel very strongly about this, they do so on both sides, but the pro—independence movement has been building up to this for so long. for many, it is a lifetime was my dream, to finally be able to vote on independence. tyc the possibility that they might be able to create an independent state. that is a nightmare for those in madrid, but it is such a policy nation this, and that explains why the two sides are so entrenched. they have not been able to agree, to sit down and negotiate on it, and thatis sit down and negotiate on it, and that is why we have got to the situation, this tense situation
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leading up to the vote on sunday. for madrid, this would be an economic blow as much if anything, if there was a real breakaway? yes, edward, catalonia contributes ones that to the economy of spain, it has the biggest economy of any spin‘s i7 regions. it has an enormous tourism industry and it contributes in other ways, culturally and in many other ways. it has been such an important pa rt ways. it has been such an important part of spain for so long. i think, for a number of reasons, that the rest of spain is worried about the possibility that it could be part, very concerned indeed. we have seen amazing referendum boards around the world in the past year, are we likely to see some surprise? i know thatis likely to see some surprise? i know that is a difficult question, but spain is going through a difficult moment politically year. yes, it is very difficult to know, i think a lot will depend on the turnout. a
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few weeks ago many people felt that the turnout was going to be quite low because there was the feeling that there was a lack of credibility about this referendum, but that is the pressure has increased only spanish authorities, in some ways, it has seemed to push people towards the ideas of voting just to show that they can express themselves, whether it is in favour or against independence. we might see a surprise on sunday, who knows? i think if there is a big turnout, that in itself will be a surprise. if the result is in favour of independence, an even bigger surprise, and then, of course, a huge problem for the spanish government and the european union as well. absolutely, thank you very much. the united states is warning americans against visiting cuba and ordering more than half of us personnel to leave the island, in response to alleged attacks on diplomats. the embassy in havana
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will lose roughly 60% of its american staff, and will stop processing visas in cuba indefinitely, according to officials. our correspondent in washington, barbara plett usher told me why the diplomats are leaving. what's been going on is that american us embassy personnel in cuba have been suffering symptoms, your related symptoms, over the past six months or so that have been quite debilitating. and these range from hearing losses, to cognitive loss, to dizziness, to sleep loss, etc. and the americans have been investigating along with the cubans. they're still saying they don't know who or what was behind this, but they've decided the situation is insecure enough and they're worried enough about the safety of the americans, they're going to pull out most of the diplomatic staff. they are reducing the number of staff non—emergency personnel, more than half of the us employees at the embassy. also the us officials will not be
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travelling to cuba for anything other than stuff directly related to the investigation. that means meetings with cu ban diplomats will be here in washington, but not in cuba. i have just seen that reuters is saying that cuba says the decision is hasty and will affect bilateral relations. we need to confirm that. what do you think the fallout will be and has there been any explanation by cuba or by anyone else? this has been going on for months, hasn't it? the cubans have denied they have played any role in this issue and they have been cooperating in the investigation. the americans haven't accused the cuban government of being behind it, they have however said they're keeping their options open, are not ruling anything out, they are still investigating. they said that the cubans should be providing security and safety for diplomats on their soil and until they were able to do that, the americans would have to operate with a skeleton staff. he did say that diplomatic relations would continue. they are not cutting ties, they are keeping the embassy open, but they will be affected.
