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tv   BBC News  BBC News  November 17, 2019 12:00am-12:31am GMT

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this is bbc news, i'm samantha simmonds. our top stories: prince andrew denies having sex with a 17—year—old girl. in an exclusive bbc interview, the duke of york speaks publicly for the first time about the allegations against him. can absolutely, categt you i can absolutely, categorically tell you it's never happened. do you re call you it's never happened. do you recall any kind of sexual contact with virginia roberts? then or any other time? none whatsoever. prince andrew also says he doesn't regret being friends withjeffrey epstein, even though he was a convicted sex offender. we'll be assessing where tonight's interview leaves him. also in the programme: angry crowds take to the streets in iran as petrol pricesjump by 50% and fuel is rationed. paris sees the worst clashes in months between protesters
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and police as the yellow vest movement marks its first anniversary. and a shock defeat for roger federer at the atp finals in london, losing in straight sets to stefanos tsitsipas. hello, and welcome to bbc news. prince andrew has told the bbc he categorically denies having sexual relations with virginia roberts, who says she was forced to have sex with him when she was 17 years old. in an interview with bbc‘s newsnight he's answered questions for the first time about his links with the convicted sex offender jeffrey epstein. the duke of york said a sense of honour led him to continue his assocation with the disgraced financier. our royal correspondent nick witchell reports.
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in the state rooms at buckingham palace, a senior member of the british royal family, prince andrew, second son of the queen, is preparing to be interrogated about allegations of sleazy behaviour and gross misjudgment. your royal highness, we've come to buckingham palace in highly unusual circumstances... at issue, which of these two people is telling the truth? andrew or virginia roberts, 17 years old when this photograph was taken? groomed, she says, to provide sexual favours to powerful men. even the photo is contentious. andrew says he has no memory of it. tramp, a nightclub in central london. virginia roberts says she was there with andrew one night in march 2001. she says they later had sex. andrew says he was with his family. and he told the bbc‘s emily maitlis, there's a medical reason why ms roberts' allegation cannot be true. she was very specific
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about that night. she described dancing with you... no. and you profusely sweating, and that she went on to have... there's a slight problem with the sweating, because i... i have a peculiar medical condition which is that i don't sweat or that i didn't sweat at the time. is it possible that you met virginia roberts, dined with her, danced with her in tramp, had sex with her, on another date? no. do you remember meeting her at all? no. you can say categorically that you don't recall meeting virginia roberts, dining with her, dancing with her at tramp and going on to have sex with her in a bedroom in a house in belgravia? i can absolutely categorically tell
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you it never happened. do you recall any kind of sexual contact with virginia roberts, then or at any other time? none whatsoever. the other key figure in all of this isjeffrey epstein, the new york financier who befriended andrew. epstein employed virginia roberts and many other young girls. in 2008 he was convicted of a child sex offence and sent to prison. so... do you regret the whole friendship with epstein? now, still not, the reason being that the people that i met and the opportunities that i was given to learn, either by him or because of him, were actually very useful. in 2010 andrew visited epstein after his release from prison and stayed for several nights at his home in new york.
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a wrong judgement, andrew now says — "i let the side down". overall, did he think his behaviour had damaged the royalfamily? i don't believe it's been damaging to the queen at all. it has to me. i wonder what effect this has had on your close family? you've got daughters of your own. it has been what i would describe as a constant sore in the family. finally, as he looks back... i wonder if you have any sense now of guilt, regret, or shame about any of your behaviour and your friendship with epstein? as far as mr epstein is concerned, it was the wrong decision to go and see him in 2010. do i regret the fact that he has quite obviously conducted himself in a manner unbecoming? yes. "unbecoming"? he was a sex offender. yeah. i'm sorry, i'm being polite. andrew will be hoping that his answers will allow him to move on. that remains to be seen. nicholas witchell, bbc news.
