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tv   BBC News  BBC News  August 17, 2019 1:00am-1:31am BST

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this is bbc news. i'm ben bland. our top stories: suicide by hanging — the autopsy verdict on disgraced billionairejeffrey epstein, who was found dead in prison. air travellers across the unites states are facing major delays as a computer systems failure causes chaos at airports. chinese forces carry out riot drills as hong kong prepares for another weekend of protests. the police say they're in control. we all face tremendous pressure, but i can tell you we are confident that we have the capability to maintain law and order in hong kong. the hollywood actor, peter fonda, famous for the film classic easy rider has died at the age of 79.
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hello and welcome to bbc news. jeffrey epstein died from suicide by hanging — that's the reported conclusion of the autopsy into the death of the disgraced american financier. he was found dead in his cell last saturday while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. investigations have been taking place into why epstein was taken off suicide watch a few days before his death. i asked our north america correspondent peter bowes whether the findings of the autopsy settle the questions about how he died once and for all. well, there's been a considerable amount of speculation over the last week including many conspiracy theories about the way he died. there was a newspaper report here a few days ago that suggested
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he may well have had injuries typical of someone who had been strangled, although those injuries in fact could have also been found from someone older who had taken their own life through hanging. well we now know officially that that is the cause of death, suicide through hanging, but of course while that may be official, many other questions remain regarding the circumstances. and what of those questions now? how will those be answered? well, there are questions about what happened, at least the circumstances, the way in which he was being guarded and there's been a considerable amount of speculation that there were, certainly as far as the guards were concerned that were working that night, that they weren't checking him every 30 minutes as they were supposed to. this was a man who was on suicide watch up until recently.
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he had been let out of that into a high security wing where the guards, we are led to believe a multiple reports, should have been seeing him every 30 minutes. it seems they didn't happen. there will be an investigation into that, but also the wider investigation — the reason he was being held in that prison cell awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. that investigation continues as well. and where does that go now, that investigation specifically, into the sex trafficking charges that he was facing? well, it will focus on potential co—conspirators. other people that might have been involved in the crimes that the authorities they were committed byjeffrey epstein, we know that earlier this week his private island in the caribbean was raided. we know that those possible co—conspirators have been warned by the authorities at the highest
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level here in the states that this investigation continues. and there's a tremendous amount of pressure from the victims, victims who feel that they've been cheated of justice because of his death. epstein is now dead, they wanted to see him stand trial and be punished for his crimes. there is also talk of civil action against the estate ofjeffrey epstein. the us authorities say computers are coming back online after a nationwide computer failure disrupted customs checks at airports across the country. the glitch, which affected only international passengers, led to long delays at airports in at least four states. at least five us airports, including new york's jfk and washington dulles were hit causing disruption to customs checks. large queues have been building in the terminals while other passengers have been waiting on planes. joining me on the line is jonathan ivelaw—chapman. he flew in to dulles airport near washington from heathrow and got stuck. jonathan, just tell us about your
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experience and how long it took to get you through the airport? will my flight get you through the airport? will my flight was seven hours and it took me five hours to clear through from landing, just to get out of the customs right now. so ijust managed to get through. so it is 2:50pm now. it's normally quite a lengthy way to washington, may a few hours, but it was clear there were some serious issues and it has been quite a frustrating day. how were they are people through customs if the computers weren't working? what was interesting was watching how the american cues, how the local domestic passengers were dealing with it, they were clearly more clued up stop i am not sure if there was a backup system in place. there
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was a backup system in place. there was a backup system in place. there was a lot of noise coming from the american side of the whole and really, we waited until there was some improvement. they brought the systems back together very slowly. they very slowly ramped it up instead of having thousands of people in one go. they didn't seem to have any backup or manual systems at all, not saying that there wasn't any, but it did take a long time in dulles. we were let off the plane. there was no information on the aircraft. when we were walking through, things didn't seem normal. it just seems to through, things didn't seem normal. itjust seems to peak through, things didn't seem normal. it just seems to peak at 3pm through, things didn't seem normal. itjust seems to peak at 3pm for european departures and it became clear as we enter the customs hold that there were significant problems. cues got longer and deeper. if you look at the cabin
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crew is the mark and cues —— cabin crew is the mark and cues —— cabin crew and cues for fast track entry, they weren't going anywhere. they joined our cue for the manual process. that was very telling and very funny as well. how much of an impact has that have on your plans —— had? impact has that have on your plans -- had? iwas travelling impact has that have on your plans -- had? i was travelling for business, but i have my son with me, he's been extremely patient. it's been a long, long, long day coming from the uk. fortunately i have the weekend to recover. i know there are a lot of people very frustrated. 0k, jonathan ivelaw—chapman, thank you for sharing your experience with us andi for sharing your experience with us and i hope you have a restful weekend after all of that. thank you. hong kong police say they are back
