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tv   BBC News  BBC News  March 29, 2021 4:00am-4:31am BST

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this is bbc news. welcome if you're watching here in the uk or around the globe. i'm lewis vaughan jones. our top stories: dozens of people are killed in north—east mozambique in an attack by islamist militants. thousands are forced to flee. an outpouring of grief in myanmar: security forces are condemned after opening fire on mourners at the funeral of a protester. the mexican government admits the true number of its coronavirus deaths is 60% higher than previously reported. and the case that shook america and reverberated around the world: a special report as the man accused of george floyd's murder goes on trial.
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hello, welcome to the programme. it is difficult to comprehend the horror that engulfed the north—eastern region of mozambique this weekend. islamist militants linked to islamic state began attacking the town of palma on wednesday. since then, they have killed dozens, and thousands of people have been forced to flee. foreign staff working on a nearby natural gas project have also been caught up in the violence. they say they were forced to fend for themselves. survivors describe headless bodies strewn across the town. the bbc�*s africa correspondent catherine byaruhanga reports. a desperate journey for many who had been trapped in the far north—eastern corner of mozambique. on the gangway, you can see some of the people who've finally made it to safety.
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civilians risked their lives to charter boats and ships for the rescue mission in palma but many are still missing. sonia omar is worried for her brother's safety, and describes this as a "horrible and unfair situation". gunfire. live rounds and mortar shells have been let loose in palma since wednesday. local islamists linked to isis have waged a brutal insurgency in this region since 2017. its people, already terrorised by the violence, have had to flee once again. eyewitnesses describe seeing dead bodies, some of them beheaded, on roadsides and on beaches. south african meryl knox's son adrian was killed as he tried to escape.
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her husband and her younger son made it out of palma, but she says they were left to their own defences. you can imagine, no army to protect them, none of them having weapons, so it was a matter of run for your life. this could've been avoided. my son could still be alive today. after days of silence, the mozambican army confirmed the deaths of civilians, including foreign nationals, and said it was focused on restoring peace to palma. but the government is criticised for failing to tackle an insurgency that has seen 2,000 people killed and over 500,000 displaced. projects will put it under even more pressure. catherine byaruhanga, bbc news, nairobi.
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i spoke to emily estelle, senior research associate at the american enterprise institute. it isa it is a think tank. i asked how these militant groups had become so powerful. this insurgent group in northern mozambique is part of a broader movement that includes al-qaeda and many other islamist factions. the mozambique group is linked to the islamic state. this group is a combination of long—standing jihadist networks in eastern africa which have global goals with a local mobilisation focused on more local issues and grievances. the inject of expertise from those networks has made these group more deadly as it became active in 2017 and so, that explains some of the extreme violence that we're seeing now. and it seems at the moment, government forces are just simply no match. unfortunately, that is the case. the mozambican government and its forces face a number of challenges. one is just the size
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and capability of the military against an insurgency in an area that is remote, but other challenges include reports that there have been abuses by security forces and possibly by private military contractors against civilians which, with an insurgency like this, actually strengthens the underlying factors that drive the insurgency and make it harder to defeat the group ultimately. and what are some of the recruiting tactics of this group? yeah, so groups like this work by inserting themselves into combustible local situations. in this case, there are background grievances between religious communities, within religious communities, between ethnic groups. there are economic grievances against foreign resource extraction and simply a failing economy that is not allowing particularly young men to move into the next stages of adulthood. now, that means that this group can recruit, in some cases, by attracting people and providing a cause and providing a livelihood. but we've also seen this group just forcing people to join with the extreme level
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of brutality that's also so that combination of brutality and capitalising on local circumstances. and we've — as i mentioned at the beginning there, the area this is happening with natural gas, with foreign workers — is this just a coincidence of location? what is the relationship there? so i think it's actually been a goal of this group for a while to try and drive out foreigners generally, and that's a theme we see across groups like this in africa and elsewhere in the world. now, while this group hasn't directly targeted the natural gas infrastructure, it's now gotten close enough to have this effect, targeting both foreigners that are present in the area and local civilians. this group has also been driving out civilians in the thousands, and that's part of a strategy to try to take over the terrain generally and install themselves more permanently. —— themselves more permanently in this area. myanmar security forces
