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tv   BBC News  BBC News  March 31, 2022 2:00am-2:31am BST

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so sol welcome to so i bbc news - i'm nuala mcgovern. our top stories. ukraine's military warns russia is regrouping its forces — we've a special report from the south of the country. shells land in these fields periodically and the next village, down the road, is occupied by russian troops and civilians have been killed in these villages. us intelligence suggests president putin feels misled by his armed forces, resulting in tensions with top generals. one of hollywood's biggest stars, bruce willis, is retiring from acting due to a brain condition. and a distant sun — we'll tell you about the newly—discovered star that dates back almost to the dawn of time.
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welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and around the globe. ukraine's president, volodymyr zelensky, has spoken to president biden seeking further military support, as russia continues its assault on his country. it comes as fighting is continuing around the capital kyiv and other northern cities, despite russia's pledge yesterday to draw back from these areas. in the south, too, russian forces have advanced further into the ruined city of mariupol. while in mykolaiv, 12 people were killed by a russian strike. in the east, russia's defence ministry has said they are focusing on the donbas region. our correspondent wyre davies reports from the frontline town of orikhiv in southern ukraine. a warning some viewers may find his report distressing.
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russia says it's not deliberately targeting civilians in this war. but there is no other description for what happened to natalia than deliberate. it's a miracle she's still alive, after the day russian troops occupied her town of polohy. translation: | walked i to where my mother lived. a soldier stopped me and i raised my hands. i told them i had been let through, but the soldier fired a burst of gunfire, hitting me in the legs. hitting me everywhere from the waist down. everything is damaged. my private parts, too. he was shooting to kill. orikhiv is the next town along the southern road from where natalia was shot. still in ukrainian hands, but regularly shelled by russia. this village is the last one before the front line. shells land in these fields periodically and the next village, down the road,
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is occupied by russian troops and civilians have been killed in these villages. now, many younger people have left here already, but others in particular, the elderly, they remain, but they know that they are taking a big risk. lyda's modest farm is right at the edge of orikhiv, the most exposed, dangerous part of town. she takes me to see where she sleeps. not in the house, but in this cold, damp cellar. primitive cover from the russian shells. "i am hiding here in this bunker, because they're bombing us and attacking us from each side," says lyda. "i hate them, i hate them. we used to live in peace and we were happy." speculation about russian troop withdrawals around kyiv is treated with scepticism
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here in the south, where heavy fighting continues. russia's assault on mariupol is intense. civilians like natasha, who was blinded by russian shelling, are still suffering. translation: my sons were in the basement. l the 19—year—old visits me, but as for the five—year—old, i don't think he should be seeing his mum like this. i miss them so much. i want to give my little boy a hug and a kiss. wyre davies, bbc news, orikhiv. that's the picture in ukraine. meanwhile, the white house says it has intelligence that president putin feels misled by the russian military over ukraine, resulting in tensions with top generals — more on that in a moment. in russia itself, there's further signs of a clampdown on internal dissent. here's our russia editor steve rosenberg.
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there were peace talks this week, but there's no peace yet. the russian military released these images of it launching ballistic missiles towards ukraine. an army spokesman said russia was continuing its special military operation, and had destroyed fuel storage sites, arms depots, and ukrainian drones. continuing in russia, encouraged by the authorities, public displays of support for the offensive. these buses form the letter z, that's painted on russian military vehicles in ukraine. you will find zs on billboards, on government buildings, even on the side of theatres. and here, this is the home of human rights activist oleg orlov. those who criticise russia's onslaught in ukraine have become targets of abuse. translation: russia is heading
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towards, in fact has almost - arrived at, something very similar to what we saw in germany in the 1930s. everything feels very familiar. and that's important. in russia right now, there is no room for alternative views, for public expressions that contradict official opinion. and that is particularly true of events in ukraine. the kremlin wants the public here to believe that the russian offensive there is both necessary and just. the russian authorities have banned the word "war", in relation to ukraine. so, when dmitry reznikov took part in an anti—war protest, he didn't use any words at all. he was still arrested, though, and fined for "discrediting the russian army". translation: i was detained within 30 seconds. _ i don't think it
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would have mattered what was written there. some people have been arrested just for holding up a plain piece of paper. because everyone knows what it means and what it stands for. in vladimir putin's russia, even the slightest hint of dissent is seen by those in power here as a significant threat, to be eliminated. but, in a country where opposition to the government has been crushed, where critical voices are being silenced, where the media is under almost total state control, for now, the kremlin doesn't feel under any public pressure to make peace in ukraine. steve rosenberg, bbc news, moscow. let's speak to former us ambassador to ukraine john herbst, whose tenure included the ukrainian orange revoluton of 200a.
