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tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 8, 2021 2:00am-2:31am GMT

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hello, this is bbc news — i'm rich preston — our top stories... a virtual summit amidst the build up of russian troops on the ukrainian border. president biden outlines �*deep concerns�* — vladimir putin demands a halt to the expansion of nato. leaked footage sparks a row over what appears to be british officials joking about a covid christmas party last year — breaching lockdown rules — at number 10 downing street. rescuers search through mud and lava for survivors of saturday's volcanic eruption on the indonesian island of java. and celebrations as same—sex marriage becomes legal in chile.
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welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and around the globe. the presidents of the us and russia have held a two—hour video summit, dominated by heightened tensions over ukraine. the white house says president biden made clear what it called �*deep concerns�* of the us and its european allies over russia�*s military drills and escalation of forces near ukraine. mr putin, on the other hand, said russia wanted guarantees that nato wouldn�*t expand further east. our north america correspondent peter bowes reports. ina in a secure video connection for a high—stakes meeting. joe biden face—to—face with the russian president for the first time sincejune when they met in person. joe biden seated in the situation room at the white
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house with his senior advisers, the two leaders shared pleasantries before getting pleasa ntries before getting down pleasantries before getting down to business. it�*s good to see you again. behind closed doors they spoke for two hours with ukraine at the top of the agenda. forweeks with ukraine at the top of the agenda. for weeks there�*s been growing concern in the west at the build up of more than 90,000 russian troops near ukraine�*s borders could herald an invasion by russia. the white house said president biden voiced the deep concerns of the united states and its european allies about russia�*s escalation of forces surrounding ukraine. vladimir putin demanded guarantees are in law to rule out the eastward expansion of nato. the call according to the white house was a conversation with give and take but no finger wagging. president biden was direct and straightforward with president vladimir putin as he always is. he reiterated america�*s support for you ukraine�*s sovereignty and territorial integrity and he told vladimir putin directly if russia further invade
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ukraine united states our allies would rip on respond with strong economic measures. the white house said the teams are both presidents would follow up with the meeting. figs follow up with the meeting. as we follow up with the meeting. sis we pursue follow up with the meeting. is we pursue diplomatic channels, we pursue diplomatic channels, we will also prepare for all contingencies just we will also prepare for all contingenciesjust as we we will also prepare for all contingencies just as we have been doing for weeks now including through the preparation of specific responses to russian escalation should they be required. is, should they be required. a statement released by the kremlin said that you put in had stressed russia should not be held responsible for tensions because nato was making dangerous attempts to take over ukrainian territory and increasing its military potential on russia�*s borders. ukraine has been celebrating the 30th anniversary of its armed forces. an adviser to the president said the country was grateful forjoe president said the country was gratefulforjoe biden is a support and urged russia to use diplomatic means to ease regional tensions. the ball is now in moscow scored, all eyes will be on the ukrainian border
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to see what happens next. we can now speak to john herbst, former us ambassador to ukraine and senior director of the eurasia center at the atlantic council. thank you forjoining us. what do you make of this video call? i think the key is not the video conference, the policy on the part of the united states. washington has handled skilfully, on balance, moscow is large literary build—up on the ukrainian border is, it�*s been warning about the danger of a possible russian invasion for weeks, of a possible russian invasion forweeks, it of a possible russian invasion for weeks, it has worked out a policy of strong response, in terms of economic sanctions, and increased military aid, as well as bolstering the nato presence in the east if moscow does invade. it has worked with the allies to make sure that this is a joint us allied
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response and all of these things give vladimir putin a reason to decide not to invade. you say there�*s been a strong response from washington but there�*s about 90,000 russian troops on the border, this did not happen overnight. why is it only now that the two leaders are discussing this? i only now that the two leaders are discussing this?— are discussing this? i think moscow really _ are discussing this? i think moscow really wanted - are discussing this? i think moscow really wanted this | moscow really wanted this meeting, i think washington was willing to give it to vladimir putin who thinks his status is enhanced when he meets with the president of the united states. so that is why i think this meeting happened. if as jake sullivan said, joe biden laid out a strong warning, then the meeting itself was a plus. but i don�*t think it will resolve the crisis. i don't think it will resolve the crisis.— the crisis. there's been a somewhat _ the crisis. there's been a somewhat up-and-down| somewhat up—and—down relationship between the us and russia over the last few years, the previous white house administration arguably did not really challenge vladimir putin that much, president biden making it clear he is taking a
