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tv   BBC News  BBC News  August 2, 2020 5:00am-5:31am BST

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this is bbc news. i'm lewis vaughan jones with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. tiktok says it's "there for the long run" after president trump says he'll ban the chinese—owned video sharing app in the us. south africa records more than 500,000 virus infections — that's the fifth highest in the world. across europe, several governments express concern about a resurgence in the number of coronavirus cases. and the ancient acropolis of the sea opens to divers, but the treasures are guarded by 21st century tech.
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hello and welcome to the programme. the us general manager of tiktok has said the chinese—owned video—sharing app is "here for the long run" after president trump said he would ban it in the us. vanessa pappas told tiktoks more than 80 million us users —— vanessa pappas told tiktok‘s more than 80 million us users in a video statement that its staff were building "the safest app" possible amid us concerns about data protection. jack kilbride reports. you have heard your outpouring of support and we want to say thank you, and we're not planning on going anywhere. fighting words from an application the us president is threatening to ban. tiktok, for millions of young americans, is a fun video—sharing app full of dances and memes, but for donald trump, it is a national security concern. we're looking at tiktok, we may be banning tiktok, we may be doing some other things, there are a couple of options, but a lot of things are happening, so we'll see what happens.
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the issue for the president is that the application is owned by a chinese company, bytedance, and there is a concern that the data it collects from users will be passed over to beijing. it is a concern that has seen india already ban the app and australia talk of following suit, but not everyone is as worried. there are real national security implications with our media networks. the question at hand is really is this a good way to go about it? and simply banning tiktok is not going to do anything for national security. bytedance denies the allegation and, according to some reports, have agreed to offload the us operation of tiktok with microsoft taking over and assuming all responsibility for protecting the data of users, and there are questions about whether a ban would even work. you wouldn't be able to do it. unlike china or iran, where there is only one or two internet service providers, in the us, it is very,
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very difficult to be able to do that — there are so many telecom service providers. so even if you convince them to be able to do that, there is going to be a lot of loopholes and in all likelihood it will be very — in my opinion, very close to impossible to be able to successfully do that. but whether it happens or not, it is clear that the move is part of a bigger battle between washington and beijing. one that is also not going anywhere. jack kilbride, bbc news. earlier, i spoke to dan primack, business editor at axios, the news website. i asked him what we know about this potential deal with microsoft. they have a deal. microsoft — bytedance has agreed to basically divest 100% of tiktok, or at least the us operations of tiktok, to microsoft. and the deal is on donald trump's desk. the surprise for both microsoft and tiktok, bytedance, together was trump's comments from last night, because they believed that this
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was a solution to the problem. so what's going on, then? if that was an elegant solution, why not go for it? it's a question nobody seems able to answer. and it's worth noting trump said last night that they were going to ban — he was going to ban tiktok very soon, or at least that's what the full report said. it has been 2a hours. he has done no such thing. so, granted, tomorrow's sunday. monday, he could do it. it is unclear if it is the data issue. it's unclear if this is pure politics, kind of an anti—china, red meat thing for his base. it's unclear... there's some speculation on twitter, et cetera, some tiktok users, particularly younger ones, have caused some problems for the trump campaign. they kind of overbought tickets to a rally they never used. they've done things like that. it's unclear. trump himself hasn't clearly said what his problem with tiktok is. and just — do you have any problems with tiktok? what do you feel about the privacy concerns? there's clearly a lot of anxious people out there. is that overblown,
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or is it legitimate? i mean, i'm not somebody who's been able to reverse—engineer the code, so i can't speakfor sure. but what i can say is this is notjust washington, dc or donald trump concern. for example, wells fargo, which is one of the biggest banks in the united states, about two weeks ago they told all of their employees to remove tiktok from any of their work devices. amazon did the same thing actually to all of its employees, although it then rescinded that, said it had been sent in error, but has never quite explained why such an e—mail would have been written by its it department in the first place, let alone in error. so clearly there are concerns, notjust from government officials, but also from some private enterprise and private technology companies. and just a bit of an unfair question. crystal ball time — what do you think happens next? where do you see this going? i have to believe this microsoft deal gets done. itjust makes too much sense not to. again, trump technically does have the ability, most likely, to block this. not by blocking the microsoft acquisition so much,
