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tv   Witness History  BBC News  April 21, 2019 5:30am-6:00am BST

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this is bbc news. the headlines: ukrainians are going to the polls in the second round of the presidential election. the vote could see a comedian and tv star become the new leader. volodymyr zelensky, who until this campaign had no political experience, is challenging the current president, petro poroshenko. there's been heavy fighting south of the libyan capital, after soldiers loyal to the un—backed government launched a counter—offensive against the forces of general khalifa haftar. several air strikes and explosions have also struck tripoli. more than 200 people have died since the start of the offensive. police in northern ireland are questioning two men in connection with the killing of thejournalist, lyra mckee. she was shot while observing rioting in londonderry‘s creggan estate in northern ireland on thursday night. two teenage men have been arrested and are being held under the terrorism act.
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nearly 10% of heart attacks and strokes could be prevented in england and wales if health checks were tailored to individual patients. currently people over the age of a0 are eligible for a heart check, every five years. but new research from university college london, suggests that high risk people should be screened more often, and low—risk patients much less. our health correspondent james gallagher reports. somebody‘s risk of a heart attack or stroke can be worked out by looking at risk factors such as their blood pressure, cholesterol levels orfamily history. doctors use the information to give advice on lifestyle changes or to prescribe drugs like cholesterol—lowering statins or for blood pressure. the study followed 7,000 people to see how their risk changed over time, and then investigated whether there was a better way of performing routine check—ups. currently, people should be seen every five years, but the study suggested the healthiest people could be seen every seven years, the less healthy, every year. the ucl team predict 8%
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of heart attacks and strokes will be prevented with tailored testing. that works out at about 5,000 fewer heart attacks and strokes a year in england and wales. the researchers say these personalised checks would not cost the nhs any more money. the british heart foundation said the approach could potentially save lives, but warned it could be hard to implement and that too few people were having the current assessments. james gallagher, bbc news. now on bbc news, it's time to witness history. here's razia iqbal. hello. welcome to witness with me, razia iqbal. i am here at the british library to guide you through five more extraordinary moments from recent history. we will meet a woman who was caught up in the violent struggle for a jewish state in british controlled palestine. we will hear how the iconic
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sydney opera house was built. we'll meet the man behind a death revolution in the us. and a nurse who witnessed the creation of britain's treasured national health service in 1948. but we begin with an event which still haunts iranian/us relations. in 1988, a us warship, the vincennes shot down an iranian passengerjet over the persian gulf, killing all 290 people on board. first—hand accounts of the incident are rare, but the witness spoke to rudy pahoyo, a us navy combat cameraman who happened to be filming on the vincennes that day. it was a tragedy. we did shoot down an airliner. one of those things, i am still in disbelief that it could have happened. the mood in the gulf was very intense. iran, iraq were in the middle of a war at the time. us navy was taking the oil tankers that came out of kuwait to make sure the flow of oil kept coming to the united states and the iranians were harassing those ships. the boghammer speedboats that the iranians were using, they would round robin the ships
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while they are shooting, trying to catch it on fire. so ourjob was kind of like a police force, if you will. the team i was with was combat camera group. i'm videotaping the whole time. and i caught a ride with the uss vincennes, a cruiser, a billion—dollar boat, state—of—the—art at the time. as we were sailing back to bahrain, we got into battle with iranian speedboats. all hands manning battle stations. during a gunboat battle, we were thinking they were going to come at us with whatever they have now, and that would have been their airforce. the year before, 1987, the uss stark got hit by an exocet missile that was launched by iraq. we were always reminded, remember the stark, remember the stark. about five minutes went
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by and they said there was a target that had left bandar abbas, the iranian airfield. the military and civilian airport, to my knowledge, is the same place. so the aircraft, when it took off, was identified as air hostile. they thought it was the iranian air force, tomcat, but the plane in reality was flight 655 — an airbus. five times a week, there is a scheduled service from bandar abbas across the strait to dubai. but here the crew is, waiting for another target to come out. and i believe that one of the lieutenants, i went up and asked them "what are we doing?" he said "you're going to see
