Skip to main content

tv   Witness History  BBC News  August 31, 2019 2:30pm-3:01pm BST

2:30 pm
0k, just on the inside of his cheek. sometimes they have a little chew. and here's how it works. across the east of england, any new baby born with hearing problems will have this specially—designed test for the virus. if they have it, they'll be offered early treatment. hello, is that chloe? hi, chloe. a new arrival addenbrooke‘s hospital in cambridge, little martha's been passed fit and healthy today, although she didn't want her hearing checked. it'sjust a little cold. cmv causes more birth defects than cat litter and soft cheese put together. pregnant mums can protect themselves with simple things like not sharing food and cutlery or kissing a toddler on the lips or a runny nose, but most don't know about it. chloe, thank you so much more talking to us about it. you're a doctor, what did you know about cmv when you are pregnant? i mean, i'd heard of cmv, and know it's a virus.
2:31 pm
there are other viruses that are talked about, and when you go for your appointments and other things your‘re made aware of. but i don't recall much being said about cmv. most babies born with cmv don't have symptoms or develop problems. but if this programme proves successful, the team hopes that could pave the way for wider cmv screening in future. she has done great today. you can see how well she is doing. so how do you feel as a mum seeing that? immensely proud of her. richard westcott, bbc news, cambridge. you can find out more about this story on the bbc‘s inside out programme in the east — this monday night at 7:30pm, and on bbc iplayer afterwards.
2:32 pm
some of us are seeing some heavy rain so far today, there's a with system with lots of heavy rain affecting parts of scotland, especially at the north, ticking a band of rain through england as well. this afternoon, the rain turns lighter. behind all of that, sunnier skies coming through for many of us, with a few showers. the heavier rain reading for north—east scotland as we go into tonight. lots of clear weather around at night, lots of shower still running western scotland, still max on brushing the coast of northern ireland. tomorrow morning will find temperatures in single figures, quite a fresh start to sunday. showers will start to move a bit further south and east, some may be thundery. much of wales and southern england will stay dry, if you always get above 20 celsius,
2:33 pm
most of us will not. a lot of clouds around next week, some rain, a little less chilly for a time. hello, this is bbc news — with lu kwesa burak. the headlines: thousands of protestors have taken to the streets across the uk — to condemn borisjohnson‘s decision to suspend parliament. critics accuse the prime minister of trying to bypass democracy. the chancellor, sajid javid, insists his relationship with borisjohnson is "fantastic" — despite downing street abruptly firing one of his special advisers, sonia khan. there's been renewed violence in hong kong — with pro—democracy protesters defying a ban on rallying. some activists threw petrol bombs, started fires and attacked the legislative council building — police fired tear gas and water cannons. a trial date is set for khalid sheikh mohammad — who is accused of playing
2:34 pm
a leading role in plotting the september 11th attack. now on bbc news: witness history — tiananmen square remembered in china. also, how britain pioneered an alternative to prison. hello, and welcome to witness history with me, tanya beckett, here at the royal academy in london. today we present five extraordinary moments from history as told to us by the people who were there. coming up: the british alternative to prison that was copied around the world. the moment idi amin expelled thousands of ugandan asians in the 19705, and the artist couple who wrapped germany's reichstag in fabric.
2:35 pm
but first, we go back to a defining moment in modern chinese history. in 1989, the chinese army opened fire on tens of thousands of students in tiananmen square, in the centre of beijing. they'd been demonstrating for weeks, demanding greater political freedom. dan wang was one of the protest leaders and this is his account of what happened. journalist: the noise of gunfire rose from all over the centre of peking. translation: someone called us from a phone box in a street near tiananmen square. he said, the gunmen had opened fire on students. i'd never thought anything like that would happen. i was in shock! the troops have been firing indiscriminately, but still, there are thousands of people on the streets who will not move back.
