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tv   Witness History  BBC News  January 25, 2020 2:30pm-3:01pm GMT

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because of it. the financial conduct authority here have told me they don't regulate any firms not charging interest, but they are monitoring the markets. debt charities are already concerned customers are not being given enough information. we wa nt information. we want to ensure that the people using these products know the terms and conditions they are signing up to. if you don't know when the payment terms are going to kick in, or what charges and fees are associated, you can't be making a wise choice. not keeping up with payments can damage your credit rating, and it is a problem that could increase. let's catch up with the weather forecast. it was miserable this morning. it is miserable out there for most of usa it is miserable out there for most of us a few don't like the cloud in
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the drizzle. this is a picture of some where it was a little bit brighter today. aberdeenshire has seen some sunshine. most of us that under this grey haze under the satellite picture. this is the low cloud has been plaguing us. this dry of bright cloud is a frontal system. that is our weather for tomorrow and behind that it will return brighter but colder. lots more cloud, mist, murk, drizzle. that way the front starting to approach the far north—west. windy northern scotland a p pa re ntly north—west. windy northern scotland apparently there's been that are breaking up the cloud to get some sunshine across parts of the north—east. overnight we have got that cloud, that mist, murk, drizzle. you're used to it by now but here is the change in the west. outbreaks of rain into scotland. eventually the far right of wales and south—west of england. not an especially chilly night partly because it will be becoming increasingly breezy. tomorrow this frontal system crosses the country from the west, moving towards the east and behind it, yes, we get some cold airare heading
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east and behind it, yes, we get some cold air are heading in a direction that hopefully something a little bit clearer as well. cloudy towards eastern parts of england through the morning. here comes our band of rain is tackling its way eastwards and behind that, yes, we get to see some sunshine. it also some and some of these will be wintry although over fairly modest hills. in scotland you could see some snow by this stage. an increasingly chilly day. one of those days with temperatures will come down in places like glasgow, dipping down in the afternoon to round about five or six. we see that rain pushing across the south—east corner but through the night we've got a little band of showers working its way in and that could give some snow to relatively low levels of parts of northern ireland, northern england, scotland. it would necessarily be widespread but it could be quite icy to start monday morning and that is worth bearing in mind foryour morning and that is worth bearing in mind for your monday commute. monday isa mind for your monday commute. monday is a day of sunshine and showers. some more persistent rain down towards the south but some of the showers will continue to be wintry
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across northern areas and those temperatures down in single digits for all of us. it is going to be quite windy and that is how things stay. certainly into tuesday. wednesday is a quieter day. by the end of the week it looks like it will turn milder again and we will start this is a mad base of rain so does become much more changeable over the next few days. hello, this is bbc news. the headlines. the death toll from the coronavirus rises to 41 — with authorities in china struggling to contain the outbreak, as millions travel for the lunar new year. a royal marine recruit has died following a training exercise on a beach in cornwall earlier this week. a charity offering mental health support to military veterans says it can't take on new cases because of a funding crisis. at least 22 people have been killed — and more than 1000 injured, in a powerful earthquake in eastern turkey.
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now on bbc news it's time for witness history. hello, and welcome to witness history with razia iqbal at the royal academy in london. today we will hear from five people who have lived through an incredible moment in history. coming up, the woman who defied the salvadoran government over the murder of six priests. the town that was poisoned by asbestos and the agricultural scientist who helped save a billion lives. but first of all of the revelutions that swept across eastern europe just over 30 years ago, the overthrow of the nicolae ceausescu and his wife, elena, in romania was the bloodiest. the uprising began in the western city of timisoara where a local pastor, laszlo tokes took a stand against the authorities.
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the unrest started in timisoara in transylvania following the arrest of pastor laszlo tokes. laszlo tokes, who was an outspoken critic of the government, refused to leave when police came to arrest him. several churchgoers had to stop him. i did not want to become a revolutionary. but step by step my attitude was radicalised because we had to speak out. he was a stalinist type dictator. the romanian system became more and more cruel. we were under total control by the secritate. the romanian secret service. the church became a centre of peaceful opposition. i did not make politics in the church.
