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tv   BBC News  BBC News  May 12, 2019 4:00am-4:31am BST

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this is bbc news, i'm reged ahmad. our top stories: could this be a moment of hope for the people of yemen, as rebel and government forces begin to withdraw from several key ports? dozens of us states join a lawsuit against major drugs companies, accusing them of price—fixing and trying to reduce competition. migrants who survived when their boat capsized off the coast of tunisia have given their account of the disaster in which at least least 60 people drowned. an attack on a luxury hotel in south west pakistan ends with three gunmen killed. a militant group says it was targetting foreign investors. it is known as the olympics of the art world. artists descend on venice for its
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biennale international art festival. the united nations says houthi rebels trying to topple the government in yemen are honouring a pledge to withdraw troops from key ports in the country. hodeida and a number of other smaller ports are crucial for the distribution of international aid in a country where millions are on the verge of starvation. this report from our chief international correspondent lyse doucet contains some distressing images. the first signs of life, in a deal which was almost dead.
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today, houthi fighters started pulling out from three key ports, saying all their men will be out within four days. they have been in charge here for nearly five years. now, the coastguard will be running yemen's vital gateway. they put on a bit of a show today. the yemeni government says it is all a show. accusing houthi fighters of changing uniforms to keep their men in place. the houthis accuse them and their saudi—led backers of blocking any progress. translation: now the ball is in the court of the un, and the so—called government, and the people of yemen, who will pressure those who are trying to obstruct this agreement. we cannot move forward unless other countries keep their promises. un vehicles were on the move today too. it is up to them to monitor this fragile process. if this first step succeeds, both sides are meant to withdraw their forces
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from this strategic area. it could help move yemen toward peace talks, and away from a looming famine. almost all of its crucial aid and imports come through here. we anticipate and we expect that, as the port becomes — or all three ports become demilitarised that the united nations in the form of the mission here will have unhindered access to carry out their responsibilities to support the port authorities. this shocking starvation has come to symbolise yemen's plight. millions of yemenis need aid, but even more than that, they need peace. lyse doucet, bbc news. hisham al—omeysi is a yemen analyst and activist. i asked him why there was scepticism around the deal. we've seen this in the past. houthis announced that they withdrew, when in fact theyjust
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changed uniforms and redeployed in the same original positions. there's a precedent. and right now, with a lot of pressure on the houthis, and the unsc briefing coming up on the 15th, this is seen as a pr stunt, nothing more than that. and, with the move being unilateral, without the yemen government observers on the ground, and parts facing redeployment, there is no way we can verify the veracity of the claim that they actually did withdraw. the un believes this is a genuine withdrawal, but that aside, could this at least be a first step towards trying to get aid in to the yemeni people? because the situation there is dire. the situation is indeed dire, but you have to remember that aid does still go through hodeidah. and aid does not only go through hodeidah, it also goes through a lot of land ports, as well, and other sea ports. it's not just hodeidah,
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it goes through other ports. that's one thing. the other thing, you're right in saying that it is, to a lot of observers, it is a good step towards the peace process. you have to understand that it has been a stalemate for the past few months, since the stockholm agreement. but it needs to be a step in the right direction. acting unilaterally, without approval from the yemen government, without actual observers on the ground, not just the un. there is a reason why, in stockholm, it's notjust the un that needed to observe this. it was also the yemen government needed to be there. otherwise... but the yemen government agreed to withdraw as well. they're not opposing this. they're not opposing it, but they're also criticising the fact that they're not there observing the withdrawal. but what is there to lose? because, if the houthi aren't genuinely withdrawing from hodeidah and other ports, then the stockholm agreement will simply collapse. so surely this is at least a possible step in the right direction. it is a possible step, if indeed true. we still have three days to see if they actually
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did indeed withdraw. but the scepticism arises from the fact that there was a precedent before, when they did the same stunt and nothing changed on the ground. this is why everybody is sceptical. let's get some of the day's other news: two french tourists who were rescued from kidnappers in burkina faso have been welcomed home by president emmanuel macron. he greeted them at a military airfield near paris. earlier they paid tribute to the two french soldiers who died during the operation to free them. they also thanked the burkina faso and french authorities, and their guide, who was killed by the kidnappers. the hostages were seized from a remote national park in neighbouring benin last week. a well—known former afghan television journalist, mina mangal, who became cultural adviser to the afghan parliament, has been shot dead. according to the interior ministry, she was killed by unknown gunmen in the capital, kabul, on saturday as she made her way to work. ms mangal had worked as a presenter for a number of television networks.
