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tv   Witness  BBC News  August 25, 2018 2:30pm-3:01pm BST

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the local mp wasn't told by police about the latest move. she says that although she understands why they want to bring in the arches, she's not sure they will work. there are all kinds of ways of doing damage to people if you want to, and knives is not the only one. so i have concerns and i'm not sure how effective it will be. we want people to be safe, and i know the police are working hard on that. at a lot of major events and small events, we've seen it now. london and the uk as a whole is operating against the backdrop of increased knife crime. i don't think it's unique to notting hill carnival. there will be more than 6,000 police officers on duty for each day of carnival, slightly more than last year. but the met says it has no reason to believe there will be a specific threat to the event. now it's time for a look at the weather with alina jenkins. yes, away from scotland, it is a
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bank holiday weekend. and most of us have gotte n bank holiday weekend. and most of us have gotten off to a fine start. a few showers across eastern scotland. northern and eastern parts. a few coming down here. affecting parts of the midlands. we could have a bit of thunder and lightning. elsewhere, we will keep dry. the showers will fade away through this evening. most places dry overnight. clear skies overnight. 0utbrea ks of places dry overnight. clear skies overnight. outbreaks of rains arriving later in the night. temperatures between nine and 11 celsius. the rain will come towards the east through the day. it will be heavy particularly over high ground. some strong wind. these are the average speed. the costs will be even higher. perhaps 30 or a0 miles and hours. it is a blustery day and and hours. it is a blustery day and a cool feeling day given the strength of the wind and the
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outbreaks of rain. temperatures between 13 and 19 celsius. hello, this is bbc news with me rebecca jones. here are the headlines. pope francis is in ireland, for the first papal visit in almost a0 years. in a speech, he spoke of his shame at the failure of the catholic church to address the abuse of children by priests. translation: the failure of ecclesiastical authorities, pigeons, of religious authorities adequately to address these crimes. it remains a source of pain and shame for the catholic community. i myself share these sentiments. the government has announced plans for women in england to be allowed to take the second of an early abortion pill at home. currently, they have to take both at a clinic. after a british couple died at an egyptian hotel, holidaymakers have started to arrive back in the uk. tour operator thomas cook says
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the cause ofjohn and susan cooper's deaths remains unexplained. thousands of rohingya muslim refugees have taken part in a demonstration marking one year since their exodus from myanmar, following a military crackdown. more headlines at three. including the latest of the pope osborne my visit to ireland. now on bbc news, it's time for witness. hello, and welcome to witness with me, razia igbal. in this programme, we'll hear from five witnesses about their involvement in extraordinary moments
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in 20th—century history. we'll talk to the man who helped rewrite african history, and meet the lesbian protester who invaded a live news studio. we'll travel to burma to follow a story of one woman's involvement in the burmese uprising. and head to italy to hear how one of europe's most daring engineering projects helped bring the french and italians together, just 20 years after the second world war. but we start with an individual whose mission has been to make the world a better place for animals. up until 1998, an horrific tradition, that was centuries—old, could be seen in town squares across bulgaria, chained bears being forced to dance to music. after this horrendous practice was finally banned, the retired and often alcoholic bears needed a place to go. dr amir kamil has been telling witness how he convinced his
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government that he could rehabilitate the bears. in 1998, it was clear that they announced that brown bears are a protected species. but to protect them, for me it was a huge challenge. in the heart of the bulgarian capital sofia's commercial and political centre, a sight from mediaeval times. a 1a—month—old brown bear. she's muzzled and chained by rings through her nose and upper lip to her master. dancing bear was a cultural problem in bulgaria, over 300 years, a tradition. how these bears are trained, they were taking the bear cub and working them on a metal hotplate, very hot, like really, like fire. they smear the sole of the leg of the bear with vaseline, not to be burnt, and they start to play with small, instrumental music. and they put the bear above this
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fire, above this hotplate, and the bear, sure he cannot — he start to move his leg up and down because it's burning him. and they repeat this procedure many times till the bear, when he hear this music, he start to move his leg, and this is how they would start to say it's a dancing bear. the bear was also alcoholic. i mean, we see the bear and the bear owners in these times have one hobby. to make the bear working many hours per day, the bear have to drink also alcohol, like his owner. i met some owners who had their bears drinking whiskey or vodka or beer, sometimes 11 bottles of beer per day. so we tried to work with the public, we tried to make a lot of publicity about the situation, and step by step, month by month, a lot of hotel owners in sofia, on the seaside, refused that the owner of the bear and his bears come to dance in front of his hotel. this bear were born in captivity, he di not have the chance to learn
