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tv   BBC World News  BBC News  December 27, 2017 1:00am-1:31am GMT

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this is bbc world news. my name's mike embley. our top stories: the us slaps sanctions on two men it claims are "key leaders" of north korea's ballistic missile programme. counting is under way in the run—off presidential election in liberia. brazil retaliates after venezuela boots out its envoy over claims counting is under way in a runoff election to choose the next president of liberia. it is a straight fight between the current vice president joseph boakai, and world renowned footballer george weah. umaru fofana reports from the capital, monrovia. voting passed off peacefully with no reports of incidents. accompanied by his supporters, vice president
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joseph boakai cast his vote. he sounded confident. asked as to whether he would accept the results he responded with a qualified yes. after that, a decision will be made. but we are willing to work for whatever the final result is. for supporters of the former football superstar george weah, it looked like a victory dance when he went to vote. the man who won in the first round sounded incandescently confident. i'm not associated with losing. today's victory is set in and i will win. boakai cannot win, and george weah can. it's an exceptional case. what happened cannot happen again. initial indications are that the run—off was better organised than the first round. materials arrived on time and there have been no complaints so far of multiple voting according to the main local
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observation group. but turnout appeared low. it has been quiet here at this convent high school in central monrovia. election officials are nibbling around without a lot to do. they say there's been like this for most of the day. only one person has come here in the last 30 minutes to cast their ballot. with the results expected this week, liberians are looking forward to the outcome. these elections mark the first time in over 70 years that this country has set the stage for a peaceful transfer of power from one elected president to another. the international committee of the red cross says the evacuation of critical medical cases has begun from eastern ghouta in syria. eastern ghouta, a suburb near damascus, has been under the control of the rebels — and almost 400 —— 400,000 people besieged by forces loyal to president bashar al—assad. the united nations had pleaded for him to allow the evacuation
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of patients who will die without medical care. vladimir putin has been formally nominated by his supporters for re—election as russia's president. his main rival, alexei navalny, has called for a boycott of the vote after being barred from standing. mr putin is seeking a fourth term in office — and will run as an independent. from moscow, sarah rainsford reports. it was a big gathering of big names. at least, musicians and filmmakers all here to nominate their candidate for president. absent from this presidential nomination was vladimir putin, apparently so confident of winning this election he did not turn up. that did not dampen the enthusiasm of his supporters. they voted unanimously to back mr putin for a fourth term. translation: our country has been transformed from a country that was destroyed and without
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future, into a really powerful state. their candidate, meanwhile, was here with children invited to a new year's party at the kremlin. this was vladimir putin the benevolent. thinking of the future of his country. earlier, russian saw images of putin the powerful meeting his cabinet. here he told a boy that ruling a country like russia was not hard. but after 18 years of him doing just that, the kremlin is struggling to inject energy into this re—election race to ensure people come out to vote when everything is so predictable. this man is now planning to make their task even harder. alexei navalny calls himself the only real rival to vladimir putin but this week the popular anticorruption campaigner was ruled out of the presidential race.
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he has a criminal conviction he says is politically motivated. translation: it is not about me. it is about the fact that a candidate is needed who will finally come to the election and speak openly about everything that happens in our country now. who will describe our reality honestly. absence of prospects, poverty. i did that and that is why you don't want to let me take part in the election. so now, mr navalny is calling for a boycott of the entire process, to undermine its legitimacy. mr putin will not be too worried unless that boycott and any street protests really grow. otherwise, he is betting that his message of strength and stability and plenty more images like these will secure him another six years in power. the united states has announced sanctions on two north korean officials who are developing the country's ballistic missile
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programme. in a statement, the us treasury named the men, on the left ri pyong—chol and on the right kimjong—sik treasury secretary steve mnuchin added, "treasury is targeting leaders of north korea's ballistic missile programs, as part of our maximum pressure campaign to isolate north korea and achieve a fully denuclearised korean peninsula. ry pyong—chol is allegedly one of the top people in charge of the programme. kim jong—sik is reportedly behind the work to switch from liquid to solid fuel. the move follows new united nations sanctions introduced last friday in response to north korea's intercontinental ballistic missile test in november. dr balbina hwang is visiting professor at georgetown university's centre for security studies
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is unilateral sanctions and these latest sanctions levied by the united states government are targeting individuals. these are really symbolic more than anything else. they are a very important part of president tom's maximum pressure on north korea but they will have little practical effect because it is only about us jurisdiction and it is only about us jurisdiction and it is unlikely either of these two men at any assets, certainly in their name, or any property in the united states. the broader problem is that china and north korea and russia wa nt to china and north korea and russia want to see the us off the peninsula altogether so at least china and russia will continue their support for pyongyang. certainly they will. the un security council sanctions are important because it sends a strong unified message but it is a very su btle strong unified message but it is a very subtle and possibly a triple layered game that is being played.
