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tv   BBC News  BBC News  June 21, 2022 4:00am-4:31am BST

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this is bbc news, i'm david eades. our top stories: political upheaval in israel — the minority government falls apart, the prime minister stands down, and yet another election is looming. the united nations is accused of abuse, corruption and cover—up within its ranks — former un members tell the bbc they were bullied for speaking out. he attacks me in the elevator, he comes at me all of a sudden. i pleaded with him to let me go but he was being very insistent and he was pulling my arm. colombia's largest active guerrilla group says it's prepared to take part in peace talks with the new president — and former rebel —
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gustavo petro. also, crazy about cannabis — as thailand legalises marijuana, we report on a boom in weed—related businesses. a big bid to help the refugees of ukraine: the russian nobel peace laureate dmitry muratov auctions his medalfor more than $100 million to raise funding for children displaced by the war. welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and around the globe. five general elections inside four years — that is where israel is heading as the current prime minister, naftali bennett is to step down from his post, dissolve parliament and trigger yet another election. in the meantime, the current foreign minister, yair lapid, who was due to share the prime ministerial post
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with mr bennet, will take temporary charge. mr bennett has been in thejob forjust over a year and has struggled to stabilise his increasingly fragile governing coalition. translation: i held a series of talks with officials - and i realised that in 10 days, with the expiration of the west bank regulations, israel will experience serious security damages and legal chaos. we spared no efforts to galvanise whoever was needed to pass the regulations, but our efforts bore no fruit. therefore my friend foreign minister yair lapid and i decided to act together to dissolve parliament and set an agreed—upon date for elections. well, earlier, ispoke to natan sachs who's director of the center for middle east policy at brookings. i asked whether he wasn't surprised israel's current government had collapsed. not too surprised and,
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like anyone else in this, the government did last for a year which is a bit longer than some people thought but the idea of him seeing the full term was unlikely. as you said, the main cause was to get rid of netanyahu, anything but bibi, and the other was to get some type of normalcy to the israeli government, the budget. israel was operating without a budget for over two years, the government succeeded in doing that but eventually, the fractions on the far right and the far left in one coalition proved to be too difficult, the differences were too great, especially when it came to regarding the west bank and now we're seeing the end this coalition. it is a fascinating moment with yair lapid reaching prime ministership, although caretaker prime minister. we have seen inconclusive elections in the past and so yair lapid may be a caretaker prime minister but he could be a caretaker prime ministerfor quite a while, as we've seen in the past. and i suppose this is his opportunity to stamp his authority on israeli politics. he will get a chance
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also to host i think president biden. how much of an opening is this for him? it's a major one. yair lapid has proven in the past two years to be a very able politician, surprisingly so. he was a very well—known individual previously, a journalist and tv personality and a very well—known name but it was not considered to have the gravitas of a politician like benjamin netanyahu. and that's the main thing that was always missing for him. now he will be orune minister, hosting the president of the united states with major moves with saudi arabia, potentially opening new doors and following accords the abraham accords and rapprochement between israel and arab states, this is the kind of scene, the kind of photo ops lapid needs to put himself on par with netanyahu of course, as your correspondences, was prime minister longer than any individual in israeli history. this is kind of what yair lapid needs.
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it does not mean it will be easy for him by any chance and if yair lapid can win the next election or we could simply seen inconclusive results as we've seen throughout the last four years, that of course would leave yair lapid as caretaker prime minister but not with a stable coalition or ability to change policy. if i could just ask you, where does this mean naftali bennett, as he has moment? perhaps he has. never say never in israeli politics. he's young man, we may be discussing prime minister bennett again in 30 years but naftali bennett, when he broke with the far right and broke with netanyahu tojoin yair lapid, he really burned bridges with much of his base so he finds himself now an outgoing prime minister but with very little political base. he may take leave of politics for a while, he may lead a smaller party, he already was a leader of a rather small party but either way, he achieved a position that only 13, well, 12 men before him, 11 men and one woman before him have achieved, he was the 13th prime minister and so as political careers go, it's not a bad one.
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sexual abuse, fraud and high level corruption in the united nations — those are the allegations being made by several former staff members, who also claim they faced cover—ups, harassment and bullying when they complained about alleged wrongdoing in the organisation. some of the allegations made to the bbc relate to a former assistant secretary general. they have led to the un's former executive on sexual harassment to call for an external panel to investigate. sima kotecha has the story. the un says it aims to promote peace, dignity and equality on a healthy planet but now several allegations have been made about the organisation, including that a former senior member of staff sexually harassed two women. martina worked as a senior adviser to un aides.
