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tv   BBC News  BBC News  January 9, 2021 5:00am-5:31am GMT

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this is bbc news. i'm james reynolds with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. permanently banned — twitter cancels president trump's account — saying that allowing him to continue would risk further incitement to violence. house democrats are to introduce articles of impeachment against president trump on monday, that's the second time lawmakers have brought such charges against the president. the us president—elect says he's fine with donald trump not attending his inauguration in 12 days‘ time. and heavy snowfall in spain has left hundreds of drivers trapped in their cars on friday as roads were blocked and madrid airport closed.
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twitter has banned donald trump's personal account for good. less than a day after allowing him back onto the platform — following an earlier ban — twitter said that two of mr trump's tweets were highly likely to encourage more violence. here's our north america correspondent, david willis. he has been permanently banned from his preferred platform of communication. mr trump has, of course, long said he mistrusts the mainstream or, as he calls it, ‘lamestream' media, preferring instead to talk over its head directly to his supporters. and as you say, there are 88 million people who follow him on that platform, twitter. well, a short while ago, the authorities at twitter said that he was being permanent band after close review of recent tweets from his account in the context surrounding them. they go on to say:
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now, of course, there was a 12—hour block placed on mrtrump‘s account earlier in the week following that mass rally and the violence on the capitol, around the capitol, and now it seems that the preferred platform for mr trump is permanently closed to him, james. right. we normally, of course, hearfrom him on twitter, so how are we now going to hearfrom him? is hejust going to borrow somebody else's phone and their account, or just migrate everything to tiktok? that is a very interesting question indeed. he does of course have, for the next 12 days at least, the resources of the white house and the presidency, so he can issue press statements and can call a press conference and more or less go on television more at the drop of a hat,
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should he choose to do so. but he will not be able to tweet. the official presidential and governmental twitter sites remain in place, but donald trump's individual account is being closed down and twitter is clearly very keen, james, to prevent the president himself from gaining access to its platform. it is extraordinary to think that a man who is currently not allowed to post even a cat video to twitter can, if he so chooses, still launch nuclear weapons. it is, and it's disconcerting to a lot of people in this country — not least the house speaker nancy pelosi who has been talking to the chairman of thejoint chiefs of staff, mark milley, saying that she is very anxious about this man having access to the nuclear codes. meanwhile, of course, there are attempt by democrats to get rid of mr trump before his term in office comes to an end, just 12 days from now. they're considering a variety
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of options, the so—called 25th amendment, that forces someone out if they're deemed to be unable to carry out the functions of the presidency, or impeachment, a more likely, perhaps, prospect, but of course time is running out. there are just 12 days left of this presidency, and joe biden himself is very keen to avoid any more division in this country. david willis there. the president is attempting to circumnavigate the ban by tweeting from different accounts, but twitter keeps thwarting him. his campaign handle @teamtrump has now also been suspended, and tweets sent from mr trump‘ official government account @potus were immediately removed. earlier, i spoke to sarah miller from the think tank the american economic liberties project, and i asked her if this was becoming a game of cat and mouse. it does seem like that.
