Skip to main content

tv   Our World  BBC News  September 30, 2017 4:30am-5:01am BST

4:30 am
he'd faced mounting pressure from president trump for using expensive privatejets to travel on government business. the trips are reported to have cost the taxpayer more than $1 million. two other members of the cabinet are under scrutiny for their travel. thousands of catalan separatists have held a final rally ahead of sunday's planned referendum on independence from spain. the head of the regional government, told the crowd he believed catalonia would become a sovereign nation. madrid's trying to block the vote, claiming it is unconstitutional. the us has warned americans not to travel to cuba and pulled half the staff from its embassy in havana after a spate of "sonic attacks." more than 20 people have suffered symptoms, including dizziness and brain trauma. the cause remains a mystery. birmingham's bid to host the 2022 commonwealth games has officially been backed by the government. at a cost of at least £750 million, the city council is expected to fund 25% 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
4:31 am
one of the world's biggest sporting events will be heading to the midlands. our sports editor dan roan takes a look now at how the city could benefit. from school sports day to an international showpiece. local children enjoying the facilities at birmingham's alexander stadium. but five years from now this host to some of the world's best athletes. the city's bid to bring the commonwealth games here today receiving government backing. we've never hosted a multisport event here before, we've hosted world championships of lots of individual sports, badminton, gymnastics, athletics, you name it, but this is our time we can show the world we can bring everyone together here and it's all part of the bigger story of the revival of the west midlands. the stadium will undergo a major upgrade of the it is successful. a brand—new aquatics centre will be built and famous local landmarks transformed into sports venues.
4:32 am
victoria square here right in the heart of the city centre will provide an historic backdrop to the basketball tournaments. bringing the commonwealth games here to birmingham would cost an estimated £750 million. so is it all worth it? there's always been a boost from the local economy for hosting the event and what you do see is a strong legacy both in terms of participation but also use other venues after the events so i think this is a real opportunity for birmingham and the west midlands and a real opportunity for the uk to showcase itself as hosting these major international events across the world. struggling with a bitter bin collection dispute that continues to hang over the city, birmingham will have to pay for a quarter of the cost of the games itself. these are challenging times financially but we have got the whole of the region behind our bid and the whole of the region contributing financially to ensure we do deliver the best ever commonwealth games.
4:33 am
and for sutton coldfield's number one rhythmic gymnast, mimi cesar, the daily training regime in birmingham now has additional motivation. for every athlete in every sport to have a games that means so much for them personally come to their own city and home town and country, it would be probably the highlight of my career. the commercial success of glasgow's commonwealth games three years ago further enhanced britain's status as a leading host of global sports events. and with overseas rivals yet to submit their bids, birmingham now looks set to build on that reputation. dan roan, bbc news. now on bbc news, our world. a handful of raw sapphires. beautiful and valuable. but they
4:34 am
also pose a threat to this, the lemur, one of the rarest animals on earth. poor people in their thousands have invaded the animal's home, seeking their fortune invaded the animal's home, seeking theirfortune in invaded the animal's home, seeking their fortune in the invaded the animal's home, seeking theirfortune in the remote invaded the animal's home, seeking their fortune in the remote forests of madagascar. are you rich? no, not yet. not yet? not yet rich! they mind the land, but for little reward. very hard, the light here. in the rush to sapphires, there is a price to be paid. less tha n
4:35 am
less than a year ago in eastern madagascar, there was a chance discovery. of sapphires, sparking a gem rush. tens of thousands of people flocked to the area. and we are now following the route they carved out. when the road ends, we walk. about an hour in, about six to 90, walk. about an hour in, about six to go, and i'm carrying half the weight these guys are. but in these skills, there are hidden dangers. —— in these hills. disease, bandits. and every journey to the these hills. disease, bandits. and everyjourney to the mine has its risks. time to visit the vatto
4:36 am
mesina, sacred stones. an offering to a ncestors mesina, sacred stones. an offering to ancestors ensures safe passage and good fortune. after this the going gets tough are. —— tougher. they want is a narrow forest path churned to mud by thousands of feet. ——a churned to mud by thousands of feet. —— a once narrow forest path. as we walk the trees close in on us. and then we hear them. lemurs calling. indri, right above us. the mining trail leads directly through their territory. naturally timid, we have to go toa territory. naturally timid, we have to go to a national park to get this close. the indri live on the fourth
4:37 am
biggest island on the planet. 500 kilometres off the coast of east africa. the wildlife is spectacular and rare. many species live here and only here. it is a privilege to see them in their natural habitat, but for how much longer? that has taken more than nine hours of walking, but we are finally here. we are right at the centre of what is the latest sci—fi rush, the biggest sapphire rush. for at least 20 years, and still they come, men, women and children. building homes of wood and plastic, creating a makeshift town in the heart of the forest. there are shop ‘s. —— shops. and bars. but
4:38 am
no hospital, school or police station. no one wants to be here long. but they will stay as long as it takes to get lucky. and the blue the sapphires, the more money they are worth. —— bluer the sapphires. these are poor men, working hard, hoping to get rich. tens of thousands of people have moved here to clear the land and dig for
4:39 am
gemstones. this was once virgin rainforest. but now look. mineshafts and spoil heaps scar the landscape. there are thousands of men right across this valley working all day, every day, down these pits, digging out hundreds of bags of sand, and all of them are looking to something no bigger than the size of my fingernail. —— looking for. and this is what they are after. a handful of stones. it took bruno and his team many days to dig them out. he comes from the other side of the island, more than 1000 kilometres away. he has invested all his money on this. every morning, the work takes him
