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tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 19, 2016 7:00pm-8:01pm GMT

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this is bbc news, the headlines at 7pm. the russian ambassador to turkey has been assassinated, andrei ka rlov turkey has been assassinated, andrei karlov was speaking at a reception in ankara when he was shot in the back. at the scene the gunman shouted its support for syria and aleppo. thousands of people have been bussed out of the syrian city of aleppo is a ceasefire agreement holds. among them are almost 50 orphans who sent out a desperate message on social media just a few days ago. here, prepare for a week of industrial action in the run—up to christmas, postal workers are the latest to walk out adding to the disruption already facing travellers on the trains and soon to be at the airports. good evening and welcome to bbc
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news. the russian ambassador to turkey has been shot dead in an attack at an art gallery in the capital, ankara. andrei karlov was delivering a speech when the gunman struck, shooting him several times in the back — shouting "aleppo" and "revenge". russia and turkey are both involved in the conflict in syria. turkey is a staunch opponent of president assad. moscow has deployed troops and its air force in support of the syrian leader. our diplomatic correspondent james robbins reports. moments before the shooting, behind the ambassador, his assassin waits calmly, rising no suspicion. and then this. gunfire the audience scream. the gunman is shouting, he says, do not forget about syria.
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so long at these places are secure you will not taste security yourself. with the ambassador lying close by, his killer shouts at the audience to stay back. "get away, only death will take me from here". eventually, security forces intervene and the gunman is shot and killed. amid chaos at the art gallery, moscow is getting reports of what has happened to their ambassador. he was 62 and had been a diplomat for a0 years. the ambassador to turkey since 2013. the foreign ministry in moscow confirmed the ambassador‘s death. it is a shocking blow to russia's relations with turkey, the countries backing opposite sides in syria's war, with turkey strongly opposed to president assad. with me in the studio is dr afzal ashraf, a visiting fellow
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of nottingham university's centre for conflict, security and terrorism. it is good to see you, thank you for coming in, the attack and the killing of the ambassador, relations between turkey and russia where in proving after the shooting down by turkey of a russian jet. will this set things back? i'm not sure that it will. the shooting down of the jet was far more serious in some ways it was done by a turkish official, part of the turkish state as it were, the force. this is a lone gunman who has decided to seek revenge for what he perceives to be a brutality, russia supporting president assad's regime brutality in aleppo. this is a private individual matter. if the russians
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and the turkish can sort out their differences on a more serious official matter i think they will probably sort themselves out on this one as well. but it does go to the fa ct one as well. but it does go to the fact that there is a very different narrative being told in different parts of the world about what is happening and what i think people are failing to understand, those people who are manufacturing narratives or peddling narratives, is that ordinarily people are affected by them. they are designed to influence public opinion but in some cases public opinion can go to extreme limits as we have seen. does it surprise you that this is happening now, the war in syria has been going on forfour or happening now, the war in syria has been going on for four or five yea rs, been going on for four or five years, russia have been deeply involved for the last 18 months at least. this killing happens now, why do you think now? in the last couple of weeks especially there has been for some very strange reason which does need to be thought about some
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very high quality video products coming out of eastern aleppo which is surprising when you consider what has been happening in that suburb of the city which is devastated yet they can get out high—quality narratives which have a consistent message. whether it is a girl or an aduu message. whether it is a girl or an adult or a woman on a man, they are talking about death, they are talking about death, they are talking about death, they are talking about being left to be slaughtered. there is emotive language which is consistently being played out. whether that is reflective of the reality of what is going on, how reflective it is is another question. the point is, it cannot but affect ordinary people. we have to take it on face value and of course it creates a great deal of angen of course it creates a great deal of anger. the subtext of the narrative is that all of this suffering is the fault of president assad and the russians. so people will direct
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their anger and frustration at president assad and the russians. because of this very significant onslaught, both in conventional media and in social media. it's a very well coordinated onslaught of very well coordinated onslaught of very deliberately emotive news reports. and it must be remembered that turkey is backing some of the rebel groups and russia is backing president assad saw that complicate the relationship, on one level they need to cooperate, they need to talk andindeed need to cooperate, they need to talk and indeed turkey has been instrumental in helping to broker the ceasefires over the last week which have helped the evacuations of thousands of people but at the same time, on the battlefield they are ostensibly opponents. the whole conflict in syria and even in iraq
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is hugely complex in thatjust about every player i think short of the chinese, iam not every player i think short of the chinese, i am not sure if they are involved, but every neighbour, every regional player and most international players are involved and sometimes they are backing competing sides in syria and in iraq. it is complicated and for that reason it is out of control because nobody really has a clear understanding of how to solve the problem, how to relieve the suffering and the conflict that is raging and seems to be continuing to rage. it is because people are playing very complicated games for their local interests, for the regional interests, and there is not a clear plan that they all have two come to a solution. thank you very much forjoining us. lets cross over to istanbul and get the latest from our correspondent, selin girit. bring us up to date with what the
