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tv   BBC News  BBC News  November 19, 2021 3:00am-3:31am GMT

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welcome to bbc news. i'm mark lobel. our top stories: trapped on the edge of the eu: the desperation of migrants fleeing conflict and poverty as they try to seek asylum. we have a special report from the bosnia—croatia border. global concerns grow about the safety of the chinese tennis player peng shuai, unseen since accusing a senior government official of sexual assault. 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. tracing the origins of coronavirus: new information on patient zero. president biden considers a diplomatic boycott of the beijing winter olympics
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in protest against china's human rights record. and lady gaga tells us about channelling her childhood experiences into her new film, house of gucci. hello there. across eastern europe, from belarus to the balkans, people are fleeing conflict and poverty in their homelands, trying to reach the european union to seek asylum. in recent days, the focus has been on the crossing between poland and belarus, where tensions have been high, as hundreds of migrants clashed with border forces. but there are other routes that people are using to try to enter the eu. one of the most popular is through bosnia into croatia. according to the un, since 2018, 75,000 people have moved through bosnia
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into neighbouring countries. the bbc�*s fergal keane travelled with a family of afghan migrants trying to make the journey, and sent this report. near the croatian border, a refugee family is waiting to cross. akram was a television engineer in kabul. zarah was a policewoman in herat, but fled in 2016. baby sara was born in greece, where the family had a previous asylum request denied. we are countryless. we are illegally on the border. what should we have to do? they say they've been pushed back from croatia 39 times — once, they allege, with force. they came and hit my husband, and i said, "why are you hitting my husband?" and they hit me also in my face and said, "shut up."
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who will help us? the life become like hell for us, for all of us. some migrants wait in abandoned factories from which they can easily reach the border at night. others, in temporary reception centres like this, run by the united nations. how concerned are you by the numerous reports of pushbacks that are happening in this region? we see many of the migrants themselves being returned back. we see that they've been deprived of their shoes, they're being deprived of their basic goods, and sometimes, really, of their dignity. the croatian government didn't respond to a request for comment, but has already denied a policy of pushbacks, and says it upholds its legal obligations to asylum seekers. three policemen were suspended after being accused
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of violence against migrants. but only the snows, due here soon, are likely to slow the desperate attempts to reach the eu. it'sjust after 5:00 in the morning and the family is preparing for another attempt at crossing the border. we'll go with them as far as we're allowed to on the bosnian side. let's just see what happens if they're able to cross. there's fear that baby sara will cry and alert border guards. she's really fast asleep now. we must leave in this way. if she wake up, especially at the border, she will cry, and the people that are close to the border will call the police. so, we'rejust
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coming up to the border. they've seen a car on the other side, which they suspectis croatian police. so, what do you plan to do? we have to cross. this journey has already taken nearly 4,000 miles. several hours later, akram sent us a video of the families inside croatia. so, we are here, we are in croatia now. the police came and put them in this van. because greece refused asylum, croatia can reject them, but it must first check their background and status. instead, they say they were pushed back — again. are you going to keep trying?
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yeah, we have to do. we don't want to be hopeless. every time when the police are deporting us, we say to ourselves, ok, no problem, we will try to go again. croatia, europe want to stem the flow of migrants. but there's no way home now, no way forward. fergal keane, bbc news, bosnia. an incredible journey to witness there. 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 2—time grand slam doubles champion hasn't been seen for two weeks, since she accused china's former vice premier zhang gaoli of sexual assault. doubts have been cast on an email supposedly written by the tennis star, saying that she's safe and well. 0ur correspondent robin brant reports from shanghai. for years, peng shuai has let her racket do the talking and she has risen to the top.
