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tv   BBC News  BBC News  July 23, 2019 3:00am-3:31am BST

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welcome to bbc news, i'm duncan golestani. our top stories: britain calls for a european naval mission to protect ships in the gulf after iran's seizure of a british—registered oil tanker. questions for hong kong's authorities and the police following a brutal attack on pro—democracy protestors by masked men. who will become britain's next prime minister? the winner of the conservative party contest will be announced within hours. and tens of thousands demand the resignation of puerto rico's governor, among them pop star ricky martin. we just can't take it anymore.
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puerto rico has suffered enough, and it's pretty much barbaric, what he's doing. we're tired, and we're angry. hello and welcome to bbc news. the uk is seeking to put together a european—led maritime mission to protect ships passing through the strait of hormuz. it comes after a british—registered tanker was seized there by iran last week. it is the latest development in the growing tension in the region. this is the strait of hormuz. on one side are the arab states, including a number of key western allies and oil producers. on the other is iran.
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at its narrowest point, it is only 21 miles across, about 35 km, but a fifth of the world's oil exports pass through this narrow channel. our chief international correspondent lyse doucet has more. first images of the men seized at sea, the crew of the stena impero — indians, russians, a latvian, a filipino, images released by iran. is this what life is like on board now, or is this just for show? a crew member heard saying, "don't look at the camera". and this photograph looks a lot different — the crew in a corner, an iranian official in charge. iran's flag flies here now, this ship suddenly seized on friday in a dramatic raid. iran's islamic revolutionary guards descending to the deck. a british frigate in the gulf was too far away that day
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to stop them. hms montrose will soon be joined by another warship at the end of this month. and britain has now announced plans for a maritime protection force, led by europe, separate from the us‘s proposed force, and its more aggressive approach to iran. in parliament today, the foreign secretary accused iran of state piracy. if iran continues on this dangerous path, they must accept the price will be a larger western military presence in the waters along their coastline, not because we wish to increase tensions, but simply because freedom of navigation is a principle which britain and its allies will always defend. how did we get here? this chapter began in these far—away waters off the coast of gibraltar. iran accuses britain of piracy here.
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this tanker laden with iran's oil was seized by britain on 4july for allegedly violating sanctions on sales to syria. iran warned there would be payback. and its top diplomat, javad zarif, took to twitter to accuse britain of colluding in what he called the us‘s "economic terrorism", a reference to its crippling sanctions. and today, in tehran, an iranian spokesman had a clear message. translation: to all the countries that are calling on iran to release the tanker, we ask them to tell britain the same thing. but this crisis is bigger than boats. there's nothing wrong with providing better security for shipping in the straits, but that doesn't necessarily get to the issue at hand. and i think iran is feeling cornered, and they're doing everything they can to lash out without provoking enough that it causes a military response. it is hard to say what is next.
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britain's new prime minister may chart a different course in these troubled waters, moving closer to the us, but there will need to be a deal to free this ship and its crew, and everyone agrees there needs to be much wider talks. but iran says it won't be on board until sanctions are lifted, until it can move its oil through here, in its own backyard. lyse doucet, bbc news. the authorities in hong kong have defended the police after groups of pro—democracy protesters were attacked by gangs of masked men at a train station. 45 people were injured in the incident, which happened after a rally in the centre of the city. opposition politicians have accused police of being suspiciously slow to arrive at the scene. you may find some of the pictures in stephen mcdonell‘s report upsetting. gangs were waiting when pro—democracy activists arrived. their attack was brutal.
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using home—made weapons, they set upon individual protesters. one of those at the train station was this man. when police did arrive, the injured were many, and today, a spokeswoman for the local station faced an angry crowd. they accused officers of collusion with gang members. passions are running high here today. the police are trying to explain to this community
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that they still have their best interests at heart, and yet many who have come along are not happy with the explanation that the reason that officers were not at the mtr last night was because of "security concerns". eyewitnesses say hong kong's underworld is being mobilised to crush the pro—democracy movement. we do have a lot of — quite a number of gangsters in the area, and they were not unfamiliarfigures. they are in fact... we know them, ok? they live with us. hong kong's leader is under pressure. carrie lam said she was shocked. she called on police to apprehend those involved, and there have been some arrests. but protesters are still planning to march to the scene of these most recent clashes in the coming days. stephen mcdonell, bbc news, hong kong. for more on the arrests in hong kong, i spoke to our reporter laura westbrook, who is just back from reporting on the protests there.
