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tv   BBC News  BBC News  August 17, 2019 2:00am-2:31am BST

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welcome to bbc news. i'm reged ahmad. our top stories: medical officials in new york say the death of the disgraced financierjeffrey epstein was suicide. air travellers across the unites states are facing major delays as a computer failure causes chaos at airports. crowds gather in hong kong as the city braces itself for another weekend of protests — but police say they're still 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. and 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. a post—mortem examination has concluded that the death of the disgraced financier, jeffrey epstein, was suicide. the 66—year—old who was being held in a new york prison was awaiting trial on child sex trafficking charges. the chief medical examiner's office said that epstein had hanged himself and that a full report would be issued later. let's get the latest from our north america correspondent, peter bowes. peter, will this answer many of the questions swirling around this case? well i think the questions are likely to continue. this is an official statement from the coroner, that the cause of death was suicide by hanging and of course there had been a considerable amount of
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speculation regarding the circumstances of his death and it looks like that speculation will continue. we have had a statement from mr epstein‘s legal team in which they talk about the mediaeval conditions that the prison where he spent his final hours. and they go on to say that the defence team fully intends to conduct its own independent and complete investigation into the circumstances and because of his death, including, if necessary, legal action to view pivotal videos if they exist, as they should, to the area approximate to mr epstein‘s cell in the time period leading to his death. they are not satisfied with the conclusions of the medical examiner. so, questions still to be asked and of course, we know the investigation is under way into the way that the prison service was operating on that
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night of his death. and we also know the investigation continues into the allegations that mr epstein was facing, the sex trafficking charges and any possible co—conspirators that had been working with him. peter, i'm sure we will keep hearing more about this case. given that, peter bowes in los angeles for us. —— thank you for that. let's get some of the day's other news. 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 democratic republic of 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. american officials have issued a warrant to seize an iranian oil tanker and its cargo a day
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after a judge in gibraltar granted the vessel's release. the grace one was stopped by royal marines last month, amid reports it was heading for syria, in breach of eu sanctions. tehran denies the claims. thousands of travellers passing through us airports are facing long delays because of a breakdown in the customs processing system. authorities say there is "no indication the disruption is malicious in nature." for more, we spoke to a passenger caught up in nikkei. jonathan chapman flew in from london because mckee through —— jonathan chapman flew from london's heathrow airport. well my flight was seven hours
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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. 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. what was interesting was watching how the american queues, how the local, domestic passengers were dealing with it, they were clearly more clued up. i am not sure if 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. it just seems to peak at 3pm for european departures and it became clear as we entered the customs hall that there were significant problems.
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queues got longer and deeper. if you look at the cabin crew queues for fast—track entry, they weren't going anywhere. theyjoined our queue for the manual process. that was very telling and very funny as well. hong kong police say they are back in control of protests in the city. they insist they don't need the help of mainland chinese paramilitary police massing across the border. hundreds of people gathered in the central business district of hong kong on friday night with more pro—democracy demonstrations both legal and unauthorised 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
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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 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.
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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, rupert hogg, has now resigned. meanwhile, another weekend of protests has begun, with further clashes likely. on 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.