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well nick has more on that interview and where it leaves the prince now. the jury is well and truly out, i would say. it's a big gamble for him. i think he very much wanted to do this interview, supported by his closest officials. i don't think the queen's officials at buckingham palace have had very much to do with this. he will certainly hope to gain credit for having answered all the questions put to him, nothing was off—limits, fairly relentless 45 minutes of interrogation. he will hope to be believed of in his denials, given the impression that he is a man with nothing to hide and certainly he seemed quite open and quite relaxed during the interview. where i think he will struggle more is his refusal to regret the friendship with jeffrey epstein. his statement earlier that he was somehow too honourable to have broken off that friendship, he now accepts that was a wrong
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judgement, and apart from the credibility, i think it's the underlying sense of an element of arrogance, of naivete, of a lack of self—awareness that perhaps people will find rather surprising. one other thing he left open, the option of a sworn deposition which of course is what the american authorities are hoping that he will now agree to. and you can find out exactly what the duke of york had to say about his friendship with the late jeffrey epstein by watching that full newsnight interview here on bbc world news on sunday at 11 0'clock gmt. as protests widen across iran over fuel price rises and rationing, iran's interior minister has issued a warning to those demonstrating. he says that security forces will act to restore calm if protesters damage public properties. the protests have been going on right across the country, including in the capital tehran. 0vernight, one person was killed when protesters attacked a fuel
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storage depot in the central city of sirjan. iran has some of the most heavily subsidised fuel in the world, but its economy is suffering after 18 months of renewed american sanctions. barbara slavin is the director of the future of iran initiative at the atlantic council. she says we may see a harsh crackdown on the protesters. potentially very damaging but it is early days, and we have to see whether the protest continue, whether the protest continue, whether they get worse. iran has had spasms of protests like this, really, throughout its history obviously they had a revolution a0 yea rs obviously they had a revolution a0 years ago but even after the creation of the islamic republic we have seen this kind of protest periodically, and in late 2017— early 2018 there were very serious protest about economic issues. tell us more protest about economic issues. tell us more about the economic situation. we don't know everything that goes on, obviously, within the
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country, but how significant other sanctions? how badly other hitting ordinary people? the sanctions have caused a run's economy to contract sharply. estimates range from 9%, 6%, some say about 12% over two yea rs, 6%, some say about 12% over two years, so 6%, some say about 12% over two years, so it has been a sharp construction and it comes after iran's economy began growing again after the nuclear deal was signed by the 0bama administration. that has been a major blow, foreign investment has fled, i think most worrisome for iranians has been inflation stopping their currency has lost much of its value against ha rd has lost much of its value against hard currencies and as a result, imported goods have become very expensive. things like meat got up in price by than 60%, so this is tough. as you pointed out, gasoline is very cheap in iran compared to
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other places, but the standard of living is low and has been under pressure. and also the authorities say the money raised from these oil rises will actually go to the port. what do you think is possibly likely to happen next? ——go to the poor. do you think they will reverse this decision? it is possible but i think it is also possible that there will bea it is also possible that there will be a harsh crackdown, there is interference with the internet so we can't see video and images coming out of iran of the protest. it comes in the context of really regional tunnels, in lebanon, iraq, similar types of protests against unemployment, corruption, we need to see over the next couple of days whether this is sustained. that will determine probably whether the government will backtrack. this is not the first time iran has tried to reduce these kinds of subsidies. it happened under the previous
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president and of course at that time they did backtrack to some extent. even the predecessor before tried to do the same. iranians think cheap gas is their right because after all they are a major oil producer, so this is a tough one for the regime. let's get some of the day's other news: chinese communist party documents leaked to the new york times have revealed new details about the mass detention of uighur muslims in xinjiang. china officially describes detention facilities where uighurs are being held asjob training centers. but the internal documents illustrate the calculated and coercive nature of the ongoing campaign targeting muslims in xinjiang. a pakistani court has ruled thatjailed former prime minister nawaz sharif can leave the country for medical treatment. sharif has been serving a seven year sentence on corruption charges, but was released last month over health concerns. the bangladeshi government says it's importing onions from turkey and egypt, after prices
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hit a record high. the country has been struggling to address a severe shortage of the vegetable since india banned exports due to a poor harvest. 0nions are a key ingredient in south asian cuisine. more than a hundred people have been arrested in paris on the anniversary of the first so—called yellow—vest movement. thousands of protesters turned out to mark a year since the first major demonstration demanding an end to a rise in fuel tax. from paris, lucy williamson reports. in paris today, a reminder that the anger that sparked this movement a year ago hasn't gone away. the number of protesters much smaller now, but for the rioters and police, the tactics remain the same. translation: today is one year since the gilets jaunes took to the streets, to demand social, tax and economicjustice. one year later nothing has changed. we are still angry and still here,
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and still they gas us and they beat us. it was enough for police to ban the main protest at place d'italie. tear gas and water cannon clearing the square within hours. tonight across the city, small pockets of demonstrators are still battling with the police. the worry for the government is that this will notjust be a one—day protest but a whole new wave of opposition. president macron is facing a string of different protests over the next few weeks, from unions, students and public sector workers. isolated fires are one thing... the danger is they will unite to become an inferno. lucy williamson, bbc news, paris. stay with us on bbc world news, still to come: sri lankans have been voting to choose a new president, seven months after a devastating terror attack killed more than 250 people. we report from colombo.