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are reported to have opened fire on people gathered at a funeral on sunday. it was being held for some of the 114 people killed the previous day — the bloodiest since february's military coup. the united nations has led international condemnation of myanmar�*s military rulers. the us secretary of state antony blinken said washington was horrified by what he called the "reign of terror" laura bicker reports. "my son, my son! why can't you hear me?", she cries. 13—year—old sai wai yan was playing in the street when he was shot and killed. witnesses say troops opened fire, even though no protests were nearby. his family are now adding their voices to a chorus calling for revolution. these children, in this time of crisis, they are kept
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by the safest place by their family. these children are not on the street, not on the front, not even in the living rooms. they are hiding. they are — even their children are not safe, so that means no—one is safe in burma. over 400 people have now died in myanmar since the military seized power last month. some protesters have started to fight back using home—made weapons but they are no match against trained fighters and live rounds. the us has accused general min aung hlaing of presiding over a reign of terror. his regime has already been hit by some sanctions, but he still has powerful friends. russia's deputy defence minister was given a front row seat for yesterday's armed forces day. 0ther diplomats were also in the crowd, including from china.
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but 12 military leaders from around the world issued a rarejoint statement, reminding the general that an army is supposed to protect its people... gunshot. ..not turn their guns on them. and yet, the protests continue undeterred. the will of a defiant people determined to restore democracy has so far refused to bend, even under relentless fire. laura bicker, bbc news, bangkok. saturday also saw the burmese military carry out air strikes against ethnic karen groups for the first time in 20 years. reports from ngos suggest 2,000 people were displaced by strikes against two villages, with refugees fleeing to neighbouring thailand. a ceasefire had previously been in place between the burmese military and karen insurgency forces — one of number of ethnic minority
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groups in myanmar. —— one of a number of ethnic minority groups in myanmar. ethnic militant groups are also present in the northern states of shan and kachin. prior to the coup, the majority of the military regimes focus —— regime's focus was on these groups, with many human rights violation reported over decades. david eubank is founder and head of the free burma rangers, an ngo which provides assistance to displaced people in myanmar. i was inside the actual fighting area starting in december, january, there was a slow build—up and then in february, an explosion. we had around 2,500 people displaced in northern karen state before the coup. now we have over 10,000 and more burmese soldiers have come up — over 104 trucks, for example, on one road alone — trying to build up the camps and road systems in northern karen state, so we've seen an escalation in karen state. but not just in but notjust in the current
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state. —— but notjust in the karen state. teams up in kachin state of reported more attacks and more people displaced. what has changed in the military mindset? do you think it is a lack of shackles now of the previous democracy, or what has changed? i think you are right. it is the relationship between the coup and the fight between the ethnics, they're connected in that i believe the burma military and suu kyi and others in the democracy movement said, "that's enough. we're going to take over directly." the same with the ceasefires — they were not breaking the will of the ethnics, like the burmese generals thought they would. so we're done. the gloves are off. the gloves are off in rangoon — according to your excellent report there. the same in the ethnic areas. what is brand new for us is air strikes. —— what is brand new for us is air strikes. there have been air strikes in kachin state and rakhine state, but i've been in the field for 25 years but i've never seen air strikes in karen state. there were a few, but not
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in the last 20 years and also, what's unique, these air strikes, some of them occurred at night. we had not seen the burma army with that capability just now to do night bombing runs. this, of course, influences a huge number of people, people being displaced. what kind of help can you and organisations like yours give in these circumstances? we've got about 100 small teams in burma but that is not nearly enough. but our teams give medical support, tarps, shelter and food and there are many other organisations and community—based organisations on the ground doing the same. we are in a partnership together. and what we need is more funds for food, blankets, tarps, medicine but the biggest need is to stop the burma army. many karen will tell you what they told me — "we don't really need food and medicine or to stop the burma army, we know do to do that ourselves, but our appeal is for whatever intervention is necessary to stop the attacks of
