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tv   Newsday  BBC News  April 16, 2018 12:00am-12:31am BST

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this is newsday. i'm in singapore. the headlines. more fallout after the air strikes on syria as the us threatens new sanctions against russia over its support for president assad. one week on from the alleged chemical attack that prompted the military action, we hearfrom a child caught up in it. translation: we went back down to the basement. we saw how they were bringing the martyrs. instead of breathing and, we were breathing the smell of blood. —— breathing air. and hello from me. i'm karin giannone in london. also in the programmel hundreds of firefighters in australia battle a huge bushfire capturing the sound of the stars. nasa's new mission to help look for planets close to us. live from our studios in singapore
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and london, this is bbc world news. it's newsday. glad you could join us. it's 6am in singapore, ”pm in london, and 6pm in washington, where the united states is preparing new sanctions against russia, targeting companies supplying damascus with chemical weapons capability. president putin meanwhile warned that any further western missile strikes against syria would cause international chaos. syria's president has been meeting russian politicians in damascus. he's reported to have been invited to visit moscow, a sign that president putin continues to fully support his government. here's our middle east editor, jeremy bowen. in damascus, journalists were shown one of the targets. the syrians deny it was a chemical and biological weapons site. the attacks were limited, a punishment, a message that the west won't tolerate the use of chemical weapons. the operation was designed to minimise the risks of starting a new war by avoiding
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russians and iranians, the syrian regime's main allies. the russians still insist that the attack in douma a week ago was a conspiracy organised by britain. but these desperate attempts to decontaminate civilians, and pictures of many others who died in agony, foaming at the mouth, prompted military action by the us, france and the uk. this man, his wife, and their children were among hundreds who were treated that traumatic night. their daughter's face, her pain and distress, went around the world. now the bbc has managed to track them down to the relative safety of a camp in northern syria. the family's detailed accounts seemed to corroborate the use of chemical weapons. translation: people were dying. suddenly, the civil defence came. they put us in the ground and poured water on us.
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then, they took us to the medical centre, sprayed us, gave us injections. i was fainting. my heart was aching. when we went to sleep, the planes shelled and we were covered in dust. we went back down to the basement, and i saw how they were bringing in the martyrs. instead of breathing air, we breathed the smell of blood. translation: i saw white smoke, like fog. our legs started to get weak. we started to lose the nerves in our legs. we had a shortness of breath and burning in the nose and chest. there was no oxygen, and we were fighting death to go upstairs and reach the higher floors. the girl's father says he heard a helicopter. the rebels don't have them, and the accusation
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is that the regime's delivered chemical weapons. translation: after four to five minutes, the regime started to shell us with artillery and rockets. after some moments, a helicopter passed over and some guys told us to go down one floor. president assad met russian politicians, with his regime, its airforce, and helicopters, untouched by the weekend's attacks. the us, france and britain decided against forcing regime change years ago. no wonder the president looked relaxed. jeremy bowen, bbc news. our correspondent, chris buckler, is in washington. he explained to me earlier that while the military action has stopped, diplomacy continues. i think the conversations have now begun about exactly what happens next. you are certainly right about saying military action has been done. the us said it was a one—time
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shot. the bigger question is about what happens inside syria. there have been these questions, even before the strikes, about president trump's real feeling about syria. he talked about moving 2000 troops from syria and leaving it up to the people in syria. there seems to have been a change of mind. emmanuel macron says he helped change president trump's mind about that. some in the administration believes donald trump will come back do it in six months. if you listen to the us ambassador to the un, nikki haley, today, the day she said they have a number of priorities in syria, not just defeating islamic state, the big concern of donald trump. from his point of view, it is why they we re his point of view, it is why they were there. other things were mentioned, like the use of chemical