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benazir bhutto has claimed victory in pakistan's general election and she's asked pakistan's president to name her as prime minister. jackson's been released on bail of $3 million after turning himself in to police in santa barbara. it was the biggest demonstration so far of the first growing european anti—nuclear movement. the south african government has announced that it's opening the country's remaining whites—only beaches to people of all races. this will lead to a black majority government in this country and the destruction of the white civilisation. part of the centuries—old windsor castle, one of the queen's residences, has been consumed by fire for much of the day. 150 firemen have been battling the blaze which has caused millions of pounds worth of damage.
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this is bbc news, the latest headlines: britain's prince andrew has told the bbc he ‘let the side down' by continuing to associate with the latejeffrey epstein, a convicted sex offender. buckingham palace has denied all allegations of inappropriate behaviour. protests have erupted across iran after the government unexpectedly announced it was sharply increasing the price of petrol and rationing supplies. police in the czech capital prague say at least 200,000 people have attended a demonstration against the prime minister, andrej babis. prosecutors recently halted a criminal investigation into claims he defrauded the eu of subsidies. but organisers of today's protest — held on prague's letna plain on the eve of the 30th anniversary of the fall of communism, are still calling for him to step down.
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rob cameron reports. they gathered at a symbolic time in a symbolic place on the eve of the 30th anniversary of the velvet revolution, at the sight of the largest demonstration of november 1989. not against a totalitarian regime, buta 1989. not against a totalitarian regime, but a democratically elected politician. andrej babis dismisses the vast —— protests against him. what matters to him of the opinions of his voters. andrej babis remains way ahead in the polls. translation: they are big numbers, but compared to the number of votes andrej babis receives in the election, they are almost insignificant. but for the stu d e nts of almost insignificant. but for the students of 1989, democracy is about more thanjust students of 1989, democracy is about more than just devoting every four yea rs. more than just devoting every four years. this man was one of the main student leaders back then. amidst a wave of populism in central europe, he says he does not want his country to go the way of its neighbours.
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he says he does not want his country to go the way of its neighbourslj also to go the way of its neighbours.” also fear that the recent government might have a tendency to cross some of the limits of frames of the constitutional democracy which is not the case yet but i think it is very important to show that the civil society citizens are here and are ready to fight for fully fledged functioning democracy. people are still streaming into this protest, long after it started. andrej babis says he doesn't understand point of this demonstration, now that criminal charges against him have been dropped. but by the people arriving here at letna, the spirit of 1989 lives on. counting is underway in sri lanka's presidential election. turnout was high at around 80%. the main contest is between former defence secretary, gotabhaya raajapa ksa, and housing minister, sajith premadasa. yogita limaye reports from colombo. buses carrying muslim minority voters, attacked by unidentified gunmen in sri lanka's north—west.
