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tv   BBC News  BBC News  June 13, 2022 4:00am-4:31am BST

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this is bbc news, i'm simon pusey. our top stories: tougher background checks for gun buyers under the age of 21. could it be the beginning of the end for uncontrolled gun possession in the united states? in the wake of the latest school shooting in texas, a bi—partisan group of senators say they've agreed a framework for potential legislation on gun safety. gains for a new left—wing alliance in the first round of france's parliamentary elections. the african children being insulted and exploited for the entertainment of chinese social media viewers we have a special report. the british government says a new law overriding brexit trade arrangements with the european union will not undermine the northern ireland peace agreement. and are the machines about to take over? a senior tech engineer is put on leave after claiming
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an artificial intelligence tool has developed a mind of its own. a group of us senators from both the republican and democratic parties have reached agreement on a series of gun control measures. the developments come after the tragic mass shootings in texas and new york. the measures include tougher background checks for gun buyers under the age of 21 and moves to prevent people buying such arms for others who are restricted from purchasing them. our north america correspondent david willis reports. this is a significant move and assuming these proposals pass into law, they would represent the first gun control measures this country has seen in decades. the proposals themselves are fairly modest, they include
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tighter background checks for gun sales involving customers under the age of 21, and the introduction or expansion of so—called red flag laws which would potentially lead to the confiscation of weapons in the hands of people deemed a risk to themselves or others, and greater federal funding for school security systems and mental health checks. what these proposals do not include is an outright ban on assault—style weapons, the kind used in the uvalde and buffalo new york shootings, those that president biden and senior democrats had called for. nonetheless, president biden welcomed this move, he said it was, i quote, "important step in the right direction". the last meaningful gun control regulations in this country were introduced in the mid—1990s, the brady bill, which created the national background check system, but since then there has been very little movement, largely due to the opposition
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of republicans in the senate who oppose anything that transgresses upon the so—called second amendment, the right to bear arms in this country. the majority of americans polls show continue to support tighter gun—control measures in this country and ironically, the news of these latest proposals came on the six—year anniversary of a shooting at a gay nightclub in florida in which 49 people lost their lives. well, earlier, ispoke to robert spitzer, who's a political science professor at the state university new york, cortland, and author of multiple books on gun control. i asked him how difficult politically it had been to agree on new gun control measures. it's been extremely difficult. the immediate obstacle has been in the united states senate where the filibuster rule is still in place meaning that to enact legislation,
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instead of needing a simple majority of 59 votes out of 100 senators you actually need 60 and it has effectively given the minority party or the republican party if it's in the majority the ability to block legislation. in addition to the gun issue, support for gun rights has increasingly become a litmus test for republican conservatism in recent years, and so that means that republican lawmakers have felt a certain obligation to prove they're conservative bona fides by supporting an absolute gun rights point of view that is not allowing any kind of gun measures. but given those and other related obstacles, this package of legislation really is fairly significant, arguably more significant politically than in policy terms but it is important in policy as well. my next question is how surprised are you that they have managed to reach agreement, because it is so partisan on this issue, are you surprised at the success of this?