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weapons. as a result, you get the feeling from america's point of view they are taking syria more seriously as it problem. but that does not mean they have developed a wider strategy. a lot of debate in the uk especially about the airstrikes and whether the prime minister should have gone ahead without consent from the parliament. what is the reaction from the us? abroad is the support for what the us and its partners did? there are some democrats who have raised some concerns, saying if there was going to be military action inside syria that it should be discussed with congress. but generally, those pictures that came out, it shocked many people, causing a political divide. there is not a real concern about the military action that took place. it is about the other question, whether or not there is a wider military strategy. what you are going to see in america
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isa what you are going to see in america is a continued push about exactly what are the plans. that will come on two fronts. some president trump supporters will be saying you campaigned on the idea of america first, you campaigned on the idea that this was all about looking after this nation's interests and not looking after the wider world. we are not global policeman, as he has pointed out. things have changed. when you start to talk about the plan in syria, especially. and others on the other side will say could america he doing more? chris buckler speaking from washington, dc. let's ta ke let's take a look at some of the day's other news. king salman of saudi arabia has opened the arab league summit by criticising what he called iran's "blatant interference" in regional affairs. but in spite of rivalries with tehran, the king made no mention of saturday's
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air strikes on syrian chemical weapons facilities. translation: we renew our strong condemnation of iran's terrorist actions and reject its blatant interference into the internal affairs of our countries. also making news today: north korea is commemorating the birth of the country's founder, kim il—sung. thousands of devotees attended the ceremony in mansu hill in the centre of pyeongyang, and laid flowers before statues of kim and his son, kimjong—il. demonstrators in the indian capital of delhi have held a silent protest in support of rape victims, following a number of high profile cases. a second person has been arrested in connection with the alleged rape of a teenager by a politician from the governing bjp party. more protests are being held in barcelona, against the detention of a number of catalan separatist leaders. the arrests were made after last october's referendum on independence from spain, which the government in madrid said was illegal,
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and an act of sedition. former us first lady, barbara bush, is said to be in "failing health" and no longer seeking medical treatment. a statement from the office of her husband, former president george bush senior, said the 92—year—old has chosen to focus on "comfort care." and let's watch this. a woman in china could face jail time after she hit five vehicles in a parking lot while allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol. security camera footage showed her crashing into a mini van in the central hubei province and then damaging four scooters before leaving her car and slapping a startled security guard. she then fled the scene but was found in a nearby park. a bushfire is burning out of control near sydney, with the flames now threatening some streets around 35 kilometres from the city centre.
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hundreds of people have been forced to leave their homes, and australian police say they suspect the blaze may have been started deliberately. phil mercer reports from sydney. strong winds have pushed the flames toward suburban streets, about 35 kilometres from the centre of sydney. as the blaze approached, many residents left, while others stayed to join a huge firefighting effort. authorities said the fast—moving outbreak was aggressive and unpredictable. while 500 firefighters confronted the inferno on the ground, they were supported in the skies by more than a dozen aircraft. very warm autumn weather and a lack of rain have turned bushland on sydney's outer fringes into a tinderbox. we have to deal with the worst that mother nature can throw at us. and the worst australians are presented with by nature,
