tv BBC News BBC News August 20, 2022 12:00am-12:31am BST
this is bbc news with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. life in prison for el shafee elsheikh, a british fighter from so—called islamic state, sentenced for hostage taking and conspiracy to murder. relatives of his victims say justice has been done.... now we receive the best of our country, and i am very grateful, obviously, but that is what makes it a hollow victory, if you will. russia's vladimir putin agrees on the need to send inspectors to ukraine's zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, as fears grow about its safety. it is amended, the international agency of atomic energy, it is up to them to do the negotiations. we are, of course, ready to support them.
police in nicaragua detain a roman catholic bishop who's been a prominent critic of the president — we've spoken to human rights advocate bianca jagger who's following his case. he has been held hostage for the last 15 days without being allowed to go to officiate maths —— mass, will be allowed to get food or medicine. and a show of solidarity for salman rushdie — authors gather in new york to demonstrate their support, a week after he was attacked. hello and welcome to audiences in the uk and around the world. we start in the us, where a former british member of the islamic state terror group has been sentenced to life in prison by a court in virginia.
el shafee elsheikh, who's 3a, was among a group of british is members who carried out a brutal reign of terror in syria. our north america correspondent nomia iqbal reports from virginia. and then they would ask me to... el shafee elsheikh claimed he was a simple is fighter who wanted to help. but it wasn't true. he was part of the islamic state group which terrorised large swathes of iraq and syria between 2014 and 2017. beatings, electrocutions and mock executions were carried out by the jihadists on western hostages, who called their torturers the beatles due to their english accents. elsheikh, who left london tojoin is, was convicted of his part in a hostage murder plot in which four americans were killed — james foley, steven sotloff, peter kassig and kayla mueller, as well as the deaths of british aid workers, alan henning and david haines. the judge described
what el shafee elsheikh did as horrific, brutal, barbaric, callous, and criminal. he said the sentence had to act as a deterrent. elsheikh refused to comment when given the opportunity. none of the victim' bodies have ever been found. outside court, the families gathered. diane foley's sonjames died eight years ago today. it is a hollow victory. our country has lost four of its very best citizens. we families lost our loved ones for ever. and now, elsheikh and kotey have lost their freedom, country and families. it is a tragic cycle of violence and heartbreak for all involved. elsheikh�*s co—conspirator alexander kotey already pleaded guilty and will serve the rest of his life injail. as part of his plea deal, he met some victims�* relatives, including the family of kayla mueller, who
was raped and tortured by the leader of is. he by the leader of is. was eventually killed in a us he was eventually killed in a us raid. i did meet with kotey for two—and—a—half hours. so i spoke to him at length. and i would meet him again and i hope to. elsheikh does not have to meet with us. if he would, i would want him to. but my prayer all along in all of this is i have asked god to soften any hearts out there that know anything about any of this, that would come forward and help us. and we are getting people helping us. another member of this group, mohammed emwazi, known in the press asjihadi john, is dead. elsheikh and kotey were eventually captured in syria when is diminished in 2018. the group hated the western world, particularly america. but these two men now face spending the rest of their lives in a us jail. nomia iqbal, bbc news, virginia. our security correspondent, frank gardner, told us more about the role played by el shafee elsheikh.
well, in the bigger scheme of things for isis, in terms of isis' military battles, completely insignificant. none of these british jihadists who turned up had any military experience whatsoever. they arrived in syria in the middle of somebody else�*s civil war with a completely warped version or vision of islam, some of it acquired in prison, having spent an early lifetime of petty crime and drug peddling. but they were useful to isis and propaganda terms. so isis leadership decided that they would give them free rein to look after these western captives and it raised a lot of money for them. so whereas the british and us captives were pretty much doomed from the day they were caught, because britain and us do not pay terrorists ransoms, the europeans were all released one by one, reportedly for huge ransoms. although no government has ever admitted to this. but they of course survived,
went back home, told their stories and gave evidence to investigators, including british detectives. but these guys were just meting out completely gratuitous, sociopathic violence, they weren't looking to extract information. i mean, what information can you get from someone who has turned up in syria as an aid worker or as a journalist? these weren't military captives that they had, they were innocent men who were simply trying to do theirjob. and these so—called isis beatles just took out their sadistic tendencies on them, forcing them to fight each other, electrocuting them, beating them, starving, waterboarding them, doing horrific things to them. and the important thing, i think, is that the relatives, the families of the victims, at least two of them have said to me, we don't want them to be given the death penalty. this was before the trial. we want to see them have their day in court, have a fair trial, not to be
shipped off to some military tribunal in guantanamo bay, but to have a fair trial with defence lawyers so they get their day in court and if they are convicted, that they spent a long time in prison thinking what they've done. state media in somalia say the security forces are trying to contain an attack on a hotel in the capital, mogadishu. the assault on the hayat began with the detonation of at least two car bombs and a fierce gunfight. dozens of guests and staff are reported to have been rescued. the islamist militant group, al—shabab, says it is carrying out the attack. a man has died and a woman is in hospital after a shooting at a shopping centre in sweden. police cordoned off the emporia shopping mall in the southern city of malmo after around 20 shots were fired. police have arrested a teenage boy and believe the shooting is gang—related. officers say it is no longer an ongoing incident. sweden is gearing up for a general election next month, where gang violence tops voters' concerns.