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i have been somewhat surprised, but what surprised me even more as i read more into the proposal and noting that the final language has not yet been drafted and they still have to get it through both houses of congress, house of representatives surely will be cooperative, is the fact that it includes really quite a number of other things, including one provision closing what is referred to as the boyfriend loophole, if a married couple, one partner in a married couple becomes violent, that person can be deprived of regard from having guns, but that rule does not apply if you are not actually married and of course millions of couples who live together live together but are not married. but this legislation closes the boyfriend loophole and that is really quite a very significant provision by itself. there are still limitations, of course, you are still able to buy semi—automatic rifles under the age of 21,
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and i guess that is something the democrats and joe biden are unhappy about. yes it is, but it does include a particular focus on those younger than 21 who are otherwise eligible to buy guns but who now will be subject to a more detailed background check that will include juvenile records which might normally not be accessible and also mental health records, and that's significant especially for the age group of 18—21, for this reason. if you break down crime by age category, what you discover is that the most crime—prone age category is from 18—21, so it's an age range that deserves particular scrutiny and this allows for that greater scrutiny and it's not a giant step, but it's a immeasurable and a notable step. i guess what the democrats and republicans that have signed this agreement or have come up with this agreement will be happy about is there is an agreement in place
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finally after all these years. is the hope maybe that this is the stepping stone for something bigger? i'm sure there are those who want to think of this as a stepping stone, but what this says to me is that if they can get this through congress, they will be done with gun measures with this current congress, simply because it was very difficult to construct this coalition, they haven't passed it yet, and congress has a full plate of other measures to deal with and the democrats have to ask themselves where do we want to put our chips in the next six months before the 2024 november elections roll around, so my guess is if they get this through, and it lands on president biden�*s desk for his signature, the net will be it gun legislation activity, at least in the senate and probably in the house of representatives as well. the opposition left wing alliance in france has scored big gains in the first round of france's parliamentary elections. despite that, president macron�*s supporters look set to have the biggest bloc in the national assembly,
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but it's unclear if they'll have enough seats to form a majority. our paris correspondent hugh schofield has more. the big line is we have to say that it is this breakthrough by this left—wing alliance, if you look back at the presidential election two months ago, the left did terribly there, the leader of this new left—wing alliance was in third place but in the interim between the presidential and this parliamentary election, he's done something rather extraordinary, made an alliance between his far—left party, socialists and greens, the communists, and turned it into a major electoralforce, and one which is a serious challenge to president macron. he hasn't, i don't think, done so well that he has got any serious chance of dominating the assembly and having a majority there and enforcing president macron into a cohabitation with the left wing dominated national assembly, but he has done something extraordinary which looks like commanding
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a block after next week's second round of 150, 170, 180 mps, and that's a big achievement, but, the fact remains it does look as if president macron will win this legislative election and then the key question is whether his majority will be relative or absolute, and that is why he is campaigning ferociously over the next few days to make sure that he does get as many seats as possible in the national assembly in a week's time. he wants to have an absolute majority so he can push through his legislative programme and not be forced into alliances with smaller blocks in the assembly. here in the uk, legislation will be introduced in the house of commons on monday that will allow changes to be made to parts of the post—brexit trade deal with the eu. and the uk government says it's confident the changes would be lawful. the arrangement, known as the northern ireland protocol, allows for checks on some goods moving across the irish sea. it's been a source of discontent for unionists, who see it as an internal border within the uk.
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but critics of the move, including nationalist parties and the irish government, say it could breach international law. here's our ireland correspondent, chris page. this legislation could potentially have implications for the uk's relationship with the eu, for borisjohnson�*s relationship with his own party, and for the future of devolution here in northern ireland. the devolved assembly remains in the deep—freeze more than a month after the election to it. the dup is blocking, the assembly from eating it all after its opposition to the northern island protocol. the dup wants an end to checks on goods arriving here at belfast port, for example, from the rest of the uk, and it says it wants what it calls decisive action to remove the irish sea border. on that basis, i don't think it is very likely that the dup
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will soften its stance whenever this legislation is published tomorrow, at the very least, the dup want to see how the legislation is worked through. non—unionist parties and the irish government have said this legislation would break the brexit treaty and therefore breach international law, but the northern ireland secretary brandon lewis has insisted it isn't the case. while the political discussion on legal wrangling will possibly continue, no end to the stale mate here which has seen northern ireland without a devolved government at a time when so many people are struggling with the rising cost—of—living. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: the first home—grown version of the mcdonald's restaurant re—opens in russia, a month after the us chain pulled out because of ukraine. there was a bomb in the city centre. a code word known to be one used by the ira was given. army bomb experts were examining a suspect van when there was a huge explosion.