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we begin with the white house declassified intelligence, saying that the russian military could be met leading pro—putin. military could be met leading pro-mim— pro-putin. what is your assessment _ pro-putin. what is your assessment of - pro-putin. what is your assessment of that - pro-putin. what is your - assessment of that statement? it has been known among experts for years— it has been known among experts for years that the increasingly authoritarian and isolated putin ~~ _ authoritarian and isolated putin... in inaudible. they— putin... in inaudible. they try— putin... in inaudible. they try to figure out what he wants to hear, so this is a serious problem. i like the sound of the cuckoo clock we can hear in the background! but with this, if somebody cannot give him a true assessment of what's happening on the ground, how might that affect negotiations? i am just
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thinking, if they are negotiating on april the ist, if mr putin hasn't got a clear picture of what's happening on the ground, maybe his demands would be, how would i say, not achievable? i would be, how would i say, not achievable?— achievable? i suspect he has some idea — achievable? i suspect he has some idea now _ achievable? i suspect he has some idea now that - achievable? i suspect he has some idea now that his - achievable? i suspect he has| some idea now that his grand plans have failed, and russian forces are bogged down. but it may well be that he is getting overly optimistic reports about what might happen next. it's very clear those negotiations are something putin has permitted but not endorsed. so nothing the russian negotiators say have any meaning until we know putin himself is behind it. anything he has said is consistent with his... inaudible. where do you see it going from here? we see the pictures coming out, the reports from my colleagues in moscow or on the
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ground of what people are experiencing, the lack of information going through to moscow... how do you see mr putin progressing from this point? i putin progressing from this oint? , , ., , , point? i believe he still hopes his military — point? i believe he still hopes his military can _ point? i believe he still hopes his military can deliver - point? i believe he still hopes his military can deliver a - his military can deliver a knockout blow. but we know the claims coming not from putin but in this case from senior ministry of defence officials and senior russian officers, that they were going to be pulling forces away and stopping the offensive against kyiv and other cities in the centre and the west, and focus on the east, that has not happened. there might have been a slight withdrawal of troops, but only slight, and the bombing of kyiv and other cities continue, yet not in the east, so we have a no true indication of a change in russian tactics, but we are waiting to see if it happens. with that, does it have to be
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seeing the actions on the ground to actually believe anything said by the kremlin? i think you have to say things on the ground that match their commitments and promises. when it comes to the spoken word, if putin doesn't say it, we should assume it is not authoritative. and if he does say it, he may be lying. the only flexibility we have heard from russians have not come from the mouth of the leader, putin himself, so they should be taken with a great deal of scepticism. the other thing — great deal of scepticism. the other thing is _ great deal of scepticism. the other thing is the _ great deal of scepticism. the other thing is the war of narratives as well as the war taking place on the ground. some will ask, can you believe what the us is saying?- what the us is saying? well, information _ what the us is saying? well, information from _ what the us is saying? well, | information from government always has a certain proprietary interest. but there was a vast difference in the information that comes from the russian government or the us government, ukrainian government, ukrainian government, british government.