presidents putin of russia and macron of france have agreed on the need to send inspectors to ukraine's zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant as fears grow over its safety. it comes as the un secretary general antonio guiterres said he hopes discreet diplomacy can secure the safety of the plant, amid concerns it could be damanged by shelling. he's been speaking to the bbc during a visit to the port of odesa. our correspondent, hugo bachega, has more. the visit by mr guterres has been overshadowed by the tensions around the zaporizhzhia nuclear power complex. for days, russia and ukraine have traded accusations of who's to blame for shelling the complex. the ukrainians accuse the russians of essentially turning this nuclear facility into a military base, using it to launch attacks against ukrainian towns, perhaps knowing ukrainians are unlikely to retaliate. the russians reject those accusations, they say russian troops are there protecting this complex. i ask mr guterres about
the situation at the zaporizhia complex and also about the rejection by russia of his idea about demilitarising the zone around the facility. take a listen. i hope it will be possible to start engaging in a way that we will come, at least for the moment, to end all military operations and then afterwards to a situation which is returning to its civilian nature. i also asked antonio guterres whether any negotiations were happening behind the scenes to allow those international inspectors to visit the zaporizhia complex. he didn't confirm, deny. and he mentioned discrete diplomacy and he did mention the grain deal was negotiated between the russians and the ukrainians and also the united nations and turkey. there was, according to him, after discrete diplomacy. so he sounded a little bit hopeful that perhaps a deal can be reached to allow those
inspectors into the plant. but so far, there is no sign that the russians are willing to allow those monitors to visit this complex in southern ukraine. for more on the risks posed by the nuclear plant, i spoke to mariana budjeryn, a senior research associate with the project on managing the atom, mta, at the harvard kennedy school's belfer center. i asked her, with all the conflicting narratives, whether she saw any way to get to the truth. at the moment, of course, it is part of the problem, that we really do not have access to third party, independently corroborated information about what is going on. if i were a betting woman, i know where i would place my bets but it really is a matter of assessing probabilities. i think the
bigger point is that any shelling, any kind of physical harm to civilian nuclear facility, especially the zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is, is extremely reckless and extremely glimmer alluded to, might had you feel about the talk of input —— potential inspectors at the plant? it is good news. of course, the mission won't happen until it happens. there are political issues at stake. it is good to see that perhaps the needle on those issues have been moved. previously, both sides were adamant that the mission should enter through
their territory, so ukrainian said, no, the mission can only enter through kiv, and russia insisted it should enter through their territory. there are signs that mr putin might have considered on that and it might go ahead through kyiv. and there are also some reports that the security team from the un might be up to the task, might be confident that they could secure the passage, this high level delegation, to this occupied plants. however, there are many impediments that could still happen between now and that mission. but ijust want to impress how important that mission would be important, ever does go ahead. even if it does self all of the problem actually a lot of the problems that zaporizhzhia, it can provide us with that badly needed third—party view of what is going on, at least when it comes to the safe operation of
the plant. it can also bring some technical assistance to the plant, some back—up equipment, radiation monitoring equipment, radiation monitoring equipment that might have gotten damaged. and beyond all, it would be an enormous vote or expression of support for the ukrainian staff that has been operating this plant now for six months. basically under the barrel of a gun.— barrel of a gun. thank you very much. stay with us on bbc news, still to come... the scottish city returning cultural artefacts looted from india during british rule in the 19th century. washington, the world's most political city is assessing the health of the world's most powerful man.
