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tv   BBC News  BBC News  August 15, 2020 4:00am-4:31am BST

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this is bbc news — welcome if you're watching here in the uk, on pbs in america or around the globe. i'm lewis vaughan jones. our top stories: striking in support of the protesters. workers in belarusjoin the public outcry over disputed elections, as more stories emerge of torture and abuse by police. japan marks 75 years since its surrender in the second world war, ceremonies are taking place in tokyo. new quarantine rules come into effect in the uk, as countries across europe continue to fight the spread of covid—19. politics and the post office. how the mail has become a divisive issue ahead of the us presidential
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election. the president of belarus has failed to suppress the demonstrations that have erupted across the country calling for him to quit, despite a violent response from the security forces. they've continued for a sixth day and more testimony is emerging from protesters who'd been detained, alleging serious human rights abuses. alexander lu kashenko says forces outside the country are behind the mass protests against his disputed election victory. just a warning, you might find some of these images disturbing. you can see the bruises of men released in the last 2a hours or so.
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public anger has been fuelled by accounts of torture and abuse of both men and women who've been detained. the eu has started planning sanctions against officials involved in the violent crackdown. and look at this, earlier on friday, demonstrators held a peaceful protest, outside the parliament building in independence square in the capital minsk. at least two security officers lowered their riot shields, prompting women to run forward to hug them. it's not clear though whether there is wider support for the protesters among the security forces. our correspondent sent this report from minsk. the opposition movement against president lukashenko is growing. "love, not violence" — that is the message of the demonstrators here in belarus. despite the brutal police crackdown, people continue to come out onto the street.
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protesters have gathered in the main square of minsk. they are chanting "freedom, freedom". they have got flowers and balloons to show that their movement is peaceful. this is unprecedented for belarus, where authorities violently crack down on protesters. i have been living here for 28 years, and 26 of them, he was the ruler of this country, mr lukashenko. and i am really tired of it and i want to change it. at the notorious okrestina detention centre, a volunteer reads out the list of names of those who still remain inside. and as detainees leave jail, they show us bruises from vicious beatings. many tell harrowing stories of torture and abuse. sergiy was arrested on monday. riot police threw him into a police van before torturing him.
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they used batons and electrocuted him with a stun gun. translation: whenever we moved or said a word, they would beat us. one of the police said, "if i was ordered to burn you alive, i would". they could do anything to you. the pain was unbearable and i begged him to stop but he carried on. opposition candidate svetla na ti kha novs kaya, who earlier had to flee the country, has called on authorities to stop the violence. translation: the people of belarus no longer want to live with the former regime. people don't believe in his victory at the elections. let's defend our choice. back on the square, special forces nervously keep an eye on the protesters. the president tried to soften the mood today by calling on security forces to be more gentle. but this may be too little,
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too late for the regime. saturday marks the 75th anniversary of japan's defeat in the second world war. that's when emperor hirohito announced japan's unconditional surrender. injapan the day is known as the "memorial day for the end of the war" and a ceremony is held annually in tokyo usually attended by the emperor, empress and prime minister and thousands of family members of those who lost loved ones during the war, though the number of relatives this year has been reduced as a precaution due to the coronavirus pandemic. a minute's silence hasjust been held, it's observed throughout the country.
