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tv   BBC News  BBC News  September 16, 2021 4:00am-4:31am BST

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this is bbc news. i'm ben boulos. our top stories: america's most decorated gymnast, simone biles, breaks down as she talks about the abuse she and her colleagues suffered at the hands of their team doctor. to be clear, i blame larry nassar, and i also blame... entire system that enabled and perpetrated his abuse. china condemns a new defence and security deal between the us, britain, and australia aimed at boosting their influence in the indo—pacific. the first space mission crewed entirely by amateur astronauts has blasted off from cape canaveral. it's hoped the flight will open up access for paying customers.
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and the photo—sharing app instagram may have a harmful effect on teenagers, according to research by its owners facebook. welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and around the globe. we start in the us, where gymnasts gave emotional testimony to congress on wednesday, describing the abuse they suffered at the hands of usa gymnastics doctor larry nassar. they blamed fbi officials forfailing to investigate him. their testimony, led by olympic superstar simone biles, follows a damning justice department report into how the fbi handled the nassar allegations. nasser was jailed in 2018. the bbc�*s nomia iqbal has more.
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the world witnessed her mental struggles at the tokyo olympics. today, simone biles spoke about exactly what had impacted her. i don't want another young gymnast, olympic athlete, or any individual to experience the horror that i and hundreds of others have endured. the most successful gymnast of all time, she recalled the abuse she suffered at the hands of her former coach. to be clear, i blame larry nassar, and i also blame... entire system that enabled and perpetrated his abuse. simone biles and three of herformer team—mates appeared in front of the senatejudiciary committee to testify about the abuse they suffered at the hands of nassar. he's serving a life sentence injail for sexually abusing hundreds of girls. an investigation into how the fbi handled the case has already catalogued failures and lies told by agents — none of whom have
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been prosecuted. mckayla maroney was one of the first to report abuse in july of 2015. i answered all of their questions honestly and clearly, and i disclosed all of my molestations i had endured by nassar to them in extreme detail. she said she felt, even when she had finally spoken out, her concerns were being dismissed. i began crying at the memory over the phone, and there wasjust dead silence. i was so shocked at the agent's silence and disregard for my trauma after that minute of silence, he asked, "is that all?" it would be more than a year before the fbi investigated the allegations, allowing nassar to continue his contact with children. today, the fbi director, who took the top agencyjob after the case was reported, said sorry. and i'm especially sorry that there were people at the fbi who had their own chance to stop this monster back in 2015 and failed.
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and that is inexcusable, it never should've happened, and we're doing everything in our power to make sure it never happens again. a report by the department ofjustice found two fbi officials lied during interviews to cover up their errors. the fbi says one of those officials was fired last week. this hearing is the first public questioning of the case, but also one of the last opportunities for the athletes to getjustice. they have called on the committee to ensure those who mishandled the case will be held accountable. nomia iqbal, bbc news, washington. rachael denhollander was the first woman to pursue criminal charges against usa gymnastics' team doctor larry nassar. her activism encouraged scores of others, including olympic medallists, to come forward. i asked her what it was like watching that powerful testimony. it's incredibly painful,
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because what it reemphasises to us over and over again as we won'tjust fighting an abuser, won't just fighting an abuser, we won'tjust fighting an abuser, we were fighting a system. and when they came forward and 2016 a came forward with a thick file of evidence, prior disclosures, character witnesses, and actual legal memorandum that laid out the case for the prosecutor under michigan law because i knew we would be fighting a system and notjust would be fighting a system and not just an would be fighting a system and notjust an abuser and that's what we saw today. on the question everybody needs to be asking is "what do we not see?" what we not see in the cases we don't have olympic athletes headlining, the legal cases, what we not see four survivors who do not have a voice. because this is a story that survives the all the time and most of the time the public does not get to see what is going on. $5 does not get to see what is going on-— does not get to see what is going on— does not get to see what is oiiin on. �*,., , ., going on. as a result of your activism. — going on. as a result of your activism, others _ going on. as a result of your activism, others came - going on. as a result of your i activism, others came forward and described what happened to them. you also wrote a book about your experience title? what is a girl worth? did you privately have reaction to people in response to that?
