tv Newsday BBC News November 18, 2021 11:00pm-11:31pm GMT
welcome to newsday, reporting live from singapore. i'm karishma vaswani. the headlines: president biden says washington is considering a diplomatic boycott of the beijing olympics. poland says belarus has cleared a migrant camp on the border that had been fuelling tensions between minsk and the european union. the british government scales back its high speed rail plans in the north of england but says an alternative scheme will benefit travellers sooner. and more tennis stars express their concern over chinese tennis player peng shuai, not seen since accusing a top government official of sexual assault. we'll be speaking to tennis legend pam shriver.
live from our studio in singapore, this is bbc news. it's newsday. it's 7am in the morning in singapore and 6pm in the evening in washington, where president biden has suggested there's a new instrument to apply pressure on china over its human rights record. he said the us is considering a diplomatic boycott of next year's beijing winter olympics. a diplomatic boycott of next year's that would mean athletes would still compete but there would be no government representation. speaking to reporters during a meeting with the canadian prime ministerjustin trudeau, mr biden was thrown the question. a diplomatic boycott of the beijing olympics? it's something we're considering.
well, that was a very brief comment, but then the white house press secretary said the idea of a possible boycott was driven by concerns over china's human rights record. that comes despite efforts to ease tensions at a virtual summit between the president and chinese leader xi jinping earlier this week. the president is going to raise issues where he has concern and he's going to look for areas to work together. and his lengthy three and a half hour meeting the other night was certainly a reflection of that. both areas where we could work together and areas where we have concern were raised, as you all know from the readouts following the meeting. but there are areas that we do have concerns — human rights abuses. you've seen, notjust in words we've used but certainly in actions we've taken at the g7 and other sanctions, that we have serious concerns about human rights abuses we've seen in xinjiang. and certainly there are a range of factors as we look at what our presence would be. well, for more on this, our correspondent anthony zurcher has the latest from washington. it's hard to tell whetherjoe biden
was talking off—the—cuff there or if this is something the united states is moving towards, but i think there'll be a lot of very concerned people, a lot of athletes, a lot of teams in the us olympic squad that will be wondering what exactly is going on right now. it could very well mean that the united states wouldn't be sending any officials. i know that president xi, when he was speaking with president biden earlier on this week, invited president biden to come see the olympics and he demured there, he did not give a clear answer. but obviously a diplomatic boycott would include no—one from the united states government going, certainly. the united states and china have had strained relations of late, even after the face—to—face meeting that i mentioned on monday. there are disputes over trade, there are disputes over human rights, there are disputes over territory in the south china sea, what the united states sees as illegal expansion from china in that region. so i think there's a lot of tension right now between the two nations,
and i think that's contributing to it. but if you're talking about a boycott, i think the most likely factor in that is us criticism of chinese human rights practices, the uighurs and in hong kong in particular. anthony zurcher there for us. the migrant crisis on the border between belarus and poland, which the european union says belarus has been orchestrating as revenge for eu sanctions, has eased slightly. poland says belarus has cleared a camp containing people mostly from the middle east who were trying to reach the eu. they've been moved to a nearby warehouse. meanwhile, hundreds more of these migrants have arrived back in iraq from belarus. they'd been given visas to enter belarus, but after weeks in increasingly cold conditions, many took the opportunity to return home. the first repatriation flight left minsk with more than 400 on board. the flight touched down at irbil international airport,
where most of the passengers disembarked. most are thought to be iraqi kurds, some are from elsewhere in iraq as well. the plane's next stop, baghdad, where the few remaining passengers are headed. murad shishani is there. the repatriated iraqis�* flight has arrived to irbil international, people just coming back from belarus—poland borders. these planes, carrying 430 people, those just arrived today here in iraq, in irbil international airport. some of them also will be carrying on here to baghdad. we heard that there are onlyjust nine people who will be arriving to baghdad. the thing is, the story is evolving in kurdistan,
in the regional kurdistan, iraq parts, this relatively stable place here in iraq, even though the biggest majority of those people who have been migrated or trying to migrate towards european union through belarus, lithuania and baltic countries were just from that region. and that comes as a surprise, actually, which, as i said, is a relatively peaceful region of iraq. and even the economic situation is much, much better than other parts of iraq, but surprisingly many of them, or most of those people, were from that region. murad shishani there. well, across eastern europe, people fleeing conflict and poverty are trying to seek asylum in the european union. since 2018, tens of thousands of migrants have passed through bosnia on their way west. however human rights groups have accused neighbouring croatia of illegally pushing many back across the border. fergal keane reports now on the story of one afghan couple and their young daughter.