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i only tried to express that we must obey god rather than men. it wasn't just that he was a gifted preacher. he was the first man they had ever known who is prepared to stand up and challenge the ceausescu dictatorship and its deadly security network. people began to gather around my church. looking out through my windows onto the large crowd sincerely to say, i was frightened of the probable consequences of that brave demonstration. i remember that people began to sing patriotic songs to shout against the regime. liberty, liberty! down with nicolae ceausescu! the army was very
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cruel, very violent. about 50 people were killed in a day. that was the bloodiest day in timisoara. in very short time, the demonstrations spread into the neighbouring cities. nicolae ceausescu is fighting for his political life in the only way he knows how, the violent suppression of any kind of protest. in the morning of the 17th of december we were taken by the secritate in a very brutal way. it was clear for us that we are to be executed or imprisoned. my wife was pregnant with our second child. my little daughter which was later born. i think it was an angel in that time and protected us when we were prepared for the worst.
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romanians went on anti—nicolae ceausescu rampage as the army joined the revolution. thanks to god, we had a little radio and were informed that nicolae ceausescu couple were on the run. translate: romanian brothers, we come here to the romanian broadcast company to tell you that the dictator has fallen! to let you know that the country is free! with an angry rooftop mob closing in on them nicolae ceausescu panicked and made their escape by helicopter. it was a wonder, and we considered it a gift from god on christmas for the people.
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that was the most joyful day in our full lives. laszlo tokes on the romanian revelution of 1989. next a story of identity, loyalty, and betrayal. in the 19505 and 60s the french colony in algeria in north africa that was battling for independence. but some algerian chose to fight on the side of france they were called the harkis.when france lost the war in 1962, it its former colony. in post—independent algeria, thousands of harkins faced brutal prosecution for siding with the french ruler. surge carol was one. and he has been telling witnesses about his ordeal.
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they were on the side of the independence of the war. we gave everything for france but what we didn't know was that france would abandoned us. as tensions rise their arms for defence against rebels. the event promising hands at weapons to muslims of akutan. hundreds are being enrolled daily. i was 17 or 18 years old at the time. you had to choose between france and the rebels. my father had been in the french army and fought in world war i. my brothers were also in the french army. so i chose france.
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i was proud of what we did. proud of serving france. we were always sent out in front of the french troops. if there was an attack harkins with the first to die. we had to get rid of the fighters. they were terrorising the population. we always knew at that one day algeria would gain its independence. what general should have done was take all of the harkins
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and their families to safety in france. but when independence was declared in 1962, they french disarmed them and left them defenseless. the fl and took advantage of this and rounded us up. they took me to a barracks where there were 50 other prisoners. there was blood everywhere. they stripped me naked and started torturing me with electric shocks. each time a new group of soldiers came on shift, they began again. the same thing every day. the fl and even made as did our own graves. some people when thrown in alive and somewhat thrown into the river and the jackals did the rest.
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i was arrested on july the 8th 1962. and i escaped on september the 10th 1962. it took me a long time to feel welcome in france. i decided to change my name and convert to catholicism. i wanted to make a fresh start. i could say, that i was born under a lucky star. i am lucky. but not all of them were so lucky. and that is the fault france. surge carol algerian and muslim who fought on the side of the colonial power in france and the war for algerian independence.
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now to australia and a tail of environmental devastation. the town in western australia emerged in the 19405 and 50s about a profitable blue asbestos mine. as best as unnatural fire retardant was in high demand. people were unaware of what , that it could be lethal. now the town is almost completely abandoned. people were willing to they did not take it seriously until people started to die. i lost both parents, both grandparents, my brother, three animals, about four cousins and i can think of, and that isjust the immediate family in my world. i was born in 1958 in the far north of the australia. the blue as mine it was
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the genesis of the town. asbestos is a naturalfibre that is encased in rocks they would extract the asbestos and the mind and the mail within accurate and ready for shipment and then send it all go around the world for the various things that they use as best. sound insulating is a piece of rock. asbestos. the practical uses are very numerous. 18,000 articles are made of it. ranging from steam engines to bulkheads for aeroplanes. there were a lot of things that came to australia after the second world war. a lot of them were looking forjobs and there were jobs to be half. my dad was one of them. he was the jack of all trades he drove the bus to take the people
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from town to the mind every day. my non—ancestors albeit better husbands fa. they had all the elements of a normal country town. they had balls and also it's essential activities that everyone was involved in. but my parents were not aware of the dangers and all. i don't think a lot of the people in town were aware of the dangers. asbestos fibres get into the lungs and those fibres can cause asbestos or mesothelioma. it encases the lung cancer and prevents it from breathing. here at deep asbestos was not confined to the mines. it was used on driveways and guardians, the roads as well. it was literally everywhere. if you went out to play as all children do, you were praying and asbestos.
