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tv   Dateline London  BBC News  April 15, 2018 11:30am-12:01pm BST

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body to really wanted to force his body to finish. but at that point, his mind can't have been thinking rationally, because he clearly wasn't able to run well. the worry was that he was going to hurt himself really badly. asi going to hurt himself really badly. as i say, thankfully, he has not. he is ok, he is recovering and he will bounce back from this. but, at that point, every runner is going to finish. i think, point, every runner is going to finish. ithink, medically, people needed to intervene to say it's not in your best interests health—wise to try and push on any further. paula radcliffe, speaking to me earlier. let's catch up with the weather. today for many of us, we will be disappointed by the cloud and some rain. scotland and north—east england seeing the best of the sunday morning sunshine. cloud will increase for many of us here. but northern scotland will continue in the dry and sunny weather and fairly warm after a chilly start. but elsewhere, rain spreading north.
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brightening up later in wales and south west england. temperatures for many are several degrees down compared to yesterday, with the exception of highland scotland. some showers here over night and some showers here over night and some showers dotted about elsewhere. blustery in northern ireland. windy through the night too. breezy elsewhere and temperatures hold up. breezy somme with some showers in northern ireland and scotland. most places fine and dry. but wetter weather coming back into northern ireland, scotland and western england monday night into tuesday. this is bbc news — our latest headlines: " locked and loaded". america tells syria it's ready to strike again after yesterday's attacks on suspected chemical weapons facilities. labour leader, jeremy corbyn, has called for a vote in parliament tomorrow,
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following yesterday's air strikes. it looked awfully to me as though the prime minister was more interested in follow donald trump's lead than anything else. this is policy made up by twitter. sir martin sorrell, the founder and head of the world's largest advertising group, wpp, has resigned — less than a fortnight after the company announced it was investigating an allegation of personal misconduct. now on bbc news jane hill presents dateline london. hello and welcome to dateline london, i'mjane hill. our programme today,
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of course, dominated by the missile strike on syria carried out by the us, the uk and france, following the apparent use of chemical weapons on the people of douma a week ago. what happens next and will this have any impact on the long running civil war in syria? my guests around the table this week, henry tu, the american writer, the european editor of variety. the arab affairs writer, abdul bari atwan. the russian commentator and former kremlin advisor alexander nekrassov. and bronwyn maddocks from the institute for government and of course formerly with the the times and the economist. a very warm welcome to all of you. so, as we go to air, the us the uk and france have hit multiple government sites in syria in response to the apparent use of chemical weapons on the residents of douma near damascus. the us defence secretary james mattis called the action a one—time shot. the administration stressing that this is not about regime change. the british prime minister, theresa may,
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said the action sends a clear signal to anyone else who believes they can use chemical weapons with impunity. syria described the attacks as illegal and doomed to fail and its ally russia called them an act of aggression. so in terms of where we are, this saturday morning, fire and forget is what one person has said. is that what it will turn out to be? well is it is certainly being portrayed as a one—off strike by the pentagon chiefs in the us. you havejim mattis saying this is very pinpoint targeted at chemical weapons facilities and capabilities and that it was in a proportionate response to what we saw. we know thatjim mattis was one of the voices within this administration trying to bring back trump from a more bellicose edge. his tweets earlier of course were extremely aggressive and then jim mattis was trying to counsel him to have a bit more of a measured response.
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i think this is as a result of that. but a one off strike is a one off strike until the next time and certainly trump has made this a more open—owneded possibility that there would be further strikes if there were more chemical weapons attacks. if the accounts are to be believed that there have been multiple ones, there will probably be another one and then we will have to see again whether there is going to be yet another as we call it one—off strike. all of this, the us in concert with london and with paris. yes, they're very much led by the us, but the french president macron has been very energetic about saying, look, we we want tojoin on this and theresa may, after some calculation and deliberation, did indeed join in. i think the british part sounds as if it is small. we are hearing of four missiles out of 100 and that being it. but a symbolic and an important gesture of support. we will talk a about the fact that the british parliament is not sitting, which throws up some interesting domestic aspects as well. bari, your thoughts as well?
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actually i believe it is a symbolic one. it didn't achieve a lot, very little. president assad emerged very strong. he even, his base of support is much stronger now. 100 missiles were actually fired at syria. of course syrian targets. 70 of them were shot down by the syrian missiles, by the russian missiles there. iran is there. so, i don't know what it achieved. they promised us that they will actually punish the russians, they will punish the iranians, they will topple assad. but i believe it is completely backfired. i believe assad is imagining a very strong position now. you say you don't know what it's achieved, in terms of these specific strikes, friday into saturday, theresa may and others have been clear it is about sending a signal that the use of chemical weapons
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is abhorrent, wouldn't the three nations involved say success is if there is not another chemical weapons use? i believe there are opposing voices in the american administrations, many people believe this kind of strike's illegal. it wasn't under the umbrella of the united nations and until now we don't know whether chemical weapons were used and if it was used, you know, do we have proofs? jim mattis, the defence secretary of the united states, said two days ago, we don't have a clear cut evidence that you know these weapons were used. he said, we have indication on the social media and also some media that these chemical weapons were used and by assad. he is saying, social media?