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but the back story a little bit was that tiktok was created by the acquisition of something called musical.ly, and trump could basically say that that deal, which is several years old, was invalid. thus tiktok as we know it effectively doesn't exist. dan primack there. next, south africa has now registered more than 500,000 cases of coronavirus, making it by far the hardest—hit country on the continent. it now accounts for more than half of africa's diagnosed infections. paul hawkins reports. mourning another life taken by coronavirus. 8,153 people have died from it in south africa, but it could be much higher. the south african medical research council says the number of people dying from natural causes from may 6 tojune 21 is 60% higher this year compared to the same period in 2019 and 2018. the government says there have been over 500,000 confirmed infections in the country —
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that is at least half of all the coronavirus cases on the continent — and a third of them are in gauteng province, where hospitals like thelle mogoerane are struggling to cope, as this member of staff explained. the staff is not there. we have a gross shortage of staff. it's chaos, it's crazy. nurses are testing positive as well, and it's a mess. in ourfacilities and in our hospitals, covid—i9 cases are all over the place. there is no ward, by the way, that doesn't have a covid—i9 person. so how are we coping with the spread of the virus? we are not. south africa imposed a strict lockdown in april and may that slowed the spread of the virus, but began a gradual reopening in june. despite that, cases have surged, the president pointing out however that: but that is of little consolation —— out however that: but that is of little consolation to south africans, with some
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saying the pandemic has exposed shortcomings in its health system. the cracks that have been there, even before coronavirus, are getting bigger every day. 0ur healthcare system, public healthcare system, is failing our people, it's failing the entire country. it was not ready for this virus. the country has tested over 3 million people and brought in an aggressive early lockdown, but that is no guarantee of success against this deadly virus. paul hawkins, bbc news. several european governments have expressed concern about the resurgence of coronavirus cases in a number of countries, including belgium and france, where numbers appear to be heading upwards. in france, the 7—day average of new infections passed 1,000 per day this week. rates of infection in germany remain low, but health officials there have expressed "great concern" over an increase in cases in the country. spain is struggling with a surge of new infections that has sparked european travel warnings. gavin lee is on the spanish
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island of mallorca. well, across spain, the authorities are worried about the speed of the spread of the pathogen. there's been an average of 1,000 cases here this week — that's ten times more than this time a month ago. and across europe too, well, if you look at france, for example, double the number of cases compared to this time last month — germany, too. and also, if you look at the likes of italy, better news there, because they have had a slight increase. but belgium — five times the number of cases compared to a month ago. in germany, as of next week, they are going to make it mandatory for travellers coming back from areas of high risk to have a covid test. now, that includes in europe, parts of spain, in luxembourg too, but for the moment, not for the uk. now, here in majorca, there have been fewer cases, around 27 covid cases a day. but there's been the first confirmed case of tourists being put in isolation since the lockdown was eased,
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as one person out of a party of ten, currently close by here in palma, are now in isolation in a hotel. it is a worry, but no big concern at the moment, and reason for alarm. that is the latest from majorca. let's get some of the day's other news. the australian state of victoria is expected to introduce new lockdown measures — tougher than any seen in the country before. the restrictions, tipped to come into effect early next week, are likely to force all shops to shut, apart from supermarkets and service stations. victoria reported more than 650 infections on sunday, up from 397 cases the previous day. thousands of people have taken to the streets in germany's capital berlin to protest against the country's coronavirus restrictions. demonstrators say the measures, including wearing face masks, violate their rights and freedoms. germany has been less badly affected by the pandemic than other european countries, but cases are starting to rise again.
