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tv   BBC News  BBC News  March 13, 2018 4:00am-4:31am GMT

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welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is nkem ifejika. our top stories: pointing the finger of blame — britain's prime minister says moscow was probably behind the attack on a former russian spy. it is now clear that mr skripal and his daughter were poisoned. president putin brushes off questions about the attack as moscow accuses the british of telling fairytales. the bbc gains access to a draft un report, which claims some asian companies are violating sanctions against north korea. and a ‘master of elegance‘ — hubert de givenchy, the man who dressed audrey hepburn and jackie kennedy, has died. the british prime minister has
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pointed the finger at russia, saying it's highly likely it was behind the uk attack on a former russian spy and his daughter. in a dramatic statement, theresa may revealed that sergei and yulia skripal were poisoned by a military grade nerve agent of a type developed by russia. russia's ambassador was summoned to the foreign office and told to explain what happened. the prime minister said if there's no credible response, the government will conclude it was an unlawful use of force by the russian state against the uk. who was responsible? who brought a chemical attack to quiet british soil? the prime minister was ready to lay the blame. it is now clear that mr skripal and his daughter were poisoned with a military grade nerve agent of a type developed by russia. this is part of a group of nerve agents known as novichok.
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either this was a direct act by the russian state against our country or the russian government lost control of its potentially catastrophically damaging nerve agent and allowed it to get into the hands of others. but what would she be ready to do? should there be no credible response, we will conclude that this action amounts to an unlawful use of force by the russian state against the united kingdom. mr speaker, this attempted murder using a weapons grade nerve agent in a british town was notjust a crime against the skripals. it was an indiscriminate and reckless act against the united kingdom, putting the lives of innocent civilians at risk and we will not tolerate such a brazen attempt to murder innocent civilians on our soil. the russian ambassador summoned to the foreign office for an explanation and handed an ultimatum to respond by midnight tomorrow.
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not much chance of consensus between red and blue at home. mr speaker, we need to continue seeking a robust dialogue with russia on all the issues currently dividing our countries, both domestic and international, rather than simply cutting off contact and letting the tensions and divisions get worse and potentially, even more dangerous. a serious moment on both sides, though. i hope the whole house will be able to come together behind firm response from the government in the interests of our national security and public safety. this, if not an act of war, was certainly a war—like act by the russian federation. this is not the first we've seen. but can downing street tonight push the powerful kremlin? there will be more expulsions. i mean, she has talked about being an unlawful act, but that should bring in nato and we should be consulting
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nato allies, i hope that is going on now, because anything we do will be more effective if there can be a broader nato eu solidarity behind us. the skripals still in critical condition tonight, their personal plight now a grave diplomatic fight. moscow was quick to respond to mrs may's statement with the russian foreign ministry calling her suggestion "a fairytale" and a "circus show in the british pa rliament". our moscow correspondent steve rosenberg reports now from krasnodar, in southern russia, where president putin is on a visit. getting close enough to vladimir putin to ask a question isn't easy. but we were with the kremlin leader when he visited russia's national grain centre. he wanted to talk about record harvests, but we wanted to know if moscow had targeted britain. president putin, bbc news. is russia behind the poisoning
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of sergei skripal? translation: we're busy with agriculture here, to create good conditions for people's lives. and you talk to me about some tragedies. first, work out what actually happened there and then we'll talk about it. but when the british government announced it had worked out which country had attacked the skripals, moscow was in no mood to listen. tonight, russia described theresa may's commons statement as a circus show and it dismissed accusations against moscow as an informational political campaign based on provocation, a fairytale. meanwhile, russian state tv has been pointing the finger back at britain. the news bulletins suggested the uk had poisoned the former double agent. "only the british stood to benefit," he says. "it feeds their russophobia." security experts, though, believe the trail leads to moscow and to the kremlin. i haven't got the sense, frankly,
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that operations of this magnitude, something that you know is going to have a major geopolitical impact, can go ahead without being signed off from the very top. now, whether that actively means a plan being spelt out to putin, and him saying, "yes, go for it," or something a little bit more lightweight. but nonetheless, this is not something that came from anything other than the top of the system. this weekend, russians are expected to re—elect vladimir putin as their president. a new term that's set to be marked by a new confrontation with the west. steve rosenberg, bbc news, krasnodar. a leaked draft of a united nations report claims two singaporean companies have violated sanctions against north korea. if the claims are proven, this potentially raises questions aboutjust how common this is in the rest of asia. the final report, which has
