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

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,to darren. all ,te darren. all change? are going to cross the newsroom and speak to darren. all change? you know it, you know it don't you! you know it, you know it don't you! you have been paying attention today. yes, it's a weekend of two halves. the weather is going to change tomorrow but make the most of what is left of today because there is some decent sunshine around. for many, the winds are light, beginning to pick up through the irish sea. the sunshine turning hazy perhaps in northern ireland. one or two showers across norfolk and suffolk as well. otherwise it's a dry day and temperatures 18, i9 otherwise it's a dry day and temperatures 18, 19 fairly widely, as well as 21 in the south—east and as well as 21 in the south—east and a fine evening to come here. gets chilly quickly. should. as cold as it has been mind you. rain coming in this evening across northern ireland. a shield of higher cloud coming across the south—west. we have this slowly moving area of thicker cloud and rain and drizzle. the rain
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becomes lighter and more damp and drizzly through the day but it's damp and bleak across many western areas. 15 or 16 degrees. brighter skies near the coast. temperatures could be as high as 19. hello. this is bbc news with lukwesa burak. the metropolitan police has paid compensation to the former head of the army, lord bramall, and the family of the late home secretary, lord brittan, who were falsely accused of child sexual abuse. a campaign group says more than 700 homes have been burned down in a rohingya muslim village, as tens of thousands of the minority group continue to flee the country. the headlines: it's believed more than 1,400 people have died and a0 million have been left homeless or displaced after catastrophic flooding across several
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south asian countries. utility companies could be charged by the hourfor digging up busy roads in england in a bid to encourage contractors to speed up their work and reduce delays. and a grammar school in south—east london has reversed its decision to force some a—level pupils to leave halfway through their courses because they weren't expected to gain high enough grades. now on bbc news, witness. hello, i am lucy hockings. welcome to witness, here
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at the british library in london. this month we have another five people who have witnessed extraordinary moments in history first—hand. we will be remembering a royal wedding injapan, a remarkable feat of engineering under the alps, and a new way of giving birth. but first, we are going back to august 1947, when india gained independence from britain and was split into two countries, mainly hindu india and mainly muslim pakistan. partition affected the lives of millions of families. mohammad amir ahmed khan's was one of them. i am mohammad amir ahmed khan, known as sulaiman to family and friends, the raja of mahmudabad. i am from a muslim family which once ruled a very large feudal estate, including the beautiful a palace in mahmudabad in which we still live. but the indian government is laying
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claim to my property, saying that it is enemy property. no—one is paying for it, so these days, everything is crumbling. this dispute goes back to 19117. the partition of india into two states, a muslim majority state called pakistan, and a hindu majority state of india. it was estimated that one million people died, ten million people were displaced. some muslims went to the state of pakistan. many hindus came to india. it was not just the country
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that was divided. families were divided, too. in the late ‘50s, my father took pakistani nationality, and that is when my family's problems began, because when india and pakistan went to war in 1965, the government laid claim to our properties. there was an act of parliament called the enemy property act, which empowered the government to take over temporarily the properties of pakistanis. it was notjust our family which was affected. thousands of families were affected. the properties are worth billions of dollars. but our issue is that only my father took pakistani nationality. i have always been an indian.
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my mother was always an indian. we had to fight our case from the lowest to the highest court, and in every court we won. and the supreme courtjudge said that by no stretch of imagination could i be considered an enemy, and considered me the heir to my father's properties, but then the government went and changed the laws and the battle has begun again. i suppose, like so many people in india and pakistan, we are still caught up in the repercussions of partition and the acrimonious relations between india and pakistan.
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in a way, i have been forced to live in the past. and with apologies to yeats, ifeel as if i am drowning in a beauty that has long since faded from this earth. mohammad amir ahmed khan, speaking to us from his beautiful family palace in uttar pradesh. next, to the summer of 1965, when a remarkable feat of engineering opened to the public. the mont blanc tunnel runs for 11 kilometres under the alps. franco cuaz worked on the project. a road tunnel under mont blanc. the dream of decades has come true and the paris—rome motorjourney is cut by 300 miles.
