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tv   Newsday  BBC News  April 16, 2018 1:00am-1:31am BST

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i'm rico hizon in singapore. the headlines: more fallout after the air strikes on syria. the us threatens new sanctions against russia over its support for president assad. a week on from the alleged chemical attack in douma, one young resident describes her pain and distress. translation: we went down to the basement and saw how they were bringing in the matter is. instead ofair, bringing in the matter is. instead of air, there was the smell of blood. i'm karin giannone in london. also in the programme: hundreds of australian firefighters battle a huge bushfire threatening southern sydney. police say it may have been started deliberately. capturing the sound of the stars. nasa's new mission to seek earth—like worlds and alien life. it is 8:00am in singapore,
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1:00am in the morning in london, and 8:00pm 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 is reported to have been invited to visit moscow, a sign that president putin continues to fully support his government. here is our middle east editorjeremy 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,
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a punishment, a message that the west won't tolerate the use of chemical weapons. a new war, by avoiding 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
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of a camp in northern syria. the family's detailed accounts seem 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. 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 the martyrs. instead of breathing air, we breathed the smell of blood. translation: i saw white smoke, like fog. 0ur 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.
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the girl's father says he heard a helicopter. the rebels don't have them, and the accusation is that the regime has 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. 0ur 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. and certainly you're right in saying the military action is done.
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the us said it was a one—time shot. the bigger question is aboutjust what happens inside syria. and there have been these questions, even before we had these strikes, about what president trump's real feelings about syria was. he talked about moving 2,000 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 feels that he helped change president trump's mind about that. some in the administration believe donald trump was going to come back to it in about six months‘ time. if you listen to the us ambassador to the un, nikki haley, today, today she said they have a number of priorities in syria. notjust defeating islamic
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state, the big concern of donald trump. from his point of view, it's why they were there. other things were mentioned, like the use of chemical weapons. as a result, you get the feeling from america's point of view that they're taking syria more seriously as a wider problem. but i'm not sure that means 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 there support for what the us and its partners did? there are some democrats who have raised some concerns, really saying, if there was going to be more of a military action inside syria, that it should be discussed with congress. but i think generally, those pictures that came out of douma, it shocked many people, causing a political divide. there's not a real concern about the military action
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that took place. it's about the other question, whether or not there is a wider military strategy. and i think what you're going to see in america is a continued push about exactly what are the plans. and that's going to 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 president trump was at times keen to point out. things have changed, from that point of view. when you start to talk about the plan in syria, especially. and others on the other side will say could america be doing more? 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.
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but, in spite of rivalries with tehran, the king made no mention of saturday's air strikes on syrian chemical weapons facilities. translation: we renew our strong condemnation of iran's terrorist acts in the arab region, and we reject its blatant interference into the internal affairs of other 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 pyongyang, 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. former us first lady barbara bush is said to be in failing health and no longer seeking medical treatment. a statement from the office
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of her husband, former president george bush sr, said the 92—year—old has chosen to focus on comfort care. watch this — a chinese woman driver hit five vehicles in a parking lot, while allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol. security camera footage showed her crashing into a minivan and damaging four scooters, before leaving her car and slapping a startled security guard. the islamic state group says it was responsible for killing two christians and injuring seven more in a targeted attack in western pakistan. officials said the assailants in quetta quetta, capital of balochistan province, shot at worshippers from a motorbike as they left church. lebo diseko has more. they were leaving their place of
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worship when they became victims of terror. gunman on motorbikes a p pa re ntly terror. gunman on motorbikes apparently from the so—called islamic state opening fire on these people as they left church —— gunmen. translation: the injured people belonged to the christian community. we rushed the injured to the hospital. two of the injured, who were in a serious condition, died later. the drive-by shooting happened in quetta, the capital of balochistan, an area that has seen its fair share of violence, and a minority group that has done as well. it is here that four members ofa well. it is here that four members of a christian family were gunned down after easter, and at least ten we re down after easter, and at least ten were killed by suicide bombers in a church a week before christmas. is says it carried out those attacks as well. as night fell, the anger was visible, protesters blocking roads and burning tyres on the streets. but given the violence and
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instability in this province, it is unlikely to be the last time that this community and others find themselves being targeted. a bushfire is burning out of control near sydney, with the flames now threatening some streets around 35 km from the city centre. 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 km 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
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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 worse australians are presented with by nature, 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 powerlines. 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.
