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tv   BBC News  BBC News  July 31, 2020 4:00am-4:31am BST

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$z/startfeed. welcome to bbc news, i'm aaron safir. our top stories... president trump now says he doesn't want a delay to november's election but believes postal voting will cause problems. i don't want to delay, i want to have the election. but i also don't want to have to wait for three months and then find out that the ballots are all missing and the election doesn't mean anything. in parts of northern england — coronavirus restrictions are reimposed after a rise in cases. canadian prime minister justin trudeau denies a conflict of interest in awarding a government contract to a charity with links to his family. and nasa launches its mission to mars — a rover to retreive rock
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samples from the red planet. president trump has said he doesn't want a delay to november's election, just hours after a tweeting it might be a possibility. democrats and republicans united to say the date was enshrined in law and wasn't going to be moved. but speaking at a press conference later, mr trump said the vote might be crooked if postal ballots were used. he offered no evidence for his claim. here's a little of what the president had to say. i don't want to see an election that... so many years i have been watching elections. and they say the projected winner or the winner of the election. i don't want to see that take
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place in a week after november, or a month after, orfrankly, with litigation and everything else that could happen, years. or you never even know who won the election. you are sending out hundreds of millions of universal mail in ballots. hundreds of millions. where are they going, who are they sent to? it is common sense, you don't have to know anything about politics. our north america correspondent david willis explained whether there was still a possibility the election might be postponed. it is a possibility, aaron, but then it is a possibility that the result of the election could be delayed for any number of reasons. remember, of course, back in 2000, bush v gore, when it was all too tight to count down in florida, all those dimpled chads and so on, so postal or mail in ballots have been conducted in some states for quite some time, with very satisfactory results, but this time, of course,
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it is thought that more states will look to implement that sort of system, because of the effects of the coronavirus. now, president trump does not like that prospect. the figures have shown that mail—in ballots tend to favour the democrats. president trump of course is trailing his democratic rival, joe biden in the polls at the moment and some are suggesting that perhaps by introducing this notion of apprehension, that the president is simply looking to pave the way, possibly, to contest the eventual outcome of the election, should he lose tojoe biden. indeed. one other thing that people were suggesting is that this original tweet came not long after some gdp figures in the us were announced, which laid out the really huge toll the coronavirus is having on the us economy. what did the president
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have to say about that during his press conference? well, very interestingly, he had very little to say about the worst gdp figures in american history. the president making the point, as he has made it before, that the american economy, he believes, is set to rebound next year with a vengeance and he has said that he is eager to reopen the american economy despite the fact that we have now had 150,000 plus deaths from the coronavirus here at more than 4.5 million cases of it. he wants to reopen schools, he reiterated that, as well today, despite the fact that medical experts have warned against it and he said that a blanket shut down as he put it of the economy was not a viable strategy. this, of course, from a man, who had penned his real who had pinned his real election hopes on a vigorous bouncing economy, only to find
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that it is now very, very much in the doldrums. the north of england has become the latest area of europe to see restrictions reimposed after a rise in cases of coronavirus. millions of people living in greater manchester and parts of east lancashire and west yorkshire will be banned from going to other people's houses. but spain's health ministry has insisted the continent is not facing a virus second wave. alanna petroff has the latest. targeted lockdown measures are back in force for millions of people in northern england. the surprise government announcement gave people just a few hours‘ notice. the new rule — no more indoor get—togethers between households. cancel your social plans! we take this action with a heavy heart, but unfortunately it's necessary because we've seen that households meeting up and a lack of social distancing is one of the causes of this
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rising rate of coronavirus, and we'll do whatever is necessary to keep the country safe. another rule... those who test positive for covid—i9 have to self—isolate for ten days — up from seven. the government is tweaking its response as cases spike at home and in other parts of europe. it is absolutely vital as a country that we continue to keep our focus and our discipline, and that we don't delude ourselves that somehow we're out of the woods or that this is all over, because it isn't all over. in spain, in the heat of summer, cases have been rising again. on thursday, the country registered its biggest daily jump in a new coronavirus cases since the national lockdown ended. mandatory facemasks have become the norm. still, the country's top coronavirus expert says this isn't a second wave.
