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tv   BBC News  BBC News  September 3, 2018 4:00am-4:31am BST

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welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is nkem ifejika. our top stories: brazil's national museum goes up in flames. the country's president calls the loss incalculable. deadly journeys. the un says more migrants are dying in the mediterranean, and calls on european leaders to act. hundreds of thousands of documents witheld. is the white house hiding details of president trump's pick for the supreme court? and a verdict is expected in the case of two myanmar journalists on trial after investigating killings by the security forces. firefighters are trying to control a huge blaze which is tearing through the national museum of brazil in rio dejaniero. the fire is believed to have started after the museum closed for the day. the 200—year—old collection contains millions of exhibits and is housed in a former imperial palace.
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its natural history collection includes important dinosaur bones and a 12,000—year—old human skeleton of a woman, the oldest ever found in the americas. our south america correspondent katy watson says the scale of the damage to the building is already clear. you look at the images and the entire building is up in flames. and mr — president michel temer has already said this is a tragic day for all brazilians, and an impossible loss for the archives of the museum. and, as you said, this is a 200—year—old museum. it houses around 20 million different items in its collection, so this is a devastating loss for the museum community, and for brazil as a whole.
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we're just listening there to the sounds of sirens, firefighters presumably trying to bring the fire under control. that's right, they've been working on it for several hours now. the fire is believed to have broken out after visiting hours on sunday. and i'm — it's understood that there are experts on the scene working with firefighters to see what they can save. but, just looking at the images and just the extent of the fire, it does look like there's very little of the museum, as the fire is still very much under way. you know, it's farfrom over. it's a dramatic loss for brazil. i was going to ask you, because this is just not for brazil, it is important for south america as well, isn't it? that's right, one of the biggest natural history collections in the americas and it's not just items from brazil, it is items from very many different countries, including
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a 12,000—year—old skull believed to be one of the oldest from the americas. you know, people on social media just putting up loads of pictures of all of the items that they think have been lost in this fire. and certainly, you know, it's still, as i say, very much under way, trying to understand exactly what this loss means. but, just by looking at the images coming out this evening, it doesn't look like much will be saved. indeed, people commenting, as you said, on social media. and i think the director of the museum has spoken as well, hasn't he? that's right. one of the biggest concerns — and we haven't got down to the detail of how this fire started, but there is a lot of concern that funding was a problem for this museum, and people are talking about the fact that this is just a sign of the times, of the importance of, you know, cultural buildings in brazil. rio of course has had budget problems, and that's one of the big
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concerns, that it was a rundown museum, and perhaps needed more investment than it did have. and, of course, in the coming few days we'll get to the bottom exactly what happened. but certainly that's a lot of talk among experts, that more funding needed to be put into this museum. the number of people dying while trying to cross the mediterranean sea to reach europe has risen sharply. that is according to the united nations refugee agency. over 1,600 people are known to have died so far this year alone. the agency is urging european governments to place more emphasis on saving lives than on reducing the numbers of migrants. bill hayton reports. it is three years since the little syrian boy alan kurdi drowned while trying to cross from turkey to greece. his death triggered a wave of sympathy in europe for the refugees, but that has largely disappeared. instead, anti—immigrant governments have pledged to block the old migration routes.
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and, while the number of people trying to cross has fallen, the number of them dying has risen. the un's refugee agency says it has reached 1,600 this year so far, and it is calling for action. we are calling for the european authorities in particular to come up with a co—ordinated strategy whereby boats can be systematically disembarked in different parts of europe, and where asylum—claiming conditions and reception centres are in place, ready to receive those people who arrive. but that is easier said than done. only two months ago, european union leaders managed to stitch together a deal, but then disagreed on how to implement it. several governments weren't willing to host asylum centres on their territory. the unhcr says they should focus less on managing the numbers and more on providing safe, legal alternatives to the deadly voyage across the mediterranean. that is not a message many are willing to hear. bill hayton, bbc news.