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six arrests have been made for unlawful assembly. they're men aged between 2a and 5a, and the police have said that some of them have ties to the chinese mafia. a lot of the — what's going on in hong kong has been focusing on the police and the police‘s response to the violence in yuen long on sunday night. criticism has been about how slow they were to respond to the violence, and also they didn't make any arrests at the time. one of the lawmakers who was there, he said that the level of sophistication and organisation meant that there were ties to organised crime, and that does seem to have been backed up by the police with these arrests just in the last few hours. and am i right in thinking there have been accusations that in some way the government might be complicit in dealing with these gangs?
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so some demonstrators have said that the violence was encouraged by pro—government supporters at a rally on saturday. the vice president of the economic times, he went on and said, bring your canes — do you have canes? some of the men who carried out this violence, they were carrying bamboo sticks. he's come out and apologised for his comments. another video that's been shared widely online shows a pro—beijing lawmaker on the night of these protests going out and meeting men wearing white, and he's seen to shake their hands and give them a thumbs—up, and a lot of people have been focusing on that as well. he came out in a press conference on monday. he said he didn't have anything to do with the protests. but i think what you're seeing with these two links, even though they're not direct links, what they show is just how polarised hong kong is right now. going back a few years, it's not the first time we've heard accusations along these lines, is it?
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yeah, this isn't the first time there have been accusations like this. back in 2014, which was the umbrella movement, a similar situation happened, where you had a group of men attacked a group of protesters in the district of moan kok. they were also found to have links to organised crime, and about 19 men were arrested at the time. also, back then, there were accusations of collusion between the people who carried out the violence and police, which has happened this time as well, and one of the videos that has also been shared online shows police talking to men wearing white. they're also carrying sticks, and then they let them go, and that's what a lot of people have been focusing on. that image was shared more than 1,000 times online, and it really isn't going to do a lot to rebuild the trust that people and demonstrators have with the police, which is really at an all—time low at the moment.
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let's get some of the day's other news: a major power cut has caused widespread disruption across venezuela. the metro system is suspended in the capital, caracas, while homes and businesses have been left without in electricity in all 23 venezuelan states. the government said the blackout had been caused by sabotage against the main hydroelectric dam. the opposition accused venezuela's socialist government of destroying the country's electrical system. the trump administration says it is introducing a fast—track deportation process that bypasses immigrationjudges, as it steps up measures to combat illegal immigration. the department of homeland security says anyone who has been in the country for less than two years can be deported quickly, no matter where they are caught. researchers say malaria parasites that are resistant to key drugs have spread rapidly in south—east asia.
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the findings, published in the lancet infectious diseases, indicate that half of the patients studied were not cured with first—choice drugs, and that resistant bugs have proliferated across cambodia and into laos, thailand and vietnam. the man who will become the next uk prime minister will be named on tuesday morning. borisjohnson is widely expected to win the conservative party leadership contest, and move into downing street on wednesday. the ballot of tory party members closed on monday evening. ahead of the announcement, the foreign office minister, sir alan duncan, resigned from the government in protest at mrjohnson‘s expected victory. from westminster, here is our political editor laura kuenssberg. i've just voted for boris johnson to be the next prime minister. the envelopes should all have arrived... well, this is it. i'm about to post my vote for borisjohnson.
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..crosses in the box put by tory members... i felt that it would only be right to vote forjeremy hunt. ..that will decide who the prime minister is, for all of us. eitherjeremy hunt, who has struggled to keep pace, or borisjohnson, the frontrunner, will become the next tory leader. but, even before he has won, some ministers have quit because they wouldn't serve him. reporter: why have you decided to resign? you'll see my resignation letter in a minute. even one of them who worked alongside him at the foreign office. i have very grave concerns that he, you know, flies by the seat of his pants, and it's all a bit sort of haphazard and ramshackle. but there's no personal animosity of any sort. ijust think he's going to go smack into a crisis of government. sir alan even wanted the commons to have the chance to block mrjohnson becoming prime minister if he wins tomorrow, trying and failing to organise an emergency vote that could stop him becoming pm.
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the fundamental principle of our democracy is that the prime minister is the person who can command a majority in the house of commons, and that is untested, and it is in doubt. and i thought that, in order to avoid a constitutional crisis, we should test that on the tuesday, tomorrow, before he goes to the palace on the wednesday. but, to borisjohnson supporters, they know that you have had grave doubts about him, they believe that you would have been moved out of government anyway, and here it looks like this was a plan for the ultimate sort of revenge. you are trying to stop him having a chance at taking power. this is a constitutional issue, not a personal one. despite that, the conservatives appear to be on the verge of knowingly choosing a leader who is loved and loathed. at the start of this race, so at the end, it is borisjohnson‘s to lose. no—one, not even here at conservative headquarters, nor in the candidates' camps, can be sure of the final result.
