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tv   Newsday  BBC News  December 18, 2019 1:00am-1:31am GMT

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i'm kasia madra in london. the headlines: the us house of representatives prepares to vote on whether to impeach donald trump. the pakistani army reacts angrily to the death sentence given to the country's former military ruler, general pervez musharraf. also in the programme: under pressure from mainland china. we speak to taiwan's foreign minister who says the free world should stand behind his country as beijing becomes more assertive. and, a long drought in south—east asia has shrunk the mekong river to its lowest levels in more than a century.
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it's 9:00 in the morning in singapore, 1am in london and 8pm in washington where the us house of representatives is set to vote later on wednesday on whether to impeach donald trump. it's over claims that he threatened to withhold military aid from ukraine unless it investigated his leading democratic rival in next year's presidential election — joe biden and his son. in a letter to the house speaker, nancy pelosi, mr trump called the impeachment process "an illegal, partisan attempted coup, that will, based on recent sentiment, badly fail at the voting booth". the democrat—controlled house is expected to vote in favour, which would lead to a trial in the senate, probably in january. here's the president
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speaking earlier. this has been a total sham from the beginning. everybody knows it. i've never seen the republican party so united. we got, as you know, 100% of the vote. i believe the senate is equally as well united. i watched mitch mcconnell this morning, i watched numerous people last night — the senators. and i think we're equally well united. they know it's a hoax, is a witch hunt, and it'sjust a continuation that has been going on now for almost three years. and it probably started before i even won the election, based on what we're finding out about the insurance policy quotes and other things. so, it's a disgrace. justice ruth bader ginsburg is the leading liberaljudge on the us supreme court. at 86 years old, she has been fighting for decades to advance women's rights and equal rights for all. she's been speaking to the bbc about the impeachment vote. my colleague razia iqbal asked her about the role that senators should play in the process — specifically, should they be impartial?
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the house indicts and the senate tries. does it — should a trier the impartial? —— does it — should a trier be impartial? of course. that's the job of a judge, to be impartial. applause. as my... but you would be very aware there are senators who are already saying before the impeachment gets to the senate or the trial in the senate, they've already made their minds up. that's problematic. well, if a judge said that... ruth chuckles. a judge would be disqualified from sitting on the case. applause. but it's about the level of accountability. so, if a senator says "i've already made up my mind up and the trial doesn't even exist at the moment, there is no accountability, is there?
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my old chiefjustice, chiefjustice rehnquist, put it very well and he said, "the day a judge stops being impartial and starts to do things to please the home crowd — well, whatever your home crowd is — that's the day thatjudge has stepped down from office." my colleague laura trevelyan is in washington. she told us more about donald trump's letter to nancy pelosi. he actually says that those accused of witchcraft in salem had more due process and he is being afforded so he is very cross indeed. repeating his lines about the impeachment process being in a partisan attempt ata process being in a partisan attempt at a coup and also takes issue with nancy pelosi with his demeanour and
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delivery in which he calls forth display of solemnity. nancy pelosi herself was asked about the letter and she said it was ridiculous and she has actually written her own letter tonight. it is duelling letters on the eve of the impeachment vote in which nancy pelosi says she must —— we must honour the vote to support our constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. that is her message to members of her democratic caucus on the eve of that vote. by the way, those who are counting votes, us media organisations are saying the democrats do indeed have the votes to impeach the president which would make him only the third president in us history to be impeached. that is the house of representatives. a different story when it comes to the republic when lead summit —— republican lead summit. yes if they vote for the articles of impeachment, they are accusing him of abuse of power and of obstruction of congress and then it moved to the senate, the upper
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chamber as they in effect hold a trial. the republicans control that chamber 53—47 and there has been a lot of wrangling about the shape of that trial because of because impeachment is essentially a political process. it isn't really a legal one. democrats say witnesses should be called, all of the people i tried to get hold of and republicans are saying nonsense was up republicans are saying nonsense was up so we will see what happens. it would only take a couple of republican senators to defect to change the rules of the senate so we will see what, if any, movements there is on that. throughout the day we will have extensive coverage on bbc news and there is lot more on our website on there is lot more on our website on the whole impeachment process. also making news today: china's first domestically—built aircraft carrier has entered service following a commissioning ceremony attended by president xi jinping. the shandong will operate from the island province of hainan, in the south china sea, where china has competing maritime claims. china's first carrier was bought
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second hand from ukraine. speaking at his first cabinet meeting since his re—election as prime ministrer, borisjohnson has promised to work "flat out" to deliver on the promises he has made to the british people. he also wants parliament to prevent extending the brexit transition period beyond december 31st next year. the prime minister says the deadline will focus minds in westminster as well as in brussels. protests across india have continued for a sixth day, with clashes between police and demonstrators. tens of thousands of people have turned up to protest against a new law, which offers citizenship to non—muslim illegal immigrants from three nearby countries. thai authorities have arrested two people for attempting to smuggle 95 tortoises out of the country. the tortoises were seized