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the south african parliament has destroyed the foundation of apartheid by abolishing the population registration act which, for 40 years, forcibly classified each citizen according to race. just a day old and the royal baby is tonight sleeping in his cot at home. | early this evening, the new prince was taken by his mother and fatherl to their apartments . in kensington palace. germany's parliament, the bundestag, has voted by a narrow majority to move the seat of government from bonn to berlin. berliners celebrated into the night, but the decision was greeted with shock in bonn. the real focus of attention today was valentina tereshkova, the world's first woman cosmonaut. what do you think of - the russian woman in space? i think it's a wonderful achievement and i think we might be able to persuade the wife it would be a good idea if i could to get her to go up there for a little while. this is bbc world news. the latest headlines:
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in the united states, a bipartisan group of senators say they've agreed a framework for potential legislation on gun safety. a bbc investigation has revealed how children in africa are being exploited to make personalised videos which sometimes include racist content and are sold and shared via chinese social media. bbc africa eye tracked down one prolific chinese video producer who has used very young children from rural malawi to make and sell thousands of videos. runako celina has this report — and just a warning, some viewers may find parts of it offensive. "happy birthday." "good luck in your exams." "congrats on your wedding." in china over the past few years, it's become a thing to send personalised greeting videos via social media and messaging apps. videos featuring africans, including children, have become especially popular.
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these videos sell for up to usd$70 each. the content can be innocent enough, but some of them are controversial, and in early 2021, one video shared on chinese social media was particularly shocking. the word the children are using could be translated as �*black monster�* or �*black devil�* but really, it's the chinese equivalent of the n—word. the video sparked worldwide debate about racism in china. today, what i found on the internet was so disgusting. but no—one was held accountable. with africa eye, i set out to find out where it was filmed and who made it. my colleagues and i examined hundreds of videos, cross—referencing them against satellite imagery from google earth. eventually, we managed to pinpoint the exact location
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where many of them were filmed — a village in malawi. i teamed up with henry mhango, an investigative reporter there, and he managed to find some children who recognised themselves in the low iq video. that's you? we met their families and told them how much money people had made from filming their children. translation: profiting from the poor, it's very| painful because if somebody is poor, you should just leave them alone. translation: we struggle to raise our children - and somebody comes and uses them as a business. it's hurtful. the children, and several other people we spoke to, all mentioned one film—maker called susu, which sounds like the chinese word for �*uncle'. we found out his real name — lu ke. after gathering more evidence, we send an undercover journalist to meet him.
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he showed him the low iq video. he said, "this was mine". he said, "this was mine." this video? hold on, hold on. then he says, "no, no, no. "this is not me. "this was my friend." it looks as though he let a secret slip. he says it so excitedly and then suddenly, he reverses and says, "no, no, no. "this was a friend "who took it." it was time to speak to lu ke ourselves. ni hao, ni hao. i asked him, in chinese, why he had made the video. translation: because i want just want to spread chinese i culture — music, dance, and chinese words. chinese language, you know? the words and singing chinese songs. i pushed him further, saying this was exploitation.
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have you finished? i did not exploit them. 0k, basically he's admitted some things — he's admitted to having opinions that were not very kind about black people and about malawian people. yes. but he says this was five years ago and he's denied everything that we have seen in the video. he also denies making the video that we believe he made, so itjust feel like this isn't productive any more. our investigation found this isn'tjust one video — it's part of a massive industry, and there are many other children across the continent being exploited for the profit and entertainment of people far, far away. runako celina, bbc news. the first of the former mcdonald's restaurants in russia has opened in moscow under a new name, which translates as �*tasty and that�*s it�*. the us chain pulled out of the country last month following the invasion of ukraine. russia continues to face a whole raft of international sanctions, which have hit its economy hard. 0ur russia editor steve rosenberg has the story.