4:40 am
down into the dark. the pit is deep. very deep. thejob is cramped, backbreaking and dangerous. none of these men are locals. they have travelled from all over the island, because there isn't any work at home. so they come here, hoping to find a sapphire that makes their fortune. this one took days to find, but is worth only about $200. split
4:41 am
between a team of four. what does it feel like when you find a sapphire? but it is always a gamble. stephane has been here for months and has nothing to show for it. university educated, now he works these pits to support his family. the future, i don't know. do you want to be here? for this moment. i am here. don't know. do you want to be here? for this moment. iam here. but don't know. do you want to be here? for this moment. i am here. but when i don't have money to live here, maybe i will go back to my home. do
4:42 am
you have family, children, a wife? yeah, i have a wife, one daughter, and three sons. yeah. and you come all the way here to help them? yeah, that's why i came here. what do you wa nt that's why i came here. what do you want for them, your children?” that's why i came here. what do you want for them, your children? i want them to have a good life. it is not greed which tribesmen here but poverty. —— drives men here. madagascar is one of the poorest countries on earth. 80% of the population lives on less than $1 a day. there are fewjobs population lives on less than $1 a day. there are few jobs for population lives on less than $1 a day. there are fewjobs for men like these. keen eyes sieve and search, a
4:43 am
promise of wealth in a very handful. have you found any sapphires? many, but not very good. so are you rich? no, not yet, not yet rich. but the wealth they seek comes at a cost. the mines eat away at the forest. the mines eat away at the forest. the villagers that spring up pollute the water, and threaten the habitat of the indri lemur. can you hear that? that is the sound of indri singing. they are on that side of the valley and are singing to the indrion the valley and are singing to the indri on the side and stop they are critically endangered and they only live in a very small area of
4:44 am
madagascar. they cannot survive in captaincy. so when they are gone from here, they are gone for good. —— survive in captivity. we travelled to mitsinjo, a conservation project where the indri are able to thrive. the biggest of all their lemurs, they spend most of their lives in the trees, eating and sleeping in the branches. they produce few young, only breeding every two or three years. this is extraordinary. these indris come down from the forest canopy. they live in small family groups. this is a group of five, two adults and threejuveniles. a group of five, two adults and three juveniles. they eat nothing but leaves and seeds. they need a bigger range, a large territory to live in. so as the forests are cut around them, they have to retreat to
4:45 am
smaller and smaller areas. but when those forests are gone, they will die out. in this park, our guide is one of the world ‘s most foremost scientists about slimmers. —— lemurs. that's really sad. he is horrified about what we show him. you can see the scale. yeah. it's huge. and make no mistake, this is all legal. 0n and make no mistake, this is all legal. on paper, the land is protected. but the authorities seem unwilling
4:46 am
or unable to stop it. here in madagascar, there are fortu nes to here in madagascar, there are fortunes to be won or lost. the miners who dig up sapphires sell them on to dealers. they call this man the president. he holds court, waiting for the sapphires to be brought to him so he can inspect them and offer a price. notice the torch — every dealer needs on — of the rings. you'd for the business was good. but, farfrom it. but getting a good price for sapphires means keeping them safe first. this man stores them in his mouth. because, he says, he has no
4:47 am
pockets. translation: it is, here but beneath the surface there is fear to. he that they need security because when you work from the city from county here, there are some people who attack you. bandits? yes, bandits. is he scared? yes, yes, we are afraid of that. sapphires are sold in england, in france, four rings, necklaces. do you think those rich people understand your life here? i think they understand the life here but they don't care. maybe. when i talk about the government, you know, they don't ca re government, you know, they don't care about us. deep in the forest, a
4:48 am
day ‘s walk from the nearest road, the authorities can seem remote, indifferent, and powerless. vibrant, polluted, and poor, madagascar‘s capital city. from here, the country's elite monitor the sapphire rush with great interest. the sapphire trade is essential issue here, the government doesn't like to talk about it and some journalists have been arrested for trying to expose the nepotism and corruption at its heart. the authorities claim they are trying to regulate the industry but still, the illegal mining goes on. in recent months, ministers have talked of reform to tighten the law and control small—scale mining. but the ngo working in conservation is able to
4:49 am
really stops effective policing is a lack of money. 0fficials really stops effective policing is a lack of money. officials on the ground can't even buy fuel for their vehicles. these are in national parks often where it is happening. the authorities seem powerless. yes. u nfortu nately, most of the authorities seem powerless. yes. unfortunately, most of the sapphire, gems, even gold rush as we have had have been in protected areas, sometimes national parks. and it's all illegal, of course, but then there is very little capacity to enforce legislation generally in madagascar. especially in such remote areas because you have, i mean, there's usually remote areas so it's even more difficult to enforce the law. in this case. do
4:50 am
you think the government wants to enforce the law? i wouldn't dismiss all so that varies maybe a lack of willingness to act. which means gems from illegal mines continue to float in the capital and on into backstreet workshops. here, skilled hands and sharp eyes work to unlock the value of the gems. stynes will go through several pairs of hands before they reach the capital and a place like this, where they are cut and polished for export. a stone sold by a minorfor £25 and polished for export. a stone sold by a minor for £25 will be sold bya sold by a minor for £25 will be sold by a dealer like this for £250 and when it is in the us or in bangkok or in dubai, it will go for more than £5,000. this man is happy to show this stock. the mining may be against the law of the trade is in.