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thousands of supporters of the albanian opposition have held a protest in the capital, tirana, with some hurling petrol bombs at the prime minister's office and outside parliament. riot police responded with stun grenades, tear gas and water cannon. saturday's protest comes after three months of demonstrations demanding that the prime minister, edi rama, resign over allegations of electoral fraud and corruption. more than a0 states in the us have filed a lawsuit against 20 pharmaceutical companies. they are accusing them of price—fixing and conspiring to reduce competition. this follows a five—year investigation into why prices have sometimes suddenly increased, and in some cases by over 1,000%. chris buckler, our correspondent in washington, explained why over a0 states are filing these lawsuits. according to that investigation
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at times they seem to be doubling, tripling, or as you mentioned there, rising by more than 1,000%, sometimes with no explanation whatsoever. and that is why the states have been looking into this, and have now brought the lawsuit. and they're suggesting that 20 of these companies, along with 15 individuals, have been involved in some kind of conspiracy essentially to try and manipulate prices and also to try and restrict competition — of course, extremely serious charges. what they say they want to do is bring this suit to try and force change but also to claim damages and try to ensure that drug prices remain lower. obviously there are 20 companies and 15 individuals, and we don't have a response from all of them. but it seems clear that the majority of them, if not all, will fight this suit. we had a response from teva, an israeli pharmaceutical giant, one of the biggest companies named in this suit. in it, they say they have
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done nothing wrong. they insist they have broken no rules, have broken no laws. and what is included in this lawsuit are a number of claims. in the official statement they say that teva supply high—quality medication to patients around the world while maintaining commitment to all laws and rules, and they say they will continue to examine the issue internally, and there is nothing in their conduct that could lead to civilian or criminal accountability. but if you listen to any politicians here, including president trump, they say time and time again that americans are paying more than people in other parts of the world for their medications, and they cannot understand the reason for that. and it is one of the rare issues in the us at the moment that unites republicans and democrats. they both want something done about it, although they can't quite agree on what that should be. some democrats, for example, have suggested that they should try to tie the prices of these medications — and we're talking about generic drugs here,
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that are much cheaper than some of the brand names, but do the same job to tackle conditions and illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer and the like. and they feel if they tied those prices of those generic medicines to the costs paid in other parts of the world, that would ensure that americans were getting a fair deal. so far we have no proposals for legislation that will address this issue properly, and i suspect it will be talked a lot about leading up to the 2020 presidential campaign. migrants who survived when their boat capsized off the coast of tunisia have given their account of the disaster, in which at least 60 people drowned. initial reports said those on board were from sub—saharan africa, but the survivors say most of the passengers were from bangladesh. with more, here is rahuljoglekar. these are the faces of men who have seen death at close quarters. some too shocked to say anything. others are devastated by what they saw.
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they all set off to start a new life in italy. a dream interrupted by the harsh reality of death at sea. this man from bangladesh is one of just 16 who survived. fighting for life, we fighting, swimming — swimming eight, eight hours, eight hours in the swimming. then people dying, one by one, every minute people going under, down. every minute, one is going, we have lost him. i have lost my two brothers. one is cousin brother, one is brother—in—law. in my — in front of my eyes. another survivor recounts the horror of what happened on board. translation: our boat, the zodiac, started filling up with water, then it sank and capsized.
