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tv   Newsday  BBC News  December 8, 2021 1:00am-1:30am GMT

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welcome to newsday, reporting live from singapore, i'm karishma vaswani. the headlines. a high—stakes virtual summit amidst the build up of russia troops on the ukrainian border. president biden warns of economic consequences — vladimir putin blames provocative actions by kyiv and nato. australia willjoin a diplomatic boycott of the beijing olympics next february. prime minister scott morrison said china had failed to respond to australian concerns about its human rights record. a saudi man suspected of involvement in the killing of saudi journalist, jamal khashoggi, is arrested in paris. and, in the uk, leaked footage sparks a row over what appears to be officials joking about a covid christmas party last year — breaching lockdown rules —
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at number 10 downing street. welcome to the programme. president biden has used a video call with vladimir putin to express concern about russia's build—up of forces near ukraine. mr biden reiterated his support for ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and warned of strong economic consequences in the event of a russian invasion. russia described accusations it planned to invade ukraine as hysteria — and said its troops didn't pose a threat to anyone. the kremlin said nato was responsible for the rising tensions in the region.
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during a briefing after that meeting, the us national security adviserjake sullivan told reporters what would happen if russia attacked. in the event that there is a further invasion into ukraine, a military escalation in the ukraine, many of our partners on the eastern front, our baltic allies, romania, poland, other countries, will be increasingly concerned about the security and territorial integrity of their countries. they will be seeking, we expect, additional capabilities and potentially additional deployments looking to respond positively to those things in the event that there is further incursion into the ukraine. well our state department correspondent barbara plett usher has more on what type of sanctions the us could impose. although he did say these were measures that the west had not been prepared to take in 2014 when russia invaded crimea, we understand what they're talking about is various forms of financial sanctions
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and also the nordstream2 gas pipeline from russia to europe could be a possible target. he also mentioned other actions, he said if there was an invasion, then the us would increase its supply of defensive materials, including weapons, to ukraine. there's already a pipeline for that. and that the americans would fortify their allies in eastern europe with extra capabilities and deployments and again there are already us troop deployments rotating in and out of eastern europe since the 2014 crimea invasion to give them extra training and support. but that would be stepped up if there was another russian invasion. matthew rojansky is a leading analyst of us relations with russia and ukraine, and director of the wilson center's kennan institute. he says it's still not clear what action russia will take. the first question i would ask is whether in fact the russians intend to invade?
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what we know with certainty is that they have positioned enough troops to do some very lethal damage and indeed, as jake sullivan pointed out very clearly, cause all of europe to become nervous and reorient the european security situation. it doesn't mean they will do it. and i think in part what putin may be up to here is to declare that the era of fighting over the ukraine in a certain sense is over. he recognises that he has lost the opportunity to control the outcome in ukraine. but he is establishing a new dividing line in europe for europe writ large. which is a scary prospect but it is a bit more long—term than imminent. what do you think the russians would've made of this meeting? will they have got what they wanted out of this? i think to an extent, putin wanted the meeting itself and that he's certainly got.
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he explicitly wanted russia to have security dialogue with the united states and nato. and the president agreed to that. there's very little cost to the united states for having that conversation. i do not expect that russia's demands about a red line or some kind of promise of no further expansion of nato or any other western institution, that those would ever be agreed to. but that said, the conversation can be had. my guess is, the united states having delivered a tough message, having talked about sanctions and i think this message we heard from jake sullivan about the need to reassure, looking favourably on providing reassurance, including rotation of troops to european allies is a very tough message as well. so the united states got what it wanted to deliver out of that conversation. i think putin got what he wanted in the form of the conversation and the opening to the broader european security dialogue as well. and you can get much more on this story on our website —
1:06 am including a section where bbc experts answer your questions about the current state of affairs between russia, the us and ukraine, and this analysis on whether russia is preparing to invade ukraine. all that and more on the bbc website, or download the bbc news app. australia's prime minister scott morrison has confirmed australia willjoin a diplomatic boycott of the beijing olympics next february. he said the chinese government has not yet made any attempts to respond to several issues raised by australia including alleged human rights abuses. the united states confirmed they would not be sending any
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his government's decision not to send officials to the winter olympics should come as no surprise. china says it will be delivering countermeasures to australia and we'll have to wait and see how china reacts to this. yes, indeed. we have heard some pretty stern reaction from beijing to what
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the us has decided. butjust on the fact that australia has now joined the united states. momentum does seem to be building around this sort of diplomatic boycott of the beijing winter olympics. who knows which country will follow next. but i think it was inevitable that australia would follow its close ally, the united states. the military, the defence alliance between australia and its most important security partner, the united states, dates back to the early 1950s. the australian olympic committee says it supports the government in canberra's decision. so what that means is that a0 australian athletes will be competing in beijing but those australian politicians and diplomats would normally attend an event like this will be staying away and as far as australia is concerned, it believes that it is part now of an international movement, sending a very clear message to china that these alleged
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human rights abuses of its uighur minorities won't be tolerated and as we say, we wait to see what china's broader reaction to this will be. it's emerged that senior british government staff joked about holding a christmas party last year in breach of covid restrictions just four days after a controversial drinks party is alleged to have taken place at the prime minister's residence in downing street. a video recording leaked to itv news appears to show boris johnson's spokesperson at the time fielding questions about the party in a mock news conference. no 10 insists no party took place. our political editor laura kuenssberg reports. party? what party? the party that number 10 said didn't happen.
