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tv   Newsday  BBC News  November 19, 2021 1:00am-1:31am GMT

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welcome to newsday, reporting live from singapore. i'm karishma vaswani. the headlines: global concerns grow about the safety of chinese tennis player, peng shuai, unseen since accusing a senior government official of sexual assault. we speak to tennis legend, pam shriver. we're all pretty worried, given what's happened over the last couple of weeks and that, really, the right kind of contact and communication with peng shuai has not happened yet. president biden considers a diplomatic boycott of the beijing winter olympics in protest against china's human rights record. we meet the australian—based transgender entrepreneur exposing the difficulties her
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community experiences back in malaysia. tackling an online campaign of disinformation and threat — the usjustice department indicts two iranians, accused of trying to influence the 2020 presidential election. and we'll hear from lady gaga on channelling her childhood experiences into her new film, house of gucci. live from our studio in singapore, this is bbc news, it is newsday. hello and welcome to the programme. former women's world number one serena williams has joined several other tennis stars in expressing concern over the whereabouts of chinese professional player, peng shuai. the two—time grand slam doubles champion hasn't been seen for two weeks,
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since she accused china's former vice premier, zhang gaoli, of sexual assault. williams tweeted: "i hope she is safe and found as soon as possible." i've been speaking to multiple wimbledon and us open champion, pam shriver. she said there's increasing concern for peng shuai. we're all pretty worried, given what has happened over the last couple weeks and that, really, the right kind of contact and communication with peng shuai has not happened yet. ceo of the wta tour, steve simon, is not satisfied. nobody, none of her playing companions feel comfortable that they are 100% certain that she is safe. pam, there is a lot of support, as we have talked about, and certainly there is even a hashtag on social media — #whereispengshuai — being used by a lot of athletes and the wta.
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how effective do you think this kind of international pressure will be, both on and off social media? well, i think when you look at other circumstances, whether it was what the nba went through a couple of years ago, it's a really difficult situation when you have a business partner in a country like china, that has different core values from, say, what the wta is all about, when you think about the women's tennis association, founded on the back of billiejean king, on equality and treating women fairly, equally, and always being able to give them a voice. so this is a really tough one for a women's organisation that does business in china, up until now, and it puts the wta at a crossroads with this important in the past business partner. but obviously, unless there's absolute certainty that all of the players that play the tour are safe, especially ones in a country like china, who are about to host a winter olympic games,
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athletes want to feel like they are safe and we need to hear 100% certainty that peng is ok. yeah, pam, chinese state media say that peng is ok. they've released this e—mail. obviously, doubts raised about its authenticity. what more do you want to hear from beijing on this? is this good enough? i don't think it's good enough. i think the people in the tennis world would like to see her, hearfrom her directly, perhaps see her having a tennis hit, a practice, things that she's done since she was 8 years old, and first picked up a racket. she was number one in the world in doubles, top 15 in singles, she's been to grand slam semifinals. but even if she hadn't and she was just a player maybe who hadn't broken into the top 100 in the world, the wta is known as an organisation that cares
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about all their members, whether they're number one in the world or number 500 in the world, so i feel really confident the women's tennis association and that women's professional tennis will do the right thing. there's other tennis organisations that have a lot at stake here. the australian open, which has branded itself as the grand slam of the asian—pacific region, have very close ties to china. and everyone knows that if you speak up a certain way, you certainly put your business with china in danger, so me speaking out as an individual — i don't have close ties to china, i did play in the first ever professional tournament that was held in beijing back in the early to mid �*90s, but otherwise, i'm just an individual that it really doesn't matter — but if you're a business that has a big stake in doing business with china, it's a tough decision, isn't it? pam shriver speaking to me earlier about the growing
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concern over peng shuai. let's take a look at some other stories in the headlines: the cricketer, azeem rafiq, has apologised and said he had "absolutely no excuse" for using anti—semitic language in messages on social media from 2011. two days ago the former spinner gave evidence to mps about racism he'd experienced within cricket, calling his treatment inhumane. rafiq also later apologised on thursday for an instagram meme containing a saying relating to african people. more than four hundred iraqis have arrived back in their country after being repatriated on a flight from belarus. they'd been among thousands of migrants camped on the polish border, hoping to enter the eu. some were seen hiding theirfaces to avoid being recognised on arrival in erbil, the capital of the kurdistan region of northern iraq. a us state governor has halted the execution of prisonerjuliusjones, hours before he was due to be put to death. jones was sentenced to death in 2002,
