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tv   BBC News  BBC News  September 8, 2019 2:00am-2:31am BST

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welcome to bbc news. i'm simon pusey. our top stories: senior british cabinet minister amber rudd resigns, accusing prime minister boris johnson of an assault on decency and democracy over his handling of brexit. the released iranian tanker is apparently spotted off the syrian coast. britain says it's deeply troubled by the reports. the canadian teenager bianca andreescu beats serena williams to win the us open women's singles title. hello and welcome to bbc news. a senior british government minister, amber rudd, has resigned, accusing the prime minister of an assault on decency and democracy in his handling of brexit. it follows boris johnson's decision to expel 21 mps who have refused
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to back a no—deal brexit, including two former finance ministers. ms rudd said she couldn't stand by while good, loyal, moderate conservatives are expelled from the party. our political correspondent jonathan blake reports. amber rudd has served at the heart of government. she campaigned to remain in the eu referendum and was home secretary under theresa may. she survived the clear—out of like—minded colleagues when boris johnson became prime minister, and was made work and pensions secretary. among others, almost all brexiteers. just this week, amber rudd expressed concern about the prime minister's strategy of throwing mps out of the party for voting against the government. i think we have some very valued colleagues, who have made a very different choice. in her letter to the prime minister, amber rudd said resigning was a difficult decision but wrote, "i do not believe that leaving with a deal is the government's main objective. the government is expending a lot of energy", she wrote, "to prepare for no deal but i have not seen the same level of intensity going into our talks with the european union, who have asked us to present alternative arrangements to the irish backstop."
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i knew and i accept that the prime minister should be able to leave no—deal on the table, but what i had expected to see was a huge government centred effort to get a deal and at the moment, there is a lot of work going on into no deal and not enough going into getting a deal. then on top of that, i've seen 21 of my colleagues, good, strong conservative mps with true, moderate, progressive values, excluded from the party. amber rudd's resignation will come as a blow to borisjohnson at a critical time for his premiership. her reasons reflect the concerns others in government share. president trump has announced on twitter that he's called off peace negotiations with the taliban after an attack that killed 12 people, including a us soldier, in the afghan capital, kabul, on thursday. the announcement comes just days after the american envoy to afghanistan reached a draft peace deal with the group. mr trump said a previously secret
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meeting with taliban leaders and the afghan president, ashraf ghani, due to take place at the president's camp david retreat on sunday has been cancelled. an iranian oil tanker, which was seized by royal marines injuly, has been spotted outside a syrian port. the ship had been held in gibraltar suspected of carrying oil to syria, in breach of eu sanctions. it was only released after assurances from iran that it was not bound for syria. however, satellite photographs reveal it is now sitting at anchor outside the port of tartus. our diplomatic correspondent, james landale, reports. this is the iranian oil tanker at the heart of the row. the grace 1, now known as the adrian darya—i, which was detained injuly by gibraltar with the help of british marines. it was suspected of heading for syria in breach of eu sanctions, but released in august after iran gave written assurances that this was not the case. but look at this. new satellite images through the clouds appearing to show the tanker
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moored just a few miles from the syrian port of tartus, potentially there to off—load its cargo. this is hugely disappointing and demonstrates again why the united kingdom government was right to impound the vessel in gibraltar and wrong to release it. in a terse tweet clearly pointed at european allies, the us national security adviser john bolton said anyone believing the adrian darya—i was not headed for syria was in denial. tehran thinks it's more important to fund the murderous assad regime than providing for its own people, he said. this is tricky for the foreign office because they trusted iran on this, just when the american said "don't". a spokesman he has said it was deeply troubling to hear reports of the tanker being off syria, and said any breach of iran's assurances would be morally bankrupt and a violation of
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international norms. so far, there's been no comment from tehran, which has been desperate to evade tough us sanctions, curbing its ability to export oil. iran also announced today a further breach of the deal agreed in 2015 to curb its nuclear programme. a spokesman said it would start using advanced centrifuges to enrich uranium nuclear fuel, bringing the country one step closer to developing weapons grade material. yet again, iran remaining defiant in a stand—off with the west that few expect to be resolved soon. james landale, bbc news. russia and ukraine have exchanged dozens of prisoners in a move which the ukrainian president described as the first step to ending the war between them. jonah fisher reports from kiev. this swap had been rumoured for weeks. so when the plane finally touched down from moscow, relief echoed across the tarmac.