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from inside the luggage of a taiwanese couple, who were detained while passing a security check. they were charged with smuggling and violating the wildlife protection act. the pakistani army has reacted angrily to the death sentence given to the country's former military ruler, general pervez musharraf on treason charges. a military spokesman said the special court verdict had been received with anguish by the rank and file of the armed forces, and that due process had not been followed. it's the first time a court has handed down such a grave verdict on a military ruler. the penalty is unlikely to be carried out; pervez musharraf has lived in exile in dubai since fleeing pakistan three years ago. bbc urdu's abid muhammed hussain reports from islamabad. the army has released a statement which is saying that the rank and file of the pakistan army has
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shown a lot of anguish and pain at this particular verdict, and what they are also saying is that musharraf has served with distinction for the last a0 years, has led the army, he's fought in wars so he cannot be a traitor of what he has done. in fact, this particular statement also goes on to add that pervez musharraf — the trial against him was not carried out with complete transparency. it was done against the individual, it was not done in a proper manner and this kind of thing, it showed that the army did not like this verdict at all. they have been showing a lot of assertiveness and a lot of disgruntledness about this particular decision. the government, the pti government, they haven't really given any formal reaction to it so far, but the advisor to the prime minister on media affairs — firdous ashiq awan — she has said that we are only waiting for the complete verdict to come in and only then
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we will analyse and give a response. in fact, firdous ashiq awan is not in the country. and she said once he comes back into the country, he will say something more about it. however, on the other hand, the opposition parties have obviously praised this verdict. bilawal bhutto, the chairman of the pakistan peoples party, he has said that "i have been saying this — that democracy is the best revenge and today the verdict shows that i was right. " pope francis has issued broad changes to the way the roman catholic church deals with cases of sexual abuse. he has declared that the rule of ‘pontifical silence' no longer applies when it comes to minors. this is part of a broader attempt at transparency, and comes as the pope accepted the resignation of his ambassador to france, who's been accused of molestation. john mcmanus reports. sweeping away another plank of the church bureaucracy that's often hindered the fight against clergy sex abuse.
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critics have often maintained that the pontifical secret — first introduced in 1974 by pope paul vi — provided a handy shield for bishops who didn't want the church's records scrutinised. now pope francis says it will no longer apply to abuse cases involving minors. the change was a key demand of two papal allies at a february summit on sex abuse at the vatican — german cardinal reinhardt marx and the archbishop of malta, charles scicluna. it opens up, for example, avenues of communication with the victims, certain jurisdiction would have easily quoted the pontifical secret, because that was the state of the law in order to say they could not and they were not authorised to share information with either state authorities or the victims. now that impediment, we might call it that way, has been lifted, and the pontifical secret is no more an excuse.
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you are no longer going to be a priest! many parts of the global church, such as the united states had been revealed as not only hotbeds of abuse, but places where the systems to stop it failed. cardinal theodore mccarrick helped lead the us church's response to initial abuse revelations in 2002. earlier this year he was defrocked after the church found him guilty of sexually abusing miners and seminarians for decades. questions still remain over who might have known about his behaviour. burn in hell, pell! and in australia, cardinal george pell is serving a six—yearjail sentence for abusing two boys. he is currently appealing against that verdict. but critics say there are inconsistencies in the church's approach. last month, an official inquiry in britain heard how the country's papal ambassador refused to give evidence, citing diplomatic protocol. and the vatican is adamant that the seal of the confessional,
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where catholics privately recite their sins to a priest, must always remain secret even if the confession is about abuse. john mcmanus, bbc news. you're watching newsday on the bbc. still to come on the programme: under pressure from mainland china. we hear from taiwan's foreign minister who says the free world should stand behind his country as beijing becomes more assertive. thejewish barber bringing christmas joy to washington. he tells us why this time of year is about more than simply religion. saddam hussein is finished because he killed our people, our women, our children. the signatures took only a few minutes, but they brought a formal end to 3.5 years of conflict,
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a conflict that has claimed more than 200,000 lives. before an audience of world leaders, the presidents of bosnia, serbia and croatia put their names to the peace agreement. the romanian border was sealed and silent today. romania has cut itself off from the outside world in order to prevent the details of the presumed massacre in timisoara from leaking out. from sex at the white house to a trial for his political life, the lewinsky affair tonight guaranteed bill clinton his place in history as only the second president ever to be impeached. this is newsday on the bbc. i'm kasia madera in london. our top stories: in washington, the house of representatives is almost certain to vote in favour of impeaching president trump on wednesday.