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classified documents from inside the british military raise fresh questions as to whether uk special forces in afghanistan may have tried to cover up the killing of civilians. the previously secret material was disclosed as part of a court case following a bbc panorama investigation last year, which highlighted allegations that british forces had a policy of deliberately killing fighting aged men, even when they didn't pose a threat. the ministry of defence has denied such a policy existed. 0ur defence correspondent jonathan beale reports. this is how elite troops target the taliban — controversial night raids with the aim to kill or capture enemy fighters. this shows afghan commandos on a mission, with american support, but it was the same tactics used by british special forces during their
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time in helmand. last year, bbc panorama heard allegations the sas had killed unarmed civilians, with testimony from survivors of a raid in 2011 who said the british shot family members when they posed no threat. we've blurred their faces to protect their identity. translation: they tied his hands in front of me. if you've tied someone's hands, how can they fight? lawyers representing one of the afghan families are now challenging the ministry of defence here at the high court. they're trying to find out whether there was a proper investigation or whether there might have been a cover—up, and they've just forced the mod to release these highly sensitive documents which show that there were serious concerns about the raid within the british military. in heavily redacted e—mails sent soon after the raid, one british officer asks:
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another soldier replies with reports that two of the afghans were shot reaching for weapons. he says: while another e—mail highlights the anger of an afghan officer, who suggests: 0ne mp says the documents warrant a fresh investigation. it's deeply alarming, it's deeply serious and the government needs to come clean. if that doesn't merit some kind of inquiry because, at the end of the day, you're talking about war crimes — potential war crimes — then i don't know what does. the british military‘s own report into the raid, released to the court, says the four men killed were all armed, and that one was a known taliban commander who'd been targeting coalition forces. in a statement, the mod said:
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the mod recently closed down the unit investigating allegations of potential war crimes in afghanistan but these documents, at the very least, highlight concerns about its transparency and the secrecy surrounding britain's special forces. jonathan beale, bbc news. you are watching bbc news. the headlines: tiktok says it's "there for the long run" after president trump says he'll ban the chinese—owned video sharing app in the us. south africa records more than 500,000 virus infections — that's the fifth highest in the world. russian health authorities are preparing to start a mass vaccination campaign against coronavirus in october, according to the country's health minister. but some experts are concerned. on friday, the leading virus expert in the us,
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dr anthony fauci, said he hoped that russia — and china — were "actually testing their vaccines" before administering them to anyone. so, what do we know about these and other vaccines that are being worked on? 0ne russian vaccine is being devised on —— 0ne russian vaccine is being devised by the moscow—based gamaleya institute and the second by the vektor state laboratory in siberia. there's no public data proving the vaccines‘ safety or success. two chinese companies sinovac and sinopharm, have launched final, phase three, trials. a third vaccine from cansino biologics is being used to immunise the military. three western coronavirus vaccines are in final phase three trials. one from us biotech firm moderna, another by the university of oxford and britain's astrazeneca
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and the last by germany's biontech with us pharmaceutical pfizer. earlier, i spoke doctor rishi desai. he is a former epidemic intelligence officer with the us centre for disease control. i suggested to him that russia's vaccine development is pretty quick. yeah, to put it into perspective, to make a vaccine usually takes a decade and the world record, if you think of it as a race, the fastest we have done it is four or five years and so right now we started injanuary and seven months later they predict it may be 0ctober, that is ten months and that would be shocking. generally there are three phases. phase one, two, three. first phase, is it safe? and you do that on humans. phase two also in humans,
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what size dose, and the third phase, what is the ability for this to work well? and so all three phases must be done in the us and what we don't have right now from russia is data. we have these press releases and statements which are super exciting if you are the rest of the world watching this and there is a lot of interest. but what we need is data, do they go through the stages? what did the data show and right now we have none of that. it is exciting but honestly it is unclear what was done. how usual or unusual would be to share that kind of thing? because obviously companies in different countries are in competition, under normal circumstances, and there would be huge calls for greater cooperation this time around. so what's the norm? the norm is to show and publish your data. every single company out there working on this in a legitimate way is issuing the data and i think there is a lot of scrutiny posted on the data because we