near the croatian border, a refugee family is waiting to cross. akram was a television engineer in kabul. zarah was a policewoman in herat, but fled in 2016. baby sara was born in greece, where the family had a previous asylum request denied. we are countryless. we are illegally on the border. what should we have to do? they say they've been pushed back from croatia 39 times — once, they allege, with force. they came and hit my husband, and i said, "why are you hitting my husband?" and they hit me also in my face and said, "shut up." who will help us? the life become like hell for us, for all of us. some migrants wait in abandoned factories from which they can easily reach the border at night.
others in temporary reception centres like this, run by the united nations. how concerned are you by the numerous reports of pushbacks that are happening in this region? we see many of the migrants themselves being returned back. we see that they've been deprived of their shoes, they're being deprived of their basic goods, and sometimes, really, of their dignity. the croatian government didn't respond to a request for comment, but has already denied a policy of pushbacks and says it upholds its legal obligations to asylum—seekers. three policemen were suspended after being accused of violence against migrants. but only the snows, due here soon, are likely to slow the desperate attempts to reach the eu. it's just after five o'clock in the morning and the family
is preparing for another attempt at crossing the border. we'll go with them as far as we're allowed to on the bosnian side. let's just see what happens if they're able to cross. there's fear that baby sara will cry and alert border guards. she's really fast asleep now. we must leave in this way. if she wake up, especially at the border, she will cry, and the people that are close to the border will call the police. so, we'rejust coming up to the border. they've seen a car on the other side which they suspect is croatian police. so, what do you plan to do? we have to cross. thisjourney has already
taken nearly 4,000 miles. several hours later, akram sent us a video of the families inside croatia. so, we are here, we are in croatia now. the police came and put them in this van. because greece refused asylum, croatia can reject them, but it must first check their background and status. instead, they say they were pushed back — again. are you going to keep trying? yeah, we have to do. we don't want to be hopeless. every time when the police are deporting us, - we say to ourselves, ok, no problem, we will try to go again. _ croatia, europe, want to stem
the flow of migrants. but there's no way home now, no way forward. fergal keane, bbc news, bosnia. let's take a look at some of the stories in the headlines in the uk. the cricketer azeem rafiq has apologised and said he had "absolutely no excuse" for using anti—semitic language in messages on social media from 2011. two days ago, the former spinner gave evidence to mps about racism he'd experienced within cricket, calling his treatment inhumane. rafiq also later apologised on thursday for an instagram meme containing a saying relating to african people. ireland's prime minister has sought to defuse the diplomatic row between britain and the eu over post—brexit trading arrangements for northern ireland. micheal martin told the bbc the situation may not be perfect, but it was important not to allow "perfect to become the enemy of the good". he said any difficulties could be
resolved with goodwill. meanwhile, the opposition labour party has called the uk government's announcement that it was scrapping the eastern leg of the high speed rail line "a betrayal of the north". it will still go ahead, but there wil be a significant watering down of the project's ambition. a new package promises to upgrade existing train links and build new, but shorter, stretches of high speed track. the government says the benefits can be delivered far more quickly than the previous plan would allow. katy austin reports. this south yorkshire logistics business has been on its own fast journey of expansion, and it's not done yet. the boss hoped hs2 stretching up to leeds would free up much more space on the railways for freight and ease road congestion. i really think that the country needs more rail, more
