sets down to win 4—3. he'll play rob cross next. earlier on, scotsman alan soutar, who is a full—time fireman and also trains guide dogs, has made it through to the last 16 after beating seventh seed jose de sousa in a thrilling match at the palace. and in tennis, novak djokovic has pulled out of this week's atp cup in sydney, heightening speculation he could skip the australian open next month. the world number one is yet to confirm if he's received the coronavirus vaccination, having previously expressed his opposition to it. all players and staff competing in melbourne must be jabbed or have a medical exemption. andy murray has been practising at melbourne park, where the first grand slam of the season begins in just under three weeks' time. he was handed a wildcard to take part in the event, where he's previously reached the final five times. and the defending and two—time champion naomi osaka will be there.
she also practised today after taking a break to concentrate on her mental health over the past few months following her shock third—round defeat to cananda's leylah fernandez at the us open. osaka won the australian open in 2019 and 2021. still just over stilljust over half an hour to go at brentford, they still trail manchester city 1—0. a reminder city will go eight points clear at the top of the premier league if they win that one. we will have more on that later. it should be the safest place a child could be. why do you study? from there, to go back towards what? but schools in northern nigeria are being targeted by kidnappers.
since december, more than 1000 students have been abducted in the region. and it's affecting everyone from the youngest to the oldest pupils, rich and poor. save this country from the hands of these evil people! she said, "mummy, they came to our school yesterday night and kidnapped us." she now says, "mummy, come and see, they are just beating us." so, why are criminal gangs kidnapping schoolchildren? to find out, i've travelled across northern and central nigeria speaking to those affected. this banditry is not some mere criminality. and the only way to deal with it is to launch a full—scale war against the bandits.
under the cover of darkness, criminal gangs are disturbing the peace. armed men are targeting boarding schools, stealing children away as they sleep. since the kidnapping of the chibok girls in 2014, the mass abduction of schoolchildren has become an increasingly common phenomenon here in nigeria. and every time, it follows a similar, chilling pattern. armed gunmen storm dormitories in the middle of the night, often arriving by foot or by motorbike, and take dozens of students with them into nearby forests. 39 students and staff were seized from the forestry school in the northern state of kaduna in early march.
a video of the hostages was sent to the parents on social media. victory sani and her sister, rejoice, were among those abducted. since that day, their parents have been trying to secure their release. victory is my first daughter, she has done a lot of schooling, she's a brilliant student. rejoice is someone who loves hairdressing, she plaits, she braids. the two of them are too addicted to themselves that they are always finding it difficult to live with each other.
mr sani, since the incident, have you been contacted by the bandits? the first contact that we was from the bandits, demanding for 500 million naira from the state government. and when we got a video of our children being flogged in the bush, i was sent to the social media by the bandits. we decided to go and protest. chanting. after ten days with no news of the 39 pupils seized at the forestry school... chanting. ..friday, sani and other parents took to the streets to protest. but authorities threatened to prosecute anyone negotiating with the kidnappers,
including parents. the government came out again with another press statement, that anybody caught negotiating with the bandits would be arrested and prosecuted. but we would prefer to be arrested, provided our children would be in their home, at home. so, you're saying the strategy is not working? it's not working. if there's any strategy at all! people are dying. it look as if nobody cares. and we're still calling on the government to do something fast. because those people can lose their patience and do something irrational. over the past seven months, a wave of kidnappings targeting schools and universities has swept the region. there have been nine mass abductions of students across five states. many believe the payment of ransom has created an industry. more than 1000 students and staff have been taken and nine
students have been killed. this round of kidnappings started in december, when more than 300 schoolboys were abducted from their dorms in a town called kankara. the town lies in a rural part of nigeria's north—western katsina state, vulnerable to attack. at the time, i travelled to kankara to cover the story. back then, i met usama, a student with sickle cell, who had managed to escape the kidnappers. i also spoke to ruqayya bello and bello sidi, whose asthmatic 14—year—old son, umar, was still missing. the kidnapped boys were released after six days.
now the school remains closed, leaving many boys at home without an education. the situation remains precarious. less than six months ago, we drove down this road to the town of kankara, to cover the kidnapping of over 300 schoolboys by armed men. since then, the area has become even more unsafe, with multiple reports of attacks. usama and others in his year have been relocated to a school in a safer location, closer to the state capital. why do you study? from there, to go back toward, what? what about the second one? he's one of the lucky few attending class, so he can take his school leaving exams. z is what? y? that moves from 2 to y.