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want to make sure it is safe, first and foremost, and that it works. you can't make these claims if you can't show the data behind it. you need to show your work, if you're doing a math problem, you need to show that you actually did the work and you are not making up answers. no—one wants to be making up answers under these circumstances. give us a flavour of the timescales involved in testing for safety? i'm sure some people thinking would think 0k we can test and if there is no immediate reaction, great but maybe there are some some side effects to take months or years to show. how do we have enough time to test for safety? exactly the right concerns. there are some things you might look at that may be years down the road but we do not have time for that full generally speaking, what we're talking about when we say safety is the order of months. in the order of months, what is happening? do you notice anything? you might try different
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doses, is it still safe to do? these are steps taken on the order of months, normally, and it normally takes long time because you have funding issues, you need political will, you need the researchers on the same page. a lot of that has happened in a very expeditious timeline because the whole world is focused on this. so money is pouring in, you've got researchers working together and sharing data and all this has been sped up in a really great way but, of course, you must still be cautious because if you are going to unroll this and have billions of people getting this vaccine you want to make sure that you have crossed your t's and dotted your 1's and are doing it in a transparent way. if not, no—one's really going to trust it. for more detail on where the world is in the race for a coronavirus vaccine, have a look at this article by our health correspondent james gallagher. it's at the usual place at bbc.com/news.
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sri lankans are heading to the polls on wednesday in an election that will have far—ranging impacts on sri lanka's politics, rule of law, and foreign policy. sunday is the last ay of campaigning. 0ur correspondent anbarasan ethirajan in colombo, takes a look at what we can expect. music plays a buoyant sri lankan president, gota baya raja pa ksa, is on a campaign trail once again. almost nine months after his landslide victory in the presidential poll, he wants to sweep the parliamentary election. mr rajapaksa wants this man, his brother, mahinda, to be his prime minister. mahinda was president twice before and gota baya was his defence secretary. the election is happening amid the unprecedented coronavirus crisis. sri lanka has managed to contain the outbreak with the deaths onlyjust into double figures. the entire world is now subject to covid—19 infection.
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sri lanka is one of the best countries to face it successfully and to save its own citizens. therefore, gota baya rajapa ksa has shown he's a unique leader, and because of that, people have a new hope. however, the rajapaksa brothers still face accusations of rights abuses during the war with the tamil rebels, which ended in 2009. they deny any wrongdoing, but the rajapaksas‘ supporters, mostly drawn from the majority sinhalese, dismiss the criticism over rights abuses. sri lanka has enjoyed a relative political stability for the last nine months, especially after the devastating easter sunday bomb attacks last year. president gota baya raja pa ksa's party wants to capitalise on that to secure a two—thirds majority in parliament so that they can change the constitution. for example, to give more powers to the president. this man, sajith premadasa, is one of the main challengers. he's promising a more inclusive sri lanka. but the opposition is divided, splitting anti—rajapa ksa votes. some are worried that a two—thirds majority in the current election could lead
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to an authoritarian rule. this comes at a time where we have seen increasing attacks on civil society, on media, on lawyers. so, the space for dissent is shrinking. and the question is whether it will shrink further post—elections? and the signs so far are that it is likely to happen that way. sri lanka's economy has been battered by the covid—19 crisis. many sri lankans feel only a strong government will be able to revive the economy. anbarasan ethirajan, bbc news. greece has always been a popular summer holiday spot for tourists around the world. and this year it's allowing recreational diving at archaeological sites for the first time. ishleen kaur takes a look.
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ancient greek history? check. scuba—diving? check. social distancing? check. if these are the things on your to—do list this summer, this archaeological wonder is open to the public for the first time ever. located off the coast of the island of alonissos in greek, this bonanza of history was off limits for decades. translation: this is the first time, notjust in greece, but a pan—european level, that such a site, such a large shipwreck with so many objects is open to the public and divers. for almost 2,000 years, the 5th—century peristera
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shipwreck was lost to history as access to underwater sites is typically restricted in greece. but with the marvels of modern—day technology, authorities can now monitor the site with underwater cameras. we have installed in specific locations the cameras in order to be able to recognise if anybody or anything like a robotic—operated vehicle has entered the protected area. what runs behind this live streaming is a special algorithm with artificial intelligence that is able to recognise in real time various classes of object. for non—swimmers, there is a virtual reality tour of the site. boasting warm crystal—clear waters and thousands of amphorae or storage jars, they call it the acropolis of sea wrecks.