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america, the strongest power on earth, which has about 18 intelligence service organisations, relying on the social media. it is not. what they said, it is on the record. he didn't say that. people saw it on social media, me included. it is on the record. it is on the record — check your facts. if you're talking about what is a success in this and you're implying success would be regime change and assad. no one has said it's about that. first of all, i think that the inspectors from the international chemical watchdog was supposed to start looking for evidence today. the opcw staff are there. so i hear the echos of iraq and libya and so on. they don't wait for evidence. they attack. so, for many people, this is a sort of we are guilty verdict for them, because they did not
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wait for the evidence, which is very important when you... it is not that there isn't any evidence. they have taken rescue workers on the site. for the inspectors to get there and do it. they could have done it on monday. if they came back and said, yeah, we found evidence. the russians and the others are saying there is no chemical weapons. it has not been used. the rescue workers on the site say, yes, it is. the white helmets — who can't be trusted. there is a dispute about the white helmets. why don't we wait and trust the experts on the field. you know, there are inspectors. that is one issue, but the biggest issue, total disrespect to the un. total. i think that undermines the un again. once again. that the un has no ability not only to prevent conflicts, but no ability in the last minute to do something to stop them
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and negotiate something. they get together again, we will have the security council meeting. again, there will be posturing, how dare you and how dare you? who cares? i think you're right, the un is proving not to be effective. whether this attack is one more evidence of that that could very well be, but the obstruction has come from both sides. it has not only been the us and its allies. but the system doesn't work, henry. the security council, there are members, permanent members with a veto, then the system is broken. so you can't get an agreement from the security council, but you can get a display of views and you know the bid that the us and the uk and france put forward to get an approved investigation in there and that those inspectors would make the decision about whether or not the chemical weapons were used, that was vetoed by russia. for a reason. excuse me...
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that was a biased resolution. russia had no support for its rival one. there was a resolution and the americans vetoed that one. there was almost no support for it. no. we will come back to the broader thoughts and what it might achieve later. i want to touch domestically as well, because so much focus on syria, but bronwyn and many viewers will know relations between london and moscow specifically have been particularly difficult for the last six weeks or so, since the salisbury poisoning and it was striking listening to theresa may's news conference on saturday, where she was asked how much is about the use of chemical weapons in syria and how much of this is about sending a message to russia because of salisbury. your thoughts about the british domestic situation as well. well, she putjust one phrase of her formal statement about salisbury.
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she didn't even mention salisbury, she said we don't want to make it acceptable for chemical weapons to be used anywhere, including on the streets of britain. and then that was picked up in questions and so on. and i think that is what the british government means, that it feels it has taken this action, because it wants to reassert the red lines about the unacceptable use of these weapons. yes, relations have been very bad. i think you put it with some understatement, in the past six weeks. they're not about to get much warmer. but she had got already a response to that from co—ordinated sanctions from many countries against certain individuals in russia. it is notjust because of that. all of this happening at a time when the british parliament is in recess, it is due back on monday afternoon. to what extent does that play into the timing of this? is it going to be a difficult monday for the prime minister?
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yes, for the best of reasons, that parliament should take any prime minister to task on taking this action. i think she is entitled legally, there is no doubt about that, to go ahead and launch military action without parliament's backing. it is more there is a convention. a recent convention. there is an interesting question about whether or not the leader of the government wants to set that aside. i think she can make a case for this. saying, look, there are times when speed is necessary and when i simply think that this can be done and many people think she would have won a vote in parliament. i would give her a pass on that one of going ahead without parliament. but she is rightly going to have to defend the action in front of parliament and to the british public. where polls said only 22% really supported this. but this a declaration of war. the parliament should have a say about it. she should recall the parliament and discuss this matter. we remember even tony blair, he went to the parliament with his famous dossier,
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talking about the war and you know giving the reason for looking for support of the people and the parliament. now there theresa may is taking an act of war without going back to the parliament. there are some senior politicians, particularly in labour, who have been broadly making that point and in terms of salisbury poisoning, alexander, how on earth do relations improve between london and moscow? first of all, i find it remarkable that there is an attempt to link syria and salisbury. this is absolutely remarkable. there is no connection. and there is no proof by the way about the use of... the point is about the use of chemical weapons anywhere in the world. i understand. it is completely two different subjects and they have no connection at all. in salisbury by the wayjust like in syria, there is no proof at the moment.