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the building where boris johnson said tight covid rules were always followed. the party last year that a guest told us had food, drinks and games, and the party we now seem to see downing street staffjoking about a few days later. this was a practice press conference for allegra stratton, just hired as the prime minister's press spokesperson. i've just seen reports on twitter that there was a downing street party last friday night. i went home! in a video obtained by itv news, laughing in response to questions from an adviser, ed oldfield, about the downing street drinks. what's the answer? i don't know! is cheese and wine ok! at a time when socialising for everyone was meant to be strictly off—limits. this fictional party was a business meeting. and it was not socially distanced! the fictional party was a business meeting, she says, laughing about the office
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that was making the rules, not following them. in the real world outside numberio, pubs had been closed, socialising was strictly off—limits as covid took hold again. lockdown was back. there were fines for holding parties. and on that day, 562 people lost their lives to the virus. three, two, one! the problem for borisjohnson 12 months on was notjust a few dozen of his staff got together, nor the laughter about it now revealed, but that all week he hasn't been straight about exactly what went on. this was prime minister's questions a week yesterday, a notable non—denial. all guidance was followed completely during number 10... a refusal to give more detail on friday. we followed the guidance throughout and continue to follow it. and then again today. all i can tell you is that all the guidelines were observed. but tonight, outrage from the opposition.
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last year at christmas, the public follow the rules, and many of them didn't see their loved ones over christmas. some of them didn't see their loved ones again. they had the right to expect the government to follow the rules, and we now know the government broke the rules, they partied, and now they're laughing about it. they're treating the public with contempt. boris johnson has tried i to lead us a merry dance, tried to claim that these things didn't happen. i his position, i would have to say, is untenable. - near quiet from number 10 itself tonight, a statement only. as we have repeatedly stated, there was no christmas party. covid rules have been followed at all times. but there is genuine concern in the tory party itself. can that position hold through a silent night? you're watching newsday on the bbc. still to come on the programme... the prime minster on the front line of climate change —
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we meet samoa's feeya may naomi mata'fa as part of the bbc 100 women series. john lennon was shot at the entrance of the dakota building in the centre of new york. there's been a crowd here standing and putting on a silent vigil and the flowers have been piling up. the 14th ceasefire of this war ended at the walls of the old city. witnesses say that the shells were landing every 20 seconds. people are celebrating the passing of a man they hold responsible for hundreds of deaths and oppression. elsewhere, people have been gathering to mourn his passing. the widow of the former. president of the philippines has gone on trial in manila. she is facing seven - charges of tax evasion,
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estimated at £120 million. she pleaded not guilty. the prince and princess of wales are to separate. a statement from buckingham palace said the decision had been reached amicably. this is newsday on the bbc. our headlines... a high—stakes virtual summit has been held amid heightened tensions over ukraine. president biden warned of tighter economic sanctions following a huge buildup of russian military — vladimir putin blamed provocative actions by kyiv. australia willjoin a diplomatic boycott of the beijing olympics next february. prime minister scott morrison said china had failed to respond to australian concerns about its human rights record. french police have arrested a saudi national suspected of involvement in the murder ofjournalist jamal khashoggi in 2018.
