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tv   Our World  BBC News  April 30, 2021 3:30am-4:01am BST

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dozens of people have been killed and scores more injured in a stampede at a jewish festival in israel. tens of thousands of ultra—orthodox jews had gathered at the foot of mount meron in the country's north to mark a jewish holiday. president biden�*s held a rally in georgia on his 100th day in office. he said that he wanted the very wealthy and corporations to start paying their share of tax. it's the first stop on a tour to urge americans to support his sweeping economic plans. actor noel clarke has denied sexual harassment allegations that have appeared in a british newspaper. the report in the guardian led to the kidulthood and doctor who star having his bafta membership and an outstanding achievement award suspended. those are your headlines. borisjohnson has sought to play down concerns about how
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the refurbishment of his downing street flat was paid for, insisting there isn't "anything to see here or to worry about". he's made clear the conservative party will comply with the outcome of an electoral commission investigation. our political correspondent chris mason reports. the apparently simple can sometimes take a while to work out. borisjohnson was asked again today about his downing street flat and who initially paid for its makeover. he was repeatedly dismissive of what he described as "a farrago of nonsense". i don't think there's anything to see here or to worry about. i don't think that this is the number one issue for the people of our country, indeed, by several orders of magnitude. the prime minister insists he paid what he owed for sprucing up the living quarters here and will declare what he needs to, but he won't
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say if he borrowed the money, and if so, from whom, and all of this is meant to be published. the matter is keeping a lot of people busy. earlier this week, the country's top civil servant simon case told mps he was conducting a review at the request of the prime minister into how the refurb was paid for. the electoral commission, which regulates the money spent in politics, has launched a formal investigation, saying there were reasonable grounds to suspect that an offence or offences may have occurred. it has the power to issue fines or refer matters to the police. and it's the first big job for lord geidt, newly appointed as the independent adviser on ministers�* interests. he'll examine if the prime minister has received any donations he is required to declare. three separate inquiries into how the facelift of the famous flat was funded. i think this is getting a bit farcical. i think the prime minister could actually deal with this very, very quickly.
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all he's got to do is answer a very simple question, which is who paid initially for the redecoration of your flat? and to furnish his point somewhat, sir keir decided to pay a visit to the department store john lewis today. playing political games, claimed the conservatives. lord geidt, the new independent adviser on ministers�* interests, spent ten years working for the queen. labour say he should have more power, such as being able to launch his own investigations, and notjust do ones asked for by the prime minister. he will publish his findings into borisjohnson, but mrjohnson has refused to say if he will abide by those conclusions. there now could be a fourth investigation into what's going on — labour mps have asked the parliamentary commissioner for standards to look into it. there is every prospect there are more revelations to come. chris mason, bbc news,
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in downing street. our thanks to chris mason. i will be back at the top of the now on bbc news, our world. under cover of covid, the amazon rainforest, the greatest ecosystem on earth, is under attack. deforestation is at levels not seen for more than a decade. we meet the people on the frontline of the battle to the forest... —— to save the forest... shouting. translation: the prospectors used to be scared of being - caught by us. now they feel the president will protect them. ..and see the impact on the animals. the government is accused of encouraging the destruction. and i'm on a mission
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to contact some old friends — the members of the most threatened tribe in the world. their relatives have never had contact with civilisation. are they safe? are their precious trees still standing? cheering. two years ago, a right—wing ex—army officer became the president of brazil. jair bolsonaro had a clear agenda for the amazon and its people.
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this is the story of my attempt to find what his policy of opening up the amazon means for each tribe i first met a decade ago. —— for a tribe i first met a decade ago. this is a community that grew up a couple of decades ago, uncontacted. to go into the jungle and meet people who've onlyjust made contact with the modern world is quite extraordinary.
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katou! katou, katou! �*katou' means hello, apparently. i thought there'd be a huge chasm, a kind of cultural gap between us, and that we'd struggle to understand each other. emuka, emuka, emuka. that means "i'm happy". i'm here with the awa. the awa live deep in the amazon rainforest. they're some of the last people on earth who still try to live as traditional hunter—gatherers. wow, the village... i really felt that they welcomed me in. we felt like we had a real connection together. i'm not going to dress like that, no. laughter. pira'i was probably my best buddy in the village. he was the one that instigated most of the jokes. you know, towards the end, we went on this big hunt
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with them that took two or three hours. when we got back, everybody was really hot and sweaty and they got to this lovely waterhole. and i thought, "yeah, ok, i'll go swimming" and itjust seemed right to take my clothes off. laughter. then they played a trick on me and it became clear that they were trying to, essentially, dress me like they dressed to hunt. laughter. you don't want to see it. laughter. it seemed they lived an idyllic life. but when i asked my new friend pira'i about what life was like when he was growing up, i learned just how traumatic things had been for the tribe. this community that, at that point, had had no contact with the outside world.