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in control of protests in the city. they insist they don't need the help of mainland chinese paramilitary police gathered across the border. hundreds of people gathered in the central business district of hong kong on friday night. more pro—democracy demonstrations — both legal and unauthorised — are planned for the weekend. from hong kong, here'sjohn sudworth. this freewheeling, free—trading city was once a haven for those fleeing china. now though, chinese fishermen landing their catch here have no time for talk of human rights. weeks of chaos have led to falling orders, and they know who to blame — hong kong's young protesters. translation: they don't believe in china now but, when they grow up, they will know china is right. it seems an unlikely hope. the fear that hong kong's promised autonomy is being eroded under chinese rule has brought many
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thousands onto the streets, undeterred by tear gas or rubber bullets. so, this week, in what looks like a deliberate warning, chinese paramilitary police have been gathering and conducting riot drills in the border city of shenzhen. but the hong kong police, for now, at least, appear unconcerned. are you confident that the hong kong police force is still able to maintain public order, or do you think we are getting close to the moment when chinese intervention becomes inevitable? this is a trying time. we all face tremendous pressure, but i can tell you we are confident that we have the capability to maintain law and order in hong kong. there are other ways to apply pressure, though. after some staff from hong kong's flagship airline took part in the protests, china threatened to prevent it using mainland airports. the chief executive,
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rupert hogg, has now resigned. meanwhile, another weekend of protests has begun, with further clashes likely. 0n the one hand, the chinese communist party knows that rolling the troops into hong kong would bring huge economic and diplomatic costs — but, on the other, it also knows that this summer of rage presents probably the biggest challenge to its authority since the tiananmen protests 30 years ago. and there's no sign yet that these people are ready to back down. john sudworth, bbc news, hong kong. and you'll find in—depth coverage of the hong kong protests on our website, including more on the resignation of the cathay pacific boss, and also how businesses in the territory are reacting to the months—long protests. that's all at bbc.com/news. you can also download the bbc news app. let's ta ke let's take a look at some of the other stories making news this hour.
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us president donald trump has told pakistan's prime minister, imran khan, india and pakistan must reduce tensions in kashmir. it follows a similar call from china's ambassador to the united nations, where the issue was discussed on friday. there have been reports of progress in preparations for a peace deal with the taliban in afghanistan, with discussions between president donald trump and top advisors apparently going "very well." negotiations have been taking place on a us troop pullout from afghanistan and the potential for a political settlement between the warring sides. the us president has been adamant that he would like to withdraw us forces, possibly ahead of the november 2020 election. the democratic republic of the congo has suffered a setback in its efforts to contain a year—long outbreak of ebola, with a new area reporting its first cases. a mother and her child tested positive for the virus in south kivu province. the woman has since died.
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the veteran hollywood actor peter fonda has died at age 79. the actor was seen as a countercultural icon, best known for the 1969 film easy rider, which he co—wrote and produced. he died after suffering respiratory failure from lung cancer. in a statement, his family said: "we wish for all to celebrate his indomitable spirit and love of life. " brian welk, film reporter with the wrap discussed what the actor's legacy would be. peter fonda was such a symbol of counterculture in the 60s, getting his start in bikerfilms, and his role in easy rider is iconic, he has had a long career and is a member of hollywood royalty. with his family, his father henry fonda and sisterjane fonda, so he had a long history in movies. the film you mentioned, easy rider,
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it was one of the first independent films to really have success and show that independent films could break through. it was such a symbol of really the whole period, very emblematic of... it captured the rebellious spirit, the spirit of the entire decade, also was a great symbol of psychedelia from director dennis hopper and his role as captain america, really brought his career, something he nodded to later on, even in cannonball run or ghost rider with nicolas cage. it is well—documented that they were committed to getting into role for that film, all of them. he was originally, he wanted to do something on his own, he wanted to break away from doing the b—movies for roger cormann, he was dedicated to doing something completely different, and he ended up being nominated for an oscar for his screenplay that he co—wrote, and reallyjust changed the culture, really set the stage for many of the counterculture movies and antiheroes we see on screen today.
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and it has to be said, you look at his family tree, and movies is in his dna. absolutely. part of hollywood royalty, his father henry fonda, his sisterjane fonda, he is the father of bridget fonda, it just goes on and on, and they gave a very sweet statement at his passing today, saying "please raise a glass to freedom", i thought that was a really nice sentiment, and the whole
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family has this incredible legacy, so to hear that he passed and left behind this rich hollywood family is very sad. brian welk, thank you for sharing your thoughts. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: putting more women front and centre. one major orchestra's attempt to find female conductors. the big crowds became bigger as the time of the funeral approached. as the lines of fans became longer, the police prepared for a hugejob of crowd control. idi amin, uganda's brutalformer dictator, has died at the age of 80.