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we will only know when it is announced, around the corner in westminster, around 11:00am. but what we do know is the next prime minister will face a wall of resistance, and borisjohnson‘s backers are sure he is the one with a chance of making it through. absolute resolve as prime minister, as the leader of this country, that we'll leave by the end of october. i think that's been missing. he'll restore cabinet collective responsibility, so we've got a united team. and above all, inject a bit of optimism into this enterprise we're embarked on. when the gazebos are back on westminster‘s green, that means something big is about to happen. tory members' overall verdict will be known before too long. i'll be backing boris to be the next prime minister. my name is aaron, and i voted for jeremy hunt. i'm putting my vote behind jeremy hunt, because it's the least—worst option. whoever is next won't even please all of their people all of the time. laura kuenssberg, bbc news, westminster. and you will be able to see that result here on bbc news.
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meanwhile, you can read a profile of the final two candidates on the our website. just go to bbc.com/news. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: reaching for the moon. india hopes to be the first to land on the lunar south pole. mission control: you can see them coming down the ladder now. it's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. a catastrophic engine fire is being blamed tonight for the first crash in the 30 year history of concorde,
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the world's only supersonic airliner. it was one of the most vivid symbols of the violence and hatred that tore apart the state of yugoslavia. but now, a decade later, it's been painstakingly rebuilt and opens again today. there's been a 50% decrease in sperm quantity and an increase in malfunction of sperm unable to swim properly. thousands of households across the country are suspiciously quiet this lunchtime as children bury their noses in the final instalment of harry potter. this is bbc news. the latest headlines: britain has called for a european naval mission to protect ships in the gulf following iran's seizure of a british—registered oil tanker. authorities in hong kong have defended the police after groups of pro—democracy protesters were attacked by gangs of masked men.
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in the phillippines, the trial has begun of maria ressa, the editor of the online site rappler and critic of president rodrigo duterte. she's charged with cyber libel. her website has reported extensively on president duterte's anti—drugs crackdown that left thousands of people dead. earlier i spoke to our correspondent howard johnson outside the courthouse in manila. if you just see behind up on the top floor, that's where regional trial court branch 46 is. there is a case going on, cyber libel against rappler and maria ressa, the editor of the website. what has happened is a businessman has brought about a private case against her saying that she was involved with libelling him in an article back in 2012.
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now, this case has come bout five years after that and today, the first of the witnesses are being presented in that courtroom. i spoke to the prosecution just before the case started and they said that there had been no political influence on this case. maria ressa and rappler say they feel they have been under pressure from the government because of their reporting on the situation here in the philippines. grave human rights groups abuses are the allegations by human rights groups out here because of president duterte's war on drugs and today is the first day of this cyber libel trial and maria ressa is not here for it but witnesses are being presented by the prosecution today. what is the context for this? what is the climate like for journalists operating there? well, we've seen that there have been attacks on journalists, particularly online and on social media. there have been rape threats, death threats levelled against maria ressa and her colleagues. this is a serious situation in the philippines. you don't really see much from the government trying to rein that back in.
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the foreign correspondents association of the philippines, of which i'm a member, recognise that we have also been threatened while we've been doing our work here in the philippines so what we've seen is a ramping up of pressure on journalism and the fear is that if maria ressa is found guilty in this case, she could face 12 years injail and that would lead to the criminalisation ofjournalism and let's not forget, that might put people off doing investigative work to expose the wrongs of this country. maria ressa is getting some high—profile international support in her case. amal clooney is supporting her on an international scale. her law firm are experts in international law and human rights. amal clooney says she wants to represent maria ressa because she believes she has been fighting the good fight for human rights and truth and the philippines and we have also heard from the government who say they are welcoming maria ressa's
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international representation in amal clooney because she is sexy and a beautiful woman. that is the president's spokesperson, so leading to claims of ‘bastos', or rude culture, here in the philippines but we will see what will come out of this case a later on today. thousands returned to the streets of puerto rico on monday, calling for the island's governor to step down. these are live pictures from san juan — it's just the latest in a series of protests against ricardo rosello. he says he won't seek re—election, as he battles a scandal over offensive chat messages between him and his staff. but protesters, many still angry about how he handled the aftermath of hurricane maria, want him to go now. the bbc‘s aleem maqbool has more. they are thought to be the biggest protest there have ever been