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the first contact was with loggers who'd come into the forest to cut their trees and were willing to shoot the community to get them out of the way. you could occasionally hear chainsaws. that's how close the loggers were. all too soon, i had to leave my new friends. but this was a special time for the amazon. in 2012, the brazilian government made stopping the destruction of the rainforest a priority and rates of deforestation were falling dramatically. a few years later, i received an extraordinary invitation. well, after years of neglect, the brazilian government has finally decided to do something. we are flying into a base camp they've set up just outside
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the indigenous reserves, and that's where they're operating from. driving other people who have gone into the forest. —— driving out the people who have gone into the forest. driving out the people who have gone into the forest. it was like flying into a kind of forward base in afghanistan or something. you just thought, "hold on a second. the brazilian government, it really means business about protecting the awa." when we went back to the village, suddenly i started seeing all these familiar faces. katou? i think that's hello. hey, hello. i remember you. katou. do you remember me? very good. yeah! but the best one was pira'i. no! we went into his house and he came out with a bit of string and waved it in front of me. not again! i've been tricked once, it's not happening again. laughter.
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so probably the most amazing moment of all for me was when 0peration awa decided they wanted to show the awa what they'd done. pira'i, who grew up uncontacted, now is flying in a helicopter. pira'i and a friend watched as government bulldozers destroyed the homes of farmers who'd illegally occupied the tribe's land and cut hundreds of hectares of trees. dogs bark. back at home, they wanted to tell the others what they'd seen.
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it showed the brazilian government can protect the forest if it wants to. pira'i was hopeful for the future. but that hope was short—lived. soon after i left, brazil entered a time of political turmoil. deforestation started to rise again. the most dramatic increase came two years ago, when president bolsonaro took power. as the coronavirus raged through brazil, killing tens of thousands of people, brazil's environment minister had other issues on his mind, as this recording of a cabinet meeting reveals. "we have a chance at this moment, when the media's attention is almost
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exclusively on covid, and not the amazon," he says. "while things are quiet, let's do it all at once and change all the rules." there was a media storm. minister salles subsequently claimed what he wanted was to simplify the existing rules. but after that meeting, he withdrew protection from some of the forested areas of brazil. and president bolsonaro�*s government certainly appears to be dismantling some of the structures that had succeeded in holding back destruction in the amazon. the environmental police force, ibama, is on the front line of brazil's efforts to protect the forest. but some officers say they aren't getting the support from the president that they need. one of them agreed to speak to us anonymously. translation: i've never seen so many illegal goldmines. - the price of gold is higher than ever. but also, the prospectors used
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to be scared of being caught by us. now they feel the president will protect them. explosion. in places where we didn't have incidents in the past, now loggers, prospectors, squatters are rioting. last year, an officer was trying to seize a vehicle that was taking timber from indigenous land. he got hit with a bottle while the police that was meant the police are loyal to the president. in the past, the police would give us security during the operations. the brazilian government admits some local officials have withdrawn protection for environmental officers, but says this is not official policy. yelling. it has become guerrilla warfare. thejob is getting more and more risky. people are blocking the road to stop us from doing ourjob.
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they feel they have the support from the government. we have just landed the helicopter and the officers are going over to the truck here, which clearly has freshly cut logs on it. it is very different from how things used to work. over the years, i have been on a number ofjungle raids with the environmental police. the most impressive was we flew with this female officer... ..to raid an illegal sawmill. we found the account books. look at this...
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so they have the total value, a700 reals, and then, look, there's a fee here — 200 to pay the police, leaving them with 4500, so this is extraordinary. this book is like the diary of the business and we've got payments to policemen, we've got how much money they are putting in the bank and it is a lot of money. we're £20,000, $30,000 they are making here. it was obvious that the guy with the money had run and left the little guys behind. and i remember talking to one of the guys about what it was like. at then at the end i remember saying to her, what are you going to do now and she said, "well, we can't leave it like this."
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with fire. she is going to burn it down. it was obvious that ibama had the weight of law behind them. when we got to places where illegal activity was happening, people were genuinely frightened. burning the equipment used for deforestation has always been a key tactic, says our whistle—blowing officer. the owners of the equipment normally escape when they hear the helicopter so we cannot prosecute them. over the years, we have seen that the most effective strategy to stop deforestation is to destroy their expensive equipment.
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not any more, according to the brazilian president. despite what president bolsonaro says, when we asked the government, they said the rules on burning equipment have not changed, but funds have been cut. this year the environmental police received its lowest budget ever, and because deforestation is so high, germany and norway say they won't pay for its helicopters and vehicles any more. that and the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic explain why, when we spoke, there were no environmental police patrolling the amazon. it is a first time this
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has ever happened. none of us are out in the field. last year, 4200 square miles of forest was cleared. a 12—year high. those involved in illegal deforestation often believe the government will pardon their actions. it is notjust the amazon that's under attack, the neighbouring wetland, the pantanal, is burning too. last year, 50,000 hectares of this unique ecosystem was lost in the biggest fires ever recorded there. juliana camargo heads a charity that tried to rescue wildlife during the fires.
