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tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 18, 2019 2:00am-2:31am GMT

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welcome to bbc news — my name is mike embley. our top stories: as the us house of representatives prepares to vote on impeaching donald trump, he lashes out, calling it an open war on democracy. taiwan's foreign minister calls on the free world to stand with the island democracy in the face of growing pressure from china. this woman wins damages in a tokyo courtroom after accusing a prominent journalist of rape. as mps return to parliament after the uk's prime minister says there'll be a new law to finish brexit trade talks by the end of next year.
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president trump has lashed out over his imminent impeachment in a 6—page letter to top democrat nancy pelosi, accusing her of declaring "open war on american democracy". on the eve of the crucial vote in the house of representatives, which is dominated by the democrats, he's claimed he's been denied his most fundamental rights — even though he's turned down an offer to give evidence himself, and have his legal team question witnesses. in his letter to the house majority leader mr trump claims the charges he faces are "completely disingenuous, meritless, and a baseless invention of your imagination" and also claims the impeachment process, which is set out under the us constitution, is "nothing more than an illegal, partisan attempted coup that will, based on recent sentiment, badly fail at the voting
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booth."(biv) now the fear that —— badly fail at the voting booth." the fear that impeachment could backfire, politically, on democrats is in the minds of some members of congress, as our north america editorjon sopel reports. in america, even a bog—standard town hall meeting like this one in michigan comes wrapped in the stars and stripes. # the land of the free... but over the impeachment of donald trump, it's a disunited states. and the congressmen and women who'll vote tomorrow on this, like elissa slotkin, are under acute pressure from their voters. she's a democrat who won her seat from the republicans last year in a wealthy district, 30 miles north of detroit. thank you, guys. and she was struggling to make her voice heard. ok, i'm just going to continue, because i've got the mic. folks, these are the questions you're shouting at me, so you may want to listen for one sec to the answer. one of the hecklers is bill rauwerdink. he's come with a group of republicans to stir things up. i spoke to him in the
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cafeteria afterwards. you were there calling her out. what do you think the political consequences are? i think her self—awareness, self perception is very good. she said, this vote may end my short—lived political career. i think that a really good self—assessment. but the congresswoman says she's what's right. the president's attempt to strong—arm ukraine to investigate joe biden went too far. when it comes to something like asking foreigners to intervene and get engaged here at home, that, to me, requires a response. it can't become normal to just reach out to foreigners. i know it sounds different, but there just has to be some decisions that are beyond the political calculus. and it may be that voters decide in 2020 that they don't want me as their representative. # jingle bells, jingle bells... there are other preoccupations at this time of year, though, like present buying and wondering who's paying the town's electricity bill. but impeachment, too. what do you think of the move to impeach him? i think it's ridiculous,
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we're wasting a lot of taxpayer's money. at this point, leave it to the voters. it's close enough. the economy is doing phenomenally well. he's the most corrupt man who's ever served in that office, and it's exactly what the founding fathers intended when they came up with the idea of impeachment. he's not fit for office. he's embarrassing. america is so polarised on this, isn't it? yes. it's all or nothing. it's going to be an interesting christmas. forget white christmas. here in rochester, michigan, they're going for bright christmas. and the one thing elissa slotkin is dreaming of is that it should be a backlash free christmas, because it's perfectly possible that the biggest casualties of this impeachment process could be the democratic party itself. jon sopel, bbc news, michigan. more now live from our north america correspondent peter bowes.