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we know senior russian officials were saying there would be no invasion of ukraine, before he launched the invasion on february 2a, so we know they lied. putin said up until he decided not to say it that the russian troops wouldn't seize crimea in 2014, so there is a clear pattern of huge deceit coming from the kremlin. i don't think you can see clearly such a pattern from washington or western capitals orfor washington or western capitals or for that matter from kyiv. thank you for your analysis. the only trial in the us involving a member of one of the most infamous terrorist organisations in the world has begun. 33—year—old el shafee el sheikh, from the uk, was part of an islamic state group cell nicknamed the beatles by captives because of their english accents. el sheikh is accused of murdering american and british hostages in syria. our north america correspondent
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nomia iqbal reports. they were once considered one of the most brutal terrorist organisations on the planet. the islamic state group, the self—declared caliphate, controlled huge parts of syria and iraq in 2014, claiming responsibility for acts of terror across the world, including the 2015 paris attacks. a group of men became infamous as part of is propaganda. the so—called beatles were given their nickname by their captives due to the fact all four were from the uk. they were a cell of is and filmed gruesome and horrific beheadings ofjournalists and aid workers on camera. the chief member was mohammed emwazi, nicknamedjihadijohn. today, your military air force is attacking us daily in iraq. he was eventually killed by a drone strike in 2015. aine davis is injail in turkey, convicted on terrorism offences. alexanda kotey and el shafee elsheikh were captured
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in 2018 by syrian kurds. they were asked by the bbc at the time about their involvement with the so—called islamic state. do you still deny that you are a member of the group known as the beatles, which carried out executions and beheadings? yes, of course. el shafei? same question? yes _ the uk eventually agreed for the men to be tried here in the us, after the death penalty was taken off the table. the entire united states government remains committed to bringing to justice anyone who harms our citizens and today we are demonstrating that resolve by bringing to our shores two men who left britain to become isis terrorists. now they are going to face justice in an american court of law for crimes against american citizens. but last year, kotey pleaded guilty in a us court to all the charges.
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el shafee elsheikh maintains his innocence. he is charged with the murders ofjournalists james foley, steven sotloff and aid workers abdul—rahman kassig and kayla mueller. he is also accused of being involved with the deaths of british aid workers david haines and alan henning. none of their bodies have been found. this is a huge moment for the families of those who died. they will be attending the trial and looking for answers. they have long wanted this once—feared terror group to finally face western justice. nomia iqbal, bbc news, virginia. stay with us on bbc news, still to come. an image that was 13 billion years in the making — we'll tell you about hubble's latest amazing discovery. the accident that happened here was of the sort that can,
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at worst, produce a meltdown. in this case, the precautions worked, but they didn't work quite well enough to prevent some old fears about the safety features of these stations from resurfacing. the republic of ireland has become the first country in the world to ban smoking in the workplace. from today, anyone lighting up in offices, businesses, pubs and restaurants will face a heavy fine. the president was on his way out of the washington hilton hotel, where he had been addressing a trade union conference. the small crowd outside included his assailant. it has become - a symbol of paris. 100 years ago, many parisians| wished it had never been built. the eiffel tower's birthday is- being marked by a re—enactment of the first ascent by gustav eiffel. i
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this is bbc news, the latest headlines. ukraine's military has warned that russia is regrouping its forces, a day after moscow said it would scale down its operations. us intelligence suggests president putin feels misled by the military, resulting in tensions with top generals. one of hollywood's biggest stars, bruce willis, is to retire from acting after struggling to work while suffering with a brain condition. willis is best known for starring in the die hard film series as well as cult movie hit pulp fiction. his family released a statement saying he had been diagnosed with aphasia, a neurological disorder caused by damage to the portions of the brain responsible for language production or processing. we can now speak to sandro monetti, editor in chief of hollywood international filmmaker magazine. sandro is also chief