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we have been hearing from the prime minister shinzo abe and speeches have been taken place. it commemorates more than two and a half millionjapanese people, military personnel and civilians, across more than 200,000 were killed just with the dropping of the atomic bombs in hiroshima and nagasaki. the commemorations in japan can be divisive. other countries in the region, china, south korea, have long felt that the postwar apologies from japan have never gone far enough, but today, across the country there, they mark the 15th of august in 1945 when the emperor did sign that surrender
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to bring world war ii there to an end. that was four months after the fighting stopped in europe. for more on howjapan marks the end of world war ii, we can speak now to seijiro takeshita, from the university of shizuoka. if you can just explain, we're going to stay on these live pictures so our viewers can see ceremony taking place, i don't know whether you will be able to, but just talk know whether you will be able to, butjust talk us through, if you can, the significance of this moment. well, actually, many people are actually quite worried this year, not only because as you reported, the coronavirus, the participants numbers are low but the average age of the japanese that has experienced war has declined quite considerably. 80% of japanese have not experienced the war and also if you look at the war and also if you look at the average age of the hiroshima and nagasaki survivors, they are 84, so what people are quite worried about under these kinds of
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circumstances is, are the experiences and the knowledge, is it being clearly transferred 01’ is it being clearly transferred or is it being transferred enough to make sure that these horrifying war memories has been clearly passed on to the next generations and people are feeling that they are running out of time. that's interesting, and that puts the politicians and the leaders there in japan politicians and the leaders there injapan in a delicate position stopping and got a delicate balance to strike. absolutely, if you look at the geopolitical situation things are getting a lot trickier, quite ironic but because of excessive aggression from china,japan excessive aggression from china, japan has to increase the level of forces, but u nfortu nately the level of forces, but unfortunately the western alliances start to crumble down, because of the leadership of mrtrump, down, because of the leadership of mr trump, certainly, down, because of the leadership of mrtrump, certainly, is basically dividing the coalition of the west and certainly not putting it together, so basically, the environment that japan is facing is very, very tricky and very, very difficult. we would
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like to think that things would start improving in november after the us election but hey, we don't know that yet. there isa we don't know that yet. there is a lot of ambiguity in the geopolitical factors right now as we speak. 's return to internal matters withinjapan, and especially the right wing nationalist support for this days. how do you view that now? it's not only the right wing. the fact of the matter is that these events, along with harris shima and nagasaki is also being utilised by the left wing organisations, both right and left and i think that is almost disgusting that they are utilising it, but the fact of the matter is, it is, and what better than pointing fingers at other people to make your own groupings firmer? again, and i think that it is about time, 75 yea rs think that it is about time, 75 years on we should realise that pointing fingers absolutely have no meaning because if you
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are pointing fingers at someone else, you are pointing at yourself, so i do feel that these agendas, the ceremonies being utilised for certain organisation should be basically halted and we have to go back to the basics that all of these strategies happened because we have lack of respect for others and we have an ultimate level of arrogance, i think that is what it really boils down to. can they ask you a slightly personal question? what does this day mean to you? what does this day mean to you? what does this day mean to you? what do you reflect on today? well, sadness and gratitude, towards people who builtjapan, because it is their sacrifice that built japan today. so, including my families and relatives and friends, obviously, this is a very, very special day. it is a start, a kickoff of new japan after world war ii which we live on, so world war ii which we live on, so it that sense a very, very
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special day for all of us and myself included. thank you very much for sharing a part of it with us and talking to us here on bbc world news. a two week quarantine has come into effect for people arriving in the uk from france and a number of other countries, including the netherlands and malta. across europe, the infection rate for covid—19 has been rising for more than three weeks. countries including spain, france and germany are all seeing increasing case numbers. alanna petroff has the latest. it's peak holiday season in europe. typically a time for cross—border travel, sights and son. in the midst of this pandemic, though, european water restrictions are coming back, making it increasingly difficult to move across the continent. germany is grappling with rising cases. the increase is being blamed on tourist
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coming back from their holidays. spain is particularly popularfor germans, but holidays. spain is particularly popular for germans, but it has seen a spike in cases. those returning, now, have to do new mandatory tests at the german border. then, quarantine at home until they get a negative result. tourist coming home may not like the hold up, but they understand it is for the greater good. translation: we we re greater good. translation: we were on holiday and italy, we decided to get tested, not only for our fellow citizens but also because it is safer to return to work. it was relatively quick stop in the medical staff were friendly. everything went well. in neighbouring austria, the government is urging people to avoid travel to the popular hotspot croatia. they are finding too many people are coming back with the virus, and croatia just reported a record daily number of new infections. translation: it is an abrupt decision. i'm aware this is
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uncomfortable for travellers but i ask people to take note. we are still in the middle of this crisis. the pandemic is not over stopping the coronavirus is not on vacation. greece is also implementing new water restrictions, specifically for albanians. under new rules from athens, daily arrivals from albania will be capped at 750, starting next week. the new headcount restrictions has led to a 20 kilometre queue at the border. albanian workers are trying to come back from their summers at home for theirjobs and grease. at french ports, airports and train stations, british travellers packed into get out. the uk government now requires people returning from france and five other countries to quarantine for 14 days. the decision was short notice. these travellers rushed to beat
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the deadline, to avoid isolation requirements at home at. i've driven for, what, 11 hours with breaks, so, getting back to make sure that why don't have to self isolate, that's it, really. france didn't take the uk announcement well. country warned it would ta ke well. country warned it would take reciprocal measures. it is all causing deep anxiety for travellers at a time that is generally reserved for relaxation. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: keeping cool in korea. the high tech bus stop playing its role in the fight against coronavirus. the big crowds became bigger as the time of the funeral approached. as the lines of fans became longer, the police prepared for