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the president is right when he says this process is part of some that is wrong, it set out under the constitution. this process is part of some that is wrong, it set out under the constitution. it's this process is part of some that is wrong, it set out under the constitution. it's a this process is part of some that is wrong, it set out under the constitution. it's a constitutional process and his complaint that he hasn't been given the opportunity essentially to tell his side of the story, well, the democrats are saying that is wrong because he was invited over the past few weeks. the president has repeatedly refused for example to allow some of his senior aides in the white house, witnesses to be cross—examined and allow relevant witnesses to be cross—examined and allow releva nt docu ments witnesses to be cross—examined and allow relevant documents to be released from the white house the may well actually prove his argument but he has blocked all of that so it has been very one—sided so far but it seems by the president's choice and this letter really is quite extraordinary in tone. he goes on an awful lot about that and talks about his achievements in office and it's
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very angry in tone, in fact, a lot of people have described it as a letter on white house headed paper that simply reads like a collection of his angry tweets on this matter. peter, public opinion seems to have been moving on this. would be looking now at some pictures coming in of looking now at some pictures coming inofa looking now at some pictures coming in of a rally in la in favour of impeachment. the democrats must be aware that this could backfire, either now or with the election next year. impeachment seemed to leave bill clinton more popular. yeah, this process really is beginning to engage people and you see that very definitely right now with people in the hours before this impeachment vote actually taking to the streets. this is just vote actually taking to the streets. this isjust one vote actually taking to the streets. this is just one of hundreds of rallies around the country that have been taking place and will no doubt continue on wednesday because people are engaged, people have extremely strong views about this and looking ahead to the months ahead, of
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course, a presidential election year, that is the great significance of this. what will people read into the evidence that they hear during the evidence that they hear during the televised trial during the first few weeks of january? that could be extremely significant not only for the president but by the democrats as well who have an awful lot to lose if they are seen as being unfairto lose if they are seen as being unfair to the president, perhaps impeaching him on the grounds, is certainly donald trump would say or perhaps it could backfire against those democrats with the electoral process picking up speed over the coming months. peter, thank you very much for that and we will hear from an analyst a little bit later in the programme. taiwan's foreign minister has called on the rest of the world to stand behind the island democracy as it faces increasing diplomatic and economic pressure from china. in an exclusive interview with the bbc, foreign minister joseph wu said the world is waking up to the increasing threat to taiwan from the totalitarian state next door. he's been speaking to our asia correspondent rupert wingfield—hayes. the chinese government face a very serious dilemma in dealing
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with the hong kong issue. on the one hand, they are not able to promise the protesters those free elections or other demands or doing an independent investigation on the police violence. and on the other hand, if the chinese government decides that is going to march and they want to move their force into hong kong and deal with the situation militarily, many people in the world would agree with me that it has signified the total failure of the one country, two systems model so they are caught in the situation, the hong kong situation is going to deteriorate and it's a failure of the one country, two systems model, or a military solution that will also signify a failure of the one country, two systems model. have they got one eye on taiwan when they're thinking about this? yes, yes.
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and after the violence and protest activities in hong kong in the last three months, the public opinion surveys show over 90% of the taiwanese people reject the one country, two systems model so it's very clear that people in taiwan see what's happened in hong kong and we don't want to accept the one country, two systems model. when you look at china today, it's difficult not to come to the conclusion that the chinese communist party is biding its time, building up its strength and certainly under the leadership of xi jinping now has an avowed intent to force unification of taiwan with china in his lifetime. it looks like it is that way and we are working very hard in trying to maintain the status quo, trying to maintain peace and stability across the taiwan strait and if you look
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at the key players in the like—minded countries like the united states, major eu countries, japan, and at cetera, they understand the situation rather well. it is china that is trying to chip away the current status quo and they understand the danger in it and are raising their level of voice of concern over this kind of situation and will intensify in their support of taiwan, diplomatic or political support or willingness to engage with taiwan at a higher level. given what we've seen president trump do on the international scene, particularly with the kurds, is the us is still a reliable ally? yes, i would say so. we have been staying in very close touch with all levels of the us officials and i was given assurances by very senior officials that in the negotiations between the united states and china, they say that taiwan will not be a topic for negotiation.