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a star in a sport where there aren't many chinese success stories. at 35, she is someone the ruling communist party leaders could be proud of. but an allegation about one of those senior party figures changed that. in this social media posting earlier this month, peng named vice premier zhang gaoli, who she claims he forced her to have sex with him. china's state censors removed the posting within an hour. peng hasn't been seen in public or heard from since. if recent history is any guide, few people are allowed to publicly challenge senior authorities like zhang gaoli without paying some kind of price for it, and i think it would be telling if she were able to leave the country, for example, and speak freely, where she would not face the kinds of repercussions that the chinese government can impose if she's still
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inside the country. then, in the middle of the night, an email appears, or at least what one arm of chinese state media says is an emailfrom peng shuai to the head of the women's tennis association. and basically the message is, "do not worry, i'm fine "and i didn't mean what i said two weeks ago." in what looks like a screen shot, it is claimed she started out saying, "hello, everyone." she went on to say the allegations made two weeks ago were in fact false and she has "just been resting at home." "everything is fine," she adds. prominent people do disappear in china. the tech billionaire jack ma wasn't seen in public for months after he criticised state regulators. but athletes? that's unusual. in a hasty response, the man to whom the email was reportedly sent, wta's chief steve simon, said he had a hard time believing peng actually wrote it. i think people in the tennis world would like to see her, hearfrom her directly, perhaps see her having
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a tennis hit, a practice, things that she's done since she was eight years old and first picked up a racquet. all this comes as this country prepares to be at the centre of the sporting world when beijing hosts the winter olympics next february. a games that is already facing the prospect of some kind of boycott over what the us says is genocide against chinese uyghurs in the west of this country. robin brant, bbc news, shanghai. thank you so much for your company here on bbc news. let's get some of the day's other news. 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 nationwide shortages. 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 for killing a man
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in a car—jacking 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 execution. 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 vaccinated or tested. this was the scene in february 2020 in the chinese city of wuhan days after it was shut down as a new virus spread through the city's population. that was the start of the coronavirus pandemic, but the exact origins of the virus are still unknown. two places in the city feature prominently in the numerous theories of where the virus came from. one is the huanan wet market, a market selling live animals
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where several of the earliest cases were detected. the other is the wuhan institute of virology, which is known to have been studying coronaviruses in bats for over a decade. it's thought possible that the virus could have leaked from there. now, a leading expert in tracing the start of the pandemic says he thinks he knows of the first known person to have contracted the virus. dr michael worobey who heads the ecology and evolutionary biology department at the university of arizona explained to me that he's found what he believes is the first known case of the virus, but that he believes there were earlier cases yet to be discovered. there were probably patients even earlier than her because only about 7% of people who get the virus end up in the hospital and she was one of those. ok, so we'll get to that. but let's just work out what you did. so, how did you work that out? well, i had known about
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a discrepancy between the who reports december 8 on this individual and a scientific paper that suggested his symptoms began on december 16, and i pointed that out in my article, which then went out to anonymous peer reviewers and one of the peer reviewers was obviously someone who spoke and read chinese and passed along this figure that actually —— video that actually showed medical and dental records from this individual which showed that on december 8, what he actually had was a dental issue with retained baby teeth that needed to be pulled, and in his own voice, he says in the video that his covid symptoms began with a fever and tightness in his chest on december 16. so, that's how you found the accountant wasn't the first known case, and that was just publicly known information that you found it through? yeah, it was out there butjust had not been — the dots had not been
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connected. the person that you are saying, mrs y, is the first known case was actually backed up by the who report as well, is that correct? well, interestingly, i don't think that she actually appears in the who report because there is no report of a vendor at the huanan market with symptoms that early, but clearly, she was a case, she's been interviewed by the wall streetjournal, she was interview in person in this video that i watched, and in fact her symptoms might even go earlier than december 10. by december 11, she visited a clinic, but she may have felt ill before that point. right, and so that gives us the seafood market looking like it has the majority of those early cases and is potentially a superspreader event. but in order to answer this question, about whether the theory links back to a lab leak, you're saying that cases may have happened in november that we need to track down. is that correct?