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absolutely. one of the things they have heard most in response to the memoir is this is the first time i have realised what it actually takes. and really that's what it is intended to be, an inside look at what it is to fight the system, what it really took to stop larry, what was going on behind the scenes in a criminal investigation and prosecution and in the courtroom stop because most people think sexual assault works like law and order is for you. your report and a few months later you get a wonderful conclusion to this almost tv show like experience where you get justice and the abuser is put away and that is not really what it is like. but it is like for survivors is exactly what we in the senate today and we were incredibly blessed to have a detective and a prosecutor who fought for us. but even then what it took to get where we got is just an incredible story that deserves to be told and that people need to understand so that we can start asking the hard questions of how do we change these systems so it is in this difficult and victims aren't fighting the system as well as their abuser.
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there was an apology from the fbi director. for someone who has been through that abuse that you and others suffered, does the apology make a difference or not?- does the apology make a difference or not? you know, i am grateful — difference or not? you know, i am grateful for _ difference or not? you know, i am grateful for what _ difference or not? you know, i am grateful for what we - difference or not? you know, i am grateful for what we saw . am grateful for what we saw today. i am gratefulfor this the athletes that testified. i'm gratefulfor the the athletes that testified. i'm grateful for the apology, because it is at least the beginning of an acknowledgement. beginning ofan acknowledgement. but beginning of an acknowledgement. but words beginning ofan acknowledgement. but words are cheap. in the real test is going to be whether or not those words are followed through by concrete action. i'll be going to deliver hard legislative change and the hard systemic change to actually turn because of what's going on in ourjustice system to actually make it possible for survivors to pursue justice and to speak up be believed. whether or not we're going to do the hard work of is the real question. today was a first step in the first step only. but it means nothing if it is not followed by action. rachael denhollander _ not followed by action. rachael denhollander there. _
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the united states, britain, and australia have announced a new defence and security partnership for the indo—pacific, sparking immediate condemnation by china. its embassy in washington accused the three governments of having a cold war mentality. let's take a look at what the deal entails. the deal will enable australia to build nuclear—powered submarines for the first time. it will also cover artificial intelligence, quantum technologies and cyber. the leaders of the three countries said the deal would promote stability in the indo—pacific. france also criticised the deal, which will replace a previous partnership that paris had with australia. france's foreign minister said the agreement only reinforces the need to raise the issue of european strategic autonomy loud and clear. the australian prime minister, scott morrison, explained the change of decision. this is a very special arrangement at a very important one for australia. australia was not in a position, at the
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time we took the decision back in 2016, to build and operate a nuclear—powered submarine. that wasn't on the table. it wasn't on the table for a range of reasons. so the decision we have made to not continue with the attack class submarine and go down this path is not a change of mind, is a change of need. the goal has remained the same. and australians would expect me, as prime minister, to ensure that we have the best possible capability to keep them safe and to be unhindered in pursuing that as best as a possibly can. and that is what i have done. dr malcolm davis is a senior analyst in defence strategy and capability at the australian strategic policy institute in canberra, australia. i asked him whether this will achieve the goal of curbing china's influence. it is a huge step forward. the decision for australia to acquire submarines is a major step — something we have not been prepared to do in the past and now we are going to acquire these