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the burma army against people in the cities and the mountains". and, before that, immediate humanitarian assistance — and there are many good partners on the ground among the ethnic peoples. thanks, david eubank. mexico has published revised figures indicating the number of deaths caused by coronavirus is 60% higher than previously reported. more than 320,000 people are now believed to have died from the disease in the country, meaning it now has the second highest number of covid—related deaths in the world after the us. the new figures came after a review of excess deaths and of death certificates. so why do different countries count the numbers in different ways? how accurate is the global death toll? i asked monica gandhi, a doctor at the university of california, san francisco medical center. we don't actually have a planet—wide system on how to adjudicate deaths, and this sort of showed this to us. today, as you reported and you just told us,
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mexico increased their death count from covid—19 by more than 100,000 people, which ended up putting them into the second highest numbers of deaths worldwide from covid—19. and that was looking at the fact that they had so many more excess deaths than last year. and then even, though, the death certificates may not exactly reflect what people died of — understanding there are probably a lot of deaths that happened at home because the icu capacity is quite limited in many areas in mexico — and they decided to give these more accurate figures. so it is very worrisome, you are right, that we don't have a standard way worldwide to say what are the deaths we need to work on this in a standard way after this. ok, that's really interesting. given we are a year into this and we still don't have the standardised method, this approach of looking at excess deaths, which sounds cold and calculated, but it's just the overall number of higher deaths that is normal in any given year. given, as you are saying, some people aren't going
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to hospitals, things not recorded, the difference in recordings on death certificates around the world. is the ultimate number that in the future, next year, we should look on, is this number of access deaths across each country? this is a fair measure to look at is excess deaths because in general, we have a certain death rate every year — and it does sound gruesome — then there are months where the death rate is higher because of respiratory illnesses like influenza and pneumonias and those months are usually the colder months in different countries. and we have it down, about what number of deaths you would have each year from typical causes and then suddenly something like a pandemic comes along and there are these excess deaths recorded. they're sort of assuming what else could it be besides covid—19, what did change in the country or worldwide that lead to these more than 100,000 deaths that
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were excess from the year 2018, for example, 2019, so it is fair. it's crude — i know it sounds very crude — but it is fair, and that's how many countries in retrospect have been looking back and saying, "did they have excess deaths?" but you just revealed a problem that lower and middle—income countries, if they have limited hospital capacity, many of these deaths are occurring at home. they have been taken, unfortunately, to the morgue, for example, and nobody recorded exactly what they died of, so this is an assumption we have to make — what else could they have died of if there were more deaths this year than last year? 0ur our thanks to monica there. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: stay indoors — the warning from local authorities after severe weather wreaked havoc on the portuguese island of madeira.
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the accident that happened here was of the sort that can produce a meltdown. in this case, the precautions worked, but they didn't work quite well enough to prevent some old fears about the safety features of these stations from resurfacing. the republic of ireland has become the first country in the world to ban smoking in the workplace. from today, anyone lighting up in offices, businesses, pubs and restaurants will face a heavy fine. the president was on his way out of the washington hilton hotel where he had in addressing a trade union conference. a small crowd outside included his assailant. it has become - a symbol of paris. 100 years ago, many parisians| wished it had never been built. the eiffel towers's- birthday is being marked by a re—enactment of the first ascent by gustave eiffel. -
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this is bbc world news. the latest headlines: security forces in mozambique say dozens of people were killed in an attack by islamist militants on the town of palma — hundreds of others escaped to safety. the mexican government has admitted the true number of its coronavirus deaths is 60% higher than previously reported. on monday the trial begins of derek chauvin, the minneapolis police officer accused of murdering george floyd, by kneeling on his neck for more than 9 minutes in may last year. mr floyd's death was caught on camera and sparked widespread protests against police brutality. 0ur north america correspondent, aleem maqbool, reports on what's being seen as one of the most important trials in us history.
