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tv   BBC News at Six  BBC News  December 23, 2019 6:30pm-6:46pm GMT

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in saudi arabai over the murder of the journalist jamal khashoggi. an arch critic of the saudi government — he was killed last year at the saudi consulate in turkey. but a un investigator says the hitmen have been convicted; the masterminds have walked free. also tonight: after two crashes that left 346 dead, boeing sacks its chief executive to try to restore confidence in the company. after chelsea's antonio rudiger says he heard racist chants at yesterday's tottenham match, the government urges football authorities to do more to stop it. the tv presenter caroline flack appears in court and pleads not guilty to attacking her boyfriend at her home in london. and prince charles goes to support flood—hit communities in yorkshire, and locals show their support for the duke of edinburgh
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as he spends his fourth night in hospital. sir, how is your father? he's... he's all right. once you get to that age, things don't work as well. good evening. five people have been sentenced to death and three others have been jailed by a court in saudi arabia over the murder of the journalist jamal khashoggi last year. khashoggi was a prominent critic of the saudi government. he was killed when he went to the saudi consulate in istanbul. a united nations investigator who carried out an inquiry into his murder has criticised the trial saying that the hitmen had been convicted, but the masterminds
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behind his death have walked free. our security correspondent frank gardner reports. the last public sighting of jamal khashoggi, seen here walking into the saudi consulate in istanbul in october last year. he never came out alive. turkish cctv footage shows a hit team of 15 saudi government agents arriving in istanbul to intercept khashoggi. inside the consulate they overpowered him, injected him and suffocated him. his body has never been found. 11 men were eventually put on trial. today, the preliminary sentences were announced. translation: the criminal court in riyadh has delivered the following preliminary sentences for ii of the accused. sentencing five of them to death in retribution. they are the ones directly implicated in the death of the victim. may god rest his soul. at the time of the crime, saudi arabia initially denied responsibility but turkey, which had bugged the consulate, leaked details of what really happened.
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in november 2018, the cia said the killing was probably ordered by the saudi crown prince. and injune this year, a un report said there was credible evidence of saudi state involvement. saudi arabia's powerful crown prince, mohammed bin salman, had become increasingly irritated by khashoggi's public criticism of his policies. he denies any responsibility in the murder. agnes callamard, who's investigated the murder on behalf of the un, believes those who masterminded it have walked free. the only people that have been ultimately sentenced in that trial are those that i call the hitmen. they are at the lowest level of the chain of command. anyone above has not been... either not been charged at all or they were charged and then let free.
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jamal khashoggi was described by one royal aide as a threat to national security. critics are now calling the investigation into his murder a whitewash. for saudi arabia, this whole story has cast a dark shadow over its international reputation. in riyadh, the authorities will be hoping this verdict draws a line under it but others will keep on pressing for answers. and frankjoins me now. it doesn't really draw a line under it though, does it? no, i don't think it does. you heard agnes callamard, she is adamant that the book stops along way higher up the chain and what we have seen so she thinks basically these people, the five, are being sacrificed, thrown to the wolves as it were, but the people who ordered this, who were responsible, have walked free. in the gulf there is no such thing as a rogue operation, it doesn't happen.
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this trial fell short of international standards, it was held in great secrecy, there was no journalistic access. no one even knew the verdicts were coming today, and most importantly the two people who western intelligence think were involved in this have walked free so i don't think we have heard the last of it. will it make a difference in the long run? probably not. saudi arabia is an important country with a lot of money and a lot of oil, and this will carry on eventually as usual. frank gardner, thank you. the chief executive of boeing has been sacked less than a week after the plane—maker said it would temporarily halt production of its troubled 737 max airliner. the company has struggled to recover after 346 people died in two crashes involving its planes. our business correspondent, theo leggett, has the story. two devastating accidents and 346 people died. the first plane crashed into the sea off indonesia late last year. then, in march, an identical aircraft went down in these fields in ethiopia minutes after take—off.
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since then, boeing's newest and fastest—selling aircraft, the 737 max, has been grounded worldwide. blame's been placed on a piece of flight control software, known as mcas, that activated at the wrong time and forced both planes into a catastrophic dive. boeing's failures and mr mullenberg's leadership have been angrily condemned in the us congress. those pilots never had a chance. these loved ones never had a chance. they were in flying coffins. senator, if i could try to respond to your question. first of all, the premise... er, that we would lie or conceal isn't consistent with our values. zipporah kuria lost herfather in the ethiopian crash. she says mr mullenberg's departure means little to her. i don't think his resignation is going to change anything for me. maybe for other families but it isn't going to bring my dad home for christmas and it's not
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going to bring lots of loved ones around the table for dinner this year or any other year to come. so, for us, it doesn't make that much of a difference but we hope other families don't have to go through what we are going through. the final humiliation for dennis mullenberg came last week when boeing suspended production of the 737 max because regulators still won't let the plane back in the air. it is unclear when it'll fly again. but, when it does, one of the biggest challenges facing the chief executive will be to persuade passengers it really has been made as safe as it possibly can be. theo leggett, bbc news. the sports minister says the government is committed to working closely with the football authorities to stamp out racism. nigel adams said he'll be monitoring their plans. it comes after the chelsea player antonio rudiger complained of hearing monkey noises from the crowd during yesterday's premier league match at tottenham. joe wilson reports.
