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tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 17, 2020 3:00am-3:31am GMT

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this is bbc news, my name's mike embley with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. a court in france returns guilty verdicts in the trial 01:14 people accused of taking part in the charlie hebdo attacks in paris. in a giant leap for pandemic diplomacy, the world health organisation is given the green light to visit wuhan in china to investigate the orgins of the virus. despite pressure from doctors and scientists, the uk will allow the easing of coronavirus restrictions over christmas, but with a warning. a smaller christmas is going to bea a smaller christmas is going to be a safer christmas, and a shorter christmas is a safer christmas. nigerian officials say they won't pay ransoms for the boys kidnapped from a boarding school in the north of the
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country last friday. and a chinese space capsule has successfully returned with the first samples of moon rock in more than a0 years. a court in paris has found 1a people guilty of links to the three islamist extremists who attacked the satirical magazine, charlie hebdo, and ajewish supermarket, nearly 6 years ago. seventeen people were killed. the longest sentences, 30 years, were given to a close friend of one of the attackers and his former girlfriend who is believed to be in syria. our paris correspondent, lucy williamson, has been following the case. this trial has struggled to match the scale of the events behind it. those in the public gallery today better known than those in the dock.
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arriving for the verdict, surviving staff from a jewish supermarket and the magazine charlie hebdo, the two key targets in the attacks. the harshest verdict was for ali riza polat, sentenced to 30 years for complicity in the attacks. more than a dozen others were convicted of lesser crimes. seven were cleared of any specific link to terrorism. translation: what this decision says is that without this loose group of people around the terrorists, there is no attack, and anyone who supports terrorism even a little can be punished very severely. the men who carried out the islamist violence five years ago were all killed by police. amedy coulibaly and brothers cherif and said kouachi killed 17 people in a three—day campaign targeting journalists, jews
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and police officers. the satirical magazine charlie hebdo was targeted after printing cartoons of the prophet muhammad. those cartoons have since become the front line in a battle over freedom of speech in france. 0n the one hand, a symbol of the nation's right to blaspheme. 0n the other, a lightning rod for more jihadist attacks. two months ago, teacher samuel paty was beheaded in a suburb of paris after showing his class the cartoons during a discussion on freedom of speech. the government has proposed a new law to combat islamist extremism in france. but one survivor believes repeated islamist attacks are changing behaviour here. translation: al-qaeda is waging a communications war. it wants to scare people, and it's working. cartoonists no longer want to caricature the prophet. it's self—censorship. after the recent beheading of the teacher, a lot of teachers don't want to speak about secularism but freedom of expression.
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today's verdict said charlie hebdo marked the end of a cycle of violence. not many here think it's over. much of the terrorism has been home—grown — and convicting people isn't the same as convincing them. lucy williamson, bbc news, paris. china has agreed to allow in a world health organisation team next month to investigate the origins of the pandemic. the government in beijing has been reluctant to agree to an independent inquiry into the outbreak, causing a series of diplomatic rows with other countries. did it come from bats? did it use a host to jump to human. just some of the key questions who scientist will try to a nswer who scientist will try to answer when they arrive in the
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city next month. their goal is to find the truth about where the virus came from and how it darted. what we know so far is that on the third of january china investigated a virus infecting dozens of people in the 30s not be a week later, chinese media reported the first known death. september saw worldwide deaths pasti million, half of which were in brazil, india, and the us, which in november became the first country to pass 250,000 deaths. finally this month, british woman margaret keenan became the first person in the world to be vaccinated outside trial is. the truth about the virus‘ origins has been somewhat elusive. last december a chinese doctor warned his collea g u es a chinese doctor warned his colleagues about the spread of a new mysterious disease but was told by police to making
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false comments and was later investigated for spreading rumours. he died a few months later after contracting the virus. but china‘s initial attem pts virus. but china‘s initial atte m pts to virus. but china‘s initial attempts to downplay the virus have led to accusations like that. china's secrecy, deceptions and cover—up allowed it to spread all over the world. 189 countries, and china must be held fully accountable. there were also accusations that the virus was accidentally lea ked that the virus was accidentally leaked from this laboratory in the city. no—one knows for sure copy a team that visited china had difficulty negotiating access to wu ha n. had difficulty negotiating access to wuhan. i think it will be very important for the chinese government to have trent guarantee, so that the scientist can look at everything so i think it will be important for everybody to have open, transparent communication and having access
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to all the information so they can make an informed decision. scientist say finding out the truth about how the virus started will be key to stopping future outbreaks stopping just how helpful the secrecy of chinese authorities will be this time remains to be seen. the four nations of the uk have agreed to go ahead with easing coronavirus restrictions between december the 23rd and 27th, despite warnings from many health experts and scientists that the rules should be tightened. the prime minister has urged people to "think hard" before meeting family and friends but said it would be "frankly we are keeping the laws the same, but we all want to send the same message. a smaller christmas is going to be a safer christmas and a shorter christmas is a safer christmas. let‘s get some of the day‘s other news. brazil will start a mass coronavirus vaccination programme in february.