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translation: it's true that there is transmission. it's true that we are still in an epidemic phase where we have to be careful. but it's also true that, as the surveillance and control of the epidemic is taking place, it gives us a lot of confidence. obviously not total confidence — the risk is still there — but it gives us a lot of confidence that we can work well and control the virus. in romania, hospitals are running out of beds as more than 1,000 new cases have been reported every day for the last nine days. the government is cracking down — threatening fines for those who don't observe the rules. this isn't the kind of summer europeans were hoping for. travel restrictions are ever—changing, rules keep evolving, but the goal remains the same — keep the virus from getting out of control. alanna petroff, bbc news.
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let's get some of the day s other news... tens of thousands of people have turned out in the capital of belarus for a rally by the opposition figure, svetla na ti kha novs kaya. she's standing in next month's presidential election against the long—term authoritarian leader, alexander lu kashenko. the opposition has faced a huge crackdown by the authorities and her husband has been jailed. at least three people have been killed and six other injured in multiple explosions in northeastern nigeria. authorities said that four rocket—propelled grenades were fired from outside the city of maiduguri in borno state, landing on separate sites. residents have been preparing for the muslim holiday celebrations of eid al—adha. the killer of one of uganda's best known mountain gorillas, rafiki, has been jailed for 11 years. felix byamukama pleaded guilty to illegally entering a protected area and killing a gorilla. he had previously said the gorilla attacked him and that he acted
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in self defence. mountain gorillas are endangered with just over 1,000 in existence. a few weeks ago we were reporting that australia had put five million people in melbourne in the state of victoria back into a strict six—week lockdown. but it doesn't seem to be working. the state has just reported its worst covid death toll and a sharp rise in new cases 627 today following thursday's record high of 723. the prime minister says he'll take "whatever actions are necessary" to bring the outbreak under control. shaimaa khalil has more. soldiers driving ambulances — a sign of how serious victoria's covid—19 crisis has become, as health workers raced to contain the spread of the virus. there were hopes that the outbreak may have peaked on monday, with over 500 infections recorded. but the latest spike in coronavirus numbers has surpassed that by
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nearly 200 cases. we have now been in this lockdown now for some weeks. and we are not getting the results we would hope for. and, as a result, the further measures that are taken are certainly necessary. they will come at an impact to the economy, and so it's important that we continue to work together to get on top of this. this meat processing plant and the royal melbourne hospital have been identified as two of the many covid—19 clusters in victoria. authorities say they are concerned about people who turned up to work, despite showing symptoms, or waiting for test results. if you are a positive case, then you need to be at home and you need to be isolating. and that is a very important message. the state is also struggling to contain more than 80 outbreaks at care homes which have claimed dozens of lives in the past few weeks, including ten in the latest figures. they're getting neglected. it is so sad that they've been locked up three weeks in one room. get them out of the room, get them into another safe place.
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get them to a hospital. please, help. from midnight on sunday, every person in the whole of the state will be required to wear a mask or a face covering when leaving their house, as concerns grow about rising cases across victoria. a little over a month ago australia was seen as a success story. it is a different picture now with the situation in melbourne unravelling quickly and bow cases of community transmission reported here in sydney, there is a concern the country could be heading towards a second wave. australia's second most populous city is halfway into its six week lockdown. but it's unclear whether this will be enough time to contain an outbreak that only seems to be getting worse. shaimaa khalil, bbc news, sydney. stay with us on bbc news, still to come... just when you thought it was safe to go into the water — the venice drive—in movie
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with a difference. applause. cheering and applause. the us space agency, nasa, has ordered an investigation after confirmation today that astronauts were cleared to fly, while drunk. the last foot patrol in south armagh, once an everyday part of a soldier's lot, drudgery and danger, now no more, after almost four decades. if one is on one's own, in a private house, not doing any harm to anybody, i don't really see why all these people should wander in and say, you are doing something wrong. six rare white lion cubs on the prowl at worcestershire park and ready.