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even if there are bad feelings, to reduce the number of diplomatic staff and visits allowed, that will decrease interaction. remember that president trump had already taken steps to roll back some of the elements of president obama's detente. this is not going to help. so what on earth is a sonic attack — and why might it be used? robin cleveland is a professor of engineering science at the university of oxford. the amount of data that has been provided is quite limited but the report suggests that those who have been suffering from these effects have her things, all sorts of different sounds, the sound is reported probably have not themselves been loud enough to affect the hearing but assuming that it was at frequencies above what we could normally hear, the lights of
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ultrasound, then the effects of dizziness and nausea have been things that have been well reported in the future when there have been ultrasonic sound ways used an ultrasonic sound ways used an ultrasonic sound ways used an ultrasonic sound waves are over a short wavelength so you have the ability to target individuals or small areas of space. so it is certainly plausible, hard to say without more information at the moment. it is also possible, a lot of the electronics that we use now do generate ultrasonic waves and it is something that has started to be the concern in the acoustics community in the last five years, is that these ultrasonic waves could impact us without us realising because we cannot hear. so it is possible that it could come from other devices. the fact that the us state department has said it had identified these being specific attacks on some of their own personnel, that seems unlikely that we somehow inadvertently have been affected by this and nobody else. robin cleveland, professor of engineering science at the university of oxford. president trump has weighed
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in to the emerging fight over how to finance puerto rico's recovery from hurricane maria. mr trump suggested the local government already heavily in debt, would have to pitch in. that's caused some anger in puerto rico. but the president insisted that his administration was fully engaged in the recovery effort. all appropriate departments of our government from homeland security to defence arsenal ladies in the disaster and the response and recovery effort. this is an island, it has probably never been seen for something like this, it is an island surrounded by water, big water, ocean water. donald trump there. let us ocean water. donald trump there. let us look at some of the other stories making the news this hour. the united nations is to send war crimes investigators to yemen,
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after a compromise agreement overcame objections from saudi arabia. the un human rights council unanimously adopted a resolution that will establish what is described as a group of eminent regional and international experts to examine all violations committed by all parties in the yemen conflict. saudi arabia appears to have taken another step to changing the rights of women. the kingdom's main consultative body — the shura assembly — has voted for women to be allowed to issue religious rulings known as fatwas for the first time. it comes days after a ban on women driving was lifted. ryanair says it's agreed to implement measures ordered by the uk's airline regulator, the caa, to ensure all passengers affected by flight cancellations are aware of their rights. it's updated its website, and emailed customers affected by its decision to ground hundreds of flights in the coming weeks. the tensions between iraq and its kurdish minority in the north of the country have increased after the authorities in baghdad started to enforce their threat to suspend
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international flights to and from the region. 92% of those who voted in the recent kurdish referendum backed independence. but the iraqi government opposes any moves for a breakaway country. our correspondent mark lowen reports irbil‘s airport. the last passengers are arriving here at irbil airport to take their flights out of the country, before all international flights are suspended as of this evening. we spoke to some who say they are flying early because of the suspension of international flights, they don't know when they will be allowed back in. the first punitive steps taken by the iraqi government in baghdad in response to the disputed kurdish independence referendum the government does not accept. the kurdish authorities are calling the action unconstitutional, saying it is collective punishment for the kurdish people. there is a lot of angry rhetoric over the independence referendum at the moment. the iraqi government says they will talk to the kurds once the referendum is anulled.
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turkey and iran have hit out because they want to keep their own kurdish minorities in check, and there is no real desire for a fresh conflict here. there is the belief that only dialogue is the viable way forward, but when that will come is not clear. the un has said it will mediate between both sides, but expect days of tensions to heighten in the days and weeks ahead be before it will ease. still to come, manchester city forewa rd still to come, manchester city foreward sergio aguero says he has broken an arm in a car accident. versus bbc world news today. the latest headlines... —— versus bbc
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news world food day. —— this is bbc world news today. tens of thousands of supporters of catalonia becoming independent from spain are holding a final rally in barcelona, ahead of a contested referendum planned for this sunday. the united states plans to pull out most of its staff from its embassy in cuba in response to a string of mysterious possible possible "sonic attacks". a stampede at a railway station in india's financial hub mumbai has left at least 22 people dead and many others injured. the crush happened just after morning rush hour on a narrow pedestrian bridge. eyewitnesses say heavy rainfall led to overcrowding on the bridge as people tried to shelter. another 36 people were injured in the crush. the government's already under pressure over poor safety standards on the railways. the bbc‘s yogita limaye sends this report from the scene. this is the flight of stairs at the elphinstone road station where the stampede occurred earlier this morning. it leads to a little bridge across the station. this station is a small but important stop on the city's western railway line.