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for killing a man in a carjacking incident. he maintains his innocence. his sentence has been commuted to life imprisonment without parole. there had been an outpouring of appeals and hundreds protested to halt the excution. rescue teams in canada are trying to reach 18,000 people stranded by floods and mudslides in the western province of british columbia. although water levels are starting to recede, entire towns remain cut off and many roads are blocked. there are fears that the flooding could cause nation—wide shortages. germany has announced tough measures to exclude the unvaccinated from certain public events. healthcare workers and employees in care homes will be obliged to get the vaccine. germany's lower house of parliament approved new measures, including restricting access to public transport and workplaces to people who have been
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vaccinated or tested. president biden has suggested there's a new instrument to apply pressure on china over its human rights record. he said the us is considering a diplomatic boycott of next year's beijing winter olympics. that would mean athletes would still compete but there would be no government representation. speaking to reporters during a meeting with the canadian prime ministerjustin trudeau, mr biden was thrown the question. reporter: would you support a diplomatic boycott _ of the beijing olympics? it's something we're considering. well, that was a very brief comment but then white house press secretary said the idea of a possible boycott was driven by concerns over china's human rights record. that comes despite efforts to ease tensions at a virtual summit between the president and chinese leader xijinping
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earlier this week. the president is going to raise issues where he has concern and he's going to look for areas to work together. and his lengthy three and a half hour meeting the other night was certainly a reflection of that. both areas where we could work together and areas where we have concern were raised, as you all know from the readouts following the meeting. but there are areas that we do have concerns — human rights abuses. you've seen, notjust in words we've used but certainly in actions we've taken at the g7 and other sanctions, that we have serious concerns about human rights abuses we've seen in xinjiang. and certainly there are a range of factors as we look at what our presence would be. white house press secretaryjen psaki. well for more on this our correspondent anthony zurcher has the latest from washington. it's hard to tell whetherjoe biden was talking off—the—cuff there or if this is something the united states is moving towards, but i think there'll be a lot of very concerned people, a lot of athletes, a lot of teams in the us
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olympic squad that will be wondering what exactly is going on right now. it could very well mean that the united states wouldn't be sending any officials. i know that president xi, when he was speaking with president biden earlier on this week, invited president biden to come see the olympics and he demured there, he did not give a clear answer. but obviously a diplomatic boycott would include no—one from the united states government going, certainly. the united states and china have had strained relations of late, even after the face—to—face meeting that i mentioned on monday. there are disputes over trade, there are disputes over human rights, there are disputes over territory in the south china sea, what the united states sees as illegal expansion from china in that region. so i think there's a lot of tension right now between the two nations, and i think that's contributing to it. but if you're talking about a boycott, i think the most likely factor in that is us criticism of chinese human rights practices, the uighurs and in hong kong in particular.
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anthony zurcher there. malaysia is sometimes portrayed as a model moderate muslim nation — diverse, democratic and with a fast—growing economy. but the case of nur sajat, a transgender malaysian entrepreneur, has exposed the difficulties the community experiences there. she was arrested in thailand in september, after fleeing a criminal charge of insulting islam, and has now sought asylum in australia. our south east asia correspondentjonathan head has more on her story. some viewers may find some parts of his report distressing. now safe in australia, nur sajat seems an unlikely refugee. the flamboyant malaysian cosmetics entrepreneur was very successful in her own country. her difficulties there stemmed from her gender identity.
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translation: i've had | to save myself by moving to a better place. to continue living my life as a transgender woman and to be myself, i've had to seek a safer place, which is australia. nur sajat became a social media celebrity with her online makeup and fashion tips. her business thrived. that she was transgender was widely known, but it was her insistence on being seen both as a woman and an observant muslim, and then posting about a pilgrimage she made last year to mecca, that stirred up hostility from some malaysian muslims. translation: i have to show my true self. j i'm a transgender woman. this is the way i live and the way i pray. when i pray, i'm more comfortable being myself and not pretending to be a man.