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you are watching newsday on the bbc. still to come on 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 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 its editorial staff have gone into hiding.
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it was clear that paula's only contest was with the clock, and as for a 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. 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 are battling a huge bushfire burning out of control near sydney. let's take a look at some front pages from around the world.
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the situation in syria continues to dominate the headlines, focusing on many different aspects of the conflict. this article in the straits times looks at diplomatic efforts by the us, uk, and france in the wake of saturday's strike as negotiations over a draft resolution are expected to begin on monday. the new york times explores how china's communist party is exerting increasing influence over business in the country, 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 says the 23—year—old's play and personal life are receiving excessive media attention. let's go back to our top story now — and the reaction to the airstrikes by the us, britain and france on targets in syria. i've been speaking to michael carpenter, who's the senior director of the penn biden center
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for diplomacy and global engagement and former deputy assistant secretary of defense for russia and eurasia. he told me how the strikes are being seen in the united states. well, i think indymedia you'll have seen sort of a reflection of the different views across the political spectrum —— in the media. i think except for folks on me democratic left who have questioned whether the president has the authorisation here according to us law to carry out strikes and a mission that is fundamentally aimed at preventing assad from using chemical weapons, there have been questions to that effect on the left side, on the right side, especially on the far right, you have had a loss of concern about president trump getting more enmeshed in syria, potentially in the syrian civil war itself. it was a matter of a couple
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of weeks ago he said he was withdrawing us troops from syria. it is an about—face. 0r withdrawing us troops from syria. it is an about—face. or the strike is seen is an about—face. or the strike is seen as an is an about—face. or the strike is seen as an about—face in terms of that promise. there is quite a bit of concern on the far right. in the middle of the political spectrum, i think a lot of foakes applaud the strike for having degraded as a's military capabilities —— a lot of people. overall, it has been a mixed reaction. what is your major concern of all of this, could spark a confrontation with russia?” of all of this, could spark a confrontation with russia? i think that way the strikes were carried out was designed to minimise risk of escalation with russia. so the targets were carefully chosen and, ina sense, targets were carefully chosen and, in a sense, telegraphed by the president so the russian advisers would not be there, although the specific targets were not pre— notified. due course was paid to the risk of escalation. the main concern now is that the strike was carried out completely unconnected from any larger strategy on syria. there is a
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question as to whether the trump administration, what its views are on regime change, is is content to allow assad to remain in power, even if he continues to use chemical weapons? we should remember that between glassey byes strike and this you's strike, there are reports of a least three dozen uses of chemical weapons. what does that say about deterrence for the future? and then there is a question of iranian influence in the region where the united states will withdraw from eastern syria. there does not seem to bea eastern syria. there does not seem to be a coherent strategy on all these various different pieces and what the administration will do. michael carpenter. 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
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— they shine and they also sing. these are the vibrations of a distant star, similar to our sun, converted into sound. and this is another bigger and older star. professor bill chaplin is analysing 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, 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 ordered 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 their insides look
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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 a star makes will tell scientists how big and how hot it is. many of them will have planets in orbit around them, some will be 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 light years of earth, and if you were to send out an armada of probes to those and you can basically get up to a speed of say 20% of the speed of light, then under those circumstances, you could expect to reach these planets within 100 years. in a few years' time,
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we will know how each of the stars in the night sky sound and whether the planets around them might harbour life. pallab ghosh, bbc news, kennedy space centre. it's 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 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 of the asian civilisations museum to explain. we have about 1111 pieces direct from
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paris. what is the biggest piece coming to singapore? it is a statue ofa coming to singapore? it is a statue of a four headed brahma and it weighs about a ton. what really makes this exhibition significant? it isa makes this exhibition significant? it is a combination of artefacts from cambodia and from france. what makes it really unique is we are presenting a fuller picture of the story of angkor wat, so notjust the khmer artefacts but the french encounter. how was angkor wat an cambodia viewed by the french at the time? at the time the way the french approached and promoted angkor wat was to appeal to the colonial gaze