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president jair bolsonaro says the government will buy millions of doses, once regulators approve one of the new vaccines. the country reported another 70,000 cases of covid—19 on wednesday bring the total close to seven million. the death toll in brazil is the second highest in the world. the state of texas, backed by nine other us states, have filed a lawsuit against the parent company of google, accusing it of illegally abusing its monopoly over the technology that delivers online advertising. prosecutors say google edges out rivals who try to challenge its dominance and then overcharges publishers for the adverts it shows on the web. dutch prosecutors have confirmed a hacker successfully logged into donald trump‘s twitter account by guessing his password, maga2020! victor gevers disclosed the hack immediately, sharing what he said were screenshots taken of mr trump‘s account during the final stages of the us presidential election. prosecuctors say they will not be punishing mr gevers. jerome powell, chairman
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of the federal reserve, the us central bank, has called for steps to stimulate the american economy, which is struggling to cope with the effects of the coronavirus crisis. he said the case for deploying government finances was very, very strong. the ongoing surge in new covid-19 the ongoing surge in new covid—19 cases, both here in the united states and abroad is particularly concerning and the next few months are likely to be very challenging. all of us have a role to play in the nation‘s response to the pandemic. following the advice of public health professionals to keep appropriate social distance and wear masks in public will help get the economy back to full strength. a full economic recovery is unlikely until people are confident that it is safe to reengage in a broad range of activities. ransoms will not be paid for the schoolboys kidnapped from their boarding school in northern nigeria. that‘s the message from
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the regional governor who‘s spoken to the bbc. he said the authorities are in contact with the group holding the children — he described the group as a gang of well—known local criminals — with links to the islamist militant group boko haram. more states in northern nigeria have ordered all schools to close following last week‘s kidnapping of hundreds of pupils in katsina state. 0ur correspondent, mayeni jones sent this report. bring back our boys — that‘s what these young activists plan to ask the government during their march on thursday. they are worried any delay could prove disastrous. these children could be exposed to dangers of training on the use of arms, so they can be used for further attacks in other places, and also they can be exposed to drugs. the government has come under fierce criticism for its handling of attacks. boko haram‘s claim of responsibility for friday‘s
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mass kidnapping shows their influence could be spreading. boko haram doesn‘t usually operate in this part of nigeria, and the governor of katsina state tried to downplay its involvement. even though the methods being used by boko haram have been employed in this abduction, we cannot precisely say we are dealing with boko haram yet. there have been repeated comparisons between friday‘s kidnapping and a 2014 abduction of the chibok girls. over half of them were freed. it‘s unclear how the government secured their release. some believe they paid a ransom. the authorities deny they did then, and won‘t entertain the thought now. i don‘t think the issue of ransom for money is on the table. it should not be on the table. it should not. we don‘t pay kidnappers money, because it‘s an encouragement. we don‘t pay it. back at the secondary school where her child was abducted, this parent is sceptical
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about boko haram‘s claims. translation: i don't believe the claim by the leader of boko haram that he ordered the kidnapping of our children. we were told that thieves took away our children, and i stick to that. with schools here now closed until security improves, getting an education in north—west nigeria has become precarious. mayenijones, bbc news, katsina. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: a little light at the end of the covid tunnel, the deaf music teacher who, like so many others, took her lessons online, but has become a global sensation. music and chanting. saddam hussein is finished because he killed our people, our women, our children.
