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tv   Witness  BBC News  August 12, 2017 2:30pm-3:01pm BST

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john maguire, bbc news, motherwell. stargazers will be hoping to get a great view of the perseid meteor shower tonight. astronomers say hundreds of meteors will streak across the sky in a display that may be visible around the world. the display should peak at around 11pm. clear skies permitting, it will be seen in most parts of the uk. so the big question is, darren, are we all going to be wishing on a star? that is the big question. today, we have seen a mix #k4ur of sunshine and showers —— mixture. cloudy in cumbria, some rain and showers
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around here. it's not completely dry. we have showers moving across scotla nd dry. we have showers moving across scotland an they've settled in gci’oss scotland an they've settled in across northern england and parts of wales as well. towards the south and east, largely dry with sunshine. a decent end to the day likely. towards the latter part of the afternoon, still a few showers around but not so for the south—west of england, nor indeed for the south—east. should be turning sunnier. a lot of the cloud we have at the moment is convicted cloud so it's developed as the heat‘s built up it's developed as the heat‘s built up through the day. the temperatures drop and the cloud will break up. fewer showers gci’oss drop and the cloud will break up. fewer showers across wales. still some heavier showers across parts of yorkshire, lincolnshire and into scotland. not many showers for northern ireland. northern and eastern scotland and eastern england will have most of the showers. by 11 o'clock, very few left around. for the most part overnight dry and clear with light winds. it will quickly turn chilly, temperatures dropping as the sun goes down and
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cold overnight in rural parts across the north. here is the forecast for the north. here is the forecast for the perseid meteor shower. it will be chilly so wrap up well. sunday night not as good. early in the east not too bad. early on sunday, a sunny start. a few showers in the north—west of scotland. most of the showers will be in the northern half of scotland. the risk of one or two in wales and the south—west. many other parts of england likely to be dry. temperatures similar to those of today. the world athletics championships comes to a close tomorrow. it looks like it will be a fine day. we have got plenty of sunshine around through the afternoon and into the evening as well. the wet weather holding off until we head overnight and into monday where we'll start to see rain coming into the west, heading north and to scotland. next batch of wet weather arriving in the south—west later on in the day, spilling its
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way north and east to many parts of the uk. still a very unsettled outlook into next week. there'll be spells of rain, notjust the rain developing for the beginning of the week but wetter weather wednesday night into thursday and probably continuing into friday. hello, this is bbc news. the headlines. president trump has issued a new warning to north korea saying pyongyang will "regret it fast" if it targets the us island of guam or against america's allies. police have made an arrest after two women believed to be a mother and daughter were found with stab wounds in the golders green area of north london. detectives investigating the murder of an elderly dog—walker near east harling in norfolk have arrested a man in his 20s. nine people have reportedly been shot dead in kenya in protests after the disputed election victory
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of president uhuru kenyatta. now on bbc news, it's time for the travel show. india. a vast country, home to over a billion people, birthplace of illustrious, ancient civilisations. .. and today, a fast emerging global power. and 70 years after independence, india is still a diverse, ever—evolving assortment of cultures, creeds, religions and languages. heading off the well—worn tourist path, we're on a journey that spans this vast subcontinent from east to west, travelling from one of the driest places on earth... it's quite incredible, the sand.
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i mean, it'sjust hard crystals, white salt. you can probably taste it. one of the wettest. these are areas really for the adventurous traveller. this isn't india on tap. i'm on a quest to find out how history, religion and politics have shaped india. and i also meet the people who call this intriguing and sometimes overwhelming country home. it's going to be an amazing journey. for thousands of years, india found its riches and influence through international trade. and at the heart of this enterprise was the sea. and the state of gujarat, with 1,000 miles of coastline,
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served as a shipping gateway to africa, arabia and beyond. this is as far west as you can get in india, and it's the mingling of all the influences from overseas that have helped make gujarat what it is today. the region is known as kutch, and its beaches, like here in mandvi, are a popular domestic tourist attraction. but this ancient port town's economy is still anchored in a much older maritime tradition. this is genuinely incredible. i'm in heaven. a huge shipyard with boats and ships at various stages of construction, all made from wood. in an industry dominated by bulky and expensive container ships, these smaller, more agile vessels are still in huge demand.