i'm travelling to neighbouring kaduna, where the state's governor has taken a stand against the payment of ransoms. he's repeatedly appeared on local media to say he won't speak to, let alone negotiate with armed gangs that are attacking rural communities. it's had devastating consequences. the number of kidnappings have increased. # we sing his praise # we rise to see ourjesus...# and mrs yoanna's daughter dorothy attended the private greenfield university. a day after she was abducted, mrs yoanna got a phone call from the kidnappers, who put dorothy on the line. she said, "mummy, they came
to our school yesterday night—time, kidnapped us, we are in the bush." she now said, "mummy, come and see, they are just beating us." then the man collected the phone, and he said they need money. that if you want them to release our children, we must pay 800 million. i shouted, i screamed, i said "800 million?" so, they asked for 800 million naira. that's about $2 million. did you have that kind of money? no. and i even told him, "how did you expect us to get such money?" that was the last i spoke to her and the man. we are still asking questions as to how this thing - happened, why our daughter? just two days later,
mr yohanna got a call from the university telling him to come to a local hospital to identify the bodies of three students. when i went inside, the first person i saw was my daughter. i screamed, i said, "they killed my daughter!" ijust wept, and it was when i came to the home that i broke the news to them that dorothy is no more. that was when i started crying. that is when my voice now ceased, that very day. you both had the worst possible news that any parent could hear. are you satisfied with the response from the authorities? i'm not satisfied because this thing happened on tuesday, and they called me on wednesday, and on friday, they killed my daughter. there is nojustice in that.
i don't believe there's justice in that case. kaduna's state government says it has a strict policy of not negotiating with criminals, they don't pay ransoms. what do you both make of that decision? the people whojudge, the whole world should judge on that. therefore we will be praying i for our whole nation, nigeria. this nation is burning. if they're not ready to negotiate with criminals, i also hope they have a way of getting the criminals. because if they don't get the criminals and they are not negotiating with them, then we're in trouble. father, keep watch over your children. | you are the keeper of zion, | you never sleep or slumber. save this country from the hands of these evil peoples. _ you know, the more you speak to parents whose children have been kidnapped,
the more overwhelming this problem is. i became a parent myself a year ago, and so of course i understand, if your child has been taken, all you want them is for them to come back home. but then there's the other side of the argument. if you pay ransoms, kidnapping continues, it's an industry that is growing. so, if you're a parent in nigeria right now, it's frightening because you want it to stop, but then you want your children to come back, and there are no clear answers. two more students from greenfield were killed after dorothy. eventually, the remaining abductees were released after the parents paid the kidnappers 150 million naira. that's $360 , 000. but nasir el—rufai, the governor of kaduna state, is refusing to pay ransoms, a policy which only seems to have emboldened the kidnappers.
they have decided that they have to bring this state government to its knees by concentrating their attacks in this state. so, you think that one of the reasons why they may be be targeting the state is because you've made it clear that ou w ' y ont pay ransoms? yes. do you think, then, that by making that statement, you're putting your citizens, your residents of kaduna state, at greater risk? not necessarily. i think, in the long run, or even in the medium term, it actually makes the state safer. we still have kidnappers, we have individuals being kidnapped, we even have attempted kidnap of students, they have been successful in two cases, but not on the kind of scale you've seen in other states. here in kaduna just last week, three university students were kidnapped. yes. so, how can you tell their parents that their children were safer? i commiserate with the parents, i sympathise with them, but that will not change our stand.
the only way to end kidnapping is for societies to stake a stand that we will not pay. i know the pain of losing children, but i have to subordinate that to the overall interest of the society which elected me to provide leadership. the nigerian government has long denied the links between criminal groups operating in north—western nigeria and the extremist group boko haram in the north—east. but in recent months, they have acknowledged that the two security crises may now be connected. we have two branches of islamic state active or building up here, and it's quite worrying, and this is why i said that the country is at war. this banditry is not some mere criminality, it is war, and the only way to deal with it is to launch a full—scale war against the bandits because the bandits and terrorists are linked, and they are one and the same. if boko haram's influence is spreading, doesn't it show
that the federal government doesn't have a handle on security at all in nigeria, like many nigerians are saying, they haven't handled security well. no, security has definitely improved. those that are, yeah, yeah... i think many parents would disagree with you. when we came into office, boko haram occupied how many local governments in borno state? today, they are restricted to an enclave. should they have been wiped out? yeah. we work with the security forces to try to rescue the students. they are doing their best, but they can do better. the resources available to them can be improved, definitely. criminal gangs are not only targeting schools. they also regularly abduct civilians travelling by road. some think that negotiation is the only way to end the kidnapping pandemic sweeping rural areas. villages have been raided,
