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tv   Dateline London  BBC News  May 15, 2022 2:30am-3:00am BST

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this is bbc news, the headlines: at least ten people have been killed in a mass shooting at a grocery store in the us city of buffalo in new york state. the 18—year—old suspect has been taken into custody. police are calling it a hate crime and an act of "racially motivated violent extremism". the mayor of ukraine's second—largest city kharkiv has told the bbc that russian troops have withdrawn from his city, which has been under constant bombardment since the invasion began. but president zelensky has said the situation in the eastern donbas region remains very difficult. abortion rights supporters are protesting in cities across the united states against a probable supreme court decision to overturn the roe v wade case, that legalised abortion nationwide.
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large rallies have taken place in houston, new york, washington, los angeles and chicago. now on bbc news, dateline london. hello and welcome to the programme. it brings together the foreign journalists who write, blog and broadcast to audiences back home from the dateline in london. it has been a convention busting week, this one. a queen's speech delivered for the first time in 70 years by a royal other than the queen, two countries, strictly neutral for 80 years, preparing to take sides, in northern ireland, a party in favour of reuniting the island of ireland,
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topping the poll for the first time in the century since ireland was partitioned. to discuss all of that we have brian o'connell, a bureau chief in london for the irish broadcaster rte, a portuguese journalist and university lecturer and newly british citizen, and jeffrey goffman, who has been able corresponding and new news anchor in canada and the united states. good to have you with us. we start with nato expansion. sweden and finland. the sweden president said he is going on friday, to ring president putin and tell him that the situation has changed. how big a change is this? i think if you had looked ten years ago and said this, it was impossible. this was a religion in these two countries, this neutrality, the concept of being western but not glued at the hip or fused at the hip. i think that this is really affirmation that while ukraine is losing in a sense of the devastation to
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the country, russia can't win. putin's legacy is exactly... when he looked in the mirror and said, let's do this, this is not what he saw. his view was, occupy ukraine in three days and shatter nato. he has done the exact opposite. he has done the impossible. he's actually united the desperate countries the disperate countries of the west, in the eu nato, and he has created a cohesive western agenda. hungary is a bit of an outlier, but even hungary towing a line with nato, the eu, and i think one of the leaders of sweden said putin just has to look in the mirror and ask, how did this happen? he did it. it is a change, sea change, historically, relations. the threat of, to him, is exactly what he doesn't want.
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the idea that there is now this seamless border that nato will protect and that they will all come to the defence. the problem i suppose in some ways that come from this is what it means for those countries that are not in nato, whether in some ways and increases their vulnerability to russia, potentially, to be threatened, bullied, potentially like countries like moldova and georgia. i think the message of this crisis has been, if you are not a member of nato, you're going to be invaded by russia. and so if you are a member of nato, you are protected. but i think those countries, georgia and moldova, they have made a request tojoin nato, the same time as ukraine, but it is going to be a protracted... moldova is divided anyway, so the same problem as with ukraine. the same problem with territorial integrity is going to be an issue. i think nato will also deal with these countries, the applicant countries in the same way that it
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has dealt with ukraine, because still today, it is not completely clear that ukraine willjoin nato, after this war. there is a whole issue of how russia will react. i would just go back on the question of sweden and finland because an interesting thing is that it is not completely a surprise that these countries are joining now because since the collapse of the soviet union in 1991, that both sweden and finland have started a process of getting closer to the western alliance, so they have joined the partnership of nato, 1994, they became members of the european union, they have been reforming their armed forces in a way that makes them completely compatible with nato. it has been quite a slow process, but since the annexation of crimea in 2014, that these countries are starting to prepare. they have started increasingly, to include invest in their armed forces, because they started to feel that russia was becoming quite unpredictable.