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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 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. aus a us congresswoman says she will not visit herfamily a us congresswoman says she will not visit her family in the west bank, despite being given permission. israel later overturned the decision to prohibit her on humanitarian grounds. two politicians have been critical of the administration, much to the irritation of benjamin
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netanyahu. to the irritation of benjamin neta nyahu. visiting to the irritation of benjamin netanyahu. visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions is against everything i believe in, fighting against racism, oppression and injustice. chris buckler in washington is following the story and says the us president ignited this row from the outset. president trump was privately publicly lobbying the israeli government to ban both of these congresswoman from really going to israel and of course that was subsequently proven to be the case. the israeli government decided they couldn't come. but then they decided they would let rashida tlaib come and visit her elderly grandmother. but she decided she is not willing to do that because of the conditions that have been placed on her by the israeli government. she said she can come only if she doesn't voice opposition to israel during the trip and she says that would be silencing her and would actually be silencing some of her grandmother's own views as well. she
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point such as a member of the us congress and says its piracy is concerned, when she became a us congress woman, many palestinians, her grandmother, felt a sense of hope. i hope that they would finally find a voice. she says she isn't prepared to have a voice silence. and she goes on further to say 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 only political row surrounding all of these discussions. chris buckler there. the veteran hollywood actor peter fonda has died at age 79. he was seen as a countercultural icon, best known for the 1969 film easy rider, which he co—wrote and produced. the actor 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. " hollywood reporter gayl murphy in los angeles. thank you so much for your time. he
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really was from hollywood royalty, wasn't he? yes he was. he was the son of oscar—winning actor henry fonda, the brother of oscar—winning actress and activist jane fonda and the father of bridget fonda. now, in these moments that we — that i was waiting to come on, jane fonda issued a statement, syria acted to what she called her little brother's passing. she said he was a sweet hearted baby brother and i can only imagine her always calling him baby brother. she said she described him as the talker of the family. she saidi as the talker of the family. she said i have had some beautiful alone time with him in these last few days and she assured all he went out laughing stop that is a lovely statement and he certainly came from a very well—known family. statement and he certainly came from a very well-known family. you yourself met edith fonda, what was he like? you know, this is a person
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not — very much like jane, famous from the time they were born. so there is a certain kind of inner radar protection, like, not hard, that they have all the time. he was someone that they have all the time. he was someone who would laugh at himself. i found someone who would laugh at himself. ifound him to someone who would laugh at himself. i found him to be someone who would laugh at himself. ifound him to be very someone who would laugh at himself. i found him to be very easy—going. someone who would laugh at himself. ifound him to be very easy—going. i found him to be very gentle, and i a lwa ys found him to be very gentle, and i always enjoyed his work. i always enjoyed what he had to say. he was a very big staff are a very long time. asa very big staff are a very long time. as a matter of fact, critics cold easier rider, a buddy picture. —— easy. they said it celebrated sex, drugs and rock ‘n‘ roll. his body,
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dennis hopper, directed the film and it came out at a time in the late 60s after the manson murders and after love and peace and the dawning of the 1970s where it could go either way. sometimes it did go either way. sometimes it did go either way. sometimes it did go either way. he embodied that. you speak of easy rider and some of his work, certainly the film has been talked about a lot. what do you think his legacy will be in the entirety of his work? well, first of all, i do want to remind you it is the 50th anniversary of the film, it is hard to imagine it is 50 years old. i think his legacy will be that ofan old. i think his legacy will be that of an actor, director, screenwriter of an actor, director, screenwriter ofan of an actor, director, screenwriter of an iconic film coming from an iconic family but on a personal level. i don't think i ever heard too much about edith fonda being a
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bad guy. i only heard very nice, affectionate things about him. and if you can escape hollywood with just that, you did good. all right. hollywood reporter gayl murphy remembering peter fonda who has died at the age of 79. thank you very much. thanks for having me. stay with us on bbc news. still to come. . . putting more women front and centre. one major orchestra's attempt to find female conductors. indeed, idid indeed, i did have a relationship with monica on skin it was not appropriate. in fact, with monica on skin it was not appropriate. infact, it with monica on skin it was not appropriate. in fact, it was wrong. in south africa, 97 people have been
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killed today, one of the worst days of violence between rival black groups. over the past ten days 500 have died. czechoslovakia must be free! russia is observing a national day of mourning for the 180 sub— mariners who died aboard kursk. we walk with them now in our hearts. the pope is celebrated must before a congregation of 2.5 million people in his hometown of krakow. stay with us, stay with us, chanted this ocean of humanity. well, well, said the pope, you want me to desert room? —— rome. this is bbc news. the latest headlines: medical officials in new york say the death of the disgraced financierjeffrey epstein was suicide.
