tv BBC News BBC News January 18, 2021 3:00am-3:31am GMT
welcome to bbc news. i'm rich preston. our top stories: russian police detain the kremlin critic alexei navalny — who was nearly killed by nerve agent poisoning last year — as he lands back in moscow. twitter suspends the account of us republican congresswoman marjorie taylor greene for repeatedly making false claims about election fraud. riot police in guatemala used batons and fired tear gas at a caravan of thousands of central american migrants bound for the united states. a year ago this week, china issued its first coronavirus lockdown — we return to hubei where the global emergency started. singing and the american music producer, phil spector,
who helped define the sound of the 60s, has died in prison aged 81. in russia, the leading critic of the kremlin, alexei navalny, has been detained by police after returning to moscow for the first time since being poisoned with a nerve agent, in an attack he blames on russian authorities. he flew in from berlin but was led away by police after reaching passport control. western leaders have condemned his arrest. from moscow, steve rosenberg reports. he'd only been back on russian soil a few minutes when alexei navalny was told he was being detained. a kiss goodbye for his wife, yulia. then the kremlin�*s fiercest
critic was led away. earlier, there were chaotic scenes at a different moscow airport, where mr navalny�*s flight had been scheduled to land. police detained his supporters. "it's a disgrace," they chant. inside, the arrivals hall filled with riot police, who cleared the terminal. but in the end, the plane was re—routed to another airport. for alexei navalny, this isn't quite home, sweet home, as you can see from the welcome party. he's back in the country where last summer he was poisoned, allegedly by a group of undercover russian security agents. a country he has accused of state terrorism. five months ago, alexei navalny fell sick on an internal russian flight. in a coma, he was airlifted to berlin for urgent treatment. toxicology reports from germany, france and sweden confirmed the opposition activist had been poisoned
by novichok nerve agent. last month, president putin dismissed accusations that the russian state was behind the attack on mr navalny. "if our agents had wanted to kill him", he said, "they'd have finished the job." but for weeks, the authorities here have been dropping not—so—subtle hints that mr navalny should stay away from russia. hints he decided to ignore when he left berlin. "as a citizen of russia", he says, "i have the absolute right to return home." he did come back to russia. but tonight, alexei navalny is not at home with his family. steve rosenberg, bbc news, moscow. well, there's been sharp criticism of the arrest. from the us, outgoing secretary of state mike pompeo said he was "deeply troubled" by the news. joe biden�*s
incoming national security advisor, jake sullivan, called for mr navalny to be released, and the perpetrators be held accountable. and from europe, charles michel, the european council president, described mr navalny�*s detention as "unacceptable". the foreign ministers of france and italy have echoed calls for his immediate release. so, did the immediate arrest of mr navalny come as a surprise? maria snegovaya is a russian specialist and non—resident fellow at the atlantic council. many analysts have predicted something like that was going to happen. it has become clear over the last months, of course, especially after navalny was poisoned, and then subsequently as the details of this poisoning became more obvious, thanks to the bellingcat — that the kremlin will not tolerate navalny free, at the very least. then, navalny�*s popularity is growing, despite the fact that he lacks access, his popularity, according to even kremlin�*s own pollsters, already reaches 3% or 4% of russians, that's
with internet only. and if you combine that with stagnating economy and spreading fatigue of putin — from putin, across russia's population, there certainly is a long—term challenge for the kremlin. and from this perspective, it was very clear that the kremlin will not leave navalny alone. as well as the rising popularity within russia that you mentioned, mr navalny now firmly in the international spotlight as well. there are elections to the russian duma coming up this year — that does put the kremlin in a difficult position. absolutely, in some ways, the kremlin has no good strategy. leaving navalny be is a big challenge because there is upcoming parliamentary election where navalny may use his fairly successful smart voting strategy, that allows you to vote any candidate other than united russia in to the parliament. if navalny is detained, though, that's a clear indication that he is a threat to the kremlin and the kremlin is concerned. from the international perspective, of course, that is going to lookjust as ugly as what we observed in august.