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how to survive in the wild, so we cannot let them to the wild. it was very clear that we needed to build a sanctuary. for me, it was a huge challenge, like really how to get the first three bears, how to convince and to prove to the government that this project is possible. this is a retirement house for all the dancing bears. so the first time, when i have the chance to bring the bears here to the dancing bear part, first, i was very excited. we had to wait all night outside till the morning came. so i had to dart the bear, to remove the chain and to bring the bear inside the enclosure. to be honest, i was very scared because i don't know how the bear will react. he wakes up without a chain, what will he do? he is a wild animal still. so i was scared, and i think the bear also was scared. so when he woke up,
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i neverforget this moment. when he stood up, he was looking and he was afraid to walk, even he was able to walk, he was afraid to go step in front because he was just chained and tied. and how he stand and smell, hejust smell. there is no chain, no owner, just food, he is free. in bulgaria, there are no more dancing bears. the last dancing bear in bulgaria was rescued september 2007. this tradition was from the middle ages, it does not exist anymore, and it will never come back again. sadly, the practice still goes on in some places across the globe. now let's travel back hundreds of years to great zimbabwe. this ancient city was thought to have dominated southern and eastern africa with its trade in gold. but when its ruins were discovered by white colonial explorers, they claimed it couldn't have been
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built by black africans. in the early 1980s, the newly independent zimbabwe looked to shake off this version of events and asked dr ken mufuka, who grew up near the site, to write a new history of the city. this is one of the most remarkable sites in africa. these are the corridors of power of an ancient african civilisation. this is great zimbabwe. everybody in power wants to control history, because it brings them legitimacy. the europeans said that the africans did not build the ruins. they belonged to somebody else, the phoenicians, the arabs, the queen of sheba, anybody else except the africans. the great zimbabwe was the greatest civilisation out of egypt. it carried about 10,000 people, so that was quite a large city.
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it was also the centre of religion and the economy of zimbabwe, it was gold. it could be traced back as far back as 1100. i was raised about ten miles away. i was obsessed with history, so i visited it as a child. there was a bus to the great zimbabwe but this was for tourists, blacks were not allowed there. but we'd just turn up and if there are no white visitors, you can wander about. the structures are massive, the stones are chiselled to be exactly the same size and they not connected by mortar or cement. we felt in some ways deprived of what belonged to us, that we belonged to a great people, but we are oppressed by the colonial regime.
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when europeans first saw great zimbabwe in the 1890s, they could not believe that so imposing an structure could have been built by the ancestors of the africans they found living there. zimbabwe is not built by either blacks or whites. the people who built it were semitic, they were brown in colour and were evidently people who were a mix of arabs and jewish people. the europeans, they are are going there to civilise africans, who were in darkness, who have no history. so if they accepted that some of these africans has these wonderful civilisations, their reasoning would fall apart. on april the 18th, 1980, zimbabwe became independent. singing. it was a great moment for us. history became important. they were going to find
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a new identity by going into the past. i was the first black director of national nuseums. i was supposed to use my abilities as a writer to write a new, a new manual for the great zimbabwe, getting away from the eurocentric interpretation, so that that heritage could be reclaimed. it was one of my happiest times, but it was also full of challenges because the politicians, they insisted that i must say that the great zimbabwe was built by revolutionaries. and i refused, isaid no, there's nothing revolutionary there, they're just ordinary people doing as they were told by the king. they were angry with me, and i had to leave zimbabwe in a hurry. dr ken mufuka showing why it's important to question our interpretation of history. in 1998, new laws were being
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introduced in the uk limiting gay rights. section 28, as it was known, banned the teaching of homosexuality in schools. 0n the evening the proposal was due to become law, the main bbc news studio had some unexpected visitors. the six 0'clock news from the bbc, with sue lawley and nicholas witchell. it's six o'clock. shouting in studio. stop section 28! in general, britain was quite a hostile environment in the 1980s for the lgbt community. about 75% of people, when surveyed, said that it was mostly or always wrong to be gay. simply by walking down the street, if somebody identified you as lesbian or gay, you could get abuse and you could be violently attacked, just for being.