rail infrastructure, to reduce carbon, take more wagons off the road and improve on supply chain demands. the government insists its new plan will still produce faster journey times and add capacity, but deliver improvements sooner. that's not enough for some. if hsz is not going to be arriving in yorkshire in the way it was meant to be arriving in yorkshire, that undermines the local place and that affects businesses of every sector. and therefore, people from all walks of life, whether they're in rail or whatever industry, are upset and invested in this decision. 42 of the £96 billion announced today was already allocated to the first stages of hs2, linking london to birmingham and crewe. among the schemes to be funded by the remaining money are the western leg of hs2 to manchester and extensive upgrades to other parts of the rail network. two other sections of high—speed rail will be built, but those sections will be smaller and cheaper than under previous proposals. the prime minister nearly
missed his train to yorkshire today. once on board, though, he defended the changes. why should people in the north accept less than they were promised? because they're getting _ an absolutely fantastic new system and, yes, of course... it's not quite what they were promised. people who argue that you're better off spending a long time and tens. of billions more carving. through virgin countryside and building whole new lines - everywhere, but what we're doing is doing something that brings the benefits ten years, - or up to ten years faster and delivers much - shorterjourney times. but labour has accused the government of going back on its word. the north of england have been betrayed because the prime minister made two very important promises — hs2 all the way to leeds, a new line. that promise has been ripped up. he also promised northern powerhouse rail, a new line from manchester to leeds, and that plan's been ripped up. the plans have received more of a welcome in some places. so, midlands connect thinks this
is a win for the midlands because it will take high—speed trains from birmingham to the east midlands, but also allows us to progress our flagship scheme, the midlands rail hub, which will unlock 11 million seats along the rail network, allowing us to have quickerjourneys from places like hereford, worcester and other cities up and down the midlands. and opponents of hs2 are celebrating. is it good news or what? yay! the railway would've torn right through this village near rotherham. in parts of northern england, though, there's a feeling what could've been a golden opportunity has been diminished. katy austin, bbc news. you're watching newsday on the bbc. still to come on the programme: we meet the transgender entrepreneur now living in australia who exposed the difficulties that her community experiences back in malaysia. —— the community faces. benazir bhutto has claimed victory in pakistan's general election,
and she's asked pakistan's president to name her as prime minister. jackson's been released on bail of $3 million after turning himself in to police in santa barbara. it was the biggest demonstration so far of the fast—growing european antinuclear movement. the south african government has announced that it's opening - the country's remaining whites—only beaches to people of all races. - this will lead to a black—majority government in this country and the destruction of the white civilisation. part of the centuries—old windsor castle, one of the queen's residences, has been consumed by fire for much of the day. 150 firemen have been battling the blaze, which has caused millions of pounds worth of damage.
this is newsday on the bbc. i'm karishma vaswani in singapore. our headlines: president biden says washington is considering a diplomatic boycott of the beijing olympics. poland says belarus has cleared a migrant camp on the border that had been fuelling tensions between minsk and the european union. former women's number one serena williams has joined several other tennis stars in expressing conern over the whereabout of chinese professional peng shuai. —— concern over the whereabouts of. the two—time grand slam doubles champion hasn't been seen for two weeks, since she accused china's former vice premier zhang gaoli of sexual assault. williams tweeted, "i hope she is safe and found as soon as possible." let's speak more about this with tennis legend and broadcaster pam shriver. great to have you on newsday, pam.