but one thing is clear, one thing that the poisoning has certainly done — is that while in the past you could argue that navalny was just one of russia's opposition politicians who fought against multiple russia's corrupt officials — the poisoning has elevated his status. as of now, i think it's pretty fair to say there is only two politicians in russia. it's putin against navalny. and the long—term battle, the ultimate battle, frankly, will be probably determining russia's future. we mentioned the international condemnation there. does that bother president putin, particularly when it comes from the incoming us administration? that's a great question. i would say to some extent. the kremlin�*s regime has for a while become quite — has received quite a negative image on the international stage, and navalny�*s poisoning and everything that's going on isjust another
confirmation of the same. ultimately, a lot will be dependent on the response of biden�*s administration to what is going on with navalny right now. as a matter of fact, we know that the kremlin is concerned and ultimately the lifting of sanctions is one of the long—term goals for the kremlin. so in this instance, if biden�*s administration will be able to demonstrate that keeping navalny safe and free is one of the conditions under which some improvement of the us—russia relations is possible, i think that is something that the kremlin might be interested in. maria snegovaya from the atlantic council. speaking to me earlier. twitter has temporarily suspended the account of a us republican congresswoman — marjorie taylor greene — an ardent supporter of president trump. she'd repeatedly made false claims about election fraud in her state of georgia. earlier, iasked republican strategist rina shah if she thought twitter was right in suspending
the congresswoman�*s account. twitter�*s doing exactly what republicans like senator ben sasse of nebraska have called for it to do — and that's to hold these conspiracy theorists in the republican party to account. that's what's happening here, and i am completely in support of this. i'm a very, big pro—speech first amendment advocate, but this isn't about that. this is about something far different. freshman congresswoman marjorie taylor greene of georgia is making perhaps the most nonsensical argument i've heard in all of my years of working in republican politics — and that's arguing for conservatism by demanding, railing, that government should regulate businesses that she doesn't like. has the republican party responded to this latest move by social media? well, republicans certainly have a lot to figure out inside their own ranks right now, as we know. things haven't quite sorted themselves out since the sixth, since that armed insurrection, but this entire story and what's coming from the trump—loving republicans
actually has nothing at all to do with freedom of speech, which again, is enshrined in our first amendment. this is deliberate talking point that's really intended to distract from that horrible, horrible activity that was this capitol under siege on january the sixth. what you see here is that trump supporters are trying to pivot to this, "big tech is a against us, big tech is a censoring conservative viewpoints". no, this is not about that. this is the free markets at work. tech companies, by censoring president trump and congresswoman greene, are saying — you're not dealing with facts here, you're literally telling lies — and that's what led to those activities on january six and five americans dead — and we're not going to let that happen on our platform. so i applaud them for doing that, because they're within their rights to do that. when we as users sign up for accounts with them, we agree to their terms and services. they're corporate corporations. this is literally what conservatives like myself have been shouting from mountaintops for years. so it's very, very antithetical to what conservatives believe,
what new trump—loving republicans are calling for is completely antithetical to the core of the party. president trump has been a divisive president throughout the country, but also within the republican party itself. he has definitely created a rift there. how does the party move forward from this? the party will no doubt move forward but in what vein? will it choose to go back to its core again? will it choose to say, this was an anomaly. this was something that didn't make sense. this was as kowtowing to somebody that had dictator—like instincts. it showed us, actually, that he wasn't very conservative at all, through his very many actions. this will take some time. it's going to have to be sorted out ahead of the midterms in 2022, but it's going to get ugly. we know that right now, right this very moment, there are members of congress who still blame president—electjoe biden for what onjanuary six, blamed democrats and demonised them for the actions that tech companies, again, private corporations that republicans and conservatives have long supported, saying you're allowed to do what you want. this is so very confusing and difficult, so it's going to get messy before it gets better. we need peace and unity but we have to, have to figure these things out. it's going to happen in the public sphere and i look
forward to facts coming back to the forefront. republican strategist rina shah speaking to me earlier. police in guatemala have fired tear gas at a caravan of migrants from honduras, bound for the united states. between 7,000—8,000 people, including families with young children, have entered guatemala since friday. it comes just days before the arrival of the new us administration, which has urged travellers to abandon the journey. our central america correspondent, will grant, reports. once again, central america's poorest and most vulnerable are met by the full might of the region's security forces. between 6,000 and 9,000 migrants fleeing a dire combination of poverty, drug gang violence and hurricane damage have been received in guatemala by batons, riot shields, and tear gas.