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they have been met with the roar of approval from visitors. they are lovely and sweet. yeah, they're cute. this is bbc world news, our top headline... president trump now says he doesn't want a delay to november's election but believes postal voting will cause problems. staying with that story... matthew dunlap is secretary of state for maine, and he also sat on president trump's commision into voter fraud after the 2016 election — no evidence of fraud was actually found. he told us how voting has to change because of the coronavirus pandemic. in the run—up to this particular primary election, in maine, the coronavirus made
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its appearance in early march. 0ur governor declared a state of civil emergency around the middle of march and we began planning for how to run a state—wide election in the middle of a global pandemic. we made a few changes, we pushed out the primary from june the 9th untiljuly the 1ath, we purchased personal protection equipment for all poll workers. we got a line on pens, to mark ballots, we got half a million of them for about $7,000 and we also encourage people to use absentee ballots and they took us up on that. we had about 80% of our turnout was by absentee ballots delivered by the voters themselves or mailed in prior to election day. that all sounds quite labour—intensive and quite expensive, do you think the us more broadly is in a position to replicate that come november? i hope so, because we have been watching very nervously the infection rates in maine, since we had the primary and we have seen no real spike in additional cases, which is good news. it means the protocols actually work and they are keeping us safe. maine is in the bottom tier of states in the united states that have had a spike in infections and i have to give a lot of credit
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to the people of maine and also our governor for taking decisive action quickly, keeping people safe, and i think if we follow this model into november, it is, you're right, very labour intensive. we could see 600,000 absentee ballots for a november election, but if the prices keeping people safe and allowing them to have their voices heard, i think it is work well done. let's talk about those absentee ballots, mail in ballots, you have written about your experience on the president's advisory commission on election integrity and you called it bizarre and you said it was sort of set up essentially with a preordained outcome, but looking at your experience there and your knowledge and experience elsewhere, what evidence have you seen that voter fraud is a problem in the us? almost none. certainly, there is a colourful history, going back a couple of hundred years, of how elections have been conducted. legislators across the country have responded with pretty strong laws to protect the integrity of the election
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and we have seen no systemic evidence of voter originated misconduct in an election. you had the exception last year in a congressional race in north carolina, where a political operator was manipulating absentee ballots and was caught. that is extraordinarily rare and it almost always does get caught, you know, there is a very strong chain of custody of our ballots and we have a really good idea of what happens to a ballot, from the time that it leaves a printing press, to the time that it is sealed in a tamper proof container after the conclusion of the elections. there is really nothing to base those claims in at all, but it is like the halloween myth, that you should never take on apple, because it might have a razor blade in it. you never hear of that happening, but it is a myth that keeps perpetuating itself every year. and briefly, we heard from former president barack 0bama today talking about the sort of wider issues of voting rights in the us. i mean, do you think the us does have free and fair elections?
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when you look at some of the policies that are brought in that restrict the rights of people to vote. well, i think there is a lot of work to be done, especially in jurisdictions that have strong barriers to prevent people from voting under the guise of election security and some of those are things like strong voter id requirements. we don't see the literacy requirements we saw during thejim crow years, but, you know, the balance between access to the election and the integrity of the election can be struck without discouraging people from voting or participating in the process or making it difficult for them to do so and i think when president 0bama was speaking to some of those strange patchworks around the country where it is very difficult in some jurisdictions to participate and that is something we need to work on in this country. nasa's new robotic spacecraft is on its way to mars in a mission to search for evidence of ancient life. it will take almost seven months to travel more than 300 million
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miles to the red planet. the robot is called perseverance — named because of the difficulties of landing on its surface. rebecca morelle has more. engine ignition, two, one, zero. . .and liftoff. the start of a mission... launching the next generation of robotic explorers to the red planet. ..that could finally answer the big question — was there ever life on mars? and that was to you. gone to close—loop control. the rover is called perseverance, and it's going to a region that was once covered by a lake. we now know mars had an enormous amount of water in its past. if ancient life was on mars, you know, we have a good bet that we might be able to find it in these sediments. so this is really a life—detection mission. this is the most advanced mars rover that nasa's ever built. it's about the same size
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and weight as a small car and it is jam—packed with instruments. this is its robotic arm, equipped with a drill and it will take samples of rock that could contain signs of life. there's also an instrument that will try to make oxygen from the carbon dioxide rich atmosphere — a vital technology for future astronauts on mars. and for the first time, nasa will test a mini mars helicopter that will try to fly in the extremely thin martian air. it's another pair of eyes from a totally different vantage point. just being able to get to places that we simply can't get to today. like sides of steep cliffs or very steep crevices, craters, places like that that a roverjust can't rove into. i mean, we're going to need to fly. another first for this mission is that the rock samples collected will be stored and eventually brought back to earth, and some will head to the uk.