i did have a relationship with monica lewinsky that was not appropriate. it was wrong. in south africa,, 97 people have been killed today. over the last ten days, 500 have died. czechoslovakia must be free! russia is observing a national day of mourning for the 118 submariners who died. we are all with them now in our hearts. the pope has celebrated mass before a congregation of more than 2.5 million people. stay with us, stay with us, chanted this ocean of humanity. "well, well, you want me to desert rome?" said the pope. this is bbc news, the latest headlines el shafee elsheikh, a former british member of the so—called islamic state group, is jailed for life for his role in the murder
of western hostages. russia's vladimir putin agrees on the need to send inspectors to ukraine's zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, as fears grow about its safety. police in nicaragua have detained a roman catholic bishop who's been a prominent critic of president daniel ortega. bishop rolando alvarez is accused of trying to destabilise the government. he'd been under police siege at his home for two weeks. in this video in which you can see riot police blocking his exit, the bishop says he wanted to go out to the cathedral for holy mass, but obviously the authorities have not allowed him to do so. i spoke to human rights advocate bianca jagger, who told us how she reacted when she found about the bishop being detained. i was shocked and appalled by the news that bishop alvarez was abducted, kidnapped from the home where he was with five
priests and five laymen. what the police of daniel ortega did was to break down the doors and then to be able to get in to abduct him. he has been held hostage for the last 15 days without being allowed to go and officiate maths or being allowed to anyone bring him food, drinks, or medicine. today, the police haveissued or medicine. today, the police have issued a statement saying that he is under house arrest mbaye have brought him to managua. the other laymen are injail today and the managua. the other laymen are in jail today and the question and the request that we are making to nicaraguan is to release bishop alvarez. i am wondering why there is a war that has been waged against the
catholic church, against the bishops, against the priest in nicaragua today. bud bishops, against the priest in nicaragua today.— bishops, against the priest in nicaragua today. and may i say to our viewers, _ nicaragua today. and may i say to our viewers, bianco, - nicaragua today. and may i say to our viewers, bianco, that. to our viewers, bianco, that they, the nicaraguan police, have accused bishop alvarez, of organising mileage groups and inciting them to act out violence with the aim of destabilising the state. what would you — destabilising the state. what would you say _ destabilising the state. what would you say to _ destabilising the state. what would you say to that? - destabilising the state. what would you say to that? what| destabilising the state. what| would you say to that? what i would you say to that? what i would say is it is certainly not what bishop alvarez is. bishop alvarez is a courageous, highly respected man who preaches love and who preaches cohabitation between all the peoples in nicaraguan. he is loved and respected not only by the catholic people but by people from all walks of life and from all religions or non—religion is, as he has said many times. the fact is that the catholic church has not waged any war against the
government. neither have they ever preached for the people to out rise against the regime of daniel ortega. what you have in the government of daniel ortega is a regime that has committed crimes against humanity, who today are holding more than 190 people who are political prisoners among them you have the seven political leaders who were going to participate in the fraudulent election that were going to happen in nicaragua. you have human right defenders, journalists in jail. and you have priests that are in jail, and you have priests that are injail, plus the and you have priests that are in jail, plus the five that were abducted yesterday. so what i could say is that you have a regime, a dictatorship that has been persecuting the people of nicaragua. that was human rights
advocate bianca jagger there. president ortega has previously dismissed allegations of human rights abuses, saying that they are lies. apple has released an update to fix a security flaw for iphones, ipads and macs, which could allow hackers to take control of the devices. the company said the new software provides an important security update — and recommended all users to download it. there are no known reports of the security flaw being used against people or their apple devices. sir salman rushdie continues to recover in hospital with severe injuries, a week after the author was stabbed on stage. in a show of support for the indian—born british novelist, hundreds of writers gathered at the new york public library to read his works and pay tribute. our north america correspondent, nada tawfik has that story. new york has been sir salman rushdie's home for the past decade and a half. as he lies in hospital on the road to recovery,
the literary community here is still reeling from the attack on his life and the attack on his freedom to write. salman, my dear old friend... in a show of support, authors gathered on the steps of the public library to read aloud passages from his body of work, including the controversial novel the satanic verses, viewed by some muslims as blasphemous, as well as books such as midnight's children, his memoirjoseph anton and the golden house. i crawled before i could walk. i walked before i could run. the organisers hope this rally raises sir salman�*s spirits. they say he knows it has taken place and intended to watch. equally, they hope this is a galvanising moment and that others stand up to fight for freedom of speech. amanda foreman, a british biographer and historian, wasn't surprised to hear that the suspected attacker hadn't read the satanic verses beyond a page or two. freedom of expression isn't easy, it's not simple.