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this is in the context of quite a lot of disorder and chaos in the united nations itself with the united nations itself with the united states isolated on many other global issues. if that china, russia, north korea and to some extent south korea are on the same page, and an alignment between us andjapan, how page, and an alignment between us and japan, how will that play out? the united states and south korea andjapan are the united states and south korea and japan are all firmly on the same side. the president of south korea has made absolutely certain that he is fully behind these sanctions and also wants to increase the pressure but at the same time, he is talking about wanting a peaceful solution and frankly so, as has the trump administration. they've made this point repeatedly. it does seem that the north korean leadership is not suicidal. it doesn't want war but it has no intention of giving up its
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nuclear weapons, it seems. will the wall hat —— will the world have to get used to an armed ——a nuclear armed north korea? the thing here is the global non—proliferation regime and north korea is testing this but if we do accept north korea as a de fa cto if we do accept north korea as a de facto legitimate nuclear power, that means essentially iran, perhaps syria and many other countries could break away so we have a much greater global concern here. professor, thank you very much for talking to us. a heavy snow storm on the island of sakhalin in russia's far east has caused severe disruption. the authorities have opened mobile warming centres for pedestrians, many of whom were forced to walk after public transport all but ground to a halt. a pensioner is recovering in hospital after being blown off a balcony. the airport and the ferry service with the mainland were closed. angry kosovans have hung hundreds of neckties on the fence outside the government's headquarters on tuesday.
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it's after prime minister ramush haradinaj said he was justified in doubling his own salary, because wearing smart clothes was part of his job. he sparked outrage by passing a measure raising his salary from about $1800 to $3,500 a month. a peruvian football official accused of taking bribes has been cleared by a jury in the us. manuel burga, who led football in peru until 2014, was accused of taking cash in exchange for distributing marketing and media rights to matches. two other south american football officials were convicted by the same jury on friday. a british woman has been sentenced to three years in an egyptian prison after being found guilty of smuggling drugs into the country. laura plummer, who's 33 and from england's north, was arrested in october when she was found carrying 290 tablets of the painkiller, tramadol, in her suitcase. daniela relph reports. laura plummer‘s family and friends say she is naive, not a criminal. but today the 33—year—old shop workerfrom hull is beginning
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a three—year sentence injail in egypt. her mother, roberta, and her egyptian partner, omar caboo, have been at court to support her during the hearings this week. laura plummer had been travelling to the red sea resort of hurghada to visit omar in october when she was stopped by the authorities. in her suitcase were 290 tramadol tablets, a painkiller which is legal on prescription in britain, but banned in egypt. she said the tablets were for her partner, who suffers from severe back pain, but she was arrested and has been held since then in a communal cell with up to 25 women. herfamily at home in hull have described today's sentence as horrendous. she's just a normal girl who works in hull. she just sells clothes, she comes home, she watches telly and she goes to bed. she doesn't drink, she doesn't smoke, she doesn't do anything. she lives to go to egypt.
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she loves egypt. she loves the egyptian people. she's in love with omar. we cannot believe this has happened to her. we are absolutely devastated. her supporters say she has been let down by the country she has loved. this woman doesn't deserve to be incarcerated in an egyptian prison and, to be honest with you, as much as i respect the customs of egypt and the laws and the judiciary and everything else, this will put people off travelling on holiday to egypt in the future, and i think the egyptian authorities need to be mindful of that. the egyptian legal system is complex. laura plummer will now appeal against the three—year sentence, a jail term her family say is shocking and unjust. stay with us on bbc world news. still to come: we meet a sea lion brushing up on a
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special skill as the new year approaches. we saw this enormous tidal wave approaching the beach, and people started to run, and suddenly it was complete chaos. the united states troops have been trying to overthrow the dictatorship of general manuel noriega. the pentagon said the operation had been 90% successful but it's failed in its principal objective — to capture general noriega and take him to the us to face drugs charges. the hammer and sickle was hastily taken away. the russian flag was hoisted over what is now no longer the soviet union, but the commonwealth of independent states. day breaks slowly over lockerbie, over the cockpit of pan am's maid of the seas, nosedown in the soft earth. you could see what happens when a plane eight storeys high, a football pitch wide, falls from 30,000 feet. christmas has returned to albania after a communist ban lasting more than 20 years.