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the families of 35 ukrainian prisoners had come to see their loved ones return. among them, high—profile detainees like film—maker oleg sentsov, and 2a sailors, like andre, who was captured in the black sea late last year. and we are happy too, but we can't even understand that this has already happened. this is clearly a very emotional moment for the relatives of these ukrainian prisoners, but it is also politically significant. it opens the door for meaningful talks between ukraine and russia and the prospect of an improvement in relations between the two countries. and we haven't said that much in the last five years. during that time, russia has been backing a rebel uprising in eastern ukraine and more than 13,000 people have died.
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then there was the downing of the passenger plane, mh17. shot down by what investigators say was a russian missile, with nearly 300 people on board. with that in mind, moscow insisted on being given this man, volodymyr tsemakh, as part of today's swap. he was on the ground nearby when mh17 was hit and could have been a key witness to russia's alleged role. the loss of mr tsemakh was clearly outweighed by the possible gains for ukraine's comedian turned president. he appears deadly serious about trying to deliver lasting peace. we have to do all the steps to finish this horrible war. but do you think this is a new chapter in relations between russia and ukraine? i think this is the first chapter. as the dust settles on a momentous day, it's possible to be cautiously optimistic about russia and ukraine. jonah fisher, bbc news, in kiev.
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serena williams‘ quest for a 24th grand slam title will have to wait until 2020 at least. the 37—year—old has lost the fourth consecutive final she's played in. ca nada's bianca andreescu beat her in this final in straight sets. it's the 19—year—old's first major title. she wasn't even born when her opponent won herfirst us open title back in 1999. conditions in the bahamas are said to be rapidly deteriorating six days after hurricane dorian ripped through the islands. tens of thousands of people are homeless. many are now desperate to flee the destruction in the abaco islands and grand bahama. cruise liners, private planes and helicopters are all being used to help those still trapped. the official number of dead still stands at 43, but that's expected to rise as the situation becomes clearer. randy crowe is a newly—retired pastor.
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he led a congregation for 12 years until recently in man—0—war cay. it is a small island just four miles north of marsh harbour on the abaco islands. he has been speaking to people there and organising the relief effort. thank you forjoining us. tell us some of the experiences people on the island have endured that you have spoken to. thank you, simon. we've spoken to some of our members and in the middle of the storm they left their house and went to a neighbour's house for some safety. we have a husband and a wife and a one—year—old child on the island and the dad passed at the child to the mother to make sure the child didn't get blown away in the 180— 220 mph winds. it was pretty heroic. you plastered at a church for 12 years on the island and we have some before and after shots of that church. how setting is it to say that after so many years? it is a
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wonderful church and to watch it be demolished. injust 2a wonderful church and to watch it be demolished. in just 2a hours, wonderful church and to watch it be demolished. injust 2a hours, 48 hours... demolished. injust 24 hours, 48 hours... it breaks your heart to say the least. but more than that it's the least. but more than that it's the people. the church isjust a building but we heard for our people because of what they've gone through. i believe you're going on wednesday, how are you preparing for that and what is the reason for that trip? we have an aeroplane here and we will be flying that aeroplane in loaded with full supplies. we have multiple aeroplanes going in with us and we will all be going in and just delivering goods to the people so we can service them. you obviously still have friends on island from your time there. how have they been describing the situation? they said it was horrible, worst thing they've ever been through in their life. it was decimated it is a really idyllic little island, a major tourist
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attractions. some of the sweetest christian people you would ever ever meet. they would reallyjust help others stop we've heard about the others stop we've heard about the other islands, this is much smaller. how vulnerable is it because it has so how vulnerable is it because it has so few people and resources on it? it is not that bad. we have one policeman. he doesn't have to carry a gun. there's very little crime on man—0—war cay. people are amazing. a very moral, christian community. do you think authorities may overlook the island because of its size?|j don't the island because of its size?” don't think so but we will make sure they're not forgotten. we have private planes and caravans and multiple agencies that are going in, including missionary flights international and others. we will make sure they are covered. you are taking supplies, which are really
