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tv   BBC News  BBC News  April 19, 2021 3:00am-3:30am BST

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our top stories: the row between russia and the czech republic deepens — both sides expel diplomats — as prague accuses moscow of spying. some of europe's biggest football clubs announce plans to set up a new super league — despite opposition from officials. more deadly shootings in the united states — six people are killed in separate incidents in wisconsin and texas. and — how nasa is attempting to make history with the first powered flight on another planet. tensions between moscow and prague have escalated — russia has expelled 20 diplomats, a day after the czech republic announced they were expelling 18 russian
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diplomats identified as secret agents. this includes two men suspected of involvement in a deadly explosion at a czech arms depot seven years ago. britain claims they're the same two men who tried to kill a former spy with a nerve agent three years ago. our security correspondent gordon corera has the story. the aftermath of a deadly explosion. in october 2014, this arms depot in the czech countryside blew up. it took a month to find the remains of two men who worked there. it was widely assumed to have been an accident, until now. a key piece of evidence came when investigators found an e—mail requesting permission for two men to inspect the site. attached were scans of the men's passports, a copy of which the bbc has obtained. if you recognise them, this is why. they're the same two men wanted in connection with the salisbury
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poisoning in the uk. in 2018, they were spotted on cctv and accused of smearing nerve agent on the front door of sergei skripal�*s house. the two denied any involvement, saying they visited salisbury to see the cathedral spire. the e—mail with the passport scans claimed the men were from the national guard of tajikistan, and gave false names. the pair arrived in prague on october 11th, using the same names as in salisbury. on october 13th, they went to stay in ostrava, near the arms depot, and they left the country on october 16th, the day of the explosion. but why was the depot targeted? the bbc has been told that a bulgarian arms dealer, emilian gebrev, stored weapons there. six months later in bulgaria, members of the same unit of russian military intelligence are believed to have tried to kill gebrev. this cctv shows an alleged member of the team moving
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around gebrev�*s car. it's alleged that poison was smeared on its door handle, leaving him fighting for his life, though he did survive. one expert says these incidents paint a picture of how this unit operates. it actually seems to be military intelligence�*s in—house team of miscellaneous throat—slitters and general saboteurs. there's probably about 20 operational staff and maybe 200 support personnel. the czech prime minister has announced that 18 russian diplomats are being expelled. the issue will be discussed by eu foreign ministers tomorrow, while in london, the foreign secretary said the uk stood by its czech allies in exposing russian�*s dangerous operations. moscow says the allegations about its role in this explosion are unfounded and far—fetched, but investigations into the activities of russian military intelligence are ongoing and more cases may still be uncovered, raising the pressure
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on moscow further. gordon corera, bbc news. russia's ambassador to the uk has insisted that opposition leader alexei navalny will not be allowed to die in prison. supporters of mr navalny claim he could die within days. they're organising a rally on wednesday, hours after president vladimir putin is to deliver his state of the nation address. courtney bembridge reports. alexei navalny is being held at this prison outside moscow. he has been on hunger strike since the end of march, protesting because he has been refused access to his medical team. his personal doctor tweeted this video saying she and three other doctors stood for two hours and begged to be let into the jail but they were refused entry. the doctors say recent blood test results indicate that navalny could go into cardiac arrest at any moment and this was the message from his top aides. translation: have you ever seen with your own eyes how _
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someone is killed 7 yes, you have. you are seeing it right now. whatever the urge to pull away from it, change the subject, it does not negate the fact that alexei navalny is being killed in a terrible way and in front of everyone's eyes. but russia's ambassador to the uk says that will not happen. of course he will not be allowed to die in prison absolutely, in trying to violate every rule that has been established he wants to attract attention. navalny was arrested in january when he returned to russia after a near fatal poisoning attack which he says was orchestrated by the kremlin. it denies the allegation. the us has warned there will be consequences if mr navalny dies and the eu's top diplomat tweeted that he was deeply concerned and again called for navalny�*s immediate and unconditional release. it comes amid rising tensions between moscow and the west