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thousands went to midnight mass in the town of shkroda where there were anti—communist riots ten days ago. this is bbc world news. the latest headlines: votes are being counted in liberia's presidential election, where former world footballer of the year, george weah, is seeking the country's top job. two north korean missile developers are hit with sanctions as efforts to curb the country's nuclear programme continue. brazil is expelling venezuela's top diplomat, just days after venezuela asked brazil's ambassador to leave. relations between the two neighbouring nations have deteriorated since brazilian president michel temer took office last year, following the impeachment of dilma rousseff. with me here is leonardo rocha,
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americas editor for bbc world service. what is the latest? brazil decided to act three days after its own ambassador was expelled from venezuela. brazil said he is not welcome any more. he will have two leave the country. the whole crisis started on saturday when venezuelan decided to expel the top diplomats from brazil and canada on the same day. candour retaliated on monday with the same measure. —— canada. relations have been bad. brazil in particular, the president, nicolas maduro, never recognised the government of michel temer, because dilma rousseff was a left—wing socialist president close to his government. they were building
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together oil pipelines to take venezuela's oil and gas to brazil. there was a strategic left—wing partnership in south america that has gone. so, the reason given by venezuelan to expel the ambassador is because he broke the constitutional rule of law by impeaching dilma rousseff. they say relations would not be mended until thatis relations would not be mended until that is sorted which is possibly never, because dilma rousseff has that going on. it is a difficult issue. it seems venezuela is com pletely issue. it seems venezuela is completely isolating itself to be how important is this to trade? trade for venezuela is mainly oil, 98% of its income. and it is with the us. with brazil, it is a very important strategic relationship in south america. but what president
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nicolas maduro seems to be doing now is his pre—election, he is running for re—election next year, he is getting closer to his left—wing allies, mainly russia, cuba, bolivia, oil countries, and making a statement to those against him. brazil has been critical, canada, very critical, they are making it very critical, they are making it very clear they will not put up with that. thank you very much. video has emerged of a fireworks display that went horribly wrong at a popular festival in cuba, injuring 39 people, including children. doctors say some of the injured are listed "very grave" to "extremely critical." virginia langeberg reports. the moment christmas celebrations sparked into terrifying chaos. fireworks are flying in all directions, what was intended as
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entertainment, ended up as a barrage of missiles. raining on spectators as they ran from the scene. people can be heard screaming during the harrowing video captured during a popular cuban carnival on harrowing video captured during a popular cu ban carnival on christmas eve. the incident has left 39 people injured, including six children. of those taken to hospital, doctors say 20 are seriously injured, with some clinging to life. translation: we have six patients in extremely critical conditions, which is the most grave status of a burn victims. two are in very grave condition. the central town has this festival every christmas eve, drawing thousands of tourists. all of the victims up to be locals. an investigation is thought to be under way into the
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cause of the explosion. bbc news. english footballer, harry kane, has set a new record of 39 goals in the premier league in a calendar year, doing it in style, with a hat trick at wembley. kane headed in a free kick from christian erikson to give tottenham hotspur a 1—0 lead over southampton and break alan shearer‘s 22—year—old record. a second goal followed just before half time as he swept in across from son heung—min. and midway through the second half, son was again provider, as kane completed his hat trick with a delicate chip over the keeper. that takes his haulfor club and country to 56 goals, making him the leading goalscorer in europe for 2017. earlier, the bbc spoke to bradley allen. he has been a coach at spurs for 13 years and coached harry kane as a youngster. he also witnessed harry kane make history at wembley as a co—commentator for bbc radio london. my colleague geeta guru—murthy began by asking him what he made of his new record? it's a remarkable achievement. something that all of tottenham hotspur supporters, everybody connected with the club, the academy, and all the coaches who have worked with harry kane on this incredible journey, it has been an outstanding 2017.
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have you spoken to him? has anyone heard from him since? i have not had the opportunity. i actually watched him live this afternoon, working in my media capacity. i have seen him develop and have worked with him as a 14—15—year—old kid. he went from strength to strength to become the goalscoring expert he is. to break the alan shearer record himself, the finest of a generation, this is just an unbelievable achievement. did you spot it early? were the signs there? he showed glimpses. one of the biggest compliments i could give him is he wasjust a fantastic learner. it is just a small part the coaches have played along the way. the head of the academy, john mcdermot, he deserves a lot of credit as well.
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we were patient with him. mauricio pochettino has allowed him to blossom since coming to the club. can you explain what it is he does so well? strength? speed? skill? what makes him so good? any idea he was given, he would be prepared to work on those aspects of his game and more, you know? i think he's a player of frank lampard's attitude. frank lampard really got the maximum amount of the ability that he had. and the same with young harry. you know? he comes from a tremendously stable and very supportive family. he's just a lovely and humble young man. he is a real credit to himself and the people around him. how big is his future career, potentially, do you think? well, this achievement is exceptional.