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a huge job of crowd control. idi amin, uganda's brutal former dictator, has died at the age of 80. he's been buried in saudi arabia, where he lived in exile since being overthrown in 1979. two billion people around the world have seen the last total eclipse of the sun to take place in this millennium. it began its journey off the coast of canada, ending three hours later when the sun set over the bay of bengal. this is bbc news. the latest headlines:
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strikes spread across belarus as unrest over the disputed presidential election grows. the european union is moving closer to imposing sanctions. ceremonies have taken place in tokyo as japan marks 75 years since its defeat in the second world war. as the us presidential election gets closer, and the coronavirus outbreak in america continues to spread, there's been an increased focus on using postal votes. there are questions over whether the us postal service, or usps, could cope with the increased demand. the usps says some states have reported election mail volumes which are ten times higher than any previous year. it's advising several states they may need to expand their voting by mail deadlines to allow the system to cope. the issue has been put in the spotlight for two reasons. firstly, the postal service has been struggling financially, which some people blame on changes to regulations dating back several years. and secondly, president trump has made claims, about the possibility of electoral fraud through postal voting, without providing evidence. he was asked about whether he would give the usps extra funding at a news conference a few
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hours ago , here's how that exchange went. if the democrats were to give you some of what you want, what you articulated in a series of tweets in the last hour, would you be willing to accept the $25 billion for the postal service, including the $3.5 billion? it is not what i want, it is what the american people want. here's our north america correspondent david willis. the us postal service is a beleaguered service at best, it is $160 billion in debt, and of course postal voting is expected to be conducted in unprecedented numbers this year because of concerns over the coronavirus. now president trump doesn't like that notion at all,
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he has warned that increased mail—in balloting will lead to massive election fraud, though he has yet to produce any evidence to support that claim. but he has also conceded that the use of postal ballots writ large tends to lead to larger turnouts, which tends to favour the opposition democrats. so he is blocking additional funding, billions of dollars of additionalfunding to the postal service. today the washington post reported that the postal service chiefs wrote to about 46 different states warning that their deadlines are too tight, and that millions of people could potentially be disenfranchised, and votes will not count because they will not be received or delivered early enough. democrats, as you can imagine, are up in arms over this, they have said that postal voting is a health issue in this election, given the spread of coronavirus, and former president barack obama has accused donald trump of kneecapping the postal service as he put it, in a bid to discourage people from turning out to vote.
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our thanks to david willis there. time to get more on our top story. rachel denber is deputy directorfor europe and central asia at human rights watch, an international ngo. she told us what has been happening on the ground in belarus. what we are hearing and seeing are numerous credible accounts of beatings... humiliation, egregiously bad conditions in custody with people lying stacked up next to each other, and beatings at the moment of apprehension, beatings in the police vans, beatings at the police stations, people being apprehended, this is in the first four days, people being apprehended for absolutely no reason.
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there have been thousands of people detained in belarus in the past since sunday, half, more than 6500 throughout the country, at least half of them in minsk which is only a city of about 2 million people, so this is a a wide scale operation, and what we are finding is these allegations that are backed up by so many videos and credible testimonies, your correspondent just showed the images of the bruises, it is so widespread and so systematic that it is pretty clear that it is coming, that it came from the top. that is what ijust wanted to ask you, you say systematic there, so your allegation is that this is not a local level police officers acting out of turn, this comes from orders from how high up?
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that is really hard to say, it definitely comes high up in the law enforcement agencies because you know, there is a record of police brutality in belarus, we have seen severe police brutality in 2010 right after a stolen election but on a much smaller scale, 700 people were rounded up back then but this is so brutal and so systematic and the message of humiliation and the message of punishment is so clear, and it is so even across so many stories in different custody situations throughout the city, it is pretty clear that they... either had an indirect or direct message that, that the police could do whatever. .. to use the force, not that they... not that they needed but the force that they wanted. and if that is true,
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if that does turn out to be true, what kind of international response do you want? three things, four things really. first i think the eu has already been discussing reinstating sanctions that have been put on belarus for egregious human rights abuses back in 2011, the eu and also uk did this. second, continuous monitoring of the situation on the ground. third, there needs to be people bearing witness, diplomats bearing witness on the ground as people move into trials, many people have been released but it is pretty clear that some people will go to trial. fourth, accountability for the horrific abuse that has taken place, and fifth there needs to be really strong support for belarus' terrific human rights activists who are trying to ensure that families can find their loved ones in custody, to ensure that people get lawyers in custody and to document
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the systematic abuse. they need, human rights activists need to be supported, they could be injeopardy, we have seen authorities go after human rights activist in the past in the wake of these crackdowns so these people need to be protected. in mexico, the popocatepetl volcano is starting to show signs of eruption. here it is sending massive ash columns 600 meters into the sky. it's name comes from the aztec word for smoking mountain and is one of the country's most active volacanos. most of its eruptions are small in size and cause little damage. one of the countries hit earliest in the coronavirus pandemic was south korea. the authorities there were praised for their quick and efficient response
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to the outbreak. public transport is a potential area where the virus could spread. but in seoul they're trying to make it as safe as possible, as the bbc‘s tim allman explains. in the age of covid—19, travelling by bus can be a hazardous business. here it is sending massive ash columns 600 meters —— but in south korea technology is your friend and this is a bus stop unlike any other. called a smart shelter, it's air—conditioned, sterilised, and open only to the coolest of travellers — literally. translation: we connected a thermal imaging camera with a door so that people feel safe here. after checking body temperatures, the doors will be open for only those whose temperatures are lower than 37.5 celsius. we also set up air sterilisers which can remove 99% of viruses.