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eric schwartz is the president of refugees international. hejoins me now from washington. thanks so much forjoining us. could you expand a bit on the factors leading to this spike in deaths? well, i think it relates to the general risks that people face when they are crossing the mediterranean, compounded by policies of deterrence. it is true that the numbers of people crossing has been reduced over the past year, but the percentage of people who have lost their lives has increased dramatically. look, we are dealing with two policy imperatives here. migration management and protection. and the challenge here is that european governments have weighed to fire in the direction of deterrence,
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without regard to the implications. and this is always going to be a very tricky, complex and challenging issue, but you don't want to com pletely issue, but you don't want to completely disregard the protection imperatives, and there are many things the european governments could do. such as? such as don't restrict non—governmental organisations in the mediterranean who are trying to perform rescue at sea. do more in europe, among european governments, by way of rescue at sea. do far more in libya to make conditions for returnees liveable. within europe by greater opportunities for asylum seekers. don't miss trip. develop much greater regional capacity to handle these large—scale arrivals. all of this is feasible and possible. it is not going to prevent deaths at sea, but it will mitigate deaths at sea.
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it will diminish deaths at sea. it is not going to solve all the problems. this is going to be a messy, difficult issue, but there is far more that europe can do. a lot of what you are saying sounds as if it is political will that is needed, basically? absolutely. it is political will, because so much of this has to do with resources that you are prepared to devote to the issue. and look, i realise, you know, speaking to you from washington, dc, the united states is not doing so well on these issues right now, and it is... you know, governments around the world have become increasingly restrictive. but it doesn't have to be that way. as a matter of policy, these measures can be taken without sacrificing the imperative of migration management. and this is a test of leadership.
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this is a true test of leadership in europe, and certainly in the united states. democrats in the united states have criticised the white house for not releasing hundreds of thousands of documents concerning brett kavanaugh, president trump's nominee to the us supreme court. senate hearings on his nomination are due to begin on tuesday. 0ne democrat senator said it was unprecedented to conceal so much of a public servant's record. here is our washington correspondent chris buckler. long before brett kavanaugh was donald trump's pick to be the next supreme courtjustice, he worked inside the white house for president george w bush. and it's mr bush's lawyers that have been going through these documents, and they say that they want 27,000 of them restricted, effectively not given to the senate committee, because they believe there are constitutional reasons and constitutional privilege for not doing so. beyond that, as well, there's about 100,000 documents
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that the white house says should not be released on the basis of other reasons. now, that has angered democrats in particular. they say it is unprecedented that so much should be concealed about a public servant's time in public service, and they are pushing for more to be revealed. republicans, on the other hand, say that actually they've got access to 415,000 pages of documents, and that should give them a real sense of brett kavanaugh the man. there are also political issues at work here though, too, because democrats are concerned that a conservative like brett kavanaugh could really push the supreme court further to the right, and that's worrying them on the basis of a number of things. first of all, there's the suggestion that he's indicated in the past that perhaps a sitting president could not be indicted. also, beyond that, they've got concerns aboutjust what it could mean for roe vs wade, which is the famous case in us that gave all women the right to an abortion.
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there's some indications from republicans that they'd like to challenge that, and that brett kavanaugh may well be someone who could regard that as being something that could be challenged in the future, although he has given a view up to this point that it is, as far as he's concerned, settled law. ultimately these hearings will take place this week, but a vote will come later inside the senate. he needs a majority there, and given the republicans do have a slim majority, i suspect there is a good chance that mr kavanaugh will become the next supreme courtjustice. let's get some of the day's other news: china has evacuated more than 125,000 people in the southern province of guangdong due to heavy rains. the rains and flooding have affected more than 1.2 million residents, and have left two people dead and two missing. firefighters in the northern english city of liverpool are tackling a huge blaze at a well—known landmark, the former littlewoods pools building. six fire crews are trying to tackle the blaze. the office complex was built in 1938 and is considered an important example of the art deco style. there are no reports of any injuries.