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antonio rudiger‘s gestures told us what he'd heard — monkey chants playing for chelsea at tottenham, london, not a distant eastern european stadium. on twitter, rudiger wrote: he also wrote: well, ultimately, a football stadium is just a place of employment and every employee has a right to work without experiencing discrimination. racist behaviour amongst spectators is interfering with the game. please remember that in football there is no place for racism. there was a warning on the loudspeaker at the game — football's protocols did in some form unfold, but the players‘ organisation now wants the government to act. a racism inquiry.
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at the moment, most decent people in this country, and i think that's the majority, are being tarnished by the actions of a minority. and all the great things we stood for in 2012 with the olympics and all that inclusivity and tolerance, it's been eroded slowly and we can't allow that to happen. at tottenham's media conference today, the manager was asked if football needs help. i think society needs help, and then football is... a micro society, if you can call it. do we need help? yes, but society needs help. when england's footballers faced racist chants and nazi salutes in bulgaria, england's manager always stressed there were problems at home. he was right. players may now have confidence to report what they hear. it doesn't mean they're confident that things will change. joe wilson, bbc news, tottenham.
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the former love island presenter caroline flack has appeared in court and pleaded not guilty to assaulting her boyfriend. ms flack appeared at highbury magistrates‘ court after being arrested and charged with assault by battery following a domestic incident at her home in london earlier this month. helena wilkinson is outside the court in north london for us now. what happened in court? caroline flack struggled to get into the court because there was a scrum of photographers here today. her boyfriend, who she is accused of assaulting, was here in the public gallery to support her today. it's alleged she hit him over the head with a lamp while he was sleeping after she found messages on his phone that led her to believe that he was cheating on her. prosecutors in court today said that when he rang 999 he was almost begging for help. when officers went to the flat, they found them both covered in blood and one officer likened the
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scene to a horror movie. also caroline flack is alleged to have tipped over a table while in police custody and had to be restrained. her boyfriend insists he's not a victim and doesn't want the case to be pursued but the crown prosecution service don't have to get consent from him if they've got sufficient evidence to take the case to trial. she will return to face trial on march the 4th. thank you. the australian prime minister, scott morrison, has restated his support of the coal industry despite conceding that climate change is a factor in the extreme hot weather fuelling the country's bushfires. nine people have been killed and hundreds of homes have been destroyed in wildfires across large parts of new south wales. mr morrison has been criticised for his response to the bushfire crisis but he reiterated he would not adjust his policies through panic. prince charles says his father, the duke of edinburgh, is all right and is being treated very well on his fourth day in hospital in london. prince charles spoke to well wishers
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as he visited flood hit communities in yorkshire. danjohnson is in the village of fishlake, which was hit hard by the floods last month. yes, the prince got a real sense of how much people here have suffered andi how much people here have suffered and i think they welcomed the return of the spotlight. you see the skips full of furniture, you see the ca rava ns full of furniture, you see the caravans on people's drives and realise how many people here won't be spending christmas at home. the reality is getting things back to normal is going to take many more months if not years. set up your picnic seat. clear the streets. this was a first for fishlake, an unprecedented visit after an unparalleled flood. the mints were shared. the shoes were shiny. and the south yorkshire handshakes? well, they're not afraid to get a grip. people here seem genuinely pleased to see the prince.
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thank you for coming, it means a lot. he took the chance to see some of the homes wrecked when the river don overflowed last month. it's been a real battle since it happened because the insurance companies have taken so long. justin's suffered more than most. i said, "where were you six weeks ago?" this is six weeks since this happened. only now have you actually picked this up. this is... so, yeah. i think prince charles, you know, he understood exactly what i was saying. you know, it's incredibly frustrating. three feet of water submerged the village for more than a week. thousands were affected across yorkshire and the midlands. this is where all the kitchen units were. people who now face a miserable christmas. we're not in a position that we're anywhere that we feel is home. and, to us, christmas should be at home. we've had to explain to everybody, you know, we appreciate you sending christmas cards, but don't be expecting anything
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from us this year, i'm really sorry. we just don't feel in the mood or in that position to celebrate. the prince met local politicians who've called for a regional version of cobra, the government emergency response committee. climate change is undoubtedly a factor. so, we do need to look very carefully at what's happened here. and we need investment. we need to ensure that our flood defenses are fit for purpose, because i don't want to be here in five years or ten years having this same conversation. when a royal‘s in town, questions of family are never far away. sir, how is your father? he's all right. once you get to that age, things don't work as well. but today's real focus was on people here who are still facing a difficult future. danjohnson, bbc news, in fishlake. a painting by ls lowry, which had been unknown to the art world, is to be sold at auction. the mill at pendlebury, painted in 1943, has never been displayed in public before and doesnt feature in any books on the artist. it only came to light after its owner died this
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year at the age of 98. the painting is dominated by the uk's first all—electric powered cotton spinning mill and shows families on their day off. experts think it could fetch up to £1 million next month. for many, christmas wouldn t be christmas if you didn t raise a toast with friends and family in the pub. but in less than 20 years, the number of small pubs in the uk has halved. this week the government pledged more than £1 million to community action groups working to rescue or reopen their locals. our rural affairs correspondent claire marshall visited two villages where pub—goers have clubbed together to try to stop them closing for good. there is no cosy christmas cheer at the rising sun, just a ghost of a pub. it closed nine years ago, the last wisp of the community soul of the village of woodcroft, which had already lost its post office and shop. jerry, in his 80s, has lived here for over 40 years.

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