it's highly problematic. people do get offended. terrible things are sometimes said. this is not a perfect society and freedom of expression is not a perfect principle, but it's the best one we have, and if we are frightened, if we are silent, then the bullies and the silencers have won. censorship has got to go! the demonstration today is reminiscent of another held in 1989 after iran's ayatollah issued a religious ruling calling for sir salman�*s death. writers then also stood up for the indian—born british author and criticised stores that refused to carry his novel. but how much has changed since then? so much of our public discourse now happens in the digital arena. we face online harassment, the viral spread of disinformation. here in the united states, we're dealing with a pandemic of book bans and curriculum bans in higher education across the country. so it's a different environment. it's also the case that in 1989, you would have thought an attack like this on us soil
was really unheard of. sir salman�*s friends and colleagues hope this will be a watershed moment for free speech, and they say they look forward to hearing his voice again soon. nada tawfik, bbc news, new york. stand with salman! poet, lawyer and activist reginald dwayne betts spoke at today's rally, he explained why it was important to do so. i wanted to be there because the job of a writer is to not be afraid, it is to be fearless, and away. but i think no writer worth his salt confronts a situation like this without some fear and trepidation. and i think i was there to say that the act of creating art has to happen in the face of fear and adversity and also that when you try and silence artists, other artists
have to stand up and make sure their voices are heard, so i want to make sure that salman rushdie's work was heard and i was a vehicle to be present when he can be present. you know, it is profound in a way, this argument that what books do is not always change the way we view the world. some books, most books, get ignored, but there are a few that touch ass and hit as to the call and they do so because of how they inspire us with an ineffable quality of love, and how we carry those books around with that and how they become part of how we move around in the world and how we walk around in the world. and the fundamental argument in that lecture is that hate does not do the same thing, you can't be inspired and pushed and changed and shaped by hate in the same fundamental way that you can be by love. and the bottom line of it all, when we talk about literature and books, we are
talking about love, and the possibility of it.— possibility of it. reginald wa ne possibility of it. reginald wayne bets _ possibility of it. reginald wayne bets there. - the scottish city of glasgow has sealed an agreement with the indian authorities to send back seven cultural artefacts looted from india during british rule in the 19th century. it's said to be the first repatriation deal with india from a british museum. six of the objects — which include a ceremonial sword and an ancient door jamb — were looted from temples and shrines. glasgow officials says it showed the city's commitment to redressing past wrongs. speaking from glasgow, the first secretary for trade and commerce at the high commission of india, welcomed the return of the objects and hoped more artefacts would be sent back in the future. we would like to see all items returned back to india, all items, and we are working towards that, in the past three years, we have had three occasions where artefacts have
been sent back home by various partnerships and to the efforts of the high commissioner of india. this, although it stands out, because it is the first time that a british museum is giving back some artefacts, historical artefacts which came here decades back to india. a reminder of our top story which is a former british member of an islamic state carousel has been sentenced by a court in the us for his role in the murder of western hostages in syria. el shafee elsheikh was part of a group who executed and beat and tortured prisoners. there is more on that on our website, where you can hear more from the relatives of the victims of el shafee elsheikh. thank you
very much for watching bbc world news, do stay with us if you can. hello there. we ended the week with some warm sunshine but some showers, mainly in the north, close to an area of low pressure. and that same area of low pressure is sitting in the same place for the start of the weekend. but around the base of it, we've got this weather front thickening the cloud, bringing some rain and some stronger winds as well. ahead of that, with some clear skies in england and wales, it'll be a cooler start on saturday morning, significantly cooler than the previous night in southeastern parts of england. some sunshine for england and wales, one or two showers pushing across in the morning, ahead of this main band of rain that's heavy for a while, accompanied by some strong and gusty winds, sweeping away from scotland and northern ireland, followed by sunshine and a few showers. that rain band is quite narrow, but it could be quite heavy rain as it gets stuck in northern england. elsewhere for england and wales, some sunny spells, just one or two showers, but most places will be dry. and temperatures very
similar to what we had on friday, so getting up to the mid—20s at best. that area of low pressure will keep the showers going into the first part of the night. across scotland, another area of low pressure moving very slowly in from the atlantic will push a lot of cloud ahead of it. it means the sunnier skies probably further north this time on sunday. those showers easing in scotland. sunny spells here, some sunshine for northern ireland, the far north of england for a while. other parts of england and wales probably turning more cloudy, the cloud thickening to give a bit of rain and drizzle, mostly for western wales and southwest england, where temperatures will struggle to around 20 degrees. once again, we're 18 or 19 for scotland and northern ireland. the cloud continues to thicken on sunday night. we start to see a bit more rain proper coming in from the atlantic as that low pressure heads in from the west. having said that, there will be little or no rain for northern parts of scotland, some patchy rain elsewhere, the odd heavier burst for a while. nothing particularly organised, mind you. and some western areas should turn drier and brighter through the afternoon.
temperature—wise, making 23 again across southern england and south wales and 18 in the central belt of scotland. now, into next week, this is where the jet stream is going to be positioned. it may start to buckle a little bit, but it does mean that any warm air is stuck in the southeast of england, confined to the southeast, and no heatwave on the way by any means. temperatures near normal for this time of the year. monday looks the wetter day. after that, it looks mostly dry, and there will be some sunshine from time to time.
this is bbc news. the headlines: a former british member of an islamic state terror cell has been sentenced to life in prison for his role in the murder of western hostages in syria. el shafee elsheikh was part of a group — nicknamed the beatles — involved in torturing, beating and executing prisoners. the french president emmanuel macron says his russian counterpart, vladimir putin, has agreed on the need to send inspectors to ukraine's zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant as fears grow about its safety. the site has been under russian occupation since early march and the area has recently come under heavy fire. in a show of solidarity
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