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tv   Witness History  BBC News  May 30, 2019 2:30am-3:01am BST

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at least seven people have been killed, on a cruise boat that's capsized on the river danube in the hungarian capital, budapest the boat with more than 30 people on board collided with another vessel and overturned. it's been confirmed the tourist who lost their lives were south korean nationals. prominent democrats in the united states are calling for impeachment proceedings against president trump — after us special counsel robert mueller broke his silence on the russia investigation. he repeated that his report did not clear the president of obstructing justice. mr trump tweeted that the case was closed. israeli politicians have voted to dissolve parliament and hold a snap election, after the prime minister, benjamin netanyahu, failed to form a coalition. the september vote will be the second this year. mr netanyahu's attempts to put together an administration collapsed over differences between secular and religious parties.
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migration rules to the uk could be relaxed for a number of professions after a review of the list ofjobs granted ‘skilled worker‘ status. government economists say the list should be expanded to allow migrants to compete for jobs because of a severe shortage in some sectors. our business correspondent emma simpson has more details. this list, known as the shortage occupation list, details the jobs which are in high demand and need to be filled immediately. now, there are strict rules to come and work here if you're outside the european economic area, but if you're on this list, you effectively can jump the queue. it currently includes jobs such as nurses, medical consultants and paramedics. the proposal is for this list to be extended to include professions such as architects, vets, psychologists, even web designers and computer animators and in scotland, engineers for the nuclear industry and gaelic teachers should be added.
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the jobs on this list don't need to make the minimum £35,800 salary threshold and there's no need to advertise to uk workers. the list currently covers 1% of the jobs market. expansion would take it up to 9%, a sign of our widening skills shortage in the uk. now on bbc news it's time to witness history — which this month features five stories from lgbt history to mark 50 years since the stonewall riots. hello and welcome to witness history with me, ben hunte. we're in new york with a special edition to mark lgbt pride. today we've got some extra ordinary moments in the past coming up — told to us by the people who were there. in this programme, we'll hear about the struggle for lgbt rights
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in uganda, look back at the lesbian activists who invaded a bbc news studio in the uk. we'll hear from the danish couple who made history having the world's first same—sex civil union. and we'll speak to the former partner of terrence higgins, who helped form the hugely influential hiv and aids trust. but first, a story that began right here in new york. in 1969, the stonewall inn was one of very few gay bars in the city. a police raid onjune 28th of that year sparked several nights of protesting. it was the moment that the lgbt community here said enough is enough in the modern gay rights movement was born. the act of homosexuality was illegal, when i grew up, in 49 of the 50 states. the police were my enemy. and they were a real danger to me. here was a chance for me to finally express my feelings about what had been done to me as a young gay kid
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growing up in an anti—gay society. and i wasn't alone. people wanted to show their anger and resentment at the police for all their years of brutality and intolerance. they liked to get theirjollies beating us as they would find us in cruising areas, in the dark movie houses, outside on the street, in a bar, in a park, orwherever. so these two little blocks on christopher street, which was in greenwich village, was our one little refuge we found, which was at night—time when nobody else cared. we found places that we could sit, that we could talk, and it may not have been a great place, you know, for most people, but it was our place. the stonewall bar was one of the gay bars. the first night of the rebellion
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i was hanging outjust a block away. they heard the sirens, the police cars, the police were raiding the stonewall bar. my reaction was to run towards the bar. because that's where the excitement was. that's what was happening. i was 20 years old. and in that crowd were, you know, obviously drag queens and people who were effeminate males. and then these guys who look like, quote, regular guys like me. and we were all together and the anger was towards them — the police. people started yelling at them and then people started tossing coins and stuff started coming flying from different directions. then the police then went inside for shelter. this parking meter was partially out of the ground that apparently a car or a truck had hit. and ijoined three other people, we lifted up the parking metre and we used it as a battering ram on the doors of the stonewall, ‘cause we wanted to get to the cops. i wanted to kill the cops.
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that‘s how i felt. we would have really hurt those cops if they had not brought more police in. and it went on for several nights. the police were absolutely shocked. they had never before seen gay people in such resistance, you know. we found our strength in ourselves and each other. on the anniversary of the stonewall rebellion we wanted to commemorate it. we decided on doing a march. it wasn‘t a march to just protest, it was a march to celebrate who we are, to be proud and excited and happy to be gay. we made it to central park. we were very thrilled with ourselves and our numbers. and it showed that we could do more.