and the death toll is rising. according to the international crisis group, many but not all of these gangs are made up of members of the semi—nomadic fulani ethnic group. traditionally they made their living from cattle—rearing, but climate change and competition for resources has left many of them without an income. controversial islamic cleric ahmad gumi has made acted as a self—appointed mediator between groups of kidnappers and the government, but gumi says the marginalisation of the nigeria's fulani population is counterproductive. they are voiceless in nigeria, they don't have any voice, so they express themselves in a violent way. it's dangerous for a nation like nigeria that has a lot of money to allow a big segment of the population, without any formal
or informal education, to behave in a certain manner. i understand that they might be unhappy with the way they've been treated by the authorities in the past. but do you think that that killing, that action is justified? it doesn't justify crime at all from whatever angle it is. when you put people in the middle of a war, they feel it is right to kill the opposite. that is what's happening in nigeria now. the press has been saying, "fulani men are criminals, "killers," the nation is charged against fulani. innocent people. while we're filming, there's news of victory and rejoice, the missing sisters from the forestry school. they finally made it home. they're joyful prayers this time, as the girls
now that the this thing has happened to you, this terrible thing, are you going to apply to university? do you want to continue with your education? what about you, rejoice, are you scared? especially if you have to sleep there? the students' release was negotiated by sheikh gumi. the safe return is thanksfully a common experience. the majority of children who have been kidnapped in the last eight months have eventually gone home. but there's no doubt that education here has been deeply disturbed. the subject is what, plural. the answer is what, plural. even before the kidnappings, nigeria was home to the largest number of out—of—school children in the world. that is correct. in the north of the country,
only one in two attend school. now schools here are no longer secure. many have been forced to close. families continue to live in fear that their child could be the next to be taken. hello there. over the next few days, the wind across the uk will be coming up from the south or south—west. that will keep it unsettled. there'll be some rain at times, some stronger winds too, but, more significantly, is just how mild it's going to be
as we head into the new year. now somewhere in england could see temperatures of 17 degrees in the next few days. the average is nearer 8 celsius and it may well be the warmest new year's eve and new year's day on record. it's a very mild start actually to thursday. we could see some sunshine across eastern scotland, the north—east of england, and perhaps northern ireland. the cloud is thickening, though, from the south—west to bring some rain from here to wales and the west midlands. but we've got a strong south to south—westerly wind — that's bringing in the milder air, so temperatures widely in double figures, could make 17 in the south—east and it'll be quite a bit warmer on thursday in northern parts of scotland. it'll be drier too. now, we still have some rain coming in from the west. that'll push its way up towards scotland and northern ireland for a while and then it tends to sweep away as we move into new year's eve. so some wetter weather clearing away from eastern parts of england. it could linger in eastern scotland, perhaps the north—east of england, but generally it's becoming drier, it's becoming a bit brighter and the winds are easing on new year's eve as well. but it's still mild air,
just not quite as mild in scotland. but still those high temperatures across england and wales and northern ireland in particular. and why is it so mild? because the air is coming from the tropics, all the way from the south, those southerly winds bringing the higher temperatures and a lot of cloud our way ahead of these weather fronts and areas of low pressure that's focusing the rain in the north—west as we head into the new year. so new year's eve, into new year's day, there could be some rain. that's more likely in the north—west, but it will be exceptionally mild to start the new year. we've got that rain, more towards scotland, northern ireland, perhaps the north—west of england, north wales. it does sweep north—eastwards during new year's day, allowing things to brighten up with some showers in the west, some sunshine too — very mild. i think it's going to be a windy day, though, during saturday, but very mild start to the year. now let's look further ahead and into sunday, we've got some more rain around as well. one area of rain from overnight clears through, and then showers and longer spells of rain come back in from the west. but temperatures, while still mild,
are not quite as mild on sunday, so around 9 to 13 degrees. we're cutting off that supply of very warmer air from the south and instead we've got an area of low pressure heading down from the north on monday. that will signal something of a more significant change. now, ahead of that low pressure, we've got some sunshine, and blustery showers, but as we see that low moving into scotland, it gets wetter here. the rain starts to turn to snow in the mountains as we get more of a northerly wind pushing in, and that will drop the temperatures through the day. still mild, though, on monday. highs of around 10 or 11 degrees. now, beyond then, that weather front will take some rain down across the country on tuesday, allowing those northerly winds to push down across the whole of the country and tuesday will probably feel quite a lot colder, but it's a brief push of colder air, cos then the winds go back to more of an atlantic type. we've got a weather system to strengthen the winds during wednesday, bring some rain down from the north—west, but again,
this is bbc news, i'm ben boulos, with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk, on pbs in the us and around the world. borisjohnson says 90% of people in intensive care with covid have not had their boosterjab — as cases in the uk hit a pandemic high ofjust over 183 thousand. i think it is worrying seeing so many cases that we know even though it is a small percentage of those people that will become seriously ill, that will be a large number that is still going to be admitted to the hospital over the coming week. as record infections rates are also reported across europe and the us — the world health organisation warns of a huge strain on global health services. i'm highly concerned that omicron, being more transmissible, circulating at the same time as delta, is leading