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different approach. what will the kremlin be thinking about this interaction with the white house? in this interaction with the white house? , ., this interaction with the white house? ,., ._ , this interaction with the white house? , g ., this interaction with the white house? , g. �* house? in some ways, joe biden is stronger— house? in some ways, joe biden is stronger than _ house? in some ways, joe biden is stronger than trump _ house? in some ways, joe biden is stronger than trump was - is stronger than trump was russia and in some ways weaker. trump was good on nord stream to but vladimir putin, looking atjoe biden, on the one hand sees someone who is quick to respond when vladimir putin threatens ukraine and that is a very good thing. but on the other hand, joe biden has been weak in dealing with the cyber provocations against the united states. and that is unfortunate.- states. and that is unfortunate. r . unfortunate. as vladimir putin decides what _ unfortunate. as vladimir putin decides what to _ unfortunate. as vladimir putin decides what to do. _ unfortunate. as vladimir putin decides what to do. president | decides what to do. president biden has talked about economic sanctions, joint action from the us and its european allies and russia. are they much of a threat to russia, what form could those sanctions take? we don't know _ could those sanctions take? - don't know for sure but the don�*t know for sure but the types of measures discussed are sanctions against major russian
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banks which would be a painful thing for the kremlin. sanctions against new sectors of the russian economy for example minerals. even more important and more effective, sanctions against the russian secondary debt market, finance, that would be a major hit to the russian economy and finally, this connecting russia from the swiss financial system which would be a major blow. joe biden will deliver a clear body blow to russia. we joe biden will deliver a clear body blow to russia. we will leave it there, _ body blow to russia. we will leave it there, thank - body blow to russia. we will leave it there, thank you. i a video has emerged showing senior number 10 staff joking about holding a christmas party in downing street last year when tight covid restrictions were in place. number 10 continues to deny that a party took place. but the footage — obtained by itv news —
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shows the prime minister�*s then spokesperson, allegra stratton, rehearsing at a mock press conference. she laughs as she tries to work out how to answer a question about whether a party took place on the 18th of december — two days after london had moved into tier 3 restrictions which meant indoor social gatherings were banned. only six people could meet in outdoor public spaces and the government guidance specifically stated no work christmas lunch or parties. the labour leader keir starmer has accused the prime minister of "taking the public for fools" and treating them with "contempt". our political editor laura kuenssberg reports. party? what party? the party that number 10 said didn�*t happen. in the building where boris johnson said tight covid rules were always followed. the party last year that a guest told us had food, drinks and games, and the party
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we now seem to see downing street staffjoking about a few days later. this was a practice press conference for allegra stratton, just hired as the prime minister�*s press spokesperson. i've just seen reports on twitter that there was a downing street christmas party last friday night. do you recognise those reports? i went home! in a video obtained by itv news, laughing in response to questions from an adviser, ed oldfield, about the downing street drinks. what�*s the answer? i don't know! is cheese and wine ok! at the time when socialising for everyone was meant to be strictly off—limits. this fictional party was a business meeting. and it was not socially distanced! the fictional party was a business meeting, she says, laughing about the office that was making the rules, not following them. in the real world outside numberio, pubs had been closed, socialising was strictly off—limits as covid took hold again.
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lockdown was back. there were fines for holding parties. and on that day, 562 people lost their lives to the virus. three, two, one! the problem for boris johnson 12 months on was notjust that a few dozen of his staff got together, nor the laughter about it now revealed, but that all week he hasn�*t been straight about exactly what went on. last wednesday at prime minister�*s questions, a notable non—denial. all guidance was followed completely during number 10... a refusal to give more detail on friday. we followed the guidance throughout and continue to follow the guidance. and then again today. all i can tell you is that all the guidelines were observed. but tonight, outrage from the opposition. last year at christmas, the public followed the rules, and many of them didn't see their loved ones over christmas. some of them didn't see their loved ones again. they had the right to expect the government to follow
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the rules, and we now know the government broke the rules, they partied, and now they're laughing about it. they're treating the public with contempt. boris johnson has tried i to lead us a merry dance, tried to claim that these things didn't happen. i his position, i would have to say, is untenable. - near quiet from number 10 itself tonight, a statement only... as we have repeatedly stated, there was no christmas party. covid rules have been followed at all times. but there is genuine concern in the tory party itself. can that position hold through a silent night? french police have arrested a saudi national suspected of involvement in the murder ofjournalist jamal khashoggi in 2018. the suspect was arrested at an airport in paris. mr khashoggi, who was a prominent critic of the saudi regime, wrote for the washington post. he was murdered at the saudi consulate in istanbul. his body was later dismembered.