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over a litany of issues including russia's troop buildup on the ukraine border. i think we have to define clear red lines with russia. this is the only way to be credible. i think that sanctions are insufficient in themselves, but sanctions are part of the package. eu foreign ministers are expected to discuss navalny�*s plight on monday. let's get some of the day's other news. 11 people have died and nearly 100 others injured in a train accident in egypt. several carriages were derailed in the accident that took place north of the capital, cairo. egypt's rail system has a poor safety record — last month, at least 20 people were killed in a collision between two trains. an eight—year—old girl has been rescued in switzerland five days after being kidnapped from her grandmother's french home. mia, and her mother lola were found in a squat inside an abandoned
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factory in the swiss municipality of sainte—croix, the 28—year—old mother, who no longer had custody of her daughter, was arrested along with several others accused of helping plan the kidnapping. just over half of the adult population of the united states have now received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine — according to official data. that's about a hundred and 30 million people. however, the country's top covid advisor, dr anthony fauci, has warned that the us remained in a precarious situation amid fears of a new surge. 12 football clubs from italy, spain and england have agreed to the formation of a midweek super league. the teams, including some of the biggest in club football, have released plans that have been widely criticised by the game's governing bodies and former players. but the agreement could see the founding clubs receive an upfront grant of over four billion dollars. here's the british sports
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minister's reaction. i'm laser focused on what is best for fans and what is best for english football. i'm not convinced that what has been announced...| haven't seen full details yet but i'm pretty sceptical about it. i don't think it would create the opportunities or the level playing field we'd like to see in football. it's a closed shop idea so i am sceptical at the moment but will wait to see the details. martin lipton is the chief sports writer for the uk's sun newspaper. he says this is a groundbreaking move for european football. this is going to be the most significant change in the football landscape that we've seen since the crisis caused over transfer values back in the �*90s. it is a huge development. 12 clubs with three more suddenly becoming even
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wealthier than before, sharing £3 billion sterling as a joining fee. from potentially even as soon as august this year. it is a monumental change. it rips up the fabric of european football and many people say it destroys the essence of the game. is it actually happening or is it part of an elaborate negotiation to do with another league, the champions league? champions league were going to announce, are still going are still going to announce later today a revamped model of a 36 team competition. that was described by the head of the european club association as ideal and beautiful. today that same man resigned as chair of the club association, or is going to, because juventus joined the breakaway. this is real. it's not sabre rattling
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excercise, not a joke or a threat, it is concrete, and they want to do it. they are going to do it and they believe, despite the anger and indignation at uefa headquarters in switzerland, that fifa will not stop them either. the world governing body will tiptoe around the edges and not kick up a fuss. how harmful will this be for domestic football leagues? could they stomach it? it would be a huge blow. if you think about the english premier league, its deals worth around about £5 billion over three years. i suspect if you're lucky you will halve that value because the big money is going to go towards the super league and there's talk of maybe trying to ban the clubs from taking part in their domestic competitions but you can't afford to do that because if you try and sell a premier league in england without manchester united, city, liverpool, arsenal, spurs and chelsea, how much