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it is not rush hour right now but you can look at it and see how crowded it is even now and this incident occurred just shortly after rush hour this morning. authorities are still finding out what triggered it but many people are saying it was raining heavily at the time and that is why people rushed in from here on to this little flight of stairs, there were people rushing from the platform as well onto the flight of stairs, and that is what caused the stampede. and if you actually see here, this group of people standing around, you can actually see shoes of people that have been left behind. it is from this little hole there that a lot of people were trying to jump out and save their lives. the injured and the dead had been rushed to hospital nearby. i have seen police authorities as well as railway authorities coming here to find out what actually triggered the incident. but this once again puts the spotlight on mumbai's transport infrastructure which has been heavily criticised for being sorely insufficient. it transports more than 7 million people a day. this is an important station for many people because this area, lower parel, is where a lot
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of commercial complexes, buildings, offices are located and you can just see the flight of stairs is so small that it is always crowded. somebody who actually uses the station every day told me that something like this was just waiting to happen. yogita limaye in mumbai. there's been another huge rock fall in california's yosemite national park, a day after a massive granite slab fell from the famous el capitan vertical rock formation, killing a british man and seriously injuring his female companion. authorities say the second rock fall on thursday injured one person who was airlifted to hospital. james cook has the story. it is a climber‘s worst nightmare. the thunder and dust of a giant rockfall, the second in as many days.
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forcing visitors to flee any way they could. a day earlier, in the same spot, more than 1000 tonnes of granite had crashed from the face of el capitan monolith, killing a british climber. he was andrew foster, just 32 years old, originally from gloucestershire, and living in cardiff. his wife lucy was hurt and remains in hospital. the couple called themselves "weekend warriors" and had posted online, yosemite is an awesome place and for many climbers it's one of the many places to go before you die. the second rock slide caught other climbers including rachel evans whose husband was struck on the head. paramedics sped to the scene, flying one person to hospitalfor treatment. rachel and her sister ruth had a narrow, terrifying escape. it sounded like thunder. and she looked back and she said... i said there's smoke coming out of the mountain. i said, the mountain is exploding. and i said it's falling, it's falling. we were driving as fast as we could. at the same time my husband reached up and he was like, oh, my head,
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because he was bleeding profusely and hurting. el capitan draws people, lures them in, because it is untamed, because of the risks. so this tragedy will not stop climbers from gambling in the wilderness. james cook, bbc news, yosemite, in california. time for the sport news. after he was injured any car crash in amsterdam, manchester city striker sergio aguero insists he is fine he may only mess between four and six weeks. he has said he has broken a rep and it hurts but after seeing the club doctors he could be back sooner than expected. his manager pep guardiola had a press conference before having a chance to speak to aguero who was over in amsterdam watching a conference ——
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concert. in terms of aguero, he was clearly in holland, yes, it was his day off but it was iipm in holland, yes, it was his day off but it was ”pm when he had the accident. is that a problem for you? no. purely because he was on a day off? it is a off. have you spoken to him. no, not yet. iwas preparing the training and doing other things. but i know he is ok. he is ok, that is the most important thing. he will recover as soon is the most important thing. he will recover as soon as is the most important thing. he will recover as soon as possible. england's cricketers have ended their longest summer by making short work of the west indies in theirfinal one day international.