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a source in the environmental police told us the government ordered them not to attend the fires. the brazilian government describes these claims as lies.
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once the trees have been cleared, the land is often used forfarming. ibama has just caught red—handed this illegal deforestation, using chains. the chains destroyed the vegetation and killed the wildlife, especially the babies who do not have time to escape.
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there used to be a system where farmers caught in illegal activities like this would be blacklisted, making it harderfor them to sell their produce and to get loans. the farmers who were found deforesting, their name would be put on an align system whereby buyers would be able to check if they are buying from an area which has strong evidence of illegal deforestation. but since last year, there's been some major changes that make it harder for people to be embargoed, so enter the blacklist. the government told this programme the system of fines and blacklisting is obsolete and ineffective and is being modernised. but it makes it hard for buyers to check that agricultural products are deforestation—free and, all the while, business has been booming for amazon farmers.
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but there is still some resistance to president bolsonaro. almost all my professional life, i was a legislative consultant in the chamber of deputies. suely araujo helped write the environmental laws that underpin brazil's efforts to tackle deforestation. the brazilian government told the bbc it believes it is necessary to bring
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economic prosperity to the amazon. "poverty is the biggest enemy of the environment," a spokesperson told us. i cannot travel to the amazon because of the pandemic but i did manage to get in touch with my friend who sent me these pictures and recorded a message... and experts worry the amazon ecosystem itself is changing. i'm very concerned. previous research have been understanding that the amazon was much more resilient and that our tipping point, leading to the decivilisation the large trenches of
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the forest would happen if about 40% of the amazon was lost and now recent research is pointing towards figures closer to 20% — and we already are at those figures. it appears to be becoming less rainy and the fear is the forest could begin to give way to grassland. and the fortunes of the people who live in the jungle are also in the balance. to my astonishment, footage is released that shows some awa people still live uncontacted in the remaining islands of trees. a team of local people patrol the forest in an effort to protect them from the loggers.
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the locals normally do not film out of respect. they decided to release this footage because the situation has become so critical, they want to highlight the danger these last remaining, uncontacted tribal people are in. this is an astonishing glimpse of one of the last people on earth who lives outside of what we call "civilisation". we will probably never know his name but my friend told me what it was like when he lived like this. "it is a life," he told me, "of constant fear."
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hello. april will continue to try to make amends with a bit more rain before the month is done during friday in the form of showers that will continue into the first weekend of may and it will stay on the cool side with a risk of frost at night. and then for the bank holiday, look at this area of low pressure — a long way away but it's coming for us on monday. until then, we find ourselves in the wake of low pressure. unstable air, meaning showers and the flow of air coming in from the north—east. some cool direction temperatures, below average for the time of year, and another frost out there for many as we start the day for friday morning. rather patchy in nature,
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more likely in the countryside than in the town and city centres, but it will be chilly. there'll be plenty of sunshine. already a few showers running in towards the north sea coastal areas. but after the early sunshine elsewhere, some cloud is going to build and the showers break out more widely, some heavy, perhaps with hail and thunder. not everybody will catch them, though, and as for temperatures, it is quite cool, particularly along north sea coasts — many of us just in the range of 9—12 celsius. perhaps fewer showers in northern ireland compared with thursday, so more in the way of dry, sunny weather. as ever, the showers — not everybody�*s going to catch them — they will tend to fade away after dark overnight and into saturday morning and with another chilly start, with another patchy frost, a lot of sunshine to start the weekend, to start saturday. but wait for it, it all happens again. the shower clouds build, the showers break out, some heavy with hail and thunder. they will be wintry, too, over the higher hills and mountains, particularly in scotland. maybe temperatures a degree or so higher on saturday and the winds are light, so if you are in some sunshine,
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it will feel reasonable, as it will again on sunday after a chilly start, but the showers will get going once again. more cloud gathering out to our west — that's the area of low pressure i showed you coming in for the bank holiday. now, there's still something to play for in the timing of the arrival of this wet and windy weather moving in from the atlantic on monday. it may well be that the far north of scotland, the far south—east of england stay dry for a large part of the day before the rain gets in. but if you think rain is coming on the bank holiday, the winds are going to be picking up as well and it is going to still be on the cool side for the time of year, you won't go far wrong.
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this is bbc news. i'm kasia madera. our top stories: in israel, dozens of people are killed in a stampede at a religious festival attended by tens of thousands of ultra—orthodox jews. my husband, the president of the united states, joe biden! president biden holds a rally in georgia, the first stop on a tour to encourage americans to support his sweeping economic plans. actor noel clarke denies sexual harrassment allegations after newspaper reports led to a suspension from bafta. and astonishment as a new gene therapy improves the vision of some patients with a rare inherited eye condition.

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