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tv   The Briefing  BBC News  December 20, 2019 5:00am-5:31am GMT

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this is the briefing, i'm samantha simmonds. our top story: as massive buyers and record temperatures had australia scott morrison finally cut short his holiday. democrats and republicans are at loggerheads over the next stage of president trump's impeachment. celebrations in macau to mark twenty years since the former colony was handed to chinese rule. in business, brexit is back! the withdrawal agreement goes before parliament, signalling the final weeks of britain's eu membership.
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a warm welcome to the programme, briefing you on all you need to know in global news, business and sport. and you can be part of the conversation. as more millennials put off parenting and plump for pets, the ft reports almost half have gone into debt at the vet. would you put a price on your pup? or take out a credit card to cure the cat? let us know, just use the hashtag #bbcthebriefing. australia's prime minister scott morrison has cut short his vacation as extreme heat and fires ravage parts of the country. he'd been under huge pressure to return from hawaii, as new south wales, the most populous state,declared a 7—day state of emergency. two volunteer firefighters have been killed in a road crash near sydney.
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temperatures have hit the forties and could spike again. tim allman reports. the fires continue to rage. the bush, continues to burn. among those paying the ultimate price, those sent to fight the flames. the new south wales rural fire service confirming two of the number, andrew o'dwyer and geoffrey keaton were killed when the vehicle was hit by a falling tree. but where was the prime minister? that was the question being asked by protesters outside scott morrison's official residence. angry the pm was on holiday while much of the country was in flames. in a statement, he said a deeply regret any offence caused to the many australians affected by the terrible bushfires by my taking leave with family at this time. given these most recent
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tragic events i will be returning to syd ney tragic events i will be returning to sydney from leave at soon as can be arranged. it is unfortunate that it has come at such an awful time, particularly for those living around syd ney particularly for those living around sydney and new south wales, and it is just devastating to be here and seeing what is happening there. i am pleased to be returning. and this may be the sydney he returns to. a city enveloped in smoke, many residents forced to wear masks. the worry is, it mightjust be the beginning. we have been incredibly lucky but i feel our luck is about to run out and we could be looking at very major impact. if the summer keeps going the way it's going, we haven't seen anything yet. that unrelenting heat has only made the situation more difficult. record temperatures have been reached, who knows what a long, hot summer may bring? let's go live to bargo, a town in the south west of sydney and join the bbc‘s phil mercer.
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welcome, bring us up—to—date on the picture on the ground there? this is bargo, about 90 minute drive from the sydney opera house, and behind me, one of a0 homes destroyed in this region by fires stopping the property behind me still smoulders, and a friend of the owner is there with a garden hose trying to put out any last remaining flames, and a short distance away as well as two volunteer firefighters were killed after the fire engine was had by that tree last night here in new south wales. you can smell the smoke in the air, you can certainly smell the scorched earth, and a short time ago we were at a small lake where these giant helicopters, they call them air cranes, were coming in with large hoses to suck the water out of that dam to fight the fires that are
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continuing to raid around here. it is quite airy, this is a few days before christmas obviously, but the mood, you get the sense, is pretty tense as these fires continue to menace notjust tense as these fires continue to menace not just communities tense as these fires continue to menace notjust communities here but communities in many parts of the country. we have heard that the prime minister scott morrison is to return from his holiday, he came under increasing pressure to do so. what is expected of him when he does return, do you think? earlier this week, a group of formerfire and emergency chiefs held a press conference in sydney and they were very damning of scott morrison not for going just on holiday at this time, but because of what they have considered to be a lack of moral leadership, and also they accused the prime minister of not taking climate change seriously. mr morrison is committing about $8 million to the aerial firefighting effo rts million to the aerial firefighting efforts here in australia. has acknowledged a link between climate
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change and this continuing bushfire crisis. i would change and this continuing bushfire crisis. iwould imagine change and this continuing bushfire crisis. i would imagine when mr morrison gets home tomorrow he may well see some of the smoke when he flies in to sydney if this is in fa ct flies in to sydney if this is in fact where he lands, he will be expected to take a far firmer grip when it comes to leadership of a national crisis stopping conditions tomorrow when he gets back to australia are expected to be brutal once again, so i would imagine that we will see a lot more of mr morrison given the criticism he has encountered because of this family holiday to hawaii. democrats and republicans are locked in a stand—off about the next stage of president trump's impeachment. it has been delayed until early january, at least, because they can't agree the format for a trial in the senate. mr trump has tweeted to say he wants an immediate trial. with more, here's rich preston. it was on wednesday that the gavel fell, making donald trump only the third ever president of the united