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an unbeaten century from jonny bairstow helped them to a comprehensive nine wicket victory in southampton and a 4—0 series win... west indies batted first and scored 288 for 6 in their 50 overs... with liam plunkett taking two wickets. but it was quickly clear that wasn't enough runs as an opening stand of 156... including 96 from jason roy... and jonny bairstow‘s second ton of the series — he eventually finished on 141 not out — helped england reached their target with 12 overs to spare... birmingham's bid to host the 2022 commonwealth games has officially been backed by the government. at a cost of at least 750 million pounds, the city council is expected to fund 25 per cent of the bill. the deadline for official bids is tomorrow, but there are no other cities currently in the race, so barring a last minute shock, one of the world's biggest sporting events will be heading it isa it is a real opportunity to regenerate part of the city and using the games village to provide regeneration. it is an opportunity proves that the image of birmingham
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and the region to the wall of the world and if you look at what the commonwealth games that the mightiest in 2002 and for glasgow in 2014, we want to have a similar success here for birmingham, an opportunity to bring the world to the regional city. there are six races left in the f1 season. it is between vettel and hamilton. the german looks in better shape. he was 1.5 seconds quicker than hamilton in second practice. the session was overshadowed by a crash involving romain grosjean. the frenchman was not hurt after his car clipped it was doing cover, crashing into the barriers at full speed. the practice session was stopped with 20 minutes still remaining. north korea has seen its first athlete to qualify for the winter 0lympics athlete to qualify for the winter olympics in pyongyang. they vanished
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in the top six in the qualifying event. this comes amidst tensions between america and south korea. the north korean 0lympic between america and south korea. the north korean olympic committee need to give approval for the athletes today class —— for the athlete to ta ke today class —— for the athlete to take part. i have to tell you the story. there isa i have to tell you the story. there is a welsh rugby player called scott baldwin who was in south africa and he was trying to pet uihlein and his hand got bitten. and his manager said he was given plenty of warning but he received a wind that got some stitches and he was pretty stupid but he has been pretty lucky. —— lion. you cannot pick a lion like getting, that is the lesson for this man. you can get me on twitter. thank you for watching. goodbye. hello. he conditions have come very
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early across the studio. we have seen some early across the studio. we have seen some record—breaking conditions in the last two days across central and eastern parts of the country. 43 degrees in land of queensland, south—east of alice springs and this brea ks south—east of alice springs and this breaks the record for this area for september. the kit will slowly abe as we have towards friday and into the beach end and if anything we will see some rain moving in, this will see some rain moving in, this will give some flooding to the parched ground but also transform parts of the desert into a green oasis. that will be impressive from the satellite. across north america, we have also seen some record—breaking heat. 0n we have also seen some record—breaking heat. on thursday, the surge of heat up the west coast, seattle's temperature reaching 30 celsius. it will change on friday, clear skies will be evaded by cloud and rain pushing in off of the
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specific —— pacific. that will give a strong winds and by saturday we're looking at the top tempter in seattle 17, 18 celsius. across the north—east we have seen a significant drop in temperature after the heat in the last few weeks, but a surge of warmth could return to the east and the north—east into next week. across the west, we are looking at further showers and a drop in temperature. as we head into monday, it will be sunny but cool with chilly nights. across the eastern side by the time we reach monday and tuesday, temperatures will be on the rise once more. into the southern asia and heavy thunderstorms have affected central and southern parts of india over the past few days with some intense flooding reported in mumbai. the north continues to seek drierair, so mumbai. the north continues to seek drier air, so hot and sunny for the next few days here. into europe, we have had a cluster of heavy showers and thunderstorms which have caused flooding across parts of the south
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of italy, greece and the balkans and the north west of turkey. strong winds will make it feel cool, rough seas from the south of italy across into the aegean. temperatures at 20, 201 into the aegean. temperatures at 20, 20 1 degrees into the aegean. temperatures at 20, 201 degrees in athens on saturday. the thunderstorms extending across to the west and south—west of 30 and also a drop in temperature across cyprus at 28, 20 9 degrees. back closer to home, the start of our week does not look too bad, italy start from what we have been used to but plenty of sunshine. a few showers around before the next weather system makes inroads across the south west and turning wet and windy into the evening. this system will sweep through during saturday night in the sunday, denting the re m na nts of night in the sunday, denting the remnants of what was hurricane moura, so it could pack quite a punch, keep tuned to this and the week ahead's forecast by staying tuned to this channel. this is bbc news. supporters of
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catalonia become independent from spain are holding a final rally in barcelona ahead of a contested referendum planned for sunday. the regional authorities insist the vote will happen but the central government has vowed to block it. us officials say washington is pulling out following mystery attacks on as diplomats. the us is one in american citizens not to travel to the island. president trumper said 10,000 emergency responders have been sent to puerto rico to recover —— help with the recovery effort after hurricane isaac. it says the local government will have to pay a share. a stampede at a railway station has led to the death of 22 people. it happened during rush
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