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tv   BBC News  BBC News  March 29, 2018 3:00am-3:30am BST

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welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is mike embley. our top stories: poisoned at home. uk police reveal a deadly nerve agent was on the former spy‘s front door. south korean officials meet their north korean counterparts to discuss denuclearisation ahead of next month's historic summit. grief and fury in siberia at the first funerals for victims of the shopping centre inferno. egypt's president looks set for a landslide victory in the presidential election. but human rights groups say the vote was a farce. also in the programme: the rise and fall of an african hero. burkino faso‘s former president remembered on stage. hello and welcome to the programme.
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it could be a major development in the investigation into the poisoning of the russian double agent sergei skripal, and his daughter, in the english city of salisbury. police have identified the highest concentration of the nerve agent used on mr skripal‘s front door. nearly 30 countries around the world have responded to the attack by collectively expelling more than 130 russian diplomats. caroline rigby has the latest. three weeks on from the attack, the investigation now focuses on this front door at the home of sergei skripal. detective saves it's where they discovered the highest concentration of the russian—made nerve agent novichok, leading to the suggestion it was where the pair were first poisoned. it's the latest development in a huge investigation involving 250 counterterrorism officers.
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searches continues in and around the town of salisbury traces of the nerve agent found that a number of locations including the restaurant where the pair ate and the bench where they were found unconscious shortly after the meal. the criminal investigation continues alongside significant political activity. an ever—growing list of nations, now more than 25, have expelled more than 130 russian diplomats or spies. a co—ordinated response to the country britain says is behind the attack. i believe that these expulsions represent a moment when a feeling has suddenly crystallised. when years of vexation and provocation have warned the collective patience to breaking point. across the world, across three continents, countries who are willing to say and up is enough. russia continues to deny any involvement in the poisoning and has threatened retaliation for the expulsions,
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but to what extent and in what form remains unclear. ricky, bbc news. —— caroline rigby. and more now from our security correspondent gordon corera on the significance of the latest police discovery. that scientific and forensic trail has been crucial to this very complex investigation as they've looked to try and match the skripals‘ movements with the location of any contamination from this nerve agent. that's been supported by police and military scientists from the porton down lab nearby, preserving evidence and avoiding getting contaminated themselves. crucially, that has led them to the conclusion that the skripals were poisoned most likely at their own home and specifically the highest concentration of the nerve agent they found was on the front door handle. i understand from independent scientists that it's possible to administer this nerve agent as a kind of gloopy substance which could have been smeared onto that door handle. in turn, that could explain why
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it was found in so many other places like the car door and the restaurant because the skripals may have transferred it further with their own hands. of course, while this is significant, it doesn't tell us who did it. it makes it perhaps less likely they came face—to—face with their own attackers, they may not have been in the town centre, but the investigation will focus on the house, the forensics around it, talking to neighbours and see if they can work out who might have gone to this house in a quiet cul—de—sac and administered a military—grade nerve agent. it's far from clear how it will all end up, if it will produce any real change at all, but there is still huge diplomatic movement on north korea. senior officials from pyongyang and seoul are meeting in the demilitarized zone to prepare for an april summit between president moon and kim jong—un. one of china's top diplomats is coming to south korea to brief the government on the north korean leader's surprise trip to beijing this week, and there are unconfirmed reports that japan and russia are also seeking summits with him. the bbc‘s laura bicker is in seoul.