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at the time. it also made it tremendously popular. and, of course, this is the largest loan ever. what was the process of getting all of these 100 pieces here to asia? it was tremendously difficult, logistically, also because every one of these cultures have had to be individually placed on custom—made plinths, because they we re on custom—made plinths, because they were so on custom—made plinths, because they were so heavy. why has it taken all this time to bring all of these pieces back to where it belongs in the region? i think it is because the region? i think it is because the time now is right. part of the reason why we the time now is right. part of the reason why we were the time now is right. part of the reason why we were doing this was because singapore chairs the association of south—east asian nations this year and we wanted to do something that relates to southeast asia. it also happens that we we re southeast asia. it also happens that we were commemorating ten years of diplomatic relationship in the area of culture in france. so the stars we re of culture in france. so the stars were just of culture in france. so the stars werejust aligned of culture in france. so the stars were just aligned for us.|j of culture in france. so the stars were just aligned for us. i am quite surprised that all these pieces are here in singapore and why not in
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cambodia? well, i'm in the minute we knew 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 it would reach at the large international audience and, in particular, it was very much intent to spotlight angkor wat, which is a world heritage site, which belongs to every body, to everybody in the world. it is also not cheap to transport these pieces from frantz all the way here to singapore. do you think, eventually, cambodians will experience these works in their own home? that's harder for us to say in singapore. we see ourselves as more of a neutral place, were certainly opportunity is there with the exhibition being in singapore to bring together cambodian, french, and other international experts to discuss these issues. in fact, we have a conference on may 18— 19,
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where we have these experts in town to look at future opportunities as well as current issues. looking forward to seeing the exhibition. you have been watching newsday. stay with us, for design dilemmas. coming up, what's the secret to a healthier, happier office? we'll be taking a close 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 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. good morning.
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i think it's pretty safe to say it's been a miserable april so far, hasn't it? but things look likely to change as we move through this week. yes, if you haven't already heard, we're heading for some warmer weather. there will still some rain in the forecast, mostly out to the west, and at times some strong to gale force gusts of winds. but, you want to know how warm it's going to be — well, we could see highs of 25 degrees in london, that's 77 fahrenheit. and widely across the country, we could see temperatures peaking into the low 20s. so something to look forward to. ahead of that though for today, quite a quiet start to our working week. this area of low pressure will slowly start to push in, bringing some wet and windy weather but not really until the end of the day. a little bit of showery rain to ease away from scotland, cloudy skies first thing. hopefully they should brighten, the best of the sunshine likely to be along the south coast, highs of 11 to 15 degrees. now the winds will strengthen and the rain arrives from the west. some wet and windy weather is expected, gale force gusts of winds through the night across northern ireland, north—west england and scotland.
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so some of that rain really quite intense to start the day on tuesday, but as it pushes its way out of the borders, it really will fizzle out quite considerably. a band of cloud and drizzle by then. behind it, somewhat fresher conditions but brighter conditions, so temperatures will peak perhaps at around 1a degrees. but if we can keep some sunshine ahead of that weather front, we could see highs across eastern and south—east england of 18 or 19 celsius. move away from tuesday and we look at the weather story across the near continent with this high pressure building. now, 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 winds swinging round in a clockwise direction around that high, it drags in this warmer, drier south—easterly flow and hence the reason for the marked change in the story for april. so that means as we move into wednesday, we will see some showery outbreaks of rain into northern ireland and western fringes of scotland, maybe a little more cloud. but through the borders and into central and southern england and wales, we'll see some dry, sunny weather and some warmth starting to build, 19 to 20 degrees
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the high on wednesday. on thursday, just a little bit of fair weather cloud out to the west, maybe a little bit of coastal mist but nothing particularly untoward, and generally speaking, lots of sunshine, light winds and yes, that's when we could see temperatures as high as 25 degrees, 77 fahrenheit. the last time we had temperatures like that — 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
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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 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 video is trending on braving the dark and the danger of india's record—breaking fairy cave, with tunnels stretching nearly 25 km. and the top story here in the uk:
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