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to both france and italy this was an historic occasion. the joint opening ceremony was performed by general degaulle and president saragat. from here, this looks a pretty big hole, but when you think of the size of the mountain through which it is being driven, it is rather like trying to drive a needle through the granite foundations of edinburgh castle. franco cuaz is 91 now, and long retired, but he still lives near the mont blanc tunnel. now, in 1977 a state hospital near paris began quietly changing the way that women gave birth. obstetrician dr michel odent believed that childbirth had become too medicalised. he wanted a more natural approach, so he introduced a pool to ease the pain of labour. there is something special about the relationship between human beings and water. as soon as it is lifted into the air, its lungs start to work normally.
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dr michel odent, obstetrician, this is his maternity unit, run according to his deeply felt beliefs about women and natural childbirth. the right place to give birth would be the right place to make love. when i arrived in 1962, the way women were giving birth was the same as in any hospital, on a table, with legs in stirrups. but gradually, gradually, we reconsidered everything. we have introduced the concept of home—like birthing rooms, a smaller room with no visible medical equipment, to help women to feel more
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at home in the hospital. at a time when they still have the vision as hospital as a place where you come when you're sick, to die. 1:00am, and a young couple have driven 150 miles to have their first baby here, in an ordinary state hospital in northern france. by changing the environment, we have attracted more women to our maternity unit, women coming from far away. and that is why i became an obstetrician! from 200 births a year, to 1,000 births a year. a pool to help mothers ease the pain of labour. babies are occasionally born under water. we have painted the walls in blue, dolphins on the walls. many women in labour could not wait.
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they wanted to enter the birthing pool before it was full. they could not wait. the main objective was to break the vicious circle by replacing drugs. all medication, all drugs have side—effects. after being in the womb in warm fluid for nine months, the baby emerges happily into the warm water with its life—support system from the mother still intact. i remember the visit we had with this british obstetrician. what do you think of the pool? well, i do not think we would have room for it in our hospital. and i find dr odent's views about it a wonderful mixture of mysticism and scince.
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i do not think the word "mysticism" is appropriate. it is true that i tried to consider in a scientific language some emotional state. translation: it felt like a family atmosphere, very reassuring. it gave you confidence in yourself, and that is what i needed. i was pleased when i heard women talking in a positive way about the birth of their babies. we have to learn from positive experiences, that is the way forward. michel odent now lives in london and birthing pools are widely available in hospitals. remember, you can watch witness every month on the bbc news channel, or you can catch up on over a thousand radio programmes in our online archive. just go to next, we're going back to august 1972 when the dictator idi amin
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ordered uganda's asian minority to leave the country, accusing them of sabotaging the economy. 80,000 people were forced to leave uganda, including gita watts. we had 90 days to sort everything out, to get out of the country and he sort of made the impression that if we didn't get out on time, we'd be sitting on fire. more than 12,000 towns and villages like this in
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uganda. in every one of them, the government is pressing its campaign against the asian traders. the asian community was close—knit, all the asian shops inrolled together and we all knew each other. each family and all knew each other. each family and all the kids knew each other. we weren't well off but we were co mforta ble. weren't well off but we were comfortable. people started rushing to the embassies and my dad had to sign everything over. that means his assets and his business, over to the ugandan bank. we were given £55, that's all he was allowed to take with him. it wasjust that's all he was allowed to take with him. it was just unbelievable, you know, after everything that he earned, he was just left with £55. when we first got to the airport, people's luggage was opened and people's luggage was opened and people were checking for gold and money and, for some reason, my pa rents money and, for some reason, my parents put a ring on my finger. we we re parents put a ring on my finger. we
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were told to get that ring off me because the ring was so tight we struggled to take it off. my parents tried everything to take this ring off. in the end, it was cut off. the scariest bit was that we had soldiers with guns and knives surrounding us. i was panicking trying to get this ring off. it was a relief that we had to go on display when the plane was taking off. my dad was probably thinking, you know, he got his family out of the country at last. but he was leaving back something that he really loved, the country that he loved. the asians arrived in cold wet weather at stansted, whole families arriving with little cash. the few belongings they brought often seemed of nothing more than sentimental. the time of the year we arrived it was wintertime. that made it worse as well with the rain.
