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tv   BBC News  BBC News  October 17, 2017 3:00am-3:31am BST

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welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is duncan golestani. welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is duncan golestani. our top stories: thousands of civilians flee the iraqi city of kirkuk after the goverment‘s army seizes control from kurdish forces. well, we've suddenly had to pull back. there was a sustained outburst of gunfire at the position up ahead. we can't be sure where it came from. a journalist who investigated corruption amongst politicians, officials and business people is killed by a car bomb in malta. three days of national mourning in portugal after at least 36 people are killed in deadly forest fires. and watching over the waves. shark—detecting drones take to the skies in australia to try and make surfing safer. welcome to our viewers on public television in america
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and around the globe. iraqi government forces are in control of kirkuk after seizing it from the kurds. iraqi troops launched their military operation in response to the kurds voting for independence in last month's referendum. thousands of people have now fled the city, which had been controlled by kurdish fighters for three years. president trump says he won't be taking sides in the dispute. from kirkuk, our middle east correspondent orla guerin and cameraman duncan stone sent this report. pledging to defend kirkuk. peshmerga fighters began the day with defiance, but this small band was no match for tanks. nor were the locals, armed with whatever came to hand.
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we lost 2,000 men fighting is, he says. we're not afraid of the iraqi prime minister. but that's not how it looked deeper in the city. a checkpoint on the outskirts now a tense new front line. the kurds, who fought is with iraqi forces, now fearing an attack by theirformer allies. locals said they were closing in. shia militia units linked, to the iraqi government, out of sight behind these buildings. then this. gunfire we had to scramble for cover. we suddenly had to pull back.
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there was a sustained outburst of gunfire at the position up ahead. we can't be sure where it came from but it seemed to be coming from ahead of us, from positions where we were told there were iraqi military forces. and in the last few seconds, we've heard gunfire also up ahead. as kirkuk slipped out of kurdish hands, an exodus began. desperate civilians heading north towards the autonomous kurdish region. many eager to escape the feared shia militias. it looked like the city was emptying before our eyes. we met peshmerga volunteers heading to kirkuk, asking why the world had abandoned the kurds again. the kurds have been betrayed one more time. the world is just silent when it comes to the kurds. it's not fair.
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this lone fighter arrived to help. all he could do was try to organise the retreat. but he insisted last month's independence vote by the kurds was the right move, though it angered baghdad, and triggered all this. by evening, an iraqi victory parade. there is an ethnic mix in the city, and some locals welcomed the troops. but the winner here may be the so—called islamic state, whose enemies in iraq are now fighting each other. 0rla guerin, bbc news, northern iraq. joining me via webcam
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is lukman faily, the former iraqi ambassador to the united states. he is an iraqi kurd but he disagrees with the decision to hold a referendum on independence. mr faily, the vote on independence is looking like something of a miscalculation by the governing party in irbil, isn't it? yes, certainly. it's miscalculated in understanding the geopolitics, understanding the geopolitics, understanding the geopolitics, understanding the new change in iraqi mood, especially after the liberation of the territories from isis, and also a misunderstanding of the strengths and weaknesses. to me i would say it is a blunder. do you think massoud barzani will be embarrassed by this?” think massoud barzani will be embarrassed by this? i don't think it is to do with one person, i think it is to do with one person, i think it is to do with one person, i think it isa it is to do with one person, i think it is a mood, misreading a mood, a national mood maybe within the kurds but also misunderstanding what is doable and what isn't doable in a
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turbulent geopolitical sense and what you heard from the president today and the state department, from the americans, let alone others, not even mentioning baghdad, means that the environment was not good for this. you mention the united states, at least publicly they are trying to remain neutral, do you think that policy is sustainable? neutral in the sense of this is within the iraqi constitution, neutral in the sense the prime minister is trying to make this as bloodless as possible, working with the politicians, taking their time and so politicians, taking their time and so on, politicians, taking their time and so on, yes. politicians, taking their time and so on, yes. does the united states have the ability and influence and leverage that it hasn't utilised? i think so. it has been misreading the situation as much as the kurds in many ways, insisting they don't use the leverage as much as they could but they need to review their
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policies, yes. what is uprising certainly to outsiders is this has exposed divisions among the peshmerga, with loyalties to different parties being quite crudely exposed in kirkuk over the last 48 hours. i think overall there we re last 48 hours. i think overall there were signs beforehand from the politicians, those who are more aligned with baghdad or more understanding with baghdad, and those who have the alliance with a central government of the krg, the kgb leadership, the situation is much more complicated, it isn't binary whether you are with or against the kurds. there are more nuances. let's not forget the threat of isis and other mutations of isis are still there. we need to work with each other, whether it is baghdad, krg or other tribes to deal with it. let's not forget kirkuk was a lwa ys with it. let's not forget kirkuk was