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in 2015, she was in thailand, attending a work event. dr luis loures, former un assistant secretary—general, was also there. as part of leaving the work meeting and going down the same elevator, he attacks me in the elevator. he comes at me all of a sudden. i pleaded with him to stop, let me go and so, but he was being very insistent and he was pulling my arm and i was...i had to block myself with the elevator door to be able to stay in the elevator, because i was afraid. in 2018, mr loures retired from the un. he says he has never harassed or assaulted anyone. the un says: the un has protected legal status. senior members of staff have diplomatic immunity from national laws everywhere.
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and no—one working for the un can be questioned or arrested without the un removing their immunity. alleged corruption, fraud, and management turning a blind eye when confronted with problems are what some of the whistle—blowers have told the bbc about. now the woman who used to be in charge of tackling sexual harassment at the un says there needs to be an investigation. a group of people external to united nations, who don't have an investment and a job on it and so on can sit and pull together a lot of the things that have been said, a lot of the things that have been criticised about how the un works and so on, pull that together as sort of an investigation of what's wrong and put together a really time—limited, focused set of actions that will make change. in response to this allegation, the un said:
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all of this has raised questions about whether the un should be allowed to handle complaints internally, something which it currently does. sima kotecha, bbc news. let's get some of the day's other news. ukraine's president, volodymyr zelenskyy, has told african leaders that russia is responsible for the suffering of their people and is trying to use them to fight western sanctions. addressing the african union assembly virtually, mr zelenskyy urged them to make their voice heard in the un security council. the african union commission chairman said the position
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of the union is to continue to call for dialogue to end the conflict. the biggest strike on britain's railways for more than 30 years is underway, with most of the network expected to be brought to a standstill. last—minute talks between the railway workers' union and employers failed. the strike is over pay, pensions and working conditions. the unions have rejected pay offers totalling 3% at a time of soaring inflation. 120,000 people have been protesting in the georgian capital, tbilisi, in support of the country's bid to become a member of the european union. on friday, the european commission recommended eu candidate status for ukraine and moldova, but said georgia's application should be deferred. colombia's last recognisable guerilla group, the eln, has said it's willing to resume peace talks
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with the government once the new president, gustavo petro, takes office in august. mr petro, himself a former rebel, has become the country's first left—wing leader after winning sunday's presidential election. 0ur south america correspondent katy watson reports from bogota. this is the new face of colombia. a former rebel turned president. and beside him, a woman born into poverty who will now be the country's first ever black vice—president. the victory of gustavo petro and francia marquez marks a new chapter in the politics of this deeply conservative country. the celebration, testament to the fact that colombians were keen to move on from its past and vote for a new future. for former leftist guerrilla alexa, the shots she takes now
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come from a camera, not from a gun. she left the mountains of colombia five years ago when the farc signed a peace deal with the government. photography is now her weapon for change. translation: it's assumed that farc laying down his arms meantj peace for the country, but that's not the case. it was the first step towards peace, socialjustice and no hunger. of course i, would prefer to vote for someone who would allow me to eat and give me more guarantees to study and those guarantees will allow me not to back to armed struggle. but there are lots of people disagree. there is a fear of the past and fear of the future with a president like gustavo petro and that's why nearly half of colombia's voters chose this man, rodolfo hernandez, a colombian trump and a tiktok king, going viral with videos like this. i asked supporter julieta what she made of that video.
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"he was unique," she says, "a breath of fresh air. "we aren't like venezuela but that is our fear, "that we become like that," says julieta. she is scared the economy is going to take a dive under the new president. these elections reveal the deep dissatisfaction amongst colombians across the board with traditional politics. both candidates offered something new but, in the end, the candidate who won offered a more appealing solution to the gaping inequalities in this country. what's happened here is expected to strike a chord with voters across south america. next up are brazil's elections in october — could leftist former president lula unseat far—rightjair bolsonaro in a similar way? katy watson, bbc news in bogota. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: no exaggerated fish tales here.
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we'll tell you about the largest freshwater fish ever to be caught, that's just been found in cambodia. members of the neo—nazi resistance movement stormed the world trade centre, armed with pistols and shotguns. we believe that, according to international law, that we have a right to claim certain parts of this country as ourland. i take pride in the words "ich bin ein berliner". cheering as the uk woke up to the news that it is to exit the european union, leave campaigners began celebrating. in total, 17.4 million people voted for the uk to leave the eu.