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the better it brings out the australian spirit. conditions in the fire zone are reported to be easing. but crews will again be working through the night to try to contain the blaze. south—eastern australia is one of the world's most fire prone regions. most outbreaks are sparked by lightning, or accidentally by power lines. sometimes more sinister hands are to blame. australian police believe this monstrous fire in south—western sydney may have been lit on purpose. experts say that australia's annual bushfire season is starting earlier and ending later. they believe that climate change is making the threat worse. phil mercer, bbc news, sydney. michael carpenter is the senior director of the penn biden center for diplomacy and global engagement, and former deputy assistant secretary of defense for russia and eurasia. hejoins me now from washington. thank you forjoining us. first of
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all, it has been an eventful weekend. what has been the reaction in the us media to the syrian airstrikes? in the media, you have seen a reflection of the various views across the lives of the spectrum here. so i think except for folks on the democratic left about whether the president has the authorisation according to us law to carry out strikes in a mission fundamentally aimed at preventing bashar al—assad from using chemical weapons, there have been questions to that effect from the left, on the right side of the political spectrum, especially the far right, you have had concern about president trump getting more enmeshed in the syrian civil war. it was just a matter of a couple of weeks ago he
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said he was withdrawing us troops from syria. this is an about—face, oi’ from syria. this is an about—face, or at least seen as such, in terms of that promise. there is concern in the far right. in the middle, many people applaud the strike for having degraded the chemical weapon abilities of bashar al—assad.l mixed reaction. what is your major concern of all this? could it sparked a confrontation with russia? —— spark. the way the strikes were carried out was designed to minimise the risk of escalation with russia. targets were carefully chosen. they we re targets were carefully chosen. they were telegraphed by the president in a sense so russians were telegraphed by the president in a sense so russians would not be there and specific targets would not be notified. due course was paid to the risk of escalation. the main concern i'iow the risk of escalation. the main concern now is the strike was unconnected from a larger strategy on syria. there is a question about
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whether the trump administration, what its views are on regime change, is its content to allow bashar al—assad to remain in power even if he continues to use chemical weapons? between the strike last year and this year, there are reports of three dozen chemical weapons. what does that say about the future? and the question of iranian influence in the region and whether the us will in fact withdraw from eastern area. there is no coherent strategy on all of these different pieces and what the administration will do so by —— will do. in your opinion, should and will they conduct another airstrike? do. in your opinion, should and will they conduct another airstrike ?m depends on what happens next. if bashar al—assad uses chemical weapons, if there are egregious human casualties as a result, i save
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a robust action to signal the use of these weapons is beyond the pale. as far as the larger picture is concerned, this administration needs a coherent strategy, and they do not so a coherent strategy, and they do not so far. what will we do with the kurdish forces we have been working with with to fight islamic state? will they hold a fort in eastern syria to prevent islamic state from re—emerging, because many fighters remain in place, they simply melted away to pick this needs to be addressed. —— away. they need a more coherent strategy. thank you for joining us from washington, dc. you are watching newsday on the bbc live in singapore and london. this is what is coming up in the programme. the twinkling singers. how our night sky may not be so silent after all. we take a look at nasa's new mission. pol pot, one of the century's
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greatest mass murderers is reported to have died of natural causes. he and the khmer rouge movement he led were responsible for the deaths of an estimated 1.7 million cambodians. there have been violent protests in indonesia, where playboy has gone on sale for the first time. traditionalist muslim leaders have expressed disgust, the magazine's offices have been attacked and it is said that staff have gone into hiding. it was clear that paula's only contest was with the clock, and as for her sporting legacy, paula radcliffe's competitors will be chasing her new world best time for years to come. quite quietly, but quicker and quicker, she is seenjust to slide away under the surface and disappear. this is newsday on the bbc.