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it sparked a mobilisation of people the likes of which has never been seen. the killing compelled americans to take a look notjust at the issue of police brutality but systemic racism in all its guises. "my daddy changed the world", said george floyd's daughter. and politicians and corporations promised to deliver. but when the spotlight shifted, what did change? so, a lot of people. people like to talk about change when things are burning down. and people are breaking into malls and there are protests every night and people are burning down restau ra nts. when all of that dies down, the call for change dies down too, unfortunately. and black men continue to die at the hands of the police. at this site, just two weeks after george floyd was killed... i don't want to refuse anything. rayshard brooks was reported sleeping in his vehicle
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in a restaurant car park. he was shot in the back by police and killed as he ran away. the case against the officer has faltered. for many activists, the focus of frustration became the government of donald trump, as george floyd's nephew told me last year. we demand change. so this is what's going to happen. we need to get out there and vote. vote him out. in the elections in georgia, for example, the turnout of black voters is credited with helping flip the state democratic. the killing of george floyd played a big role in that. we were all politicised at that moment and many people actually decided that we were going to turn that pain into power. and it started with a vote? for many people, part of it is, it starts with a vote but not a vote because we are asking people to believe in the system, but we're getting people to use their agency to believe in themselves. and what of the police? some states did introduce changes to do with body cameras
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or banning the use of choke—holds. but this was no root and branch reform. well, many police here feel they have been unfairly targeted since last summer, insisting there aren't systemic issues with racism and excessive use of force. and speak to some of those who represent officers when they've killed — well, they question even the fundamentals of this case. because the central question here is not going to be whether he used a tactic that was not recognised by law enforcement. we've already condemned it. the question is, what caused george floyd's death? but there are very few people who would feel he would have died without having a knee on his neck? i don't agree with you. a sense, perhaps, of how derek chauvin�*s defence will play things over the coming weeks. george floyd, as his daughter said, did change things, eliciting emphatic calls for action. but even the trial itself is likely to expose the fact that not everyone has accepted anything needs to change at all. aleem maqbool, bbc news, in atlanta.
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there have been clashes in bangladesh for three days in a row following the visit of indian prime minister narendra modi. a dozen protesters have died and more have been injured. azadeh moshiri reports. flames and violence in bangladesh in the wake of indian prime minister narendra modi's visit. he left on saturday but the chaos is still fresh and palpable. many were injured and some were killed with clashes against police who fired tear gas and rubber bullets against islamist protesters. hindu temples were attacked and a train has been vandalised. translation: bangladesh is a muslim country, - we do not want to see him on our soil! prime minister narendra modi's visit was meant to be a festive one. he was there to mark bangladesh's 50 years of independence, as well as the birth centenary of the nation's founder and father of the current
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prime minister. but for an islamist group in bangladesh, his two—day visit was unwelcome. bangladesh is a country of 168 million people and is mostly muslim. the group accused mr modi of stoking violence against muslims in his home country of india, and they're calling for more demonstrations. translation: the police force made this conspiracy to create | turbulence in the country and fight against the islamic scholars, and unjustly fired on our innocent students. we protest these deaths and demand justice. india's home minister has warned tough action will be taken if the, quote, �*anarchy�* continues. but what he can't put an end to is the dark shadow cast over the country's goldenjubilee. azadeh moshiri, bbc news. another tug boat has arrived to help the growing effort
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to refloat the giant container ship which has been blocking the suez canal since last tuesday. there are now 12 tugs trying to dislodge the ever given, which has stopped all shipping along one of the world's most important trade routes. the egyptian government has ordered preparations to be made to lighten the load of the ship in case the current efforts to move it are unsuccessful. residents on the portuguese island of madeira have been asked by the regional government to stay indoors, after huge thunderstorms twice blacked out electricity alison roberts reports from lisbon. more than 20,000 flashes of lightning were recorded as the storm raged throughout saturday and into sunday. twice power was lost across the island due to lightning strikes. the storm brought heavy rain resulting in widespread flooding of streets, underground car parks and also some homes. no—one was reported injured but several dozen people were left homeless.