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i obviously don't want children taught that the gay and lesbian lifestyle is natural or normal. it not, it never has been, and it never will be. yes, my overriding concern is with the promotion of positive images of homosexuality in schools, from primary school right through, and that is what is causing many parents real concern and offence. there was this sort of catalyst moment where a book was published, called jenny lives with eric and martin, about a girl who lives with her two dads. and it sort of kicked off a moral panic in parliament. what we were told we were doing was destroying the heterosexual family, so that lobby group — to get this clause to be enacted. section 28 banned legal authorities from promoting homosexuality, the second part of it banned the teaching of homosexuality in schools. basically, it meant closing down services, so young people became very vulnerable, particularly, and schools could'nt protect people
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from being bullied. all kinds of groups, all over the country began to protest. actor ian mckellen was at the head of a procession which stretched nearly two miles. a group of lesbians chained themselves to buckingham palace gates dressed as suffragettes. a group of lesbians abseiled into the house of lords. through all of the campaigning prior to the announcement, we could not get the media to understand what the impact was going to be on our community, on our children. so really, the only thing left was to actually be the news by being on the news. we met outside television centre. we managed to get through the security. the whole thing was timing really. and as soon as the lights changed, we barged into the studio. the whole place went mad, i got smacked to the ground by i don't know how many people. one of our members managed to handcuff herself to a camera, and the other got behind the news desk, where she was quite violently
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subdued by nicholas witchell, who has since apologised. they carried on trying to read the news. i apologise if you are hearing quite a lot of news in the studio at the moment. i am afraid we have rather been invaded. it all got rather muffled. you can hear muffled shouts of "stop section 28". eventually we were all arrested. it did get huge media coverage. the headlines were all about ‘loony lesbians', but over time, and beyond that, i have heard from quite a lot of people what it meant to them as young lgbt people in their own home, knowing that they were gay but maybe not out, just feeling empowered by it. section 28 was repealed in 2003 in the uk. remember, you can watch witness every month on the bbc news channel, or you can catch up on all of ourfilms, along with more than 1,000 radio programmes in our online archive.
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just go to the bbc news website. now we head to burma, to look back at a revolt against the military government that happened 30 years ago this month. the uprising led to the emergence of a new opposition leader, aung san suu kyi. the protest reached its peak on the 8th of august, 1988. ma thida was a young medical student in rangoon at the time. newsreel: the main cause of the rioting is burma's economic crisis. the demonstrations are led by students demanding economic reforms and a return to democracy. it was like the whole country was in the mood of the protests. today, there have been more clashes with troops in the suburbs of rangoon. several times, troops opened fire on the crowd. the way the government took action against this was very violent.
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very militant. some students were killed. one of my friends was shot. the medical professionals, they were taking the lead. and then the rangoon general hospital became the central place for the protests. it was a very big rally inside the rangoon general hospital, and the truck arrived, and the government army shot, just randomly, into the hospital. we tried to help some injured people. i never treated a gunshot wound patient in the past. it was shocking to treat gunshot wound injured people. so many patients at the same time, it is a little bit difficult to handle. at rangoon general hospital, aung san suu kyi addressed tens
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of thousands of people who had gathered. at that time, aung san suu kyi was not well known by the international community. a woman who, for the last 20 years, has lived in england. her father was assassinated when aung san suu kyi was just two. she returned quietly to burma in april after years away. that was the very emotional moment, her speech was really groundbreaking, i think. hercommitment, her vision for our country. with the army on the streets, there is a mood of fear in rangoon tonight. the situation after the crackdown in september led to the situation for further protests. it does seem most of the army is backing the coup.