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the building had recently been sold with a plan to redevelop the site to become a majorfilm and television studio hub. hundreds of detainees are reported to have escaped from a prison in libyan capital, tripoli. it happened just hours after the country's government declared a state of emergency following days of unrest. caroline rigby has more. the results of days of fierce fighting in tripoli. in the last week alone, dozens of people are reported to have been killed, at least 100 injured, in clashes between rival militia. attempts at a truce have failed to stop the unrest, leading to the country's un—backed government to announce a state of emergency in the capital. adding to the woes of security forces, on sunday evening, police reported 400 detainees had escaped following a riot at the ain zara prison to the south of the city. in a statement, they said:
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many of the cells at the facility are reserved for people convicted of so—called political crimes. supporters of the former dictator colonel gaddafi found guilty of killings during the uprising against his government in 2011. it is not yet clear whether the incident at the prison was related to the fighting close by, but authorities believe the violence on the streets, at least, is an attempt to derail what they described as a peaceful political transition in the country. caroline rigby, bbc news. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: fast and furious. the third world nomad games get underway with a spectacular ceremony in kyrgyzstan. she received the nobel peace prize for her work with the poor and the dying in india's slums. the head of the catholic church said mother teresa was a wonderful
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example of how to help people in need. we have to identify the bodies then arrange the coffins and take them back home. parents are waiting and wives are waiting, so... hostages appeared, some carried, some running, trying to escape the nightmare behind them. britain lost a princess today, described by all to whom she reached out as irreplaceable. an early—morning car crash in a paris underpass ended a life with more than its share of pain and courage, warmth and compassion. this is bbc world news, the latest headlines:
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a huge fire has broken out at the national museum of brazil in rio dejaneiro, one of the largest and most historic institution in the country. the un refugee agency has said that migrants trying to cross the mediterranean sea to reach europe face ever more deadly journeys, with one in 18 people now drowning. two journalists are expected to hear shortly whether they've been convicted of breaching myanmar‘s official secrets law. the pair, kyaw soe 0o and wa lone, arrived in court in the last few minutes. there they are there. they'd been investigating reports of a massacre of ten rohingya men. if convicted, they face up to 1a years injail. nick beake has more from yangon. at the heart of this case are two young journalists who say their only crime was doing theirjob, and plenty in the international community believe it's free journalism that's really in the dock here. for the past eight months,
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wa lone and kyaw soe 0o have been brought to court in handcuffs, accused of possessing these secret documents. they've always said that they were framed because they were investigating a massacre of rohingya men by the burmese military, crimes the army later admitted to, but still these reporters have remained in prison and, if they're convicted later today, they face up to 1a years in jail. the un says that the courts here in myanmar are not free and independent. they're overseen by a government department which is run by the military, so really the decision today will tell us a lot about the role of free journalism in aung san suu kyi's myanmar. and, of course, it comes just a week after those un investigators said that the top military officers here in myanmar should stand trial for genocide because of the treatment of the rohingya people last year. aung san suu kyi herself was accused of failing to speak up for the rohingya, and so allowing some of these crimes to take palce. so it's in the context of this
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chorus of international condemnation that the burmese courts and the burmese authorities will be able to send their own message later today. the islamist militant group al—shabab said it carried out a car bomb attack in somalia that killed at least three. the attack happened in the capital, mogadishu, when a car containing explosives was driven towards a local government building. three soldiers who stopped the vehicle from entering the compound died in the explosion, which also caused a nearby school to collapse. six children were among the 1a endured. will ross has this report. —— endured. this was a powerful explosion that reduced buildings to rubble. a car wired up with explosives was driven towards the howlwadag district administration offices as employees were working inside. officials say three soldiers stopped the vehicle from entering the compound prompting the driver to trigger the explosion on the street. the soldiers who died may well have saved many lives. but across the road,
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the mosque was badly damaged. homes were destroyed and several children at a nearby koranic school were caught up in the blast and rushed to hospital. translation: we were in the middle of our usual work when the explosion happened in front of our district office where our building was destroyed. endured. i hid myself under the table. there was a lot of gunfire at the gate. someone called me to check if we were safe, but when i came out i saw many people lying on the ground injured while others were dead. the islamist militant group al—shabab said it carried out the bombing. one of its most devastating attacks was last october, a truck bomb near the entrance to a hotel in mogadishu left more than 500 people dead. thejihadist group has been pushed out of somalia's urban areas but still carries out frequent bomb blasts, especially in the capital.