2:36 pm
we immediately organised about 200 students to go to tiananmen square to support the others. but all the main roads were blocked by army lorries. i was in my first year in peking university, i was 20 years old. i played a leading role from the very beginning of the protests. we went onto the streets to demand democracy. although the communist party had tried to reform, it hadn't done enough. chanting. and we wanted to pay tribute to the communist party leader, hu yaobang, who had just died. we students loved him deeply because he was open—minded. i left for tiananmen square around
2:37 pm
noon onjune the third. although we all knew we were surrounded by troops, people were smiling. everyone was so optimistic that we were going to win. 0n the evening ofjune 3rd, i was in my dormitory in peking university with other students, discussing the future of our protests. tanks and troops are patrolling the streets of central peking after the bloody operation to crush student—led protests. some reports say more than 2,000 civilians were killed in last night's army assault on tiananmen square, held for seven weeks by students demanding greater democracy and an end to corruption. other students told me i had to hide. they hid me in the other universities, and i went on the run for about a month. i didn't have a radio to listen
2:38 pm
to updates about the crackdown. i didn't dare turn on the tv either. after being on the run for a month, i decided to go back to beijing, because i realised that the longer i hid, the more guilty i would look. i didn't want to live like a rat hidden in a tiny room, never coming out for daylight. as soon as i went back to beijing, i was arrested. i was in prison for nearly a year before i was put on trial. then, i was sentenced to four years injail. i even thought i would be executed because i was number one on the chinese government's wanted list.
2:39 pm
it turned my life upside down. i had always been the top student, and i was a leader in a communist party youth league. who'd have thought i would end up in prison, and then, in exile? the tiananmen square crackdown changed my whole life. otherwise, i would be a poet. the former tiananmen square protest leader, dan wang. next, the story behind a legal reform that has changed many lives. in 1972, england and wales became the first countries to pioneer a new alternative to prison. it was called community service. the scheme was soon copied around the world. we hear from one of the people in charge of implementing this new sentence for criminals. journalist: britain has one of the world's largest prison population.
2:40 pm
we maintain 42,000 prisoners in victorian conditions designed for half that number. it costs more than twice as much to send your son to wormwood scrubs as it does to send them to eton. prison sentences, particularly short—term prison sentences were not effective. about 70% of people who were serving less than 12 months were being reconvicted. so prison in that sense was a failure. some of the younger chaps who are in here, they come in here, well, with small sentences and go out as animals! the great and the good in legal terms began to think we must be able to do something more constructive as an alternative to prison, and community service was at least a worthwhile experiment to see if we could have some positive results and reduce the level of reoffending. in 1972, the then—home secretary introduced the criminaljustice act,
2:41 pm
which brought forward community service orders is a new method of reducing the prison population. this was completely new. in fact, it was a world first. as an alternative to prison, an offender is given between 40—240 hours. it's a penalty, a fine on time, and he's expected to do constructive work in the community. i was the senior probation officer responsible for the introduction of community service in one part called nottinghamshire. any sentence of the court is a punishment, i think that's one point we have got to go with very clearly. 0n the other hand, i think you could use community service as a springboard for rehabilitation. some people say it's a form of reparation, making up for the damage one‘s done in the past. we had people on community service for burglary, for theft, grievous bodily harm, dangerous driving, all kinds of different offences. come on, come on, you can do better than that.
2:42 pm
we have negotiated a whole series of tasks with voluntary organisations, with public sector organisations, social services, hospitals, youth clubs. the benefits to the community are obvious enough. this church hall has had £3,000 worth of work done by offenders. people who had been in trouble felt valued, they learnt new social skills. in that sense, it bore great fruit. sports night at a youth club in nottingham. the instructor is an ex—boxer and an ex—convict. bobby mccoll, age 32, has spent 20 years inside. he's been convicted of robbery with violence and would be in jail again today if he hadn't been given an alternative, 200 hours community service in his spare time. all the times i've been inside, i knew no matter what i said
2:43 pm
or what i wrote to people, that eventually i was going to be in trouble again. but this time, just, i don't think so. we had more lasting effects in terms of staying out of trouble than those people who had been into prison and didn't have the benefit of a community service order. and it was about the third of the cost of prison. we had lots of visitors from overseas countries wanting to study our legislation. we became the most copied piece of legislation in the western world. but i think these days politicians talk up punishment because i suspect it gets you votes with members of the public. the pioneering probation officerjohn harding. now, we stay in the 19705 over in uganda, in east africa, the dictator idi amin was in power an in august 1972, he announced plans to expel
2:44 pm
the country's asian population. about 60,000 people were given 90 days to leave the country. gita watts tells witness history about her family's traumatic experience. we had 90 days to sort everything out and get out of the country and he made an impression that if we didn't get out on time we'll be sitting on fire. it is estimated that there are more than 12,000 towns and villages like this in uganda and in every one of them, the government is pressing its campaign against the asian traders.