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the pakistani army reacts angrily to the death sentence given to the country's former military ruler general pervez musharraf. let's take a look at some front pages from around the world. the japan times leads with the japanese government's effort to protect small businesses using large online platforms. the bill will try to stop internet giants from changing contracts and raising prices. the philippine star features president duterte ordering the military to move against the armed new people's army group. president duterte urged the army to "crush" the group in a speech. and the international edition of the new york times has the story of a mexican drug cartel recruit who helped bring the group down. information provided by the former assassin resulted in the arrests of dozens of cartel members, but there was no formal witness protection system to
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protect him from reprisals. you protect him from reprisals. are up—to—date with so papers. taiwan's foreign minister has called on the free world to stand behind the island democracy as it faces increased diplomatic and economic pressure from communist china. in an exclusive interview with the bbc, foreign minister joseph wu said the world is waking up to the increasing threat to taiwan from beijing. speaking to our asia correspondent, rupert wingfield—hayes, foreign minister wu said recent events in hong kong prove that beijing's so called one country two systems model has been a complete failure and will never be acceptable to taiwan. the chinese government face a very serious dilemma in dealing with the hong kong issue. 0n the one hand, they are not able to promise the protesters those free elections or other demands or doing an independent investigation
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on the police violence. and on the other hand, if the chinese government decides that is going to march and they want to move their force into hong kong and deal with the situation militarily, many people in the world would agree with me that it has signified the total failure of the one country, two systems model so they are caught in the situation, the hong kong situation is going to deteriorate and it's a failure of the one country, two systems model, or a military solution that will also signify a failure of the one country, two systems model. have they got one eye on taiwan when they're thinking about this? yes, yes. and after the violence and protest activities in hong kong in the last three months, the public opinion surveys show over 90% of the taiwanese people reject the one country, two systems model so it's
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very clear that people in taiwan see what's happened in hong kong and we don't want to accept the one country, two systems model. when you look at china today, it's difficult not to come to the conclusion that the chinese communist party is biding its time, building up its strength and certainly under the leadership of xi jinping now has an avowed intent to force unification of taiwan with china in his lifetime. it looks like it is that way and we are working very hard in trying to maintain the status quo, trying to maintain peace and stability across the taiwan strait and if you look at the key players in the like—minded countries like the united states, major eu countries, japan, and at cetera, they understand the situation rather well. it is china that is trying to chip away the current status quo
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and they understand the danger in it and are raising their level of voice of concern over this kind of situation and will intensify in their support of taiwan, diplomatic or political support or willingness to engage with taiwan at a higher level. given what we've seen president trump do on the international scene, particularly with the kurds, is the us is still a reliable ally? yes, i would say so. we have been staying in very close touch with all levels of the us officials and i was given assurances by very senior officials that in the negotiations between the united states and china, they say that taiwan will not be a topic for negotiation. what we have been asking for actually is quite simple, is for the united states to provide defence articles for taiwan so taiwan is able to defend itself and also to engage with taiwan in the military training
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or military cooperation so that taiwan is much better equipped in dealing with military contingencies, and all this is going on in a very successful way. taiwan's foreign minister there speaking exclusively to rupert. a prolonged period of drought in south—east asia has shrunk the mekong river to its lowest levels in more than a century. the river stretches more than 4,000 kilometres through south—east asia — starting in the tibetan highlands in china before flowing through myanmar, thailand, laos, cambodia, and vietnam. the river basin is home to the largest freshwater fishery in the world, with around 60 million people depending on it for their livelihoods. rico has been speaking to sarah null, professor of water resources management at utah state university.
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this is one of the worst droughts ever on record. it's fairly unprecedented for the mekong and what's primarily driving it is both climate change and new dams that are being built all along the mekong river. and one would think that renewable energy sources such as dams and hydro—electric power, professor, would be good for the environment, but not in this case. well, yes, so hydropower dams are carbon neutral, so they don't add more carbon to the environment which is a good thing but that doesn't mean they don't have any environmental impact or degradation so in this case, we are building dams that are changing the hydrology of the river, changing where sediment moves in the river and it's having impacts to fish and biodiversity of the river. so currently, these low water levels in the drought, what kind of impact are they having on the ecosystem? the fisheries and the people who live around the delta? this is one more stressor and it's
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a major stressor so we are changing the basin in major ways, there is fishing pressure, there is climate change going on, the dams are being built so we add on drought and it's hard to give exact numbers but we know that this is a stressor and this is one more stressor and this is very important because as you mentioned, there are 60 million people in the basin and a lot of them depend on fish to eat as their everyday food source and it certainly is a protein source so food security really matters as well. what is the solution right now, professor? what should be the short—term and long—term plan of the governments involved to be able to resolve this crisis? one of the best things we can do is if we care about fisheries and food security, we should think about those objectives in addition to hydropower when we plan dams and how we operate those dams. right now we are really only operating and planning dams thinking about power but we also need to think about objectives of fisheries and food security.