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it often targets local officials in its effort to overthrow the internationally—backed somali government. more than 20,000 african union peacekeepers are in somalia helping the government in the fight against al—shabab. by now, those troops are meant to be scaling back and moving towards handing over the security of the country to somalia's own army, but after delays the handover is at least three years away. the bomb attacks showed just how serious the jihadist threat still is in somalia. will ross, bbc news. japan has issued warnings for high waves, flooding and landslides as typhoon jebi approaches. areas already hit by record rainfall earlier this year could bear the brunt of the storm including the region of chugoku, where 220 people died. typhoonjebi is traveling northwards, packing winds of up to 252kph. 27,000 people in yamaguchi prefecture have been ordered to leave their homes due to heavy downpours. it's a country with one
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of the lowest birth rates in the world, and now the government of singapore is introducing a number of novel measures to try and encourage people to have children. our reporter katie silver explains what's on offer and why it matters. young singaporeans enjoying a night out. all the table tags, guys, when you all rotate, do me a favour... speed dating is all the rage, but here, it is being subsidised by the government as a way to get young people to meet. the government really wants to get guys and girls to get together to form families. coming here, i hope to, like, expand my social network, and coming to make friends, and hopefully i can meet someone who is suitable. these dating nights are just want of a number of solutions, including tax breaks, baby bonuses and preferential housing, that the government is using to combat the country's low birth rate. morning, doctor. morning. ivy and her husband kean
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are in their fourth cycle of ivf, and half the costs were subsidised by the state. ijust get emotional. ijust start crying for no reason. it's also financially difficult. if we don't have a subsidy, we wouldn't even think of going to the ivf. despite years of intervention, there is little progress in getting the country's birth rate up. it is partly down to women marrying later, but the increasing cost of living here, and cultural expectations that women will take care of ageing parents, are also putting them off. it's these sacrifices that mean women like boon siew, who received government—subsidised ivf, are still unlikely to have more than one child. i'm the sole caregiver of this baby. it's not easy for me, and i think one is... i'm really contented with one. in just 18 years, singapore will shrink from having six workers for each elderly person down to just two, and the consequences of this for the country's future are dire.
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fewer people of working age makes it harder for the economy to grow, and they'll face the increasing burden of having to pay for a growing number of elderly people. one population expert says the reason government interventions aren't working is they don't get to the heart the problem. in singapore, you have about 17—18% of young people never married, so that's one of the highest, probably, in the world in terms of singleness rate. so you really need to think about why people are not getting married. but time is running out. policymakers are now targeting the other end of the age spectrum, getting older people to work longer. katie silver, bbc news, singapore. the opening ceremony of the third world nomad games has taken place in kyrgyzstan. this is a modern event devoted to ancient sports, such as archery, wrestling and horse—riding. dozens of countries,
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mostly from asia, are taking part. the bbc‘s tim allman has more. the olympic games it is not, but in its own way, the opening ceremony of the world nomad games was just as distinctive. this is issyk kul, a traditional setting for nomadic sport, and the host venue for this event. since horse—riding plays such a central part in nomad sports, it is no surprise horses and their riders played a pretty big role in the opening ceremony. this just a glimpse of what the spectators will get to see once the games begin in earnest. the event may be relatively new, but the tradition it celebrates is anything but. nomad culture stretches back hundreds if not thousands of years. a proud, resourceful people, renowned for
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their equestrian skills. rugged, determined, competitive. back at the opening ceremony, the athletes enter the arena. around 2,000 of them, from some 80 different countries, have been invited to take part. oh, and some dogs too. one of the dignitaries watching on, turkey's president, recep tayyip erdogan. nomad culture spreads as far as the borders of europe. the games will continue until september the 9th, a chance for the whole world to marvel at the prowess and the skill of the nomad. tim allman, bbc news. a private burial service for senatorjohn mccain has taken place in the us state of maryland. dozens of people lined the streets waving american flags as a motorcade brought senator mccain's coffin to the us naval academy chapel in annapolis.