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and every year more and more people come to march in their first open pride march in the light, in public. it‘s very empowering for every one of us. and it‘s still very emotionalfor me. we started a tradition. a tradition of respect, of pride, of joy, of community. john o‘brien is still actively campaigning for lgbt human rights. currently, in over 70 countries around the world, being gay is illegal. in uganda in 2009, mps tried to increase already strict punishment for homosexuality. they argued for life imprisonment and even the death penalty. well, victor mukasa, a transman, was one of the first lgbt human rights activists to go public in uganda. uganda already has a law that could be used against homosexuality,
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but the new backbench bill goes much further. the penalty for gay sex could be death. i got death threats. my children got death threats. the story of lgbt activism was lonely, sometimes. but i‘ve felt that we are not just going to be buried like this. in a country where biblical values are deeply ingrained, homosexuality is generally deplored. my family was very conservative family, a staunch catholic family. me being the first born girl then. i had issues with gender identity. i tra nsgressed gender unintentionally from the time i started being aware of my existence. they bought me a very nice yellow dress. and i went and changed. i put bought football shorts. i felt more comfortable that way. and then when i came out my father was in the hallway and he gave me a slap and he said, "go back
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and dress up appropriately." and then i put on that yellow dress and inside i felt like i was different now. i wasn‘t proud anymore, i wasn‘t happy anymore. i fought against my sexual orientation for so many years. i was on my own because my family didn‘t want anything to do with me at that point. and, eventually, i was homeless. so i felt that i needed to heal from this thing that was causing me suffering. and so i took myself to churches. reject sodomy! reject perversion! they were praying for me. and then as they‘re praying, they started stripping me off, it was my clothes making me a man. so they stripped me naked. and they started to lay their hands on me. and these are boys and their pastor. they laid hands, in particular, on my genital area, because they said it was the centre of it all. and that is when i felt
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that it is torture. but i said, "this is who i am." inside me i felt it was ok to be the way that i was. and that god is not mad at me. seeing as homosexuality here is illegal, the gay scene is pretty much underground. i went to that bar and theyjust started smiling, life had come. i went to that bar and ijust started smiling, life had come. i didn‘t want to go back home when i went there. because i met lesbians, proud ones. people dressed like me, people expressing themselves like me, people in love with other women. they had their partners there. and i was like i had reached heaven. last year, under the headline "hang them", a tabloid magazine published the names and addresses of 100 gay men and lesbians. the effects of that publication were major. they were horrible. a lot of people during that period
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lost jobs, were evicted from homes, killed. cheering and applause. lawyers and activists had challenged the anti—homosexuality act on the grounds that it violated human rights. my children know me as daddy and they call me daddy. they don‘t say "hey, trans—daddy. hey, former lesbian trans—daddy." you know, they call me daddy. it shouldn‘t matter. but it matters now that i identify as a transgender man because that is the beginning of a conversation about what transgender is. not for me, because i have survived, but there are people who are still struggling to come out or to even ask for what they need. so then it matters. victor mukasa there on the fight
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against discrimination in uganda. next, on 23 may 1988, a group of lesbians invaded a live bbc news studio in london. they were protesting new laws limiting lgbt rights in the uk. booan temple was one of the women there. voiceover: the six o'clock news from the bbc, with sue lawley and nicholas witchell. it's six o'clock. shouting in studio. stop section 28! in the house of lords, a vote is taking place now on a challenge to the poll tax. tory rebels have said that the tax... we‘re protesting about rights for lesbian and gay people. in general, britain was quite a hostile environment in the 19805 for the lgbt community. about 75% of people, when surveyed, said that it was mostly or always wrong to be gay. simply by walking down the street, if somebody identified you as lesbian or gay, you could get abuse and you could be violently attacked, just for being. i obviously don't want children taught that the gay and lesbian lifestyle is natural or normal. it is not, it never has been, and it never will be.