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and finland accepted the famous finlandisation, after that they accept they did not have complete sovereignty over their defence and foreign policy — there were huge sacrifices, i think this is something that we never discussed enough, how hard the sacrifices that the finnish people made, in orderto maintain their own peace and stability in the region. i just want to pick up on a part... the point about georgia and moldova is really interesting because what you are seeing is that these are former soviet republics, satellite countries of the east, of the soviet bloc, which were part in putin's vanity, part of the soviet empire, so what we're seeing now is the realisation that this was a colonial empire, just as the british empire and the dutch empire, the spanish empires were, and these countries are starting to recognise, wait a minute, this was better for you than for us. and so, the idea of bringing
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back the nostalgic view of greater russia, making russia great again, what we are seeing in kyrgyzstan, kazakhstan, the rebellions, the refusal to support putin's line, the re—routing of russia, to western europe, these are signs that there are no greater russia, that he can be as violent and as aggressive as he wants, and could do terrible damage. and he has nuclear weapons. there is nothing there, there is only a handful, even in belarus, which is his one puppet state, the railway workers blew up the railway to stop him from sending his military material into ukraine, so even in that country, there is a sense of at least a pocket of rebellion which suggests that putin's dreams are simply out of date. well, it is the standard autocracy... _
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the route to autocracy- where you get to the point you still have people around you that you pick who you i want because they are - reflecting your own views. so his view of the world... somebody obviously didn't say to him, hang on a minute, - if you do that, and you say... too many yes men and women? that is not complicated but that is what - happened in this case. the other thing that has . happened is that finland's border with russia is 1200km. the kremlin spokesman said that they are going| to take strategic military and technical measures, j which reasonably means putting a lot of weapons along the border. ijust wonder what he has got left that will- cover 1300 kilometres.
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given the losses that russia is sustaining at the moment? you mentioned sacrifices, that the finns may be making, and sweden still hasn't fully decided if it'sjoining, they had a report on friday suggested that they had good argument, good arguments and the foreign minister of finland saying that they could make the risk of war less likely because it raised the stakes if russia did attack any of the other countries, butjust in terms of the price they pay, already we hear that a russian electricity company may cut off 10% of finland's electricity supplies because suddenly there was a problem about payment, has mysteriously arisen just as this announcement is made. that we hear that putin has threatened to station possibly nuclear armed missiles in kaliningrad, that little
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envlave between lithuania and poland on the baltic, and there are ways that he can make people feel even more nervous, if you want to, without actually taking any overt military action? yes, i think both sweden and finland are pondering those and they are weighing... if it is a bluff and what is the potential for greater security. there is going to be that vacuum between being an applicant member state, and thenjoining, and in that period of time, that can be very well exploited by russia, but then, in the end, it is a calculation. they have to either call off putin's game, or take a decision for themselves and taking on that risk. jeffrey, you said at the start of this discussion, you raised quite the ominous prospect that russia can't win. but ukraine is meanwhile being blasted apart. a stalemate? it feels like a stalemate.
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i think we saw yesterday and in the newspapers here, the images of a russian battalion really... massacred is perhaps the wrong word, but 1000 soldiers killed, on this tactical ambush on tanks by the ukrainians. russia has a very large army, but it has taken... we don't know the numbers, 20,000 plus soldiers killed, maybe, but a huge amount of armaments as well, and we also know that morale is bad, food rations aren't getting there, they're not able to supply... you could argue that they can keep supplying, but there is going to be a problem, at some point he is going to have to confront the issue of a draft and then he is going to going to have to stop calling this a special operation and call it a war.
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to him that is a difficult switch to pull. i don't know what the output is, but it seems to be that what zelensky offered some time ago which was ceding some territory, which seems awfully painful, given what has happened, may be the best outcome possible to let him walk away with at least claiming that he liberated something and get out of there. as long as zelensky got territorial security from europe to say, anything more, no. but it is the least worst option. but if we look at what is happening in mariupol, the description... ukraine has lost simply in the destruction of its infrastructure, the death of people, and it's hard to imagine the rebuilding, but at this point, it is a stalemate. moving on to another stalemate, but one with less terrifying consequences, and that is what is happening over the power—sharing executive in northern ireland is not being re—established because the unionist party which did not win top
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of the poll in the election last week, needing both sides to agree to it, says it won't until the northern ireland protocol has been scrapped. without going into the detail, i will leave that to brian because he understands it, and in that level of detail i don't! it is like the 19th—century schleswig—holstein question! in terms of the effect of this, this is part of brexit, which is not quite finished yet. can you explain that aspect of it? well, it is not quite finished yet because the british government has left this as an open wound that is festering and festering, and it has been there since the very beginning. essentially, what britain is claiming is the right to undermine the market, the european single market and this is something that is essentially, that brexit does not give it the right. the european union has been extremely flexible in the interpretation
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of the single market, it has been very sensitive to the peace process and conflict resolution in northern ireland, there was the proposed backstop, that was proposed... let's not go back to the backstop! but there was also a flexible arranged border, because brexit means the established border between the united kingdom and the eu. ireland, the republic, is in the european union. absolutely, so it was agreed that... it was agreed that the border would not be between the republic of ireland and northern ireland to safeguard the peace process and the good friday agreement, so it would have to be in the irish sea. that border has to remain there. the way the european union sees it is that well, this was clear, since the beginning of brexit, that they have been talking about this problem since 2016. the british government signed the northern ireland protocol in 2019.