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so here we are, really close up to these incredible hulks. this one is in mid—construction. we can actually go inside. i'm going to see how they make these things. apparently, each of these dhows takes two and a half years to make. for many of the workers, shipbuilding is a family tradition. and this ancient craft is now attracting unexpected new admirers. the region of kutch was home to one of the world's earliest civilisations, and can be traced back and this ancient craft is now attracting unexpected new admirers.
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the region of kutch was home to one of the world's earliest civilisations, and can be traced back to prehistoric times. its old royal capital is the city of bhuj. its glory days are kind of over. it was badly hit by the 2001 earthquake. there's a kind of melancholy about this area, because obviously, this was once the real, opulent centre of a rich empire, trading empire anyway, and the hub was here. but what is still flourishing is bhuj‘s aso—year—old market just a few minutes away, where the trading tradition continues. what do they sell here? they sell everything.
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fruit, vegetables, fabric, groceries. all cultural backgrounds can be seen in the marketplace. here, as you can see, all different communities and ethnic groups come here. but kutch's natural harmony was disrupted 70 years ago, when the british left. the country was divided on religious grounds, with muslims partitioned to the north in pakistan, and hindus to the south in india. we drove out of the city towards the border with pakistan, along the way encountering some kutch herdsmen. they've been living here for 400 or 500 years. since, they migrated down south into kutch from sindh, which is now part of pakistan. ever since the split,
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there's been tension between the two governments, but to these herdsmen, national borders and religious differences mean little. for the people of kutch, india and pakistan or hindu/muslim it's not that important. people are religious, of course, but they're living in harmony and the relationship between these two different groups is brotherly. when two countries were created from one, indelible scars were left on the psyche of the subcontinent. archive: independence has not yet brought them peace. rejoicing turned quickly into horror and mourning. in traumatic scenes, more than a million people died in religious rioting, and many millions more were displaced. this all used to be one, but now it's divided in two. and now the border itself has become a tourist attraction. that way is pakistan? that way is pakistan, about 70 kilometres up north.
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that is where the india—pakistan border is, which lies along the middle of kutch, which is a geographical valley. at nearly 500 metres above sea level, the highest point, kalo dungar hill, allows us a dramatic view of this geological phenomenon, the rann, or desert of kutch, which continues into pakistan. i wanted to get up closer to this natural wonder. it's quite incredible, the sand. i mean, it'sjust hard crystals, white salt. you can probably taste it. really unusual to see something like this. the further out i walked, the less lovely it became. it's actually quite incredible. it's more like snow or sludge
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than white sand or white crystals when it gets wet around here. i'm getting really deep into it. whoa! today, this shimmering wilderness is a healthy source of income for the region, thanks mainly to a three—month long festival throughout the winter. it is amazing. what was a vast, barren landscape has been transformed into this colourful complex, whereby at night, there's live music and other performances and by day, there's plenty of other activities. just here is what you might call the glamping quarters. 50,000 people have come here in the last couple of months alone. i guess this is a cross between a weekend festival and a holiday resort. it's basically a honeypot for the booming middle classes
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of india in what has been one of the fastest—growing economies in the world. the revival of interest in kutch culture, boosted by the festival, has been a lifeline for one group of locals in particular, folk musicians. music in particular is very rich over here. previously, they used to perform with their cattles, the shepherds. then afterwards, when they came home, they'd get together and their speech and songs are being performed. it's a day—to—day practice. one person plays two flutes of the same time? yes. now, for example, 500 cattles are there and only one shepherd is there. so he'll sit and start playing this and whatever musical reach this has, the cattles will not go out of that range. wow.