in the first instance, we are seeing so much more international concern about peng shuai's whereabouts, particularly from the tennis community. how worried are you? i think we are all pretty worried. kevin what has happened over the last couple weeks and that, really, the right kind of contact and to medication with peng shuai has not happened yet, ceo of the wta tour steve simon is not satisfied, nobody, none of her playing companions feel comfortable that they are 100 and certain that she is safe. —— 100% certain. they are 100 and certain that she is safe. --100% certain.— they are 100 and certain that she is safe. -- 10096 certain.— safe. -- 10096 certain. there is a lot of suwort. — safe. -- 10096 certain. there is a lot of support, as _ safe. -- 10096 certain. there is a lot of support, as we _ safe. -- 10096 certain. there is a lot of support, as we have - safe. -- 10096 certain. there is aj lot of support, as we have talked about, and certainly there is even a hashtag on social media being used by a lot of athletes and the wta. how effective do you think this kind of international pressure will be, both on and off social media? i
think when you look at other circumstances, whether it was what the nba went through a couple of years ago, it is a really difficult situation when you have a business partner, in a country like china, that has different core values from, say, what the deputy is -- wta is —— wta is all about, you think about the women's tennis association founded by billiejean king on the nature of equality, treating women equally and always giving them a voice, so this is a really tough one for a women's organisation that does business in china, up until now, and it puts the dub eta at a crossroad with this present and past business partner, but all the players —— the wta. a country like china, that are about who is a winter in games,
athletes want to feel they are safe and we need to hear 100% certainty that peng is ok. and we need to hear 10096 certainty that peng is 0k-_ that peng is ok. china state media sa that that peng is ok. china state media say that peng _ that peng is ok. china state media say that peng is — that peng is ok. china state media say that peng is ok, _ that peng is ok. china state media say that peng is ok, obviously - say that peng is ok, obviously doubts raised about his —— its authenticity. is this good enough? -- its authenticity. is this good enou~h? ., a -- its authenticity. is this good enou~h? ., , ., enough? idol thicket is good enough. peole in enough? idol thicket is good enough. peeple in the — enough? idol thicket is good enough. people in the tennis _ enough? idol thicket is good enough. people in the tennis roglic_ enough? idol thicket is good enough. people in the tennis roglic to - enough? idol thicket is good enough. people in the tennis roglic to see - people in the tennis roglic to see her, hearfrom her directly —— i think it is good enough. perhaps see her doing a practice, things she has done since she was eight years old, picking up a racket. she was one of the best in the road in doubles, in singles, she has been to a grand slam semifinal, but even if she was not and was just a player who had not and was just a player who had not broken into the top 100 in the world, the wta is known as an organisation that cares about all their members, whether they are number one in the road or number 500
in the world, so i feel the confident the women's tennis association and women's professional tennis will do the right thing. there are other organisations would have a lot to stake here. the australian open, which has branded itself as the grand slam of the asia—pacific region, has very close ties to china and everyone knows if you speak up a certain way, you certainty put your business with china in danger, so me speaking out as an individual, i have close ties to china, i did play in the first ever professional turned and held in beijing, but otherwise, i do not matter —— professional tournament. if you are a business, who does business with china, it is a tough decision, isn't it? yes business with china, it is a tough decision, isn't it?— business with china, it is a tough decision, isn't it? yes indeed. pam shriver, thank— decision, isn't it? yes indeed. pam shriver, thank you _ decision, isn't it? yes indeed. pam shriver, thank you for _ decision, isn't it? yes indeed. pam shriver, thank you forjoining - decision, isn't it? yes indeed. pam shriver, thank you forjoining us i shriver, thank you forjoining us with your thoughts. ajudge in new york has officially exonerated two men wrongly convicted of the 1965 murder of the civil rights leader malcolm x.
thejudge said muhammad aziz and khalil islam, who spent two decades injail, had suffered a miscarriage ofjustice. a review found they had not received a fair trial and that police had withheld evidence. malcolm x was shot multiple times as he was preparing to give a speech. both men were paroled in the 1980s and khalil islam died in 2009. muhammad aziz — now 83 — spoke after the ruling. the events that brought us to court today should never have occurred. those events were and are the result of a process that was corrupt to its core — one that is all too familiar to black people in 2021. while i do not need this court, these prosecutors or a piece of paper to tell me i am innocent, i am glad that my family, my friends and the attorneys who have worked and supported me all of these years are finally seeing the truth that we have
all known officially recognised. malaysia is sometimes portrayed as a model moderate muslim nation — diverse, democratic but the case of nur sajat, a transgender malaysian entrepreneur, has exposed the difficulties lgbtqi communities experience there. our south east asia correspondent jonathan head has more. now safe in australia, nur sajat seems an unlikely refugee. the flamboyant malaysian cosmetics entrepreneur was very successful in her own country. her difficulties there stemmed from her gender identity. translation: i've had to save myself by moving to a better place. _ to continue living my life as a transgender woman and to be myself, i've had to seek a safer place, which is australia. nur sajat became a social media celebrity with her online makeup and fashion tips. her business thrived.