the clashes took place in the chiquimula department as the caravan of migrants pushed north, first to mexico, and then the united states. they set off several days ago from san pedro, a hastily organised group of men, women and children, exhausted after crops and livelihoods were destroyed by hurricanes eta and iota last month. already they have got further than most. recent migrants have not managed to leave the borders of honduras, but over the weekend, this group made it into neighbouring guatemala. can let at first i was afraid translation: �* , ., , translation: at first i was afraid, translation: at first i was afraid. but _ translation: at first i was afraid, but we _ translation: at first i was afraid, but we have - translation: at first i was afraid, but we have gone . afraid, but we have gone
further. however, the trump administration has placed huge pressure on regional governments to clamp down hard on migrant caravans, and although the group crossed the border, the guatemalan military have little intention of letting them past. translation: we were informed last night that elements - of the honduran maras gangs and organised crime had infiltrated the group. this worried us, but fortunately the law enforcement officers had a contingency plan for these cases and controlled this. it was a battle. for those determined to continue, this is what awaits them. these people to ensure them. these people to ensure the latest caravan gets no further. with the trump administration just days away from leaving office, this group of weary, poor immigrants is a powerful symbol of one of the priorities for which his successor, joe biden, must address. the reality is, however, that the incoming biden administration appears no more likely to ease their passage
across the border, even if they do make it that far. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: a champion climber, paralysed in a car accident ten years ago, has scaled 250 metres of a hong kong skyscraper. donald trump is now the 45th president of the united states. he was sworn in before several hundred thousand people on the steps of capitol hill in washington. it's going to be only america first, america first. demonstrators waiting for mike gatting and his rebel cricket team were attacked with tear gas and set upon by police dogs. anti—apartheid campaigners say they will carry on the protests throughout the tour.
they called him - the butcher of lyon. klaus altmann is being heldj on a fraud charge in bolivia. the west germans want i to extradite him for crimes committed in wartime france. there, he was the gestapo chief, klaus barbie. - millions came to bathe as close as possible to this spot, a tide of humanity that's believed by officials to have broken all records. this is bbc news. the latest headlines: russian police have detained the kremlin critic alexei navalny, who was nearly killed by nerve agent poisoning last year, as he lands back in moscow. twitter suspends the account of us republican congresswoman marjorie taylor greene for repeatedly making false claims about election fraud. a year ago this week, china issued its first lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus. it was the moment which signalled just how deadly and debilitating the new coronavirus could be notjust
in china, but around the world. the bbc�*s china correspondent stephen mcdonell entered hubei as the borders were closing back in january 2020, now he's returned to the place where this global emergency started. it was the start of what would become a global health emergency. 60 million people were being locked down as we entered hubei province in january 2020. a year later, we've returned to see how people are faring. well, last time, actually at this exact point, we were stopped by a police roadblock. not now, though. in we go. we'll be inside hubei any minute.
in this rural community, people tell us they're having celebrations like weddings again. they laugh. hubei province hasn't had a local coronavirus infection for seven months, and masks are no longer mandatory. as you can see, workers are back out in the streets, preparing their traditional foods in the way they used to. they certainly were not doing this in january last year. the closer we get to the regional capital, the busier it becomes.