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you gonna get for it? not a lot. there is not a huge appealfor aston villa versus newcastle. could the lack of a tv deal scupper this? there will be a deal but the question is how big it is. they are promising £4.6 billion as a starting point for the clubs. it is huge. there is talk of the streaming service dazn being involved, they tried to put themselves away from it a little bit, there will be huge interest, no doubt about it. because on global terms, for many of these clubs who have a globalfan base, this is what those fans want. the domestic fans, the home fans, the people who go to the stadium, i'm afraid they're an afterthought. it's all about the growth of the clubs as commercial entities. martin lipton, thank you for talking us through that. six people have been killed in the latest mass shootings
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in the united states. police in wisconsin have arrested a man suspected of killing three when he opened fire at a bar. several hours later, three more people were shot dead in an incident in texas. they're the latest in a string of shootings over the last few days. on thursday, eight people were killed in a mass shooting at a fedex facility in indianapolis. that was the 45th mass shooting since march 16th. so far this year, the us has seen at least 147 mass shootings, according to the gun violence archive. president biden has called the shootings a "national embarrassment" that "must come to an end" egor volsky is the director of the gun control advocacy group guns down america. he gave me his reaction to these latest shootings. it is tragic and a result of the reality that here in the united states we have way too many guns
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in circulation and they are far too easy to get. so president biden and the senate majority leader chuck schumer ran for office on the promise of passing life—saving legislation to help decrease gun deaths in the united states and they must act. you say they are too easy to get. they were legally purchased guns in many of these attacks. which of the measures would curry favour with the american public and change things? will it be universal background checks? an end to diy guns? red flagging suspects? we need all those things. we need a series of reforms to help save lives. right now, as you point out, those firearms, and most firearms used in mass shootings are legally purchased, meaning that the existing laws are just too weak, and we must raise the standard for gun ownership in the united states and that includes all the changes you pointed to including,
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of course, ensuring that we are no longer selling weapons of war to civilians that can allow them to kill as many people as efficiently as possible. we just listed the dozens of recent shootings but politically it doesn't look like these gun control changes will go through. we look at the senate, we see democrats likejoe manchin we see you need ten republicans... bill clinton was said to have overreached himself with the assault weapons ban and there was a political backlash in 1994. with all those warnings it's not likely to get through, is it, any gun control changes? the reality you just described of republicans here in the united states opposing everything was the same reality that was in place when this president tried to pass covid relief, it's the same reality now in place when he's trying to do hisjobs bill, and in both those instances, both the president and
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the senate majority leader have found ways, creative ways of passing those measures, signing them into law, like the covid bill, although thejobs plan is still making its way through, but what i am arguing to you is when something is a presidential priority and a priority for the majority leader, they find a way to get it done. and the fact that it's not the case for this issue, where it's killing 100 americans on average every single day, is absolutely outrageous. so there is a path in the senate to get these measures through with a simple majority of 50 votes if we amend or repeal the filibuster, that rule that requires 60 votes in order to get on a bill. if we get rid of that self—imposed rule we can save lives and that, frankly, is the direction to move in. thank you for your company. do stay with us on bbc news. there's more to come.
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back in the stands — after months of restrictions — 4,000 football fans are allowed to watch the fa cup semi—final. the stars and stripes at half—mast outside columbine high. the school sealed off, the bodies of the dead still inside. i never thought that they would actually go through with it. one of the most successful singer—song writers of all time, the american pop star prince has died at the age of 57. i was — it's hard to believe it. i didn't believe it. we just — he was just here saturday. for millions of americans, j the death of richard nixon in a new york hospital has i meant conflicting emotions. a national day of— mourning next wednesday, sitting somehow uneasily. with the abiding memories of the shame of watergate.