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she was arrested injanuary this year for insulting islam, videoing herself, clearly in distress, as she was, she said, assaulted by the religious police. we did ask the malaysian government's religious affairs department to comment on her case but have not had a response. on the surface, malaysia is a modern, multi—ethnic society, but islam has a special constitutional status. and for muslims, sharia law governs family and moral matters. but many malaysians suspect the prosecution of nur sajat was less about religion, more a weak government seeking conservative muslim support as the economy flounders under the impact of covid—19. i think for a lot of malaysians, including the muslims, right, whether they like transgenders or not, they say, "look, sajat is such
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a small problem when you compare to what we are going through right now — the increasing poverty, the gap between the haves and have—nots." now she's out of malaysia, nur sajat is rebuilding her brand and her life in australia, where, she says, she can at least feel free to be herself. jonathan head, bbc news, bangkok. if you want to get in touch with me i'm on twitter — @bbckarishma iam i am looking forward to hearing from you. you're watching newsday on the bbc. still to come on the programme: how lady gaga drew on her own experience of abuse to prepare for her role in ridley scott's new film, house of gucci. benazir bhutto has claimed victory in pakistan's general election, and she's asked pakistan's president
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to name her as prime minister. jackson's been released on bail of $3 million after turning himself in to police in santa barbara. it was the biggest i demonstration so far of the fast—growing _ european anti—nuclear movement. the south african government has announced that its opening the country's remaining whites—only beaches to people of all races. this will lead to a black majority government in this country and the destruction of the white civilisation. part of the centuries—old windsor castle, - one of the queen's residences, has been consumed by fire for much of the day. - 150 firemen have been battling the blaze, - which has caused millions. of pounds worth of damage. this is newsday on the bbc.
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i'm karishma vaswani in singapore. our headlines: global concerns grow about the safety of chinese tennis player peng shuai, unseen since accusing a senior government official of sexual assault. president biden considers a diplomatic boycott of the beijing winter olympics in protest against china's human rights record. the usjustice department announced charges on thursday of two iranians who allegedly took part in an online disinformation campaign to influence american voters in the 2020 presidential election. here with the latest is our correspondent suzanne kianpour. great to have you on the programme, i know you have been looking into this story very closely for us. we have heard of russian interference into us
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elections but why is iran now apparently getting involved, according to this? the indictment _ according to this? the indictment from - according to this? the indictment from the i according to this? tue: indictment from the department ofjustice appeared to conclude that the goal was to sow discord, to cast doubt over the american election system, much like what russians were first accused of in 2016. this indictment stops short of actually directly linking the two men, who have been charged to the iranian government but they did saying that the two men had, the company, had done work for the iranian government. the two men who have been indicted have been charged are 24—year—old seyyed mohammad hosein musa kazemi and 27—year—old sajjad kashian. what they are allegedly accused of, they are accused of allegedly getting a hold of confidential voter information and using that information to
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send out menacing e—mails to both democrats and republicans and spreading false information and spreading false information and in some of those e—mails, they even allegedly posed as they even allegedly posed as the proud boys which is a far—right group. on the other hand, in march of 2021, the us intelligence community released a report, saying that the iranian government had been involved in a campaign to allegedly hurt donald trump's re—election chances, which as we saw, donald trump was not really, joe biden was elected. now whether or not this was a direct result, but obviously remains to be seen, this is just an intelligence report now. so overall, it is fair to say that we have multiple instances of possible election interference by the iranians, which the goal appears to be to
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sow discord in the us and cast doubt on the election, the us election system. suzanne kianpour with the latest. thank you forjoining us with that update. ajudge in new york has officially exonerated two men wrongly convicted of the 1965 murder of the civil rights leader, malcolm x. the judge said muhammad a aziz and khalil islam — who spent two decades in jail — had suffered a miscarriage of justice. a review found they had not received a fair trial and that police had withheld evidence. both men were paroled in the 1980s and khalil islam died in 2009. muhammad aziz, now 83, spoke after the ruling. the events that brought us to court today should never have occurred. those events were, and are, the result of a process that was corrupt to its core — one that was all too familiar
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to black people in 2021. while i do not need this court, these prosecutors or a piece of paper to tell me i'm innocent, i am very glad that my family, my friends and the attorneys who have worked and supported me all of these years are finally seeing the truth that we have all known officially recognised. students in south korea are currently sitting the suneung college entrance exam. the gruelling 8—hour marathon is sometimes called the toughest exam in the world. the stakes are really high, with students feeling the pressure to perform well to secure university placements, jobs and even future relationships. our korea correspondent laura bicker has been documenting the preparations of three korean students. the big day has arrived. so much depends on this one exam that parents can't help
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but watch and worry and make sure their loved ones have everything they need. for the last 100 days, we asked three students to record their thoughts as they prepare for this life—changing test. ga—yeon goes to school on an island with only 19 students in her grade.
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there are nowjust 10 days to go until the big exam and she has to go to the mainland. "good luck!", somebody shouts as she leaves. han—seul goes to an alternative school that puts less emphasis on exams and more on getting real—life experience.