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the suspect was arrested at an airport in paris. mr khashoggi, who was a prominent critic of the saudi regime, wrote for the washington post. he was murdered at the saudi consulate in istanbul. his body was later dismembered. but the saudi embassy in paris says the 33 year old saudi national is not linked to the case and should be released immediately. the former un special rapporteur of extrajudicial killings, agnes callamard, who investigated the khashoggi murder, explains why this arrest could be an important breakthrough. translation: he is a part of the group responsible for receiving the body or parts of the body of mrjamal khashoggi. he is believed to be one of those who decided to where the body was hidden. so, this individual could have extremely important information for the justice and for the family.
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our security correspondent frank gardner, told us more about the saudi national arrested near paris. he is a person who is a 33—year—old member of the saudi royal guard and part of the infrastructure around the crown prince. he was sanctioned already by the west as somebody who was named in taking part of the hit team that murdered jamal khashoggi. they held a very secretive behind closed doors trial, they sentenced five people to death but commuted those to 20 year prison life sentences in prison and their view is nothing to see here, move along. turkey and human rights groups disagree. they say the real culprits of this got away clean
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with it and the human rights special rapporter has been calling for a full investigation. turkey issued a number of international arrest warrants, of which this is one. he was arrested due to a turkish warrant and it would be really interesting to see what france does because this is potentially quite a diplomatic minefield for france. they have a very good relationship with saudi arabia and the president has recently been there and was the first major western leader to meet the crown prince since that murder, at least publicly, and does lots of deals that they would like in saudi arabia. there is a flurry of phone between riyadh and paris saying do you really want to do this because this isn't going to be good for france if you do this. but of the course of law runs its way, it is possible he could even be extradited to turkey to stand trial, which would be very embarrassing for the saudis. the british government has been defending its evacuation of people from afghanistan when the taliban took over — after a whistle blower at the uk foreign office called it �*dysfunctional and chaotic�*.
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he said it was clear some of those left behind had since been murdered by the taliban. our diplomatic correspondent james landale reports. this was kabul airport last summer as thousands sought to flee the advancing taliban. amid chaotic scenes, britain and other western powers tried to evacuate those they could, but according to a whistle—blower, there was chaos in london, too. the foreign office crisis centre was handling requests from afghans who were at risk because of their links to the uk. a young official working there called raphael marshall said the process of choosing who could be evacuated was arbirtrary and dysfunctional. he said up to 150,000 people applied for evacuation under the scheme but he estimated fewer than 5% of these people have received any assistance. it is clear that some of the those left behind have since been murdered by the taliban. one weekend in august,
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when these afghans were trying to get out, mr marshall said in london there weren't enough staff with too few working overtime, and on one afternoon he was the only one monitoring emails. thousands of which remained unread. mr marshall also said dominic raab the then foreign secretary delayed taking decisions until he had all the facts set out in well presented tables. an interpretation mr raab disputed. in terms of presentation, | of course with the volume of claims coming in, - i make no apology for saying i needed the clear facts. for each case so we could make swift decisions. we already knew that many afghans have struggled to get in contact with the foreign office here, mps have raised many of their cases. what this evidence does is tell us what was going on inside and it's a story of a system that just wasn't working. and this afternoon mps got to ask the men responsible
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why? if this isn't what failure looks like and i will come onto the specifics of why i think the civil service crisis system clearly failed in this. what does failure look like? as i said, we successfully... no, i'm sorry. this isn't about the headlines, this is about the system, the bureaucratic civil service system which should be running a proper crisis centre, fully staffed. we declared a crisis. we went through the gears and putting more people in. what both government and whistle blower agree is that not have people were evacuated in the summer and there are many afghans with links to britain who have yet to leave and still face danger. our correspondent secunder kermani is in kabul and told us what we know about about the fate of people who were trying to leave. about about the fate of people some about about the fate of people of them have recon! themselves some of them have reconciled themselves to the fact of living under the taliban but
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some are trying to look for ways because of the economic crisis here or fearing retribution from the taliban. amongst those stranded here is a former british army interpreter who i have been in contact with. he is living in hiding and he submitted his application months ago but has yet to receive any response. i understand some other interpreters have been evacuated in recent weeks. this process has been particularly difficult for those afghans were not directly employed by the british or other foreign governments but he played important roles in civil society here, journalists, activists, many of them have travelled across the border to pakistan on short—term visas, hoping then to find western they can travel onto but many are really struggling to get any results with that. the british government had announced a policy to accept up to 20,000 vulnerable afghans over the next five years, applications for that have not yet started, as per reports of killings, it's been very hard to verify incidents, but we
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know of at least one incident in which an individual who used to work for the security forces, linked to britain, was killed however. at least thirty—eight people were killed in a fire in an overcrowded prison in gitega, the capital of burundi. the country's vice president said nearly seventy others were seriously injured. many of the dead were elderly. burundi's interior ministry said the fire was caused by an electrical short—circuit. a bill legalising same—sex marriage has had a comfortable passage through both houses of parliament in chile, which now becomes the eighth latin american country to authorise such unions. chile, which legalised same—sex civil unions six years ago, has been awaiting this bill since 2017, when it was sent to congress by the socialist then—president michelle bachelet. she is the first woman to be prime minister of samoa in the south pacific. feeya may naomi mata—affa has been in politics
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since the age of 27, and she's just been named on the bbc�*s list of the 100 most inspiring and influential women from across the globe. megha mohan has been talking to her. samoa, in the south pacific. one of the many island nations where climate change is an imminent threat. this village was settled along this beachfront. but you will see now that most of the village have relocated to higher ground. samoa's first female prime minister, fiame naomi mata'afa, is on the front line. as things stand, her island is projected to experience a sea—level rise of up to 15 centimetres by 2030. she believes the global response to tackling covid could be a blueprint for the climate crisis. that's a very clear example of what we can do when they are pushed to act.