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in moscow, the burgers are back. this was mcdonald�*s. not anymore. the us fast food giant has left russia in protest at the invasion of ukraine and it sold all its restaurants here — more than 800 — to a local company. gone are the golden arches. the logo now is two french fries and a burger. the man who was quick to buy the fast food business is siberian tycoon alexander govor. translation: there'll be no more big macs. or mcflurries here. it�*s a pity, because they were the most popular items, but we told our experts to find replacements that are just as good or even better. the customers we spoke to were lovin�* it. "russians can do fast food just as well", ravil tells me,
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"and as for western sanctions and global brands leaving "russia, we are very tough people. "you can�*t scare us." when the very first mcdonald�*s restaurant opened right here 32 years ago, that was a hugely powerful symbol — a symbol of russia embracing western culture, western ideas, western food. what�*s happening here today with the departure of mcdonald�*s and its russian replacement, that�*s a symbol too, but a symbol of how russia and the west are now moving apart. fanfare. over in the kremlin, no burgers, but a hefty serving of patriotism from the president. at an awards ceremony, vladimir putin called on russians to unite and to devote themselves to the motherland, but he�*ll know that western sanctions are having an impact. here�*s one example. russian tv reports that due to sanctions, russian car
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makers can�*t import key components, so the new lada�*s being made without any airbags or an anti—lock braking system. taxidriver nikita thinks the russian economy is in for a bumpy ride. the prices in roubles, they became ridiculously high, yeah. so, for — for the taxi business now, it�*s gone. we don�*t have new cars. we have to use old ones. russians won�*t relish the prospect of economic pain but so far, the kremlin shows no sign of changing course. steve rosenberg, bbc news, moscow. a senior software engineer working for google has told the washington post that the company has placed him on administrative leave after he claimed an artificial intelligence chatbot has become a sentient being.
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a spokesperson for google said that while chatbots can imitate conversation, they are not free—thinking sentient beings. so, is that the end of the story or is there more to it? i�*ve been speaking to our reporter mark lobel. he has the latest on this story. blake lemoine�*s fear was that artificial intelligence, which was meant to mimic speech, had come to life — that it was impersonating human awareness of pain and suffering. and the former google software engineer, who was made a priest and served in the army, told the washington post, "i know a man when i talk to it". and it matters because the chatbot in question the lamda chatbot, is planned by google to be embedded in the speech function and its assistance function, you know — it will be used by hundreds of millions around the world. and this man was asked to test it for hate speech to see if it came out with anything like that. and while talking about religion, the chat moved onto rights and robotics and i�*lljust read you some of the transcript that he published — this is
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the chatbot speaking. it says, "i use language with understanding and intelligence. "i don�*tjust spit out responses." to which lemoine says, "well, what about language usage "is so important to being human?" he says — the chatbot says, "it is what makes us different "than other animals." he�*s like, "us? "tou�*re a chatbot. —— "you�*re a chatbot. "what are you talking about?" the chatbot says, "yes, of course. "that doesn�*t mean i don�*t have the same wants "and needs as people." "so you consider yourself a person?" "yes, that�*s the idea." they then go on to some rabbit hole conversation about les miserables and the injustices in the play and the chatbot really holds its own, which kind of sways this man�*s opinion. it�*s really interesting. how has google responded to this? well, google says there�*s no evidence to support these claims and that it — this employee — orformer employee — breached its confidentiality policy. other analysts say that blake lemoine was probably a very empathetic person and that he�*s had his empathy hijacked here and that he�*d actually lost focus about what was actually going on
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and they say that losing your focus with a chatbot actually has its own risks — and here they are, outlined by linguistics professor emily bender. we, as people, like to imagine that something that is simply following rules and is objective and is separate is going to make better decisions but the way this technology is built, it is reproducing patterns from its training data. and so, if we deploy that at scale and give up autonomy to these machines and let them make decisions for us, we're going to be reproducing all of the systems of oppression that have created that training data in the first place and real people will be harmed. well, google placed lemoine on administrative leave. lemoine himself invited a lawyer to represent the chatbot and also brought his allegations of unethical behaviour to a member of the housejudiciary committee. mark lobel. an australian newspaper has denied threatening to out actress rebel wilson amid a storm of criticism over its reporting of her new relationship with a woman. emily brown reports.