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what we have been asking for actually is quite simple, is for the united states to provide defence articles for taiwan so taiwan is able to defend itself and also to engage with taiwan in the military training or military cooperation so that taiwan is much better equipped in dealing with military contingencies, and all this is going on in a very successful way. let's get some of the day's other news. pope francis, under pressure to respond to thousands of reports of sexual abuse by catholic clergy and accusations of cover—ups, is removing some of the secrecy surrounding such cases. he's declared that the rule of "pontifical secrecy" no longer applies to sexual abuse, and he's also changed the vatican's definition of child pornography. protests across india have continued for a sixth day, with clashes between police and demonstrators. tens of thousands of people have
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turned up to protest against a new law, which offers citizenship to non—muslim illegal immigrants from three nearby countries. hundreds of thousands of protestors hit the streets of france again today — the latest in two weeks of demonstrations against plans to raise the age of retirement. travel was disrupted — most trains weren't running, electricity was cut to thousands of homes, some flights were cancelled and the eiffel tower was shut. a court in tokyo has just ordered a tv presenter to pay over $27,000 in damages to a woman who accused him of rape in a high—profile case that's gripped the country. shiori ito, a film—maker and activist was seeking compensation from noriyuki yamaguchi in a civil case, alleging that he raped her after inviting her to dinner to discuss a job opportunity in 2015. she released a book about her case in 2017, the year she broke her silence. he denied any wrongdoing and filed a counter case, but the court has rejected his demand for damages. we should say the man denied any
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wrongdoing. he filed a counter case and the court has rejected that in is claim for damages. as you say, noriyuki yamaguchi has always denied wrongdoing and says the sex was consensual, that he had to take a back to his hotel room because she was too drunk. i have to say though that that fact she was awarded this damages payment, the amount isn't a lot but it is highly unusual for a rape victim to speak publicly. in fa ct, rape victim to speak publicly. in fact, only 4% of victims came forward in 2017 according to government data and msi ito really became the face of the me too movement in japan and became the face of the me too movement injapan and faced a lot of abuse on line is noriyuki yamaguchi isa abuse on line is noriyuki yamaguchi is a very powerfuljournalist with a lot of connections. she was given comments that i guess other rape victims in other parts of the world base as well, things like why did you go to dinner with him, was it
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what you are wearing? she continued pursuing despite those abuses and has won the civil case. it's not a criminal case, it's not like he's been arrested or anything like that and i'm sure this is not the end of this case but nevertheless, it is a victory for msi ito. so nationally, it could be significant. indeed, and it's also brought up a lot of other issues because ms ito has spoken publicly about how when she first went to the station, she begged to speak to a female police officer but only 8% of police officers injapan are women so only 8% of police officers injapan are women so she wasn't able to speak to anyone and she had to repeat a state it's over and over and then she was advised that it is highly difficult to win a case like this, so she was advised not to file a suit so there were other issues that this case definitely brought up. thank you very much for that. stay with us on bbc news — still to come: strictly ballroom. the disabled syrians
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discovering the joy of dancing. saddam hussein is finished because he killed our people, our women, our children. the signatures took only a few minutes, but they brought a formal end to 3.5 years of conflict, a conflict that has claimed more than 200,000 lives. before an audience of world leaders, the presidents of bosnia, serbia and croatia put their names to the peace agreement. the romanian border was sealed and silent today. romania has cut itself off from the outside world in order to prevent the details of the presumed massacre in timisoara from leaking out. from sex at the white house
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to a trial for his political life, the lewinsky affair tonight guaranteed bill clinton his place in history as only the second president ever to be impeached. this is bbc news. the latest headlines: as the house prepares to vote on impeaching donald trump, he has lashed out, calling it an "open war on democracy." taiwan's foreign minister calls on the free world to stand with the island democracy in the face of growing pressure from china. more now on the trump impeachment vote. let's cross live to las vegas now and speak to associate professor rebecca gill, a political scientist at nevada university. thank you very much for your time. as people i'm sure know by now in effect, the house of representatives is controlled by the democrats, but
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the senate is dominated by the republicans. do you expect this to play out on lines as a political theatre? i hope it's not political theatre, but i do think it will play out on part largely, yes. so, no surprises? what do you think might affect this process? i don't envision a lot of surprises with the impeachment vote in the house that we are expecting tomorrow. it looks like there will be about six hours of debate and then a vote. and i think we are expecting perhaps a couple of democrats to... inaudible. i think it will largely happen along party lines. what happens after that isn't crystal clear, i think. happens after that isn't crystal clear, ithink. i happens after that isn't crystal clear, i think. i think there are some people calling on the house to go through with impeachment and then simply not deliver the articles to