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how do we capture that sense of urgency? and the needed collaboration for climate change? neighbouring pacific island fiji became the first in the world to introduce a climate relocation fund. tukuraki was the first non—coastal village to be permanently moved. liti is from there. a landslide and two cyclones obliterated her previous home and liti sheltered in this cave during extreme weather events. liti, this is the cave where you stayed? although liti now has a new home, she still keeps supplies in the cave as insurance. across the world, its estimated one person a second is forced to flee their home because of climate—related weather events. that number is alarming.
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it is three times as many people that were displaced by war and conflict. back in samoa, the prime minister says climate issues are a problem notjust for governments, but for humanity. it's not rocket science. no—one else will save us. we have to save ourselves. the un has said 97% of the pacific island population is vulnerable to sea—level rise, on account of living close to the coast. success or failures of climate talks will be seen here first. samoa will be a bellwether for the planet's future. megha mohan, bbc news. tuesday marked the 80th anniversary of the japanese attack on the us naval base in pearl harbour, hawaii. presidentjoe biden visited the world war two memorial in washington to observe the anniversary. the attack on december 7, 1941, killed 2,390 americans. malaya, as it used to be known, guam, the philippines, wake island and midway island were also attacked and japanese
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forces had begun invading thailand hours earlier. that's all for now — stay with bbc world news. hello. it looks like we have probably seen the worst of storm barrow for now the worst of the winds were in the west coast of wales, 86mph. around inland areas it was typically a0 or 50mph. as well as those strong winds, we had a spell of snow, briefly, over the pennines and into the southern uplands before the snowy weather moved into the highlands and grampian region. that not moved away. all the cloud that has been swirling around the centre of the storm that's crossing northern ireland and heading towards the north of england and southern parts of scotland. it's just going to sit around during wednesday. the store and southern parts of scotland.
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it's just going to sit around during wednesday. the storm continuing to weaken, the winds lessening all the while with stronger winds means it will be a milder start to wednesday. typical temperatures, three, a or 5. still windy for many on wednesday, just not as windy. the strongest winds likely to be across the west and south—west, south—west england, around 60mph on the coast for a time, showers and longer spells of rain, the wettest weather with strongest winds will be in wales. may be cold enough for some snow over the higher parts of scotland, may be the tops of the pennines, typical temperatures are 6 or 7. by thursday, the storm is no more, continuing to weaken, pressure rising and the wind is dropping, instead we find a weather front nosing from the atlantic. we are left with one or two showers a rant on thursday, lighter winds by this stage and we find some sunshine but there will be a weather front bringing cloud and rain into northern ireland, parts of wales in the south—west of
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england. ahead of that, temperatures showing little signs of change. the wetter weather will continue eastwards over night, there could be more snow over higher parts of scotland, it looks like it will move fairly quickly, out of the way by friday. instead we have a north—westerly wind, probably a north—westerly wind, probably a stronger wind as well but essentially it is a day of sunshine and showers. many southern and eastern areas are trite with the best of the sunshine, most of the showers in the north and west of the uk, could be wintry over the hills. again, temperatures not changing very much, typically 6 or 7 .
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this week — poetry bot writes a classic. electric truck goes round the bend. and it's time we stop — hey, what's that sound? horns blare.


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