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this is happening in real time. in addition to twitter taking down tweets from his official potus account, we see google play blocking access to a right—wing social media site as well, and apple threatening to do the same. so this is happening as we are talking, kind of unfolding in real time. let's step back a bit. isn't america meant to be the land of the 1st amendment in which free speech, however obnoxious, comes before censorship? well, i will say this. twitter is a private company. facebook is a private company. google and youtube are private companies. they have the right to control what sort of content is on their platform. the problem here is much, much bigger than just donald trump and his obnoxious and, frankly, extremely dangerous content. it is the fact that we now have kind of an internet ecosystem that is poison, that proliferates this sort of content, well beyond just donald trump, and creates these sort of conspiracy theory—fuelled ecosystems, the results of which we saw quite clearly on wednesday
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at the capitol. iran's spiritual leader, ayatollah khamenei, has an english—language twitter account. he recently posted, "those who ordered the murder of general soleimani, a general, as well as those who carried out this, should be punished. this revenge will certainly happen at the right time." couldn't this also be incitement? why is that account staying up, and mr trump's account down? that is a good question and should be asked of twitter. the overall issue here is these platforms, they can't and they shouldn't necessarily be the arbiters or gatekeepers of speech online, yet because they are so dominant, and twitter in fact is not particularly dominant, although it is very politically influential, they in fact are that. and, going a step further, they profit from this type of kind of viral toxic content
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because it is so addictive and keeps eyeballs on advertisements, so that's really what policymakers here in the us have to solve, the gatekeeping power of a handful of social media companies over the way that we communicate and the fact that their profit motive is based on sensationalist, dangerous and addictive content. let's look at the practicality of this. will this move by twitter and by other social media organisations stop president trump from being heard? no, not entirely, of course. there's many ways that he can communicate. he can communicate through the tv and fox news, through other social media channels, he's still the president. there's no way to necessarily prevent donald trump from being heard at all, and when we step back and think about the long—term impacts, do we want a handful of corporations kind of limiting what political speech is acceptable and what isn't acceptable? obviously now we're in a really extreme situation and that's the fault of kind of policymakers for allowing
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this business model to exist in the first place and toxify our communications infrastructure but, in general, i think it just demonstrates what a dire situation we are in and how urgent it is that policymakers address it. sarah miller are sarah millerare —— sarah miller are —— there. as we mentioned earlier, president trump's opponents in the two houses of congress have called for him to be removed from office after the invasion of the capitol. this is whatjoe biden had to say a little earlier. he's been an embarrassment to the country, embarrassed us around the world, not worthy, not worthy to hold that office. if we were six months out, we should be moving everything to get him out of office, impeaching him again, trying to invoke the 25th amendment, whatever it took to get him out of office. but i am focused now on us taking control, as president and vice—president,
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on the 20th, and to get our agenda moving as quickly as we can. i've been speaking to frank bowman, professor of law at the university of missouri and author of high crimes & misdemeanors: a history of impeachment for the age of trump. i asked him which was the most likely route to getting the president out of office. i think impeachment is the most likely, simply because the 25th amendment requires either the majority of the cabinet to vote to hold him, to characterise him as essentially being unfit to serve which, even in these latter extraordinary days, i think is unlikely to happen, or alternatively what could happen is congress could have the 25th amendment designate a separate body other than the cabinet to make this determination, but that would require making a separate law, creating a separate commission, and that is not going to happen in 12 days. so, to the extent that there is any practical possibility of removing him
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from office earlier than the 20th, it would have to be impeachment. now, under ordinary circumstances, i would say that that's completely impossible, just the procedural complexities involved would prevent it. however, i think that something fundamental has changed, at least for now, in american politics. i mean, the tragedy that occurred on the 6th, this attack on the citadel of american democracy, five dead, astounding things happening in the capitol itself, i think has changed the dynamic in a way that may incline both houses of congress, perhaps even that part of it which is temporarily presided over by mitch mcconnell to say, "enough is enough and we need to get this guy out of here." there is another reason to proceed with impeachment, and that is not necessarily to remove him from office a few days early, but the other remedy that is available under the american