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the senate. in light of the senate majority, leaders discussions about his approach to conducting a trial in the senate in concert with the wishes of the white house, i don't know that that will happen but i think there is a little bit more uncertainty about what happens once things moved to the senate —— move. mitch mcconnell has medically he will co—ordinate with the white house, he says he is not being unbiased, he expects impeachment to be thrown out and the president not to be removed from office. there is also a question about chiefjustice roberts, isn't there? that's right. it's not exactly clear that senator mcconnell‘s going to have the u nfettered mcconnell‘s going to have the unfettered ability to set the rules and sort of direct the traffic in this trial. of course the constitution gives that power to the
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chiefjustice of the united states, which is chiefjustice roberts. it remains to be seen of course what happens when there is daylight between the two, i imagine there probably would be in the senator mcconnell sort of loosens or softens his position on this. but i think chiefjustice roberts his position on this. but i think chief justice roberts has his position on this. but i think chiefjustice roberts has a reputation for being interested primarily in the legitimacy of the institutions and following the letter of the law. my sense is that he would be interested and perhaps very diplomatically pushing back against attempts to sort of run this in concert with the white house. professor, thank you very much. banks. —— thanks. and we will bring you full coverage and analysis of the impeachment vote. keep up—to—date with developments on the bbc news website and join our correspondents in washington here. we'll also have a team of experts
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to break it all down. just adding this, new zealand authorities have considered they may never find the bodies of the last two victims of the white island volcanic eruption. hayden marshall—inman and, ms langford have been washed out to sea. another 16 people were killed. the british prime minister has addressed his new cabinet ministers for the first time and promised to work "flat out" to repay the trust of those who voted for the conservatives last week. but the opposition labour party has issued a warning about boris johnson's first significant move — adding a new clause to the eu withdrawal bill — to ensure that further brexit talks will have to be concluded by the time next year. our deputy political editor john pienaar has this report. are we here? not a hair in place. it's showtime, his time, his cabinet, chorusing his pledges pa nto—style. how many new hospitals are we going to build?
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40! correct. how many more nurses are we going to hire? 50,000. the cabinet looks the same, for now, but their new mission is to deliver on brexit, for the party, and for old and new tory voters. the brexit secretary had private doubts but sources say he was overruled, so, by law, britain is to be clear of eu rules by the end of 2020, with or without a negotiated eu trade deal. is that deadline a real one? the deadline is meant to build pressure for an agreement next year. critics claim a messy exit, maybe a no—deal outcome, has grown more likely. both main leaders, the victor and his beaten rival, lead parties that are seeking a new way — the tories, to keep power, labour, to somehow win it back. the commons looks the same today, but it isn't. far fewer labour mps than before, and the new speaker, dragged by tradition to the chair, will have an easierjob than the last one.
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why? prime minister... cheering. because the prime minister's command of the commons is total. this parliament is not going to waste the time of the nation in deadlock and division and delay. mr speaker, i wonder if you can guess what this parliament is going to do once we've put the withdrawal agreement back? we're going to get brexit done. crowd: get brexit done! from the loser, a very different tone. i would like to offer my congratulations to the prime minister on winning the election and being returned to office and i want to pay tribute to those members from my party particularly who sadly lost their seats in the election. mr speaker elect, the expanded snp westminster group welcomes you to your new home. these are uncertain and challenging times. the public are now looking at this place for leadership. jeremy corbyn has had a bad day at the office. the former labour mp with her back to us was spotted at westminster earlier telling him to his face what she thought of him
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and his leadership. well, i saneremy taking selfies with these young people, and i thought, rather than grinning and smiling with them, he should be apologising to them. this was his campaign, his manifesto, his brexit position, run by his people and his team. at a packed private meeting, labour mps were overwhelmingly critical of their leader. one of them said the party had seemed economically illiterate. jeremy corbyn cited the effect of brexit and a hostile media. but many of his colleagues pointed the finger of blame directly at him. some mps have still to be sworn in. it's a different parliament now, but life won't be easy for anyone. john pienaar, bbc news, westminster. the exact death toll of the syrian civil war is unknown, but hundreds of thousands of people are believed to have died. many more were injured and it's now estimated more than a quarter of the country's population is disabled. but some of those people are finding new hope in an unusual way, as the bbc‘s tim allman reports.