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cautious optimism are the words being used by the white house and here in south korea. they are heading to the demilitarised zone, that heavily fortified border between the two countries, and will talk with their northern counterparts. let's look at where we are. a couple of months ago, the idea of regular meetings between the north and south was unthinkable. here we are today, they're off to the border and it seems to be becoming routine. in just a few days time, several k—pop acts will head north to pyongyang to perform. all this quiet diplomacy paving the way for the bigger events. we expect to hear a date for the proposed summit between president moon and kimjong—un and also perhaps an agenda, but we know that denuclearisation is going to be the key thing they'll want to talk about. so much depends, of course, on what north korea wants to give up, what it wants in return,
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if anything at all comes out of this. that's right, mike. when you saw the meeting there between kim jong—un and president xi of china it gives you a hint, north korea and china believe the same things in terms of what they want on this peninsula, they want us forces, us weapons, us troops, us ships off this peninsula. they want their influence away from south korea and japan. now, that's not something perhaps south korea orjapan or the us are currently willing to give, but at the moment, north korea, when they talk about denuclearisation, everybody‘s wondering exactly what that might mean, what exactly is he willing to give up, which weapons, which nuclear weapons, is he willing to put on the table? what does he want in return? so perhaps when president moon meets kim jong—un at the end of this month, we'll get a clearer idea
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of where these talks are going. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news. malala yousufzai, nobel peace prize winner and education rights activist, is visiting pakistan for the first time since she was shot and almost killed by the taliban nearly six years ago. now 20 and a student at oxford university, she'll be attending a ceremony and meeting the prime minister. the taliban attacked her, it said, for her pro—peace, anti—taliban, secular agenda. a fire at a police station in the venezuelan city of valencia has killed at least five prisoners in holding cells, but some reports say the number of deaths could be much higher. the blaze started after prisoners set fire to mattresses in an attempt to break out. police used tear gas to disperse the relatives, who had surrounded the station and were trying to break in. president trump is to replace his veteran affairs secretary, david shulkin, seen here wearing the red tie, with his white house physician, rear admiral ronny jackson, the man best known for giving him an absolutely glowing health report. mr shulkin‘s departure has been widely anticipated since allegations emerged of a tax—payer funded trip
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with his wife in europe. ecuador says it has cut off julian assange‘s ability to communicate with the outside world from its embassy in london. the wikilea ks founder took refuge there in 2012, to avoid extradition procedures which he feared could see him sent eventually to the us. the ecuadorian government says it wants to stop him interfering in the affairs of other countries. the first funerals have been held in russia for some of the 64 people who lost their lives in a fire at a shopping centre on sunday. most of those who died in the city of kemerovo were children. relatives claim dozens of other people are still missing. a national day of mourning has been declared. 0ur correspondent, sarah rainsford, reports. they're desperate not to let go. a couple cling to the coffin of their 10—year—old daughter. masha's little brother and their grandma were also killed in the kemerovo fire, on a day out at the cinema.
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for those left behind, saying goodbye is too much to bear. wailing "save their souls, take them to paradise," natalia begs as her children are lowered into a shared grave. and then she cries out their names. they're three of the 64 who were trapped in a burning shopping centre, where no fire alarm went off and emergency doors were blocked. sergei wants to know why. translation: someone has to answer for this. this can't be allowed. it's so hard to understand why those trying to escape didn't make it out. this is just one of many burials here today, and there are many still to come. this city is plunged in grief, and for the families, that pain is even fiercer because they know this tragedy could have been avoided. this giant burned carcass is now the focus of a criminal
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investigation. though vladimir putin has already blamed negligence and corruption. so today, the first suspect appeared in court. a security guard accused of turning the alarms off. he claimed the system has been faulty for years and said he had reported that. but this city feels numb now, more than angry. everybody knows the victims. they're friends, friends‘ children or neighbours or... just relatives. it's... we feel like a family now. everybody is talking only about this disaster. and yet russians know the causes of this disaster run deep, and so they wonder how much will really change even after all this. sarah rainsford, bbc news, kemerovo. a memorial service for the french police officer who was murdered after trading
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places with a hostage during last week's islamist attack has taken place in paris. lieutena nt—colonel arnaud beltrame‘s funeral procession crossed paris before president macron led tributes. the 44 year—old has been awarded france's legion d'honneur. polls have closed in egypt's presidential election after voting was extended by an hour in the hope of higher turnout. the current president abdel fatah al sisi was virtually unopposed and is heading a big and controversial victory. human rights groups say the egyptian government has trampled over the minimum requirements for free and fair elections. 0ur middle east editor jeremy bowen reports from cairo. another cautious dawn in cairo. egyptians tread carefully these days, especially if they disagree with the regime. president abdul fattah el—sisi is certain to be elected for a second term.