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constitution upon conviction in the senate is disqualification from further service ever in the federal government, including in elected office, so it is at least theoretically possible that he could be impeached by the house, convicted in the senate and through a separate vote, then barred from running for office ever again, and he is such a profoundly dangerous figure, such a profoundly disruptive one, or such a profoundly oppressive one, i suspect even to many republicans, that there is a certain attraction to the notion that possibly, "we might be able to rid ourselves of this man forever," at least in the political sphere. in your opinion, did mr trump's actions on wednesday reach that constitutional impeachment standard of high crimes? "high crimes and misdemeanours" is the phrase which we inherited from england, and the answer plainly is yes. if ever any action by a president qualified, that's it. not only what he did,
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what he has done since the election, and particularly in inciting the mob that invaded the capitol, some of it may involve and may actually amount to real indictable crimes, but that's not the point. "high crimes and misdemeanours" under the constitution is fundamentally about offences against the democratic order and president trump, regardless of whether he specifically intended people to invade the capitol or kill people or wound people, he was plainly whipping up a mob with the purpose of intimidating the congress of the united states as it was performing its duty to certify the results of a fairly, freely contested election and that is as grand and heinous an offence against the constitutional order as can be imagined. and there is absolutely no doubt that is a high crime and misdemeanour. indeed, i haven't heard a single word from
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anyone, even among trump's defenders so far, that tries to say otherwise. what happens if he pardons himself? in my view, he cannot do so, constitutionally. i've written extensively on that point. i think it's simply — although the matter has never been tested either here or in great britain, i think it is simply inconceivable that the framers of the american constitution would have imagined that a president, a chief executive, could essentially commit any crime he wished to and then remove all criminal liability. if we know one thing about the american framers, when they created the american presidency, is they did not intend to create a monarch, they did not intend to create a king. one of the attributes of the british monarchy, which was course was influential on our founding, is the crown is, and i understand remains today, personally immune from the operation of criminal law and one of the things the framers
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of the american constitution plainly did not intend to do was create an american king. if an american president can pardon him or herself or any and all crimes they may have committed, essentially what we have is a monarch, and i think that's not permissible in the american system. according to a poll carried out since the violence on capitol hill, 70% of trump voters oppose the actions of the rioters, who acted in the president's name, 68% of americans disapprove of the president's behaviour in the run—up to the storming of congress, and 57% of americans want mr trump removed from office as soon as possible. earlier, i spoke to journalist steve merczynski. he's a supporter of donald trump and was at the capitol during wednesday's riots. steve gave his assessment of the current situation. it's certainly been a terrible week but it's been a terrible week for the country because we have seen a lot of scapegoating going on over here as well,
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and a lot of political advantage and a search for a scalp over what happened here. the majority of trump supporters, as your polljust showed, do not support what happened. most were totally peaceful and just wanted to have the show of force that we felt that there was a lot of shenanigans during the election and that it wasn't an honest election. ok, you say it wasn't an honest election. here's a partial list of those who thought it was. majorities in 50 state legislatures, 50 state governors including many republicans, the supreme court, numerous other courts, the republican attorney general, the republican vice president. why couldn't mr trump's supporters accept that? there were also hundreds of affidavits from people and even bill barr, the attorney general who, yes, he's criticised president trump now, but he did say that there was wrongdoing in this election.
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on 2 december, he said there was no fraud that changed the outcome of the race. 60 lawsuits, we can go back into this all day. 60 lawsuits were put in place and all knocked down. mr trump is now facing potential impeachment and also perhaps worse for him, potential disbarment from office. that means that he couldn't run again in 202a. look, this is the swamp taking control. the burning of the reichstag was a pretext for hitler to consolidate power and democracy. when we get to those comparisons, we take a bit of a step back. if you talk about the swamp, about scapegoats, there is another way to look at scapegoating. it is simply a different word — accountability. look, there's accountability that should be appreciated from what the left has done as well. for four years, five years, president trump and his
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supporters were treated like scum. james, they pushed a russian collusion lie on the public, they called him a traitor and an agent of russia. 0k... they mocked trump supporters as idiots. isn't that a little incitement, james? what we're talking about now is not the left, we're talking about mitch mcconnell, we are talking about mike pence, bill barr, we're talking about the republican governor of arizona, the republican governor of georgia — these are all conservatives now on a different side from mr trump. and that's ok, i'm all for freedom of speech and difference of opinions. but when you want to shut people up and frankly, the supreme court is partly to blame for what happened. the supreme court has a majority of republican—appointed justices. hurray, hurray. crosstalk james, they didn't want to hear the evidence.