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translation: the water came up above the sidewalk, - i had to leave. there was nothing i could do. continuing unstable weather prompted the authorities to urge the island's quarter of a million residents to stay indoors. the power is now back on for most of the island's inhabitants but the electricity company has warned that it will take time to replace some of the damaged equipment. alison roberts, bbc news, lisbon. before we go let's show you some pictures from germany. that is pretty dramatic, isn't it? a former coal station in lunen, north of dusseldorf, was partially demolished in three controlled explosions, bringing down the power plant's chimney, cooling tower and boiling house. it took 420 kilograms of explosives to bring them down, and it comes as germany works towards abandoning coal power by 2038, 100 years after the lunen power station was commissioned. that is it from me, i'll be
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backin that is it from me, i'll be back in the headlines a couple of minutes. you can reach me on twitter — i'm @lvaughanjones. i am lewis vaugthones. this is bbc news. goodbye. good evening, the start of this week will bring a burst of this ring warmth and i think the messages don't get too used to it. temperatures in the southern part of the uk are likely to get to 22 or 23 degrees for a time but by the end of the week, it is likely to turn much colder again. in the shorter term, quite a lot of rain any forecast for north—western parts of the uk, particularly of scotland. during today, a lot of cloud feeding and from the west. the radar shows outbreaks of rain becoming heavy and persistent across the western side of scotland. the rain will keep on coming here as this weather front just wriggles around, bringing more moisture to the north—west of the uk. to the south of that weather front, thatis
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south of that weather front, that is where we will be tapping into some very warm air. and we will start to feel the effects of that from the early hours of monday morning. look at the minimum temperatures were some places 12 and 13 degrees. stays quite windy through the night and rain for northern england and wales and a heavy burst for northern ireland and especially western scotland. heading into tomorrow, the rain continues to fall across high ground in western scotland. there could be some localised flooding here and there. north—east scotland should see some localised flooding. quite a bit of carver north—east england and further south and east, there will be some sunshine and temperatures up to maybe 21 degrees in some parts of eastern england. looking into tuesday, see how the rain is still falling across western scotland. the south and east you are, northern ireland and scotland, especially england, there should be some sunshine, likely to be the warmest day of the week. 21, 20 three degrees quite possible. i think some of that warm full hold on to the
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south. further north and west, the rain will start to ease from the west of scotland as this frontal system possible pushes southwards. behind that may be dropping the temperatures. wednesday afternoon, just seven degrees in aberdeen. still in the 20s further south and east. heading towards the end of the week and of course the easter weekend, this frontal system will eventually journey southwards and that will allow cold air to speu and that will allow cold air to spell southwards as well, reaching all parts of the uk by a good friday. for the easter weekend, this spring warmth will be gone, much colder and it could even be some wintry showers.
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this is bbc news. the headlines:
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authorities in mozambique have defended their response to an attack by islamist militants on the north—eastern town of palma. a security spokesman said dozens of people had been killed by the insurgents, but hundreds of others — including foreign gas workers — had been rescued. the mexican government has acknowledged that the true number of coronavirus deaths in the country is 60% higher than previously reported. based on excess mortality data, it's now thought that more than 320,000 mexicans have died as a result of the pandemic. in myanmar, troops have opened fire at a funeral for one of the 114 people killed in a crackdown on saturday. the european union and the united states have stepped up their criticism of the military for using deadly force against protesters. now on bbc news, hardtalk.


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