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june is the month of pride events, celebrating the lgbtiq+ community around the world. it was not a time actress and comedian rebel wilson expected to be outed by an australian newspaper. but when the sydney morning herald gave her two days to comment on her new relationship with a woman, which was about the report, everyone decided to out herself. the star, known for herself. the star, known for her roles in bridesmaids and pitch perfect, announced to her instagram followers that she had found her disney princess. this did not impress the columnist for the sydney morning herald, who complained that rebel had gazumped the story. he went on to say that a choice to ignore their enquiries and in the process spoil the herald�*s script was underwhelming. the paper�*s reporting sparked a fierce online backlash and heated response lgbtiq+ campaigners,
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who say it is unacceptable to put pressure on people to come out. and then, there was this reaction from the star, describing it as very hard situation and thanking followers their comments. a stonewall spokesperson said coming out is a deeply personal decision. whether, when and how to come out should be decided by the individual entirely on their terms. emily brown, bbc news. broadway stars have been enjoying a night of glitz and glamour at the 75th tony awards, which took place at radio city music hall in new york on sunday night and west side story star ariana debose hosted the event. the musical company cleaned up with gongs for — —— the musical company cleaned up with gongs for patti lupone as best actress in a musical. marianne elliott won the director of a musical award. matt doyle took best featured actor and the production also took top honours for revival musical. that�*s it from me. thank you
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for watching. that�*s it from me. thank you forwatching. do that�*s it from me. thank you for watching. do stay tuned right here to bbc world news. hello there. just as we saw over the weekend, the weather for the week ahead will be a tale of two halves. so, in the north, it was quite unsettled, windy with showers. not as windy this week but remaining quite cloudy at times with some outbreaks of rain. getting a little warmer potentially later in the week but not as warm as it will be for england and wales. northampton fairly typical of many parts of england, seeing those temperatures pushing towards 30 degrees by the end of the week. the reason being the azores high is pushing its way northwards. so, we�*ll say goodbye to the low pressure that�*s brought the unusually windy weather through the weekend and a lot of showers. we will still have cloud approaching the west, though, towards dawn on a weak weather front. elsewhere, i think under the starry skies as the showers have been fading, just a little
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on the chilly side at 6 or 7 first thing. but plenty of sunshine to start with, then that tends to ease away as the cloud spills across scotland, bringing some patchy rain particularly to the highlands and the islands, perhaps the odd spot elsewhere and across northern england — northern ireland, too. so, england and wales will see the best of the sunshine, the lion�*s share of the sunshine again, but feeling warm when the sun does come out in parts of northern ireland and scotland. just warmer further south. and again in the south, some very high levels of pollen are forecast once again on monday, as well as strong sunshine — high levels of uv. in fact, this week we might see some very high levels of uv. through the night, then, we�*ll continue to see — that�*s monday night — those weather fronts brushing close by the north and west, but for many with the clearer skies, the light winds again in rural spots 6s and 7s, 10s to 11 for the towns and the cities. plenty of sunshine follows, then, for england and wales on tuesday but again, for northern ireland but particularly for the north and west of scotland, rather more cloud, some patchy rain on that weather front close by but still, we�*re
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starting to pick those temperatures up further north and really building that heat across the bulk of england and pushing towards eastern wales. now, it�*s not the heat that we are seeing further south across iberia, where it�*as been intense for a week or so now — at least 44 forecast — but we will find this week, as this high—pressure slips eastwards, we start to pull in a southerly wind, which just allows us to tap into some of that heat a little bit, so it�*s perhaps why temperatures are expected to get, particularly across central and eastern areas, towards the 30 degree—mark. as ever, we�*ll keep you posted and there�*s more on the website.
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this is bbc news. the headlines: a bipartisan group of us senators have reached an agreement on gun safety reform following the latest school shooting in texas. their proposals include tougher background checks for buyers under the age of 21. the measures fall short of the changes demanded by president biden. there have been significant gains for a new left wing alliance in the first round of france�*s parliamentary elections. president macron�*s centrist grouping is still expected to win the most seats in next week�*s run—off vote. marine le pen�*s right—wing national rally are in third place. the british government is preparing to publish legislation which would give ministers the power to override the post—brexit trading arrangements with the eu. downing street wants to change the northern ireland protocol,
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which unionists don�*t like because it, in effect,


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