2:45 pm
the asian community was really close—knit. so all the asian shops were sort of enrolled together and we all knew each other. each family and all the kids knew each other. we were not well off but we were comfortable. people started rushing to the embassies and my dad had to sign everything over. that means his assets and his business over to the ugandan bank. we were given £55 — thats‘s all he was allowed to take with him. it was just unbelievable, after everything that he earned, he was just left with £55. when we first got to the airport, people's luggage was opened out and clothes and everything thrown everywhere so they can check for gold and money, and for some reason my parents put a ring on my finger and we were told to get that ring off me and because the ring was so tight, we had a struggle to take it off
2:46 pm
and my parents tried everything to take this ring off and in the end, it was cut off. the scariest bit was that we had soldiers with guns and knives, i'm surrounded, i'm panicking, really to get this ring off. it was a relief that we actually got on this plane and the plane's taking off and we're safe, and probably for my dad, he was probably thinking, you know, he got through, he got his family out of the country at last, but he was leaving back something that he really loved, the country that he loved. news archive: the asians arrived in cold, wet weather at stansted. whole families had arrived with little cash. the few belongings that they brought often seemed of nothing more than sentimental value. the time of the year we arrived as well, it was the wintertime and that made it worse as well with the rain and the snow. i had not seen the snow before. we were scared ‘cause we didn't
2:47 pm
know where we would go. my mum was told to take us to leicester, a town called leicester, we didn't know what it was like. we didn't know any english. when i grew up and went to secondary school, i came through a lot of abuse, racial abuse, from kids, again calling names and waiting for me outside school and wanting to beat me up and not liking my colour. recently, we just went back to uganda, i just wanted to see the country that i was born in and why my parents loved that country so much. it was nice to go back to the hospital where i was born. it really was an amazing experience. gita watts, who had to begin a new life in britain. remember, you can watch witness history every month
2:48 pm
on the bbc news channel or you can catch up on all of our films along with 1000 radio programmes in our online archive. just search online for bbc witness history. next we go to cuba. injuly 1989, four top cuban army officers were sentenced to death and executed after being convicted of drug trafficking. but critics of the regime believe the case was in fact a political attempt to punish the officers for advocating change in fidel castro's communist cuba. we hearfrom ileana de la guardia, the daughter of one of the executed men. news archive: it was the show trial that shook havana. general arnaldo 0choa, a former comrade—in—arms of fidel castro and hero of the revolution, was sentenced last friday to be shot by firing squad, along with three other army officers.
2:49 pm
translation: when they read out that my father antonio de la guardia, as well as ochoa and the others, were all sentenced to death, it came as a massive shock. my father looked over to where i was sitting, but i didn't want to start crying. some of the other relatives broke down and cried but i didn't want to show that weakness. maybe it was my way of giving my dad a little hope. my father, antonio de la guardia, was head of a government department created by fidel castro, tasked with breaking the us blockade on cuba. his job was to smuggle in high—tech equipment from the us. my father was accused of being in contact with drug traffickers. it was said that was the only reason he was executed.
2:50 pm
but for me, it was all about politics. fidel castro wanted to do away with a group of officers who had different opinions to those of the regime. from about 1985, we began to feel the influence in cuba of the reforms in the soviet union — perestroika. these were issues that were being openly talked about here. my friends and i used to sit in the garden with my father and talk about how if things were changing in eastern europe, then cuba should change too. i didn't imagine that expressing those opinions could mean being arrested and then executed. the trial was filmed every day.
2:51 pm
it lasted a week and was broadcast each night on tv. it was totally controlled — the accused could only say yes or no. the last time i visited him injail was just days before his execution. by then, it was obvious that we were going to lose him. he asked me to look after my younger brothers and my grandparents. the death sentence was carried out onjuly 13th. the families were informed by telegram. on each anniversary of his death, it's my duty to make sure he is remembered as he really was. what i'd like now for my family
2:52 pm
is for the cuban government to recognise that they committed a great injustice. ileana de la guardia is still in exile in paris. now to one of europe's's most dramatic public art projects. injune 1995, artists christo and jeanne—claude wrapped the former german parliament building, the reichstag, in fabric. more than 5 million people came to see it, and it became a symbol for berlin's renewal after the fall the wall and the collapse of communism. christo tells witness history how they did it. news archive: it's an eccentric dream but one that a husband and wife team have cherished for nearly a quarter of a century, and this weekend, the bulgarian—born artist and his wife jeanne—claude began wrapping the german parliament building in silver fabric. it is very difficult to explain if you don't see it. no drawings, no sketch,
2:53 pm
no scale model can match the complexity of the project. the fabric is actually not completely touching the stone, the surface of the structure. the project started in 1972. the cold war is still in full speed the berlin wall was built, permission to wrap the reichstag was refused three times. if the wall will not fall down, probably we'll never do the reichstag. news archive: for more than two decades, the artist christo and his wife jeanne—claude have wanted work with the building that, for them, symbolised the cold war. you know, i was born in bulgaria in 1935 — highly sovietic, communist country, and i escaped to the west alone, speaking only russian and bulgarian. coming from a communist country, i want to do something involving the east—west relationship. news archive: it's been bombed and set on fire,
2:54 pm
seen war and revolution, but never before has the reichstag been wrapped in silver fabric. we never can believe what is the project until we see it in real. news archive: christo himself is paying for the project, helped substantially by sales and sketches and other work. the reichstag cost us $12 million in 1995. probably today it is about 20 or 25 million. it was wrapped by nearly 100 rock climbers. they come down, installing all this 100,000 square metres of fabric for one week. now, jeanne—claude and myself, we are both together artists. this is why i miss so much jeanne—claude today, we were partners, we lived together we fight together and it is like an adventure that you cannot repeat. news archive: this novel treatment, as they say, in the classic tradition of art.