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no—one was injured, but it meant the election started on a nervous note. as voting got under way, worries about continuing violence began to dissipate. people came out in large numbers. in a country that saw fear and religious divides after deadly bombings this year, it was a sign ofjust how much this election matters. we do not want the separation. muslims, burghers, singhalese, tamils, all must be together. a bomb went off quite close to my house. it made me think, "that is my family, we might be gone," you never know what could happen. so i want my country to be stabilised again. the attacks that took place inside this church and at several other locations in sri lanka, carried out by islamist extremists, were the worst instances of violence this country has seen since its civil war
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ended ten years ago. they brought the issue of national security back into the spotlight. he has been pitching himself as the man who can keep the country safe — gotabhaya rajapa ksa, a controversial former defence chief, credited with ending the civil war, but accused of human rights abuses by minority groups. the other big contender is this man, sajith premadasa, sri lanka's housing minister. he is projecting himself as the more democratic leader, but many believe the government he is a part of failed to prevent the easter attacks. sri lanka's future is on the cusp of two divergent paths. in these boxes — the people's choice. dominic thiem will play
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stefanos tsitsipas in the final of the atp tennis event in london. thiem beat alexander zverev while tsitsipas beat roger federer. the greek won in straight sets 6—3, 6—a. austin halewood reports. he is battling against raphael yesterday was not tough enough, for tsitsipas it was only the warmup. next up, roger federer, a man who has done it all before, perhaps the greatest of all time. even the great still feel the pressure. after a near three—hour battle with nadal, anyone would be forgiven for feeling the strain, but tsitsipas wasn't upon his game. the greek at his powerful, clinical best. eventually after the seventh time of asking, he took the first set. when federal won his first grand slam title, tsitsipas had not started school. with 17 years between them the greeks looked to use age to his
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advantage, forcing fetter around the court and causing mistake. the frustration clear to see. he was ahead by a double break at one point but still roger federer for market, holding his serve when it mattered most. but by then the damage was already done. matchpoint taken at the first time of asking. that is a brilliant performance. roger federer heading home, even tsitsipas could not quite believe it. i grew up watching roger as a kid, i wish i could step out on the court one day and face him, and today i am here, living the dream. and to me, it was just... i could never picture myself standing here, but it did happen, dreams do come true. last year tsitsipas won the next generation to a finals, he was one for the future. now he is right at the top of the sport. we all know sir rod stewart for his husky voice and big hits, but did you know he also has a big passion for little trains?
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sir rod has spent the last 23 years building an epic model railway, which he unveiled for the first time this week. he's been speaking to the bbc‘s david farrell. action! so rod stewart, it is a pleasure to chat to you. going to talk about one of your passions, silicon football, but if we talk about that we will use the full ten minutes. but one of the other passions that has come to light this week, the model railway, 23 years in the making, when did this start?” built a house in beverly hills, turn—of—the—century, in the early 905. and i dedicated, i knew! turn—of—the—century, in the early 905. and i dedicated, i knew i was going to build this model railway. so top of the house i built a special, huge room, like a big attic. i have always been into
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train5, alway5, since i was a kid. does it help you switch off? train5, alway5, since i was a kid. does it help you switch offlm really does. it is the finest hobby, it is 3—dimen5ional, it is wonderful, you have everything. that i5 wonderful, you have everything. that is not the only track5 wonderful, you have everything. that is not the only tracks you are making, your new album is coming out in the next week and you have teamed up in the next week and you have teamed up with the royal for lamonica orchestra for this. yeah, i am not the first one to do it, elvis has done it, fleetwood mac have done it, it is all the classic 5tandards done it, fleetwood mac have done it, it is all the classic standards that made me famou5 over the years, and it just bring5 made me famou5 over the years, and it just brings out made me famou5 over the years, and itju5t brings out a new light. # stole my soul but i love you anyway... let's talk about your cancer diagnosis, what was it that made you want to talk about it after you got the all clear? simply to help people, i was doing a show with ronnie wood for prostate cancer, and isaid to ronnie wood for prostate cancer, and i said to ronnie, this might be a good place to tell everybody now i have got the all clear. he said, yeah, go ahead and do it. i will be right by your side. so i told everybody and everybody wa5 agha5t that i had been with it for two and a half yea r5 that i had been with it for two and a half years and had worked all that time, which was very helpful. did
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you at that point think, i am going to have to slow down and take it easy? no, not at all. i love what i do, i know is going to end one day but i'm going to make the most of it ican. but i'm going to make the most of it i can. your other passion of course, music, model railways and football. you'd better put my kids and my family and there is well, or i'll get into trouble. what comes first, put all... the kids come first, they really do. all my boys are celtic supporters, and i haveju5t 5tarted a junior celtic team for under tens, my little boy, and they all come out in their hopes and track5uit5, it gives me so much pleasure. just before we go we have something for you, because we hear you like to wa ke you, because we hear you like to wake up the kids back home in a different manner, you use bagpipes? we have got you your own set of bagpipes, so you can wake the kids
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up... (laughs). when they are late for school in the morning i put a cd on and turn it up. i don't know if you have played the bagpiperfor... —— bagpipes before. put it under your arm —— bagpipes before. put it under yourarm and go... —— bagpipes before. put it under your arm and go... blow into it, and then... put that into your mouth of then... put that into your mouth of the pipe... i will put this over here... around here like that... so rod stewart, it is nice to meet you. fabulou5, cheers. i'm not sure his musical talent extend to the bagpipes. definitely worth giving it a go. that's it for me for now. you can reach me on twitter, i'm @5amanthatvnew5.