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his posters are everywhere. it's a cult of personality more than an election campaign. the army sisi used to command guard the polling stations. his supporters say his tough line saved egypt from becoming another syria. the defence minister came for an inspection. the uniforms are in charge in egypt, as they've been since the ‘50s. human rights groups said the vote was farcical, while the sisi regime repressed the people and tortured prisoners in the name of fighting terrorism. esma rove is a spokeswoman for the sisi campaign. translation: of course it's a 1,000,000% democratic process. and the evidence is that all the egyptian people,
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including big numbers of youth and elderly, have come out to vote, and even children, as you can see here. they are coming to say yes to mr president, yes to egypt. we are here to say yes to egypt. the president's opponent is one of his own supporters. credible candidates were jailed. others including muhammad anwar el—sadat, nephew of the late president, decided not to take the risk of standing. the idea is that we would like to give a message to the people that know one lasts forever. would you use the word democracy to describe in anyway what's going on in egypt at the moment? well, honestly we are not enjoying the democracy we all hoped to see after 2011. modern egypt has a lot of problems. tourism is still down, corruption is endemic.
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and the millions who support the muslim brotherhood are seen as the regime as the enemy within. this is kerdasa, a cairo district regarded by the police as hostile territory. it's a stronghold of the brotherhood, banned since the coup ousted it in 2013. no sisi posters are on these streets. at the bakery, i didn't ask them to talk about politics. they wouldn't have answered and i didn't want to get them in trouble. instead, walid told me how he learned the egyptian way to deliver bread when he was a boy, but by now, he'd been hoping for something better. translation: sisi is good, he's doing a big national project. i have a degree, so why am i doing thisjob? help out young people and those who have degrees. egyptians have been promised better lives by the president but dreams of freedom don't die easily. my one's expecting another
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revolution, president sisi's supporters say that he's rebuilding the country. but the preconditions that led to the uprising of 2011 are still here, including very significant unemployment among the young. if he can't get them jobs, if the president can't deal with people's grievances, then he'll face more discontent and that could spill out onto the streets. cairo is a city that doesn't sleep. but many here have been forced into silence by the pressure and fear of the police state. president sisi says the measures he is taking are the only way to stabilise and rebuild egypt. all he asks in return is almost total control. if he can deliver prosperity, sisi mightjust do it. if not, the enemies he's making will wait for his first slip. jeremy bowen, bbc news, cairo.
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stay with us on bbc news, still to come: a new play here in london traces the rise and fall of burkina faso's revolutionary president. the accident that happened here was of the sort that can, at worse, produce a meltdown. in this case, the precautions worked but they didn't work quite well enough to prevent some old fears about the safety features of these stations from resurfacing. the republic of ireland has become the first country in the world to ban smoking in the workplace.
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from today, anyone lighting up in offices, businesses, clubs or restaurants will face a heavy fine. the president was on his way out of the washington hilton hotel where he had been addressing a trade union conference. the small crowd outside included his assailant. it has become a symbol of paris. a hundred years ago, many parisians wished it had never been built. the eiffel tower's birthday is being marked by a re—enactment of the first ascent by gustave eiffel. this is bbc news. the latest headlines: police investigating the uk nerve agent attack say the victims first came into contact with the poison at their home, possibly on the handle of theirfront door. south korean officials are meeting their north korean counterparts to discuss denuclearisation ahead of next month's historic summit. let's return to the korea story.