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and borisjohnson said it was a great deal, a fantastic deal, said it was fabulous, it sorted out the problems and so on. what the european union insists that is a bad faith. they signed it, with a view to break it soon after. so they are saying, well, this is a government is not serious, why are we going to waste our time, proposing creative solutions, and they are very bureaucratic, they are very detailed and so on, why are we going to waste our brainpower developing this super complicated solution if this british government is not serious? is not taking any of this proposal is seriously dislike and is also not made or presented any alternative proposals. brian, why are the implications for this, within northern ireland, so toxic? given that trading is going on, as we speak, it is not
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as if people have stopped trading goods across and between the uk and the great britain part of the uk and northern ireland and northern ireland and the republic of ireland and therefore the rest of the european union? in terms of the governance of northern ireland, - just on its own, the northern ireland assembly— is now paralysed for. the reason on friday... couldn't elect an executive. yes, and that means that you have a caretaker- administration, civil servants, outgoing ministers who just . keep the lights on and so on, where northern ireland has l probably the longest and the i worst waiting lists in the nhs. they need further investment in education, infrastructure, i all those kinds of things, - and the protocol and the checks that come with the protocol, even though the majority- of members of the new northern
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ireland assembly actually - agreed to live with it, | they are hurting small and medium—sized businesses in northern ireland, _ there is no doubt about that. so there is room for negotiation, in terms of, you know, let's not worry too much about that category of goods and so on and so forth, and these talks had been- going on for a long time| and then they will pause because of the election and they all got quite l technical, so there is i a whole range of things. when the commissioner who is dealing with thisl forthe eu, when he said, we can't renegotiate it, . and liz truss said, we might. have to take unilateral action, the commissioner is right, they can't renegotiate it, i but there are ways to ease the pain ofm _ it's just about language. and everything else. -
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but for the dup, i it's more than that. every time you hear. jeffrey donaldson talk about it, as he did. when it became out of stormont, refusing to co—operate with - the election of the speaker, he had said, we have - got to get rid of this, i the political has to go, he is not interested in half measures. l but before i bring injeffrey, can i just ask you something? the political editor for the newsletter which is one of the leading unionist papers in northern ireland, the editor said that there is evidence that 80% of people in northern ireland, regardless of their views on this subject, whether they are nationalist or nationalist, republican or not aligned, they do not trust what the british government says on the protocol. if they do not trust it and the eu do not trust it, there is a real problem here? neither does the dublin government, that is - the news for you! laughing, but it
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is not funny, is it? the damage that this has done, in dublin, i certainly, and in brussels, is absolutely enormous. . borisjohnson's going - to northern ireland next week to talk to the party leaders, but the problem is that - boris johnson told the dup, if you cast your mind back. a couple of years, - that there wouldn't be any checks with the oven l ready deal being fine! he has told some exporters in northern ireland, - that they should tear up i the customs forms or call him or something like that. borisjohnson has let those people down. i he has betrayed those people. he is going back again. - how on earth could anybody
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trust anything the man saysj about this at this stage? i'm curious. i first went to northern ireland as a reporter for the canadian broadcasting corporation in canada, i needed so much technology to cover the story... sectarian etc, but when you're not inside this story it's so difficult to whom just want to know he was on one side and to understand the history... the history is easier than the present in a way! i was turning up late . to a story one day come outside downing street, i think, and i said - to a colleague of minel from northern ireland, what is the story, - and he said, well in 1690... so my query is, is there so much disenchantment? this is shifting? let me make it... what is this push to
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reunification, the exodus of northern ireland? is that realistic or...? is like a gordian knot you can't untangle, so you have to cut it and you have... when alexander used that sword to cut the knot... . he used a weapon. we have tried that in— northern ireland for many years and 3,000 people have died. it is not going to work. so is that a scenario that comes out of this? is this accelerating a scenario that some people, many people would like to see, but many would not like to see? well, sinn fein will tell- you that, but the opinion polls in northern ireland do not indicate that a majority i of people would vote for unification. - but, that can change.