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all the headlines are on our website, thank you for watching. in the news la5t in the news last week you might remember that venice wa5 in the news last week you might remember that venice was hit with severe remember that venice was hit with 5evere flooding, and we have got similar weather conditions on the way to today. later on, around midday we will see the high water coming in around 1.6 metres above normal, that makes it one of the highest of the last 90 years, that's not quite as high that was on tuesday but it will still be widespread, big flooding the city. tho5e flooding conditions are caused by an area of low pressure in the mediterranean, because —— drawing up the5e 5trong mediterranean, because —— drawing up the5e strong winds, a wall of water from the adriatic, there will be some thunderstorms a5 from the adriatic, there will be some thunderstorms as well fairly widely in italy. that low pressure will get close to us as we will see a moment. for the time being over the next few hours, we have clear
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5pells, we are seeing things turn pretty frosty, particularly in scotland, the odd patch acro55 part5 of southern england as well. so for some chilly start of the day on sunday. for others, a cloudy 5tart, with fairly persistent but mainly out —— light outbreaks of rain affecting north england, becoming quite patchy in nature as it works across quite patchy in nature as it works acro55 northern england into the midlands and wales. no huge rainfall totals building up, just some dull and damp weather. writer on the 5outh, we should see some sunny weather moving into scotland and northern ireland during the day, where they will be some showers across where they will be some showers acro55 northern scotland driven in bya acro55 northern scotland driven in by a north—west wind, it will feel quite chilly. through sunday night the skies were clear further acro55 the skies were clear further acro55 the northern half of the uk really, a5 the northern half of the uk really, as that happens we will see temperatures plummet, there will be a widespread frost, temperatures down to around —a in edinburgh, colder in the countryside, some mi5t and fog patches to take us into monday. in that area of low pressure bringing flooding to venice later in the day, here is the low coming
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around europe and coming quite close to the uk on monday. this area of high pressure though, it looks like it will stop its progress, but it is something we are monitoring carefully given the saturated ground conditions and the flooding problems we have in places, any rain would not be helpful. at the moment it looks like it will be mostly kept at bay, so for monday it will be a cold start today, widespread frost and frost and mist and fog patches, a lot of dry weather with sunshine, highs of around three degrees in edinburgh, it could just about see some of that rain getting into parts of eastern england. after that as we get into tuesday and wednesday, at low pressures from the atlantic are going to take over. as that happens the wind will back around more to a south—easterly direction, which means we will see rain spreading into eastern wales across the midlands, which is not great news.
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this is bbc news, the headlines: prince andrew has told the bbc categorically denies having sexual relations with virginia roberts. protests erupted across a run after the government unexpectedly announced a sharp increase in the price of petrol. a run's interior minister says action will be taken of protesters damage public property stopping one person was killed when protesters attacked a fuel storage depot. french police have fired tear gas and made over 100 arrests in paris as yellow vest australia does not the first anniversary of the protests weekly demonstrations of. thousands of protesters turned out to make a year since the first major demonstrations demanding ant2 rising fuel tax. ——an end


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