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and they enjoy the music, so the digestive system, the milk output increases. so this is the beauty of it. so it's almost like meditation. yeah. things are changing, definitely. as you say, tourism, so many music festivals are there, so they are invited in various parts of india and abroad. and of course, they are very well paid. and not only do i get a demonstration, but also the privilege of playing along... as lead tinkler. and yet again, i'm made aware that kutch culture is all about a sense of community and certainly not about religious segregation. from the bottom of my heart, i am telling you till today, in spiritual and music forms, hindus and muslims sit together
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and perform till today. for the next part of myjourney, i'm heading to the south—east of gujarat, to the town ofjunagadh. ah, the classic indian railway station. to me, nothing sums up this country better than the indian railway network. more than any political act, they say that this is what unifies this country. i remember as a small child being on an indian train and being totally overwhelmed by it, but i love it. ah, this feels imminent.
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who knows when this was made, this train? it looks pretty damn old to me. but wow, look at that. it's a network that ferries millions of passengers daily across tens of thousands of track to nearly 7,000 stations. it's one of the world's biggest employers. if there's one defining legacy of british rule, it's the vast, sprawling, creaking indian railway network. it's still the lifeblood of the country today. they sing i'll tell you this:
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you wouldn't get this on a suburban train on a cold wednesday morning in london, or any other western city. this is unique. do you know everyone on this carriage? yeah. yeah, from the train journey? yeah, trainjourney, train friends. you're the train friends, excellent. you have a community. is it lucky to have a seat on the train? yes. very lucky. she's very lucky. like you. like me! so here we are, the ancient, fortified city of junagadh, crowded and noisy, as i expected. let's go explore. just a few minutes from the station along a dusty, busy road, stands this jaw—dropping and little—known architectural wonder.
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built in the late 19th century, the mahabat maqbara is an elaborate mausoleum, blending indian, islamic, gothic and european architecture. the intricate carvings took over a decade to complete, and the whole structure reflects the opulence and influences of the time. back in the day, under the british raj, there were hundreds of so—called princely states run by maharajahs and nawabs, powerful and wealthy men. there was one such character here, a nawab who made a decision that still has ramifications for relations with india and pakistan even today. these nawabs led lavish lifestyles, in stark contrast to ordinary indians. the nawab ofjunagadh, mahabat khan iii, was no different.
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archive: this states celebrates the marriage of the eldest son of the nawab with all the pomp and splendour of a princely wedding. harish desai was ten in 1946, and recalls the splendour of the ceremony. archive: escorted by the royal guard, the bridegroom drives in state through the streets. before him and the procession goes a costly profusion of wedding gifts. all the princes were there, attired in a princely pattern with turbans of a particular type on their head. dance girls used to be brought there, musicians and all that. that lasted for several days. and he recalls getting his first taste of this other world. for the first time, i saw bread, butter, sandwich. that was not known to us here. my father said "you eat this. this is bread and this is butter".
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and i liked it. there were small pastries. i still remember that made in england, london, there were huntley & palmers biscuits. the important thing is the formal photograph of his highness, mahabat khan iii. the nawab‘s own most legendary indulgence was his love of animals. his main hobby was for dogs. he was mad after dogs. i think almost all varieties and breeds of dogs from all over the world were here. he used to arrange marriages for dogs, and celebrated with parties and honeymoon. honeymoon! he used to do it. but with the advent of independence, the power and influence of india's
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royal rulers was coming to an end. come partition, the muslim nawab wanted to make junagadh part of the newly created islamic pakistan... even though the town is more than 80% hindu and hundreds of kilometres from the border. infuriated, the new indian government rallied its troops. the news started coming that the army is coming with huge tanks and trucks and jeeps and artillery and guns and everything are there. junagadh state was besieged on three sides also. an economic blockade was ordered, cutting off supplies of food and resources into the region. eventually, junagadh acceded to india and the nawab fled to pakistan. yet to this day, 70 years on, his great—grandson still lays claim to junagadh.