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gary samore is in massachusetts right now — he is director of research for the belfer center for science and international affairs. gary you served president 0bama for four years as co—ordinator for arms control and you attended two nuclear security summits. there are, essentially, as you know, very significant things happening. why do you think they are happening right now, how do you expect it all to turn out? i can't predict how it will turn out, but i think kim jong—un has clearly decided to pursue a charm offensive to try to negotiate something with the united states, as well is south korea. and as part of preparation for that, he has now had a meeting with chinese president xijinping, to patch up relations with china and to prepare for the summits with mendez in and later on the president trump will stop and yet he and his family has
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spent decades building up this nuclear arsenal. surely they will not give that up easily. he and china want the us completely off the korean peninsular. i am sure washington and never going to agree to that. i think kim jong-un will agree to the principle of achieving nuclear disarmament in the long—term. the question will be the terms and the conditions. in the meeting with president trump, i think they can announce agreement on the overall objective. and then the ha rd the overall objective. and then the hard work of actually negotiating the details will have to be left to details and technical experts, that is likely to be a very long—term process , is likely to be a very long—term process, step—by—step, as kim jong—un issued today, it will have to be reciprocal, steps by north korea and steps baby united states and south korea as well. this word, denuclearisation, all kinds of interpretations. the north koreans
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have always said they are willing to give up their nuclear weapons, if they no longer need them. and the question, of course, is what would be required to convince them that they no longer need nuclear weapons. packets into details of sanctions relief, economic systems, security assurances, the us position on the korean peninsula, including its security relationship with south korea —— that get into. a meeting between kim jong—un and president trump is just the first step. much harder work will be necessary to actually achieve any reduction and eventually elimination of north korea's nuclear weapons. if there isn't any movement, what do you think of the alternatives? more sanctions, presumably an american the strike is on the cards.|j sanctions, presumably an american the strike is on the cards. i think there is room for additional sanctions. china has been remarkably supportive of sanctions against
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north korea since 2016. so kim jong—un is obviously interested in preventing that. and trying to persuade xijinping that preventing that. and trying to persuade xi jinping that he is willing to work with the united states on a diplomatic approach. the military options are all very bad, mainly because they run the risk of triggering a much larger conflict on the korean peninsula, and neither the korean peninsula, and neither the south koreans nor the japanese are prepared to support that. briefly, what you make of reports in a japanese paper, briefly, what you make of reports in ajapanese paper, entirely unconfirmed, as i understand it, that japan and russia also seeking summits with kim jong—un?|j that japan and russia also seeking summits with kim jong-un? i think the japanese prime minister abe has already indicated he is willing to have a settlement with kim jong—un to discuss japanese particular interests, which are abductees. and president to get involved in this cycle of summits as well ——
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president putin. i am sure he would like to meet kim jong—un. president putin. i am sure he would like to meet kim jong-un. thank you very much. just over 30 years ago, thomas sankara, burkina faso's young and revolutionary president, was assassinated, four years after he came to power. a new play here in london, looks at the life and legacy of a man once hailed as a visionary leader. the rise and fall of an african hero has just opened. clarisse fortune went along. more than 30 years after his death, thomas sankara's legend lives on and continues to be a source of inspiration for some — even beyond the continent. ..supposed to retaliate. stop the response! the play deals different episodes of his presidency and shows the power of his personality, including when he was dealing with a regional conflict in 1985. they are trying to pressure you. for actor ike chuks, playing the lead role was a challenge. i read about everything that he did. how he was trying to free
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his country from debt, how he was trying to free them from the slavery mentality of the imperialism and the colonialism that they had faced. in every aspect i am trying to bring out who he was, his charisma, and how he spoke and everything that he did. finally, this is the man worth seeing. ricky dujany is both the playwright and director. he was in power for just three years. and he had a sense of rush. because he knew was he was doing was pretty dangerous for his life and for the destiny of burkina faso. so he tried to change the status quo in his country. thomas sankara was president from 1983 to 1987. he had one goal — to put africa first and in the hands of africans, starting his own country. he also prioritised education,