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some missile action." i went to the operation specialist who was watching the scope and he is watching the missiles because he can track it on the radar and he sees it hit the target. dead on! but they found out, like 15, 20 minutes later that there was an airliner missing. an iranian airbus is assumed crashed, please look for survivors or aircraft wreckage. and so that was when it was like, what? airliner missing? we didn't shoot an airliner, we shot a tomcat, i thought. there was a lot of soul—searching, disbelief, that is not supposed to happen, that is not what we're here to do. 290 civilians passed away on flight 655, and of those 290, 66 of those were children. i felt so bad for the families that lost their loved ones and sometimes you're part of history and you love
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it, and sometimes you're part of history and you hate it, and this is just one of those things where ijust wish it didn't happen. but, i was there. rudy pohoyo on the terrible story of flight 655. now we had to australia and the story behind one of the most iconic buildings in the world. in the 1950s, the city of sydney decided it wanted a new opera house. this would be no ordinary construction. engineer sirjack zunz was structural designer on the project. the first prize of £5,000 has been won by danish—bornjorn utzon, a storm of controversy follows. some say it's wonderful, other think it's dreadful. utzon dreamt up these wonderful shapes for his competition entry and they were three shapes.
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it is almost a stage in the harbour, the whole town looks upon it. and you sail around it. i like to be on the edge of the possible. he was great fun to work with, particularly in those early years, we had some very good times together. i think he won one or two minor competitions for housing and so on, but as far as building anything of any scale, he hadn't really done very much. this much was clear from the start: the structural engineers appointed would face a monumental task. utzon himself suggested a british—based international firm. they were appointed in 1958, so i suppose that was 11 years that really dominated my life.
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the first thing they did when they were asked to collaborate, they took these three shapes and developed a series of mathematical models, which as near as possible matched utzon's competition design. none of these shapes appeared buildable. the roof itself — known as stage 2 — went through so many design changes there were rumours gleefully spread about that it could never be built. personally, i wasn't sure whether to admit to working on it at the time. if you got into a taxi you got an earful of all the money that was being wasted. they fed hundreds of thousands of forumulas into computers, but still the stubborn roof would not stand up. then, suddenly in september 1961, utzon had an idea. he saw that if he started with a sphere, he could take all the shapes needed for its regular surface.
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he came back a week later and said, "i have solved it." and he made the scheme out of a sphere. but in so doing, he had changed architecture quite radically. so gradually the whole situation was going downhill, utzon couldn't, wouldn't, didn't produce the documents which his client desired. terrible shocker. utzon — i am not sure that he saw himself able to complete the job. it took the firm seven years, 350,000 man hours and at different times, 200 engineers to do all the work before the final structure emerged. the building was actually constructed around the capacity of the largest 12 cranes which could be found.
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seven years after utzon resigned, after endless discussions, arguments, changes in plans, and the expenditure of a further of £40 million, a finished building — the architectural extravaganza of the century — has emerged. you can't quanitfy to the extent to which the human spirit has been lifted by the sydney opera house or places like it. the remarkable sydney opera house. next we are off to the united states. in 1988, students at the world's only university for the deaf, occupied their campus in protest at the board's decision to promote a hearing person as president. witness has spoken to i. king jordan, who became the first ever deaf president of gallaudet university in washington dc. it's important to know that i am totally deaf, i can't hear a jet engine, i can't hear anything.
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right now i'm working with a sign language interpreter — sarah, who's sitting in front of me, next to the camera. so instead of hearing your questions i am seeing sarah sign. gallaudet college has been the centre of deaf education in america since 18117. in 1987, the president at that time stepped down. right away, there was a push for the board to recognise that the president should be a deaf individual. so they narrowed it down to three finalists. two of us were deaf and one was hearing. i have a lot to bring the university, but i also have a lot to learn from it and that process must start right away. the board of trustees voted to name elisabeth zinser the seventh president of gallaudet.