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boats, at least eight of them, which will be a huge boost to the australian naval capability, but politically and strategically this really strengthens the commitment by the three countries to work together to not contain china but deter and counterbalance them. when we talk about nuclear—powered submarines, just for clarity, these are submarines that are nuclear—powered. they are not carrying nuclear weapons. no. there is no consideration area to carry nuclear weapons. the world would need to be a much more dark and dangerous place for us to ever consider that option. in terms of the deal with france, this is going to leave some slightly soured relationships, isn't it? australia had agreed
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a deal to buy french designs for submarines? yes, and that deal is off. i think the official announcement will be made in the next few days. it was very clear that the deal for the 12 attack class submarines was not going to deliver a capability that was affordable or deliver that capability soon enough even with the rapid deterioration of australia's strategic environment so we had to make this move and the opportunity to go down of nuclear submarines is one we could not ignore. the other country that will not take so kindly to this is china. and australia already has a trade row ongoing with china that is harming exports there. what do you think the fallout will be, and how might china react to this move by the three countries? china won't like it, but, frankly, australia makes its defence policy based on the needs of australia, not on what pleases china. so the chinese will no doubt make statements decrying the "cold war mentality" but frankly, they are the ones
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that are causing a lot of tension in the region and we have to respond to that. we cannotjust ignore that. doctor malcolm davis there. now some history's been made in the past few hours. the first space mission crewed entirely by civilians has taken off from cape canaveral in florida. four amateur astronauts blasted into orbit on board a spacex rocket. the trip has been paid for by one of the crew billionaire businessman jared isaacman. for about three days, the inspiration4 crew will orbit earth at an altitude higher than the international space station. earlier i spoke to space journalist emilee speck, host of the space curious podcast. she was there. this launch was unlike any other that i have covered or experienced. you know, it kind of had a party feel to it, if that makes sense. space x hosted a viewing party near the press,
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so did others. when the rocket went up there were cheers and then we all just stood there. it was an amazing moment. it was a beautiful launch. is it genuinely only four civilians in that spacecraft? and it is being manned, it is being operated from the ground, isn't it? but what happens if something needs fixing or goes wrong? have they been trained to do that? what happens? that's a great question. the only reason this mission has been happening is the spacex dragon capsule is fully automated. it's controlled by computers and like you mentioned, from the ground, so they should not have to do anything. however, in the event they do, the four regular people, just like you and me, they go through about seven months of training and spent a lot of time at spacex, so had to learn the systems of the spacecraft in and out, in case something goes wrong
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so they should be able to jump into action but if it happens, we will see what happens. all credit to them. i think i have problems changing a tyre, never mind fixing a spacecraft, but what is the significance of this more broadly, do you think? is this the start of space tourism, which we talk about so often, but it still seems so elusive and so expensive still? it is still so expensive, and this is a really big kicking off by spacex. they have got two other all—civilian missions planned for next year so this was the first, right? the first all—civilian mission and it was very different. it was a fundraiser. the other crew launching next year, that are all civilians — they have all paid for their seats, this was not like what we saw today. it is different. if it works and goes well they can use this as a jumping off point and continue to do this from now on. very briefly, if there were an entirely civilian crewed space mission would you go on it?