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hopefully, in about ten or 15 years, we'll get those rocks back from mars. more missions will be sent to bring them back and then we'll be actually able to study those pieces of mars in laboratories on earth. nasa's spacecraft is the last of a trio heading to the red planet. china and the united arab emirates are already on their way. if they all succeed, it will mean a giant leap in our understanding of mars. rebecca morelle, bbc news. the canadian prime minister, justin trudeau, has denied playing a role in choosing a charity with ties to his family to manage a multi—million dollar student grant program. mr trudeau is being investigated by a federal ethics watchdog for failing to recuse himself from decisions around the program — and on thursday faced a house of commons finance committee meeting in ottawa, saying the decision to task ‘we charity‘ with the program was made independently.
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we charity received no preferential treatment, not for me, not from anyone else. the public service recommended we charity and i did absolutely nothing to influence that recommendation. i didn't even know it had been made until may the 8th. and when i learned that we charity was recommended, i pushed back. i wanted to be satisfied that the proposal that we charity delivered the cssg had been properly scrutinised. for more on the growing scrutiny around the prime minister, i wasjoined by cbc political host, vashy kapelos, in ottawa a short time ago. i asked if the prime minister's testimony would be enough to satisfy his critics. he certainly hope so and the people around him do as well. it was a bit of the spectacle here in canada, the prime minister of our country basically grilled for an hour and a half by opposition mps about what they would categorise as a major ethical lapse by him and his cabinet minister,
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his finance minister, i should say. so, whether it is enough to put it to bed, i think the opposition has other plans in mind, but from the people i spoke to tonight, people surrounding the prime minister, they truly hope this lets the oxygen out of the matter and that they are able to move on. this is a classic sort of political scandal, isn't it, but i do wonder that at a time like this, with so much else in the news and so much bigger concern is, how much this is cutting through and making an impact? yeah, it is so interesting, i had the exact same instinct at the start of this, at the end ofjune. we are in the middle of a pandemic, you know, political scandals are usually of interest to canadians, but when they have so many pressing concerns, like their finances or their health, is this really going to make a dent? i would also add that the prime minister was writing a very high wave of popularity through the pandemic and overall canadians were really pleased with his performance, as well as that of his government, and their response to covid—19. this has made an impact,
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though, is surprisingly a little bit, it has really cut through various public opinion polls, which put the drop in popularity and approval ratings for the prime minister, anywhere between three and eight points and that is just since the end ofjune. sojust one month. that doesn't mean that it will last forever, it is going to be permanent, but in the short term, this has definitely done some damage to the prime minister. he is leading a minority government, we don't know when the next election is going to be, ijust wonder, eh, if he will be able to survive this and, b, if that is going to have an impact on when the next election might be? i think, if history shows me one thing in this country and in particular with this prime minister, it is that he is able to survive a lot of personal controversies. he has had other ethical controversies, there was the controversy right in the middle of the last election when a number of photos of him appearing in blackface surfaced and he
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was able to survive that, too. i can't predict what kind of a dent this will make and it certainly feeds into a larger narrative that has been a real vulnerability for him over the past number of years and that is around ethics, but i also cannot predict when the next election will be and the leader of the official opposition is just about to be selected in another month italy was one of the earliest and hardest hit countries in the coronavirus pandemic. the lockdown there was dramatic, but things are slowly getting back to normal. in venice, they are trying to attract the tourists, and they're doing it in their own inimitable way, as tim allman reports. forget the drive—in, this is the boat—in. venice is famous for its film festival, but how can you light up the silver screen when all the cinemas are shut? easy, get the audience to just float into place. translation: i had this idea during lockdown, when the media talked about a restart for culture and drive—ins, venice
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was referred to as a dead city, so i connected with people and thought, why not do a cinema screening on boats? the venue, one of the city's shipyards, where around 300 people on board 60 vessels took part. tickets were free, but had to be booked in advance. and you had to bring your own refreshments, but all in all, this seems a pretty civilised way to watch a movie. translation: much more exciting than staying in a theatre, after what we have been through, it is beautiful. translation: we made reservations immediately. something like this does not happen every day. one of the films on offer was jaws. perhaps something of an omen. if this is a success, they will definitely need a bigger boat. tim allman, bbc news. he could not resist thatjoke.