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police are saying regarding this incident? the reports coming in as we speak suggest that the gunman was actually a police officer himself. the witnesses, the early reports suggested he had made his way into the exhibition hall where the russian ambassador was going to hold, was going to give a speech showing his police id and that is 110w showing his police id and that is now confirmed, there are photographs of him circulating across turkish media, a young police officer. the words that he has uttered, just after shooting the russian ambassador are striking to many, he has talked about syria, he has talked about aleppo. his initial words where god is great and then he said this is for syria, this is for
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aleppo and then he said when those places are not safe you will not taste safety and security yourself. there are reportedly references to al nusra in his speech as well, that he gave just after shooting the russian ambassador. that will of course be very alarming to the security circles across turkey. very much so indeed. also, given that the relations between turkey and russia where improving after the russian jet was shot down about a year ago, how much of an impact will this incident have on that relationship do you think? well the relationship between turkey and russia was like a roller—coaster. after the downing of the russian jet last year, roller—coaster. after the downing of the russianjet last year, the relations were very hostile but that
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changed as you said recently. the rhetoric was warming and there was a reconciliation deal between the countries. they had actually brokered ceasefire in aleppo as well. the officials from moscow are saying that this assassination will not impact the relations between the countries and in fact the summit which was going to take place tomorrow in moscow between russia, iran and turkish foreign and defence ministers is indeed going to take place. it will not be cancelled. they are saying we will not let this affect our relations. that is what turkish officials would hope at the moment as well. of course there will need to be a very deep and comprehensive investigation into why and how this assassination has taken place. has there been any public
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demonstration of anger towards russia in turkey following moscow's involvement in the civil war given that turkey is on the other side in that turkey is on the other side in that war and supporting rebels on the ground ? that war and supporting rebels on the ground? indeed there have been protests a nd the ground? indeed there have been protests and those protests took place especially in front of the russian embassy building in ankara and the russian consulate building in in standard oil. hundreds of people gather to condemn a russian involvement in syria, their support for the president assad regime and especially the deteriorating situation in aleppo. just after those protests this assassination taking place is alarming to security circles in turkey and that is probably another reason why an in—depth investigation into this person's links with possible jihadists need to be conducted.
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thank you forjoining us. and we'll find out how this story — and many others — are covered in tomorrow's front pages at 10:40 and 11:30 this evening in the papers — our guestsjoining me tonight are broadcaster, natalie haynes and rob merrick, deputy political editor at the independent. nearly 50 syrian orphans who were left stranded in the former rebel enclave in aleppo were among thousands of civilians who've been given safe passage out of the city today. co nvoys of buses have been leaving east aleppo, each has been packed with around 100 people. the evacuation went ahead after government supporters were — in return — allowed to leave nearby areas besieged by the rebels. this report from our middle east editorjeremy bowen on the final stages of a battle that could mark a turning point in the syrian war.
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the evacuation of beaten fighters as well as civilians started in the early hours of the morning. it has been going more smoothly but is still tense and a small hitch could escalate swiftly into a big problem. many residents were stranded outside waiting for evacuation. the displaced and distressed looking for warmth and safety have been a feature of every war but this is a 21st cenntury crisis and all sides are using the internet. 47 orphans appealed for evacuation from east aleppo in a video posted online. we are afraid, we want to live like everybody else. the good news is they've got out and they are safe. this seven—year—old girl has been tweeting her fears about what has been happening. her mother, who organised the tweets,
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spoke of her sadness that they have left their home and their relief that they are safe. the evacuation has been so difficult to arrange because of all the factors that made the war in syria so hard to solve. it is notjust a deal between those who support the regime and don't, it is because foreign powers have intervened, have their own rivalries that go above and beyond the war. in new york the un security council passed a resolution calling for monitors to watch over what is happening and proper access for humanitarian aid in aleppo. it may be too little too late. it is not clear how soon it can be implemented, if at all. right now, it's an important step that i think a couple days ago people would not have thought the russian federation would have allowed to go through the council, but until it is implemented it is just a piece of paper. the syrians, closely allied with russia,