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been submitted to the un security council, is expected to be published later this week. singapore's ministry of foreign affairs has told the bbc it is aware of these cases, and has said that where there is credible information of offences committed under singapore law, the government has begun investigations. a draft copy of the report has been seen by the bbc. here's more from karishma vaswani. this is a shop in pyongyang selling branded watches, handbags and alcohol — items which are banned under un sanctions, and singapore law too. but now a leaked un report claims there is evidence of at least one singaporean company selling luxury goods in north korea as recently as lastjuly. there are two singaporean companies named in the un report. they both share the same director and up until late last year, they also shared the same address here at this building. the main allegation against them in the report that we've seen is that they received funds
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in singapore for doing business in north korea. both singaporean companies deny any wrongdoing. according to the un, in 1997, singapore's ocn opened an account with north korea's daedong credit bank. it later changed the account's name to t specialist, it's claimed. that account was allegedly used to transfer money for goods t specialist sold in north korea to its account in singapore. between 2011—2014, when sanctions had already kicked in, that account continued to transfer money into t specialist‘s singapore account, the draft report says. the companies deny any knowledge, both in relation to the goods being sold in north korea and the funds coming from that account, which the report alleges. the other main allegation in the report is that ocn and t specialist have long—standing close ties, including ownership ties, with ryugyong commercial bank, which has been on the us
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sanctions list since 2017. the companies have denied this. i would say that our clients do not have any financial relationship with these entities in dprk, north korea, and they also do not have any interest or any financial interest or relationship with these commercial banks that you have named in the dprk. have your clients ever had any financial relationship or done business in north korea? well, they have done business with north korean entities previously before these un sanctions came into force. but that was previously. after the sanctions came into force, and i think they have reduced their involvement and these things take a bit of time,, but this all formed part
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of the investigations that are ongoing so it would be difficult for me to comment further on this. many of these transactions according to the report appeared to have used singapore's financial system. the monetary authority told the bbc it is working closely with the un on these cases. in a statement, it specifically warned that banks need to be aware of the increasing use of multi—jurisdictional front companies, shell companies, joint ventures and complex or opaque ownership structures. singapore has a reputation of being one of the most well regulated financial hubs in the world, so what's troubling is if this has indeed happened here, then how widespread a problem is this in the rest of asia, where the banking sector is not as transparent and has serious issues with corruption and a lack of oversight. karishma vaswani, bbc news, singapore. at least 49 people have died after a bangladeshi plane crashed on landing at nepal's international airport in kathmandu. 71 passengers and crew were on board which veered off the runway as it came in to land before bursting in to flames.
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the airline has blamed air traffic control, but the nepali authorities say the plane made an "unusual" landing. the mangled remains of a passenger plane that crashed on landing with 71 people on board. many killed as the plane burst into flames, missing the runway at kathmandu airport and skidding to rest in a nearby field. translation: it was shaking like this and was about to crash, but it picked up and flew as it shook. it then tilted and hit its wings and engine, then crashed. i saw it catch fire and ran towards it. translation: two, three people fell orjumped out of the windows. but the end of the plane was burning very badly. it would be hard to survive. in the local hospital, relatives waited for news. names of the injured pinned to the walls. officials say 31 people survived the crash.
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some have since died from their injuries, others now in a critical condition. bosanta bohara was pulled from the wreckage. translation: i don't know anything, i don't remember. i remember only the accident, nothing else. i don't know how i got out. sa nam sha kya managed to climb from one of the aeroplane's broken windows. translation: the plane was going up, down, right and left, so i thought it was some air traffic only. the us—bangla plane, a bangladeshi budget airline formed to 2016, came down in daylight, around 2pm on monday afternoon. the company has been quick to dismiss an error by the pilot, blaming what they called a mistake by the airport's traffic control. a statement from airport authorities said the plane was already out of control as it came in to land. witnesses say the plane had approached the runway from the wrong end.
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the mountainous terrain of nepal has a history of air accidents. a black box recorder has been recovered from what is nepal's deadliest air crash for 25 years. andrew plant, bbc news. stay with us on bbc news. tiny particls of plastic causing problems around the world. the numbers of dead and wounded defied belief. this, the worst terrorist atrocity on european soil in modern times. in less than 2a hours then, the soviet union lost an elderly sick leader and replaced him with a dynamic figure 20 years his junior. we heard these gunshots in the gym. then he came out through a fire exit and started firing at our huts. god, we were all petrified.
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james earl ray, aged 41, sentenced to 99 years and due for parole when he's 90, travelled from memphis jail to nashville state prison in an 8—car convoy. paul, what's it feel like to be married at last? it feels fine, thank you. what are you going to do now? is it going to change your life much, do you think? i don't know, really. i've never been married before. this is bbc news. the latest headlines: britain's prime minister says it's highly likely russia was behind the uk attack on a former russian spy and his daughter. let's stay with that story. us secretary of state rex tillerson pretty much echoed theresa may's statement that russia was highly likely to be behind the attack. the bbc‘s david willis in los angeles told me more. yes, he has, indeed.