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operating officer of big screen entertainment group and has previously worked with bruce willis, hejoins us from los angeles. i'm loving your backdrop, all the movies you are into. but this is very sad news, when i read about it, a number of hours ago. for many of us, we have grown up with bruce willis there as part of our cinema diet, and to hear he may be suffering and having to step away from acting, very sad. what do we know?- away from acting, very sad. what do we know? yes, for those of us who — what do we know? yes, for those of us who love _ what do we know? yes, for those of us who love bruce _ what do we know? yes, for those of us who love bruce willis - what do we know? yes, for those of us who love bruce willis and i of us who love bruce willis and the characters he has created, this is a day of sadness and disbelief, really. what a place he has in the history of hollywood. he is the $5 billion man, that is how much his movies have grossed in total at
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the box office. and what we know is the condition you described makes it impossible for him to continue in acting. but he has been a champion on screen, and in real life, and importantly he has a loving family around him. that was shown when the whole family released a statement. the statement _ released a statement. the statement released - released a statement. the statement released on - released a statement. the statement released on instagram by rumer willis, telling people what to expect and why he is stepping away. we what to expect and why he is stepping away-— what to expect and why he is stepping away. we haven't seen the last of— stepping away. we haven't seen the last of bruce _ stepping away. we haven't seen the last of bruce willis - stepping away. we haven't seen the last of bruce willis on - the last of bruce willis on screen, he has filmed six movies that are yet to be released. and i can exclusively reveal that last year he sold his digital image rights to a world—class technology company in europe, which means his a i image has already made a tv commercial over in europe
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without him having to be there. so there is the possibility for the future with bruce willis' blessing that somehow he could appear in films and tv shows, but because of this cognitive disability, he won't be able to be there in person any more. bruce willis, what a legend. die hard, they will still be watching that in 100, 200, 300 years. watching that in 100, 200, 300 ears. , , watching that in 100, 200, 300 ears. ,, ~' watching that in 100, 200, 300 ears. ,, ~ years. yippee ki-yay. he was married to — years. yippee ki-yay. he was married to demi _ years. yippee ki-yay. he was married to demi moore, - years. yippee ki-yay. he was married to demi moore, and| years. yippee ki-yay. he was i married to demi moore, and the relationship is warm even after they split. co—parenting, as we saw with the post from rumer willis testifying. i didn't know about the a i, that is fascinating. i am going to go to the abba concert where they are holograms or whatever. an avatar, that's correct, although this is really me!
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will that look just although this is really me! will that lookjust like although this is really me! will that look just like a person, will that lookjust like a person, do will that look just like a person, do you will that lookjust like a person, do you think, with will that look just like a person, do you think, with that particular a i, person, do you think, with that particulara i, if person, do you think, with that particular a i, if it is bruce willis? ., �* , particular a i, if it is bruce willis? ., �*, ., ., ., willis? yeah, it's amazing how the company _ willis? yeah, it's amazing how the company do _ willis? yeah, it's amazing how the company do it. _ willis? yeah, it's amazing how the company do it. they - willis? yeah, it's amazing how the company do it. they can i the company do it. they can take an image and turn it into an avatar in three days. they get an actor with the same physical dimensions as bruce willis and they lay on a digital body print and then you have a commercial. bruce willis, notjust a pioneer of action films, but a pioneer in tech as well. we were lucky enough to work with him at big screen entertainment group, making one of his films, distributing another. what an honour and a privilege to work with a true star, a true professional. we didn't notice any problems 18 years ago. reportedly on his most recent movie he wore an earpiece to be
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fed the lines. so there were signs of problems there. he has decided to address the health issues, his ex—wife, his current wife, his five kids, his blended family, he is surrounded by love notjust on their but from movie fans all over the world. we their but from movie fans all over the world.— their but from movie fans all over the world. we are rooting for ou, over the world. we are rooting for you, bruce. _ over the world. we are rooting for you, bruce. thank - over the world. we are rooting for you, bruce. thank you - over the world. we are rooting for you, bruce. thank you so l for you, bruce. thank you so much. here in the uk, the labour leader sir keir starmer has accused borisjohnson of "taking the public for fools" by not resigning over the row about lockdown parties in government buildings. the metropolitan police announced yesterday at least 20 fixed penalty notices would be issued. our politcal correspondent, iain watson reports. behind closed doors during lockdown, police say covid rules were broken at the heart of government. they are in the process of issuing 20 fines, and more may follow. are you expecting a fine - in the post, prime minister? today the prime minister faced questions, but he wasn't keen to answer some of them. he told the house no rules were broken in downing street during lockdown. the police have now concluded there was widespread criminality.