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dr zinser had a lot of experience but she didn't know anything about deafness and i guess that's when i guess you could say the protests started. someone had the bright idea to bring buses to block the gate. the rallying cry was, "we want a deaf president now." one of the posters out front said, "honk if you support a deaf prez." and of course everybody who drove past saw that sign and honked. then the press started to come. and for a week it was the front page of the washington post. it was a big, big story.
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journalist: are the students prepared to continue blocking the entrance as long as the board refuses to meet their demands? student: we would give up our souls in order to get a deaf president. the chair of the board was jane bassett—spilman. she came to campus and called a meeting. she wanted to talk, and explain her decision. student: are you going to resign? she used the word "children." she said, "children, you are making too much noise, i can't communicate if you make so much noise." using the word children to college—age students — that was not good. when dr zinser realised the intensity of the feelings and the sense on the campus, she decided to step down. the board discussed and decided
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to name their president. there is one person i want to single out for very special thanks. my wife, linda. right now, i'm getting emotional. so i have to stop. people who are deaf must have unlimited educational and professional opportunities. the pioneering dr i king jordan. remember, you can watch witness every month on the bbc news channel or you can catch up with all our films
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and more than a thousand radio programmes in our online archive. just go to now we head tojerusalem in 19116, when british forces controlled what was then palestine. at the time, the british faced an insurgency by armed jewish groups fighting for the creation of a jewish homeland, israel. one of the most devastating attacks was the bombing of the king david hotel injerusalem, which was the location of british headquarters. we hearfrom shoshana levy kampos, who was a jewish secretary working in the building. newsreel: after a bomb explosion caused by terrorists on the british headquarters injerusalem, one entire corner of the king david hotel, a building of seven storeys, was razed to the ground. suddenly everything was black. what happened ? i couldn't understand.
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you only think, how do i get out? newsreel: while arab and jew have a cause to battle for, the british soldier is there only because it is hisjob to keep the peace. in a quarrel which is none of his making he doesjust that, and precious few thanks he gets for it. my family was a jewish family from germany, came to palestine because we were in danger in germany. i was 21 years old when i worked for the british in the king david hotel, typing. it wasn't a happy time. it was always tense. because they didn't know how to stop all these attacks. always, troops on the street.
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british police, soldiers. we worked for them, we had to have a salary. there wasn't so much work. there was a warning. a telephone call that bombs were laid in the cellar of the king david hotel, that the people, workers should all go out immediately. i was just getting up from my place and suddenly i heard an explosion. and black. i don't see anything. after some time, i heard somebody was coughing. coughs
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isaid, "0h, there's another one living." newsreel: men of the army and the police were working with cranes, bulldozers, drills and shovels to reach the unfortunate victims still buried in the wreckage. i knew there would be many, many, many dead. victims, terrible, terrible. i started to cry. the latest casualty lists included 65 killed, 47 injured and 58 missing. my boss, he was a very nice man and he was killed in the attack. of course, i was angry at who did it. i didn't know until they told me it was the etzel. the etzel was one of thejewish groups who were against the british. they wanted the british to go out, but that wasn't the right way to do it. no, i can't agree.
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i worked for the british till they left. three months they gave me salary. i got compensation and that was all. so i had to say thank you. shoshana levy kampos. now we move to britain two years later in 19118, and the creation after the second world war of one of britain's most cherished institutions, the national health service. for the first time, all would be able to access free universal healthca re. witness has been speaking to 0live bellfield, who was a nurse when it began. i had always — it was a great thing that i wanted — was to be a nurse. anyone asked me, you know, what you want to do
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when you grow up? i'd always said, i want to be a nurse. i started nursing when i was 18 in 19115. you were then accepted for 12 weeks. you lived within the nurses‘ home. and of course it was so exciting. it sounds a bit ludicrous now, but do you know, when you think, you put on your uniform, which was pink. if we passed, that was it. we could then carry on and realise our ambition of nursing. and, you know, joy upon joy, it happened. newsreel: britain's doctors, hospitals and health centres come under state control in the £152 million a year national health service bill, soon to come on the statute books.