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earlier, of course, the white house reluctant to pin the blame, if you like, for this attack on the russians. rex tillerson goes a lot further than that. in a statement, he expresses strong support for the uk and he backs to resume's assertion that russia was probably to blame for the attacks in question. —— theresa may's assertion. he said, "we have full confidence in the uk's investigation and its assessment that russia was likely responsible for the nerve agent attack that took place in salisbury last week". he goes on to say, "we agree that those responsible, both those who committed this crime and those who ordered it, must face appropriately serious consequences". on a flight back from africa, mr tillerson appears to have gone further than that. while he was talking
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to reporters, he basically said that he was extremely concerned about russia and said having spent the first year in office trying to reach agreement on various things with the russian government, it appeared that those efforts have really come to nothing and that, as he put it, what the us had seen instead was a pivot on russia's part to be more aggressive. for more on this i spoke a little earlier to oleg kalugin, a former member of the kgb, overseeing counter— intelligence activities in the 1980s. i asked him for his reaction to the uk government's response. it is too early to judge about what really happened. when i worked for state security in tehran for the kgb for many years a number of things happened in my time. in my post kgb life i recall the death of litvinenko, alexander, in london, who was poisoned by the russians and i know the reasons why. actually i talked to him
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from washington, i call him some six months before he passed away and i told him, alexander, you shouldn't be talking about russia and putin, who he knew quite well, because he may be in trouble. six months later litvinenko was dead. this is a somewhat different case. i do not see the trace of russian security services because they would act, as far as i know, more skilfully. in this case it looks like a kind of... well, it looks like military intelligence involvement. on the other hand, the military intelligence in russia were never authorised to conduct operations of this nature abroad, so it's really still a puzzling case and we will have to watch the investigation conducted now by the british government, and then it will pass more
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less to get an answer about what happened. in your assessment there isn't any rationale for this happening, there isn't necessarily any reason why the top echelons of russian politics might have sanctioned this. but we can conclude that it has come from russia, well, not conclude necessarily, but we can suggest, we can allude that this has come from russia? well, we can allude but i say we have to wait for some results of the investigation. on the surface, i would say from my own experience, i do not see any motivations... political motivations or special interests of the security or intelligence services in russia. reports from germany say
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a former nazi ss officer — dubbed the book—keeper of auschwitz — has died at the age of 96. in 2015 — oskar groening was sentenced to four years in jail as an accessory to 300,000 murders at the nazi death camp. his sentence was upheld in december — but he died before serving any time. the bbc‘s tim allman has more. a frail elderly man escorted into court. a man with so much blood on his hands. the trial of oskar groening, a landmark moment for germany. likely to be the final time a perpetrator of the holocaust would face justice. the exact number of people who died in auschwitz is not known but it was at least a million. there's no evidence groening was directly responsible for any deaths but his job was to itemise valuables, money, but also mundane things like shoes and spectacles, taken from jews as they
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arrived at the camp. he spoke to the bbc in a documentary in 2005 and was asked if it was fair for him to have a family and children while so many jewish families and others were killed. translation: absolutely not. everybody is looking out for themselves. so many people died in the war, not onlyjews, so many things happened, so many were shot, people burnt to death, so many were burnt. if i thought about all of that, i wouldn't be able to live one minute longer. in court, oskar groening had confessed to what he called his moral guilt and he was one of the very few concentration camp guards who admitted the holocaust took place but due to ill—health and requests for clemency,
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he never served a single day of his sentence. plastic and the problems it causes in oceans and rivers around the world are already well known. but what's not so clear is how much damage microplastics are doing — the tiny particles of plastic — less than five millimetres in size. our science correspondent victoria gill reports. all along this river bank you can see evidence of plastic litter, plastic bags, plastic bottles, food containers. but it's when things like this break down into much smallerfragments that they're just one source of the microplastics that end up in the riverbed. to find outjust how much microplastic flows into our rivers from litter, waste water and industry, scientists need to take a piece of the riverbed back to the lab. all the mud and silt and clay
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and the microplastic particles will come into the water. the team analysed silt at a0 different locations, from remote rural streams to city centre waterways. they found microplastic everywhere. where lots of people live, we found extraordinarily high levels of microplastic contamination. just a few kilometres upstream from here, we found microplastic concentrations that are the highest so far recorded anywhere in the world, over 500,000 microplastic particles per metre square of riverbed, enormously high levels of contamination. and that's just a few miles upstream from where we're standing in greater manchester? yes. this is a jar of sediment from the bed of this river, a typical suburban stretch of the river mersey. and in this 250g jar, there will be 5,000 individual pieces of microplastic. aquatic insects, birds and fish can ingest these microscopic pieces of plastic. and this is where the problem becomes visible. this is all plastic?