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the medical research council has now advised the government that the great increase in lung cancer is due mainly to smoking tobacco. it was closing time for checkpoint charlie which, for 29 years, has stood on the border as a mark of allied determination to defend the city. this is bbc world news, the latest headlines: political upheaval in israel. the minority government falls apart, the prime minister stands down, and yet another election is looming. the united nations is accused of covering up abuse and corruption within its ranks. former un members tell the bbc they were bullied for speaking out. india's supreme court will hold a hearing on tuesday on whether bulldozing homes belonging to muslims accused of taking part in violent protests in the state of uttar pradesh is being carried out legally.
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the demolitions have been criticised in india, and made headlines globally. many say that bulldozing has become a weapon of choice for the hindu nationalist bjp government to destroy homes and livelihoods of the minority muslim community. 0ur south asia correspondent, rajini vaidyanathan has the details. in the streets of saharanpur, a lingering fear. for muslims in the town, nothing feels safe any more. anti—muslim sentiment is growing in india. targeted in hate crimes, attacked in political speeches. now they are afraid the government is coming for their homes. this is what happened... bulldozers sent in after her 17—year—old son, abdul, was detained. authorities say they will demolish illegally constructed homes of those accused of taking part in violent protests.
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she was here with her young grandchildren when the diggers showed up without warning. translation: the | children were crying. they were howling. there were lots of police here, too. everyone was scared. the bulldozer was outside and we were in here. thousands demonstrated in the town following friday prayers over a week ago. after a national spokesperson for the hindu nationalist bjp made offensive remarks about the prophet muhammad. a largely peaceful march turned tense. dozens of muslim men detained. asma hasn't seen her son ali since that day. he's accused of rioting. she says he wasn't even at the protests. but officials have been to inspect her house. she's scared the bulldozers could visit next.
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translation: we sacrificed | everything to build this house. they came and said it's illegal and threatened to break it down. we are insects for them. they can crush us any time they want. it's notjust the town of saharanpur. in recent months, bulldozers have been deployed across india by the governing bjp to crack down on dissent. they are calling it bulldozer justice here in india, a form of punishment which many say targets muslim protesters. one which has drawn criticism from some of the country's top legal minds. in a statement, a group of retired judges and sitting supreme court lawyers said it was an unacceptable subversion of the rule of law and a violation of citizens�* rights. one which makes a mockery of the constitution. but india's bjp government disagrees.
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we asked an elected official from the party here if bulldozing was a proportionate response. translation: nobody has a right l to destroy any public property, l so according to the law, definitely the bulldozer must be used on them. bulldozing is the right thing to do. a threat to their homes and their rights. the bulldozer risks shaking the foundations of india's democratic values. rajini vaidyanathan, bbc news, saharanpur. this year, thailand has seen a striking turnaround in its laws on illegal drugs. until recently, the kingdom's harsh penalties would see hundreds of foreigners locked up on long sentences. but now the government has completely legalised the use of marijuana, released thousands of prisoners, and, as our south east asia correspondentjonathan head reports, sparked off a boom
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in weed—related businesses. a cannabis craze is sweeping thailand. see how beautiful it is? this is the country's health minister. the architect of what is now one of the most liberal marijuana regimes anywhere in the world. being cheered by enthusiastic locals who hope that this green gold will bring them new wealth. it is an astonishing turnaround for a country that still has some of the toughest punishments for drug use. we want to destigmatise these products from being a narcotic. people, when they have access to this cannabis industry, they will not go to the dark side. they will only focus on how to make a better living. already, cannabis is being offered in a mind—blowing variety of forms. the official view is that this should all be for medical
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or therapeutic purposes. that's what the government is promoting to tourists. they want people coming to thailand to get well, not high. in practice, though, the new law makes pretty much anything from the marijuana plant — however potent — legal. translation: | am| happy, really happy. now villagers like us can grow it legally. we no longer have to hide. even what's perhaps thailand's most famous product, its cooking, has been caught up in the craze. it's actually an old tradition here of putting marijuana into quite a few recipes, including the dishes in front of me here, which the government would like to tap into, as it pursues its goal of turning thailand into a marijuana hub. but can it do that without an explosion in recreational use? something the government doesn't want to happen. many doubt that it can.