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and the episode lingers as a reminder of the last days of the raj in india. and 65 kilometres down the road in the gir sanctuary, the nawab‘s legacy as an animal lover extraordinaire continues with the most regal of creatures. now, lions may have iconic status here. they're a royal symbol and they're in hindu mythology, but at the beginning of the last century, they were threatened with extinction. i'm going somewhere now which is the only natural abode of the asiatic lion. the nawab preserved vast tracts of this forest to provide lions with a stable habitat, and banned hunting. the asiatic lions are smaller and paler than their african relatives.
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and these are their modern—day protectors, india's first female forest rangers, the so—called lion queens of gir. now they're part of a team that performs more animal rescues than any other wildlife park in the world. on average, the unarmed rangers cover 25 kilometres a day and have to tackle venomous snakes, leopards and poachers as well as lions. if they did get agitated, how would you be able to tell from the animal? how would you know if you're safe or not, being this close to the animal? and it did get dangerous
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for her early on in her career here. applications from women for these posts have rocketed, and the rangers are role models and trailblazers in the region today. 0oh, look at that mouth. the good news is that from once being in danger of extinction, numbers have climbed to over 500. the next, much more welcome, problem is if the sanctuary is big enough for their growing population. so, the first part of my travels across india comes to a close. but next week, i head to the north—east of the country. i'm on the banks of the mighty river brahmaputra, and about to go
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to a very spiritual place. and with the amount of people crammed on here as well, it's going to be an experience. a region that prides itself on tradition and creativity, and a passionate desire to protect this unique part of the world forfuture generations. hello there. very wet weather in north—east india and neighbouring bangladesh at the moment all due to the south—westerly monsoon. 0ur monsoon or at least it seemed like one, has moved away for the time being and we are seeing decent weather through the weekend. some sunshine around but not completely dry. we have had some threatening
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cloud here earlier on in cumbria. we have still got a few showers around at the moment. a few more showers are developing in scotland. we still have these showers across northern england and into wales. the heaviest rain at the moment around parts of north—east england moving into the east riding of yorkshire. the showers continue into the evening as well. should be a decent end to the day across the south, plenty of sunshine and temperatures round about 20 degrees or so. the odd shower could creep into the north midlands. fewer showers by early evening in wales and north—west england. wet in the north—east down to parts of lincolnshire. not many showers in northern ireland. they'll keep going in northern and eastern scotland. sharp showers likely here. this is where we have got most of the showers through the evening, they'll last a few hours then fade away. most places try, clear skies,
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few hours then fade away. most places try, clearskies, light winds. it will turn chilly once we lose that sunshine. particularly cold by the end of the night across some rural parts in the north. maybe you're hoping to see the perseid meteor shower tonight. the peak is at 11 o'clock. as we head into tomorrow night, it's a different story. more cloud will be moving in from the west, maybe not too bad first thing. we start sunday though with a lot of blue skies and sunshine. a few showers coming into western scotland, developing more widely through the day. more crowd for wales and the south—west. you could just manage a shower. a much drier day across northern england and the north—east. for the end of the world championships, it should be fine through the afternoon into the evening. the rain holding off until we see rain coming into western areas, spilling into scotla nd western areas, spilling into scotland at this stage, still dry
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for east anglia and the south—east, but still heavier rain developing and it will push its way across many parts of the country. an unsettled week ahead. nothing settled about the weather. this is bbc news. i'm lukwesa burak. the headlines at 3pm: a fresh warning for north korea from the us president — donald trump says it will "regret it a fast" if it continues to threaten america or its allies. they will be very safe. if anything happens to guam, there's going to be big, big trouble in north korea. scotland yard have arrested a man, after a woman and her daughter were fatally stabbed in north—west london. police, investigating the death of 83—year—old peter wrighton, who was stabbed while walking his dog, have arrested a man in his 20s. at least two people shot dead in kenya during overnight protests against the re—election of the country's president, uhuru kenyatta. and london prepares to say goodbye to two legends at the world
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athletics championships, as mo farah and usain bolt prepare to take to the track for the final time this evening.
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