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and lift off of the space shuttle discovery with the hubble space telescope, our window on the universe. this is bbc news. the latest headlines: the row between russia and the czech republic deepens. both sides expel diplomats as prague accuses moscow of spying. some of europe's biggest football clubs announce plans to set up a new super league, despite opposition from officials. after more than a year of being unable to leave their home country, the first flights of australian residents have left for new zealand. a two—way travel corridor. both countries say the bubble is only possible because they've generally been able to contain the virus. from monday, those in australia and new zealand can travel freely between the countries
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without needing to quarantine on arrival. but it won't be quite like pre—covid travel. passengers will be required to wear a mask on the plane. and at airports they will be taken through special green zones, so they're not in contact with other travellers. passengers must follow local guidelines. and they may be required to quarantine if there's an outbreak. shaimaa khalil reports. the international departures terminal at sydney airport has been busy since the early hours of the day. for the first time, people will be able to travel to new zealand quarantine—free. now, it's a big day for the travel industry, after a catastrophic year because of covid—19 and border closure. the airlines have ramped up their flights across the tasman. we're actually going to be on the very first flight from sydney to auckland, so it's quite exciting. between them, qantas and jetstar are expected to be operating at about 29 flights today. a busy time for air
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new zealand as well. they're going to be transporting more than 5,000 passengers — 3,000 are going to be on their way to new zealand. this was a very busy route before the pandemic began. australians actually made the biggest chunk of new zealand's international visitors market. so, yes, a trans—tasman travel bubble is a big sigh of relief for both the tourist and the travel industries. but really, those initial flights are going to be filled with family and friends that are going to be reunited with their loved ones, after more than a year. it is absolutely amazing because i'm going to see my partner after, like, almost two years, so it is very exciting. my eldest boy, he'sjust turned 17, and apparently he's grown about a foot since i've seen him last. my brother — my older brother has passed away— last week on thursday. we couldn't geti there last week, but it has given us the opportunity to| get back home today without quarantine, i so it's very good to go
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and lay him to rest. i what's the first thing that you're going to do when you get home? probably go eat some food. eat the pies. definitely the pies. passengers are expected to wear masks on the flight. and i've got mine ready. they're also expected to give information about how to be contacted during their stay in new zealand, and to download the new zealand covid tracer app. they're also going to be flying on green zone flights — these are flights where passengers have been nowhere other than australia for the last 1a days and the crew will not have travelled to any covid—19 red zones. it is a very different way to travel, no doubt, but it's also going to be exciting times for holiday—makers, and for those families that are finally being able to be reunited.
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well, covid restrictions have been eased in england, and it's has seen millions take the opportunity to get outdoors, and enjoy sunny weather. wembley stadium has also welcomed supporters back — in small numbers — to watch the fa cup semifinal between leicester and southampton. joe wilson was amongst them. they're back, cautiously and limited in numbers. local residents, mainly, but supporters, in the broader sense, of football. anna's a student who lives near wembley, holding a ticket to an experiment. i'm 19 myself, so i'm one of the people who's lowest at risk of getting the virus, so i don't mind taking part in something like this. and if it means i get to see a club perform, i'm all for it. spectators had to show a negative lateral flow test to get in, keep on face coverings and maintain social distance. after the game, they'll be monitored, too. did we have the right capacity? were there big queues? it turns out there wasn't. everything seems to have gone very smoothly so far. you know, one—way systems, hygiene measures, plus, importantly, that testing that's taking place
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before and after. and we'll be analysing the data from that very, very carefully. there are hopes and plans to expand wembley�*s permitted attendance in weeks and months to come. big matches lie ahead. but what about this one? southampton versus leicester city took time to get going. leicester needed the energy ofjamie vardy and the perseverance of kelechi iheanacho to break the stalemate. commentator: iheanacho is a master finisher these days. | and look, they had friends in the stadium. new supporters or old? well, real—life reaction is what football's missed, and there could be new winners of this oldest competition. come on! leicester are in the final. joe wilson, bbc news, at wembley. well, nasa is attempting to make history with the first powered flight on another planet. it will launch a small helicopter called ingenuity from the surface of mars. on board is a small piece of history from earth,