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i had not seen the snow before. we we re i had not seen the snow before. we were scared because we didn't know where would we go. i mean, my mum was told to take us to leicester, a town called leicester, we didn't know what it was like, we didn't know what it was like, we didn't know any english when i grew up and went to secondary school i came through a lot of racial abuse from kids, you know, calling names and waiting for me outside school and wanting to like beat me up and not liking my colour. recently, wejust went back to uganda. ijust wanted to see the country that i was born in and why my parents loved that country so much. it was nice to go back to the hospital where i was born. it really was an amazing experience. in all, 60,000 asians
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we re experience. in all, 60,000 asians were expelled from you began da, nearly half settled in britain, including gita watts. finally back to 1959 and a ground—breaking royal wedding injapan. witness has been to tokyo to meet a tv director whose coverage of the tv event entranced the nation. so he marries a commoner, breaking tradition of over 200 years. the ceremony lasting 15 minutes took place in a wooden shrine within the walls of the imperial palace. there was no hint of any western influence in the wedding ritual. in robes such as the members of the imperial family have worn for centuries, the crown prince and his bride were made man and wife. burdened by no fewer than 12 kimonos, it took the princess three hours to dress. the total weight was 33 pounds.
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cheers accompanied them all the way as they proceeded on their drive through tokyo. that is all from us this month. i hope you willjoin us next month back here at the british library. we'll have five extraordinary accou nts we'll have five extraordinary a ccou nts of we'll have five extraordinary accounts of hiss true through the eyes of people who were there. for now, from me and the rest of the tea m now, from me and the rest of the team at witness, goodbye. it's certainly looking like a weekend of two halves. best of the weather today, cloud and some rain on the way tomorrow. especially in
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the west. we have seen some fair weather cloud bubbling un, most of it over land today, so plenty of sunshine around the coastal areas. in some cases, the cloud has sufficient depth to give one or two showers such as there in suffolk. this is where we have the thickest of cloud, to bring a change in the weather overnight and tomorrow, slowly but surely from the west. not much rain at the moment. most places will be fine, late afternoon into the early evening as well. cloud beginning to increase across northern ireland. sunshine turning hazy here. a decent late afternoon early evening across scotland. temperatures about 16 or 17. a touch warmerfor england temperatures about 16 or 17. a touch warmer for england and wales. temperatures about 16 or 17. a touch warmerfor england and wales. more sunshine around the coast. a bit more cloud inland. could squeeze one oi’ more cloud inland. could squeeze one or two light showers out of that. the greatest risk remains across norfolk and suffolk, although those showers will head out into the northern sea. cloud increasing all the while for
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the world cup qualifier. we have got the world cup qualifier. we have got the rain in northern ireland this evening. as the wind picks up, we'll see some rain heading into south—west wales and england and the western fringes of scotland later. ahead of the rain, a lot of cloud spilling our way. there could be some hazy sunshine for a while in eastern scotland and eastern england. this thickening cloud moving very slowly further into scotland, to north—west england, perhaps the midlands towards hampshire as well. the rain becoming lighth lighter, more damp and drizzly and we are left with low cloud, so a cool day underneath the rain. temperatures could be high as 19 in the east coast. for the cycling, the tour of britain starts tomorrow, edinburgh to kelso. a lot of dry weather and cloud too. we may see drizzle arriving in kelso towards the end of that first stage. but this weather front really is very slow to move across the uk and it just tends to fizzle out
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very slow to move across the uk and itjust tends to fizzle out by monday because coming off the back of that, a more active weather front that will bring heavier rains into scotla nd that will bring heavier rains into scotland an perhaps for a while into northern ireland. gland and wales still damp. quite a muggy feel on monday, a warm sort of day and the temperatures could be as high as 22 oi’ temperatures could be as high as 22 or 23 temperatures could be as high as 22 or23 in the temperatures could be as high as 22 or 23 in the south—east. but probably only briefly. this is bbc news. i'm lukwesa burak. the headlines at three: the metropolitan police pays compensation to retired field marshal lord bramall, and the family of the late lord brittan over false accusations of child sex abuse. nearly 60,000 rohingya, the muslim minority in myanmar, have fled the country after violence erupted a week ago. so many people were killed. they just set fire to everything. ijust ran. they were shooting at us and i got hit. there were people whose throats were slashed with knives. more than 1,400 people have died
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and a0 million have been left homeless or displaced after catastrophic flooding across south asia. paying for road closures. new proposals to charge utility companies by the hour for roadworks which cause disruption.
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