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one of the doctors flew into town and said i said as he got there, we have to close this it has to stop. mine was very profitable, so it was decided decided that that was not the case. it was 1966 before they actually because the mind. people had started to die. we laughed when my dad got sick. we now know that he had asbestosis. it's almost like an asthma attackw here you can't breathe and you're fighting to catch your breath. my mum and my brother died from mesothelioma. hundreds of people that have gone with laser feel the allele asbestosis. everyone in this photo is gone. there is no compensation for taking away your parents.
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oryourfamily. there is no justice and not at all, nothing. money does not bring them back. money doesn't compensate for their death, or what you miss. on the devastating legacy of asbestos and one western australian town. remember that you can watch witness history every month on the bbc news channel or you can catch up on all films along with over a thousand radio programmes on act online programmes. search online for the bdc witness history. the civil war in el salvador. throughout the 19805 rebels were fighting the us backed government. 1989, the government shut soldiers dried 5ix prie5t5 from their braid5 and murdered them. it changed the course of the war. the salvadoran government blamed for killings on the salvadoran government blamed for killing zombie rebels.
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line a brave woman stood up to the authorities providing important testimony that contradicted the official version. she told her story to witness history. the funeral took place at the university when they were married. they were leading intellectuals. thousands came to mourn not just for the dead man, but because they 5ymboli5ed for the hope that el salvador might once again become a country where power came from the ballot box and not from the barrel of a gun. translation: the prie5t5 were always on the side of the poor. it still hurts to remember them and to remember what happened. we keep telling the story until my dying days. i can never forget it.
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the rebels appear to live in camp and held positions for more than 12 hours. translation: there were rebels and soldiers shooting all over the place. we couldn't go out and food and water burlesque running low. i was very nervous. i worked as a cleaner at the university. i called one of the priests and ask if we could come and shelter with my husband and daughter. he said yes of course, come. change it all happened just after midnight. we were woken up by the sound
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of gunfire near the university. i got up and went to an open window to look out. i could see the shadows of men, but the entrance to the rim is a way they were soldiers. i heard one of the priests it was an injustice, a disgrace. then i heard shouting in a more shooting. after that there was just silence. the killing that has caused the most outrage is the killing of six priests shot yesterday morning. translation: the government said it was the guerrillas that killed them. i said no it was the army i had seen the soldiers. they did not like me saying that. after that, i was taken with my husband and daughter to the airport and put on a plane. thejesuits said they could not
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protect me in el salvador. i guess that i was there for that night. another person might have kept quiet and not spoken out. but as god says, you have to do something in this life and i did something. on speaking out against el salvador and government. ourfinal story is about a man his work is said to help us save a billion people from hunger. in 1970 the american scientist norman was awarded the nobel peace prize for his pioneering work developing disease resistant crops. at the time, famine and malnutrition were claiming millions of lives the world. the doctors over countries like india were able to become self—sufficient. witness history hears
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from his friend. the man who fed the world. he's praised saving more lives than anyone in history. we were in the field hard at work and looked up and saw a car. he said whoa that looks like margaret. margaret was his wife she says norman you won the nobel prize. he didn't believe that he comes back and be go back to work. obviously i am personally honoured beyond all dreams. by this election. but the application in post,
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not by the owners are far greater specifically to do something about the rust disease which was wiping out the crop in mexico. what is rust disease? it is a fungus. it is carried in the wind. it is the worst plant disease in the world. so he set about to develop rust resistant wheat varieties. i was in my 205 at
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the time and he was in his 505 but i had trouble keeping up with him. we can now say that food is not the problem. i see it will be a continuing problem. india is especially concerned. over half its population are extremely vulnerable to famine. india did not have a chance to feed the population. tens of millions of people were dying from hunger and malnutrition so it was considered at the time a hopeless situation. the green revolution essentially eliminated famine. this did not necessarily solve all the problems of hunger but it gave india a chance. his techniques did attract critics. the plans, it was said, were too reliant on chemicals. the farming to intensive. butjust imagine in the absence of the green revolution what might have happened
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to large numbers of hungry people. an environmental disaster. the figure that was always used was that he saved a billion lives. and i think it is probably true. ronnie coffman remembering his mentor and his revolutionary work to create new grains. that is all from as this month here at the royal academy. we will 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.