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necessary right now. what is the main thing people need at the moment? we are getting tarps in and chainsaws and meals ready to eat, protein bars, batteries. a lot of the women and children were gradually being gotten off the island into nas out and florida, with family and friends so the men could put some of the houses back together. doctor randy crowe, i wish you luck on wednesday. it's very good what you're doing and traumatic going to places being destroyed but thank you forjoining us and best of luck. thank you. island out 0utreach. luck. thank you. island out outreach. thank you. randy crowe. even before this latest blow, borisjohnson was under increasing pressure to make it clear that he'd abide by legislation requiring him to seek a further brexit extension if there's no deal with the eu. a group of mps is preparing legal action if the prime minister
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refuses to carry out the instruction, which is expected to become law on monday. duncan kennedy reports. another stand—off in westminster. protest and counterprotest today. over the prime minister's plans to suspend parliament and mps' attempts to delay to brexit. borisjohnson has spent the week in campaign mode. preparing for an election he wants but opposition parties won't allow. many of that opinion will say "content." to the contrary "not content." the contents have it. but parliament has now passed a bill compelling the prime minister to ask for a delay of a new deal can't be reached. the law means borisjohnson has until the 19th of october to get a deal with brussels. if not, he must write and request more time until at least the 31st of january. but yesterday he said this:
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some fear the prime minister is looking for wiggle room and preparing a legal challenge. to write a letter on that day to donald tusk, it specifies the wording that he must use in the letter to apply for an extension. i am very, very concerned and troubled by the fact the prime minister is going up and down the country saying that he will never ask for an extension. either we have the rule of law in this country or we don't. 0pposition parties have shown they can wield power against boris johnson's minority government but the prime minister's supporters say he is right to pursue his own path. normally governments legislate and are held for account for that legislation, but we're now in a position where parliament is legislating, how can the government be held to account for legislation that neither sponsored nor supported? in aberdeenshire today in a traditional spectacle of the highland games,
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the queen arrived having hosted the prime minister at balmoral overnight. constitutional crisis caused by brexit is sure to have been discussed although not resignation of amber rudd. that shock tonight shows just how unpredictable these political times continue to be. duncan kennedy, bbc news. and it emerged earlier this evening that angela smith, the former labour mp, has joined the liberal democratic party. ms smith was among seven mps to quit the labour party in february overjeremy corbyn‘s approach to brexit and the row over anti—semitism. she's the third mp to join the liberal democrats in a week, bringing the total number in the house of commons to 17. the family of a 6—year—old boy who was allegedly thrown from a viewing platform at the tate modern gallery in london last month say he has made amazing progress in hospital. the boy, who was visiting from france, fell five floors. his family says he still cannot speak or move his body, but responds by smiling. a 17—year—old boy has been charged with attempted murder.
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this is bbc news. the headlines: a senior british cabinet minister, amber rudd, has resigned, accusing the prime minister, borisjohnson, of an assault on decency and democracy over his handling of brexit. the aid effort in the bahamas is intensifying in the wake of the devastating hurricane dorian. as fires rage through the amazon, half a world away, another environmental catastrophe is unfolding. rainforests in madagascar are disappearing at an alarming rate. earlier on saturday, the pope, who's visiting the country, expressed concern over the rate of deforestation, making it a key topic in his address to a crowd of 800,000 people. gemma coombe reports. this is what is left of kirindy forest.
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0n the western side of madagascar, it spans 100,000 hectares but it has lost almost half its size in just two decades. translation: the people who are in charge of the forest tell us we are doing wrong. 0n the one hand, they arrive because the forest is nature, it is god's creation, but on the other hand, as a human being, it nourishes us. that is how it works here. the forest is home to a multitude of rare species, like this tiny grey mouse lima. its cousin hasn't been spotted here for more than two years. we do not find the animal in places where we found it before and we are not sure if that is a shift of the population or if it is really a decline. workers are paid just $13.40 by businesses with links to local politicians for every hectare cleared.