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states to be impeached. article one is adopted. but now, the process has stalled, because political leaders can't agree a way forward. it has become a battle between two key senators, chuck schumer and the republican majority leader mitch mcconnell. after a vote in the house of representatives, articles of impeachment are supposed to be sent to the senate, prompting the start ofa to the senate, prompting the start of a trail. but the speaker of the house of representatives nancy policy has said she won't send the papers until republicans in the senate tell her how the trail will be run. nancy pelosi and her democrat colleagues want a trail to ta ke democrat colleagues want a trail to take place slowly with witnesses. never has there been a presidential impeachment trail in which the majority prevented the health managers from fairly presenting their case, to have witnesses explain their knowledge of the alleged malfeasance. the republicans
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have warned that won't happen, and say the senate, which is controlled by the republicans, mr trump's own party, is likely to acquit the president. over the last 12 weeks house democrats have conducted the most rushed, least thorough, and most rushed, least thorough, and most unfair impeachment enquiry in modern history. for his part, president trump has criticised democrats telling the senate how to run their trail, and said he wants a trail to take place immediately.” think he wants to engage in the senate because he essentially saw impeachment as a bit of a rallying cry for his supporters. last night in michigan at his campaign rally he acted so angry, he was clearly railed up by this, so i think now he wa nts railed up by this, so i think now he wants this to be quick so he can try to make this as theatrical as possible and try to put on a show for his supporters that they can see. but if anyone thought this might be wrapped up quickly, think
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again. without an agreement, representatives and senators have now gone on holiday. without those crucial impeachment papers being transmitted and without a framework on how a trail will take place, keeping the whole thing and limbo until the senate returns injanuary. let's brief you on some of the other stories making the news. seven of the remaining democrats vying to be the party's candidate in the 2020 us election have been taking part in the last live televised debate of the year. the panel in los angeles included the front—runner, the former vice—presidentjoe biden. the candidates expressed their support for the process. many also acknowledged that the american public was split over along party lines about the impeachment. in a rare show of bipartisan unity, the us house of representatives has overwhelmingly approved president trump's renegotiated trade agreement with canada and mexico. the democrat—controlled house backed the billjust a day after voting to impeach the president. it must now be passed by the senate. it replaces nafta, the north america free trade agreement, now 25 years old.
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celebrations are underway to mark the twentieth anniversary of the handover of macau to chinese government rule. china's president xi jinping is attending. his visit is widely seen as a reward for the former portuguese colony's stability and its loyalty to mainland china. its people have been much less politically active than their counterparts in hong kong, something that the chinese government has been keen to publicise. 0ur correspondent shaimaa khalil is in macau. alton, what is the chinese president been saying there? he was full of praise for the people of macau and the leadership, he praised the wealthy casino hub's prosperity and their loyalty to beijing. and every
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speech he made the point and hammered home the message that macau has successfully implemented the one country has successfully implemented the one cou ntry two has successfully implemented the one country two systems principle, which is the same principle and formula under which hong kong is being governed with a very different political reality. unlike hong kong that has been rocked by these protests for more than six months now, anti—ageing sentiment really high, here in macau it is a com pletely high, here in macau it is a completely different picture. people have no reason to come to the streets, this is a very wealthy nation, very wealthy city excuse me, with many subsidies to those who live here, many of those come from mainland china so huge affinity to beijing. and what was interesting about president xi's remarks, praise for macau was seen as an about president xi's remarks, praise for macau was seen as an indirect rebuke to hong kong for failing to quell the political turmoil there. 20 years since this country has been pa rt
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20 years since this country has been part of china, tell us what life is like that for the people who live there. it is quite a wealthy gaming bubble, if you will. if you look behind me, this skyline really tells the story of macau, big buildings, glitzy buildings everywhere stopping this is one of the wealthiest places on earth, it's one of the top three richest places per capita, and again, lots of people who have come here have emigrated from mainland china so a lot of affinity, really close relationships with mainland china, and also xijinping has made a point that there are ambitions to diversify the economy, so a very rich nation known for its casinos and gambling and not really known for its political engagement like hong kong is. thank you. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: changing attitudes on the terraces, the new owner hoping to bring unity to a jerusalem football club.