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10,000 police have been sent out onto the streets to make sure that students get to suneung on time. and even to help them focus, aeroplanes will be stopped from flying overhead in the middle of the listening exam. after 12 years of eat, study, sleep, repeat, the only thing they can do now is their best. laura bicker, bbc news, seoul. next week sees the release of a new film called house of gucci, directed by ridley scott. lady gaga plays patrizia reggiani, who served 18 years in jail for hiring a hit man to kill her former husband and label boss maurizio gucci. here's our entertainment correspondent lizo mzimba. it was a name that sounded so seductive.
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in 1998, patrizia reggiani was convicted of arranging the murder of herformer husband maurizio gucci, of the gucci fashion empire. to play her, lady gaga immersed herself in months of preparation. i don't consider myself to be a particularly ethical person. finding the pain of the character experienced as a woman in a male—dominated world came from her own past. finding the pain the character experienced as a woman in a male—dominated world came from lady gaga's own past. finding the character, she says, was helped by drawing on her own painful past. what was the most relevant about my personal experiences, lizo, was the trauma that i have been through in my life, being assaulted when i was 19 by a music producer. i took from every trigger point that i could find, so it was very painful. the singer has spoken before about how, two years before she became one of music's biggest stars, she suffered not one but multiple sexual assaults. it led to post—traumatic
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stress disorder. i have complex ptsd. it is multiple incidents. it is not a single incident. i used all of them at different times in different parts of the script. it is what i was compelled to do for the role because i thought to myself well, there is simply no other answer for why she would have a husband murdered. gucci needs new blood. goodbye, 1930s. hello, �*80s! she says the film's director, ridley scott, was constantly concerned that she was immersing herself too deeply into painful memories. reliving your trauma for a character is maybe not the healthiest thing, but i'm a romantic. i have a romance with this script, a romance with my character, a romance with the cast. it was, i think, in a way, therapeutic, in the way that, what he called it was an exorcism. i relived all of this to play her. lady gaga, thank you so much for your time.
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thank you, lizo. that's all for now. stay with bbc world news. hello there. who'd have thought, by the middle of september, we'd still be experiencing temperatures during the middle of the afternoon into the mid teens? that's exactly what happened on thursday with temperatures peaking just over 16 celsius in parts of aberdeenshire. now for many, we are under this influence of high pressure and a south—westerly flow is driving in a lot of cloud, but a lot of warmth with it. yes, a weather front into the far north, but it means we start off on an incredibly mild start this morning — these are more akin to daytime maximums at this time of year. so, double digits quite widely first thing. the cloud, however, thick enough for a spot or two of drizzle, quite a damp, murky start out to the west, and our weather front producing some heavy, persistent rain to the far north of scotland and the northern isles.
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top temperatures, though, with a little bit of brightness into eastern scotland, maybe north—east england, once again 14—15, maybe 16 celsius. however, that front will gradually sink its way south through the weekend. it's a cold front, it's allowing the wind direction to change to a northerly and to bring quite a different feel to the weather as we go through the weekend. so on saturday, it'll weaken off considerably as it moves its way through northern ireland into northern england. ahead of it, we should get some sunshine. to the north of that, it will be a cooler feel with a scattering of showers — temperatures struggling to get into double figures by then. now, saturday night into sunday, the front continues to sink its way steadily southwards. we can track the isobars all the way back up into the arctic, that cold air is starting to take hold. it means, in sheltered, rural parts of scotland, we could see a touch of frost first thing on sunday morning. sunday, there will be some sunshine but a keen northerly wind driving and some showers along the coast. and, factor in the wind
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direction and the strength, it will feel noticeably cooler, so temperatures struggling to get into double figures right across the country. but watch this — those clear skies continue through the night, temperatures are likely to fall away in scotland and the north of england. we are likely to see more of a frost as lows get down to —2 in 1—2 places. so, a bit of a shock to the system in comparison to what we've had just lately. and in fact, to close out the month of november, it will stay on the cold side, the potential for some wintry showers later in the week with overnight frosts, as well.
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this is bbc news. we will have the headlines and all the main news stories for you at the top of the hour, straight after this programme. we are so dedicated to today's main news story, which is changes to the rail network, we've all been on trains today. we are loving the news. living the dream! laura is getting very excited, because she is heading to cardiff, for reasons that will become clear in a moment here on newscast. i did a little dash to warrington bank quay in cheshire, a little day trip, some filming for next week. but, adam, you've scooped the lot of us, because you just came to work. yeah, unfortunately, i didn't have any exciting assignments today, so ijust
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did a selfie of myself passing

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