apart from the sheer number of those on the streets now compared to this time last year, one thing you notice is a change in people's attitudes. there seems to be a feeling that the authorities now know how to control these coronavirus outbreaks when they come, and that does spur confidence. next stop, wuhan, home to the world's first coronavirus clusters. it's now hard to imagine this city of 11 million people shut down — a lockdown many here say they don't regret. there's no doubt china's done well reining in the virus, but if you believe the propaganda, it's as if nowhere else at all has had any success.
in the crucial early days of the outbreak, people were silenced here for trying to sound a warning, and we still don't know how the pandemic started. but after months of hardship, the city first struck by the coronavirus is now functioning pretty much as normal. and many around the world can only dream of returning to such a state. stephen mcdonell, bbc news, wuhan. the music producer phil spector has died, while serving a prison sentence for murder. in 2009 he was found guilty of killing the actress lana clarkson 6 years earlier, at his house in california. during his career spector was credited with transforming pop with his "wall of sound" recordings, working with acts such as the righteous brothers, tina turner and john lennon. this report from our arts correspondent david silitto. the final public chapter of phil spector�*s life was a court case. a conviction for murder.
he appeared eccentric, troubled, lonely, a man mired in his own darkness. but what he leaves behind are some of the most joyous masterpieces in the history of pop. # he knew what he was doing when he caught my eye - # da—doo ron—ron—ron, da—doo ron—ron...# - # you've lost that lovin' feelin'...# # to love, love, love him and i do...# and this was his first hit. here he is on the right, aged 18. but there was always a darkness. this love song wasn't about a girl, it was about his dead father. it was not a happy childhood. it wasn't. i mean, when yourfather blows his head open, you know, it's not funny, and it leaves a scar on you. # so won't you say you love me...# . his signature was the wall of sound. it turned pop into a sonic torrent of heightened emotion. # every place we go...# # imagine no possessions...#
john lennon, leonard cohen, tina turner, he produced them all. but there are also many stories of his erratic behaviour. he was abusive and controlling. excuse me, camera. he had a habit of threatening people with guns. aren't you lonely in this big house? must be very lonely. and then in 2003, he invited lana clarkson, an actress he had met at a club, to his home. a few hours later, she was found. she'd been shot dead. phil spectre was convicted of second—degree murder. his death from covid—related complications comes 11 years into his 19—year sentence. phil spectre said he wanted to turn pop into art. by the end, he had this to say: "trust me, you wouldn't want my life. "i have not been at peace."
in north africa, dozens of young people have been arrested in tunisia after two nights of disturbances in cities across the country. its ailing economy is a key source of frustration alongside the apparent humiliation of a shepherd by local officials. it follows months of nightly curfews and a partial lockdown to battle covid—i9. mark lobel reports. a police crackdown in tunisia's capital during a coronavirus lockdown. violent clashes as mainly teenage protesters are quickly pursued for allegedly blocking roads and throwing stones. in response, water cannons, teargas, and over 200 arrests. this moment, caught on camera, in the northern town of siliana, had fuelled the demonstrators' anger, the apparent harassment
and humiliation of a shepherd at the hands of police officer for allowing his sheep to stray too close to a state building. its timing, adding to its impact. it's ten years since this man, mohamed bouazizi, a fruit seller, set himself ablaze after officials repeatedly confiscated his produce. a moment remembered annually on these now empty streets, for it fermented the popular tunisian revolution against injustice and corruption, which sparked the arab spring, except this year there was barely an avenue open for any commemoration, as the strict lockdown kicked police on hand, to enforce the blockade. in siliana, anger spilt over, with these cat and mouse movements between police and protesters, repeated in other parts of the country as well, amid rising prices and soaring unemployment in a shrinking economy.