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the architecture of power—sharing in a northern ireland, sharing with throwing away the arrangement that is in place, and it is essentially beating the deadlock. asjeff was saying, demographics are changing and we have an increasing number of people who no longer identify either as unionist or nationalist. just before we move on, i should say that we should not return to violence, with the knot analogy! looks like the only simple solution. it is not a simple solution. when you come to have a - referendum in northern ireland and in the republic of ireland as well, you come into- the whole thing of, _ are you prepared to pay for it? it will cost a lot of money... it really is like with the berlin wall in your it really is like with i the berlin wall in your
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information on steroids. the most recent storm - at elections here last week, you will see the alliance party| which is the cross community, non—sectarian party, that is growing fast. | within that, there are lots - of younger people who weren't around during the troubles. so let us end on a slightly happier note in a sense and that is the queen's speech. i just wonder what you all made of prince charles�* audition piece for becoming head of state? how did he do? well, he performed like a monarch in waiting. i paid attention to one thing, he was sat on the throne, but crucially, the crown was in another check was in anotherchair it was not on his head. i thought it was actually, i was quite shocked, i did not watch it live,
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i watched it on my computer and i was quite shocked because it looked like it was was a queen's speech, or a king's speech, from a monarch in his last years, the man is a 73, 7a, and there was a kind of tragic aura to it. this is a man who has waited all his life with a job he didn't choose to inherit, and now he's kind of phasing in, and he is pretty frail and it was hard to listen to him because he wasn't very engaging. there are many bigger issues in the planet then talking about this, i have to say, but i think it is very interesting to see. it is fascinating because it feels like this man is going to be given this job and he isjust too frail and not magnetic enough to carry it. i think that is what we saw. brian, what did you make of it? to be perfectly honest, i i focused on what geoffrey was saying, the opening lines of this speech were, - her majesty's government| will take measures to ease the cost of living crisis...
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but now apparently cutting lots of civil service jobs will help! 0h, 90,000! i listen to jacob rees—mogg this morning and i- was none the wiser. just last thought on this, do you think that, whether or not it was intended, because the queen's back problems meant she could not do it, so her son stepped in, he is the heir apparent, we ar in that process of transition, but do you think there is a plan to help us, to make that seamless? or will it still be such a terrific shock when this woman who has been, for most people, all their lives, on the throne, on the coins, at every major event, event, isn't there? when it happens, i think it
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will be a major cultural shock, it will be the end of the second elizabethan era, and that covers everything. end of the second world war, and up to where we are now, and has covered generations. it will be a huge cultural shift as well. growing up in canada, i can say, it is just not talked about, i think everyone has enough respect for elizabeth that no one will talk about it when she is gone, but i think that will be an open question when she is gone. thank you all very much for watching. more next week, goodbye. hello there. hasn't it been a glorious start to the weekend? hardly a cloud in the sky for many. lots of warm, spring sunshine but it was london that recorded the highest temperature,
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just shy of the warmest day of the year so far with 23.5 celsius. but i do need to draw your attention to this little feature running up through the south—west as we speak, and it's going to continue to bring some sharp, possibly thundery downpours during the early hours of sunday morning. so, becoming more heavy and widespread to central and southern england towards dawn, and yes, that means some welcome rain potentially for the gardens. but not all of us will see those showers, but some of them could be quite potent. they will be running up through east anglia by the middle part of the morning and all the showers drifting steadily northwards. that means we should see an improving picture across england and wales into the afternoon with sunshine and warmth returning and highs of 23 degrees. not a bad afternoon in western scotland if you dodge the showers and keep the sun as well. sunday night and into monday morning, showers and longer spells of rain merging together as this front enhances precipitation.
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we will see some wet weather drifting its way steadily northwards to begin with during monday morning, and that means a tricky story to tell across northern ireland, northern england and scotland by the middle of monday afternoon. once again, an improving picture across england and wales after the early morning rain eases away, temperatures will recover. again, we could see 23 celsius. another area of low pressure pushing in from the west, but as it bumps into the high sitting across europe, it looks likely that most of the rain will stay out into western areas, and ahead of it, it's really going to throw up some warm and humid air, so there's the potential on tuesday for some of us to see the warmest day of the week with highs of 25 celsius. but out to the west, and the cloud and rain, we're looking at mid to high teens. as we move out of tuesday into wednesday and through the middle part of the week, we do see these weather fronts starting to ease away and high pressure building
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in once again. there will be some outbreaks of rain to clear away, but generally speaking through the middle part of the week, it looks likely to turn that little bit quieter and again, still pretty warm.
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this is bbc news. i'm david eades. we start with breaking news from new york state: ten people have been killed in a shooting at a supermarket in the city of buffalo — three people have been injured. the fbi say they are investigating the incident as both a hate crime and a case of racially motivated violent extremism.
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11 of the 13 victims were african american.


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