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maize is planted and then the crops are taken to big cities, where the kernals potentially enter the supply chain for big companies. everybody sees the trucks of maize coming back and forth, usually at night, but nobody records them or takes pictures or takes a note of where they go. the government has been trying to crack down on those causing the destruction. several farmers have been arrested and crops of corn destroyed, but it's not enough. pope francis, who's currently in madagascar on a three—nation african tour, has denounced the illegal logging and exploitation of the unique natural resources. and he's pleaded with the government
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to do more to stop the corruption that's ravaging the island. president donald trump has cancelled a negotiation with the taliban. a peace deal in the pipeline but that's not the case? it would appear to be so at least not for now. we don't know a great deal about the planning for this summit. it was a secret, as donald trump makes clear in his tweet this evening, but there we re in his tweet this evening, but there were clearly plans afoot to fly in both the afghan president and perhaps members of the taliban to meet at camp david later on sunday for these peace negotiations. presumably concerned about the possible withdrawal of us troops, phased withdrawal of us troops, from
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afghanistan. but it's very surprising because lots of people are saying had he pulled it off, this would be tantamount if you like to, sort of, getting together with kim jong—un of north to, sort of, getting together with kimjong—un of north korea. this is a move that's taken a lot of people by surprise. quite a considerable diplomatic gambit were he to have pulled it off. the president says he's cancelling the meeting because of that car bomb attack last thursday which killed a dozen people in the afghan capital, kabul, including an american serviceman. it would appear to scuttle his campaign promise to withdraw troops from afghanistan, us troops from afghanistan. that is if the peace negotiations have come to an end. it's not clear whether or not that is in fact the case.
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is there any agreement ordeal realistic in the short—term, david? talks between the us and the tower than really appear to bypass the afg ha n than really appear to bypass the afghan government stop —— taliban. that's right. there's beenjockeying for position among the senior ranks of the afghan government —— afghan government. there's been a flurry of attacks carried out by the taliban in the period that the special envoy out there has been edging closer to some sort of framework for an agreement. there's been a lot of speculation that may be if nothing was to come at least immediately from these efforts... but it appears 110w from these efforts... but it appears now that they are at the very least on hold. david willis, lives in washington, thank you very much indeed for that for now. serena williams‘s quest for a 24th grand slam title continues after she lost to canada's bianca andreescu in straight sets.
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the 19—year—old wasn't even born when serena won her first us open title back in 1999. courtney nguyen, a senior writer with wta insider, the official platform of the women's tennis association, gave us her perspective on why serena lost. i could probably say serena was not good enough and i think she was incredibly honest about her assessment of her play today, giving full credit to the 19 year and how well she did play. it wasn't the serena williams we have seen through six matches here in new york. the surf was only broken three times through six matches and tonight she could not hold serve, struggled with her first service percentage and gave the young canadian a lot of confidence in her return game. serena very frustrated by her play today, and she said, i have to find a way to bring serena into these grand slam finals because that is where she is not showing enough. and rescue is only 19. if you're going to play a central role in women's
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tennis for many years to come? i really believe that ever since march, she went to a tough draw and really showed a lot of composure and how she handled herself over that two weeks. even then, the way she plays her tennis and how much resilience in her character and game, she didn't seem like a fluke in march, and here we are in september and she is a major champion. it seems she is incredibly mature for 19. she apologised to the crowd afterwards for beating serena. she is canadian. that is what they do, they apologise. it was a tough crowd for her to play through. the crowd for her to play through. the crowd was really backing serena and got serena to come back, she was down1— got serena to come back, she was down 1— five in the second set, saved matchpoint and levelled it at 5-5. that saved matchpoint and levelled it at 5—5. that crowd, i have never heard of that loud. bianco did a greatjob presenting herself and get through that and be the classy one at the end and say, thank you very much. i
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am sorry end and say, thank you very much. i am sorry this is not the result you wanted. serena took the loss pretty well. we don't always see that from her. she is going for a record 24th major. she is obviously still going to do that, do you think? she is still going to put herself in these positions. she has made four major final since she returned last year from starting a family. that is an incredibly difficult thing to do. no—one else has done that. she has put herself in this position, she has won six tournaments. and as she admits, playing a grand slam final isa admits, playing a grand slam final is a different kettle of fish, a different level of pressure, especially here in new york in her home slam. the expectation and desire for these fans who want her so desire for these fans who want her so badly to get that record. she has not handled it well and today actually after the match was the first time i have really honestly say, and really expressed frustration and she has to go back to the drawing board and see how she gets that best serena to play in the seventh match of the grand slam.