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why is he still here? the investigators must get on with theirjob, but in the meantime... and they should let... in the meantime, mr speaker, we are going to get on with ourjob. just a few hours later, the questions continued when the prime minister was grilled by a committee of senior mps. could you tell us whether you are one of the 20 people who received one of these fixed penalty notices? and he made it clear that so far, at least, he hasn't been fined. i'm sure you'd know if i were. but he was pressed on whether he'd acknowledge there had been wrongdoing in downing street. you can at least accept that there has been criminality committed? there is an ongoing investigation, and... it's quite a simple question. i understand the point you're making, but i'm going to, you know, camp pretty firmly on my position. but the big concern people have
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is that you are not able to be i clear or straight on these issues, if you can't evenl answer the question as to - whether any laws were broken. but no conservative mp publicly challenged the prime minister. one senior member of the party explained it like this. they said there is exasperation with borisjohnson, but we are not going to ditch the prime minister during the ukraine conflict or during a cost of living crisis so increasingly, partygate is looking partisan. the bbc�*s tim allman reports. for more than 30 years, the hubble space telescope has been orbiting the earth, scanning the cosmos, looking for the unknown, the extraordinary, the seemingly impossible. its latest discovery, perhaps its most amazing yet, a celestial object that is a long, long, long way away. you see that red stripe
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in the centre of the screen? it is a crescent of light that has been dubbed the sunrise arc. almost hidden away inside it, barely a smudge, is a star, the most distant star we have ever seen. they have called it earendel, old english for morning star. and it came into creation less than a billion years after the big bang. the hubble can see that far back into the distance and so it is seeing the light that is basically being emitted right now by that star, where the light that we are seeing here on earth was created 12.9 billion years ago. normally, a single star at that distance would be impossible to see, but a phenomenon called gravitational lensing played its part if a cluster of galaxies happen to be in the way, they can bend and increase the light of a more distant object, effectively becoming a cosmic magnifying glass. there is speculation earendel may be what is known
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as a pioneer star, one of the first stars to shine in the universe — a mystery, a marvel. practically from the dawn of time. tim allman, bbc news. hello there. spring is on hold as we edge towards the end of march. cold air has been sweeping southwards. some of us have seen some sleet and some snow. and through thursday, the day starts off with a widespread frost and some ice. it's going to turn into a day of sunny spells and wintry showers. this cold front has been ushering in the cold air. along the line of this weather front, a band of cloud, rain, sleet and snow. behind it, speckled shower clouds in cold air. that's where we have some wintry showers feeding in from the north. so the very first part of the morning, we'll tend to clear that rain, sleet and snow away from the far south. some of those wintry showers continuing to push into especially eastern
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scotland and northeast england, but there will be one or two elsewhere. temperatures widely falling below freezing, —4 or —5 to start the day across some rural northern areas, and ice a potential difficulty across parts of eastern scotland and northeast england. through the day, it's a mix of sunny spells and wintry showers, the showers a mixture of rain, sleet, hail and snow, most accumulating snow, i think, confined to the hills. could be a few more showers just easing into southeast england at times, where it will be windy. around some of these eastern coasts, could see gusts of 40—50 miles per hour, just adding to that cold feel. temperatures for most between 5 and 8 degrees, maybe 10 in parts of south wales and southwest england. through thursday night, we will see further wintry showers streaming in from the northeast, potentially some more persistent rain, sleet and hill snow clipping the far southeast of england, and temperatures again widely below freezing. a widespread frost for friday morning. could well be some icy stretches here and there. for friday, for most, it's a similar day, a cold day, a bright day, with plenty of sunshine but some further wintry showers. we will see some slightly
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more widespread rain, sleet and snow pushing into western scotland, maybe getting into parts of northern ireland as we go through the afternoon. temperatures, well, maybe just a notch higher, but still disappointing for what will be the 1st of april, 6 to 10 degrees. and those temperatures don't climb an awful lot through the weekend — they may climb a little. there's quite a lot of dry weather on the way, but there will be some showers as well. but as we head into next week, signs of a more significant change. the winds turn to westerlies, and that will bring milder air from the atlantic. with that, though, some rain at times.
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this is bbc news. the headlines... ukraine's president zelensky has warned that russia is moving its forces away from the capital and the north to prepare for new strikes on the donbas area in the east of the country. he added that this redeployment was a consequence of the ukrainian military�*s defence of kyiv and chernihiv. british and us intelligence agencies say russia's invasion of ukraine has been hampered because president putin is not being given an accurate picture of events on the ground. the white house says it's led to tensions between mr putin and his generals. there's been no response yet from the kremlin. one of the biggest stars in hollywood — bruce willis — is to retire from the acting profession. a statement from the
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67—year—old's family said he had been diagnosed with a language disorder

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