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i have always said yes when i have been asked that question before, but today, when i was watching them, especially watching their faces and i wasjust thinking, what are they thinking? and ijust don't know if i could to do it. i don't know if i have the stomach for it, experiencing 66s, so we will see. maybe. emilee speck there, speaking to me earlier. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: extraordinary leaders from around the world. we examine time magazine's list of the top 100 most influential people of 2021. 30 hours after the earthquake that devastated mexico city, rescue teams still have no idea just how many people have died. well, there is people alive and there is people not alive. we canjust help and give them whatever we've got. a state funeral has been held
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for princess grace of monacol at the church where she married prince rainier 26 years ago. - it looked as though they had come to fight a war, but their mission is to bring peace to east timor, and no where on earth needs it more badly. the government's case is being forcefully presented by the monsieur badinter, justice minister. he's campaigned vigorously for abolition, having once witnessed one his clients being executed. elizabeth seton spent much of her time in this grotto, and every year, hundreds of pilgrimages are made here. now that she has become a saint, it is expected that this area will be inundated with tourists. the mayor and local businessmen regard the anticipated boom as yet another blessing of saint elizabeth. this is bbc world news, the latest headlines: four us gymnasts, including simone biles, have testified before a senate committee hearing, giving evidence over the fbi's failures in its sex abuse investigation of their former team
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doctor, larry nassar. china has condemned a new defence and security deal between the us, britain, and australia aimed at boosting their influence in the indo—pacific. it is exactly a month since the taliban swept to power in afghanistan and declared the country an islamic emirate. as the international community grapples with the scale of the change, how are things changing in afghanistan under taliban rule? our correspondent secunder kermani and camera journalist malik mudassir sent report from one of afghanistan's largest cities, mazar—i—sharif. crossing into the islamic emirate, a cargo train from uzbekistan. this is now passport control. the taliban even have their own stamps. an hour's drive away,
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the city of mazar—i—sharif. on the surface, life appears to be continuing as normal, though many are suffering, with a shortage of cash in banks. this was the blue mosque, the city's cultural heart, shortly before the taliban takeover last month. now the group have allocated separate visiting times for men and women. some are still coming, but there seem significantly fewer than before. my host here is a leading local taliban figure. your critics would say you are killing off the cultural life in this country. and why do you need to change the culture? what's wrong about the culture that was already here? everyone was muslim.
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we literallyjust came out of the blue mosque and saw a crowd gathered in the city centre. we made our way to the middle of it and there are four dead bodies laid out here. one of them has a note on top of it saying, "these men were kidnappers — anyone who wants to do the same, this is going to be their punishment." all around me, there is a huge crowd of people trying to push their way forward to have a look at the site. a group of young children were rescued by the taliban from the kidnappers. many praise the group for tackling violent crime that had plagued major cities.
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but many others here don't feel safe. private universities like this one have reopened. female and male students are separated by a curtain, as per new taliban rules. but with money tight in the future unclear, only a handful are turning up. how does it feel, studying but not knowing whether you will be able to work or not in the future? the last time the taliban were in power, they imposed even more restrictions. but however they may have evolved since then, afghan cities have changed much more. the taliban control the country, but still need to win hearts and minds. secunder kermani, bbc news, mazar—i—sharif.
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instagram could be having a harmful effect on many teenagers, particularly girls. this is according to internal research carried out by facebook, the company that owns it. an investigation by the wall streetjournal found that facebook had conducted in—depth studies showing the dangers of the photo—sharing app, while playing down the issue in public. angus crawford reports. a girl with so much to live for, bright and talented. molly russell took her own life in 2017. she was just 1a. after her death, on her instagram account, herfamily found a stream of dark, depressing content and, in part, blame it for her death. now, the wall streetjournal has published internal facebook research labelled "a teen mental health deep dive". it found, it admitted, and, i don't know, i was sick to the pit of my stomach.
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it was dreadful. molly's father ian is appalled. if they know more about it and they're not doing something about it, then they're culpable in a really dreadful way, because this potentially could cost lives. no—one at facebook hq in london was available to talk about instagram, which it also owns, but it did release a blog. the company said it stood by the research, even though it claimed that the wall streetjournal had focused on a "limited set of findings". it also claimed that "wider research on the effects of social media on people's well—being" was "mixed". and finally, it claimed that it was doing extensive work to make instagram "a safe and supportive place". instagram sells itself
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as a place for fun, friendship, but the company's known for years, for some young people, it's a much, much darker place. angus crawford, bbc news. time magazine says its top 100 list this year comprises extraordinary leaders from around the world who have leaped into the fray in a year of crisis. mark lobel reports. a reported a—list glam squad worked behind the scenes on this photo shoot with two of time magazine's icons of the year. you may just recognise. headline grabbing images described as both effortless and airbrushed by fans and critics alike. but who else has been influential this challenging year? actress kate winslet is one of time's artists of the year, warning young women of the dangers of low self esteem. don't scrutinise yourself as much as you most definitely do. stop looking in the mirror as much.