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thank you for watching on bbc news, i will be back with the headlines. hello there. the heat is continuing to build across much of the country. it's going to be a short—lived heat because the wind direction changes again by the weekend. but a southerly breeze on thursday and bags of sunshine in the south lifted temperatures to 30 degrees around london. further north, you can see much more cloud where there is some rain too, only 16 in the central area for scotland. that rain is moving away and we have clearing skies and we start with these temperatures, 17 in liverpool, 18 in london, 20 or so in the channel islands where the heat is coming from. we are drawing all of that heat from france out over the channel, heading its way northwards across much of the country. that heat comes ahead of a weather front here, which is slowly pushing in western areas through the day. so, it is not going to be hot everywhere, northern ireland likely to miss out, for example, because on that
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weatherfront, we have a narrow band of cloud that is going to bring some patchy rain and some of that cloud will head into the western fringes of scotland, into the west coast of wales and the far southwest of england. but ahead of that, lots of sunshine, more of a breeze perhaps for a time, but southerly and southeasterly breeze and the heat pushes northwards in the scotland. much warmer day in scotland. 28 degrees possible, widely 29, 30 degrees across england and east wells, 3a around the london area. across england and east wales, 3a around the london area. but you may notice the cloud developing into the afternoon and late in the day and into the evening, there could be showers heading across eastern parts of england and those are likely to be heavy and thundery too. the rain coming in from that band of cloud is very light and patchy area and it sweeps eastwards overnight and patchy and it sweeps eastwards overnight and out of the way by the start of the weekend. but we push away all of that heat towards germany and we introduce the atlantic breezes coming in and that means cooler and fresher air. over the weekend, there'll be some sunshine and a few showers, but you can see here on saturday that there are not too many showers, many
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places will be fine and dry. you will notice a cooler and fresher feel. still, very pleasant for the eastern side of england with highs of 25 in the southeast. for the second half of the weekend, you get a fairly gentle westerly breeze for much of the country, most of the showers in the northwest of the uk, cloud amounts increasing across england and wales. but again, it is cooler and fresher throughout sunday and those temperatures continuing to slip away and this time, we're looking at higher temperatures in the southeast, around 22 celsius.
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this is bbc news, the headlines...
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hours after suggesting a possible delay to november's election in the us, president trump has said he does want it to go ahead as scheduled, but remains concerned that millions of postal ballots would cause problems. he says they'd lead to increased voter fraud, but there's no evidence to support that claim. the north of england has become the latest area of europe to see restrictions reimposed after a rise in cases of coronavirus. millions of people living in greater manchester and parts of east lancashire and west yorkshire will be banned from going to other people's houses. australia has reported a record number of new infections and its deadliest day since the start of the pandemic, following a spike in cases at elderly—care homes. 13 deaths and over 700 positive tests were reported in the southeastern state of victoria alone — well beyond the previous nationwide record of 549 cases set on monday. now on bbc news, hardtalk — stephen sackur
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talks to the leader


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