4:51 am
—— at the trade is not. this is his favourite, sold in the us for more than $2 million. some sapphires are mines legally in madagascar but how cani mines legally in madagascar but how can i buy are no? the truth is, they probably cannot. most big dealers come from sri lanka or thailand. in his view, they buy up madagascan sapphires to pass off as their own. but now, there are calls for greater transparency, demands that each gem untraceable to the money came from. a worldwide agreement to reform the trade. there could be some kind of international regulation on virtual
4:52 am
stability of gems. —— trustworthiness. so on the retailer ‘s side, you can no where this came from and how it was produced, whether it was in a sustainable way. so you would call for some kind of international accord, rather like that which regulate the trade in diamonds? yes, yes, and we can start this discussion with the madagascan authorities. it has just started, so i think that was also international support and pressure, this discussion could move more quickly. how urgent is the need? that would be urgent because we are not... protected from the next rush. it can
4:53 am
happen any time, anywhere in madagascar. and so, it would be urgent to act, it would also help us in the future. that sounds like a good place to start. but for the l expert, real change cannot wait. we are almost out —— the lemur expert. there are valuable gems beneath this
4:54 am
red soil. unique wildlife in the trees above. the question for the people of madagascar how do they profit from one without destroying the other? and for those who buy sapphires, it is impossible to know the real origin or the true cost of the gems they wear. some of us may get off to a fine start on saturday morning,
4:55 am
but by looking at the big picture you can work out why that is not going to last. even from the word go in parts of wales, western england there will be quite a bit of clout around, some outbreaks of rain in the day and some showers further east across england and the northern ireland, most of the wet weather for sunday, and where there are showers for scotla nd and where there are showers for scotland many will fade in the afternoons have a saturday afternoon here it will be dry with sunny spells, not too much in the way of wind. the northern island, plenty of fine weather, some sunny spells in northern england, especially east of the pennines. for the midlands, east
4:56 am
anglia, south—east england, a fair amount of clout around. a chance of that increasing as the day goes on. for north—west england, south—west england, ekka cloud, showers becoming more widespread and this is a sign of things to come. with his first little pulse of rain pushing across parts of england and wales and into scotland, the breeze picking up and by the end of saturday heavy rain is coming into northern ireland. a mild start on sunday. northern ireland will cease in heavy rain in the morning pushing a cross scotland, into cumbria, especially the higher ground. the wind is picking up, coastal gales developing in the west and for england and wales we aren't expecting the brain to be quite so heavy further north but some outbreaks breading east during the day and again, windy. temperatures around 16— 19 celsius. things will clear across scotland and northern ireland are in the afternoon but the wind might pick up further going into monday, especially for monday
4:57 am
morning across scotland and northern england, closer to this area of low pressure. we could this disruptive winds, city gals in northern scotla nd winds, city gals in northern scotland and quite widely from scotla nd scotland and quite widely from scotland to northern england, tutt 50- 60 scotland to northern england, tutt 50— 60 miles an hour. plenty of showers into scotland, particularly the north—west. some of us will have a bright and start to the weekend, not all. for all the bus we will see some wet weather. it will turn windy also. this is bbc news. i'm tom donkin. our top stories: president trump's health secretary quits, after using expensive private planes for government business. but as tom price departs, could others now follow? mass rallies in catalonia in support of sunday's planned independence referendum. spain says the vote violates the constitution and won't go ahead. the us cuts its diplomats in cuba by more than half and warns its citizens to stay away. it says mystery attacks have injured
4:58 am
several embassy staff. and at the eu summit in estonia, the head of the european commission says brexit talks "need a miracle" to keep them on track.
4:59 am
5:00 am


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on