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and be yourself. billie eilish has been through yet another transformation. she credits the internet was launching her career but, i hate that i grew up with the internet. i despise it, and especially from 16 to almost 20. it's very different people. you look at videos of yourself from when you were like 1a and you see the way you act and talk, and you literally think, how did i do that? what was going on that made me think that was the right thing to say? and it has been a transformative year for the us gymnast, simone biles. the magazine says she is a titan. no doubting that. one contributor describing her as wise beyond her 2a years. for years, for my professional career, i have only ever been
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congratulated for winning. and now it's like for being a human being vulnerable. it is not what i'm used to. but it has been nice. these influencers appear united in using their platforms and personaljourneys to help us all approach the end of this strange year with our resilience intact. mark lobel, bbc news. before we go, people in finland have a new way to let off some steam. smashing. it is a room in the capital where you can vent your anger, proving to be a head, especially for women. the helsinki rage room, was founded by a convict who wanted people to be able to air their frustrations. he says 80% of his customers are women between 25 and a5.
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you can reach me on twitter — i'm @ benmboulos. hello. autumn is now gently, slowly but surely, creeping in across the northern hemisphere. our days are getting shorter, but there is still some warmth in the september sunshine. and certainly, it was a good—looking day across a large swathe of the uk on wednesday, although scotland and northern ireland did get lumbered with more in the way of cloud and some outbreaks of rain. we should see more sunshine here, though, in the next few days. another sign, though, that autumn is upon us is the presence of some early morning mist and fog. the reason it'll be drier for scotland on thursday is high pressure starting to extend up here. it's also the reason, though, that i think we will see some early mist and fog under the ridge where we've had light winds overnight. the sun, however, should burn that back pretty quickly, and then a lot of fine weather and sunshine to come
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through on thursday. we lose any early showers in the northeast of scotland, temperatures 21—22 celsius. through the afternoon, though, more cloud starting to show its hand into northern ireland — that's the forerunner of this weather front that will push into the west of the uk for friday daytime. we move through thursday evening into the small hours of friday, and we get the rain into northern ireland. it's quite patchy across western scotland, it stays dry across england and wales. a mild enough night, temperatures in double figures — up to 15 degrees in belfast, where we get quite a strong southerly wind as this weather front pushes in. it will move its way into the west of the uk, but then it kind of grinds to a halt, actually, for friday. so, because it does that, that means the rain willjust keep on coming for the likes of northern ireland, possibly for the southwest of scotland. later on in the day, some downpours for the southwest of england and for wales. but it's northern ireland stuck under the cloud and with the rain on friday.
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quite breezy here, as well, quite gusty winds at times. big contrast between east and west — just mid—teens, the temperatures in the west under the rain. we could still see maybe 22—23 celsius in the sunshine further east. our front will gradually make its way eastwards across the uk through the weekend. for scotland and northern ireland, i think it'll bring some patchy cloud. but for england and wales, it does bring the threat of perhaps some quite punchy showers, longer, more persistent outbreaks of rain at times. certainly, saturday looks like it could be quite wet across england and wales. the showers should thin out somewhat for sunday.
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this is bbc news. the headlines: four us gymnasts, including simone biles, have testified before a senate committee hearing. they gave evidence about the fbi's failures in its sex abuse investigation of theirformer team doctor, larry nassar. the director of the bureau has apologised for not examining the allegations promptly. beijing has condemned a new defence and security deal between the us, britain, and australia, saying it was part of a cold war mentality. the leaders of the three countries said the agreement would promote stability in the indo—pacific region, where china has expanded its military presence. the first space mission crewed entirely by civilians has taken off from cape canaveral in florida. four amateur astronauts were launched into orbit on a spacex rocket. it's hoped the flight will open up access for paying customers. the trip has been paid for by a billionaire businessman.
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now on bbc news — hardtalk.


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