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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 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.
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you are watching the briefing. 0ur headlines: as new south wales declares a state of emergency in the face of raging bushfires, australia's prime minister bows to pressure to cut short his holiday. democrats and republicans are at loggerheads over the next stage of president trump's impeachment. later on friday, britain will make a major step towards leaving the european union. the withdrawal agreement negotiated between borisjohnson's government and brussels goes before parliament, with a vote expected later, and given the government's large majority, it is expected to get through without many changes. under the agreement, britain is due to formally leave the eu on 31 january next year, followed by a transition period. joel kibazo is a partner atjk associates and the former director of communications at
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the african development bank. good morning. welcome to you. good to see you, as ever. so does it seem that we have certainty, now that we know who has won the election, when britain will leave the eu, our markets and businesses now more steady? we might have political clarity because of the big win last week of the conservative party, and the 80 seat majority, however, you will have seen from the markets that there is still some uncertainty, because the bill that is being introduced today in parliament also has a clause which says that the negotiations on trade in terms of the withdrawal bill should be through by december 2020, which has made the markets rather nervous, because that means — these kind of trade deals take quite a long time,
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and so what that means is we might have a bill which has some key elements, but not areas like services, which the uk, a majority of the economy, is very much focused on services. you won't be able to get all of those points. that explains why the markets are nervous, the pound gained a lot last week on what looks like certainty, but now there is great nervousness that can this actually happened? those gains were wiped out within 2a hours, won't they? so given the pressure to come up with a trade deal with the eu by the end of next year, critics are saying any deal will be narrow and shallow. what do they mean by that? well, what they mean is you will get some of the basics, but on things like just—in—time manufacturing, will you be able to get your goods through the different countries, because the system has been very much based on the fact that you can have something
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made in france, other parts made in the uk and other parts made in poland. so it is likely that that kind of deal will be able to be done. however, you won't be able to get the vast range of services, and there are so many different agreements the government will have to be negotiating on. and the fear is that that is the bulk of the uk economy, and they won't be able to get through that within the timeframe allowed. what about the fa ct timeframe allowed. what about the fact that parliament won't be able to vote on any trade deal, in particular concerns about what happens with the us, and this fear that they will have aggressive demands, that they will be able to force their chlorinated, washed chicken upon us. are they well founded fears? they are fierce, because we have leaked papers that look as if areas such as agriculture products and farming produce, pharmaceuticals, that the us was actually interested in looking at any deal, that those things would be included. we had those leaked papers before the election. the government
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says they are not going to be included, but as i said, we do have evidence, if that is the term that can be used. the other problem is, of course, that the eu which still accou nts of course, that the eu which still accounts for a large part of the uk trade has different priorities and different industries that it wants to concentrate on. so the fear and concern for businesses which way will the uk turn? will it be towards the united states or towards the eu? we will see you a little bit later for a look through the papers. thank you. here is our briefing on some of the key events happening later. in paris, the verdict is due on the trial of former bosses of france telecom. they are accused of moral harrassment and linked to a series of suicides among workers a decade ago. switzerland is due to close down its first nuclear reactor as part of the country's programme to phase out nuclear power. and boeing will launch a test—flight of its starliner passenger spacecraft. it will be unmanned and will fly from nasa's cape canaveral base
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in florida to the international space station. now it's time to get all the latest from the bbc sports centre. hello, this your friday sport briefing. i'm ben croucher. we will start with cricket, where the kolkata knight riders have made australian paceman pat cummins the most expensive overseas player in indian premier league history. he will earn around $2.2 million from next year's tournament. he said he was absolutely pumped to be returning to the side for whom he played in 201a and 2015. glenn maxwell, chris morris and eoin morgan also fetched more than $1 million in the auction. dare say liverpool might feel they have picked up a bargain, with salzburg's talented japanese winger takumi minamino moving to anfield next month. he will costjust the $9.5 million, a mere snip by modern standards. still only 2a, he has played 22 times forjapan, and said it was a dream to join the european champions. it has been a bit of a nightmare for russian sport in recent years.