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all these accusations, russia, nobody has proven anything. the opcw produced a report on friday that talked about the security of the material used very clearly. these reports are in america. the americans by the way have the biggest arsenal of chemical weapons. so this is nothing to do with these things together. as regards relations which you asked between britain and russia, i don't think they will improve. i actually expect the british side to continue this pressure. i look at the hysteria in the media and i'm quite surprised to see what the british media is doing, because it is so well organised anti—russian campaign. you can't really say to me that in the free press environment every paper writes exactly the same thing in exactly the same words. this is, i'm sorry, but this is government propaganda. two people nearly died, are seriously ill and the opcw was very clear about the security of the material. the media campaign started
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immediately when there was no proof. nobody even knew who this man was or what happened. this was immediate. that is where i would have expected the british prime minister would say, we have to investigate. we have to find the proof or some evidence and that nobody waited for it. no one. it started an all out attack on russia with no evidence at all. and by the way this report you're mentioning, russia is not mentioned there. and novichok doesn't even exist. it has somewhere you know 20, 30 years ago type of novichok means absolutely nothing. let me ask a question. if this spy, for example, was shot by a gun, are we going to see the same reaction? it was determined it was actually state action from another nation, absolutely. obviously there would be... 150 diplomats would be kicked out? if it was determined
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by another state acting. in terms of diplomatic relations, we have touched on london and moscow and henry your thoughts about the trump administration. i can't say that those relations are any good, but we have the extra je ne sais quoi of donald trump being under investigation, or members of his administration being under investigation for improper contact with the russians, with the idea that the russian state ordered interference in our election. so that is providing this undercurrent to what is happening now that actually makes this situation even more unpredictable. you have donald trump, who on the one hand can seem very friendly to the russians and on the the other hand is being dogged by this investigation as can lash out. so added to his already volatile personality we have a very explosive situation. what i'm worried about, the russian ambassador the united states said
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that this attack will be an insult, personal insult to vladimir putin. so how they are going to convert this to a reaction. until now we have not heard of russian reaction. what they will say. a lot of people in the middle east are saying, why the russian did not defend their ally? the syrian president. why they did not react. they have a sophisticated antimissiles equipments. they have this 400 missiles which can intercept, which can shoot down the war planes and even the missiles. why they didn't use even the missiles. why they didn't use it. because they don't want war possibly. we have to see... the terrorism and the theresa may and macron. ... they terrorism and the theresa may and macron. they want to send a signal about not using chemical weapons. bases were not attacked. no
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russian installation was attacked, but the russian missile were used by the syrians. who cares by what it was done. you want russia to be drawn into a war with america. i'm quoting the americans, sorry, i'm quoting the americans, sorry, i'm quoting the americans, sorry, i'm quoting the russians. vladimir putin has already responded. we want to move on to syria and its future. i appreciate there will be disagreements about a lot of things, but everybody involved says this is not about regime change, but the use of chemical weapons, so we all sit here ina of chemical weapons, so we all sit here in a situation where syria has had seven years of civil war, so many people killed, how do we get to brass tacks and pick that country up and how does that war ever end? how do we reach any kind of diplomatic solution? just stop military
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intervention. leave people alone. seven years of military intervention. president trump, he said it. he said, we spent $70 billion on the war in syria. $70 billion. why did he spend that amount? what is the outcome in he said, we spent seven trillion dollars in the middle east and we got death and destruction. who destroyed the middle east? what is the solution? nobody is giving a solution. the solution is now, 0k, let us, there is... geneva talks. let us sit there and the superpower should agree to stop backing this side or the other side and try to reach some sort of a solution. peaceful solution. not military solution and to say to the saudi allies and the others stop pouring
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money and supporting these organisations. i'm glad you mentioned geneva, is there a prospect that something could come out of that? people have talked for yea rs out of that? people have talked for years about reaching a solution for syria and people are still talking. well, in the end it will be, i... i hear what bari says about trying to get other countries using this as a pi’oxy get other countries using this as a proxy to pull out and you're right to mention saudi arabia and iran. this is one where i think the us and britain and france really have at this point very little part to play. because russia has been shaping this for the past four or five years, so has iran. they're key players in the talks and what is happening. i don't see any call to ask russia to get out, getting anywhere. with this... you know we have to hope they have some talks. henry. after the air
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strikes, the calculus has not changed and the regime of bashar al—assad has the upper hand. that is what is happening. those are the events overtaking us on the ground. since the fall of east aleppo, it has been bashar al—assad's game to play. he has been winning with the backing of russia and iran. that is maybe how it spins out is not through diplomacy but war. everybody says assad is winning, why not just start negotiations on the premises is these winning? why try to interfere when he was winning then suddenly we have the strikes and it starts the whole mess again. what can russia do. where is russia's responsibility and influence to try to restart geneva? russia is talking