2:55 pm
the reichstag was a victorian building with a lot of ornaments, decoration, suddenly it was changed, like a sketch, like what is essential of the height, the width, the forms and they are all hidden by this fragile material that moves with the wind, in constant motion. news archive: the building took on a shrine—like nature and was treated with something approaching reverence. it's very special and it always changes with the light. first time in history probably that this building is nice and makes people happy. i came to germany especially to see this project and i think it is great. well, i don't know really what the point is. news archive: for two weeks, the area's witnessed one continuous party with scenes reminiscent of when the berlin world ——wall came down six years ago. everybody who came to see the project — and there were 5 million people in two weeks in the reichstag —
2:56 pm
they know that they were seeing something that will never happen again. news archive: last night was the final and the biggest party with 100,000 people swarming around the building well into the early hours. today, the dismantling work began and germany's former and future parliament building came blinking into the summer sunshine. and then rebuilding starts, ready for the german parliament which arrives in 1998. after two weeks, it is gone forever, cannot be repeated. something happened that will stay forever in that particular unique moment. the remarkable artist, christo. that's all from witness history this month here at the royal academy. we'll be back next month with more first—hand accounts of extraordinary moments in history. but for now, from me and the rest of the witness history team — goodbye.
2:57 pm
there is an area of rain at the across the british isles this afternoon, so some of us have had a bit of a soggy saturday so far. behind that, we are getting the return of some sunshine. though the sun reappears, it is turning cooler, there is a change of air mass going on. it has been thoroughly wet across much of scotland, especially at the north, but it is now moving eastwards. with the change of air mass, cooler colours coming in. temperatures are coming down so the feel of the weather is changing, even though we get to see some sunshine behind the rain, not much rate left on this system. sun
2:58 pm
elsewhere in england, wales, northern ireland, southern parts of scotland. the heavy rain and loving scotla nd scotland. the heavy rain and loving scotland beginning to ease. the sunny spells reappearing to the west and south, some showers into northern ireland, some heavy, maybe with thunder. north—east england, the midlands, south—west england, after the rain today, there will be some sunshine returning before the end of the day. that is an area of cloud, not much rain left, a little bit for east anglia and have these before it clears. disappointing if you wanted rain on the gardening. overnight will have showers running into scotland and the west coast of northern ireland. temperatures dipping away quite widely into single figures as we go into the morning, so a really fresh start on sunday morning. a lot of sunshine to start the day, showers into scotland
2:59 pm
which will start to the further south and east during the day, some of those will be heavy, may be funded. i think much of wales and southern england will stay dry with a good deal of sunshine. most places will be just about the mid—to high teens. high pressure close to the south for one day, low pressure close to the north, there will be but systems meet every 3 times next week. but most of the rain will be affecting parts of northern ireland, northern scotland. barely any rain for southern england. temperatures recover at the start of the week and then drop off again later in the week.
3:00 pm
richard westcott, bbc news, cambridge. this is bbc news. the headlines at 3pm: thousands take to the streets across the uk — to condemn borisjohnson's decision to suspend parliament. demonstrators say he's bypassing democracy. the chancellor, sajid javid, insists his relationship with borisjohnson is fantastic, despite downing st abruptly firing one of his special advisers, sonia khan. there's been renewed violence in hong kong, with pro—democracy protesters defying a ban on rallying. some activists threw petrol bombs, started fires and attacked the legislative council building and police fired tear gas and water cannon. a trial date is set for khalid sheikh mohammed who is accused of playing a leading role in plotting


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on