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this was at 12:00am, midnight. we kept floating in the water until 8:00am in the morning, then a small tunisian boat came to our rescue. along with the tunisian army, they came and took us, thank god we are here in tunis. thank god. italy doesn't want people like ahmed and mansour, and it is cracking down on those making this journey. as 30 migrants were brought to the courts in lampedusa in italy on friday, the italian interior minister declared this was the last voyage for the rescue ship. it is a stance that wins elections in italy, and has brought down the number of migrants making the journey. 15,900 migrants arrived in europe from the mediterranean this year. that is a i7% drop from last year.
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but the un's refugee agency, the unhcr, looks at the numbers differently. they say, while the number of deaths at sea has halved, the rate of deaths per number of people attempting the journey has risen sharply. we were shocked that 250 people died crossing the berlin wall during a generation of cold war, and now we seem to accept 2,500 or more people dying per year in the mediterranean. again, it's a damning verdict of the so—called european civilisation. we cannot have that happening. as the arguments continue for a long—term solution to complex problems, thousands still gamble everything they have, including their own lives, to cross over to europe. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: we will find out why there are big crowds, big money, and some big names in venice.
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the pope was shot, the pope will live. that was the essence of the appalling news from rome this afternoon, that, as an italian television commentator put it, terrorism has come to the vatican. the man they called the butcher of lyon, klaus barbie, went on trial today in the french town where he was the gestapo chief in the second world war. winnie mandela never looked like a woman just sentenced to six years injail. the judge told mrs mandela there was no indication she felt even the slightest remorse. the chinese government has called for an all—out effort to help the victims of a powerful earthquake, the worst to hit the country for 30 years. the computer deep blue has tonight triumphed over the world chess champion, garry kasparov. it is the first time a machine has defeated a reigning world champion in a classical chess match. america's first legal same—sex marriages have been taking place in massachusetts. god bless america!
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gloves this is bbc world news. the latest headlines: the un says houthi rebels trying to topple the government in yemen are honouring a pledge to withdraw troops from key ports in the country. dozens of us states have joined a lawsuit against major drugs companies, accusing them of price—fixing and trying to reduce competition. the iranian president, hassan rouhani, has warned of difficult times to come as the pressure on the economy grows from renewed us sanctions. they were re—imposed after president trump pulled the us out of an international nuclear deal with iran. washington is sending another aircraft carrier to the persian gulf to deter what the pentagon calls an increased threat from tehran. although, the us insists it doesn't want war with iran. briony sowden reports.
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as america's carrier strike group moves closer to the gulf, the pentagon sends more firepower to the region in a show of military force. a navy ship and an air defence missile system are also heading to the middle east, just days after the uss abraham lincoln and b—52 bombers were deployed. washington says it is sending a clear message to iran, because they had warnings about an unspecified attack. it released this statement but did not go into detail. the us patriot missile defence system can counter ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and advanced aircraft, and had been scheduled to go to the region, but at a later date.
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last week, john bolton, america's national security adviser, said any iranian attack would be met with unrelenting force. iran swiftly dismissed that, and calls the claim american psychological warfare. the foreign minister with this message on twitter. "if the us and clients do not feel safe, it is because they are despised by the people of the region. blaming iran will not reverse that." tehran has retaliated by threatening to cut off access to the strategic strait of hormuz, through which about a fifth of all oil consumed globally passes. but tensions aren't just at sea. this week, iran's president threatened to restart his country's nuclear activities within 60 days if his country isn't shielded from the effects of sanctions. the move risks killing a landmark nuclear deal which america pulled out of a year ago.