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i had no choice, i already believed in the revolution, i couldn't stop any more. i expected one day i might be arrested. i was arrested in 1993. it was a couple of days, just before my 27th birthday. i was a little bit excited to be in prison, because i really wanted to write my own prison memoir. i spent five years and six months in prison, in solitary confinement, throughout the prison term. after i was released i went back to the hospital. a quite unforgettable moment. aung san suu kyi, a free woman, walking to meet her people. we are having such a high expectation to aung san suu kyi. i want to run for president,
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and i'm quite frank about it. if we go back 20 years ago the situation was really bad, the current situation is still not yet enough, so we still are hoping. in ourfinalfilm we head to the italian—french alps, for a story of post—war union and cooperation. by the time of its completion, the mont blanc tunnel was three times longer than any previous tunnel in the world. franco cuaz was the project's first operations manager. newsreel: a road tunnel under mont blanc — the dream of decades has come true, and the paris—rome motorjourney is cut by 300 miles. to both france and italy this was a historic occasion, and the joint opening ceremony was performed by general de gaulle and president saragat. from here, this looks a pretty big hole, but when you think of the size of the mountains through which it is being driven, it is rather like trying to drive a needle through the granite foundations of edinburgh castle.
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a great story of international cooperation and engineering. that is all from witness this month here at the british library. we will be back next month with more first—hand accounts of extraordinary moments in history. but for now, from me and the rest of the witness team, goodbye. hello, in places it was a chilly start to saturday. some places got down to two or three celsius. to help the temperatures rise, this is the isles of scilly. however, we have had a few showers around particularly across wales, scotland and northern ireland. a suit coming down. some of the showers have been giving a rumble of thunder and lightning. we will keep the showers going a few more hours. the ones across wales will start to fade. the winds are fairly gentle today. it will start to pick up again tomorrow. in the sunshine, temperatures getting up to between
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17 and 20 celsius. it is not too bad after a fairly chilly start. the showers will start to fade away through this evening and overnight. most through this evening and overnight. m ost pla ces through this evening and overnight. most places dry. some clear skies for a time. we will see some outbreaks of rain arriving. along the west. not quite as cool as last night. the lows will between seven and 11 celsius. tomorrow will be u nsettled. and 11 celsius. tomorrow will be unsettled. we have this frontal system. it will extend itself towards the east slowly. increasing the cloud and bringing outbreaks of rainfor the cloud and bringing outbreaks of rain for many. we might get off to a dry and brights spot for some, but it won't be long before the rain comes. it will becoming dry across the north. strong winds. these are the north. strong winds. these are the average speeds and the costs will be even higher. perhaps 30 to
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ao will be even higher. perhaps 30 to a0 mph. quite a cool feel given the strength of the wind and the outbreaks of rain. temperatures tomorrow between 13 and 19 celsius. tomorrow evening, still some rain around. it could be heavy. it will gradually turn away. it will turn dry for much of the country. as we go into bank holiday monday, it will bea go into bank holiday monday, it will be a day similar to today. spells of sunshine and scattering of showers. the winds will ease down. where there is sunshine, it will be feeling warmer. highs between 18 and 22 celsius. a little bit cooler for the far north of scotland. tuesday, mostly dry day. one or two showers. as we going to wednesday there might be some showery rain. i'm annita mcveigh live in dublin — the headlines at 3. pope francis is in ireland, for the first papal visit in almost a0 years.
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he has spoken of his shame at the failure of the catholic church to address the abuse of children by priests. translation: the failure of ecclesiastical authorities, bishops, religious superiors, priests and others adequately to address these repellent crimes has rightly given rise to outrage and remains a source of pain and shame for the catholic community. i myself share those sentiments. i'm rebecca jones — the other headlines this hour. women in england are to be allowed to take the second of two early abortion pills in their own homes
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