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his final resting place will be next to his lifelong friend, admiral chuck larson. on saturday, former us presidents barack obama and george w bush spoke at a memorial service in washington for senator mccain. a reminder of our top story: a huge fire has broken out at the national museum of brazil in rio dejaneiro, one of the largest and most historic institution in the country. a reminder that you can find me on twitter. i'm @nkem|fejika. if you want to keep up to date on the news, go to hello.
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that wasn't bad for the first weekend of september. summer warmth continuing for many of us, especially where you had the sunshine, temperatures into the mid—20s in the warmest places. but it is turning cooler this week as this weather front, a cold front, pushes south across the uk in the next 48 hours. now already, as monday begins, northern ireland and north—west scotland in the cooler air. under clear skies, some spots will be as low as four or five degrees, and also a few single—figure temperatures in east anglia and south—east england, with one or two mist and fog patches to start the day, because skies have been clear here overnight. but our weather front has cloud from south—west england, wales, the west midlands, northern england, into southern and eastern scotland. some patchy rain, some heavier bursts to begin the day in south—east scotland, clearing away. any rain on the front, though, turning increasingly light into the afternoon, showery in nature. north, north—west scotland here with sunny spells, and northern ireland lighter winds than the weekend. so yes, it is cooler, but still pleasant in the sun. much cooler through eastern
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scotland, north—east england, where some patchy rain continues into the afternoon, compared with the weekend. some sunny spells developing through western counties of wales. the east midlands, east anglia and south—east england with sunny spells, and you're on the warm side of the weather front, so temperatures here still in the low and in some spots mid—20s. now, our weather front monday night and into tuesday, it's this area of cloud, barely budges. hardly any rain on it, though. underneath it, temperatures are holding into double figures. but now most of scotland and northern ireland is on the colder side of the front, so temperatures readily dipping down into single figures under clear skies through the night and into tuesday morning. and then on tuesday, here's our weather front, still barely budging from england and wales, still hardly any rain on it. maybe in the far south—east still some sunny spells to be had, lifting temperatures into the low 20s, whereas for most of us, we're in the mid—to—upper teens. so tuesday's a fairly quiet weather day, for many of us on wednesday too, though there may be some rain just edging towards parts of northern ireland and western scotland.
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as we go deeper into the week, it's looking increasingly likely as though our weather will be impacted by low pressure. but there is a lot of uncertainty about where the area of low pressure is going to sit. this is thursday into friday. and because there's uncertainty about where it's going to be, there is uncertainty about who's going see the rain from it, so keep watching for the detail. we do know, though, this week is turning cooler, and there is a chance of rain, both early in the week and then later in the week, as low pressure moves in. and that's your forecast. this is bbc news. the headlines: firefighters are trying to control a huge blaze which is tearing through brazil's largest and most historic museum. tv pictures are showing much of the national museum in rio de janeiro in flames. the 200—year—old collection contains millions of exhibits and is housed in a former imperial palace. the united nations refugee agency has said that migrants trying to cross the mediterranean sea to reach europe are facing ever more deadlyjourneys.
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unhcr says one in 18 people trying to make the crossing now die. in total, some 1,600 are thought to have drowned this year. democrats in the united states have criticised the white house for withholding hundreds of thousands of documents relating to president trump's nominee to the us supreme court. senate hearings on brett kavanaugh's nomination are due to begin on tuesday. he must be endorsed by a majority in the senate. now on bbc news, hardtalk.
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