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martin luther king said riots is the voice of the unheard. they should have heard the evidence, they should have heard the evidence. here's the thing. they chose to rule the way they did. when there's a rule of law, and you know this, when there's a rule of law, it means you accept what the courts are saying. you accept what nine unarmed lawyers tell you. that is the definition of the rule of law, and in the year 2000, nine unarmed lawyers said that al gore lost and they had to accept that. and when nine unarmed lawyers impose the rule of law, why can't that be acceptable? that's great. and hillary clinton didn't accept the election because she said trump is an illegitimate president, how many democrats said that? and didn't that incite people to feel unheard and hated? how much do trump supporters have to take? let's get some of the day's other news. the number of coronavirus deaths in the uk has reached its highest daily figure since the pandemic began. a further 1,325 people died within 28 days of testing positive. the total number of uk deaths
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is now approaching 80,000. the european union has reached a deal with pfizer and biontech for 300 million additional doses of its covid—19 vaccine — doubling the amount of doses from these producers. each recipient of the vaccine needs two doses for maximum efficacy. portugal and ukraine have become the latest european countries to tighten coronavirus restrictions. portugal has begun a fifteen—day state of emergency, banning domestic travel on weekends and extending a curfew to most of the country. for the most sick patients suffering from covid — those whose lungs have not been helped by a ventilator — there is another alternative. it's called ecmo — they're specialist intensive care life support machines which pump oxygen into the patients blood allowing the lungs to rest. there are only six nhs centres in the uk that offer the treatment to a few dozen patients. but now they're under pressure to take on more.
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our health correspondent sophie hutchinson has been given rare access to an ecmo unit at the royal papworth hospital in cambridge. they are the sickest patients we've ever seen, even for patients on ecmo. is everybody ready? the patients are very poorly and in bigger numbers than we have ever had them. these are among the very sickest patients with covid—19 in the country. and this ward is their last hope. their lungs are so damaged by the disease that even ventilators haven't helped, and they've come here for the rarest form of life support from a machine known as ecmo. ecmo stands for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. it allows these patients to breathe without using their lungs, giving their lungs a vital rest, so that they can recover.
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this ecmo centre was set up following the swine flu outbreak in 2009, but the coronavirus pandemic is now stretching it almost to the limit. normally on this ward, they have three patients on ecmo, but because of the pandemic and the damage that covid—19 does to the lungs, they have many more. in fact, each of these rooms has a patient on ecmo in it. they say they have 18 patients here today, and they've described it as a super surge. i know there is a limit that we will reach. i have no idea when that limit will be there. by continuing, extending, extending, there will be a cracking point. hello, how can i help? and as well as treating patients, staff are working around the clock, fielding calls from other hospitals. there are a maximum of around 100 ecmo beds in the uk, but there have been 3,000 requests for patient referrals. it is relentless.
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patient after patient after patient. they take a long time to get better. they are the sickest patients we've ever seen, even for patients on ecmo. you know, they're not old patients, they are a younger cohort. and so it is... it is really, really difficult. and we are all, at times, finding it quite overwhelming. is everybody ready? yeah. ready, steady, roll. some patients are in their 20s and 30s. most are older. they have to be strong enough to withstand ecmo and the work looking after them is gruelling. it's very difficult, it's very difficult, things are very intense. the patients are very poorly, poorlier than we've probably ever seen them and in bigger numbers than we've ever had them. it is a lot to deal with. we haven't got the staffing numbers to cope with the amount of patients that we have but we are doing what we can for the patients that we have with the time that we have. towards the end of our filming, another two patients arrived
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on the ward. staff are proud that everyone who meets the criteria for ecmo has, so far, been offered a bed here. but this extra pressure was hard to handle. we are not as resilient this time as we were last time, because we've really had no downtime, so to speak. but we still do it, because that's what we do. and what they're doing is saving lives. through their dedication and determination, perhaps more than half of these patients will eventually awake and go home to their loved ones. sophie hutchinson, bbc news. in spain, the heaviest snowfall for decades from storm filomena has already left hundreds of drivers stuck and forced the closure of madrid airport. warnings of heavy rain and snow have also been issued for parts of italy, turkey and greece, as mark lobel reports. coronavirus victims remembered in spain's capital, madrid, as a different storm sets in.