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so what happens in here, nan? we are mostly focusing on cbd flower strains, so... nan chidchob is a marijuana enthusiast. super exciting. today is such a big win, i think, for all stoners in thailand. she's also the daughter of a powerful local politician who's backing cannabis cultivation in this poor, rural region of thailand. nan plans to help local farmers with her know—how. she's not convinced that the government's focus on medical use is realistic. we all know from studying, like, other markets, recreational is where the money is at. so i think this is a good step towards that if we are really thinking of this as an actual economic crop. even though the government says it strictly for medical purposes, it's not for recreational. i hope that they see the potential,
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like the economics of it, and hopefully that will aid with the legalisation of, like, recreational use. this really feels like a new age for thailand. just a month ago, possessing this much marijuana might have got you 15 years in jail. today, anyone can cash in on the weed bonanza. and with just a few restrictions, enjoy consuming it too. jonathan head, bbc news, thailand. the russian journalist and nobel peace laureate, dmitry muratov, has auctioned his nobel medal forjust over $103 million. he has said all the money will go to help refugees from the war in ukraine. mr muratov was the editor of novaya gazeta, a russian independent newspaper that suspended its work this year when the russian government said it a crime to contradict the kremlin�*s
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official position on ukraine. mr muratov spoke to bidders before the auction began. translation: we hope that this will serve as an example - for other people, like a flash mob, for other people to auction their valuable possessions, their heirlooms, to help ukrainian refugees around the world. and before we go, here's the story of villagers living in cambodia who have caught a huge fish, and that's an understatement. emily brown reports. the biggest freshwater fish ever documented, caught in the mekong river, in cambodia. this is a 300 kilogram stingray. that's heavier than a male grizzly bear. its discovery is welcome news to biologists. so this is very exciting, it's very exciting news, because it was the world's largest fish. it's also very exciting news, because it means that this stretch of the mekong is still healthy.
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we hear a lot of stories about all the problems with the mekong river, but this is actually a sign of hope, that these huge fish still live in the mekong. the mekong river is rich in biodiversity, but overfishing and pollution have threatened its fragile ecosystem. the giant freshwater fish was found by a local fisherman, who called researchers to say he had caught a very big stingray. that stingray had turned out to be just under four metres long, and more than two metres wide. after being fitted with an acoustic tag, to track its movement, the endangered species was released back into the river. giant freshwater stingray, they haven't been well studied, we know almost nothing about them, so this is a real opportunity to learn more. biologists say this discovery provides hope for the natural world, and suggests many of the largest aquatic creatures are yet to be studied. emily brown, bbc news.
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let me show you the scene at stonehenge in south—west england, the 21st ofjune, the solstice, and the sun is coming up. hello. tuesday promises a long day ahead, quite literally, the longest day of the year. it is the summer solstice, and for shetland, we're looking at close to a whopping 19 hours of daylight. i can't promise you 19 hours of sunshine here, however, because there is a weather front that's closing in on northern scotland, and that will mean more cloud around, maybe even some rain through tuesday, although it should brighten across scotland later in the day. quite grey initially, though, with some drizzly rain. by the afternoon, i anticipate skies brightening, especially in the east, but we could see some isolated showers breaking out. for the clearest of the skies and the best of the sunshine, england and wales will be the place to be, and here, the top temperatures returning to the mid 20s.
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cooler for aberdeen, as we see that weather front slide south. pollen levels come down somewhat across scotland, in response to the weather front being in place, but still remain very high across england, wales and northern ireland. tuesday evening, some more fine weather around, and more sunshine until quite late into the evening, of course, and then, as darkness falls, clear skies continue across england and wales, a little bit more in the way of patchy cloud in scotland and northern ireland. 0vernight lows typically in double figures, somewhere between the 10—12 degree mark. for wednesday into thursday, we've still got high pressure trying to push across the uk — this little ridge from the west, so actually quite a lot of fine weather to come for both wednesday and thursday, and no really dramatic changes in our weather story — perhaps more sunshine though across central and eastern scotland, if anything, and northern ireland on wednesday and here, we should see temperatures responding to that and pushing back up into the low 20s. still cooler, though, for the northwest of scotland with more cloud here.
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but look at england and wales — 28 degrees, actually seeing some significant heat returning, through wednesday, and i think thursday's picture will be very similar indeed for england and wales. the chance of a few showers closing into the south coast, spilling up from the continent, but they should be few and far between. for scotland and northern ireland, perhaps a little more cloud around, but temperatures up to 20 in belfast and aberdeen. it's the end of the week, though, when it looks like things will start to turn more unsettled, and on into the weekend, showers becoming more widespread, the wind picking up and the temperatures sliding down.
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hello, again. this is bbc news. iam i am david deeds with the headlines. israel is to hold its fifth election in just over three years after the prime minister, naftali bennett, said he would step down from his post and dissolve parliament next week. the current foreign minister, yair lapid, will take over until the vote, which is expected to take place in 0ctober. the united nations has been accused of covering up abuse and corruption within its ranks. senior staff at the un have diplomatic immunity from national laws, and all complaints are handled internally. but the organisation's management has been accused of ignoring alleged wrongdoing. colombia's last recognisable guerrilla group, the eln, has said it's willing to resume peace talks with the government
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once the new president, gustavo petro, takes office in august.


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