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but the saudi arabian embassy in paris says the 33 year old saudi national is not linked to the case and should be released immediately. the former un special rapporteur of extrajudicial killings, agnes callamard, who investigated the khashoggi murder, explains why this arrest could be an important breakthrough. translation: he is a part of the group l responsible for receiving the body or parts of the body of mr khashoggi. he is believed to be one of those who decided where the body was to be hidden. so, this individual could have extremely important information for the justice and for the family. our security correspondent frank gardner has more on the man who�*s been arrested. he�*s been named as khalid aedh al—otaibi who is a 33—year—old member of the saudi royal guard, very much part of the infrastructure around the all powerful crown prince mohammed bin salman. he was sanctioned already
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by the west as somebody who was named as taking part in the hit team that murdered jamal khashoggi. something which is denied by the saudis because as far as the saudis are concerned, this story is done and dusted. they put on trial the people they said were suspects. they held a very secretive behind closed doors trial, they sentenced five people to death but then commuted those to 20 year sentences in prison and their view is nothing to see here, move along. turkey and human rights groups disagree. they say the real culprits of this got away clean with it and agnes callamard, for example, the un special rapporteur has been calling for a full investigation. turkey issued a number of international arrest warrants, of which this is one. he was arrested due to a turkish warrant and it will be really interesting to see what france does because this is potentially quite a diplomatic minefield for france. france has very good relations with the saudis, president macron has recently been to the gulf and is the first
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major western leader to meet the crown prince since that murder, at least publicly, and there�*s lots of deals france would like in saudi arabia. i imagine there�*s a flurry of phone calls between riyadh and paris saying do you really want to do this because this isn�*t going to be good for france if you do this. australia�*s prime minister scott morrison has confirmed australia willjoin a diplomatic boycott of the beijing olympics next february. he said the chinese government has not yet made any attempts to respond to several issues raised by australia including alleged human rights abuses. the united states confirmed they would not be sending any officials to the games on monday. china has already threatened to retailiate against the move. the human rights abuses and many other issues that australia has consistently raised, we have been very pleased and happy to talk to the chinese government about theseissues
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the chinese government about these issues and there�*s been no obstacle to that occurring on our side. but the chinese government has consistently not accepted those opportunities for us to meet about these issues. so it is not surprising therefore that australian government officials would therefore not be going to china for those games. australian athletes will. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: diving into the metaverse. where are we? an explanation coming up. john lennon was shot at the entrance of the dakota building in the centre of new york. there�*s been a crowd here standing and putting on a silent vigil and the flowers have been piling up. the 14th ceasefire of this war ended at the walls of the old city. witnesses say that the shells
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were landing every 20 seconds. people are celebrating the passing of a man they hold responsible for hundreds of deaths and oppression. elsewhere, people have been gathering to mourn his passing. the widow of the former. president of the philippines has gone on trial in manila. she is facing seven - charges of tax evasion, estimated at £120 million. she pleaded not guilty. the prince and princess of wales are to separate. a statement from buckingham palace said the decision had been reached amicably. this is bbc news, the latest headlines... a high—stakes virtual summit has been held amid heightened tensions over ukraine. president biden warned of tighter economic sanctions following a huge buildup of russian military — vladimir putin blamed provocative actions by kyiv and nato.