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things are going to start to change, actually. today has brought a lot more of the cloudy weather we have become used to. a few of us have seen a become used to. a few of us have seen a bit of sunshine. north—east scotla nd seen a bit of sunshine. north—east scotland has not done too badly but most of us under this haze of greys, this layer of low cloud that we have had really for a few days now but this type of brighter cloud out west in the satellite picture, this is going to change things. it is a frontal system which will bring rain and eventually something brighter but colder. we stick with those cloudy conditions of the west of the afternoon. brightening up close to the south coast actually. also north east scotland. north—west scotland is in some outbreaks of rain and as we go through this evening that rain will spend its way in through the western side of scotland, getting in to northern ireland. in the early hours of the morning reaching parts of wales and england. ahead of that, large areas of cloud. the odd shower here and there. a breezy night and partly because of not an especially
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cold one with lows of three — 7 degrees. here is a weather front which will be crossing from the west towards the east, bringing outbreaks of rain but behind it, as you can see, the air is going to turn colder. we push our band of rain eastwards, moving through scotland, england and wales. east anglia and the south—east probably stay dry into the afternoon and behind it northern ireland is brightening up quite quickly through the morning. there's better conditions working a little further eastwards through the day but with some showers, wintry, even day but with some showers, wintry, eve n over day but with some showers, wintry, even over fairly modest deals in scotland. a windy day and an increasingly chilly one. one of those days were temperatures might actually drop us a day goes on. there is the value you can expect through the middle parts of the afternoon. the rain will eventually cross to the south—east tomorrow evening and we watch this band of showers marching in from the west. this could give us some snow even parts of northern ireland, northern england and scotland. not especially widespread, perhaps, butany england and scotland. not especially widespread, perhaps, but any snow could cause some disruption for the monday morning commute especially when you consider some icy
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conditions as well. that is one to bearin conditions as well. that is one to bear in from the west. this could give us some bear in from the west. this could give us some snow even parts bear in from the west. this could give us some snow even parts of northern ireland, northern england and scotland. not especially widespread, perhaps,, and scotland. not especially widespread, perhaps, , but and scotland. not especially widespread, perhaps,, butany and scotland. not especially widespread, perhaps,, but any snow could cause some disruption for the monday morning commute especially when you consider some icy conditions as well. that is one to bear have been. for — 9 degrees. another chilly day on tuesday. a day of sunshine and showers. weddings they should be a fine day but for they should be a fine day but for the end of the media tends more u nsettled the end of the media tends more unsettled again and we will see some outbreaks of rain but at the same time it will turn mild and potentially very mild for some of us as we potentially very mild for some of us as we head through next weekend.
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this is bbc news. the headlines: the death toll from the coronavirus rises to a1, with authorities in china struggling to contain the outbreak, as millions travel for the lunar new year. there are now known cases of the virus in france and australia, and a state of emergency has been declared in hong kong. we have a command centre so that we can get the views from experts and they can come up with strategies and initiatives. lawyers representing president donald trump, are due to begin their defence of the us leader, in his impeachment trial. a royal marine recruit has died following a training exercise on a beach in cornwall earlier this week. a charity offering mental health support to military veterans,

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