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yes, my overriding concern is with the promotion of positive images of homosexuality in schools, from primary school right through, and that is what is causing many parents real concern and offence. there was this sort of catalyst moment where a book was published, called jenny lives with eric and martin, about a girl who lives with her two dads. and it sort of kicked off a moral panic in parliament. what we were told we were doing was destroying the heterosexual family, so that lobby group — to get this clause enacted. section 28 banned legal authorities from promoting homosexuality, the second part of it banned the teaching of homosexuality in schools. basically, it meant the closing down services, so young people became very vulnerable, particularly, and schools couldn‘t protect people from being bullied. all kinds of groups, all over the country began to protest. actor ian mckellen was at the head
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of a procession which stretched nearly two miles. a group of lesbians chained themselves to buckingham palace gates dressed as suffragettes. a group of lesbians abseiled into the house of lords. through all of the campaigning prior to the announcement, we could not get the media to understand what the impact was going to be on our community, on our children. so, really, the only thing left was to actually be the news by being on the news. we met outside television centre. we managed to get through the security. the whole thing was timing really. and as soon as the lights changed, we barged into the studio. the whole place went mad, i got smacked to the ground by i don‘t know how many people. one of our number managed to handcuff herself to a camera, and the other got behind the news desk, where she was quite violently subdued by nicholas witchell, who‘s since apologised. sue lawley carried
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on trying to read the news. and i do apologise if you are hearing quite a lot of news in the studio at the moment. i am afraid that we have rather been invaded. in the footage it‘s all got rather muffled. and you can hear little muffled shouts of, "stop the section 28" and eventually we were all arrested. it did get huge media coverage. you know, the headlines were all about ‘loony lesbians‘, but over time, and beyond that, i have heard from quite a lot of people what it meant to them as young lgbt people in their own home, knowing that they were gay but maybe not out, and just felt a little bit empowered by it. so, here we are again at television centre again, 30 years later. clearly, things are a lot better than they were in the 19805 but it hasn‘t completely changed and there are dangerous and serious pockets of homophobia. we need to be in solidarity
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with all the communities worldwide who are in daily fear of their lives. i‘m glad we did it. the fact we‘re here today means the story has been remembered. you can watch witness history every month on bbc news channel, or you can catch up with our films online and over radio programmes, too. just search bbc witness history. in denmark in 1989, a couple made history when they became one of the first in the world to be joined in a same—sex union. they told us all about it. it was a very special day for us. it was a marvellous day. we had been fighting for the partnership for many years. we had a right—wing government in denmark and this government was against it. i‘d been a vicar for many years.
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i think it was difficult to many people and they were confronted — what do you think about having a vicar that‘s gay? very many people combined homosexuality with dirt. coming out for me was very difficult. i came from a village, a family, where homosexuality was not discussed. i got married and got children. it was only my wife who knew that i was interested in other guys. she said "you have to live the life which is yours." when i met ove, i knew that this was the man for me. denmark is usually thought of as a liberal and tolerant country and this summer, they have taken that tolerance a degree further. in may, they passed a law allowing homosexuals to enter into registered partnerships — partnerships
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they think of as marriage. quietly, at the centre of all the excitement, these men are making history. i thought the other day when i went to the town hall to get papers to partnership, i was so happy. for the first time, i feel this — i could allow myself to have the same feeling as everyone else who are going to be married. i was so happy. the partnership law was very much like a normal law for man and women, only one of the two had to be a danish citizen. you were not allowed to adopt. you were not allowed to have your partnership registered in a church. that was the three things that departed from normal marriage, otherwise, it was just like marriage.
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we thought, the both of us, at last, that the day had come to us. the sun was shining and we were driven in horse carriages through copenhagen. it was a nice trip to remember. there were 11 gay couples that day at city hall and we were couple number two. they speak danish. camera shutters click. it was a very strange day. there was so many journalists and photographs. it was, in a way, difficult to be there yourself. well, whether you are married before a mayor at a city hall or a vicar in a church, it is the same marriage to god.