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always a special place to start from and it was in the hands of the government before 2014. in that sense the prime minister has to adhere to the constitution and they have mis—read the situation in a way and unfortunately outplayed their hand, and that's the situation now. of hand, and that's the situation now. of hope there are no clashes and there are no lives lost —— i hope. hopefully there aren't any displaced people and i'm sure baghdad doesn't wa nt people and i'm sure baghdad doesn't want that either. mr faily, former iraqi ambassador to the united states, thank you for speaking to us. states, thank you for speaking to us. thank you, sir. a journalist who investigated corruption among politicians, officials and business people in malta has been killed by a car bomb. daphne caruana galizia died on monday afternoon in an explosion near her home. it's not known who carried out the attack. andrew plant has the story. the wreckage of a car in the distance, daphne caruana galizia was driving near her home on monday afternoon when the bomb went off. in the foreground here,
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the site of the explosion, powerful enough to blow her car off the road. it ended up in the field beyond. daphne caruana galizia was a thorn in the side of malta's establishment, described as a one—woman wikileaks. her most recent revelations pointing a finger at malta's prime minister, joseph muscat, and claims of corruption linked to the panama papers, claims he has denied. no—one has claimed responsibility for the attack. investigators are quoted in local media saying the bomb appears to have been outside the car. it's known that caruana galizia had recently claimed she had received death threats and her website had been targeted by hackers. hundreds gathered for a vigil on monday evening, paying their respects to the popularjournalist, wife and mother of three, walking to a local bay and lighting candles in her memory.
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as a maltese citizen i think daphne was not only a journalist and an absolutely fearless human being, but a fourth pillar of our democracy. and today's heinous crime was not only against a human being, a journalist, but against a pillar of everyone's democracy. malta is the eu's smallest member. the 53—year—old journalist had been driving in daylight close to her home in mosta. her son said to have heard the explosion and rushed outside to find the wreckage. malta's prime minister has condemned the killing, calling it a barbaric attack. meanwhile, malta's president says a team from the fbi is on its way to the island to help investigate the murder. andrew plant, bbc news. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news.
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british prime minister theresa may and european commission head jean—claude junker say brexit talks should accelerate in the next few months. the pair issued a joint statement following talks over dinner in brussels ahead of the crucial european summit which takes place later this week. the us army sergeant who was captured by the taliban in afghanistan has pleaded guilty to deserting his duties and endangering the lives of fellow troops. bowe bergdahl spent five years in captivity and was released under a prisoner swap deal. he'll be sentenced later. the european union has imposed fresh sanctions on north korea aimed at punishing the regime for its nuclear and ballistic weapons programmes. foreign ministers meeting in luxembourg agreed to a ban on investments in north korea and on eu exports of oil to pyongyang. mark lowen is following events in seoul. to some extent this is eu countries making a symbolic statement to try to stop countries that do still export oil, like china and russia,
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to try to step up sanctions. they have rejected an outright ban at the un a couple of months ago. but a range of new sanctions today to further tighten the screws. so, for example, the amount of remittances, the amount of money that north koreans can send back to north korea when they're living abroad, that has been limited from 15,000 euros down to 5,000 euros. there's been a ban on all investment by the eu in north korea. and further entities, such as the north korean army, are now on the sanctions list. so this is the eu saying we arejoining the un in a parallel sanctions list but to some extent the eu actually has very limited dealings with north korea. some countries like poland, for example, have about 400 north korean workers. they're trying to pressure countries like that to try to limit and not renew the visas of those north koreans who are working there. authorities in portugal have declared three days of national
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mourning after at least 36 people died in forest fires. across the border, in northwestern spain, fires have claimed at least anotherfour lives, as a lengthy drought has created ideal conditions for flames to spread. allison roberts reports from lisbon. 6,000 firefighters were in action in portugal on monday, as forest fires devastated the centre and north of the country. sunday had been the worst day so far this year, with more than 500 separate fires. the number of dead has risen steadily, even though some places have been brought under control. in many cases, locals suspect arson. but the severe drought of recent months means even accidental flames can start rapidly. translation: it is very windy and the fire is rekindled on many sides. the firefighters are not able to control the fire. translation: my house is ok but my neighbour's house is not, so i need to help him. we need to help each other. firefighters cannot be everywhere. portugal's prime minister acknowledged poor management of forests and dry weather are factors but arson could not be ruled out.