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yeah, it's possible that the earliest cases started in november and that there was a small chain of transmission that we haven't actually sampled with actual patients. but what is really clear and really the take—on —— take—home message from my article was that you can'tjust dismiss the pattern of so many early cases coming from this one wet market that sold the same sorts of animals that brought us the original sars, that more than half of the first patients identified seemed to have worked there. and this place is the size of a football pitch, a soccer field. it's small. briefly, does this discount the lab theory? yeah, it really throws a tremendous challenge to that theory because there's no indication of early cases near the market and there's really no good way to explain so many early cases at this particular wet market unless it started from a wild animal at that market.
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dr michael worobey there. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: 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 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 it's 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.
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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 bbc news. the latest headlines: a un warning about the levels of migrants fleeing conflict and poverty who are now trapped on the edge of the eu. global concerns grow about the safety of chinese tennis player peng shuai, unseen since accusing a senior government official of sexual assault. the united states says it is considering a diplomatic boycott of next yea r�*s beijing winter olympics. both democratic and republican lawmakers have called for a boycott to protest against china's human rights abuses. a diplomatic boycott would mean athletes would still compete
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at the games, but government officials would not attend. speaking to reporters during a meeting with the canadian prime minister, mr biden was thrown the question. reporter: would you support a diplomatic boycott _ of the beijing olympics? it's something we're considering. ian bremmer is president and founder of eurasia group. hejoins us now from singapore. thank you so much forjoining us again on bbc world news. at the beginning of the week, president biden and xi jinping are talking now, now president biden is considering a diplomatic boycott of the winter olympics so it is again a rocky time in the relationship between america and china. it relationship between america and china-— and china. it is a better time in the relationship. - and china. it is a better time in the relationship. the - and china. it is a better time in the relationship. the lastl in the relationship. the last couple of weeks were marked both by the chinese expressing willingness to engage with the americans directly on climate
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at the cop26 and then an over three hour meeting between the americans and chinese at the head of state level, where they are trying to find ways to lower the tensions in the relationship. you don't yet have an announcement of a diplomatic boycott, despite the fact that is clearly where the biden administration had been heading before the summit, before the virtual summit, and there is a lot of pressure on there is a lot of pressure on the americans right now because of course biden recognises that he did lose some vote in 2020 inswing states from working—class folks who believe he was soft on china ——in swing. ican he was soft on china ——in swing. i can tell you the biden white house, if it was up to them, they are trying not to have a diplomatic boycott of the olympics. iii have a diplomatic boycott of the olympia-— the olympics. if it does go ahead, this _ the olympics. if it does go ahead, this diplomatic - the olympics. if it does go - ahead, this diplomatic boycott, make much difference? especially if the athletes are still going to compete? ==
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still going to compete? -- would it — still going to compete? -- would it make. _ still going to compete? » would it make. what makes the difference at the end of the day is how the beijing olympics actually go. we know that china right now has zero covert policies of this will be much tighter bubble than we have seen at tokyo and if you have a couple of cases are complete the shutdown events —— covid. that's one issue. secondly, you have a number of athletes that are going to be raising serious concerns about forced labour and camps in xinjing, human rights abuses, about the issue of this chinese tennis star that has not been heard from except for an alleged e—mail written by her after she said that a former vice premier had sexually harassed her. the sports community, a lot of them are very unhappy about the chinese government right now and the chinese government is not very interested in having politics being played of hosting the olympics in beijing this will be a politicised 0lympics, there will be merry american summonses and representatives in congress that will be strongly opposed to even the fact that americans
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are sending athletes there, nevermind corporate sponsors and the potential diplomats to arrive so it's going to be very fraught and in the midst of all of this you have a biden administration that is trying to avoid crisis between the two largest economies in the world. it is not an easy thing to navigate by any means. one for us to watch _ navigate by any means. one for us to watch there. _ navigate by any means. one for us to watch there. thank - navigate by any means. one for us to watch there. thank you i us to watch there. thank you forjoining us. prince charles says the uk will stand by egypt in what he called the "epic struggle" to protect the planet as egypt prepares to host the next round of climate talks in 2022. he was speaking on the first day of his trip to the country where he and the duchess of cornwall also visited the pyramids at giza. the prince, the president and a palace. the formalities look like business as usual, but prince charles is in cairo with a cause. first came a stop at one of the oldest mosques and greatest institutes of learning in the islamic world, al—azhar.