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the venice film festival has drawn to a close with the golden lion being awarded to the film joker. it's the first time a comic book movie has won the top prize at a major festival. in second place was an officer and a spy by the controversial director roman polanski. a warning — tim allman‘s report contains flashing images. my my mother always tells me to smile and put on a happy face. dark, disturbing. 0ne critic described it as exhilarating. djoker is unlike any other comic book movie you have ever seen. these films dominate at the box office, but have always failed to win the major prizes. until now. djoker! director todd phillips looked a little surprised to be winning golden iron. the
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origin story of batman puzzling arch enemy 110w origin story of batman puzzling arch enemy now lauded by one of europe's top film festivals. in his a cce pta nce top film festivals. in his acceptance speech, he was full of praise for his leading man. he is the fiercest and bravest and most open—minded guy that i know and you area open—minded guy that i know and you are a beautiful soul and thank you for trusting me with your insane talents. the grand jury prize went to an officer and a spy, telling the story officer and a spy, telling the story of the dreyfus affair. its director, still wanted in the us for the draping and run —— raping a drug of a 13—year—old girl, was not present for the ceremony. the acting prizes went to women both paying tribute to those risking their lives in the mediterranean.
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translation: i would like to dedicate this award to all the splendid people who were at sea to rescue other human beings who are fleeing from unimaginable situations. thank you. long live humanity and long—lived love. and long legs thejoker. once dismissed, 110w long legs thejoker. once dismissed, now honoured. let's check on the latest weather prospects now with nick miller. after a fine start of the weekend, sunday will continue on a similar note for most of us. there are some changes on the way. this came on saturday, some sunshine, but we expect more cloud on sunday. most of us expect more cloud on sunday. most of us under this high—pressure giving us sunny us under this high—pressure giving us sunny spells, this weather front is moving into it with cloud into northern and western scotland and northern ireland. most will start sunday clear and chilly. temperatures widely in single figures. close to freezing in the
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cold est pa rt figures. close to freezing in the coldest part of eastern scotland and north—east england where a touch of frost is possible to begin the day. it is chilly on the start line at the great north run in the morning, but after that, a mixture of cloud and sunshine, the temperature is not going up to far too quickly. perfect conditions for running. good luck to eve ryo ne conditions for running. good luck to everyone taking part. sunday is looking like this. england, wales, eastern scotland, lot of sunshine. some patchy cloud around. maybe an isolated shower, more so towards the case of —— coast of east anglia. in northern ireland, northern and western scotland, because of that weather front with or earlier, a cloudy day. you may encounter some light rain and drizzle. not amounting to much. feeling a little warmer. anyone hoping for rain on the final day of the test match at old trafford will be disappointed.
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another rather cool but dry day is on the way. there is some rain moving in. but it is coming in on sunday night and into monday, as this system comes in from the atlantic. as it comes income it rings in more cloud so it will be a milder start on monday morning with the exception of eastern most parts of england staying clear overnight, quite chilly to begin the day here. during monday, we will take up rates of raina during monday, we will take up rates of rain a little further east but more persistent and heavier at times into wales, south—west england and not much re— eastern parts of england. as for temperatures, around the mid teens, it is going to be a cooler feeling day. that the mid teens, it is going to be a coolerfeeling day. that weather system dies a death as we go into tuesday, but here comes another, and this is what is left of hurricane dorian getting close to iceland. with trailing weather front is coming into the uk, nothing to worry about from that. yes, some rain in the wind will start to pick up as well and further western systems as well and further western systems as we go into the week. wet at times,
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not all the time, training windy as well, little bit warmer towards the end of the week. this is bbc news. the headlines: a senior member of the british government has resigned over brexit, in a new blow to the prime minister, borisjohnson. amber rudd called mrjohnson's expulsion of twenty—one conservative mps from the party for voting against his brexit policy in parliament an assault
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on decency and democracy.

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