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i have always talked about ivan as my husband and i think it is strange to call him my partner. denmark has had this partnership law for 25 years. it has been normal. in fact, i sometimes think it has been so long that it isn‘t worth discussing. ivan and ove there — one of the first couples in the world to enter into a civil partnership. we are now heading back to london for a story on one of the darkest periods of lgbt history. in 1982, a man called terrence higgins died from hiv/aids one of the first people in the uk to be killed by the disease — and led his partner to set up the terrence higgins trust that went on to become one of europe‘s hiv and sexual health charities. when i met terry, i was 18
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and he was 35 at the time. and i had never had a boyfriend and was not particularly comfortable in the gay community at all. terry was just a very nice guy, a very warm guy to me. he always used to cook for me because i was no good at cooking, used to make sure i ate. he was also very handsome, i thought, and very attractive. in 1982, he started to get less energetic and he was always complaining about headaches. but i was away at one point and i came back and heard that terry — and found out — that terry had collapsed in a nightclub and been taken into hospital, and he was very sick. we were starting to hear
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about this american disease, and what was being called ‘gay—related immune deficiency‘ at that time. in new york, this is greenwich village. here, the killer disease has taken its greatest toll of death and fear amongst those who walk in its shadow. we still had no idea what it was. was it a lifestyle thing? was some kind of infection? what was it? but until terry got ill, we had not heard of any cases in britain. the last time i went, i was going to take some ice lollies and lucozade for him. i went up to the ward and there were curtains around terry‘s bed at the time and i was standing just a few feet away and i could see there was quite some activity inside. i just stood there. then, the — one of the nurses and one of the physicians came around and said that they were sorry
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to tell me that terry had just died. they had been trying to resuscitate him as i had been standing at the end of the bed, what, a few feet away from the end of the bed. and it was... yeah, that was very hard. it was a very hard thing to see. and hear. the funeral of terry higgins took place here at a crematorium in north london. —— the funeral of terry higgins took place here at golders green crematorium in north london. the cause of death was toxoplasmosis — a brain infection that most people can tame, but in his case proved fatal. after terry died, there was a virus discovered and then tests developed. it became known as hiv. there were deaths upon deaths. i lost — in one my diaries, in the back of it, i have names. i stopped counting at 35 names.
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and those were people that i knew closely enough to call a friend. we realise that something needed to be done, and so we set up an organisation, a charity, to do some advocacy around this and safe sex information and messages. we wanted to name it after terry because of what he meant to us. the terrence higgins trust was europe‘s first hiv or aids charity and i am really, really pleased that it still exists now. rupert whitaker went on to become a leading immunologist. and that is all for that special lgbt edition of witness history. we will be back next month with more first—hand accounts of extraordinary moments from around the globe. for now, from me here
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in stonewall, new york, goodbye. hello. one thing we‘re certainly not short of at the moment is cloud across the uk, and through today, it will tend to stick around in many areas and bring some rain into the north. by the weekend, though, i‘m hopeful we‘ll see more in the way of sunshine, and we‘re going to see things significantly warming up for some. more on that in just a moment. a lot of warm air coming in from the atlantic in the next few days, but it‘s coming up to the south of this frontal system. that will mean a lot of cloud around, some more persistent rain across the northern half of the uk in the short term, as well. but by the weekend, high pressure will start to push in from the south, thin the cloud, and allow more sunshine. today, though, most of us are going to be stuck with fairly
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grey skies, and across the northern half of the uk, some more persistent rain as the day goes on. heavy at times, possibly, for northern ireland, the south—west of scotland, parts of the north—west of england, maybe the far north—west of wales, too. to the far north of scotland, some sunshine for the northern isles. to the south, some brighter skies to the lee of high ground. breezy day across the board, particularly gusty around western coasts and across the hills, quite murky in the west as well. just 11 degrees there in aberdeen, but up to 23 if we get some brightness across the south—east of england. overnight thursday into friday, looking at more wet weather across the northern half of the uk, but hopefully the cloud to the south perhaps thinning and breaking a little as the hours go by. high pressure trying to squeeze its influence further north. certainly a mild enough start to friday, but once again, you can see rain waiting to push into northern ireland and western scotland. and through the day, that frontal system continues to buckle to the north
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of the uk, so there will be more heavy downpours. to the south, the high is nearby, and that should allow the cloud to thin and break a little more, see a bit more in the way of sunshine, and temperatures creeping up across england and wales on friday, into the mid 20s. milder for aberdeen, but still a lot of cloud around and some rain, but the heaviest of the rain for northern ireland and western scotland. but by saturday, that high throws its influence further north. we should see more in the way of widespread sunshine and a pretty warm day, even across the northern half of the uk, but to the south, we could get up to 27 degrees celsius in the south—east of england. a very short spike of a heatwave, though. by sunday, the weather picture starts to become quite showery across the uk, and that will see our temperatures beginning to slide away. still a pretty pleasant day to come, though, on sunday. in the sunny spells, there will be some warmth around, turning much chillier, though, next week.
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welcome to bbc news — broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is mike embley. our top stories: at least seven people are killed, on a cruise boat that‘s capsized on the river danube in the hungarian capital. teams are still searching for survivors. us special counsel robert mueller breaks his silence on the russia investigation — and repeats that his report did not clear president trump of obstructing justice. if we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commita crime, we would have said so. we did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime. israel votes to hold its second election this year — after prime minister
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benjamin netanyahu fails to form a coalition.


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