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here, there was talk with students — part of the prince's lifelong interest in islam and efforts at interfaith dialogue. and then, of course, to the pyramids. first, a chance to clamber amongst the great building blocks, and then to go inside these tombs of long gone rulers. and, of course, the sphinx, a chance to marvel at a civilisation 11,500 years old. what it was for and why it was built is still unclear, but for prince charles, there's a message in the riddle. this is the pretty part of this trip — the part that advertises this country, the part that catches everybody�*s attention. but what's closest to the prince's heart is what comes later this evening. if the ancients could make all of this, the prince thinks, why can't we do something about climate change? a reception with the country's elite and an opportunity to urge this regional giant on in the fight
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against climate change. as president sisi steps forward to take on the presidency of cop27 later this year, the united kingdom will be with egypt as your friend and partner in this epic struggle to protect and restore our environment and to build a better future for us all. thank you. and a long day of dialogue and diplomacy about the future ended with a last look at the glories of the past. jonny dymond, bbc news, cairo. next week sees the release of a new film called house of gucci, directed by ridley scott. the singer lady gaga plays patrizia reggiani who served 18 years injailfor hiring a hit man to kill her former husband
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and label boss maurizio gucci. to prepare for the role, lady gaga says she drew on the abuse she suffered as a teenager. here's our entertainment correspondent lizo mzimba. heart of glass by blondie plays. it was a name that sounded so seductive. 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 the character experienced as a woman in a male—dominated world came from lady gaga's own 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
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point that i could find, so it was very painful. the singer has spoken in the past about how, before she became one of music's biggest stars, she suffered not one but multiple sexual assaults, leading to post—traumatic stress disorder. i have complex ptsd, so that's not single—incident ptsd, it's multiple incidents. i used all of them at different times, in different moments of the script. it's 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 her husband murdered". gucci needs new blood. goodbye, 1930s. hello, �*80s! she says the film's director, ridley scott, was constantly concerned... house of gucci's coming! ..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
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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. thank you, lizo. and before we go, millions of crabs are on the move on australia's christmas island. take a look. it's one of the largest migrations on the planet. the red crabs are moving from the jungles to the ocean to lay their eggs. the journey happens every year after the first rainfall of the wet season and people on the island spend months preparing for this great event — even making special bridges for the crabs to clamber over. and have you noticed which way they're moving? most are moving sideways, as crabs do.
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there's much more on the bbc news website and app, but from me, goodbye. 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 degrees 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 that 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. top temperatures, though, with a little bit of brightness into eastern scotland, maybe north—east england,
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once again 14—15, maybe 16 degrees. 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 will 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 in some showers potentially along the coast. and factor in the wind direction and the strength, it is going to feel noticeably cooler, so temperatures struggling to get into double figures right across the country.
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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 one or two 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 is going to 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. the headlines: many of tennis's leading stars have expressed concern for the top female chinese player, peng shuai, who hasn't been seen since accusing a senior chinese official of sexual abuse two weeks ago. chinese state media has released an email attributed to peng, but doubt has been cast about its authenticity. president biden has said the united states is considering a diplomatic boycott of next year's winter olympics in beijing. athletes would compete, but us officials would not attend. the us and china are in dispute over human rights abuses, trade and taiwan. a us state governor has halted the execution of prisoner juliusjones hours before he was due to be put to death. in 2002, jones was sentenced to death for killing a man in a car—jacking incident. after several appeals, his sentence has now been commuted to life imprisonment.

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