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on puerto rico. it's estimated more than a quarter of the entire population of the island has taken to the streets to demand the resignation of the governor, ricardo rosello. we will make a change. someone who's flown over for the protests, with good reason to be upset with governor rosello, is pop star ricky martin. he's going to listen to us. we just can't take it anymore. puerto rico has suffered enough and it's pretty much barbaric what he's doing. we're tired and we're angry. the governor was exposed on a social media group chat using vulgar insults about female politicians and joking he'd shoot a rival. other staff members of his made homophobic slurs against ricky martin and, most offensively, made fun of the bodies that piled up after hurricane maria. there were already strong feelings of dissatisfaction at the slow recovery after the hurricane
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which killed thousands, and with corruption. it boiled over once the tech scandal was exposed. but in a video statement over the weekend, the governor said that while he wouldn't seek re—election next year, he would see out his full term in office. the protesters, though, say as long as ricky rosello continues to occupy the governor's mansion, they will continue to take to the streets of puerto rico in their hundreds of thousands. aleem maqbool, bbc news. prosecutors in the usa the foot although cristiano rinaldo will not face rape charges. he has denied raping a woman in a las vegas hotel room ten years ago. an investigation into the case was reopened last year and authorities say there is insufficient evidence to prove the
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claims beyond reasonable doubt. just days after the world marked 50 years since the apollo moon landing, india has launched a historic mission of its own. india is hoping that its spaceship will be the first to land on the south pole of the lunar surface. from delhi, rajini vaidya nathan reports. into the skies and off to the moon. from a small island by the bay of bengal, india's space dreams soared to new heights. the unmanned lunar mission, chandrayaan—2, was launched successfully. there was relief at the control centre... ..and across the country. cheering. i'm really happy that india is launching chandrayaan—2. and i'm proud to be an indian. it is a huge opportunity for india to take this amongst the great countries that are leading in astronomy, like the us, russia, china.
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this mission‘s aiming to become the first to land on the unexplored lunar south pole, where it will search for water and collect more data about the moon. indian prime minister narendra modi says he hopes this launch will encourage more young people to take an interest in scientific research and innovation. there's huge excitement here, but some question whether india should invest in the space race while millions live in poverty. but others point out that the budget for the current moon mission is far less than that of many hollywood blockbusters. india's hoping to send someone into space by the year 2022. but for now it's celebrating its latest blockbuster moment. rajini vaidyanathan, bbc news, delhi.
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you can reach me on twitter — i'm @duncangolestani. thank you for watching. the heatwave is upon us, at least across a large chunk of the country, particularly central and eastern parts of england. and tuesday really could become quite oppressive as temperatures hit the mid—30s in some areas. now, if we look at the satellite image you can see this huge clear area across europe. this is where the heat will be building over the next two or three days. and, as you might expect, the heat‘s coming in from the south, from algeria, from morocco, spreading across spain, into france, and temperature records could tumble. now, the july record, july for the uk, is 36.7,
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set in 2015. we may be approaching those values come thursday. in the short term, the weather's fairly quiet out there. some rain in the north—west of scotland. some clouds in western and southern areas. but very warm in the morning. 17 degrees there in cardiff, 16 the lowlands of scotland. and once some of that low cloud in the west and the south clears away it's pretty much unbroken sunshine all through the day. strong sunshine beating down on us and raising those temperatures, too. we think around about 3k degrees in london, 30 across northern parts of england. but much fresher there in belfast, no heatwave, 22 celsius. and then on tuesday night we've thunderstorms on the way. probably quite widespread. some big downpours with frequent thunder and lightning. and this is what it looks like from late tuesday into the early hours of wednesday, spreading widely across the uk. behind it leaving a legacy of cloud. so that means that wednesday may start off a little cloudy in some areas. and some of that cloud may linger through the day. so in one or two areas temperatures may be a degree or so lower. you won't probably notice much
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much of a difference. but 33, 3a, maybe 35 in one or two spots is possible. out towards the west, more likely mid or the high 20s. and then on thursday that heat does spread across europe. it'll be peaking in france and the uk, benelux, and starting to reach scandinavia as well. and this jet stream propels that northwards as well. so in london we could hit 36 degrees in central london on thursday. high 20s to 30 degrees across northern parts of england. and it's just possible somewhere in the south—east, not necessarily in london, we might hit 37 celsius. but it all depends whether there will be any showers around or the cloud amounts. i'm sure most of us agree that's a little too hot. that's it. bye— bye.
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just go to bbc.com/news. this is bbc news. the headlines: britain has called for a european naval mission to protect ships in the gulf following iran's seizure of a british—registered oil tanker. foreign secretaryjeremy hunt condemned the operation by iranian commandos as an act of state piracy. authorities in hong kong have defended the police after groups of pro—democracy protesters were attacked by gangs of masked men at a train station. 45 people were injured in the attack. there has been widespread speculation that the attackers belonged to triads, also known as the chinese mafia. voting has closed in the conservative leadership contest. the new party leader and next british prime minister will be announced within hours. the overwhelming favourite to succeed theresa may is boris johnson.

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