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leaked footage sparks a row over what appears to be british officials joking about a covid christmas party last year — breaching lockdown rules — at number 10 downing street. the death toll from a volcanic eruption in indonesia has risen to 34. dozens more have been injured and burned after mount semeru erupted on saturday, burying homes in hot volcanic ash. this drone footage shows the scale of devastation in the village nearest to the volcano. indonesia sits on the pacific ring of fire where continental plates meet, causing frequent volcanic and seismic activity. the bbc has been to the scene to see the damage. the lava from this volcano buried many things in its way. many houses in the villages look uninhabitable. the volcanic material turned into a solid ground because of the heavy rain in the past few
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days. it has not been raining today. it turned into ash again but it still quite warm. there are many areas where the ground is still too hot for the evacuation effort. there have also been a couple of avalanches of lava matter coming from the top of the mountain, that created panic for people who came back to their houses to collect their belongings. however, there hasn�*t been a follow—up eruption even though the indonesian geological survey has warned that it may happen at any time. a landmark law allowing same—sex marriage has been passed in chile. the legislation approved in parliament on tuesday also allows same—sex couples to adopt children. the lgbt community says it�*s a momentous occasion after years of struggle. tanya dendrinos has this report. celebrations outside congress
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and a simple message. love has one. translation: those of us who are part of sexual minorities all experience some chapter of discrimination either by our family, our parents, at school, work, and today, the state is giving a strong signal against this discrimination. we still have a long way to go but we will not stop until we can walk the streets in peace, until this is no longer an issue that makes us more vulnerable. it�*s been a long road to recognition in the majority catholic country, while civil unions were approved in chile in 2015, the bill to legalise same—sex marriage has been stalled for four years. marriage has been stalled for fouryears. on marriage has been stalled for four years. on tuesday, activists gathered to witness history. then, the celebrations began. the bill passed with an overwhelming majority, it was supported by the president who will sign it into law. it�*s been criticised by members of his conservative coalition but
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for families affected, his conservative coalition but forfamilies affected, it his conservative coalition but for families affected, it far transcends politics. translation: at last, we will be able to be recognised as a family before the state. for many, it may sound very obvious and not matter, but for us, it�*s a very important issue. it�*s for the protection of our children, for the future, not only for us but for all other families out there. chilejoins the ranks of a handful of other latin american countries to recognise same—sex marriage with the legislation also enabling couples to adopt children. prosecutors in ghislaine maxwell�*s trial in new york have presented previously unseen photos linking the socialite to disgraced financier — jeffrey epstein. amongst the images was this picture of a sketch of ms maxwell mounted on his bathroom wall. there was also a framed photo sitting on a table that shows the couple kissing. in other testimony — a third woman who says epstein sexually abused her gave evidence. the woman — who is testifying under her first name
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carolyn — described how ms maxwell arranged for her to be abused by the convicted sex offender when she was just 1a years old. ghislaine maxwell has pleaded not guilty to eight counts of sex trafficking and other charges. from new york — nada tawfik has more. carolyn was soft—spoken and visibly emotional as she answered prosecutors questions. she talked about how she came from a troubled home, her mother was addicted to drugs and alcohol and she had dropped out of school in seventh grade. she said she first heard about jeffrey epstein when she met virginia jaffray as she was then known, who�*s a friend of her boyfriend. she was just 1a and virginia allegedly told her she could make money by meeting a wealthy friend of hers and giving him a massage. she says when she turned up atjeffrey epstein is mansion that was glenn maxwell who allegedly instructed virginia roberts to take her upstairs and cult show her what to do. she teared up
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on the stand as she talked about that first encounter with jeffrey epstein, saying that she massaged him for about 45 minutes and then, sat on a couch and watched allegedly as virginia and jeffrey epstein had six. now, she says, over the course of four years, she went to the home ofjeffrey epstein more than 100 times, until she became too old, saying it was always glenn maxwell allegedly that set up those meetings. the defence has started cross examination. glenn maxwell has denied all of the charges and they have really honed in on this point that it was virginia roberts, they say, who introduced her to jeffrey epstein and not glenn maxwell. the company that owns facebook recently changed its name to meta. it says it�*s transforming itself from a social media firm into a company of the metaverse. facebook is not the only tech giant to dive into the metaverse. but what does it actually mean? our technology correspondent marc chislack has been
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looking in to it. so, what actually is the metaverse? well, if we think of the internet as something that we look at, the metaverse is a version of the internet that we are inside. i�*d say there are examples of the metaverse already, if you look at video games. i think a lot of people see the future metaverse as expanding on that experience to include notjust gaming but maybe things like a digital workspace or digital events, digital socialising. the idea is that we will experience the metaverse as an avatar, a virtual version of ourselves that we control as we explore this new online frontier. companies like ready player me and oz already have tools to create avatars for a coming metaverse. creations which, in my case, are a slightly younger and trimmer version of the real thing. andrew bosworth is from meta, the company formerly known as facebook.