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i'm rico hizon in singapore. i'm karin giannone in london. our top stories: more fallout after the air strikes on syria, as the us threatens new sanctions against russia over its support for president assad. hundreds of firefighters in australia battle a huge bushfire burning out of control near sydney. let's take a look at some front pages from around the world. the situation in syria is continuing to dominate the headlines, it focuses on many different aspects of the conflict. this article in the straits times looks at diplomatic efforts by the us, the uk and france in the wake of saturday's strikes, as negotiations over a draft resolution are expected to begin on monday. now, the new york times explores how china's communist party is exerting increasing influence
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over business there, and how this is affecting foreign firms, who are also dealing with the tension of an ongoing trade dispute with the us. and finally, japan goes gaga for baseball star shohei 0htani after his electrifying debut in the major league. this japan times article says the 23—year—old's play and personal life are receiving excessive media attention. it is seen by many as one of the architectural wonders of the world. angkor wat in cambodia was first visited by french explorers in the late 19th century. they were so impressed, that they took some of the artefacts back to paris and the parisians also fell in love. these artefacts have remained there, held in the guimet museum. that is until now, where they have made their first trip back to the region for an exhibit at the asian civilisations museum, here in singapore. earlier, i wasjoined by kennie ting, director
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of the asian civilisations museum to expain. we have about 141 pieces direct from paris. that is a large amount pieces and what is the biggest piece coming here to singapore? and what is the biggest piece coming here to singapore ?|j and what is the biggest piece coming here to singapore? i would say the biggest piece is this masterpiece, it isa biggest piece is this masterpiece, it is a four headed, a statue of a four headed brahma and it weighs about a time. what makes this exhibition really a special, because it isa exhibition really a special, because it is a collection of artefacts from cambodia and from france? it is a collection of artefacts from cambodia and from france7m it is a collection of artefacts from cambodia and from france? it is because we are presenting a fuller picture, so notjust the artefacts but also the artefacts relate to the french encounter and the reintroduction of angkor wat to the wider world. and how was angkor wat viewed by the french at that time? at that time, i have to admit that
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the way the french actually approached and promoted angkor wat was to romanticise and exhaust size it is, which appealed to the colonial gaze at the time but also made angkor wat extremely popular. what was the process of getting all of these pieces hit asia? it was extremely difficult logistically because every one of these pieces had to be individually placed on custom—made plinths because they we re custom—made plinths because they were so custom—made plinths because they were so heavy. why has taken all this time to bring all of these pieces back to where it belongs, here in the region? i think it is because the time now is right, i think part of the reason why we were doing this was also because singapore chairs the association of southeast asian nations this year and wanted to do something that relates to southeast asia. it also happens that we were commemorating ten yea rs happens that we were commemorating ten years of diplomatic relationship in the field of culture with france, so in the field of culture with france, so the stars were just a line for
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us. so the stars were just a line for us. and i'm quite surprised that all these pieces are here in singapore, why not in cambodia? well, and mean the minute we knew that we would do this exhibition, i went over to cambodia to speak to my counterpart at the museum and we shared that it being in singapore meant that it will reach out to a large international audience, will reach out to a large internationalaudience, in particular it was very much our intent to spotlight angkor wat, which is a world heritage site that belongs to everybody, the world. so iam sure belongs to everybody, the world. so i am sure it is also not cheap transport these pieces from france, from the guimet museum museum all away hit singapore, do you think eventually cambodians will experience these works in their own home? —— guimet museum. experience these works in their own home? -- guimet museum. that is harderfor home? -- guimet museum. that is harder for us home? -- guimet museum. that is harderfor us to say home? -- guimet museum. that is harder for us to say in singapore, i think we see ourselves as more like a neutral place we certainly the opportunity is there to bring
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together cambodian, french and other international experts to discuss these issues. in fact, we have a conference on the 18th and 19th of may will we have all these experts in town to look at precisely these issues. fascinating. nasa is set to launch a mission to look for planets around the stars closest to us. a critical part of the tess mission is to capture the vibrations from the stars, which can be turned to sounds. this will help researchers identify their age and size. 0ur science correspondent pallab ghosh has been to the kennedy space centre in florida, where the space telescope is due to be launched monday night. the night sky is littered with stars, they shine and they also seem. stars, they shine and they also seem. these are the vibrations of a distant star, similar to our some, converted into sound. and this is another month rigour and older style. this professor is analysing