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public health, and the role of women changed under his leadership. for all of thomas sankara's achievements, not everyone was in awe. his policies alienated some people, including the powerful middle class and a former leader of colonial france. but his demise came from much closer, when on october 15, 1987, he was assassinated. minister, i insist... sankara's family believe his comrade, blaise compaore, who went on to become president, was behind his killing. but compaore denies the accusations. so far no—one has been successfully prosecuted for his murder. but sankara's legacy lives on. as he said, while revolutionaries as individuals can be murdered, you cannot kill ideas. clarisse fortune, bbc news. here in the uk, a viola player who suffered irreversible hearing
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loss while rehearsing wagner has won a high court judgement against the royal opera house in london. chris goldscheider was in front of the brass section during a practice session in 2012, and experienced a level of noise roughly equivalent to a jet engine. and before we go, take a look at this. it's a team of nasa scientists doing checks on the parker solar probe — which is due to launch injuly to investigate the sun. it will start orbiting our star in 2023, and will be exposed to temperatures over 2,500 fahrenheit — more than 1000 degrees celsius. it should help us understand more about the solar storms which affect communications back here on earth. if all goes to plan, it will go round the sun 2a times — reporting back each time with the call sign, "i am parker solar probe and i am doing great". i hope our communications are up to it. thank you for watching. hello again, good morning.
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the easter weekend will not be a washout but quite mixed weather on the way as we saw yesterday the rain in england and wales eventually clearing the way to give a little more sunshine. over the easter weekend we will see some spells of sunshine around. however, there will also be some spells of rain that could be heavy at times and cold enough for snow over the northern hills. temperatures are disappointing for this time of year. weather starting to come in from the south—west where the pressure is lower in this area will remain dry. an all—weather front is sitting to the north—east of scotland between a frosty start and clear skies it will be a bright and sunny start, but this weather is pushing up and moving north and east across england and wales. a few showers breaking ahead of that but sunshine as well. still cool and damp in the north—east of scotland. some snow over the high ground. heavy rain further south will work its way northwards during the evening and overnight. then it sort of stops, really,
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around the borders of northern england into northern ireland. the rain tending to peter out. not as cold on friday morning but there is more rain arriving perhaps into the far south—west right at the end of the night. it may move to the north more slowly but we are looking at some wet weather again to drive up across inward and wales. bright skies further north and once the earlier rain or drizzle and hills now tends to peter out, that lets the sunshine in because the wind is coming in from the east. never a good direction as you saw, 7—9 degrees, nothing good at all. weather front will move northwards and peter out. this low pressure area moves away. on saturday it should be a drier day for wales, the midlands and southern england. there will still be rain and drizzle and hill snow in scotland. mainly for eastern areas. should tend to peter out more through the day but there will be a lot of cloud around and again, temperatures struggling in northern scotland and southern parts of england. not regular sunshine as we head into easter sunday.
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we are between the weather systems so this is probably the quietest day of the next few and there will not be much rain around. it will still probably be a lot of cloud, mind you. north—west scotland see some sunshine, perhaps across southern counties but generally dry and cloudy and generally disappointing temperatures again so we can't even make double figures through the central belt of scotland. as we head into monday where we have some strengthening wind, rain coming in from the south—west followed by showers on tuesday. this is bbc news, the headlines: british police are saying the russian double agent, sergei skripal, probably came into contact with the nerve agent that poisoned him and his daughter at his home. forensic analysts have found the highest concentration of novichok on his front door. both victims are still in critical condition. north and south korean officials are meeting to discuss
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denuclearisation ahead of next month's historic summit. one of china's top diplomats has been sent to seoul to brief the south korean government on kim jong—un‘s surprise trip to beijing earlier this week. the first funerals have been held in russia for some of the 64 people who died in sunday's fire at a shopping centre in kemerovo. most were children. relatives say dozens of other people are still missing. moscow has declared a national day of mourning. now on bbc news, click.
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