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after being banned for four years from all major international sport, they are now going to appeal against the sanction. the world anti doping agency punished them for manipulating lab test data, which would mean they couldn't compete at the olympic and paralympics next year or play under a russian flag at the 2022 football world cup. the russian anti—doping agency said it disagreed with the sanctions. wada fully expected russia to lodge an appeal. that was part of their thinking when they reached the conclusion to make russia non—compliant. the case now goes to the court of arbitration for sport. the fear is it could take months, and that means we could have the build—up to yet another olympics, in this case tokyo 2020, dominated by the russia doping scandal. could friday be the day arsenal get a new manager? this man, mikel arteta, is expected to be announced as their new head coach in a few hours' time. the spaniard remains under contract as coach at manchester city,
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and they're still waiting on a compensation package from arsenal believed to be in the millions of dollars. arteta spent five years at the emirates as a player. early indications are that the dallas mavericks are struggling without luka doncic. he was missing during their defeat to boston celtics on wednesday, with an ankle injury, and it is doubtful he'll be back for the mavericks‘ game against the philadephia 76ers later on friday. the mavs are fourth in the western conference, having lost three of their last five. one man not struggling is jadon sancho. the english forward has been flying for borussia dortmund of late. more goals against hoffenheim could take dortmund to within a point of bundesliga leaders rb leipzig. sancho has scored in seven straight games since the international break, bagging eight goals in the process,
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and scored in his last game against hoffenheim too last season. and if you've flicked your phone onto bbc sport's instagram, you might have seen two of sport's greatest together like you probably didn't imagine. this is serena williams being put through her paces by none other than mike tyson. and if you thought that was good, check out her moves. here she is along with young starlet coco gauff, throwing a few shapes and tearing up the dancefloor to some trendy modern beat. we know tennis is about footwork, timing, co—ordination, so maybe no surprise they've got this in their locker. i draw the line at the macarena. more of serena's unusual preseason training on our website, whatever you're up to, do have a great day. staying with sport, and for decades, fans of beitarjerusalem football
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club in israel have been known for violence and racism towards arabs. it is the only leading israeli club never to have signed an arab muslim player. but a new owner bought the club in august last year, and he is trying to change its culture. alex ca pstick reports from jerusalem. match night at the stadium, home to beitarjerusalem, one of the biggest clu bs beitarjerusalem, one of the biggest clubs in the country, with a loyal, passionate following. they come from all corners of the land, with a hard—core of all corners of the land, with a ha rd—core of fans all corners of the land, with a hard—core of fans who go by the name of la familia. they are raucous, but they have also earned a notorious reputation for being racist, proud their team is the only one in israel's top division who has never selected an arab player. their behaviour was a huge problem, but this man took them on, his style confrontational. the way that i chose was to sue personally for damages for damaging the reputation
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of the club. i have zero tolerance for racism, absolutely zero, and my reactions towards racism is not proportional. it's not proportional. you shout one racist comment and i will sue you for $1 million. the scale of the challenge was laid bare when fans disrupted a preseason open day at the training ground. these protests aimed at new signing ali mohammed, a christian from the share with an arab name. but ali mohammed's goalscoring has only provoked a positive response. close by, jewish and arab children from western eastjerusalem by, jewish and arab children from western east jerusalem play by, jewish and arab children from western eastjerusalem play together ina western eastjerusalem play together in a project known as team of equals. it is doing its bit to help bridge the divide in this complicated city. the organiser is also responsible for monitoring all this work, dissemination in israeli football. ourjob is to make eve ryo ne football. ourjob is to make everyone understand that there is a difference between what you can do