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samircan no samir can no longer walk, but he can certainly dance. badly injured in a traffic accident and confined to a wheelchair, his had to get used to a new way of life. translation: my hobby was swimming andi translation: my hobby was swimming and i really loved it. but after i had the accident and sat in a wheelchair, i started playing basketball, and now my hobby is dancing. the experience made me happy, relieved and connected me with other people. this workshop, sponsored by the united nations, is designed to improve the physical, and psychological wellbeing of disabled syrians. wheelchair ballroom dancing, a bold experiment that even the organisers were a little unsure about to begin with. translation: i won't lie, little unsure about to begin with. translation: iwon‘t lie, we little unsure about to begin with. translation: i won't lie, we were a little worried, because the idea is new. but from the very first moment
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we fail that everyone loved it and was very excited. we have athletes, a basketball player, and badminton player. they are the ones who added to this course and made it look nice and smooth. other workshops are pastimes like table tennis and volleyball, but here it is strictly ballroom. and a chance, samer believes, to prove that nothing is impossible. tim allman, bbc news. just briefly and finally on a more serious note, the news that came in the past hour or so, that court in tokyo ordering a tv presenter to pay more than $27,000 in damages to a woman who accused him of rape. shiori ito, if filmmaker and activist seeking compensation. the
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man denied any wrongdoing and filed a counter case, the court rejected his case and demand for damages. much more for you anytime on the bbc website. thank you for watching. hello. well, wednesday morning is going to be quite foggy across some parts of england so the advice is to take it steady on the roads almost anywhere in england and the fog could linger right through the morning and possibly into the early afternoon, particularly across northern parts of england but as i say, but the south, the midlands, the north are at risk of getting the fog. at the moment, we are in between weather systems. there is a band of wind and rain heading our way but that's not going to reach our shores until a little bit later on wednesday so in the short—term, it's quiet out there, the winds are light, that fog is forming, you can see it here across the south, the midlands as well, patches in the north too and on top of that, the temperatures are around freezing or below, particularly across northern parts of the uk so the risk of some icy patches
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early on wednesday as well. so here is that fog again, you can see it across the midlands but it could in the south too and then basically that fog will drift a bit further north into northern england and it will do that because the winds will be blowing out of the south. it should disperse some of that fog so there will be sunshine around eastern areas but you can't miss this in the west, this is our wet and windy weather sweeping into many western parts of the uk during the course of wednesday afternoon and wednesday night. low pressure here, that here spells gusty winds as well. around western coasts, we could see winds gusting to 16mph and these are warm southerlies as well, the orange colour blowing out of the southern climes and that can mean only one thing, that those temperatures will be rising. so we are in for a very mild, wet day on thursday, almost anywhere, rain likely across the uk and the temperatures could get up to 13 or 1a degrees across the south—east
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of the country, really mild for the second half of december. and then double figures with the rain in scotland as well, and we keep those southerly winds through the course of thursday night into friday. but there is an indication, as we head into friday, the temperatures will ease just a little bit or rather they'll drop away back down to maybe 10 degrees or so. you can see around about 9 there, for example, in liverpool and there will be some rain around, too. so i think really unsettled run—up to christmas at least this week for many of us and those temperatures up into the teens across the south of the country. let's have a sneak peek of what the weekend might bring. so temperatures back down to around 9—10 degrees and it is going to remain unsettled but details as far as the weather goes this weekend are still a little uncertain.
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this is bbc news — the headlines: president donald trump has described impeachment proceedings against him as an attempted coup by democrats — accusing them of declaring war on america's democracy. on the specific charges of abuse of power and obstruction of congress the president said the first was a baseless invention, the second preposterous and dangerous. taiwan's foreign minister, joseph wu, has argued that the island requires additional support from democratic allies to stand up to increased diplomatic and economic pressure from communist china. in a bbc interview, mr wu said the world was waking up to the rising threat from beijing. a court in tokyo has ordered a television presenter to pay damages to a woman who accused him of rape. shiori ito was seeking compensation from noriyuki yamaguchi in a civil case, alleging that he raped her after inviting her to dinner to discuss a job opportunity in 2015.


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