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he's been buried in saudi arabia, where he lived in exile since being overthrown in 1979. two billion people around the world have seen the last total eclipse of the sun to take place in this millennium. it began itsjourney off the coast of canada, ending three hours later when the sun set over the bay of bengal. this is bbc news. the latest headlines: the autopsy verdict on the disgraced billionaire, jeffrey epstein, who was found dead in prison, is "suicide by hanging." air travellers across the unites states face major delays as a computer failure causes chaos at airports.
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us president donald trump has told pakistan's prime minister, imran khan, india and pakistan must reduce tensions in kashmir. it follows a similar call from china's ambassador to the united nations, where the issue was discussed on friday. tensions have escalated in the region after india ordered the lockdown of the kashmir valley and stripped the region of its special status. this is what the representatives of india and pakistan had to say after the un meeting. as the chinese ambassador emphasised, the human rights situation injammu and kashmir and it is an abysmal human rights situation with violations carried out with impunity by india. that too has been discussed. of particular concern is that one state is using terminology ofjihad
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against, and promoting violence in india, including by the leaders. friends, violence is no solution to the problems that all of us face. us congresswoman rashida tlaib says she will not visit her family in the occupied west bank. that's despite being given permission by the israeli government. ms tlaib was previously banned from making an official visit, along with fellow democrat ilhan 0mar. but israel later overturned the decision on humanitarian grounds. both politicians have been critical of israeli policiy towards the palestinians, much to the irritation of prime minister benjamin netanyahu. taking to twitter, rashida tlaib said: "i have decided that visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions stands against everything i believe in — fighting against racism, oppression & injustice." chris buckler in washington is following the story and says the us president ignited this
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row from the outset. president trump was privately and publicly lobbying the israeli government to ban these congresswomen from really going to israel. and of course that was subsequently proven to be the case. the israeli government decided that they would allow rashida tlaib to come and essentially visit her elderly grandmother. but she decided she is not prepared to do that because of the conditions that have been placed on her by the israeli government. they say she can only come if she doesn't voice opposition to israel during the trip, and she says that would be silencing her, and would be against some of her grandmother's own views as well. she points out that as a member of the us congress, she says as far as she is concerned, when she became a us congresswoman, many palestinians, especially her grandmother found a sense of hope,
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a hope that they would finally have a voice and she is not prepared to have that silence. and actually, she goes on to suggest that her grandmother is being used as a political bargaining chip in all of this. it gives you a sense of the emotional nature of this as well as the political row surrounding all of these discussions. president trump has reportedly been asking his officials whether the us could buy greenland from the danish government. the wall streetjournal reports that the requests have been made with "varying degrees of seriousness". the capital of greenland is actually 300 km closer to the us capital than the danish onethe majority of the island — the world's largest — is covered in a permanant ice sheet that contains 10% of the world's freshwater. well, there has been plenty of reaction from greenland and denmark. greenland's foreign minister ane lone bagger said: the former prime minister of the territory lars lokke rasmussen tweeted: and another politician,
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rasmus jarlov, tweeted: in the world of classical music — women are rarely the ones holding the baton. in britainjust one of the leading orchestras has a female principal conductor. there are efforts to change this, including at the welsh national 0pera, where a new role of ‘female conductor in residence,‘ has been created. sian lloyd went to meet tian—yi lu, as she began her first week in thejob. ‘toreador song' plays. taking on one of opera's best known and best loved pieces of music in her own way. i think a rehearsal should be like children playing. let's try this, let's try this, oh, wow, this works, and sometimes an orchestra or a chorus might give me something i hadn't thought of. tianyi lu is one of only a handful of women to have titled roles, the top jobs among the several hundred conductors on the staff of british orchestras. perhaps sometimes, the second beat
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of the bar, go a little bit. as she begins her position as first female conductor in residence with welsh national opera, she takes that number to eight. even at the very beginning of my career, when i tried conducting for the first time and i loved it, the thought of conducting didn't even cross my mind because i had never seen a woman in a professional context conducting before at that stage. i therefore didn't think it was possible. that shortage of role models is something the opera company is trying to change. with this newly created post, it's one of a growing network of organisations creating opportunities to give women the means and confidence to conduct. i think it's positive action. we are addressing the gender imbalance in the sector at the moment — and if there is an imbalance, then you've got to do something about changing that and giving people opportunities to progress. already an assistant conductor with the melbourne symphony orchestra, tianyi was one of more than 50 women who applied
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for thejob in cardiff. they had all gained experience in leading an orchestra, but the opportunity to also lead voices in an opera was new to many. even the idea of calling yourself a female conductor is unusual. i would love the day when labels are gone, where we just see the person for who they are, and they are creating artwork and we just see the artwork that they are making and the story they are trying to tell. that day is now looking closer, although the pace of change could be quickerfor some. so news there of a breakthrough forfemale conductors, but what about singers? well, there'll be no girls singing in a prestigious german all—boys choir any time soon. a court in germany has ruled that the berlin state and cathedral choir is not guilty of sex discrimination by declining an application by a 9—year—old girl.