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are deeply suspicious of western motives. we oppose the attempts of some member states to draft and submit under humanitarian cover a crafty and vague terms that tolerate more than one interpretation with the intention of exploiting these resolutions to achieve hidden agendas. the evacuation from aleppo is happening because another set of buses is being allowed to evacuate another group of civilians from pro—regime villages besieged by rebels. all this is not the endgame for the war. many crises lie ahead but in the sixth year of bloodshed there is still no coherent response that brings things any closer. the headlines on bbc news: the russian ambassador to ankara has been shot dead by a gunman while
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visiting a photo gallery in the turkish capital. thousands escape east aleppo as evacuations from the syrian city continue, including nearly 50 orphans who've been brought to safety after being trapped for months. thousands of workers have staged a series of strikes, hitting trains, post offices and airlines in the run up to christmas. a strike by post office workers has shut dozens of big branches around the country today. members of the communication workers union join staff at british airways and southern rail who have either walked out or are planning to do so in the days before christmas. the government's said the series of strikes leading up to the festive period shows "contempt" for ordinary people. 0ur industry correspondent john moylan has more. postal workers brought a special delivery for the government today. outside the department for business, mail bags containing 70,000 postcards backing a campaign
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to fight closures of flagship post offices. the dispute has been running for months but the five days of strikes this week represent a major escalation. we are defending postal services across the uk. the very future of high street post offices are under threat. the government are lining up to make further announcements to close more high street post offices. this dispute has been going on for months but the timing of the industrial action is designed to put maximum pressure on the post office. this is the busiest week for handling parcels and letters. but there doesn't appear to be much christmas cheer elsewhere, with another number of unions calling christmas strikes. holiday getaway could be hit with baggage handlers set to strike on friday and saturday, which could affect some regional airports. thousands of cabin crew are also planning industrial action on
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christmas day and boxing day. british airways insists it will run a full service. and the months of misery for southern rail passengers continues as 400 conductors began a 48—hour walk—out. should trade union powers be curbed? there is certainly a growing appetite in parliament and public to do something. we fully respect the right to strike but it needs to be proportional and i believe they have been abusing the power as trade unions and some steps are needed. 2016 has seen a jump in the number of working days lost to strikes. at 300,000, it is up 50% on the previous year. but compared to the 70s and 80s, strikes are at historically low levels. we are talking about a tiny number of
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disputes that we hope can be resolved. what do you say to members of the public who see these strikes and think, what are the unions playing at? i feel enormous sympathy for the public and i really regret the disruption, as do the unions, who feel they have no alternative but to take this last resort. dozens of city centre post offices were closed today including this one in glasgow, but the vast majority remained open and the action is set to continue until christmas eve. iamjoined by i am joined by the director of the industrial relations research unit at warwick business school, thank you for being with us. for a lot of people inconvenienced if they will be taking a flight this weekend or are if they are trying to post a letter in the coming days or try to get on a train, it all looks
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terrible. but we need to keep it in perspective particularly in relation to the 70s. yes, sure. the mode of working days lost to strikes today is 20, 50 times less than the 70s. there is a little increase this year in comparison to last year but we are talking still about, relatively low levels. the problem may be that those strikes we see now are very visible, trade unions are good at finding visibility for their action and they disrupt larger numbers of users. can you say that the strikes just from an observer as, outside observers point of view, are somehow coordinated, even if it is just in spirit? 0r coordinated, even if it is just in spirit? or is it the fact they want to make it, the unions want to make it as painful as possible in doing so at christmas? the industrial
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relations landscape in the united kingdom is very fragmented and centralised, if they wanted to organise a campaign they could not, many different trade unions in different sectors and different workplaces. what we can see today is some copycat effect in the sense that once some trade unions managed to achieve visibility with their action, other trade unions may find the temptation to follow the same pattern. there is some sort of copycat coordination rather than a plan forjoint copycat coordination rather than a plan for joint action. copycat coordination rather than a plan forjoint action. 0k, copycat coordination rather than a plan forjoint action. ok, so given you don't believe in your own mind that it you don't believe in your own mind thatitis you don't believe in your own mind that it is coordinated, given that the number of days lost to strikes is marginally up on last year and nowhere near what it was in the 70s, is the government taking the right tack in trying to bring in the kind
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of legislation it is talking about, to curb the numbers of strikes and the amount of strike action that perhaps unions may want to get involved in? it's a bit of a paradox because legislation exactly for this was passed last may. it was may this year, this legislation seems to have either missed the target or even been counter—productive in the sense that it has been seen as a provocation, more militant trade unions see it that way. and by focusing on requiring a high threshold for ballots on strikes it has actually fragmented disputes into smaller bargaining units where a cohesive, small cohesive groups of workers may achieve the high pressure required. all these strikes we see this week would have easily passed the new requirements. instead