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a tiny square of material from the wright brothers' plane that first flew over a century ago. as our science correspondent rebecca morelle reports, it's a trial of technology that could transform how we explore distant worlds. mission control: the parachute has deployed and we're seeing... this mission has already revealed mars as never seen before, with the first ever footage of a thrilling descent, as the rover is lowered down to the martian surface. touchdown confirmed. now, nasa is ready to make history again. this time it will try to launch a helicopter. the first attempt at powered flight on another planet. this animation reveals how it might look, but with the extreme conditions on mars and the fact that there's barely any atmosphere, it won't be easy. it feels absolutely nuts! of course. we've been flying on earth forjust over 100 years and now, like, yeah, we're going to go to another planet and fly. it's crazy! right? but that's the beauty of exploration, that's the beauty
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of engineering. nasa's helicopter is a feat of engineering. it weighs just 1.8 kilograms — that's albs, and it has two long rotors, which spin in opposite directions at up to 2,500 revolutions per minute. this is much faster than a helicopter on earth, but it needs this speed to lift off in the extremely thin martian atmosphere. its first test flight takes it three metres above the ground for 30 seconds, before rotating and finally landing. then for the next 30 days, it will begin to fly much further afield. the helicopter has been lowered from where it was stored beneath the rover onto a carefully selected strip of terrain, free of boulders. it will capture footage as it flies, looking down on the rover, and the rover�*s camera will film the helicopter, providing multiple views for the scientists to study. one of the things that a helicopter is very well suited for is just looking around, scouting. you can traverse places, you know, without being
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hindered by the terrain. so it can do those kind of scouting missions for ourfuture rovers, perhaps, or even for astronauts. the helicopter is part of nasa's most ambitious mars mission to date. these are all images taken in the last few weeks and there's even footage from its final test before its attempted lift—off tomorrow. on the ground, the rover will be searching for signs of life. but the helicopter will add an airborne dimension to how we explore other planets. opening up new frontiers in flight. rebecca morelle, bbc news. don't forget, there is plenty more at bbc.com/news or the bbc news app. we have various news about the diplomatic row between the czech republic and russia, the trans—tasman travel bubble and the proposed super
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billy egan. i'm mark lobel. thanks for watching. —— super league. hello. no significant rain on the way again this week. there is an atlantic weather system close to parts of northern ireland and scotland, so a little rain during monday for some here. but for most of the, uk it's high—pressure, it's dry and, after a chilly start, it will feel quite warm in the sunshine. this area of high—pressure extending across from scandinavia. this area of low pressure giving parts of northern ireland and scotland notjust more cloud but a little rain. but where you have the clouds to start today, you will avoid frost, but a touch of frost eastern scotland, parts of england or wales. close to or perhaps a touch below freezing in the coldest rural areas. and some early low cloud, mist and fog gradually clearing from parts of eastern england. plenty of sunshine following on behind, across most of england and wales, and scotland. bit of patchy cloud developing. an isolated shower later in the day can't be ruled out in south east england. but the cloud though is thickest across western counties of northern ireland, western—most parts of scotland.
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there will be some outbreaks of rain occasionally — just 10 to 12 degrees here. really quite warm where you get the sunshine elsewhere. overnight and into tuesday, the cloud and a chance of seeing some rain across more of northern ireland and scotland by tuesday morning. low cloud, mist and fog returning to parts of eastern england. generally temperatures a bit higher going into tuesday morning, so the frost will be harder to come by. low cloud, mist and fog gradually clearing from eastern england on tuesday. across england and wales though, a bit more patchy cloud developing. a shower can't be ruled out on tuesday. largely cloudy in scotland and northern ireland. not much rain left on this weather front. northern scotland brightening up, but here behind the weatherfront, well, the air, the wind changing direction — it will feel colder here. whereas south of the weather front it is still warm in light winds and where you get some of those sunny spells continuing. the cooler air behind this weather front, with cloud and not much rain, continues to push south overnight and into wednesday across the uk. and then a new area of high pressure taking over, giving plenty of dry weather in the second half of the week. but the wind around that coming in for the northeast. it will be colder
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along north sea coast. generally temperatures will come down a little bit, but yet again, it will continue to feel really quite warm where you get to see some sunshine. though there is still the risk, the threat of frost overnight. and for gardeners and growers, no significant rain this week.
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this is bbc news — the headlines... russia has announced that twenty diplomats from the czech republic will be expelled from the country. the czech ambassador to russia was summoned to the foreign ministry in moscow earlier on sunday. officials lodged a protest with him at prague's decision
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