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parks were closed early. translation: for those who don't work, it's great. for those who work, it is a little more complicated. translation: i came to madrid and i was surprised, as it's not snowing in berlin. it must have to do with climate change. the snow in spain stopping people getting to their plane. real madrid's footballers among many stuck on the tarmac at the airport, operations you suspended at times. storm filomena struck these houses on the portuguese island of madeira. translation: i am 66 years old and i've never seen so much rain and water like i saw yesterday, i've never seen anything like this. rescuers were on hand after this very run aground in the ca nary islands. translation: we were afraid for the baby. as a blanket of snow covered eastern spain, lorries reached
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the end of the road. translation: we have remained in monreal del campo things look bad. after high tides here in malaga in spain's south and a month's worth of rain injust two days in gibraltar, heavy weather alerts have been issued for italy, turkey, greece and the balkans. in between the fun, spaniards are being urged to avoid non—essential travel. many, now bracing themselves for a white weekend like no other they've ever seen in their own backyard. mark lobel, bbc news. as if hospitals don't have enough to deal with at the moment — one in italy had this happen. a huge sinkhole suddenly appeared in a hospital car park in naples. the hole — about the size of two and a half tennis courts and 20 metres deep — swallowed up several cars, what philjackson
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patients had to be moved elsewhere — but fortunately no but fortunately no one was hurt. hello. our spell of cold wintry january weather will be gradually easing through the weekend and into next week as things turn a little bit milder. but certainly on friday, we had a lot more snow for some parts of northern england. this was the picture in cumbria. north wales, as well, had a lot of lying snow. into saturday, still the odd flurry of snow around but most places largely dry, very cold and frosty with some freezing fog as well. look at these temperatures, first thing saturday morning at dawn around —11 degrees or so, could be —15 across some of the sheltered glens of scotland. so, widely subzero. we've got the freezing fog to contend with, particularly across parts of the midlands, central southern england and east wales as well. that should slowly tend to break up into low cloud with some sunshine coming through, but in places, it could linger all day. now, a lot of dry weather
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through the day on sunday, some sunshine for north wales, northern england, eastern scotland, for instance, as well. but we have a front moving in from the northwest, that will bring some rain and some hill snow for the northwest of scotland. not as cold on saturday as it has been over recent days, with temperatures about 3—5 degrees for most. into saturday night now heading into the early hours of sunday morning, we have got that front bringing a bit more cloud further south, so not as cold across the north and northwest of uk. still, though, getting down to around —3 or “11 across the south of england first thing sunday. so it will start off chilly once again. we have got milder air gradually working in from the northwest. so a bit of a cloudier picture through the day on sunday. the best of any sunshine will be for central and and southern parts of england, eastern scotland should see a bit of sunshine as well. but towards the north and west, we have more cloud, and that will bring some outbreaks of rain, particularly to the west of scotland. it could be quite heavy, and as things are turning milder, some snowmelt
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could well lead to a little bit of flooding there. but for most of us, a largely dry picture, turning a bit milder as well. now, as we head through into next week, we will keep low pressure to the north, higher pressure in the south, and this wedge of slightly milder air will work in across the country. still have cold air heading in from the north east. so a bit of a mixed picture as we have through the course of next week. temperatures not as cold as they have been recently, but things are looking little bit unsettled, particularly through the middle part of the week. but all in all, as we head into next week, it won't be as cold as it has been. there will be rain around at times, some snow over bye— bye.
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this is bbc news.
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the headlines: twitter has permanently suspended president trump's personal account following what the social media firm called a "close review" of recent posts. it concluded that allowing him further access could lead to further incitements of violence. trump later tweeted from the @potus government account, "we will not be silenced!" this has since been deleted. democratic party members of the us house of representatives have circulated the draft of a new impeachment resolution against president trump. it accuses the outgoing president of high crimes and misdemeanours, including incitement of an insurrection. a white house spokesperson said impeaching the president would only further divide the country. president—electjoe biden has said that donald trump had actively encouraged what he called "a mob" to enter the us congress. donald trump has said he will not attend the inauguration of his successor on january 20th. the president—elect welcomed the news.


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