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i think tottenham supporters will be hoping in future years, with the new stadium on the horizon in 2018, that harry kane is going to play his best football at that new venue, i think. you have the world cup in russia next summer, of course. and to be truly regarded as one of the greats, harry would most definitely know he would have to achieve and produce at the biggest tournament. he will be looking forward to that. first and foremost, he loves playing for tottenham hotspur. he thoroughly enjoys scoring goals. the erie in the us state of pennsylvania has experienced a very white christmas this year. the city received 53 inches of snow from sunday until tuesday morning. videos uploaded to social media show backyards completely covered, buried cars, and dogs playing in the winter wonderland. it‘s not all fun and games though— local authorities have declared a state of emergency. for most of us — christmas is now out of the way, next up, new year. but one special animal injapan
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is thinking a little further ahead, looking forward to the lunar new year. and this animal is trying to develop a special skill, in preparation. tim allman explains. this is one of the stars of their,. he is no ordinary sea lion. he has literary aspirations. with quite a bit of help from his trainer, he is trying his hand at calligraphy. that is something that sea lions have a natural gift for, apparently. translation: it is a very smart animaland can translation: it is a very smart animal and can perform delicate movements, so he is good at doing this. we want to practise more so he can perform cooled drawings on new year's day. and what exactly has he been drawing? well, it is the symbol for a dog, the animal that will represent the new year in the chinese zodiac. his audience seemed fairly impressed. he still has a little time to practise. the lunar new year does not begin until
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february. tim allman, bbc news. budapest zoo has been showing off its latest arrival, a baby gorilla. the mum, a western lowland gorilla called n'yaounda, a western lowland gorilla, gave birth on christmas eve. this is the fifth baby that has been born here in hungary. for now, zoo keepers can't tell its gender or weight, since its mother isn't letting it the baby out of her arms. six gorillas live now live in budapest zoo currently, and two of them are youngsters. now, take a look at these pictures. this is, or rather, was, one of the towers of the high—voltage power grid in china's hubei province. according to state media, the tower was demolished after the local government decided to dismantle the power grid traversing the yangtze river. look at that! worth it, wasn't it? a reminder of the news from syria. the red cross is saying the evacuation of critical medical cases has begun. the suburb of gunta has been under
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control from forces loyal to president bashar al—assad. much more on the website. you can reach me in the team on twitter. thank you for watching. —— and the team. hello there. some of us have already seen snow already this festive season. for a few more, we're starting wednesday on a wintry note. we have an area of low pressure. this cloud drifting northwards in the cold air. while the system is delivering rain, mixed in with that, sleet and snow drifting across southern and south—eastern areas to start the day. further north and west, especially, northern england, northern ireland, scotland, potential for icy stretches with clear skies through the night. through the day, scotland, northern ireland, western areas of england and wales, that will have the best of the sunshine. towards the south and east, struggling to improve through the day.
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some areas improving. but the london area will stay pretty cloudy. across kent, up into east anglia, here, outbreaks of rain sleet and snow mixed in right through the afternoon, coupled with a strong northerly wind. that combination could actually cause a little bit of disruption. but across northern england, half of scotland, a fine and crisp and cold sunny afternoon. some wintry showers filtering down into northern scotland. showers filtering into northern ireland. three degrees in belfast. a scattering of showers in wales. the west midlands and parts of the south—west as well. sunny spells in between. temperatures, four degrees in plymouth. a cold and fairly breezy day wherever you are. wednesday night, staying cold. temperatures widely dipping below freezing. again, that will lead to some icy stretches. still one or two showers in northern fringes particularly. temperatures close to freezing, perhaps below in some spots. thursday, this bump in the isobars, the ridge of high pressure, promising a decent day for many. yes, a cold and frosty start. but we will see some good spells of sunshine. still some wintry showers in the north. then a change to the south—west. clouding over, with outbreaks of rain temporarily. snow on the leading edge, especially on the high ground.
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cold at this stage, six degrees at best. a breezy day. notice, down towards the south—west. temperatures just beginning to climb. 10 degrees in plymouth. taking that that trend with us as we go to the weekend. temperatures climbing into double digits in places. but there'll be a lot of cloud, it'll often be windy, and there will be outbreaks of rain at times. this is bbc news, the headlines. the us has placed sanctions on two north korean officials it says have been "key leaders" in
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the development of north korea's ballistic missile programme. on friday, the un imposed new sanctions on north korea on friday in response to its missile tests. pyonyang says the move is an "act of war". votes are being counted in liberia, where a presidential election run—off has been taking place between a former international football star, george weah, and the current vice president, joseph boakai. the result is expected to lead to the first smooth transfer of power in 73 years. the brazilian government has announced it's expelling venezuela's top diplomat, days after caracas told envoys from brazil and canada to leave — accusing both countries of meddling in its internal affairs. canada has also responded to the decision by expelling venezuela's ambassador to ottawa and another senior envoy. the universities minister, jojohnson, has warned academic institutions that they could face fines if they fail
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