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of going the way that legislation doesin of going the way that legislation does in other countries where in general the right to strike is more available, more easily available to trade unions but there are some safeguards for some essential services. very interesting to talk to you professor, thank you for joining us. the justice secretary, liz truss, has ordered an inquiry into a major disturbance which took place on friday at birmingham prison. ms truss confirmed that 380 inmates had since been moved from the prison. she also admitted that levels of violence in prisons were too high — but said many of the problems were long—standing and would take time to solve. we are implementing our reform programme which will reduce violence and cut the £15 billion cost of reoffending, as laid out in the white paper. in september we rolled out tests for dangerous psychoactive drugs in prison and we are the first country to do this. new technology, starting with three prisons, to prevent mobile phone use and we are recruiting
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for a new national intelligence unit to crack down on gang crime. we are increasing staffing levels by 2500 officers and we are taking steps to train and retain our valued staff. this includes a new apprenticeship programme, a graduate entry scheme, fast track promotions and retention payments. we are putting an extra £100 million into this. we are modernising our estate with a £1.3 billion investment programme and we are empowering governors to get people off drugs, get them the skills they need and get them into work. bob neill is conservative mp for bromley and chislehurst and he also chairs thejustice committee — hejoins me now from our westminster studio. thank you for being with us, do you have confidence in liz truss? yes, i
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do, there is a lot of good in the reform programme but what we need to do is also to do with the immediate problem which has built up over a period of time. now one party actually has entirely clean hands around this so going forward there area around this so going forward there are a lot of good things but we have to have a good sense of urgency about tackling the immediate threat. i think that is doable but we can pretend we can turn this around overnight unless we do something to control the growth. what have you heard that make sense? we have established the trojan response teams worked very efficiently and they got them matter under control very well. it is also right that we are having this review. what else we could do are a few administrative things which would reduce the burden. in prisons at the moment we have about 3000 people who are held underan
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have about 3000 people who are held under an old—fashioned sentence brought in by the tony blair government, the three strikes and you are owed rule called indeterminate sentencing. they have served beyond the but they are still in prison. we should hold emergency pa role in prison. we should hold emergency parole board hearing is bringing in retired high court judges parole board hearing is bringing in retired high courtjudges which would take some of the pressure off. we can look at foreign national prisoners who are there and we, at the moment we recall prisoners who have been passed fit as being right to be released into the community, they are recalled to prison not because they have reoffended but because they have reoffended but because of an administrative area and we must be more proportionate with that. those are simple things we can do. but long—term the reform plan is going in the right direction. certainly, but indeterminate sentences, what has liz truss says on that? you like she was responding to the immediate problem today which is the security
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is jewish and then problem today which is the security isjewish and then birmingham so i would not expect her to give a broad outline on policy but it's being offered up as suggestion going forward. the immediate problem is being dealt with but you have to also deal with the key issue, why are we losing so many experienced staff? you might recall and we don't actually have routine exit interviews, any business organisation would have two interview someone to find it why they are leaving, that could be brought in straightaway and be much more systematic. we have to understand why it is that officers are feeling disheartened in doing theirjob because once the morale goes that permeates through the prison. thank you very much for joining us. the big news today of course is the killing of the russian ambassador in turkey, we have been hearing in the
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last few minutes that it has been confirmed that he was a young police officer, the man who effectively assassinated andrei karlov, who was delivering a speech at the photography exhibition in the capital ankara. this is a still of the man holding the gun. as he was about to fire he started saying things in relation to syria and in support of the people of aleppo and he also shouted god is great before firing several times. andrei karlov died at the scene. and remember of course that syria is a conflict that both turkey and russia are deeply, heavily involved with but on both sides of the battle, turkey
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supporting some of the rebel groups on the ground and russia of course particularly with its air force has been launching numerous air strikes in support of the syrian president's. the ambassador on the left, andrei karlov, has died. the gunman is supposed to have been a policeman, who used his official identification to get into the gallery today. more on that will be brought to you when we get it but now let's get a look at the in the short term it's looking quite across the uk, still pretty cloudy for many of us tomorrow, especially across england and wales, there will bea across england and wales, there will be a tendency for the weather to improve, about brighter i think for some parts of the country tomorrow. it's already been a fine evening