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but this is what the iranians call us intimidation. one of america's powerful military assets has now passed through egypt's suez canal as it steams towards the persian gulf. briony sowden, bbc news. officials in pakistan say an attack on a luxury hotel in the port city of gwadar in baluchistan has ended with the deaths of all three gunmen. at least one security guard at the pearl continental hotel was killed. a militant separatist group, the baluchistan liberation army, said it carried out the attack, saying it was targeting chinese and other foreign investors. our correspondent in islamabad secunder kermani explained how the attack unfolded. well, what we know is that three gunmen, we believe, entered the heavily guarded pearl continental hotel in the port city of gwadar, killing a security guard who was attempting to stop them. security forces then surrounded the gunman inside the hotel
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and engage them in a gunfight. we believe that is still ongoing although there are some reports that the episode could be coming to an end. the balochistan liberation army is a separatist militant group, they have claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying it was targeting deliberately chinese and foreign investors. now, this group is part of a long—running nationalist insurgency in the south—western province of balochistan. it's pakistan's most deprived province. militants claim its natural resources are being exploited by outsiders. the port city of gwadar, where the attack took place, is the focal point of the huge chinese infrastructure project which aims to cut import and export times to china from the middle east by moving goods through pakistan so it's probably why the militant groups have decided to target this city. these same separatists have targeted chinese interests in pakistan before. the same group last year attacked china's consulate in the city of karachi. i know details are thin
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on the ground but can you give us any idea of the status of the guests? presumably there would have been local and foreign guests staying in that hotel? it is not clear exactly how many deaths were in the hotel. the pakistani military has said that guests were safely evacuated, other sources seem to be saying that 95% of the guests were safely evacuated, it is not clear what happened to the rest. christine fair is an associate professor from georgetown university in the us specialising in south asian political and military affairs. she told us more about the background to the attack. i think is your correspondence said, the baloch have a long list of grievances, and the resources of the state are being exploited by a condominium of the pakistan army and the chinese. when they talk about other investors. the primary investors that really irritate them are of course this chinese. if you think about the chinese pakistan economic corridor as having two
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hinges, the first is the north on the border of xinjiang, the locals are displeased about it but there is not an active set of insurgents. the entire project exacerbates a series of grievances, unfair distribution of grievances, unfair distribution of resources, negligence on the part of resources, negligence on the part of the pakistani state to invest in balochistan so this is the most recent issue that exacerbates things that are more enduring. the african national congress has promised a fresh start after winning another five years in office with a reduced majority. the president acknowledged the anc had made m ista kes acknowledged the anc had made mistakes in government and it had lost the trust of many people. the
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main opposition democratic alliance suffered a fall in its share of the vote. the radical economic freedom fighters gained seats. in france, the yellow vest movement is marking six months of weekly protests with a series of marches throughout the nation. they hope the anniversary will galvanise support for the group. last weeks protest saw the lowest turnout the yellow vests have seen since it began in november last year. donny after it's been called the olympics of the art world, attracting big names, big money and big crowds. the venice art biennale opened on saturday with 90 national pavilions, each featuring the work of artists, commissioned to represent the host country. our art editor will gompertz has been checking them out. if a city could ever be called a work of art, surely it is venice. that man—made masterpiece rising
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out of a salty lagoon, with its magnificent palazzos, shimmering canals and napoleonic gardens — at the end of which is the british pavilion — a neoclassical building that plays host to a disturbing and, at times, brutal installation by the artist, cathy wilkes, whose display of eerie mannequins and household objects is representing britain at the 2019 venice art biennale. she trained in belfast, as did the sculptor eva rothschild, who has filled the irish pavilion with an array of materials and shapes that create a sort of landscape of art to wander through — and to climb on. to talk about the biennale's founding idea, dating back over 100 years, an artist representing a country. is there an argument against it? that it's an anachronism? i think there could be, if it happened everywhere. i think it's the fact that it is anachronistic and it is the only thing.