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the signatures took only a few minutes, but they brought a formal end to 3.5 years of conflict, 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 bbc news, the latest headlines: a court in france has convicted the accomplices of the islamist militants who carried out the charlie hebdo
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attacks in paris. their sentences range from 4 to 30 years in prison. the world health organisation is to send a team to wuhan next month to investigate the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, after an international row over china‘s co—operation. the british foreign secretary, dominic raab, who‘s visiting india, has acknowledged that a post brexit free—trade deal with the country could take many years. but, he said, it might come much sooner and the mutual benefits would be enormous. mr raab met indian prime minister narendra modi, and also announced a new vaccine partnership with the country. our south asia correspondent, rajini vaidyanathan spoke to mr raab about brexit. one of the great things that i‘ve been able to talk through with the prime minister today and with drjaishankar, the foreign minister yesterday, was the, if you like, the road map, the milestones deliberalising and deepening our trade in the interest of both indian and british businesses and consumers. of course, free—trade negotiations are always a haggle. we‘d expect on both sides
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that to take place. but if we look at the joint mutual benefits over a 10, 20, 30—year period, not just over two, three months, they are enormous. a free—trade agreement with india won‘s happen overnight. i mean, it could take as long as a decade. a free—trade agreement is really important and there are milestones to reach in that. sometimes it can take as long as you suggested but i think, with political will — and my sense is, on the uk side but also on the indian side, there is the political will — and with the right leadership on both sides — which i know is there — we can drive it forward much, much quicker than that. ok, let‘s move the issue of democratic values. international human rights groups are gravely concerned that indian government policies have put minority groups, especially muslims, under increasing pressure. we are talking about brutal crackdowns against the government‘s critics — arbitrary detentions, internet shutdowns, increased media censorship and a decline in press freedom. how much does that concern you?
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first of all, i think the big picture context — india is the biggest democracy in the world. it has a vibrant culture of debate, protest and we have seen that recently and, in many ways, of course, there are always cases of human rights issues. we know about them. they are reported to me. we‘ve got domestic constituents that raise them with us. i have a candid conversation with officials in the indian government. i spoke to drjaishankar about it this week, but equally, we recognise that the democratic depth and breath of india is pretty much unrivalled in this region and i think it is important to set it against that context. our south asia correspondent, rajini vaidya nathan, speaking to the british foreign secretary, dominic raab. members of the taliban leadership have arrived in pakistan for talks with senior government officials. it comes after the
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afghan peace talks, which have been taking place in qatar, were put on hold following an upsurge in violence, which the afghan government blamed on militants. now to an extraordinary and almost certainly deliberate image of submission from hong kong, where civil servants have been required publicly to swear a new pledge of loyalty to the government. hard to credit from this shot, but civil servants were one of the groups that took to the streets in large numbers last year, calling for greater democracy and police accountability. china‘s leaders have overseen a widespread crackdown on dissent in hong kong. a chinese spacecraft has returned to earth with the first samples from the moon in more than a0 yea rs. the craft, without any crew on board, spent three weeks in space, sampling rocks and soil. the capsule carrying the samples touched down in the northern region of inner mongolia about six hours ago. ——seven. scientists hope the samples will help them understand more of the structure and history of the moon. a chinese flag was planted near the capsule. the astronomer
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drjonathan mcdowell explained to us the significance of the mission. a big dealfor china, they have been catching up in space and this is the most ambitious project they have done. they rana project they have done. they ran a rehearsal in 2014 that they have been preparing for a long time and the fact it went off so successfully will give them confidence to do even more ambitious missions in future. and these samples of calm, haven‘t they, from a younger pa rt haven‘t they, from a younger part of the moon? why is that important? you are seeing how the later history of the moon, which is still billions of yea rs which is still billions of years ago that they are sampling rolled out. it tells us sampling rolled out. it tells us about the history of our own planet, right? all these rocks going through space, hitting the moon and the earth but on the moon and the earth but on the earth, erosion has white history clean but on the mean it is almost pristine and we can then learn a lot by our own