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across scotland and northern ireland, the skies cleared but it means here you are in for a frost, good chance of a widespread frost across parts of scotland and northern ireland, mist and fog forming ina northern ireland, mist and fog forming in a few places whereas to the south of the weather front, this is called air here, you can see around 56 degrees which is where we'll have the cloud and drizzle once again. one more day before all these isobars you can see behind me will send winds and it will blow all the cloud away and the weather will go downhill. here is a look at tuesday, the northwest rainey, sunshine here and there across england and wales on tuesday. hello. this is bbc news. the headlines at 7:30pm. russia's ambassador to turkey has been assasinated. at the scene, the gunman shouted his support for syria and the people of aleppo. russia, which backs the syrian government in the civil war,
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has called the shooting a terrorist attack. meanwhile evacuations have resumed from east aleppo, including nearly 50 orphans driven to safety after being trapped for months. workers at main post office branches have been on strike today, at the start of a week that will see airport baggage handlers, staff on southern rail, and some cabin crew at british airways, also walk out. the very future of high street post offices are under threat, we know the government and the company are lining up to make further announcements in january to close and franchise more high—street post offices. the justice secretary, liz truss, has ordered an inquiry into a major disturbance which took place on friday at birmingham prison. 380 inmates have since been moved. let's get more on the top story, the killing of the russian ambassador to turkey today. let's speak with sir tony brenton,
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who was the uk ambassador to russia between 2004 and 2008. hejoins me on webcam from cambridge. thank you forjoining us. firstly, what are your thoughts on russia turkey relations in light of this killing? can i say one other thing first, because as a former ambassador myself, you know always you are a symbol and to some extent a target and it is particularly worrying and tragic when one of our number is killed in this way and i think we all feel very sympathetic to his family. 0n the impact on roseau turkish relations, contrary to what people expected, this is likely to strengthen. the turks have reacted in the same way, killing the assailants, president erdogan has been on the telephone to mr putin. there was a meeting scheduled between foreign ministers tomorrow and that will take place and they
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have identified a common enemy here, is lamb is. for the russians, that is lamb is. for the russians, that is why they are in syria, to fight extremist islam —— common enemy, islamism. turkey themselves have had islamist atrocities and they will be keen to tackle the phenomenon revealed by this attack. sorry, my phone is ringing. switch it off! having said that, at the bottom line is that they are on different sides of the syrian conflict, the turks are supporting some of the rebel groups and russia is supporting the government of president assad. that's right. if you look at tu rkey‘s key that's right. if you look at turkey's key concerns with regard to syria, yes they are backing a few moderate rebels but their real concerns are with isis, which has
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been a terrorist threat in turkey itself and with the kurdish groups, who are finding isis in the northern syria, and the turks are worried that they will establish an independent area. the turks and russians have been cooperating recently over recent weeks to bring about the ceasefire in aleppo and to help make it work so if you look at recent elements, even though they are notionally on different sides, they have co—operated closely. are notionally on different sides, they have co-operated closely. what do you say to people who say that russia, supporting al—assad, is not fighting terrorism but wants to bolster its position and maintaining syria as abe stole what supporting moscow? —— as a stole bought. syria as abe stole what supporting moscow? -- as a stole bought. the russians have their own appalling islamist problem at home, we remembered the massacre at beslan,
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schoolchildren killed. they could see what the west did in libya, which was a mess, and iraq, and they are concerned, which was a mess, and iraq, and they are concerned , as which was a mess, and iraq, and they are concerned, as we are, that a islamist middle east would blow back into our own domestic situation with our own domestic terrorists. that's why they are there. they believe that the distinction we make between moderate opposition and extreme islamist opposition is a false distinction, that all of the opposition is to some extent tainted islamism and if al—assad fell, we would have an isis dominated syria which would be very bad news for them and also for us. thank you for joining us. i hope it wasn't your mum on the phone or anybody important! let's speak to elmira bayrasli,
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co—founder of foreign policy interrupted and turkish foreign policy expert. she's in new york. hello, thanks for being with us. the former uk ambassador to russia thinks that this assassination, the killing may actually bring the two countries closer together. is that your opinion? yes i think that's a pretty accurate assessment. not only will this bring moscow and ankara closer together, it will cause a bigger rift between ankara and washington. what we saw happening todayis washington. what we saw happening today is an extension of policies on behalf of washington regarding syria. as we've seen since august this last year, turkey and president erdogan have been trying to forge closer ties with putin and russia, particularly on syria. russia and
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syria have had... russia and turkey have had differences on syria, primarily because president erdogan called for the removal of al—assad early on. one thing the russians and turks agree on is the territorial sovereignty and integrity of syria, they don't want it broken up and if that means that assad must be at the helm of it, then the turks are going to be ok with that. that would be a very important strategic, potential change, wouldn't it? if the turks actually now turn around and say that al—assad can stay because they've wanted him to go. that big change, the policy was last year, and one of the key reasons you started to see ankara starting to warm up to russia. i think here you have a couple of things going on.