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translation: the situation is aggravated by extreme weather, drought, and there is no—self ignition of a forest. what there is is an intentional creating fires, or negligence. across the border in galicia, north—western spain, forest fires have also claimed lives. spain's prime minister took time off from the constitutional crisis in catalonia on monday to see the situation on the ground. he echoed local officials' suspicions that local fires were set deliberately. translation: what we are dealing with here is no accident. it was started deliberately. we're here where there has been a big fire that began at 1am in the morning in five different places. so, as you can see, it is just not
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possible for this to have broken out naturally. portugal's government has meanwhile declared a state of calamity across more than half the country to free up resources and ease access to private property. it has also asked its european partners and morocco to send planes and other backup. lower temperatures and long—awaited rain may help douse fires but for now the country remains on maximum alert. allison roberts, bbc news, lisbon. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: when stars collide. for the first time we find out what happened 130 million years ago. parts of san francisco least affected by the earthquake are returning to life. but in the marina area, where most of the damage was done, they're more conscious than ever of how much has been destroyed. in the 19 years since he was last here, he's gone from being a little—known revolutionary to an experienced and successful diplomatic operator. it was a 20 pound bomb that
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exploded on the fifth floor of the grand hotel, ripping a hole in the front of the building. this government will not weaken. democracy will prevail. it fills me with humility and gratitude to know that i have been chosen as the recipient of this foremost of earthly honours. this catholic nation held its breath for the men they call the 33. and then... bells toll bells tolled nationwide to announce the first rescue and chile let out an almighty roar. this is bbc news. the latest headlines: thousands of civilians have fled the iraqi city of kirkuk — after the goverment‘s army seizes control from kurdish forces. a journalist who investigated corruption amongst politicians,
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officials and business people in malta has been killed by a car bomb. a bomb attack in the somali capital mogadishu on saturday is now believed to have killed more than 300 people. hundreds were injured in the explosion which destroyed hotels, government offices and restaurants. it's the deadliest attack in somalia since the islamist militant group al—shabaab began an insurgency a decade ago. 0ur diplomatic correspondent james robbins has more details. even somalia has never seen devastation on this scale before. imagine your nearest city centre ravaged by a huge bomb beside a petrol tanker. in mogadishu, as many as 165 unidentifiable bodies have apparently already been buried after the weekend attack, blamed on the extremists of al shabaab. blamed on the extremists
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of al—shabaab. more than 100 others were also killed. translation: there were five more people found alive under the rubble yesterday, and just now, another dead body was found over there. among the dead, maryam abdullahi, due to graduate as a doctor the day after the bombing. her cousin said maryam's father had travelled all the way from london to be at her graduation but instead attended her burial. somalia has been a more or less failed state for over 25 years now. torn apart first by rival warlords, more recently by the islamist extremists of al—sha baab. the president mohamed abdullahi farmaajo has previously said that he would talk to al—shabaab, but politically that may now be even more difficult. just one measure of somalia's desperate plight — the heavily defended airport is about the only safe place in the country. that's why mps had to assemble in a hangar at the airport in february to elect their latest leader. it is here that britain's ambassador david concar lives and meets somalis in a series of containers
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as he leads britain's front—line effort to help. turkey sent a military plane with medical supplies to mogadishu today, and it was then used to evacuate some of the most seriously injured for treatment. somalia's hospitals cannot cope with the hundreds of casualties requiring specialist treatment. a bbc crew in mogadishu has been filming the first efforts to try to erase the scars of this massive attack. but no amount of humanitarian and military support for somalia has so far succeeded in stopping all this. james robbins, bbc news. to australia now, where a new tool is being deployed to try to keep swimmers — and surfers — safe from the risk of shark attack. specially fitted drones are being used over the surf along the coast of new south wales. hywel griffith has been to see them in action. a shadow in the sea or something more sinister?