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history by studying the rocks from the moon. pretty exciting time generally for space exploration, coming on the heels of the japanese astroid sample among other things?‘ very busy time and particularly in the deep space missions and we‘re seeing a new era of new space missions but the sample returns from distant asteroids, from the moon and people try to figure out how to bring back material from mars and with these programmes withing the sample return from the japanese tribe, a united arab emirates probe heading to mars the deep spaceis probe heading to mars the deep space is becoming more international as well. and rocket tech opening new opportunities? that is right, and we saw the first real test flight and we saw the first real test flight of the spacex t—shirt rocket, a few miles, they have a ways to go in debugging that
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—— test rocket and when it gets working it would be much cheaper to put large, complex missions in orbit and so i think we are seeing a lot of new developments for other new rockets on the way. the new zealand launchpad of rocket lab has a small rocket, putting satellites into orbit so a lot of permanent in the space industry, trying more new things and imaginative things by each country has a different approach. is china making a political and strategic point in what it is doing? absolutely. for the early part of the space race, china was not into the space race and in the early they made a strategic decision that they have to catch up nba player and since then they have been ramping up are now interns of launch rate, they are launching as many rockets as the us —— and to be
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a player. they are ramping up their industrial capacity and they really need as a way to prove that they are at the forefront as a nation in technology. scientists at the royal botanic gardens in london have named more than 150 new plants and fungi this year. they say the breadth of new species from orchids highlights the diversity of plants still to be identified. but the botanists working at kew gardens warn that two in every five plants are threatened with extinction. the united nations has added the north african dish couscous to its list of the world‘s intangible cultural heritage. tunisia, algeria, morocco, and mauritania submitted cous—cous to unesco together, inajoint bid. their arab maghreb union, which also includes libya, has not met since 1994. a unesco statement describes the listing as part of its efforts to bring peoples and cultures closer together.
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teaching children music has been a life passion for emma hutchinson. so when lockdown was announced, her shift to online teaching and the impact this had on her children was stark. her efforts to draw out something positive from the experience led to her writing a christmas song that, to her surprise, has gone global. here‘s emma‘s story. # la, la, la—la, la, la...#. when lockdown was announced, i was at home, in devon. our whole professional world turned around overnight to zoom lessons. it‘s lovely to see you here today. are you ready to roll? # something is tapping in my box...# a lot of families said, "oh, this is quite good fun, let‘s all have a go at doing the digital thing." but i think, after several weeks, you could get a sense of screen fatigue. smash! over the nine months, we noticed that many of our children are more reserved. they‘re less responsive
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to engaging with each other. language delay is becoming more evidenced. # christmas is here again, all around the world, hot or cold...# i was thinking, how can i make this a positive experience? how can i write something that is going to look forward to the future? i wrote four christmas songs. # christmas is here once more # family, neighbours, knocking at the door...# i gave my song to moonbug entertainment as part of a collective of christmas songs for children to enjoy. and then they got back in touch and said, "thank you very much, we‘d like to use christmas is here again as our christmas single." # christmas bells are ring, ring, ringing # everyone is sing, sing, singing...# being deaf, i have to say, it has been, initially, a nightmare. and then it became quite funny. having a mask on, suddenly
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i couldn‘t see the face. and i rely a lot on lip—reading. # love and peace, as my candle burns # singing my christmas song.#. if we can hold a candle up together on christmas eve, wouldn‘t that make a difference? just so they know they are not alone. # everyone is sing, sing, singing # whoever you are, wherever you roam # ringa—dinga, ding, ding, ding.# emma hutchinson and her story. the legendary british actor sir ian mckellen is among the latest to receive the anti—coronavirus vaccine in the uk. the star, who‘s 81, is known for both his theatre and film roles, including blockbuster movies such as x—men, the hobbit and the lord of the rings franchise. he said he looked forward to one day hugging people again, starting with the doctor and staff at the london hospital where he received the jab. and he was optimistic