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these sounds, of course there is no air in space so the stars cannot actually be heard but they do vibrate and so generate sound waves. and professor bill chaplin has discovered that each star has its own song, it depending on how big and hot it is. when we hear the sounds of the stars, first of all it tells us that out of this turbulence, this almost chaos, we get these audits sounds and it is incredible that stars resonate just like a musical instrument, and this gives us a way to actually study stars and see what the insides look like ina stars and see what the insides look like in a way that is just not possible by other means. this will be the first mission to scan nearly the entire sky, sector by sector. the sound star makes will tell scientists is how big and how hot it is. many of them will have planets in orbit around them, some will be
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too close. those that are the right distance away will be the ones most capable of supporting life, in what scientists call the goldilocks zone, where the temperature is just right. the mission‘s lead scientist believes one day it may be possible to send probes to some of these distant worlds and see if there really is life out there. there are about 100 stars that lie within 20 of earth, and if you were to send out an armada of probes to those, and you can basically get up to speed of say 20% of the speed of light, then under those circumstances, you could expect to reach these planets within100 yea rs. reach these planets within100 years. in a few years's time, we will know how each of the stars in the night's skies sound and whether the night's skies sound and whether the planets around the might harbour life. —— around them. amazing new
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discoveries. you have been watching newsday. stay with us. for design dilemmas. coming up... what is the secret to a healthier, happier office? we'll be taking a closer look at how design can help create more productive workers. and before we go, let's take a look at these pictures. dozens of pugs and dachshunds, compensating for their lack of speed with some dogged determination, have taken part in hong kong's inaugural doggie dash to raise funds for abandoned and rescued canines. while the laneless race track proved a little confusing for some pets, others happily scampered across the finishing line into the hands of their owners. stay with bbc world news. good morning. it is safe to say it has been a miserable april so far
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that things look likely to change as we move through this week. if you have not already heard, we are heading for some warmer weather. they will still be the main in the forecast, out to the west and at times, some strong gale force winds not you want to know how warm it is going to be. we could see highs of 25 degrees in london, 77 fahrenheit. widely across the country, we could see temperatures in the low 20s. something to look forward to. ahead of that for today, quite a quiet start to a working week. this area of low pressure will slowly start to push in, wet and windy weather but not really to the end of the day. it will start to ease away from scotland, cloudy skies first thing. hopefully, they should brighten with the sunshine likely to be along the west coast. wind arrives in the west. some wet and windy weather is expected, gale force winds through the night across northern ireland, north—west england and scotland.
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some of that rain really quite intense to start on tuesday but as it its way out of the borders, it really will fizzle out quite considerably. a band of rain and drizzle by then, behind it, it somewhat brighter but fresher conditions, temperatures will peak at perhaps 1a degrees. if we can keep some sunshine ahead of that weather front, we could see highs across south—west england at 18 or i9 across south—west england at 18 or 19 celsius. moving away from tuesday, we look at the weather story across the continent with this high pressure building. this is going to deflect frontal systems coming in from the atlantic up into the far north and west and really influence the story and with the wins swimming around in it clockwise direction, it drags in this warmer, drier south—easterly flow and hence the reason for the marks change in the reason for the marks change in the story for april. as we move into wednesday, we will see some showery rain into northern ireland and western fringes of scotland, it may
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be more clout. in southern england and wales, we will cease and dry, sunny weather, 19 to 20 degrees high on wednesday. 0n sunny weather, 19 to 20 degrees high on wednesday. on thursday, a little bit of clout at the west, maybe a little bit of coastal mist, nothing particularly untoward and generally speaking, lots of sunshine, light winds, and yes, that is when we could see temperatures as high as 25 degrees. the last time we had temperatures like that was back on the 29th of august last year. i'm karin giannone with bbc world news. our top story: the us has threatened new sanctions against russia over its support for president assad. the move, which follows the western air strikes on syria, will target russian companies supplying damascus with chemical weapons capability. meanwhile, president putin has warned that any further western missile strikes against syria would cause international chaos. hundreds of firefighters are tackling a large bushfire
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burning out of control in the southern suburbs of sydney. police say the blaze, which has forced many residents to leave their homes, may have been started deliberately. and this story is trending on braving the dark and the danger of india's record—breaking "fairy cave," with tunnels stretching nearly 25 kilometres. that's all from me now.
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