that she was transgender was widely known, but it was her insistence on being seen both as a woman and an observant muslim, and then posting about a pilgrimage she made last year to mecca, that stirred up hostility from some malaysian muslims. translation: i have to show my true self. j i'm a transgender woman. this is the way i live and the way i pray. when i pray, i'm more comfortable being myself and not pretending to be a man. she was arrested injanuary this year for insulting islam — videoing herself, clearly in distress, as she was, she said, assaulted by the religious police. we did ask the malaysian government's religious affairs department to comment on her case but have not had a response. on the surface, malaysia is a modern, multiethnic
society, but islam has a special constitutional status. and for muslims, sharia law governs family and moral matters. but many malaysians suspect the prosecution of nur sajat was less about religion, more a weak government seeking conservative muslim support as the economy flounders under the impact of covid—19. i think for a lot of malaysians, including the muslims, right, whether they like transgenders or not, they say, "look, sajat is such a small problem when you compare to what we are going through right now — the increasing poverty, the gap between the haves and have—nots." now she's out of malaysia, nur sajat is rebuilding her brand and her life in australia, where, she says, she can at least feel free to be herself. jonathan head, bbc news, bangkok.
that's it from us. goodbye. stay with bbc news. hello there. who'd have thought, by the middle of september, we'd still be experiencing temperatures during the middle of the afternoon into the mid—teens? that's exactly what happened on thursday, with temperatures peaking just over 16 celsius in parts of aberdeenshire. now for many, we are under this influence of high pressure, and a south—westerly flow is driving in a lot of cloud, but a lot of warmth with it. yes, a weather front into the far north, but it means we start off on an incredibly mild start this morning — these are more akin to daytime maximums at this time of year. so, double digits quite widely first thing. the cloud, however, thick enough for a spot or two of drizzle, quite a damp, murky start out to the west, and our weather front producing some heavy, persistent rain to the far north of scotland and the northern isles. top temperatures, though,
with a little bit of brightness into eastern scotland, maybe northeast england, once again 14—15, maybe 16 celsius. however, that front will gradually sink its way south through the weekend — it's a cold front, allowing the wind direction to change to a northerly and to bring quite a different feel to the weather as we go through the weekend. so on saturday, it'll weaken off considerably as it moves its way through northern ireland into northern england. ahead of it, we should get some sunshine. to the north of that, it will be a cooler feel with a scattering of showers — temperatures struggling to get into double figures by then. now, saturday night into sunday, the front continues to sink its way steadily southwards. we can track the isobars all the way back up into the arctic, that cold air is starting to take hold. it means, in sheltered, rural parts of scotland, we could see a touch of frost first thing on sunday morning. sunday, there will be some sunshine, but a keen northerly wind driving and some showers along the coast. and, factor in the wind direction and the strength, it will feel noticeably cooler, so temperatures struggling to get into double figures
right across the country. but watch this — those clear skies continue through the night, temperatures are likely to fall away in scotland and the north of england. we are likely to see more of a frost as lows get down to —2 in 1—2 places. so, a bit of a shock to the system in comparison to what we've had just lately. and in fact, to close out the month of november, it will stay on the cold side, the potential for some wintry showers later in the week with overnight frosts, as well.
this is bbc news, the headlines... us presidentjoe biden says washington could impose a diplomatic boycott of the beijing olympics. he said it's "something we're considering" as he sat down for a meeting with the canadian prime minister, justin trudeau. the polish authorities say belarus has cleared a migrant camp on the border that had been fuelling tensions between minsk and the european union. more than 1,000 people trying to reach the eu have been moved. more international tennis stars have expressed concern over chinese tennis player pung shway. —— peng shuai. she has not been seen since she accused a senior chinese state official of sexually assaulting her. the british government has announced its scaleing back its high—speed rail plans in the north of england, but says an alternative scheme will benefit travellers sooner. the opposition labour party has called the move "a betrayal of the north."
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