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about the future for the arts. i point out to people, this is not the first time that theatres have been closed. during shakespeare‘s lifetime, because of the bubonic plague, the theatres were shut off, often for a year at the time. and during one of those breaks, shakespeare, not able to act, wrote three plays — anthony cleopatra, macbeth and king lear. that‘s what he did with his lockdown. so that could be an inspiration. and, during the war, theatres closed, particularly in london, during the blitz. but we sprang back. sir ian mckellen. a reminder of our top story. a court in paris as down 14 people guilty of links to the three islamist extremists who attacked the magazine charlie hebdo and a jewish supermarket. 17 people were killed. a 13 year sentence 17 people were killed. a 13 year sentence was 17 people were killed. a 13 year sentence was given to a close friend of one of the attackers and his former
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girlfriend. they are believed to be inferior. thank you for watching, more news on the website. hello there. on wednesday, we saw a pretty deep area of low pressure sweep up from the south to bring rain and gales, particularly to western areas. today, though, it‘s looking a bit quieter. we‘re in between weather systems, so we should see a good deal of sunshine around. it‘ll stay quite breezy too, though, not quite as windy as it has been. so that‘s wednesday‘s low pushing away to the north of the uk. this feature will come in during thursday night. and in between, we‘ve got a good slice of drier weather. there‘ll be a few showers around this morning, mind you, across southern and western areas. plenty of sunshine across eastern scotland, central and eastern england — areas here staying dry all day. out west, we‘ll see further showers and the clouds will tend to build up here through the afternoon, and the outbreaks of rain will start to arrive across northern ireland, along with strengthening winds. it‘ll be quite fresh
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across northern and eastern areas — 9—10 celsius around average, but it will be turning quite milder further west, as this band of rain and stronger winds starts to spread across the country, as we head through thursday night. it will be followed by further areas of cloud and showers to the south and west, and it‘ll be turning very mild across the south — lows overnight 12—13 celsius. and after a chilly start in the north, it‘ll be turning milder there too. now, this is the pressure chart for friday — and you can see we‘re back to very unsettled weather. this very active weather front, with lots of isobars on the chart, means wet and windy weather moving our way. so we‘ll start off with a little brightness across the north—east england, north—east scotland, but generally a rather cloudy, misty, murky day. some patchy drizzle across the east. heavy rain across western areas. chances of flooding for south—west england and south wales — areas which have seen lots of rain already. and it‘ll be a windy day. those gusts showing 30—40 mph for many, particularly across southern and western coasts. with our winds coming in from the south, it‘s going to be a very mild day for the time of year. highs of 13 to maybe 15 celsius, for example, in parts of north—east wales. low pressure sticks around as we head on into the weekend. it‘ll send bands of showers into the northern and western areas.
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but there will be some sunshine around too. you will notice though the mild air starts to get replaced with those bluer tinges, so it will be cooling down through the weekend. so a sunshine and showers weekend. most showers across western areas. and then, it‘ll be cooling down, and that‘ll be particularly noticeable as we head through sunday.
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this is bbc news,
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the headlines: a court in paris has found 14 people guilty of links to the three islamist extremists who attacked the satirical magazine, charlie hebdo, and ajewish supermarket in paris nearly six years ago. 17 people were killed. the longest sentences — 30 years — were given to a close friend of one of the attackers and his former girlfriend who is believed to be in syria. china has agreed to allow in a team of world health organization scientists next month to investigate the origins of the coronavirus. beijing has been reluctant to agree to an independent inquiry into the outbreak causing a series of diplomatic rows with other countries. the uk‘s prime minister boris johnson has urged people to keep christmas celebrations "short" and "small" to reduce the risk of spreading covid—19 over the festive period. despite warnings over rising infections from many scientists and doctors, restrictions are still due to be relaxed between december 23rd and 27th.

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