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outside and what you can do in the football stadium. and i think, slowly but surely, everyone is moving in that direction in israel, and especially beitar. the atmosphere is very much changed in the past year. while things have calmed down, the real test will come if or when and arab—israeli joins this club, he steps out onto this pitch in the yellow and black colours of beitarjerusalem. some fa ns colours of beitarjerusalem. some fans would resist the idea of buying an arab player, but the owner shows no sign of giving into them.” an arab player, but the owner shows no sign of giving into them. i don't ca re no sign of giving into them. i don't care about his religion, i don't ca re care about his religion, i don't care about his religion, i don't care about his religion, i don't care about his colour. i don't i ca re if care about his colour. i don't i care if he can help the team, if he isa care if he can help the team, if he is a good football player. in israel, pulling people together in a common cause is difficult, but it beitar, the new owner is showing a way to bring unity. just before we go, a reminder to let us just before we go, a reminder to let us know what you think about a
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talking point today. as more millennials give up parenting and plan for pets, more than half have gone into debt at the vet. let us know your thoughts, use the #bbcthebriefing. hello there. for many of us on thursday, the rainjust kept on coming. we had low pressure to the west of the british isles. you can see the swirl of cloud here on the satellite picture, and around the low, we pulled pulses of rain up from the south. we've already had flooding in places. the ground is very wet, and with a bit more rain in the forecast, well, there could well be some further problems with flooding, particularly i think across england, parts of wales as well. so do stay tuned to the bbc weather website for updates on any weather warnings where you are. a very soggy start, then, across central and eastern parts of england particularly. that rain will slowly pull its way off into the north sea, and then it is essentially a day of sunny spells and showers.
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quite a few showers drifting in towards the western side of scotland. northern ireland might start off with some fog patches. some of those could be quite slow to clear. could be quite a lot of cloud in places through the afternoon, and temperatures a little bit lower than they have been, between six and 11 degrees. now, as we go through friday night, we will see some showers pushing in from the south—west. some of these will be on the heavier side. there'll be some dry weather and some clear spells as well, and it's going to be a slightly clearer night than we've been used to lately. there could even be a touch of frost in some places in the northern half of the uk. now, those overnight showers are associated with this little frontal system here. that'll be clearing away during saturday, but notice another more active frontal system gathering down to the south—west. so we will see this first band of showers drifting northwards, maybe some further showers following on behind. a lot of dry weather through the day, and some spells of sunshine, but this rain likely to spread into the south later in the day. some pretty brisk winds with that, as well. temperature—wise, we're looking
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at highs between six and 11 degrees. as this little area of low pressure slides close to the south of the uk, on saturday night into sunday, wales and the south of england will see some rain. that main rain will clear away by sunday morning, but low pressure is still in charge. so that means we'll see further showers at times, these showers potentiallyjoining together into lines pushing from the west towards the east. some sunny spells, as well, and those temperatures generally in the range of 5—10 degrees. and then as we look further ahead into next week, christmas week, of course, it's going to get off to a showery start, but it will then calm down. it turns drier and colder, with a risk of fog and frost.
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stage of president trump's impeachment. this is the business briefing. i'm samantha simmonds. brexit milestone. the withdrawal agreement goes before parliament, signalling the final days of britain's eu membership, and the start of intense negotiations on future trade. plus, goodbye nafta, hello usmca. the us house of representatives approves a trade deal with mexico and canada, covering $1.2 trillion worth of business per year. and on the markets, us stocks closing at new record highs, after the us treasury secretary says a trade deal with china is almost ready to sign. asian shares are holding onto their gains, around 18 month


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