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ten of these high—tech bus stops have been set up in the capital, seoul. each one costing more than $80,000. but for these customers that seems to be money well spent. translation: i felt uncomfortable at first as i had to take my temperature before i entered. but it didn't take long so it was good. there are air—conditioners and sterilisers which remove viruses. so i feel safe here compared to normal bus stops. translation: if there are many people gathering at a bus stop i feel worried about coronavirus and uncomfortable with people sitting next to me but i feel safe here. more smart shelters are being planned. south korea determined to do what it can to combat the virus and keep passengers safe. tim allman, bbc news.
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that is it from me. remember you can get me anytime online. you can reach me on twitter. i'm @lvaughanjones. chaim lewis vaughan jones chaim lewis vaughanjones and this is bbc news. bye—bye. —— i'm lewis vaughan jones. hello there. over the last few days, temperatures have slowly been coming down, something a bit more comfortable both by day and by night. although we'll hold on to the humidity across england and wales as we head on into this weekend. but for this weekend, it's generally pretty similar to how the last few days have been. rather cloudy, a bit of sunshine in northern and western areas. humid in england and wales, where we'll continue to see showers and thunderstorms at times. now on saturday, the pressure chart shows higher pressure to the north, lower pressure to the south. that's why we'll start off with showers and thunderstorms across some southern portions of wales and southern england. further north, it'll be rather grey, pretty much grey everywhere, but the sunshine will break through central
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and western scotland, northern ireland, north—west england, perhaps a few sunny spells across the south—east of england. this is where we'll see some of the heaviest of the downpours into the afternoon. temperatures low to mid—20s where you get the sunshine, but quite cool across some north sea coasts where we hold on to the cloud and mist. as we head through saturday night, the threat of showers and thunderstorms drifts a little bit further northwards into northern england, southern scotland, north wales. and for many of us, that cloud will roll back in, so it will be another fairly mild night, quite muggy again for england and wales. on sunday, subtle changes. our area of high pressure drifts northwards. that allows this area of low pressure to push north across the country. so, we'll start off plenty of showers across central and northern parts of the uk, although much of northern scotland will stay dry with some sunshine. we'll start with some sunshine across southern england and wales, but then as that temperature rises, then thunderstorms will break out here into the afternoon. some of them could be quite heavy. again, temperatures low to mid—20s celsius across southern areas, cooler where you hold on to the cloud and mist on the eastern coasts. on into monday, that area of low pressure sits on top of the uk. quite a weak feature, so these showers and storms spiralling around across the country will be moving quite slowly. the lion's share of the storms,
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though, will be across england and wales. fewer for scotla nd and northern ireland, where we should see a little bit of sunshine at times. those temperatures ranging from around 17 to 23—24 degrees in the south. then big changes as we head on into the middle part of next week. something we haven't seen for a while, a deep atlantic low will sweep in to bring much fresher conditions, some strong winds at times through wednesday, particularly into thursday. we'll see a band of rain followed by sunshine and showers, and it will be turning cooler and fresher for all by the end of the week.
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this is bbc news — the headlines: strikes and protests have been taking place across belarus — demanding the resignation of president alexander lukashenko after his disputed re—election. the demonstrations have been fuelled by accounts of torture from protesters detained earlier in the week. estonia's foreign minister has said the election was not democratic or legitimate. ceremonies have been taking place in tokyo to mark the 75th anniversary of japan's surrender in world war ii. the emperor and his wife pay their respects and the countries prime minister pledged that japan would never repeat the devastation and tragedy of war. thousands of british holidaymakers have spent the day trying to return to the uk from france — before the requirement of a two—week quarantine comes into force. the new rule also affects five other countries,


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