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ishleen kaur, bbc news. in sport arsenal have won the fa cup for a record 14th time, beating chelsea 2—1 at wembley. arsenal's captain pierre—emerick aubameyang scored both his team's goals. he then lifted the trophy in front of a stadium of 90,000 empty seats, because of coronavirus restrictions. victory secured arsenal's place in the europa league next season. the team's manager mikel arteta says that's a bonus. it is a double reward for us. it is really important for this club in every way to be in europe. we have gone into this competition, winning it as part of our history, 1a now, i contributed, we all did it, so i am so happy. two astronauts on board the space x capsule are hurtling back towards earth right now, after the dragon endeavour capsule successfully undocked from the international space station. it is due to splash down off the western coast of florida later on sunday.
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you can reach me on twitter — i'm @lvaughanjones. hello there. the heat and humidity ebbed away during the course of saturday and resulted in a much more comfortable night for sleeping. but again, as we know, on friday, with just shy of 38 celsius, we had our third hottest day on record. just to show you the contrast, just about everywhere was ten degrees down on that on saturday. so, it felt a little cooler, but it most certainly felt less humid, so more comfortable for sleeping, and we'll keep that fresher feel around for the day ahead. but there will be scattered showers around. we're under the atlantic influence again. low pressure to the north, throwing in this weather front, which has given some fairly heavy rain across the northern half of the country through the night. still around, i think, first thing, but look at those temperatures. a much cooler start to the day for many. and what we have in the north, that cloud and rain,
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will tend to break up, but given we've got that moisture, that will be the spark, if you like, for some heavier showers as we go into the afternoon. now, we're not expecting that many showers across the southern half of england, across wales and the midlands and east anglia, but they can't be ruled out. and temperatures will be a few degrees down on saturdayjust because it will be a cooler start to the day. still a fairly fresh breeze through the channel. after fairly few showers in the morning across northern ireland, they will tend to become more frequent into the afternoon, and there'll be some sharp ones further north as well — but equally, some spells of sunshine in between. and, of course, it's the british grand prix race day and it does look as if she will be mostly dry. there's just that small chance of a shower — just a small chance. and through the evening and overnight, those showers will tend to ease away. as you can see, just the risk still of a bit of rain brushing close by to the south. but another fairly fresh night for most parts. as we go, then, into monday, we've got a slight ridge of high pressure building in, but it is only slight.
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i still think there will be the odd shower around. and already looming large in the atlantic, the next low—pressure system. so, if we do see some of that rain, it willjust be brushing southern counties, we think. then we may well have some slow—moving, sharp showers into the afternoon, but feeling quite pleasant in the sunshine with the light winds in between. however, as we go into tuesday, we've got the atlantic low potentially coming in, bringing us some more significant and persistent, quite widespread rain to the north and the west. it will tend to peter out, we think, as it heads southwards and eastwards, but a fair breeze with that as well and some significant rain. that's certainly one to watch. as ever, you can find out more information from our website.
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this is bbc news. the headlines:
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president trump says he'll ban tiktok — the chinese—owned video sharing app — in the us. it comes amid concerns the app could be used to collect americans' personal data. tiktok denies any chinese control and says that it is in the us "for the long run". more than 500,000 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in south africa, along with over 8,000 deaths. south africa is the hardest—hit country in africa and accounts for half of all reported infections on the continent. it also has the fifth—highest number of cases in the world. several european governments have expressed concern about the resurgence of coronavirus cases in a number of countries, including belgium and france, where numbers appear to be heading upwards. spain in particular is struggling with a surge of new infections that has sparked european travel warnings, most notably from the uk. coming up at 6 o'clock,

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