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air travellers across the united states are facing major delays as a computer failure, causes chaos at airports. let's get more now on the situation in hong kong. we are in hong kong. we expecting let's get more now on the situation in hong kong. we expecting more protests this weekend. we have heard that china is gathering troops on the border. mary lovely is economics professor at syracuse university in new york state. shejoins us now. lots of people are talking about whether china will intervene. are there economic reasons which might keep china at bay in this situation? i'll, there are many economic reasons that would keep china at bay in this situation. —— oh. china uses hong kong is basically its entry to western capitalism. on a number of fronts, china really needs hong kong, still needs hong kong, despite their differences in their economic size. just as one indication comedy
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peterson institute has calculated that 58% of china's outward investment flow to and through hong kong. —— investments. that gives you a basic idea of how important it is for its financial and business services to the mainland. so if china were to overtly intervene, what would happen to that kind of investment, and the money that hong kong brings to china? would hong kong brings to china? would hong kong ever recover? well, one of the most important aspects of hong kong is that it is viewed by investors as having rule of law. it has a robust regulatory system which allows investors to believe there is transparency, and financial transactions, and that firms' books actually correctly characterise the firms' financial situations. but there would be remedies for disputes, et cetera. —— that there
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would be. so if china were to take a strong hand with hong kong, of course that would be viewed negatively by the west, in particular the us, and it would really and that function of hong kong for china. and i think of a very detrimental effect on capital flowing in and out of china. speaking of the us, where does the us fit into this? is china keeping one eye on the united states as it baits what to do with the situation? one would think that it is. right 110w one would think that it is. right now in the us there are more negative views of china than positive views. one can understand that, given the rhetoric coming from the white house. but it is also true that there have been warnings from the democrats as well, speaker nancy pelosi has warned china about taking a strong hand in hong kong. so i think that china will be watching
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the us, and knowing that the us would probably respond strongly if the protesters were dealt with in a strong way, in a violent way, which of course nobody wants to see. and just briefly, where do you think things are going to go economically? do you think we are going to see big businesses moving out of hong kong at the moment? i don't, unless the situation really gets out of control. the hong kong police have said they have the situation under control and if it remains the way that it control and if it remains the way thatitis, control and if it remains the way that it is, and perhaps there is some negotiated settlement over the next few months, i think that hong kong will easily recover. the business functions that it provides are vital, and it will take more than that to dislodge it. all eyes on what happens next in hong kong. mary, thank you for your time.
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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 opera, where a new role of ‘female conductor in residence,‘ has been created. sian lloyd went to meet tianyi 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 of the bar, go a little bit. as she begins her position as first female conductor in residence with welsh national opera,
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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 its 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 for thejob in cardiff. they had all gained experience
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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. sian lloyd, bbc news, cardiff. so news of a breakthrough for female conductors, but what about singers? there will be no girls singing in the prestigious german choir soon. a court ruled it was not guilty of sex dissemination by declining an
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application by a nine—year—old girl. judges said to be 500 year old choir had an artistic right to reject the goal to preserve its distinctive sound. but they allowed to go's mother a right to appeal. she says the choir turned down her daughter on the grounds of gender rather than ability. now, for the first time, the annual eataly food festival in bologna has created a chinese lantern extravaganza, combining a lot of fresh italian produce with an ancient tradition from the other side of the world. 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 here by a0 chinese men and women in 20 days. under the scorching bolognese sun, they made these wonderful works with iron wire and silk fabric. zigong lanterns are famous
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throughout the world. the 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 illuminate the night sky. the festival runs until early november, combining a love of italian food and love of chinese light. beautiful images there. let's just remind you of our top story before we go. a postmortem examination has concluded that the death of the disgraced financierjeffrey epstein was suicide. the 66—year—old, who was suicide. the 66—year—old, who was being held in a new york prison, was being held in a new york prison, was awaiting trial on child sex trafficking charges. stay with us.
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much more coming up on bbc news. 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
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picking up later on. 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. 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
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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 postmortem 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." hollywood star peter fonda has died in his home from lung cancer. he was best known for the film easy rider which he co—wrote and produced.

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