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domestically, president erdogan would like to bolster his position at home, he was to change turkey's and dilution from being parliamentary to being where the power lies within the presidency. having an anti—western stance and aligning himself with russia actually feeds into that. the second position is that russia also sees an opportunity to break up nato. in the long—term, russia's aims are to cast a blow to the nato alliance. lying itself with the turks actually achieved that goal. is that something that you can really see president erdogan contemplating at some point? i don't think he is contemplating breaking away from the nato alliance, turkey is committed to it but as long as europe and america see turkey as a ball walk
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against the isis threat in southern turkey, he's going to use that as a chip to try and gain as much as he can. the europeans, we've seen the refugee crisis being a huge issue in europe. and the turks taking in so many refugees and handling the crisis has been something that erdogan has used as a card against europe. good to see you, thanks for your perspective. there were chaotic scenes at the northern ireland assembly today as politicians from most of the main political parties walked out of the chamberjust before the first minister arlene foster was about to make a statement. she's under huge pressure over her involvement in a botched heating scheme that's expected to go hundreds of millions of pounds over budget. 0ur ireland correspondent chris buckler has this report. i am taking no points of order at this stage in the proceedings.
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northern ireland's first minister arlene foster went to stormont today to try to grasp control of a financial mess. but instead, there were chaotic scenes with opposition parties walking out and the dup‘s partner in government, sinn fein, notable by their absence. technically, an official statement by the first minister does need the support of the deputy first minister, martin mcguinness. but sinn fein's politicians were outside the chamber, deliberately distancing themselves from a botched green energy scheme that is likely to cost stormont hundreds of millions of pounds. we need to establish all the facts and know who benefited from this field scheme. —— this failed scheme. the first minister should stand aside to allow the investigation to take place. the controversial renewable heat incentive scheme worked like this. for every £1 of fuel the company
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uses they are paid £1.60. that was to encourage them to buy environmentally friendly boilers. because initially there were limits it is expected to be £400 million over budget over the next 20 years. the bbc has seen a confidential report which says the mistakes in its design have allowed companies to abuse the scheme. there is evidence of some firms heating buildings just to make a profit. it was launched under the watch of the current first minister, who was then enterprise minister. i'm sorry the scheme did not contain cost control measures and there were fundamental flaws in its design. this is the deepest political regret of my time in this house. after their brief walk—out, stormont‘s other parties returned to the assembly to debate a motion of no—confidence the first minister. we are, collectively, a laughing stock.
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apologies were replaced by anger. the tone of this debate is not fitting of what the public mood is, rightly angry, and the debate so far is a disgrace to this house. the motion of no confidence was always going to fail because it needed the support of unionists but the fiery exchanges show that the scandal of this scheme could cause problems for stormont. james whitlock, who is 31, remove the bars on his cell window before making his escape last month. he was on the run for a week before the police found him. his cell—mate, accused of the same offence, has yet to enter a plea. james whitlock‘s
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prison escape was domestic, he used two pillows under his bed clothes to make it that like he was sleeping and he began cutting through the bars of his cell, making it through the window and down towards the walls of the prison, which at pentonville prison in london are 25 feet high. he got over the wall using a rope and he escaped, sparking a major manhunt and he was reca ptu red sparking a major manhunt and he was recaptured by police within a week. he was charged with breaking prison, as distinct with escaping from custody, because the present itself was damaged in the escape attempt. he admitted the charge on a video link from belmarsh high security prison. there was another defendant in the dark, kenny baker, 21, charged with harbouring an escaped prisoner —— kelly breaker. she bought him hairdye, prisoner —— kelly breaker. she bought him hair dye, the receipt for mitch was found in her handbag and she has admitted the charge ——
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receipt for which. they will be sentenced in the new year. a third defendant, matthew baker was also charged with breaking prison. this escape took place at a time of growing concerns about the state of prisons, there had been a riot close to the time at bedfordshire prison and the sense of crisis hasn't gone away. further disturbances at birmingham prison on friday. let's bring you a bit more on the situation in syria. the united nations security council has been meeting today and approved the deployment of observers to aleppo as thousands of people have been evacuated from the east of the city. 0ur correspondent is at the united nations in new york. throughout this four, five—year civil war, the un has been conspicuous in its lack of agreement about what to do about syria. today they agreed on a resolution? that's right, and as of