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to restart geneva? russia is talking to all the key regional players. if all the key regional players do not stop meddling in syria, nothing will happen. it will continue on and on, trump will say, we are pulling out and then some... somebody rebels are saying we are attacked by the chemical weapons and it is all over again. so it has to be an understanding in between the regional players that something has to be done. then the big ones, you know like america and others, they come this as well. because they have to be there. and i think that israel has a lot to play. hugely important nation it has channels of communications to everyone. even saudis, they talk to them. they're important in this game. and i think the russians have a very good understanding with them. that is a possibility. but if we have this provocations continuing, and strikes coming from all over the place,
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nothing will happen. it will be a never—ending war. nothing will happen. it will be a never-ending war. the strikes are as a result of chemical weapons, we get into a circular argument. let me put it that way. we tried seven years to topple assad by military means. by war of proxies. defeat. completely failed. president trump said clearly, assad is there to stay. the saudis say assad is there to stay, the russians are there to stay. lets find other option and deal with this. there is a recognition north korea is a nuclear power, we have to talk to them. lie why don't we talk to assad. why we try to look for a peaceful solutions to the problems. military solutions did not work. other thing is chemical weapons, they told us that they manage to
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destroy assad... arsenal of chemical weapons, but what happens if these chemical weapons leaked, how many people are going to be killed by this? are we trying to solve a problem with a bigger problem for example ? problem with a bigger problem for example? . as said assad said they we re example? . as said assad said they were destroyed. the chemical weaponses we re were destroyed. the chemical weaponses were destroyed. why don't weaponses were destroyed. why don't we take the russian word seriously? because it isn't what appears to be happening on the ground. we have you know many, many reports of those who we re know many, many reports of those who were trying and including photograph ands blood samples of those rescuing people say people seem to have died from chlorine and a nerve agent. there is no proof. the footage of
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those victims in douma, i have spoke on the chemical expert, they say it is an obvious fake. all the rules with engagement with chemical weapons is broken. there is no reason to fake it. there is a big reason to fake it. there is a big reason to fake it. there is a big reason to fake it. excuse me, there isa reason to fake it. excuse me, there is a reason to fake it. when trump said we are pulling out. we have discussed that. bari you talked of talking to assad, ok who, brokers that, how does that happen and come about that it has not happened in seven years? the united nation can do that. you have to destroy your chemical weapons, and we have to talk. we never talk to him. for the la st talk. we never talk to him. for the last seven years, wars, wars, wars, bombing, chemical weapons, this last seven years, wars, wars, wars, bombing, chemicalweapons, this kind of thing that didn't work. so why
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don't we, you talk to people. why president trump would like to talk to the leader of north korea. why? you know, this is the problem. he doesn't do the same with assad. we... let us if he got guaranteed that he will stay in power, he wouldn't be executed or actually... deposed from power, if we do, maybe he will listen. we tried the war. we tried the military intervention, it didn't work. let us try the other style. but other point i would like to make. briefly, we have to accept the situation there in the middle east and find peace for the middle east and find peace for the middle east and find peace for the middle east and we have to remember you know we... the western power intervened in libya, look what happened. intervened in iraq. look what is happening in iraq. intervening in syria. look is what happening in syria. so it is time, it is time to use different style, different ways and try to respect the people of that part of the
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world. we have had enough wars. we have enough destructions. between now and then the military... there is no system of security internationally. the un doesn't work. we must leave it there. much more passionate debate the same time next week. never enough time. thank you all of you. thank you for being with us and more debate at the same time next week. goodbye. much warmer weather on the the way this week. from wednesday onwards. we are taking a step back in temperatures from yesterday. today there is more cloud and rain pushing
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north. it is a windier day, particularly in the west. gusty in northern ireland. northern scotland will stay fine and dry and sunny and see the warmest weather at 18 degrees. most of us in the mid to low teens. some showers in southern parts to end the day. some showers tracking north. a few reaching into northern scotland. clear spells too. around six to nine degrees. a breezy day tomorrow and away from early showers in scotland and northern ireland, england and wales will start with a good deal of sunshine and some cloud. and some sunny spells for scotland. breezy and temperatures a bit higher to today, but pit is in the week ahead. from wednesday on wards with widespread sash and the warmest weather of the spring so far is on its way. this is bbc news.
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the headlines at midday... " locked and loaded". america tells syria it's ready to strike again after yesterday's attacks on suspected chemical weapons facilities. labour leaderjeremy corbyn has called for a vote in parliament tomorrow, following yesterday's air strikes it looked awfully to me as though the prime minister was more interested in following donald trump's lead than anything else. this is policy made up by twitter. the chief executive of the world's largest advertising agency, martin sorrell, is stepping down five people have been treated by paramedics after a car collided with a group of pedestrians in essex. also coming up, jubilation at the commonwealth games england beat australia in the netball to secure the greatest result in their history and win their first commonwealth gold medal.


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