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i mean, if every major art exhibition was themed around national identity, i think that would be deeply problematic. but this is the only one. and venice itself is an anomaly. i mean, who can believe it exists? not far away, across a narrow canal, is a welsh pavilion, where the cardiff—based artist sean edwards has created a forest of art. it's based on woodlands on the estate where i grew up in llanedeyrn in cardiff. and how these woodlands where the boundary of the estate as you grew up... so there was this idea that what is actually a boundary suddenly becomes an open space that leads you on to somewhere else. i've come from the welsh pavilion, which is just down the canal there, walked over this wooden bridge and arrived at this spot, which is the scottish pavilion. up until a couple of months ago
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it was a working boatyard, but the vessels have moved out and art's moved in, with charlotte prodger, the turner prize—winning artist, showing the third in her trilogy of films, a memoir or love, loss and queer identity. it's in this space, a rather disorientating black hole. voiceover: you have visited what that meant, don't you? idid. it was like a switch went off and i didn't go back. 90 national pavilions are competing for this year's golden lion. every one is fascinating in its own way, revealing not only how a country sees itself but also wants to be seen. a huge waterspout surprised singapore residents saturday. videos on social media showed the waterspout swirling off singapore's southern shore — witnesses saying it lasted for around 20 minutes. the local environment agency say waterspouts usually happen up to three times a year. they form when strong winds occur over water. united nations says who the rebels trying to topple the government in
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yemen are respecting ports, including the port of hodeidah, very important in getting aid into the country. -- houthi rebels. hello there, good morning. sunday still looks like the best day of the weekend. quite a few showers around on saturday. a good day for chasing rainbows. mind you, here in yorkshire, some of the showers earlier on were heavy and thundery. pretty much everywhere is dry now, mind you. as we head out towards the morning, we may have a frost in scotland, won't be too far away from freezing elsewhere across the uk and a colder night for east anglia and the south—east. given the earlier showers, there may be one or two mist and fog patches. high—pressure building and right around the uk,
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limiting the chance of catching a shower on sunday. that weather front approaching the far north west may turn the sunshine a little bit hazy at times. western parts of northern ireland, later in the north—west of scotland. a good deal of sunshine, as you can see, limited amount of convection, patchy cloud bubbling up, may get an isolated light shower over the peaks, the pennines and maybe the downs in the south—east. more dry weather around more widely and for most of us, temperatures will be higher than they were on saturday. mind you, as we head into the evening, it gets chilly very quickly as the sun goes down. not so much across northern ireland with a southerly breeze and it won't be as cold in scotland either, much more cloud coming in overnight. maybe escaping a frost here this time. maybe not quite so lucky across east anglia, temperatures won't be far from freezing in some rural areas. but this is the story as we head into next week. high—pressure, dry weather, more in the way of sunshine and as a result, it will feel warmer, much better than it has been over the last week or so. we still have some patchy cloud around, i think on monday. the sunshine probably a little bit hazy in places.
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cloud coming down from the north west so it's not blue skies everywhere, but for many of us those temperatures are continuing to rise, helped by the southerly breeze in northern ireland. and in scotland, temperatures could be close to 20 degrees or so on monday. as we move into tuesday, we're going to find still very light winds for the most part across the uk. more in the way of sunshine this time. more of a breeze picking up towards the south east. warmer southerly winds for northern ireland and scotland as well. nixed fortunes in terms of temperatures as we head through next week. high—pressure sitting where it is. the air towards the south—east won't be as warm with the warmest air and the highest temperatures more towards the north—west. still better than we've been. 17, 18 degrees here in the south—east. more of an easterly breeze, whereas to the north—west of the uk, more of a southerly breeze so warmer in the north—west of england, northern ireland, scotland, temperatures 23 or 2a celsius.
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this is bbc news. the headlines: the united nations says houthi rebels trying to topple the government in yemen are honouring a pledge to withdraw troops from key ports in the country. it marks the first significant step in a ceasefire agreement brokered by the un last december. more than a0 states in the us have filed a lawsuit against 20 pharmaceutical companies. they are accusing them of price—fixing and conspiring to reduce competition. it follows a five—year investigation into why prices have sometimes suddenly increased, and in some cases by over 1,000%. an attack on a luxury hotel in pakistan has ended with the deaths of all three gunmen. at least one security guard at the pearl continental hotel was killed. a militant group said it carried out the attack, saying it was targeting chinese and other foreign investors.


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