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from the beach it's hard to tell but from the skies the drone has a clear view. it feeds into deep learning software which it is claimed has a 92% success rate in spotting sharks as well as less threatening species. every time it sees a dolphin, whale or a swimmer in distress, it learns their shape. launched along the beaches of new south wales, the drones can patrol for 40 minutes. daniel was one of the first to train as a lifesaver pilot. i can't physically run out and grab a board and paddle out and save someone, but sitting on the beach we've got eyes in the sky and we are just another layer of protection, really. the drones don't only observe, they can react by dropping an inflatable device. they won't replace the use of controversial shark nets and drum lines that some claim do more harm than good. last year around australia there
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were 17 unprovoked shark attacks. the number isn't that high compared to how many people enter these waters but it's a national preoccupation — the question about sharing beaches between the human beings and the sea life. when this great white washed onto these shores recently it was welcomed and christened fluffy. not everyone wants to get so close, even if chances of an attack are minimal. it's a human, innate fear of being attacked by wild animal. but the risk to people entering the water, it rates so low on the scale as opposed to all other threats of going about your daily life. traffic, cars, bee stings, all of those statistics. and for regulars in these waters, it's all part of the experience. i was actually swimming here once at the back,
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six months pregnant and there was a shark alarm. i did freak out a little bit. if i'm going to die, i'd prefer to be taken by a shark than have a stroke and end up in a nursing home. the drones won't be on every beach every day but it should give everyone a better understanding of what is down below. hywel griffith, bbc news, sydney. waves of a very different kind now — albert einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves 100 years ago — the moment two neutron stars collide, sending ripples through the universe — and creating gold and platinum. these waves have onlyjust been seen — and heard — for the first time. 0ur science correspondent pallab ghosh had exclusive access to a wave detection site in louisiana. it's the longest straight line in the world. a 2.5—mile pipe containing a laser that can detect powerful explosions in space. inside, a technician
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fine—tunes the instrument. it's made a discovery that's shaken the scientific world. two stars colliding in a galaxy far, far away. around 800 billion billion miles from earth. the two stars got closer and closer until they merged, resulting in a huge shock wave that rippled across the universe. the massive explosion led to the production of rare elements, such as gold and platinum. neutron stars are what is left over when giant suns die and collapse in on themselves. they're so densely packed that a teaspoon would weigh a billion tons. and here is the actual sound of the collision. low humming and pop they then become part of planets when they form, including here on earth. the explosion was picked up in the control room here. it took place 130 million years ago
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when dinosaurs roamed the earth. it's only now that the light and gravitational waves have reached us. 0hh, it was... we have been waiting for this for so long. we don't know if we were lucky and this happened to be an event that happened close, relatively close, to earth. but it's very rare. or perhaps there are many more neutron stars than we thought. we don't know that yet, but we will know. within seconds, telescopes all over the world were pointed at the colliding stars, and this is what they saw. the collision created distortions, stretching and squeezing space. these are known as gravitational waves. a new observational window on the universe typically leads to surprises that cannot yet be foreseen. we are still rubbing our eyes, or/and our ears, as we havejust woken up to the sound of gravitational waves. researchers say that there are likely to be many more
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discoveries using gravitational waves, of objects in the universe that we have not yet imagined. pallab ghosh, bbc news, livingston, louisiana. and before we go, there was an eerie, red sky that appeared across much of the uk on monday afternoon. the bbc‘s weather team says it is due to the remnants of hurricane 0phelia dragging in tropical air and dust from the sahara. debris going into the atmosphere from forest fires in portugal and spain is also playing a part. the dust causes light to be refracted and reflected in longer wavelengths, making it appear red. well, it's certainly been a very
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dramatic period on the weather front and the remnants of hurricane 0phelia still barrelling across the uk. but the worst of the winds affected the south of ireland. our friends there experienced winds gusting up to nearly 100 miles an hour that even here in the uk, we had winds in excess of 70, 80 and even 90 mph. here's the ex—hurricane, what's left over. still very powerful winds. the core of that storm with some of the gale force winds blowing through the irish sea will still be moving across northern ireland, scotland and northern england during the course of tuesday morning. that nasty low still with us over the next few hours before it pulls out into the north sea and eventually the remnants of that into norway. travel disruption is still very much a possibility first thing on tuesday morning. particularly around the pennines,
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the north—east of england through the lowlands of scotland. we could get gusts of around 60 or 70 mph. there will be some rain around. this is the scene around 5am. to the south, a different story, winds are much, much lighter. through the morning, very quickly the winds will ease in northern ireland. for most of us, in terms of the weather over all, not a bad day. certainly by the time we get to the afternoon, just a scattering of showers here and there. wales and the midlands getting some sunshine. hazy sunshine in east anglia and the south—east and we still have some rain. a rogue weather front may bring some rain towards cornwall and devon and the west country. some of us mid—week will have some rain, from wales to northern england, the east coast to the north—west. to the south, maybe just a couple of showers. on balance, be prepared for a wet day in the north of the country on wednesday. still mild in the south mid—week. 18 degrees in london.
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fresher in the north of the country. the summery, stormy start first thing on tuesday and then quieter mid—week then it could turn stormy again. a reminder of some spectacular orange skies we have seen across the uk thanks to hurricane 0phelia drawing up some smoke particles from spain and portugal, from the wildfires there. also we've had some saharan dust in the atmosphere as well. here's a picture of the bbc as well, earlier on. bye— bye. this is bbc news, the headlines: the us state department's called for calm after iraqi government forces seized the northern city of kirkuk and nearby oil fields from kurdish control. armoured vehicles moved into kirkuk in an advance that took less than 24 hours. it comes after the region voted in favour of independence. more than 1,000 people have taken part in a vigil in malta for a journalist murdered by a powerful car bomb. daphne caruana galizia was a leading investigative journalist. she highlighted alleged corruption by senior politicians,
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including malta's prime minister, who's denied any wrongdoing. wildfires in portugal are now known to have killed at least 36 people. thousands of firefighters are tackling outbreaks in central and northern areas. now on bbc news, the travel show.
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