as coronavirus continues to accelerate, overwhelming many hospitals, without a vaccine at hand. for tunisia, it's a toxic mix at a sensitive time. mark lobel, bbc news. a professional paraplegic climber has become the first person in hong kong to climb more than 250 metres of a skyscraper while strapped to a wheelchair. lai chi—wai scaled the height using a piece of rope and sheer grit and determination, as freya cole explains. from dizzying heights, lai chi—wai looks tiny, but in the grand scale of the situation, he has more strength than most. translation: i was quite scared, climbing up a mountain, i could hold onto rocks or little holes. but with glass, all i can really rely on is the rope that i'm hanging off.
ten years ago, lai chi—wai was in a car accident which left him paralysed from the waist down. it ended his highly successful professional career as a climber as he knew it. but over time, he's overcome mental and physical barriers and now there is very little that will stop him. translation: i want to climb something higher| than lion rock mountain. i want the image of me climbing up in a wheelchair to become a reality, and it's always been a dream. lai chi—wai came so close to the top when he had to stop due to exhaustion. he raised almost $700,000 us for spinal cord patients, a huge contribution with a strong message to live life with no limits. freya cole, bbc news. absolutely incredible. much
more on our website and the bbc news at. you can reach me on twitter — i'm @ rich preston. take care till next time. hello there. after the snow that some of us had last week, this week, the weather focus shifts to rain, enough rain in a few places over the next few days to give the very real risk of some flooding. now, having said that, monday morning is getting off to a decent start, a lot of dry weather around. one band of rain across the north coast of northern ireland, the far south of scotland. that will drift up towards the central belt. some wintry showers in northern scotland. eastern counties of england holding onto some brightness, but further west across england and wales as well, we'll see thickening clouds, some mist and hill fog and some outbreaks of rain through the afternoon. and as we go through monday night into the early hours of tuesday, that rain will spread across england and wales, becoming really heavy and persistent over high ground in north wales, northern england, some of that rain getting
into northern ireland as well. very mild by the end of the night down towards the south, staying colder further north across scotland, but we'll also remain drier with just a few showers. but for tuesday, this procession of weather fronts is going to be working its way across the british isles, bringing some heavy and persistent rain. you can see where we're expecting the wettest of the weather. for a time across northern ireland, maybe into southern scotland, but certainly across northern england, wales. pretty wet across the south west as well, where it will also be pretty windy. further north, lighter winds across the northern half of scotland, some spells of sunshine, but it will be chilly across the northern half of the uk, whereas for the south, very mild indeed, 12—13 celsius. but i think it is the rain that gives most cause for concern. met office yellow warnings in force across all of england and wales through the middle part of the week. but there's an amber warning in force across parts of the south pennines and the peak district, and in this area, there is the potential certainly for some flooding and some travel disruption if you do need to make an essential journey through tuesday and indeed on into wednesday,
because you can see the rain just keeps on coming, particularly across england and wales. northern ireland and scotland always a little bit drier, but maybe some snow mixing if the rain does get up into southern scotland, because there will be some colder air in place across the northern half of the uk. and as we move out of wednesday into thursday, as our rainmaker area of low pressure deepens and slides away eastwards, the winds will pick up. those winds will start to come from the north, so it will feel colder for the end of the week and snow could return.
this is bbc news. the headlines: the russian opposition activist alexei navalny has returned to moscow, where he was detained when his flight landed. he'd spent five months in germany recovering from being poisoned with a nerve agent. the kremlin denies ordering the attack. mr navalny told reporters he was not afraid, before being led away. a republican congresswoman and ardent supporter of president trump has had her twitter account suspended for 12 hours. marjorie taylor greene has repeatedly made false claims about election fraud in her state, georgia, and has previously expressed support for the qanon conspiracy group. riot police and the military in guatemala have fired tear gas at a caravan of thousands of central american migrants bound for the united states. several people were injured. the guatemalan government says it's deported almost 1,000 people to honduras in the past three days for entering the country illegally.
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