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from july 5, the new national health service starts. providing hospital and special services, medicines, drugs and appliances, care of the teeth and eyes, maternity services. nevertheless, the task that lays ahead of us is far greater than what we have already accomplished. aneurin bevan, his main ambition in life was to get the nhs, from his early political career. he just wanted that. and, of course, so did everybody else. the kind of people who were helped initially would be the poor people. my first ward was a male medical ward. one of the worst instances was a young man, and this young man died.
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i'd never seen anyone die. i stood and cried. and, of course, i think i had most of the patients crying. but i can still remember to this day that the ward sister immediately got me out of the ward. and she said, "the parents have come, make the parents a cup of tea." and, of course, they could see i'd been crying. the mother started. and there was i, crying, and she got hold of me and she said, "you've made me feel better than anyone else. " she realised that we were human. 0live bellfield on the birth of the nhs.
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that's all from witness this month here at the british library. we will be back next month with more first—hand accounts of extraordinary moments in history. but for now, from me and the rest of the witness team, goodbye. hello. after two days of easter weekend warmth, you may be watching this to see if it is set to continue for the rest of the weekend. the short answer is yes but keep watching now for the longer answer. here's the view from 0xfordshire earlier where it was a chilly start to saturday. it turned out to be warm in the sunshine again.
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and the weather front close to north—west scotland, giving some outbreaks of rain and more cloud to western parts of northern ireland, but that backs away by monday. even here, we will see the return of the sunshine. this is how we start easter sunday, still with some outbreaks of rain in the northern and western isles, maybe a few mist and fog patches towards eastern parts of england, but where some spots will start the day close to freezing for a touch of frost. but temperatures rebound in the sunshine across england and wales, the hazy sunshine for northern ireland and for some of those in scotland, the vast majority is dry but for the northern and western isles, again, you could well see some outbreaks of rain a time. breezier here, cooler than elsewhere in the breeze still keeping some north sea and english channel coasts cooler than elsewhere, but you have the sunshine. most of us high teens and low 20s, some spots near the mid—20s, giving the warmest easter sunday on record a run for its money. pollen sufferers, though, know it is quite high out there for tree pollen so, yes, some of us are suffering as a result. this is how it looks through
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sunday night and into easter monday. still with outbreaks of rain towards the western isles, keeping it breezy here as well. elsewhere, though, it is mainly dry and clear and low single figures in the cooler spots towards parts of eastern england and, again, it could turn misty in a few places. easter monday, this is how this is shaping up. you'll notice the difference between northern and western scotland. that weather system, as we saw earlier, has backed away, so we are back in the sunshine here. there will be an increasing breeze and there will be more in the way of high cloud pushing in from the south during easter monday so sun will be increasingly hazy. temperatures, for some of us, may not be quite as high so much as many of us will notice. it will still be a fine, warm day for getting out and about. now, this is how it looks as we go through the next few days after easter. notice we start to get low pressure taking over, weather fronts heading our way from the south and that will bring a change after the fine easter weekend. there will be more cloud around,
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increasing chance of showers and thunderstorms and we'll start to see temperatures coming down. but that will be a gradual process. you can see it all under way here. so, if you want some rain on the garden, there is hope, especially during the second half of the week.
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good morning, welcome to breakfast with rogerjohnson and naga munchetty. 0ur headlines today: in the last few minutes we've had reports of several explosions in sri lanka. blasts have been reported at two main churches in the capital colombo and nearby city negombo. 0vernight, police removed some climate change protestors from waterloo bridge — it's still closed and demonstrations continue in central london. a message of hope and resurrection — notre—dame‘s easter service finds a new home, but there's unrest on the streets during the latest


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