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yesterday it seemed that the resolution might be the seventh russian veto during this conflict in russian veto during this conflict in russia but —— in syria but the russian representative voted with the other members of the security council to allow the secretary—general to deploy un staff on the ground to the besieged parts of eastern aleppo. the key is whether it will be implemented. the syrian ambassador said that his country have been doing this, that monitors all ready there, contrary to what we've heard from un officials who say that they can get people on the ground. will the resolution being fermented and make a difference to civilians? thank you for joining a difference to civilians? thank you forjoining us. some news coming to us forjoining us. some news coming to us from berlin, out of writers and saying that a truck has ploughed into a saying that a truck has ploughed intoa group saying that a truck has ploughed into a group of people close to a christmas market in the capital, berlin —— reuters. 0ne
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christmas market in the capital, berlin —— reuters. one person killed and several injured according to police. there are no other details available. it happened near a fashionable avenue in the west of berlin and it isn't clear why the truck veered off the road and into the market. one person has died and several others injured in a smart neighbourhood of berlin after a truck ploughed into a crowd attending a christmas market. the headlines on bbc news: the russian ambassador to ankara has been shot dead by a gunman, while visiting a photographic gallery in the turkish capital. thousands of people have been evacuated from the syrian city of aleppo, including nearly 50 orphans who've been trapped for months. thousands of workers are staging a series of strikes, hitting trains, post offices
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and airlines in the run up to christmas. the shortage of affordable housing is one of the biggest issues facing britain and modular housing, where homes are pre—fabricated, then quickly installed on site has been touted as one solution. today, plans were announced to build six factories in england that could produce 22,000 homes a year. behind the venture is an investment of £2.5 billion from china. this report from our home editor mark easton contains flashing images. it's a house on the back of a lorry, turning heads in derbyshire today, but in what is hailed as a game changer for britain's housing sector, massive new investment in factory—built homes may mean this will soon be as unremarkable as a cement mixer on a building site. £2.5 billion of chinese investment in six british factories producing
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25,000 modular houses like these every year. that's the deal announced today. in their factory—built offices in warrington, one of the uk partners in thejoint venture says the factory—built homes will cost less than half of what it takes to build a traditional brick house. currently in this country to build property it is usually about £1000 a square metre. 0nce our plants are up and running it will come down to about £400 per square metre, a massive quantum shift in our ability to provide affordable housing. not only will the price come down. the running cost of these houses, because they are highly energy efficient, will be reduced by 75%. cost and availability of land will still be a factor but if the consortium can deliver on their promise, something like one new british house in every six or seven won't be built ona building site but in a factory. in the jargon, today's announcement is said to be "sector disruptive", changing the uk housing market forever.
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the billions in new investment come from the china national muilding material company based in beijing. theirfactory made homes are a familiarfeature in the far east they have seen an opportunity to expand the business to the uk. six factories are planned across britain, one in scotland, another south wales and four dotted around england. 1000 newjobs and a boost forsuppliers, including britain's steel industry. if we are going get this country to build the homes we need we need to make maximum use of modern methods of construction, getting around skills constraints, but also homes can be built much more quickly. in britain, we tend to associate factory made homes with cheap and drafted post—war prefab plural. but 21st century modular homes are very different, designed to be aspirational places to live. these factory made homes
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being launched in south london are seven to the kind of product the new factories will produce. residents say they love them. i invited my friends to say come and see, they said wow, is this your house? it is very spacious. i did not expect it, properly soundproofed, i live on the high street and you can hardly hear any noise. some might question why britain needs chinese investors to solve its housing crisis, but if actions match the words, today may go down as the day when british homes no longer meant bricks and mortar. six months since the referendum — theresa may has been updating mps on her discussions with eu leaders about britain's departure from the european union. she says she wants a "smooth and orderly exit" from the eu. her comments come as people in communities up and down the country reflect on what brexit will bring for them —
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and the divisions that the vote exposed. in the first of three reports this week, our special correspondent ed thomas has been gauging the mood — in coventry and warwick. for some, it's all a bit too slow. especially in the west midlands, the most eurosceptic area in the uk. here, even the cities wanted out of europe. in coventry, many who voted for change six months ago now feel a sense of frustration and mistrust. all i feel is that our vote is a waste of time. and you voted to leave? yeah. have you got any faith in the politicians to get it right? i think they're rubbish, the government is a joke to be perfectly honest with you. i don't think brexit will go the way we wanted to, either. and what about coventry‘s new minority, those who wanted to stay in the eu? has time healed divides?