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professor sarah null from utah state university. it's not long now till christmas so any excuse to have a little festive cheer. it comes from barber jack bubis who's been transforming his washington, dc salon into a winter wonderland for more than three decades. jack isjewish but says christmas is not about religion. instead, he's focusing on bringing joy to those around him. we couldn't resist paying him a visit. music plays. my name is cyriljack bubis. i'm the owner of the hair
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emporium. i'm a hairstylist. i'm a i—man operation. my business opened up i—man operation. my business opened up onjune one i—man operation. my business opened up on june one 1982. 1—man operation. my business opened up onjune one 1982. the day of marilyn monroe's birthday. two bird trees, my humble tree, i got may house tree. and then i made the 3—d tree in the back. i'mjewish. but religion has nothing to do with this. i'm a very spiritual person. think everyone has their rights to believe in whatever they believe in, and if they don't believe in it, that's fine. but we are human beings, we've got to love one another. the first time was when my mother
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died. my heart wasn't in it. this year, on november six, died. my heart wasn't in it. this year, on novembersix, my died. my heart wasn't in it. this year, on november six, my brother harvey died, my eldest, and i wasn't sure if i was going to do it. but i got the feeling, from family, that i should. so this year i'd decided to do itand should. so this year i'd decided to do it and call it harvey's christmas. that's it. i really get pleasure out of seeing other people with happiness. there are a lot of —— a lot of people who don't decorate. because my clientele is from two to 92. and a lot of the older people that come in just marvel and say this reminds them of being a child and it makes them feel good. and when you hear that, that makes me feel good.
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i think we are all feeling good after that. thanks for watching. bye— bye. hello. well, wednesday morning is going to be quite foggy across some parts of england so the advice is to take it steady on the roads almost anywhere in england and the fog could linger right through the morning and possibly into the early afternoon, particularly across northern parts of england but as i say, but the south, the midlands, the north are at risk of getting the fog. at the moment, we are in between weather systems. there is a band of wind and rain heading our way but that's not going to reach our shores until a little bit later on wednesday so in the short—term, it's quiet out there, the winds are light, that fog is forming, you can see it here across the south, the midlands as well, patches in the north too and on top of that, the temperatures are around freezing or below, particularly across northern parts of the uk so the risk of some icy patches early on wednesday as well. so here is that fog again,
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you can see it across the midlands but it could in the south too but basically that fog will drift a bit further north into northern england and it will do that because the winds will be blowing out of the south, it should disperse some of that fog so there will be sunshine around eastern areas but you can't miss this in the west, this is our wet and windy weather sweeping into many western parts of the uk during the course of wednesday afternoon and wednesday night. low pressure, that here spells gusty winds as well around western coasts, we could see winds gusting to 16mph and these are warm southerlies as well, the orange colour blowing out of the southern climes and that can mean only one thing, temperatures will be rising so we are in for a very mild, wet day on thursday, almost anywhere, rain likely across the uk and the temperatures could get up to 13 or 1a degrees across the south—east of the country, really mild for the second half of december, and then double figures with the rain in scotland as well, and we keep those southerly winds through the course of thursday night into friday. there is an indication, as we head into friday,
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the temperatures will ease just a little bit or rather they will drop away back down to maybe 10 degrees or so. you can see around about 9 there, for example, in liverpool and there will be some rain around. so i think really unsettled run—up to christmas at least this week for many of us and those temperatures up into the teens across the south of the country. let's have a sneak peek of what the weekend might bring. so temperatures back down to around 9,10 degrees and it is going to remain unsettled but details as far as the weather goes this weekend are still a little uncertain. that's it from me, bye—bye.
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i'm kasia madera with bbc news. our top story: the us house of representatives is preparing to vote on whether to impeach president donald trump. the democrat controlled house is expected to vote in favour, which would lead to a trial in the senate. mr trump is accused of threatening to withhold military aid from ukraine unless it investigated his leading democratic rival, joe biden. the pakistani army has reacted angrily to the death sentence given to former military ruler, general pervez musharraf. the penalty is unlikely to be carried out as he lives in exile in dubai. doing well on our website is the la premiere of the latest star wars film "rise of the skywalker". there's so much excitement over this epic conclusion to a cinematic saga, that's spanned four decades. that's all.


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