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judges said the 500—year—old choir had an artistic right to reject the girl to preserve its distinctive sound. but they allowed the girl's mother a right to appeal. she says the choir turned her daughter down on the grounds of gender rather than ability. for the first time, the annual eately food festival in bologna has created a chinese lantern extravaganza. it combines a love of fresh italian produce, with an ancient tradition from the other side of the world. freya cole has more. chinese tradition in the heart of northern italy. there are more than 80 works of art, some inspired by chinese myths and legends, others the fun and colour. translation: these artworks were built entirely
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here by a0 chinese men and women in 20 days. under the scorching bolognese son, they made these wonderful works with iron, wire ends -- silk wonderful works with iron, wire ends —— silk fabric. wonderful works with iron, wire ends -- silk fabric. these lanterns are famous throughout the world. the custom dates back more than 1000 yea rs custom dates back more than 1000 years with the purpose of bringing families together. from the outside, they shine bright, because inside strong wire scaffolding props up hundreds of lights to eliminate the night sky. the festival runs until early november, combining a love of italian food and love of chinese light. animal lovers in peru were delighted to meet three female bengal tigers — including a rare white cub amongst the litter. you can hear the oohs and ahs as these purr—fect cubs made their first
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public appearance at the parque de las leyendas zoo following a successful breeding programme the zoo has launched a competition on social media to help decide names for them. you can reach me on twitter, i'm @benmbland. hello there. we can all look forward to seeing some sunshine this weekend, it was a poor day though on friday, especially across england and wales, the wettest weather in snowdonia. that rain—bearing weather front is putting away from the south—east of england but this area of low pressure is going to be the one constant right the way through the weekend. that will focus the showers towards the north—west of the uk — some of them will be heavy. we'll get some sunshine, yes, but they will be accompanied by some blustery winds as well. those showers continue into the morning, these are the temperatures first thing, 12—15 degrees, but some heavy showers from overnight especially in scotland and the north—west of england. it will be western scotland and northern ireland that sees the bulk of the showers on saturday, wetter weather in the north—west and the winds really picking up later on.
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one or two fleeting showers for england and wales but not many, good chance it will stay dry at lord's for the cricket, but we will have these strong winds, not as strong as last weekend, and those temperatures back into the low 20s now that we have the sunshine across eastern parts of england. those showers, though, continue in scotland and northern ireland again, heavy and thundery, gusty winds as well, we have thickening cloud across southern counties of england, maybe threatening a bit of rain. in between, clearer skies and temperatures around 11—13. the wetter weather in the south and south—east courtesy of this weather front here, that should pull away on sunday morning. still got that area of low pressure, it is a bit closer to scotland this time, and again it will focus the more frequent and heavy showers into scotland, into northern ireland, again some thundery downpours, gusty winds too, probably a few more showers in northern england, north wales, the south—west of england the best of the sunshine, and dry weather through the midlands and eastern england.
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strong, gusty west to south—westerly winds, probablyjust taking the edge of the temperatures but sunday is probably going to feel quite similar to saturday. as we head into the beginning of next week, we still have an area of low pressure but it is starting to move away from scotland slowly but surely, the winds beginning to ease down a bit as well. there will still be a focus of heavy showers across scotland and northern ireland, and a few scattered showers coming into england and wales, always heavier further north. some spells of sunshine around again and those temperatures are still 16 degrees in the central belt, to a high of 21 or so in the south—east of england. further into next week, we will find some spells of sunshine. warm in the sunshine, temperatures not particularly impressive for the time of year, there will be some showery bursts of rain, mainly in the north and west, the winds, though, should be lighter.
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this is bbc news. the headlines: a post—mortem in new york city has determined that the death of the disgraced us financierjeffrey epstein was suicide by hanging. us media had earlier reported speculation that epstein, who was awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges, could have been murdered. air travellers across the unites states have been facing major delays following a computer systems failure that caused chaos at airports. the us customs and border service says its computers are beginning to come back online and so far there's "no indication the disruption is malicious in nature." the veteran hollywood star peter fonda has died at his home in los angeles from lung cancer. he was 79. the actor, seen as a countercultural icon, was best—known for the 1969 film, easy rider, which he co—wrote and produced.

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