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i am deeply disturbed by it, i really am. it is not the country i thought i lived in. some people see a great opportunity in brexit, do you not see that? no, i see nothing, it is a black, nasty future. this part of coventry is one of the most deprived in england and desperately needs more jobs. many look to small businesses like this for work, but already the brexit vote is having an effect. that binding machine over there is £1 million. it has just had £200,000 added to it. if we buy a new machine, it has got 20% on it, if it is made in germany. how serious is that? a lot. and consider this is a boss who voted to leave. it was a choice that meant more to him than pounds. and you still think it was the right decision to leave? yes. even with the pressure your business
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is under? yes. even if it costs you your business you think it is the right thing to do? yes. and what next for carolina, a polish work in the uk, a single parent now trying to answer her daughter's questions. ijust said to her if we have to leave, then we leave. what's that like for a mother, having to say that to a child? i know it's not easy for me, and it will not be easy for her, especially for her. move away from coventry and head to warwick. a historic town, and the only place in the west midlands to vote remain. six months on, is brexit any sweeter? a lot of people have been listening to a lot of anti—european and racist rhetoric, and some people who looked back afterwards and saw what they had done may have actually thought twice if they had known what was going to happen.
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is that not a bit unfair? i don't think so. if it happened again i think the result might be quite different. here, though, there was also optimism even when patience is being tested. all the while we are tardy and we hang back we're losing great opportunities. people will get tired of us and the public will get tired of it. the government never promised a rush and today said brexit is on course and will be a success. the head of the international monetary fund has been convicted over a contentious payment made to business tycoon when she was france's finance minister but escaped any form of punishment. christine lagarde authorised the £400 million award in 2008, but the court decided againstjail or a fine because the money has since been recovered. the football associations of england, scotland,
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northern ireland and wales have been fined for displaying poppies during world cup qualifying games last month. england were given the heaviest fine, of £35,000 for displaying poppies on players‘ armbands. the world governing body, fifa, regards the poppy as a political symbol, something which is banned. the fa has said it intends to appeal. the well—known broadcaster, rabbi lionel blue, has die at the age of 86. he was a regular contributor to thought for the day on bbc radio 4, where he shared his struggles with his faith and sexuality. he was the first british rabbi to speak about being gay. inside couldn't find anyone to love who loved me, i decided to love god instead and i saw people in a different light. i saw god's image in them and this was souls going to
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paradise, like me and when i offered one a seat i saw how love had blossomed into loving—kindness. rabbi lionel blue who has died at the age of 86. we have more news coming up, but now it is time for the weather. for many of us, another 24 hours of relatively calm weather, with some mist and drizzle, the kind of thing we've had for a while, and then it's going to turn very unsettled and the reason is a very powerfuljet stream out of north america over the atla ntic out of north america over the atlantic and it is making a beeline for the uk atlantic and it is making a beeline forthe uk and atlantic and it is making a beeline for the uk and thejet atlantic and it is making a beeline for the uk and the jet stream is going to spin out some nasty areas of low pressure, potentially storms, one on christmas eve and another one is coming for roundabout christmas time, so there could be some nasty weather, strong wind and heavy rain, something to bear in mind if you're travelling during christmas. that
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could be anywhere but it looks more like northern and western areas. in the short time, you can see drizzle, low cloud over england and wales and it was a fine enter the day is scotla nd it was a fine enter the day is scotland and northern ireland, clear skies, a touch of frost and fog. tuesday morning, nippy start over many parts of scotland and northern ireland, belfast barely above freezing and some areas will be around freezing or below. england and wales, fairly overcast, some rain especially across the western areas but in one or two areas you canjust areas but in one or two areas you can just about make out that the cloud is starting to break—up, maybe a suggestion that tuesday will not be as dull as monday was. some sunshine on the way and for many of us sunshine on the way and for many of us it may not be so bad but later in the day we're expecting rain and wind to affect northern ireland and scotla nd wind to affect northern ireland and scotland and this weather front is
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the leading edge of all of that u nsettled the leading edge of all of that unsettled weather. these isobars, strong wind, the unsettled weather coming our way for the rest of the week. from about tuesday night, wednesday onwards. the weather fronts pushing through, strong gales around the coast, some sunshine and showers, but for a short while across the south it is going to be well to be mild and not too windy. beyond that, a roller—coaster ride around christmas. there could be some strong winds, so stay in touch with the latest weather updates. this is bbc news. i'm clive myrie. the headlines at 8pm: in berlin a truck has ploughed into a crowd close to a christmas market. at least one person has been killed. police say it's too early to tell whether it was a deliberate act. russia's ambassador to turkey
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has been assassinated. andrei karlov was speaking at a reception in ankara, when he was shot in the back. at the scene, the gunman — an off—duty police officer — shouted his support for syria and aleppo. moscow has called the killing a terrorist attack. thousands of people have been bussed out of the syrian city of aleppo, as a ceasefire agreement holds. among them are nearly 50 orphans, who sent out a desperate message on social media just a few days ago. and here, prepare for a week of industrial action in the run—up to christmas.
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