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yes, indeed. how many fragments would you have in this? so in this sample just from a few grams, about 100 microplastic pieces. over here, we've got a couple of microbeads, a bright pink one and a yellow one. finding the source of this problem will be scientists' next step to stop our riverbeds becoming an invisible dumping ground for billions of pieces of plastic. victoria gill, bbc news. one of the great names in french fashion, the designer hubert de givenchy, has died. he was 91. among his clients were american first ladyjackie kennedy, and the film star audrey hepburn. for the latter, he designed the black dress she wore in breakfast at tiffany's. from paris, lucy williamson reports. # moon river plays # it's one of the most famous dresses in cinema history,
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designed by hubert de givenchy for audrey hepburn to show off what he said were her "very good shoulders and long neck," and to hide her "skinny collarbone." givenchy was fated throughout his careerfor mixing innovation with timeless simplicity. his fashion house, founded in the 1950s, showcased the concept of separates — skirts and blouses designed to give freedom to women in the way they dressed. translation: the dresses must move well on a woman's body. if you put too many decorations on a garment, it contradicts the piece itself. the material has a life of its own, and one should never contradict it if you want the fabric to speak. his creations were worn by the duchess of windsor, wallace simpson, and by the former american first ladyjackie kennedy, something that had to be kept secret from the american press to maintain
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a sense of national loyalty. he sold the maison givenchy to the luxury french brand lvmh 30 years ago, but his views on haute couture were sought until this death. at an exhibition to celebrate this work last year, he told an interviewer, "the perfect dress can make many things happen in a woman's life it can bring happiness." lucy williamson, bbc news, paris. and you can get in touch with me and most of the team on twitter, and let's look at these pictures. meghan markle has made herfirst official engagement alongside queen elizabeth. she joined other senior members of the royal family including the monarch at the commonwealth day service which was held at westminster abbey. and you can get in touch with me and most of the team on twitter, i'm @nkem ifejika good morning.
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well, i don't know about you, but i wasn't best pleased with the start of the working week's weather. particularly across england and wales it was rather cloudy and with some rain at times. look at this weather watchers picture sent in from wembley. leaden—looking skies. the rain was a real nuisance. that low has moved away. it's allowed this ridge of high pressure to build over the last few hours, and that is just going to give us a chilly start to tuesday, but perhaps tuesday likely to see the best of the drier weather throughout the week. despite temperatures in low single figures in scotland, there will be early morning sunshine, particularly in northern ireland, western scotland, wales and south—west england. eventually the cloud will start to thin and break up in eastern areas with the exception perhaps of the north sea coasts. here a little more cloudy during the day. but not bad, predominantly dry, particularly in comparison with monday with highs of 7—11 degrees. now, as we move out of tuesday, we will be under the influence of low pressure and this low pressure out in the atlantic is actually going to stay with us for the rest of the working week. now, the good news is it is spilling
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up south—westerly winds, so milder air starts to dominate across the uk. it will be windy at times and it will see some wet weather spiralling around that low pressure, almost like a catherine wheel, driving up some rain at times. chiefly affecting the south—west, eventually moving into northern ireland and into wales. but for much of the eastern areas, we'll see dry, bright weather. temperatures responding with the sunshine and the southerly wind, highs of up to 1a degrees. a similar kind of story actually on thursday. another front brings rain into northern ireland, wales, the midlands and eventually into the south—east, but much of eastern england, along with scotland, will see some dry, sunny weather, and with that wind direction, it's still going to feel reasonably warm, highs of 7—14 degrees. so if you get the sunshine with those temperatures responding, it could — dare i say it — feel almost springlike at times. but don't get used to it because it looks as though by the weekend we'll see quite a dramatic contrast in the weather, as the wind direction changes it's going to get cold again. that is because we start to see another area of high pressure dominating across scandinavia.
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the winds clockwise around that high, a cold easterly set to return. it looks as if it will turn much colder as we move into the weekend, and any moisture coming in off the north sea could again fall as snow. so it's certainly something that we're going to have to keep a close eye on. i wouldn't be surprised into the weekend as we start to see a return to snow on the roads. take care. this is bbc news — the headlines: britain's prime minister — theresa may — has said it was likely that moscow was responsible for last week's nerve gas attack in britain on a former russian spy. the us secretary of state — rex tillerson — has expressed outrage. russia has denied the claim, saying the british were making up fa i ryta les. a leaked un report says two companies from singapore have violated sanctions
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imposed on north korea. the draft document, which is expected to be published later this week — accuses the two firms of selling luxury goods — including wines and spirits — to north korea until as recently as july last year. at least 49 people have died after a bangladeshi plane crashed on landing at nepal's international airport in kathmandu. 71 passengers and crew were on board which veered off the runway as it came in to land before bursting in to flames. the airline has blamed air traffic control. now on bbc news, it's time for hardtalk.
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