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we talked all matters metaverse using virtual reality headsets, appearing as avatars. ok, so here we are in what might be considered a representation of what the metaverse could be. there�*s a lot of online hatred out there, a lot of online abuse and misinformation and things of that nature. how are you going to avoid those kinds of experiences seeping into the metaverse? do you really want the system, or a person standing by, listening in? but if the conversation is happening in real time, then how can we modify content without listening? and so i think we have a privacy trade—off against... if you want to have a high degree of content safety, well, that trades off against privacy. microsoft�*s adapted its workplace meeting software for the metaverse, and will introduce the ability to appear as an avatar next year, explains developer alex kipman. there�*s quite a few people that have got fatigued by having to have video chat meetings
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and things of that nature, and that they realise they now crave human contact. human communication is about 5% speech, is about 95% everything else, right? and instead of having a person next to me having a working one—on—one, i can have the avatar version of that person, one—on—one next to me. so, it changes completely the... know, call it screen fatigue we are feeling today. the big question, though, is will people embrace this new vision for our online lives? i think it depends on the specific application. we�*ve seen in gaming lots of people really do enjoy those experiences. would you want to sit in a virtual office as an avatar? i�*m less sold on that idea. it seems the metaverse is coming, but its success rests solely in our hands. marc cieslak, bbc news. that is all from us for the
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time being. more on the bbc news website. from me and the team, thank you for watching. hello. it looks like we have probably seen the worst of storm barra for now, the worst of the winds along coastal areas, the top gusts in the west coast of wales, 86mph. around inland areas it was typically 40 or 50mph. as well as those strong winds, we had a spell of snow, briefly, over the pennines and into the southern uplands before the snowy weather moved into the highlands and grampian region. that now moved away. all the cloud that has been swirling around the centre of the storm that�*s crossing northern ireland and heading towards the north of england and southern parts of scotland. it�*s just going to sit around during wednesday. the storm continuing to weaken, the winds lessening all the while with stronger winds means it will be a milder start to wednesday. typical temperatures,
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3, 4 or 5. still windy for many on wednesday, just not as windy. the strongest winds likely to be across the west and south of wales, south—west england, around 60mph on the coast for a time, showers and longer spells of rain, the wettest weather with strongest winds will be in wales. maybe cold enough for some snow over the higher parts of scotland, maybe the tops of the pennines, typical temperatures are 6 or 7. by thursday, the storm is no more, continuing to weaken, pressure rising and the wind is dropping, instead we find a weather front nosing from the atlantic. we are left with one or two showers around on thursday, lighter winds by this stage and we find some sunshine but there will be a weather front bringing cloud and rain into northern ireland, parts of wales in the south—west of england. ahead of that, temperatures showing little signs of change. the wetter weather will continue eastwards overnight, there could be more
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snow over higher parts of scotland, it looks like it will move fairly quickly, out of the way by friday. instead we have a north—westerly wind, probably a stronger wind as well but essentially it is a day of sunshine and showers. many southern and eastern areas are dry with the best of the sunshine, most of the showers in the north and west of the uk, could be wintry over the hills. again, temperatures not changing very much, typically 6 or7.
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this is bbc news, the headlines: the kremlin has described a virtual summit between the us and russian leaders as frank and businesslike. president biden warned of severe economic consequences in the event of a russian invasion of ukraine. president putin blamed provocative actions by ukraine and nato for the heightened tensions. a video has emerged showing senior downing street staffjoking about holding a christmas party in number 10 a year ago —— a party they continue to publicly deny ever happened. the video shows a mock downing street news conference, hosted by the prime minister�*s then press secretary allegra stratton. a saudi man suspected of involvement in the murder of the saudi journalist jamal khashoggi has been arrested at a paris airport. he faces extradition to turkey. mr khashog—ji, was a prominent critic of the saudi regime and wrote for the washington post.
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the government has apologised to the victims


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